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Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Portrait Studio Photography Business

You have the talent, equipment, and expertise to deliver exceptional portrait photography. The big challenge? New client acquisition.

In a sea of portrait photographers, both professional and amateur, you must understand how to market your business to an eager audience to attract new clients to your studio. This article explores effective marketing ideas for growing your portrait studio photography business that you can implement today. Let’s dive in.

Incentivize Referrals

Word-of-mouth referrals are the most effective marketing method for portrait photography studios. Shoppers trust customer feedback and referrals. Reviews and recommendations are the primary factors affecting purchase decisions, even more so than pricing! Building a culture of referrals and word-of-mouth advertising among your clients will help you onboard new customers and expand your reach in ways you could never do on your own.

Asking happy clients to refer your studio is a simple, free, and effective way to market your portrait photography services. Incentivizing referrals motivates customers to share their positive experiences with your business.

Offer a percentage off their next session, a free photo book or prints, or a free mini session for enthusiastic referrals that result in a sale.

Build a Network of Local Vendors

If local clients are your primary target audience, local marketing efforts will be crucial to your success. Building a network of community vendor partners will expand your reach and help you engage with new potential clients.

Cultivating relationships with industry peers provides access to new circles, events, and audiences. Besides happy clients, your professional network is the most likely group to recommend or refer your services. And you can do the same for them, too. Create a list of preferred vendors to share with your clients to create an atmosphere of mutual support and referrals.

Joining your local chamber of commerce, engaging in networking events, sponsoring community events, and being an active community member helps you earn trust and rapport with industry peers and new audiences.

Host a Partner Giveaway

Once you’ve established vendor partners and relationships, reach out to cohost a giveaway. Include services and products from each partner to attract and engage with new and existing clients.

A giveaway lets you tap into your partner’s community and engage with a potentially new audience, allowing your cohost to do the same. Run the giveaway on your socials and incentivize sharing and commenting to boost your visibility.

Free stuff is a surefire way to get clients excited about your portrait studio and the services you offer. Hosting a giveaway with an industry partner also strengthens those networking relationships, which will benefit your business growth.

In a Digital World, Offer Prints and Photobooks

Every photographer offers a digital copy of the pictures taken at the shoot. However, few include prints as part of their packages. How many people seek out photography services and never print a single image?

Offering prints or photobooks ensures your clients get their pictures printed instead of remaining in a digital file. This small gesture goes a long way toward facilitating an exceptional customer experience, and it’s one they’ll share with friends and loved ones. Plus, a photobook is a simple way to continue advertising long after the shoot. When people pick up the book off a shelf or coffee table to peruse the album, you’re marketing your portrait photography studio. Of course, it’s your photography studio name printed inside the back cover!

Utilize Social Channels to Connect with Your Audience

Customer engagement is a crucial component of marketing your portrait studio. And what is the best way to do this on a large scale? Your socials.

Social media is an ideal avenue for customer engagement. But simply existing on social platforms won’t give you a competitive advantage. You must first understand your target audience, know which channels they’re on, and maintain an active presence there.

Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and even LinkedIn (for commercial customers) allow you to meaningfully engage with clients on their terms. Each platform offers a unique method for showcasing your work and building community and trust with your audience.

Marketing doesn’t have to be a financial drain. Promoting your photo studio on social media so life’s celebrations can be photographed for great memories will give neighbors the idea to hire your company! Knowing your target customer and where they spend time scrolling social media empowers you to make strategic marketing choices that put your portrait studio directly in their line of sight.

Highlight Your Differences

Consumers are bombarded with options for portrait photography. From amateurs to competing portrait studios, potential clients have a choice regarding their photographer. But as you know, the quality difference is significant between someone taking pictures as a side hustle and a portrait studio dedicated to photography. You must highlight your unique offerings and qualities to stand out in a sea of competition. Find ways to differentiate yourself and position your studio as the best choice for potential clients.

Everywhere you engage with your audience, shine a light on what your studio can do for them that other photographers can’t. Whether that’s a controlled environment, pristine lighting, print and frame options, wedding photography, pet photos, a comfortable place for families in your studio, or location photos for family gatherings or student graduations, you bring unique features to the table that others either don’t have or can’t compete with. Bring those elements to light.

Offer Financing Options

Portrait photography allows clients to preserve a family’s love in a moment of time. But as with any product or service, quality portraits are an investment. Without flexible payment options, potential clients seeking your services can choose a large photo package by taking advantage of low monthly payments.

Offering consumer financing for your portrait studio photography business makes your talents accessible to more clients. When hopeful customers don’t have the financial flexibility to pay for photography upfront, they need real-world alternatives that work with their monthly budgets. By introducing financing options early and often, you ensure potential clients that they can reasonably and responsibly afford portrait photography from your business –– no settling for a less professional, less talented photographer; no postponing the session.

At United Consumer Financial Services, we make consumer financing easy for you and your clients. Our financing application process is simple:

  1. When discussing potential photography sessions, the photoshoot price might be on a printed sheet or discussed. You can enter the customer’s credit application right then, or have them enter it themselves
  2. You’ll receive near-immediate communication of customer credit approval
  3. Customer eSigns the contract right from their phone
  4. Schedule the shoot
  5. Get paid by UCFS within 1-2 days after the final product is delivered
  6. Consumers make payments through autopay, with the first payment due 30 days after the contract is signed. United consumer Financial Services handles your customer repayment for the life of the loan.

Portrait photography clientele want reassurance that they can choose your services, get the exceptional images they have in mind, and reasonably and responsibly afford them. By offering consumer financing from UCFS, you give clients every reason to move forward with their photography contracts. They get quality pictures and have an incredible customer experience, and you receive prompt payment for your services. UCFS simplifies repayment with a streamlined financing process that helps you close the sale.

Growing Your Portrait Studio Photography Business with UCFS

Effective marketing is the key to bringing new clients to your studio. As a portrait photographer, you have plenty of tools to increase brand exposure and book more shoots with potential clients. Engaging audiences in meaningful ways, providing the services your customers want, and offering flexible payment that makes purchases accessible empower you to grow your business starting today.

Serving clients like you for more than four decades, United Consumer Financial Services is here to help you serve your customers, grow your business, and increase sales and revenue with consumer financing solutions that work.  Reach out to the team at UCFS today to explore the many benefits of offering consumer financing for your portrait photography studio, and let’s partner together to grow your company.