by Ashley Siegert

You Don’t Actually Run A Photo Business. It’s a hard truth, but it’s one we all need to hear sometimes. We… photographers… owners of photography based businesses… don’t actually run “photography businesses.” In fact, we run marketing businesses, because without marketing, we have no clients, and without clients…yeah, you get my point…no business.

Another hard truth: It’s 2020 and the internet is king. So…you newly minted marketing titan…it’s time to quit procrastinating and learn how to use it to your advantage!

Digital marketing can seem super overwhelming, but if photography is what you love to do, and you want it to be your job, it’s time to buck up and embrace that digital marketing needs to be where you put your focus. It used to be that “advertising” was reserved for the big players. Cars, soda, cleaning products, breakfast cereals, department stores, etc. We saw ads in magazines, newspapers, tv commercials, billboards and buses. Companies wanting to advertise had to have big budgets and an ad agency. Those days are OVER. Today, anyone with a facebook account and a google business page can run ads for the price of a cup of coffee. Email marketing is virtually free, and if your website is built well, google will serve you up on a platter to your perfect client.

“You tell me, but I have tried that and nothing happened. I threw my money away.” I know you did, and I’ll bet I know why. You didn’t have a strategy and you didn’t have a process in place to send the lead through. It’s ok! You didn’t know. You are not Don Draper! Here are a few basic things you can do right now to get yourself on the right path to maximizing your digital presence:

1. Sign up for Google’s “My Business.” This listing is incredibly important. It will make you a legitimate company in the eyes of the biggest search engine.

2. Have a few friends review your website and make sure it is easy to contact you. Ask for feedback. The biggest thing you can probably fix right now is making your website easy for clients to take action.
3. Gather all of the email addresses from leads you have received in the past and start sending out email marketing. This can be a monthly newsletter, or updates on special edition sessions, or even just notification that you have a new interesting and helpful blog post. Remind the people who have already come to your website that you exist.

4. Start blogging. I don’t mean blog a few words and a bunch of images from past clients. Blog about something interesting. Helpful tips and tricks for how to get great day to day images, why you shoot at certain locations, or times of day, etc. Post these blogs as many places as you can. People want to learn things from experts so show them what you know and you might be surprised how many of them will remember you when it’s time to book a professional.

5. Make sure your workflow is in order. There is nothing more overwhelming than having a bunch of clients waiting for their images, and you are just running them through by hand, reinventing the process each time. That is the path to bad reviews, and bad reviews stink. Make sure you have a clean process that is repeatable for each client. Clock the time you spend on each client from inquiry email through delivery and try to reduce that time with automations and outsourcing. Once you get a routine figured out, you will be able to troubleshoot much more easily.

When you wake up every morning, your number one job is to get clients in the door and the internet is where they are gathered, waiting to be led to your digital ecosystem. The more you can streamline and curate the client gathering process, the more scalable it becomes. Soon, you can start playing with social media ads, sales funnels, retargeting and fine tuning. But let’s walk before we run.

Join Ashley at Texas School 2020 where she will teach a class on “Digital Marketing for Photographers.” To learn more about Ashley, go to her website: