How to Grow a Photography or Videography Business in Pittsburgh

Grow a photography business

Grow a photography business?  I know you just want to take pictures who said anything about making it a business.  Well, that is what it takes to make a living from it. If you want to grow a photography business or videography business in Pittsburgh, there’s a variety of challenges to overcome and opportunities to take advantage of.

You need to figure out where your ideal clients are, how to get their attention, and how to help them understand why your services are a better option than doing it themselves.

In this age of smartphones and selfies, you have a lot of competition.

Today, people have plenty of options when it comes to getting their pictures and videos done. Webcams, smartphones and personal cameras are all competing for your clients.

And even when they realize that having a professional behind the camera will get them better results, you need to have a way to ensure that they choose YOU over the competition.

How do you do that?

Today, I’m going to reveal how you can help your customers understand that they need professional help, and how to draw them to you and win their patronage and loyalty.

It isn’t enough to simply say “I take pictures” or “I shoot videos”.

Anyone with a smartphone can create pictures or videos. You need to tell your client how you do it BETTER.

To communicate this fact in terms that they really care about, you need to know who your ideal client is, what they struggle with, and what matters to them.


Here are some questions you can ask to identify your ideal client, and to communicate why they need you:

Question 1: What kind of pictures do they need, and why?

Are they business owners who need photos for their blog posts and website, or videos for their content marketing and product launch?

  • Tourism companies that need nature photos for their brochures?
  • Magazines that need pictures of the people they interview?
  • Couples who want to commemorate their wedding?

When you know what products they want and why, then you can discuss your offering, and write your content marketing, in terms that they care about and search for online.

Question 2: How are their pictures or videos different from yours?

This could include elements like:

  1. Quality of sound and/or image.
  2. Ability to capture things that are hard to get on camera, like elusive moments in nature, high-quality images of fast-paced sporting events, or specific poses or facial expressions on pets and babies who don’t understand when people say “smile”.
  3. Knowledge of what to say in marketing videos to make them convert.
  4. The ability to convey a company’s brand and personality through photos.
  5. Awareness of all the elements that an image or video needs in order to encourage people to take the action that your client wants them to take.

Question 3: What do they want to accomplish with those pictures or videos?

When you know what they want to accomplish, you’ll be better equipped to help them reach that goal, and you’ll be able to tell them what benefits your service gives.

So now that you know what kind of services they need, ask, “What’s the result they want to get from these images or videos?”

After all, the goal isn’t simply to have a picture or clip – it’s to convert clients, preserve memories, encourage people to take action, or otherwise move toward a goal.

When advertising your services, don’t just talk about what you do – talk about what your client gets as a result of your work.

Question 4: What do you know that they don’t, and what mistakes are they making?

Conveying this information sets you apart from the laypeople, shows why your service is better, and provides material for your educational marketing.

In your marketing content and enrollment conversations, explain what people who lack your expertise do wrong, what kind of equipment or expertise they need but don’t have, and what skills, knowledge, background, training, and materials you have that enable you to get better results.

How can photographers and videographers attract clients?

Now you know who you want to serve, and how to communicate that they need you.

But that knowledge won’t do you any good unless you can connect and communicate with those people.

Here are 3 affordable marketing strategies for photographers to grow a photography business

  1. Referral marketing.

Referral marketing is one of the most powerful forms of client attraction out there, especially for answering our question about how to grow a photography business.

According to GetAmbassador’s collection of word-of-mouth marketing statistics, 84% of consumers completely or partly trust their friends’, family’s, and colleagues’ recommendations of products and services.

People are more likely to act upon a recommendation from someone they trust than they are to click an ad or respond to a call to action from a stranger they stumbled across online.

If you’re looking for good referral partners, a great place to start is at your local BNI. Most BNI chapters have a certain core set of professions in their membership, many of whom could use your services or refer clients to you. These members include:

  • Financial advisers, who could recommend that their entrepreneurial clients employ you for their marketing.
  • Personal property and casualty insurance agents and commercial insurance agents, who could recommend that people hire you to document their property in case of loss or damage.
  • Real estate agents, who could use your services to showcase the properties they sell.
  • Chiropractors, CPAs, mortgage brokers, life insurance agents, and bankers, all of whom could hire you to do their video marketing and to provide images for their website, flyers, blog, and other client attraction materials.

This core group forms the backbone of BNI chapters, and many of them are always in contact with your ideal clients. They all know how to network and pass referrals, because they have to do it in order for their businesses to survive, and if you’re good at your job, they’d be happy to help you out.

  1. Reviews in directories and citation sites.

In Nielsen’s Trust in Advertising Report, they found that 68% of survey respondents said they trust online consumer opinions, making online opinions the third most trusted source of information about products.

When your customers are satisfied with your service, be sure to encourage them to give you a review and help other people to experience the same benefits they received.

  1. Education-based marketing to grow a photography business.

A good way to attract clients is to answer their questions in your blog posts, videos, social media posts, guest articles and presentations, and other content marketing materials. And speaking of social media how are you using Pinterest and Instagram to showcase your visual work. Most photographers and videographers love to showcase their work – but are you using your followers to help you grow a photography business?

Pay attention to the questions your clients and friends ask you, and to the lessons you learn about your industry, and use those as the basis for your educational marketing.

If you’re a videographer, this is a great opportunity to show off your skills on YouTube and other video sites. Shoot an educational or introductory marketing video about yourself, and tell your clients they could get the same kind of attractive, professional videography for their own business.

Your marketing should form a coherent, comprehensive customer journey.

A total stranger becoming a high-paying customer doesn’t usually happen in a single interaction. Most of the time, it takes a journey to bring people from not knowing who you are, to spending money on your services, to sending their friends, peers and family to you.

You need to get them to know, like and trust you, to try your offer, to buy your upsell, then to invest in your most valuable and expensive offering.

Then it’s time to tap into the most powerful form of marketing there is: referral marketing, in which your clients do your selling for you, because they loved your products and services so much.

Read this article to learn more about how to create a customer journey that attracts more leads, turns more of those leads into clients, and helps those clients to become high-paying repeat customers who send more business to you.

Want to get more referral partners, hot leads, and long-term clients?

Now you know how to attract more clients to your photography or videography business, and why referrals are one of the best ways to get new customers.

Your next step is to get more people to refer clients to you.  And find a place where you can work on how to grow a photography business.

If you want to get more referrals and leads, and to turn more of those leads into high-paying repeat clients, I invite you to join us in our next BNI meeting.

There, you’ll meet people who are eager to form referral relationships, and who are already connected to the clients who need you.  We have a special landing page to help you find a chapter with an opening for your category so get started.

Grow a photography business

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