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Hey, how’s it going? I’m Andy Jones and this is episode 118 of the Photography Side Hustle podcast.

This week I have been helping a photographer get their first bookings so they can build a portfolio. They asked me if they could stop marketing once they got going. 

I said sure, if you don’t want to get any new customers just stop marketing. But, marketing is a constant part of your business.

So I made a list of what you need to do to keep new customers rolling in.


Prioritize Marketing

The first thing you need to do is prioritize marketing. You have to commit to marketing your business all year long.

Without a marketing strategy, you will struggle to get any traction. It doesn’t need to take up too much of your time, maybe an hour or two a month.

After your first year, you will know what works and can make adjustments.

All marketing is, is showing people your work and convincing them to book you.

So the very first thing you need to set up after a website is a …


Mailing List

I think this is the most important piece of your marketing puzzle. Having a list of customers that are interested in your services, that you can email as often as you like, is incredible.

I’m sure you have given your email address for a free download at some point. Your email is stored in a mailing list. Companies like Mailchimp, and ConvertKit offer this service. I use ConvertKit which offers a free plan with up to 1000 people on your list. I’ll put a link to everything I mention in the show notes and on the episode page at

So to get people to sign up to your list you need to offer them something like … 

Irresistible Offers

These are what they say they are. Something you offer that the potential customer wants. 

An irresistible offer could be


  • A free 8×10 print
  • Session fee discount if they book before a certain date
  • Reserve your wedding date for the following year
  • Sign up to get all my special offers


You use these offers to get bookings and also build your mailing list. If they don’t book you straight away, you get more chances to show them why they need to book you.


Next …

Understanding Your Customers Journey

Not everyone who visits your website is ready to book you right now. Some people start looking for a photographer months before the event date. Others leave it to the last minute.

To find out how urgent the need for a photographer is can be as simple as asking them a question.

This is easier than you might imagine. My mailing list host, ConvertKit, allows you to add tags to people who sign up for your list. So you could have a signup form with maybe three questions.


  • I’ll need a photographer within 3 months
  • I’ll need a photographer in 3-6 months
  • I’ll need a photographer in 6 months plus


So when you are sending out an email offer for some mini-sessions that will take place in 1 month, you can only send the offer to the people who need a photographer within 3 months.

Knowing what the people on your list want allows you to fine-tune your marketing to get better results.

Go Where your Customers are

If the type of people that book you hang out in certain local Facebook groups, then that’s where you should be hanging out. 

Now I’ve mentioned this lots of times before, don’t turn up and start selling yourself. The aim is to help people whenever possible. If someone in the group asks for a wedding photographer referral send them a direct message and offer your services. That’s only if you shoot weddings.

The best way to let people know you are a photographer is to post a couple of photos and ask the group which they prefer. Everyone will want to give their opinion and help you. 

If your photos are good you will get inquiries. Then go back to chatting and helping people for a week or two, then repeat. You will gradually build up credibility.

Another marketing technique is to …

Create Authority Content

This is content on your website that isn’t about selling. It’s content that helps visitors with problems they are going through.

An example could be a portrait photographer writing an article about the best session locations in the area. Or a wedding photographer writing about reception venues.

By passing on your knowledge you become an authority on the subject. That alone will place you above your competition in the reader’s eyes.

Next is …

Niche Down

You need to choose a niche and go deep. Most photographers, including me,  start out trying to shoot and sell everything. 

Choosing one or two niches is the way to go because you need to have a different marketing plan for each niche.

Trying to come up with one plan and offer weddings, portraits, sports, and real estate, won’t work.

So pick a niche and market the heck out of it. Become an authority on your niche.



Pay for Advertising

Now if you have been in business for a few years you can work out what the average sale amount is for each customer. 

Knowing that amount can help you decide how much to pay to get a new customer.

Let’s say the average amount is $1000. I don’t think you should spend more than 5%, that’s $50 on advertising costs to get one new customer. So if you spend $250 a month on Facebook ads you need to get 5 new customers from it. If you get more than 5 that’s great, if less than 5 you need to look at your ad and give it a tweak.

Once you get it set up properly you can bring in as many new customers as you need. If you need more customers put more money into advertising. It’s like turning a tap on.

Before you started your business if someone said you could have 5 new customers every month that would bring in $5000 for an outlay of $250, you would say bring it on.

If you are just starting out you need to budget for advertising. Not straight away, wait until you have got your prices up to where you want them. If you are under-charging you can lose a lot of money. I’m looking at you if you are still selling the files instead of products. 

So get your marketing set up and grow your business.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for this episode.

If you want to know how to use Photoshop my course is available. Go to and there is a link there.

Right, I’ll be back next week, talk to you soon, bye.