I’m pretty sure your goal this year as a creative is growth. For that to happen, you definitely need to increase your clientele.If you keep learning or upskilling and you don’t have opportunities to put your new skills to the test, it may become redundant. So building a clientele is important for your growth.It’s especially difficult for creatives – photographers especially – to get work in these pandemic times. But people are still growing their clientele and their pockets, regardless.If you want to get more work this 2021, take a look at these five surefire tips.
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1. Polish up your portfolio
This is something that many Nigerian photographers don’t want to hear.We understand how social media can help your marketability and get you leads than can become clients. However, it remains what it was built for – social media, a platform for interaction.Many photographers won’t even post all their works on their social media. There’s the fear of plagiarism and there’s also a concern for copyright.This is why you need a proper portfolio. You can take a cue from some of Nigeria’s biggest and best, like Anny Robert and TY Bello, and make a website. You should take a cue from them, in fact, because the world is going digital.Social media will put you out there, but out of your 10 million followers, less than 10% are marketing leads and of that 10%, about half will be high paying customers who will give you the opportunity to explore your new skills.Read this informative piece from Format on how to build an online (website) portfolio as you prepare to get more work in 2021.Read Also:10 Nigerian photographers on Instagram you should follow
2. “What kind of clients are you looking for?” – Know who you want to photograph
Ask your self this question if you want to get the type of clients you’re looking to work with.If you’re able to pinpoint this, it’ll be easier to get those clients to work with you.Also, understand that what works for one type of client may not work for another client. If you’re a portrait photographer, how you market newborn photography will be different from how you market CEO headshots or an actor’s portfolio.When you understand who you’re targeting, you’ll know how much work you have to put into marketing the types of portrait photography you offer.Then, you take advantage of your social media to create content that can get people to want to take a look at your portfolio, increasing your chances of being booked.You need to also position yourself as an authority to your preferred clientele. This means giving tips once in a while, doing classes, or documenting your journey with proper guides on how you achieved certain looks.Clients may not book you just for this, but you’ll be sure to get referrals from them which will definitely be solid leads.
3. Solidify your brand/Spend time developing a brand.
There’s a reason that the top companies spend a lot of time and money developing their brands. This is the easiest way for them to remain recognisable no matter what happens.Here in Nigeria, it’s mostly watermark and vibes. A watermark is not enough for a brand. As a photographer, people have to be able to tell your photos apart from others, with or without your watermark.A photography business’s brand includes your social media’s aesthetics, your portfolio’s aesthetics, to the way each of your photos looks and feels.Think also about what your audience resonated with the most. You can get it from your social media interactions. This is key to getting more work for your photography business in 2021.
4. Run ad campaigns and create special offers.
Social media ads are the easiest way to reach clients. After you’ve sorted out your portfolio, identified your potential clientele, and developed your brand, run some ads.Social media ads are not expensive. On Facebook, for example, the minimum you can spend on an ad is $1. Once you see how it works for you, think of increasing the money spent on ads.The biggest benefit of social media ad campaigns is that it gives you the opportunity to target those you’re looking for to join your clientele. It gives you the option to filter who sees your ad by location, gender, age, interests, and more.As you’re running these ads, also create special offers for people who would see them.To avoid devaluing your business, however, don’t just offer discounts or low prices because people may just bookmark you and wait for your next discount. Instead, offer them something that they won’t want to pass up.For example: offer a discount on their next photoshoot if they refer you to a paying client. You can also offer them discounts or a free shoot after a certain number of photoshoot sessions. You could also offer mini sessions by giving them half of your work for half the price, but making it look grand enough for them to want to come back.As you try to get more work in 2021 for your photography business, make sure you don’t devalue your work.
5. Volunteer to Photograph Events.
Your church will have a convention. Your mosque will have a lecture. Your school will have a convocation. Your office will have a party.Take advantage of these events in your circle by offering to photograph them. Volunteering is always a good way to put yourself out there, no matter the field in which you work.The attendees will see you in action and if your work is impressive enough, the event organisers will be your biggest promoters.Try also to go out of your circle to find events that you can volunteer for. Charity events are some of the best ways to get some volunteer work done, so look for NGOs or individuals who would be needing the services of a photographer.Always go along with your business cards too so that you can hand them out to people who fit your clientele at these events.
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