How to get more photography clients featured image

How to get more photography clients

Are you a photographer who wants more clients? And not just any clients but awesome clients who allow you to do your best work? 

Then this article is for you. 

It explains how to effectively market yourself as a photographer, so you can move from relying on luck and guesswork to having a clear process that consistently brings in new leads.

Your photography marketing plan

To get started, you need a plan. If you get this bit right, a large part of your marketing strategy is already done for you.

Creating a plan comes down to four key questions:

  • What are your goals?
  • Who are your ideal clients?
  • Where are your ideal clients?
  • Why should your ideal clients choose you?

What are your goals?

One of the first and most important steps in marketing your photography business is setting business goals. If you don’t have a goal to aim for, it’s going to be difficult to measure if your marketing is working.

When setting your business goals, consider starting with quarterly or annual goals and then breaking them down into smaller goals, which will be less daunting to achieve.

For instance, how much money do you want to make this year? You can then work backwards to calculate how much money you will need to make per month to hit this target. How many new clients will you need, to reach this monthly target? Finally, how many enquiries will you need to bring on that many new clients?

Write down the answers to the questions above. Now, we have some more specific goals to aim for.

Who are your ideal clients?

The next step is understanding who your ideal client is, so you can go out and find more people like them. Try and picture them in your mind. What are they like?

A great tool for doing this is a client avatar.

A client avatar is a fictional, but realistic, representation of your ideal client. This helps you to focus your marketing efforts and create content that is relevant and appealing to your target market. When creating your customer avatar, consider the following:

  • demographic information (age, gender, location, income level)
  • interests and hobbies
  • what type of photography they are interested in
  • their needs and goals
To give you a head start, Hubspot offer a fantastic free tool for creating your client avatar: Hubspot Avatar Creator.
It will ask you a series of questions about your ideal client and at the end, it will create a complete client avatar ready for you to use.
Once you’ve created your avatar, you can use this information to tailor your marketing strategy and content so it speaks directly to your ideal client’s specific needs and desires. This will make your marketing much more effective.

Where are your ideal clients?

With your avatar in hand, you will have a good insight into not only “who” your ideal client is, in terms of their age and interests, but also “where” they are. This is important because it’s where we will focus our marketing efforts. Think in terms of both where they usually hang out (favourite social networks) and where they would look for your services. Asking previous ideal clients where they found you is a great way of getting ideas.

Why should clients choose you?

When it comes to marketing your photography business, it’s important to understand why clients should choose you. What makes you different and why should they choose you over other photographers?

One key tool in explaining why clients should choose you is by including your unique selling proposition (USP). Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what makes you stand out from the crowd and is key in attracting new clients. When creating your USP, consider the following:

  • what type of photography do you specialise in?
  • what services do you offer?
  • what is your pricing?
  • do you have a unique style of photography? (e.g film only)
  • how long have you been photographing?
  • what is your experience and qualifications?
  • what type of client do you usually work with (weddings, portraits, corporate)?

Your USP should be clear and concise and communicated on your website, social media platforms and marketing materials.

Don’t only think about yourself, think about all the reasons why your client would need a photographer. Go back to your avatar – what are their needs (something they need now) and what are their goals/desires (what they want to achieve in the future)? What is the big benefit you can provide?

A future bride might need someone to take photos to capture her wedding day but what she desires is to feel like a movie star, make her friends jealous or have images that she can pass down through generations.

Set a marketing budget

When you know all of these things, it’s time to set a budget for your marketing efforts. 

Photography is a competitive industry so it’s important to spend wisely on marketing and make sure you’re getting a good return on investment (ROI). By working out how much your average sale is, you can check that you are not spending more than this to acquire each new customer. If you are still not sure, spending 5% of your overall income on marketing is a good figure to aim for.

Working on Macbook Strategy

Your Marketing Strategy

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to start executing. And one of the best places to start is with your website. 

SEO for Photography Websites

One of the most important things is designing your website to generate more leads. So, let’s start with that.

Improving your website to convert more visitors

There are several ways to do this. Firstly, make sure what you do is immediately obvious as soon as someone lands on your site. Include a simple statement above the fold that says what you do, who you do it for and what result they get. For example “we provide beautiful, natural wedding photography that you will treasure for a lifetime.”

Carefully curate the images on your site, showing a small selection that highlights your very best work that gives visitors an insight into your individual style.

Use words (copy) on your website to sell yourself. Tell your story and how you found your passion for photography, speak to your reader’s needs and desires and explain how you can help them achieve them. Remember your customer persona, what are they looking for? Don’t be afraid to inject some personality and be yourself. The copy that photographers use on their website is often bland, so this is a great way to stand out against your competitors.

