In this blog post, we’re going to talk about how to get clients as a beginner photographer. If you’re just starting out as a beginner, it’s tough to get work. And a lot of people don’t know what to do to get noticed, get out there, and just get the ball rolling with getting clients. It’s something that we struggled with when we first started out because we just didn’t know what to do. So I’m going to help you out with these tips.
Tip #1 – Social Media
The first thing you want to do is take advantage of social media. The best thing with social media is that it’s free. So as a beginner, it’s the perfect place to market your work and to get it out there so people know about you. Because here’s the thing, if nobody knows about you, nobody can book you or even reach out for your services. So you have to put yourself out there. And the main thing is being consistent on social media by consistently showing up. When it comes to this photography thing, a lot of people, honestly, just don’t put in the work and they’re not consistent. And I think that’s very important when you’re just starting out because you’re trying to build your name, you’re trying to build your brand. So, you have to be consistent and show up consistently for people to trust you and want to work with you. Facebook is a great place to start. Similarly, the other platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are great as well. I’d say dabble in each one and find out which one works for you. In the beginning stages, Facebook worked a lot for us. Post your work, show up consistently, and people will start to reach out to you.
Tip #2 – Networking
Tip number two is to network. I know this is something that a lot of people don’t want to do, but it’s one of the best ways to get work as a beginner. And this is something that we did. We started to network and just honestly think about our circle, and think about family and friends. Let the people in your circles know, “Hey, I just started photography and I’m trying to get my name out there and build my business. Can I do a photoshoot with you or your kids?” Don’t be afraid to talk to people and tell them what you do and ask them if they want to shoot with you.
A lot of the work that we had in the beginning stages actually came from networking. I’d say we got more clients from networking than posting on social media. And social media is a lot of work and I get tired of posting on there. It’s hard to be consistent with it. So, I honestly prioritize networking over social media because it’s nothing like networking with somebody, letting them know what you do, and handing them a business card. And then if you do work for them and it’s good work, they’re going to talk about you. They’re going to post you on social media and they’re going to refer more people to you.
So I would really prioritize just networking. You can do this anywhere. For example, when you’re out eating, talk to people and let them know what you do. Maybe go out and take pictures of your town and keep your camera around your neck. This can build awareness with what you do because people are going to see the camera and know that you’re a photographer. And maybe if they walk by just let them know what you do and where they can reach you at.
Tip #3 – Free Work
The last tip I got for you all is to do free work. In the beginning, you’re going to struggle to get clients and there’s no better way to get work and build your portfolio than doing free work. So like I was saying with networking, offer these people a free photoshoot. You’re in the beginning stages, so you should be doing free work. It’s going to be hard to get a client to pay for your work because you don’t have a lot of work to show or any work to show at all. You don’t have that experience and you haven’t built a brand of consistent work. So you’re going to have to do it for free. And I know some people may be against free work, but I think it’s something that every photographer should be doing. Even if you’re experienced, I think you can still do free work and it could really benefit you and your business in the long run.
However, when you’re doing free work, be very specific and target specific people with this. You don’t want to do random shoots with random people and no plan. Have a plan when it comes to shooting free work for clients. Think about your business in the future. Where do you want to take this business? Think about your specific niche before you start reaching out to people and doing this work. Because, let’s say you do a bunch of free family shoots, and then you end up switching into a studio photographer. Now, you have to build your portfolio again.
So really think about what type of specific portfolio you’re trying to build and specific clients that you’re trying to attract and make sure the free work that you do aligns with that. That is so important. Trust me, I made the mistake of doing just random free work and nothing came from it. So, you definitely want to have a plan. Make sure you set it up in a way where you can get reviews from these clients. These things can really help propel your business forward and will help you in the future when it comes to building your business up.
If you enjoyed reading this article, be sure to leave a comment. I post new articles every single week where I talk about photography, give tips and tricks, and also talk about the business side, helping you grow and build a thriving business. So make sure you check out our other articles as well.