When the Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire photo staff…
At the end of 2012, we surveyed 5,000+ photographers to help glean trends for the 2013 business year. We wanted to know: What are photographers’ major business and marketing goals for 2013? Where are they likely to find new business? Do they expect to make more money than last year? How will they market themselves?
Turns out, photographers are pretty optimistic on the whole about this upcoming year. And we got the data to prove it:
Business & Income
We asked: In 2012, how did you make the majority of your revenue?
We asked: In 2013, what will you invest in?
We asked: Do you expect to make most of your revenue from returning clients or new ones in 2013?
• Decide who your dream clients are, then reach out. Make an effort to customize your pitch because potential clients are more likely to respond to promotions that fit their needs. This may be a long shot and you may have to rely on the seven-year-down-the-road plan, but getting your work in front of the clients you want is a strategy that many respected photographers told us they’ve used.
• Keep in touch with past clients. This is a great source of repeat work as well as word-of-mouth referral. You can include them on your newsletter lists, or even schedule a reminder in your calendar to send updated, relevant work their way.
• Create a solid and consistent web presence. Start with social media and a blog geared for your photo business. Pinpoint exactly who your audience is. This will help you maintain a consistent tone, build your brand, and attract new clients.
We asked: Which marketing channel has been the greatest source of new clients?
We asked: Which marketing channel will you focus on in 2013?
• For events, bring cards, or even a newsletter sign-up sheet. And don’t forget to send an email to those you met at the event. This can help you translate your one-off in-person networking to an ongoing digital relationship, and it’ll keep you top of mind next time they (or their colleagues) need your services.
• When you’re prepping for an in-person meeting, do your homework. Read up on who you’re meeting, try to get a sense of the aesthetic that might appeal to him or her, and make sure your portfolio reflects that. If you can, find out what photographers this person has worked with before, and understand how you can fit into that group, or what you would add.
• Go where your audience goes. We know it can be hard to choose which social media platform is the best for your business, and as a result, where to invest your time. But, some platforms attract more of your prospective clients than others. And, sometimes niche online forums that focus on your specialty, are a good place to start.
Business Tools & Planning
We asked: Which methods do you use to deliver images to clients?
We asked: Do you plan to hire a photo assistant in 2013?
We asked: Do you use any of the following mobile devices to conduct business?
• Get organized. Make sure your images are clearly arranged in categories that will make sense to someone other than you. For example, change “portfolio 1” to “Autumn in the Rockies,” etc.
• Get set up for online sales. The goal of your website is to have people purchase your work directly from you (as opposed to commissioning your work). All PhotoShelter websites come equipped with ecommerce tools like our shopping cart, which you can set up to license stock images or sell downloads, and sell and deliver prints and products.
• Decide the purpose for an assistant. Some assistants can help out in the office too – social media maintenance, gear upkeep, etc. A lot of photographers hire assistants to help out on the job.
For more insights into how photographers plan to boost their businesses in 2013, check out The Photographer’s Outlook on 2013. We compiled all the data into one share-able infographic, plus a guide that filled with more takeaways and tips for how you, too, can grow your photography business.