How to Get Your First Clients
How are you supposed to get your first clients? This is uh such a popular question and there's no real right answer other than you kind of just need to go for it. There are three ways that I think are the best, actively practicing ways to get new clients. And we start building up the word of mouth. People recommending you people finding you or manically. Um And these three ways are things that you need to do consistently. It's not something that you can just start good works wonderful. You need to actually actively do these three things. Always, I still do these three things um for the most part and they will always continue to generate business. And it also takes time. Now we talked about this a lot earlier in the course and I'm gonna keep mentioning it later. But patience, patience is a virtue in not only starting your own business, but in any creative endeavor, you need to understand that you can do these three things and you can start building your business, but it will take time. ...
This is not something that's gonna happen overnight. I always say at the minimum, it's going to take a year and a lot of times finding new clients building that perspective, sometimes that takes a year for it to come all the way back around. Sometimes it takes two years. The thing is that if you start now, it will come when you need it and you have to just be patient bully through the hard parts of finding clients and not having work because it will come if you do these things consistently. The first thing is social media, this is kind of an obvious one a little bit and it's not as guaranteed. But in our current present day, social media is free. It can be free from a monetary standpoint, maybe not from a time standpoint, but from a monetary standpoint. What you have in abundance of if you're starting this work out is time, you can value your time and you can section your time into what you can do. And so building your social media presence by interacting with people, posting videos and reels, posting lots of photos, showing examples, even just videoing yourself and showing that you're at a wedding or talking about wedding photography, it will get you exposure. This is probably the slowest turnaround for newer clients because this will take a lot of time for your community to build up for you to have a presence on any social media. But it is the most consistent thing you need to be doing. If you want to reach the public. It's also a gateway into looking at your website and looking at everything else. That's the first place you should be starting to get new clients. I can't stress enough showing all your work, interacting with people. Go find other photographers, talk to them, uh talk to us, find us on Instagram. You can really like interact and build a community through social media. If you're consistent with it, the paid for Google Yelp situation recently, we've talked to a wedding photography in one of our classes in our live streams where they actually put 5 to $10 into Yelp. Uh, and other people have done like with Google and other ad sort of senses and they've pulled up new clients, um, quite consistently. There are a lot of people in a lot of areas all over the world that still use Yelp and still use Google to find a local photographer. Um, which sometimes seems odd because I do feel like us as photographers. We just know other photographers because it's a hobby and we love that community. But there's a lot of people out there that don't know any photographers. And when they're looking for photography, that's the best way they're gonna find it. They're gonna look where they live, where they need photos and they're gonna search Yelp, they're gonna search Google and, uh, they're really gonna find you if you put time and effort and maybe a little bit of money into those sort of like searchable websites. Your local photography community is an untapped resource that I see people not necessarily diving into, find your other local photographers, whether it's through Yelp or through social media and start a conversation with them. Not only will they maybe hire you as a second photographer, but I found times if you start to interact and create a community in a network in your local area, you guys might get busy and they might push work off to you. That's a really good way to get new clients. But it's also a really good way to learn, having maybe a sort of quote unquote apprenticeship with a local photographer where you could tag along or just grab dinner or a coffee and learn about what they're doing to get more clients or where they go to get their equipment. It's a very important untapped resource that has actually been going on since the beginning of time, having someone else that has been through your shoes, done what you've done and is in your community and passes on a knowledge is the most organic human thing that you could possibly do. And us as tradespeople are able to take that and really apply it to your own life and your own work. And hopefully you will have decades of success as a photographer and then you can do the same thing with the next generation. I think that's just such a beautiful thing about uh any sort of trades uh work, but especially photography, because it is such a melding point of creativity and community and people. Um It's really open to you and I promise you you can find a really wonderful community, whether it is your local community that can pass off work to you or people that you can find online that are in your area that can also pass off work to you. Those are the three main ways of getting brand new clients that you can start off with. But the probably the main thing that I didn't want to include because I think it is just so obvious is that you need to take photos for your friends and family. You need to get out there and you need to ask your friends if you can actively take photos for them. If you have friends that are couples, just ask to go out with coffee with them and snap a couple of photos or see if you can set up like a mock engagement session with a couple that's already married or maybe has an invert anniversary, that's the quickest and best way to start building up your portfolio. And hopefully you can tag and share them in those things and they will recommend you to their friends and their friends and their friends and it will build out from there. But you need to get humans in front of your lens and the people that you know that love you and want to spend time with you and support. You will be there for you to take photos of. So lean on your family, lean on your friends, lean on your friends of friends, don't charge them to start off with. You just need to start building up your portfolio. And slowly you can start to maybe potentially be like, hey, if you have a wedding, you have an engagement or if you're going to a wedding, maybe ask a couple if they didn't mind you bringing your camera along, stay out of the way of the photographer that's doing that wedding. But see if you can find opportunities in the things that you are actively doing with your family and actively doing with your friends.