For brand new photographers, landing your first client may seem impossible. It can be daunting to try to compete with other talented photographers when your brand is new, even if you’re talented and ready to go.
David Koonar, a professional Canadian photographer, understands that feeling all too well. Although he’s an expert now, he also was once brand new, and had to work hard for those first clients.
Now, Koonar is sharing his expert insight, and diving into how to land your first photography clients.
Make sure your skills are there
Before you even try to land your first client, you want to make sure you’re ready to sell your skills, according to Koonar. Meaning that if you’re going to have someone pay for you work, it has to be worth the money.
In order to ensure you’re ready for paid clients, make sure you practice as much as possible. Spend your free time shooting, and make sure you’re practicing on the subjects you want to do as paid work. For example, if you want to do portraits, practice shooting your friends and family.
Appear to be an expert
Even if you’re brand new to photography, it’s important to potential clients to see that you’re a professional. In order to appear to be an expert, make sure you have a sleek and functional website, which showcases your work.
Also make sure your social media channels do the same, and also that they carry your authentic and individual voice. The goal should be that if a potential client searches you online, the websites they end up on showcase your expertise.
Start by doing work for free
No one wants to work for free, but when you are relatively new, this can be a helpful technique to build a body of work, and also get excellent testimonials and referrals. If you’re unsure how to do this, Koonar recommends doing a giveaway on your social media feeds.
You can offer a free photo session to a random winner (or several random winners), if people share your post and follow you on social media. This will help you not only build a following, but also set you up with sessions and practice clients, in order to build a body of work.
Related Article: How to Build a Strong Photography Portfolio.
Know how to tap into your local market
In order to get paid photography clients, you need to be discoverable by people in your area. Make sure you understand how SEO works and utilize digital practices to help your clients find you. Having an optimized website that showcases your work is also a must. Just check out David Koonar’s portfolio on his website.
Also find local businesses you can partner with. For example, Koonar says if you’re a new wedding photographer, find florists in your area who you can potentially partner with, who can recommend you to their customers.
Tapping into your local market of clients is time consuming, but it also has a huge payoff.
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