Book more photography clients with this step-by-step framework.
Hi, I'm Brooke! I'm a believer, wife, mama to two, Oklahoma photographer, and photography business coach.
I help photographers grow profitable full-time businesses from home.
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Are you struggling to book clients after a recent move to a new location? Today’s episode on the Book More Clients Photography Podcast, we’re diving into how to book more clients after you move.
In today’s episode on the Book More Clients Photography Podcast, I’m sharing 3 strategies to implement when you’re wondering how to book more photography clients after you move to a new location.
On today’s live coaching call, I am answering a question from Ashley McMillan that came through our voicemail website, called SpeakPipe. If you’d like to submit a question, you can do so here.
A wedding and lifestyle photographer based in North Florida.
Ashley: How do I get the word out more that I’m a new photographer in the area to book more clients?
Brooke: I hear this question a lot. I wanted to put together some tips that I haven’t said before on the podcast, or at least spin it in a new way. I put myself in your shoes, trying to picture myself in a brand new area where I knew no one. What are the steps that I would take to get my foot in the door, become a member of that community, grow my business and book photography clients? I have three tips for you today.
Firstly, make sure that your social media, website, and Google My Business are all up to date with your newest location. You want to make sure that you’re using keywords and marking your location. On your social media, make sure that your personal profile is updated and make sure that your business page is updated to that location. Facebook and Instagram are typically where someone will start looking for a photographer. If you have your keywords and your location in the right places, then that is going to help you get found “organically”.
Your Facebook business page will also allow you to tag other areas. You can put your location for your exact area or you can put your location for where you’re trying to get clients from. Then it will say “do you want to serve surrounding areas?” and then you can add four or five different surrounding towns or cities or areas that you want to market to. That’s the first thing and something that you can do immediately.
Secondly, I would be connecting with local people and businesses and truly start to become part of the community. Now, I don’t want you to jump the gun too soon and start trying to collaborate, do giveaways or do styled shoots and all those things. This is not an overnight growth strategy. There is nothing that I will ever teach you, that is going to be overnight. I teach sustainable strategies, that will build on itself and you will get to ride the momentum as your business grows.
I really want you to spend time and get out of your house. You’re not going to meet people by sitting on your couch. You’re not going to meet people by staying in your car and just doing all the drive throughs. You need to get yourself out. Actually do the grocery shopping. Visit your post office. Find a local church. Don’t be afraid to get involved. You have to become part of the community.
When you’re shopping, and they ask, “hey, how are you doing?” or they start small chatting you, I want you to engage in that conversation. I’m not telling you this so that you will manipulate people into thinking that you’re interested in having conversations with them just to grow your business. Please understand that is never ever, ever my intention. My intention is always to truly get to know somebody and build a relationship. Relationships can’t be built, if we’re not putting ourselves out there.
I’ve lived in the town I live in now for about nine years. There are some days where I just feel like I’m finally a part of my community. I have had to put myself out there; I’ve had to get involved. I’ve had to be on the PTO and in different associations and things like that. You really have to get out of your comfort zone and you’ve got to put yourself out there. This tip ties into tip number three.
Thirdly, start with the people that you know. Just like when you were brand new in your photography business, and didn’t have any clientele, you had to get people in front of your camera. You had to start doing things for free. Free is not a bad word. I do a handful of free shoots a year. Sometimes I do it just for myself and my sanity and to reignite that creativity. Sometimes I do it to break into a new group, a new neighborhood or a new town. So, please, understand that I’m eight and a half years into my business, and I’m still not afraid to do things for free.
Sometimes that’s what you have to do to get your foot in the door. Don’t think you’re above offering things for free. What I don’t want you guys doing (side rant) is doing things for free for far too long. Being too afraid to ask because you’re afraid you’re not good enough. There’s a difference in the two.
I recommend starting with people that you know. If you don’t know anyone, go through step two: you’ve got to get out there. You’ve got to actually physically walk the stores, walk the boutiques, get on your kids school and be there. Volunteer, put yourself out there. While you’re putting yourself out there and you’re in that process, people are naturally going to small talk to you. They are going to ask you, “Where are you from? What do you do? What brought you here?”
Mention that you do photography and carry business cards with your updated work, your updated contact information, all of the things. Have them in your purse, in your bag, in your car, or in your diaper bag at all times. This was the biggest thing that helped me be able to not only talk about it, but make sure people weren’t going to forget about me. I wanted to tell them, “hey, yeah, absolutely. I have a Facebook page or a Facebook group. Here’s my business card. If you can’t find the link for some reason, feel free to text me and I’ll send it to you.”
I have gotten clients from that and that is the biggest thing that I would do if I lived somewhere else. Let me give you some more examples. This is truly what I would do if I moved today to a new area and I didn’t know anyone. If you think “it would be awesome to get some people in front of my camera for a particular type of shoot.” Whether that’s families, maternity, whatever – when you see someone and you’re naturally in the same place at the same time, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
Here is an example: Ask your grocery store cashier. She’s going to small talk you, right? They always say, “Hey, hi, did you find everything okay? Is there anything I can help you with?” Then you could say, “Hey, how’s your day going? How are you?” Then they’re gonna turn around and ask you the same thing. I promise, you’re naturally going to fall into a conversation about you being new, they’re gonna want to know why you’re there. They might even ask you what you do.
That is when I want you to open it up and say, “Yeah, we’re actually brand new to the area, I’m still getting to know people, if you or anyone that you know, would be interested in having some updated family photos, here’s my business card, email me, text me, call me. I would love to set something up.” See where it gets you.
Some other people that you’re looking over are people who work at your post office, your waitress at your restaurant, your hostess at your restaurant, the manager at the restaurant, people from your new local church. Whenever you’re going to different churches they will small talk you.
These are my three biggest tips of to help you figure out how to book more photography clients after you move. Then of course, from there, once you start doing that, you’re going to create momentum. You’re going to start breaking into circles. People are going to start working with you and inquiring with you. I just want to remind you that you have to put yourself out there and this is not going to be an overnight thing, okay? But keep going. Keep having conversations, keep putting yourself out there. Do not give up because I promise you, if you’ll keep working at it, you will get that momentum.
It’s like rolling a snowball up the hill. It is very slow. It seems like, “what is the point I’m never gonna get to the top of this mountain.” By the time you get up there, you’ve got this huge snowball, and it is powerful and it is ready to roll down that hill at fast speed. That’s you, you get to ride that momentum snowball for your business. You’ve got to put in the work and get outside of your comfort zone. You’ve got to keep pushing. I hope that was helpful!
Want more marketing tips, editing tips, styling tips, content ideas and more? Tune into the Book More Clients Photography Podcast.
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