From my 5th Edition The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion check out the case study from Vonda Hussey-Klimaszewski, www.onelastmarble.com and her new book, Fulfilling the Vision: One Dallas Arts Schools Impact on the World https://fulfilling-the-vision.org/fb.html
Maria: Many of our readers start out with photography for family and friends, what is your strategy to find new senior portrait photography clients to build your business and sales?
Vonda: When I first started out I reached out to my network of friends through church, girl scouts and business acquaintances. I offered to come to speak to the PTA groups while offering special discounts to their members, and through talking with these groups I found out what special shoots that fit their needs, and I offered those to them. As the word spread I secured small private preschools, and a preforming arts high school for high school seniors; and that gave me a base of people who knew my name. Now after 8 years I have landed on high school seniors and their families as my niche. I rely on word of mouth, social media and email campaigns. The way people choose their photographers has changed and a lot in the last 8 years and word of mouth followed by regular social media and email to my current clients keeps my phone ringing. Advertising in local magazines is no longer a smart way to advertise to my clients.
Maria: What recommendations do you have for those looking at family portrait photography as a business –what are the pitfalls to avoid or opportunities to pursue?
Vonda: Pitfalls to avoid: that is a big question isn’t it? From a shooting side: Show images on your site that reflect a connection and candid moments. That is what your clients connect to when looking for a photographer. But always in the session include a traditional image as well as those more candid images. From a business side: Make sure your workflow includes some sort preview for your images that has a built in way to keep the proofing and choosing and purchasing process flowing towards a closure. I do not know how others do that. I offer a couple of proofing alternatives that allow for incentives for deposits for preview galleries. I give incentives to my clients for keeping appointments, so they get more and my assistants require fewer calls to get the sales process completed. Also offer regular mini sessions that allow families to do a small update every year. Even if they do not book a session it gives you a reason to keep in contact and it keeps you in their thoughts that time is passing and they need to come is again soon.
For more, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1621535479