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3 Common Marketing Mistakes That Photographers Make

by Jen Basford

3 Common Marketing Mistakes That Photographers Make

I recently spoke with a group of senior portrait photographers about marketing. What surprised me the most was how frustrated many of them were! The most common phrase I heard was “I’ve tried everything – nothing works anymore!”

I know it often seems as if you have tried everything, but at some point you need to stop and look at your marketing plan as a whole and see if the problem lies elsewhere. There are some very common mistakes that photographers make that have a huge impact on the success of their marketing. These can be big turn-offs to potential clients and keep the phone from ringing.

Here are 3 things to focus on to make sure that your marketing is successful:

1. Don’t be pushy.
I have one vendor that I use for my studio that sends me an email every week. And every week the email revolves around a sale they are having, or a new product they want me to buy. The same thing happens on Facebook – I am a fan of their Facebook page and every week in my newsfeed is a poorly designed ad wanting me to buy something. I never hear from them unless they want me to make a purchase, or want me to do something for them. While I love their products, I go out of my way to avoid them most of the time. This makes me ripe for a switch if another company comes along that offers a similar quality product such as theirs.

Take a good hard look at your marketing and ask yourself this – are you constantly advertising to your audience? Are you continually pounding them with message after message to “Book your senior session now!” or “Hurry and get 50% off your senior session!’? Or are you taking the time to build a relationship with them before asking them for the sale?

2. Be consistent.
Most of us get really gung-ho about marketing our business and go at it full force for a while. We reach out continually to our senior models, we post regularly on Facebook, and we even blog consistently for a few weeks straight (yay!).

Then life hits us.

We get busy. It’s senior season! The books are full and we’re shooting sessions left and right. Surely no one will mind if we just disappear for a while.


Many of us are guilty of this and what happens is that once the busy senior season is over, we find that the phone has stopped ringing. Now we are scrambling to get more clients in the door, and we find that the marketing we were doing before is no longer working. We have to work harder than ever to fill our books with senior clients.

Successful marketing requires consistency. The time to market is not when your books are empty – the time to market is year round. This will ensure you have clients coming in the door month after month and  that you are making a profit all year long.

3. Build trust by being genuine.
In order to create a true relationship with your target market, you must build trust. But you must do it in a positive way.

Stay true to your brand – and true to who you are – in all of your marketing, both online and offline. You must show your target market that you are truly interested in them, and that you care.  Putting on a fake persona for the sake of marketing your products and services creates distrust and distance with your market. Create and nurture real relationships with your audience and you will begin to see real results.

Going forward.
If you find that you are making one or more of these common marketing mistakes, then you will alienate your target market fast.  Slow down and get to know them first. Date them a little before asking them to marry you.

Ready to get started on building a profitable senior portrait business?  Download this FREE guide from Seniors Ignite – 12 Low Cost Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Senior Business (http://www.seniorsignite.com/12-low-cost-marketing-ideas/). It will help you take your senior business to the next level and get clients in your door year round.