How to Find Your First Clients
Welcome to this lesson on finding your first clients. There's two steps to finding clients. Step one is to set yourself up for success by building out your portfolio to do this. If you don't have a job lined up, you might need to photograph your own home, clean up your rooms as much as possible, make it look as nice as you can and practice taking photos, then offer the service to friends and family. Even if they're not selling their homes, taking photos will give you practice and it will help you build out a portfolio. When someone's coming to your website, they'll wanna see a variety of shots. If it's just one location, one shoot, they might be unlikely to hire you compared to seeing that you've done a lot of this before. It's sort of a fake it till you make it type of thing where you want to have a big portfolio as much as possible. So reach out to friends, family members, anyone that you know who keeps their house clean, that might look nice and ask if you could take photos of their...
house. And of course, if someone is actually moving offer your services for free. I don't mind doing a little bit of work for free in the beginning to build out your portfolio. And then the second step is literally just putting yourself out there, start local, just cold email, cold call, real estate agents, agent groups in your area and send them your portfolio, send them your name, contact information. Let them know that you are a new photographer in the area. You're looking to add clients for work. These real estate agents are always looking for people to have on their roll call in case someone that they're working with isn't doing a good job. They're on vacation, they're blowing up and they need peop more people to be able to reach out to and take photos for them and building these relationships is really how you're gonna have long term success with this game. Similarly message local landlords or real estate agents do a little bit bit of sleuth work. Go on Craigslist, go on Airbnb, go on any apartment website. Try to find the contact information for the owners or the host on Airbnb. You can literally just message the host and let them know that you're a real estate photographer. This is actually a great way to build out your portfolio. You could do this and offer it for free, although I would probably try to charge for it. You can message hosts that have listings that don't look so great compared to the other ones and offer to take better photos for them. This is very similar to starting any kind of business. Start local, reach out to people cold call them, let people know in your circle that you're doing this so that if they have contacts, if someone of some, one of their friends is moving or maybe they, they're a small landlord, they'll be able to refer you. Another thing you can do is look at local social media groups face, there's often a neighborhood Facebook group for every city or every neighborhood or platforms like next door dot com. I often find people posting about housing, posting about wanting photographers. And so you gotta pay attention there. A lot of these groups often will allow people in the area to post or promote their own businesses on a certain day of the week or something. It depends on the group. Pay attention to the rules, but you can promote yourself there. There's also landlord and realtor, real estate agent groups out there. There's websites like bigger pockets dot com out there where you can create a profile, there's forums, there's people always asking for services like this and you can put yourself out there and connect with the agents there. Again, that's where you're going to find the long term work is working with agents. I promise you if you're doing all of these things, if you're reaching out to people cold emailing them, if you're finding new people through social media groups, you will find work. It just takes a little bit of time and effort up front.