Giving your visitors numerous reasons to trust you will also help improve conversions. Include testimonials, awards, logos of blogs and magazines you’ve been featured in, and a plan showing your unique process.

Next thing, make sure to include lots of call-to-actions on your site, asking people to get in touch. Don’t make this difficult for your readers. Include bold call-to-action buttons in prominent places and make your email address and phone number easy to find.

Not everyone who visits your site is going to be ready to book you right away. For people who are still undecided, including an email opt-in for your lead magnet is a great way of keeping in touch. Keep reading for more details on what a lead magnet is and how to use one later on.

Keyword and topic research

Now your website is optimised to generate leads, the next stage is getting people there in the first place. If you want potential clients to be able to find you online, you need to make sure your website is optimised for search engines (SEO).

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a huge topic, that could fill an entire book. This section covers the key areas that make the biggest difference. Then, If you’d like to learn more, a great starting point is the Moz Beginners Guide to SEO.

When it comes to SEO, start by thinking about the words and phrases your clients might type into Google to find you and your services. Make a long list of keywords (or key phrases) and then check these using a tool like Keywords Everywhere (cheaper), SEMRush or Moz (more expensive). Look for keywords that have a good monthly search volume, high CPC but lower competition.

On-page optimisation

Include those keywords throughout your website, including in the title, meta description, header tags and body text. Stick to one keyword (or set of related keywords) per page. Additionally, make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices and loads quickly.

As you can only target one topic per page, you won’t be able to rank for many keywords by simply optimising your existing pages. That’s why it’s a great idea to start blogging.

Of course, you should blog about your work, including your latest shoots, but also think more broadly about topics your customers are interested in.

Remember your avatar? Think about what issues your clients are facing. Great blog topics include pricing, problems and solutions and guides. For instance, a wedding photographer might write a guide to the best wedding venues in your area or a portrait photographer might write about how to capture the perfect smile. You can use your keyword research tools to make sure the words and phrases you use match what your clients type into Google.

Off-page optimisation

The work you do on your website is only half the SEO battle. Another important part of the puzzle is getting other people to talk about you on social media and for other sites to link back to your website. There are several ways to do this including writing share-worthy content, publishing guest posts on popular industry websites and adding your site to online directories. More on that in a bit…

Social Media Marketing for Photographers

In addition to your website, social media is also a key part of your marketing efforts. Social media is a great way to attract clients and build relationships with potential customers. But which platforms should you be using?

Choose your platforms

For photographers, the most important platforms are usually Instagram and Facebook. These two platforms have the most active users and offer the most opportunities for engagement. As photography is such a visual medium, you might consider Pinterest and TikTok as well. The most important thing is to review the research you did on your ideal clients. Which platforms do they use?

Decide on your content

In terms of content, the suggestions made in the previous section are just as relevant. It’s important to share your work but also consider including content that will be helpful to your potential customers.

Video is huge in social media at the moment so try and include it as part of your strategy. Slideshows, behind-the-scenes videos and montages are great examples of how you can include video on your profile.

Select your hashtags

When using social media, it’s important to choose hashtags carefully. Hashtags are how users find content on social media and you want to make sure you’re using ones that will attract your ideal clients. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right hashtags:

  • Use general hashtags that are relevant to your photography business.
  • Use industry-specific hashtags that are specific to the type of photography you specialise in.
  • Use location-specific hashtags that are relevant to the areas you photograph in.
  • Use client-specific hashtags that are relevant to the types of clients you work with.

Organise your posting schedule

It’s also important to post quality content regularly on social media. To help with this, create a content calendar so you know what you’re going to post and when. Trello is a great tool for creating your content calendar but you don’t have to get too complicated, Excel or Google Sheets is just fine as well.

Some great tools for making social media posting faster and easier are Hootsuite and Buffer. Hootsuite allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place, while Buffer allows you to schedule your posts ahead of time. This way, you can make sure you’re always posting regularly, without having to worry about it. Both of these tools have a free plan and you can upgrade if you need to schedule posts more often.

Pro tip – If you are only posting on Facebook and Instagram, you can schedule posts for free using Meta Business Suite, which has most of the same features as Hootsuite and Buffer.

Online Directories for Photographers

Another great way to find leads for your photography business is through online directories. This will help potential clients find you when they’re searching for a photographer in their area. 

When choosing online directories, it’s important to pick ones that are relevant to your business and have a good reputation. Don’t forget local directories and websites that cover your local area too. There are several online directories photographers can use to find new clients, including general directories such as: 

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Bing Places

You can (and should) also do your best to be featured in industry-specific photography directories and publications. For a full list and advice on how to get featured in the top ones, make sure to check out our article: How to get featured on the top wedding blogs.

