1. Research and Network
Make a list of your ideal clients and compare it to your current client list. After you have identified the gaps, research prospects that fill the void, then go meet them where they are. If you are looking to add more real estate photography clients, attend open houses. For commercial photography business, find ways to get involved with expos or conferences in your area. In-person interactions are important in all of these cases - so go out of your way to show your prospective clients that you are available, interested, and prepared with offerings that other photographers don’t have.
2. Find Clients in Need
Research your current clients and potential clients before pitching your business. By simply reviewing their websites and marketing materials, you can identify where new photography could benefit them. Come prepared for any new business conversation with opportunities to help them upgrade their resources. Outdated photos, poor lighting, lack of photography, or boring photography? You have answers for it all!
3. Upgrade Your Photography
Once you get a chance to meet with potential clients or returning clients, you need to have offerings your competitors lack. For example, consider new technical capabilities like 3D Walkthroughs. These innovative offerings surpass even the best traditional 2D photography by immersing property buyers in the images. Advanced technologies like Matterport are neither complicated nor costly - you can take 2D photos as well as capture virtual reality content for your clients with a single camera, meaning that you can build out your capabilities seamlessly and dramatically.
4. Build a Unique Portfolio
Display your capabilities in a way that make the most sense for an end user. If your clients are in commercial property, they are most likely using their photography for marketing purposes. Instead of sharing a slideshow of photos in person or on your website, build portfolios based on marketing needs. Place photos in sample pamphlets, e-newsletters, web layouts, and Facebook ads.
5. Set a Strategy with Current Clients
Your clients all have businesses to run and will hold you at the same standards they hold their clients or employees. Exceed their expectations by setting up your initial meeting with a strong structure that leaves you open for upselling opportunities throughout your relationship. Either through a questionnaire or your own research, create a tailored plan and timeline that meets your clients' needs. Present the plan at your first meeting. Even if your client only called you for 2D photography, recommend tailored services based on their needs and demonstrate those services using your portfolio and specific examples. Provide a workflow with due dates, so your client knows exactly what to expect and when. Providing your work in a timely manner will allow you more opportunities to provide more services for the client because you will have established a level of trust and reliability.
6. Hold a Review Meeting
Relationships aren’t ‘one and done.’ Delivering the photography isn’t the end of the engagement. Rather than sending all the photos before your final payment, hold a review meeting before the final payment or deliverable. Set the date soon after the shoot and within your project workflow. Show the client the photos in person. Demonstrate your additional capabilities with 3D Walkthroughs/drones/ virtual reality to show the client how much more they can do by expanding beyond 2D photography. Even if you don’t sell beyond 2D photos in your review, you are paving the way for future projects with the client.
Whether you have built continuous client accounts, have attracted return clients, or are winning net new customers by combining a relationship approach, fresh technologies, and smart account management processes, you’ll be growing your business.