5 Ways to Market Your Photography for Under $50

Like many of you, I have a very small marketing budget. I personally cannot justify spending a ton of money to run long campaigns on Facebook or Google Ad Sense in order to promote my work. Facebook also regularly changes their algorithm for organic posts, so it’s just not always wise to throw money at them and hope for qualified leads.

Add that all together with the fact that I live in New York City where competition is everywhere, and I have had to learn how to be a little more creative in order to market my business. In this video, I’m going to share five ways that I’m marketing my photography business for under $50.

 

Here is a quick breakdown of the five ways to market your photography that I suggest in the video.

  1. Become a Guest Author

  2. Think Old School

  3. Do it For Free

  4. Network

  5. Create Great Content

In order to submit your content to Fstoppers, please contact the editors.

If you’re interested in the free mailer templates I mentioned, you can find them here.

If you’re looking for more tips from me, you can also find me on Facebook.

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15 Comments

Rachel Gunther's picture

Thanks Jeff! :D

Neon Howe's picture

Insightful information. With the processes having a low monetary cost it makes executing marketing ideas less worrisome. At least that's what I'm thinking as I work to get my own photography career off the ground. Thanks for sharing!

Jeff Rojas's picture

Keep at it! It's all about consistency! :)

Chris Adval's picture

"Create Great Content" Do you mean imagery, or blog content that is interesting and worthwhile to the viewers of your target audience to read it? (or both of course would help)

Chris Adval's picture

"Become a Guest Author"
What if you suck at fantastic writing? Would you hire a professional local writer to touch up your writing content to submit to blogs or even magazines/publications? They aren't too expansive (local to me), I am strongly considering it for submitting blog posts/tips to blogs that hit my target markets directly. As we all should know public image and perception is important. Maybe having a professional editor/writer to look over the blog guest author posts?

Jeff Rojas's picture

That's a great question! For Fstoppers, they have great editors that will fix your content for you. TRUST me... I need one. lol

If you're trying to publish something with a magazine or blog... I found that www.fiverr.com has some AMAZING editors for $5. :)

Jeff Rojas's picture

I think both apply.... you can easily create great visual images that can be used in a blog format. :)

There are some great tips here - especially old fashioned cold-calling. Shooting for free, however, is a bad idea. My experience, in 35 years as a commercial shooter, is that shooting for free does not get you paid work. Whenever potential clients get the word - and they do - that you're shooting for free, they will inevitably solicit you to shoot for them for free. No one appreciates what they don't pay for, and you do yourself and every other professional shooter a disservice by giving away high-quality work in the marketplace.

A much better way to get exposure is to shoot personal ad campaigns of exactly the type of work that you are trying to promote, and then get them out to your target audience through mailers, etc. Mailers can get expensive, although there are any number of social media sources for free. The key is to educate yourself on the market you want to target, and then to follow up.......... There is no shortcut for doing the work, and nothing of real value is free.

I would argue that if you are restricted to a $50 budget for advertising, then your chances of cracking the commercial photography market is unlikely unless your work is very unique and way above average. As a new shooter, that's unlikely, so try smaller markets until you've honed your craft, business practice, and marketing skills.

KC
www.kencangi.com

Constantin Menier's picture

I'm gree with you Ken Cangi, if you want to get work, start with small companies, small jobs, free work rarely brings paid work, and the gear is expensive, your imagination , creativity and expertise should not come for free, in most cases we devaluate our own work.
I had a friend once asking me to shoot a wedding for free for a friend of him, my answer was:

me:What is your friend doing for a living?
he: He is a painter and decorator, makes only £15-£20 per hour.
me: I need about 30-40 hours to put in for his wedding, will he be able to work for me, repaint and decorate my home for free?
he: NO, he can not get one week off from work without pay
me: Why sould I put my time in if he can not do the same for me.

your time, expertise, and gear is not free of charge.

www.constantinm.co.uk

Hana Tran's picture

I'm so glad you're stressing that 'pro-bono' work should be in some way BENEFICIAL to you as well and not just in credits. With so many people trying to make it as a photographer nowadays there are also an equal amount of people/companies trying to take advantage of this fact. They want to have beautiful photos without paying the photographers anything but in 'credit'.

When starting out, we are almost desperate to have our work shown somewhere. More often than not we are more concerned with what WE can do & give to the company and we forget what's actually in it for US. Because as photographers we are creative souls, we push ourselves and we want to take pictures that won't end up in our drawers. It's very easy to forget to ask that company - what's in it for me apart from the credits (which I think should be automatically granted anyway, it's not a bonus, it's required from the law). We shoot for free and tell ourselves that it'll give us valuable PRACTICE and EXPOSURE. Well..guess what..you can actually practice by shooting your own ideas for yourself, too. When shooting for yourself, you have freedom, you get to realize your own ideas and tell your own stories. When shooting for a client, you need to do what they want you to do, even if you do it for free. It's like an exam. You need to learn/study before you go do an exam.

Is the concept so exceptional that it's gonna teach me something and benefit my portfolio? Is the team so incredible that I wouldn't pull them together by myself? Does the company have enough exposure themselves that it could benefit me as well? And if the company has great exposure, WILL they actually put my name somewhere as well - such as tag me on their FB/twitter/Insta or acknowledge my involvement somewhere, anywhere that could create leads for my services? I think those are very important questions that should be answered before a photographer decides to give up his/her time for free.

Hana Tran's picture

And thanks for the tip number 1, I never thought about it (mostly because I had no idea how that works). I'll give it a go :D

Ray Mez's picture

Great Information!

I do have a stupid question. lol

I love the comp card idea and I'am in the process of creating some for my current work.
My question is how do you send your comp cards to possible clients like agencies, magazines or organizations?

Do i print them out and go to fed ex and mail it to the companies individually?

Should I create a mail list of contacts and mail it to companies every month?

Just a little lost on how to go about mailing it physically.

Thanks in advance !!

Jeff Rojas's picture

That's a great question! I print my cards out through Millers Lab. I opted for their 5x7 Vertical Postcards with a Gloss UV Coating on both sides and printed on Pearl Paper. I personally send all my comp cards with a business card attached and USUALLY a hand written note... They're mailed out through USPS. If you want to have verification that they received it, get a return receipt, but just know that it costs extra to do so.

So to answer your questions:

Yes! Make a large batch at home and send them out individually.

Yes! Keep a list of who you've sent mail to in the past.

:)

Jeff

Nice video!