Business Tips from The Shoppe Marketeer ~ Successful Networking for Photographers

July 30, 2014

Successful Networking for Photographers

bitmap We've all heard said that "It's not what you know. It's who you know". While it may not be quite that simple, it is true that the bigger your network, the more your business will grow. We all know that networking is key, but do you really know the key to networking? Actually, there are three. 1. Network with your potential client base. Whatever category of photography you are hoping to grow, there are groups in your area and online that will put you in touch with those people who may be your clients today or in the future. Do you shoot children and babies? Then look for area mommy groups. Look for social networking groups that are local to your area. The same is true with any category. Think outside box if you need to figure out where your clientele would be. Utilize MeetUp.Com, Facebook, and Google+. Look for events in your city that are going to draw your clients and be there when they are! 2. Network with other businesses who share your client base in other industries. Do you shoot weddings? Many cities have a trade organizations for wedding vendors, from stylists to bakeries to photographers and florists. Join them! Work with vendors serving your same client base. Ask them to send you referrals and offer to do the same. Shoot kids? Build relationships with teachers, daycare centers, pediatricians, children's boutiques.... You get the picture (no pun intended)! 3. This one may shock you, but..... build relationships with other photographers who you may be falsely thinking of as "competition". There are dozens of reasons to network within your own industry in your own area and one of the biggest is that every client has a different set of needs and desires! All photographers have meetings with clients only to find out that they may not be the best photographer for that client's budget or style choices. What would a good professional photographer do? They would refer that client to someone they trust that DOES fit. You want to receive that referral! What if you shoot children, but don't specialize in seniors? You need to have senior photographers you know and trust to send your clients to for those sessions. Now that you know the three keys to networking for your professional photography business, get out there are and start meeting people! My advice on networking in all three areas successfully? Be prepared! Have your business cards handy, be prepared to show samples of your work both digitally and in print at any given time, and most importantly, as you meet people, keep in mind that networking goes both ways! Be prepared to tell people you meet what you can do for them! Think about how you may help someone else's business grow too, and be open to referral fees and rewards if your current clients bring you new ones. 22 Last but not least.... HAVE FUN!! Getting to meet new people and learning about other businesses while you grow your own can be the most interesting part of your job as a business owner if you let it. :-)  

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