Hello fellow photographer! Are you in need of clients? Are you struggling to stand out in the photography industry? Does it feel as though the industry and saturated and you are just blending in?
Breaking into a seemingly saturated creative industry such as photography can be difficult, but it is not impossible. It means you’ll have to up your game and find unique ways to stand out amongst your competition. Just as we are each distinctive individuals, there are no two businesses that are exactly alike. Once I realized how to stand apart in the photography industry, everything about my business improved! Remember, it is NOT the industry that is saturated, it is the ideas and marketing tactics in which people are using to find work within the industry.
When I found my own ways to market myself and stand apart from other photographers is when hit 100k in wedding profits, were booked-up for weddings and sessions 18+ months in advance, and finally gained financial freedom!
Pinterest and Instagram are wonderful sources of inspiration but it’s easy to fall into a trap of constantly comparing yourself to established and successful entrepreneurs. And even though mimicry can be a form of flattery, do not be tempted to imitate their ideas or style.
Your peers and potential clients will quickly figure out that you’re not the real deal. Don’t allow the fact that you’re a newbie in the field or feeling insecure about your abilities to follow the crowd. Followers are always followers and rarely if ever get ahead of the trends.
Instead of being overwhelmed and feeling discouraged, consider coming up with new ideas and taking risks as a fun, creative challenge. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be quite exhilarating.
Here are a few of my tactics that can help you discover your “edge,” what makes you exceptional and unique, and what differentiates you and your business.
My Top Tips! How to Stand Out in the Photography Industry
A brainstorming session is a fun and interesting exercise to throw ideas at the wall and see which ones stick. Write down everything that crosses your mind regarding you, your quirks and things you’d like to accomplish in your business. This is NOT the time to vet each idea, but instead, throw caution to the wind and embrace every thought no matter how far fetched or crazy it sounds. Sometimes one word or detail will spark an idea that will spur you into a newfound direction.
Another option is to do what is called a SWOT analysis where you list out your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. What are you good or not good at? Are there any opportunities in your industry that are not being offered locally? What threats lie ahead and are they out of your control or can you think of a way to circumvent them? Changes in technology affect most, if not all industries. In the photography industry, look at all the different types of cameras that have emerged through the years. The 110 cameras gave way to 35mm cameras, which gave way to digital SLR cameras and now we have phone cameras. In fact, the younger generation doesn’t even print out their photos! What’s next on the horizon and is there a way you can capitalize on it?
Think Outside the Box
Use your imagination to implement new ways of doing something instead of the traditional or “expected” ways. Maybe a new twist on an old tradition. Here are some ideas I’ve used to make my photography stand apart and some examples to get your creative juices flowing:
- Marketing Tactics – incorporate your surroundings into your marketing magic; post photos and ask for funny captions
- Branding Ideas – focus on customer relationships and results; go above and beyond to provide great value to your audience/clients
- Workflows – experiment with various workflows and develop a plan that best suits you and your creative process
- Client Experiences and Offerings – be prepared for your clients and give them your undivided attention; show them appreciation; offer free photo printing in exchange for reviews/testimonials
Following up with your clients is one of the most important things you can do to grow your business, as this demonstrates to your clients that they are so much more than just a number or the next gig.
RELATED: How to Use Storytelling to Market Your Photography (or any) Business
For more free ideas to grow your business, listen to our House Fur Happy Hour podcast.