When listing your photography business on online directories, make sure you include accurate information like your business name, address, phone number and website URL. Additionally, include high-quality images of your work and a brief description of your business.

Online Ads for Photographers

In addition to SEO and online directories, you can also use online ads to attract clients. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are popular choices for photographers.

It’s worth noting that these two platforms are quite different and each offers its own pros and cons.

Facebook Ads for Photographers

Facebook know a huge amount of information about its users, which allows you to be very detailed in who you are targeting, right down to age, location and even interests and hobbies. (Note – This has recently started to change following the release of Apple’s iOS14, it is becoming harder to track people online). The other difference is that people on Facebook are earlier in the buying cycle. In other words, people might be on Facebook to stalk their friends rather than actively looking for your services. And so, people who see your ad on Facebook may not be ready to buy yet. Facebook Ads are traditionally quite cheap but again, this is changing.

Google Ads for Photographers

Google Ads is much the opposite. They have much less information about the person searching, but they can appear at the exact time someone is looking for your service. If someone types in “who is the best photographer in London”, it’s likely they need this service and need it soon. This is reflected in the price, as Google Ads is usually the most expensive platform for online ads.

Whichever you choose, make sure to measure your results to check that you are getting a good return from your ad spend.

Why you need a lead magnet

Sometimes, people aren’t ready to buy straight away and they need to build some trust with you first. A lead magnet is a great tool for showing your expertise and allowing your potential clients to get to know you. It can often be more effective to advertise your lead magnet rather than go straight in and ask people to buy your top photography package.

A lead magnet is a piece of content, usually an ebook or a guide, that you offer to potential clients in exchange for their contact information.

When creating a lead magnet, it’s important to think about what type of content your potential clients would find useful. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you could create a guide on how to choose the right wedding photographer. If you’re a portrait photographer, you could create a guide on how to take the perfect family portrait.

Once you’ve created your lead magnet, you can offer it in exchange for the contact information of your potential client. You can then use this to follow up with them and build on that relationship.


Retargeting is a form of online advertising that allows you to target people who have visited your website before. This is done by placing a small piece of code (called a pixel) on your website. When someone visits your website, the pixel collects information about them, such as their IP address and the pages they visited. This information is then used to create a custom audience for you to target with ads.

The great thing about retargeting is that it allows you to target people who are already interested in your services. In other words, they’ve already shown some level of interest in what you offer and are more likely to convert into a customer.

When setting up a retargeting campaign, make sure to target people who have visited your website in the past 30 days. You also want to make sure that your ads are relevant to the people you’re targeting. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you may want to target people who have recently visited wedding websites or engaged in wedding-related conversations on social media.

Events and trade shows

Events such as trade shows, conventions, and meetups provide ample opportunity to not only network with others in the photography industry, but also to connect with potential clients. However, it’s important to remember that not all events will be equally beneficial for your business. When choosing which events to attend, consider whether or not the event will give you access to your ideal clientele. If the answer is no, then it’s probably not worth your time and money.


Building partnerships with other people and businesses that serve your target market can be a great way of gaining new clients through referrals. If you are a wedding photographer, get to know the local wedding venues, videographers, MUAs, DJs and cake makers, and when their clients need a photographer, they will send them your way.

Networking for Photographers

Finally, don’t forget the power of networking. Photography is a very social industry so getting out there and meeting people is a great way to find new clients. There are lots of different events and meetups you can attend to network with other photographers and potential clients.

Marketing Checklist

Your Photography Marketing Checklist

To help you make sure you’re doing everything you can to attract clients, here’s a quick checklist of all the things you can do to get more photography clients:

  • Create a marketing plan, starting with your business goals including how many new clients you want
  • Research your perfect client including who they are, where they are and why they choose you
  • Set a marketing budget, 5% of overall income is a good place to start
  • Optimise your website for lead generation using call-to-actions, trust indicators, compelling copy and lead magnets
  • Get your site SEO-ready with keyword optimisation, fast loading times, mobile-responsiveness, blogging and link building
  • Attract clients on social media by going where your clients are, carefully using hashtags, including video and posting consistently
  • Add your business to online directories including local directories as well as industry-specific publications and blogs
  • Consider running online ads through Facebook or Google Ads
  • Set up a pixel so you can retarget people who have visited your site
  • Attend events and trade shows that will give you access to your ideal clients
  • Build partnerships with other businesses that serve your target market
  • Join networking events and meetups to meet other photographers and potential clients

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to getting more clients for your photography business. Just remember to be patient, consistent, and to measure the results of your marketing efforts, to see what works and what doesn’t.

Don’t forget to keep learning and growing as a photographer. Photography is an ever-changing industry so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies.

If you do that, you’ll be sure to get a consistent stream of new clients and achieve your goals.