Business + Marketing

10 Ways to Improve How Potential Clients See Your Photo Business

December 27, 2018

By Blair deLaubenfels

Photo © Siddharth Sharma

UPDATED 12/19/2022

When it comes to creating a thriving business, the opinions that matter most come from your clients. They will ultimately make or break your bottom line and determine if their friends and family members hire you in the future. Ask yourself the following ten questions to discover what changes you can make to turn inquiries into referrals that keep on coming.

1. How do my clients find me?

If you’re anything like New York City photographer and SEO maven Susan Stripling, you get most of your work through organic search. If you’re more like L.A. photographers Amy and Stuart, your clients are referred to you by wedding planners. Either way, over 85 percent will make the decision to hire you (or not) after searching and viewing your work on their phone or computer. To put yourself in their frame of mind, clear your cache and begin with a search of your company by name, and then by several phrases your clients may use to find you. Take note of how high you rank against your biggest competitors.

2. What will potential clients see when they pull up my search engine results?

When you or anyone else searches for your business, the results will show up in this order:
• Page Title: My Amazing Photography | Atlanta | Wedding Photographer | Portraits
• URL:
• Meta Description: Discover the top wedding and portrait studio serving Atlanta, Georgia, and all Southern States at My Amazing Photography.

Your page title shows up first as a link to your site and is critical to being found by search engines. It should include the complete name of your company, your location/s, and any other important descriptions—like “wedding photographer,” “portraits,” and “headshots”—that describe your company. Use no more than 70 characters including spaces, and remember you need a different page title for every page of your website that is specific to that content.

Next comes your URL, and below that your meta description. Your description is meant to be a concise explanation of your business and a bit of a sales pitch. Although not as important to the search engines as your title, your description tells potential clients what you offer and drive clicks to your work. Make yours between 70 and 120 characters (so it looks good on the phone) and write it for people, not SEO.

3. What do my clients feel when they open my website?

If you’re a wedding photographer, chances are the majority of people who shop for your work will be women 32 years of age. If you are a headshot photographer, your clients will consist mainly of professionals looking to up their game. Having a professionally designed logo, fonts that complement your content and images, and a layout that’s beautifully put together is the foundation for your brand, and having them appeal directly to your ideal client is critical.

4. What emotions do I create with my portfolio?

The first five images in your portfolio will set the tone for how your clients feel about the rest of your work. Rather than showing your most artistic shots first, find the photos that will have the most emotional impact. Wedding and portrait portfolios that make people smile, laugh and pull on their heartstrings work best. Once you’ve created a connection, then show off your artistry and end with an upbeat splash.

5. Does my written content complement my photography?

Keeping things cohesive is what matters here. Fun, whimsical photography with corporate-sounding content is disconcerting, and so are typos and grammatical errors. Have at least three people read your site thoroughly to give you feedback. After writing content for hundreds of photographers over the years, I have never seen a website with zero mistakes. Don’t miss this step.

6. Can clients get in touch with me quickly?

The first photographer to respond to an inquiry has a huge leg up on the rest, with research suggesting a 30 to 50 percent increase in bookings over those who respond later. Be sure your website has your phone number, email and a simple-to-use contact form. Respond to inquiries within the first few hours and use automatic responses when you’re working. Call rather than write back whenever you can. Make response times a priority and watch your sales soar!

7. How do clients feel interacting with me and my team on social media?

People follow you for several reasons: They want to see your work, know more about you and support your ideas when they vibe with their own. They don’t want to be sold to; they want to choose you. If you want to work with high-society clients, make your content refined and relevant to them. If you want to attract laid-back couples that love to party, turn them on to new music, fun memes and events. Keep negativity to a minimum, thank people who comment and be generous with your knowledge.

8. How kind am I to my clients and their guests?

If you go the extra mile to remember important names and make people feel special, you’re on your way to a high-referral business. There is no place better than on assignment to make friends and future clients. Make the day all about them and future inquiries will be all about you and your business.

9. What makes my customer service stand out?

Most photographers meet, photograph, disappear, deliver and then disappear again. Think about what you can do to inspire your clients to share stories about your amazing service. One of my clients buys breakfast in bed for couples spending their wedding night at a hotel; another sends a framed photo with a handwritten thank-you note. Go a bit beyond the norm and your clients will never forget you.

10. How do I stay in touch with past clients?

Whenever you gain a new client, follow them on social media and like or comment on their posts. Add their first and last name, email address, wedding date, birthday, and special notes to your growing client spreadsheet, customer relations manager or other database. Follow up with an anniversary note or email that entertains or educates. Articles on how to improve travel photography or how to take better pictures during the holidays can turn past clients into future clients and workshop attendees.

Photo © Sue Bryce

Blair deLaubenfels is a business mentor and marketing strategist who offers portfolio curation, copywriting, SEO and website services to professional photographers.

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