With running your own small business as a freelance photographer, it can be especially challenging to establish and maintain a sufficient customer base to provide you with the kind of reliable income you want. Unlike many other businesses, the need of potential customers for your photography services is often situational. For example, even if you have an established relationship with a business to do all the photography for its marketing campaigns, most businesses aren’t starting a new marketing campaign every month. No matter how pleased a bride may be with your wedding photography, her ardent desire is to never have need of that service from you again.
Because of the nature of your business as an independent photographer, you need to be creative in your marketing efforts to attract new clients and get new assignments. One clever way to attract new business and build network relationships that bring you repeat business is to collaborate with other local businesses to mutually promote each other.
To figure out the best businesses for a collaborative partnership, spend some time thinking about the kind of businesses where your ideal client frequently shops, concentrating on businesses that are naturally related or relevant to your photography business. For example, if you specialize in wedding photography, then a catering company is a logical connection for you to consider. Other possible collaborative partners include hair styling salons and fitness centers.
How to Put Together a Collaborative Marketing Effort
Once you have some ideas of partners for a marketing collaboration, it is time to start thinking about what kind of marketing plan you want to use. For example, you might put together a special event to be held on a Saturday when more people are off from work and therefore more easily able to attend. You can advertise that the event will feature you giving a talk providing tips on how to put together a great wedding photo album and creative ideas for unique wedding photos. Once you have a solid idea, approach potential partners about participating in the event. You could invite a caterer to bring samples of some of its most popular wedding bakery treats for people to try, and invite a hair stylist to give a slideshow presentation of various popular wedding hair styles for brides-to-be. Once you have got a partner or two, or more, on board, you can discuss and decide whose place of business would make the best venue for the event.
Another way to do collaborative marketing with your partners is to agree to promote each other’s businesses with something as simple as giving new clients a business card of the collaborating partner, along with a glowing recommendation. You can also provide each other free advertising on your respective websites or social media pages by posting ads or promotions.