Marketing your pet photography business; what you need to know

Imagine a job where you get to celebrate your love of photography and your passion for animals? Starting a pet photography business is a fantastic way to celebrate your interests while creating a profitable revenue stream.

Are you ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know about marketing your pet photography business.

Outline Your Approach

The core of your business will be a marketing strategy. To create a simple-yet-effective strategy, you’ll need to outline your approach and your goals.

Take some time to define your ideal customer and identify your niche. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Who is the most likely to purchase my photos?
  • Where are they located?
  • How much money do they make each year?
  • What messaging and tone do they respond to?
  • What age group, gender, ethnicity are they likely to be?

You’ll likely have a variety of people who come to your business. However, by drilling down and creating a customer avatar, you’ll be able to tweak your branding to be more effective.

Do a SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a traditional marketing exercise that yields significant results. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Start by drawing a grid or four squares on a piece of paper, labeling one for each category.

The strengths and weaknesses section are explorations of yourself and your business. What strengths do you have that potentially set you apart from the competition? This could include skills with photoshop, high-quality photography equipment, etc. Next, look at your perceived weaknesses. Maybe you lack experience with editing or have an outdated camera.

The opportunities and threats section is where you get to channel your inner marketing researcher. These are the external impacts on your business. Opportunities are markets where you could potentially be successful. On the other side of the equation, threats are your competition. Having an understanding of both will help you market your business better.

Create a Social Media Presence

Social media presents an incredible opportunity for photography businesses to market themselves at an affordable rate. As a pet photographer, Instagram will be your bread and butter.

Choose an aesthetic that visually defines your images. It could be a filter or editing process that creates consistency in your offering. Take time to research hashtags for pet photography. Pro tip: you can, and should, use up to thirty hashtags per post.

Use Video Marketing

Video marketing is booming in the digital marketing space this year. As a photographer, you can use video marketing to your advantage. Some ideas for videos include:

  • time lapses of your editing work
  • a behind-the-scenes look of how you prepare for a shoot
  • tips and tutorials for your clients who are preparing for a shoot
  • slideshows of your favorite images or shoots

Video marketing works well with social media, as you can go live on Facebook and Instagram to send notifications to your audience. TikTok is the rising star of video social media marketing. Creating TikTok videos allows you to keep it short, sweet, and shareable.

Partner with Local Businesses

Reach out to pet-related businesses in your area to strike up a partnership. Perhaps their customers will get a discount on your services in return for some social media cross-promoting. You can reach out to pet supply shops, groomers, dog walkers, and even veterinarians.

Looking at other businesses can help you identify value-adding opportunities. For example, partnering with the Instapainting company to have your images transformed into oil paintings. You could also volunteer to work with the local animal shelter to use photography to help those vulnerable animals find their forever home— this is a great way to build your portfolio.

Set a Smart Price

The Marketing Mix consists of four core components that drive business success: positioning, product, promotion, and price. While many business owners focus on positioning, product, and promotion, they often neglect pricing as a critical component of their marketing strategy.

Set a price that makes sense for you. It’s common to start with a lower pricing strategy until you get established. When setting a price, consider the following:

What your competition charges
Your ideal hourly rate
The time it takes you to shoot and edit photos
Wear and tear on your gear
The demand for your photography

Don’t make the mistake of devaluing your work by setting a price that’s too low. Set a realistic price that meets your goals and offers promotions if you feel the need to scale back and build momentum.

Use Giveaways and Contests

One of the marketing strategies with the highest return on investments is to host a giveaway or contest. Ask your audience to follow, like, share, and comment to build your following. Rather than having a simple share-based game, ask that participants nominate someone and vote for a winner.

These contests should be used sparingly as to not devalue your business, but they’re great for an annual boost in followers.

Guest post by Wendy Dessler