How to get more clients (and make more money) in 2024

John Bogna Technology & Know-how23 Feb 20246 min read
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Kickstart your freelance photography business with these seven tips

With the new year in full swing, you may be taking a step back to reassess how to grow your photography business. Now is an exciting opportunity to take a completely different approach and try out what you’ve been telling yourself you’d do for months (or years) for your business.

 

Getting new clients as a photographer can be difficult, even for a seasoned pro. The market may be saturated where you live, or the opposite could be true, and you live in a remote area. Maybe you’ve changed specialities and feel as if you’re starting from scratch. 

 

Whatever your situation, we’ll go over how to land more clients and grow your business in 2024, with tips on bringing people in and ways to boost your profit this year.

John Bogna
What’s in my kitbag?
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1. If you don’t have a website, get one

This is one aspect of the business that a lot of photographers procrastinate on. Setting up a website can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive. But if you’re going pro, it’s still necessary. And odds are it isn’t as much of a hassle as you think. 

 

It doesn’t matter what platform you choose – just get a professional-looking website up and running. It’s a place to host your portfolio, build authority through blog posts and generate leads via search engine optimisation (SEO). 

 

Platforms like Squarespace even offer extra bells and whistles such as automated bookings and online storefronts you can use to sell photo prints or courses. These almost always cost more than the basic package, though, so keep that in mind when shopping around.

 

2. Polish your skills and try new techniques

There’s always something new to learn, even if you’ve been in the game for years. You could brush up on advanced Adobe Photoshop skills or dive into videography. Whatever the skill, refining it will give your work an extra edge over the photographers who don’t bother. 

 

Free videos on YouTube and platforms such as Skillshare or LinkedIn Learning are great places to learn new techniques. Real-world meetups and mentorship are also excellent opportunities to build skills and establish connections with other professionals in the industry. Nikon School, for example, offers a series of on-location and online workshops covering everything from wildlife photography to portraits. 

 

Take a step back and honestly assess your skills. Where could you improve? Studio lighting? Post-production? Figure out where the weak points are and strengthen them to polish your work, whether that’s improving your image composition or taking a deep dive into Adobe Lightroom or NX Studio.

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3. Reconnect with (or build) your network

Most people either love or hate networking, but in-person contacts can sometimes give you the connection you need to land that next client. Attend events and workshops in your area, or online if you don’t live near a big city. 

 

Build relationships with other photographers and videographers. If someone you know has too much work on their plate, they might send some your way, and vice versa. 

 

Reciprocal relationships can be critical to building traction with your photography business, so take the time to meet new people when the opportunity arises. You can take this a step further by creating a list of vendors you love working with and including it in a client guide hosted on your website (seriously, make a website).

 

Try joining groups in online forums such as Reddit, or a local group on Facebook. These can be sources of information for specific problems, provide leads to new work or be opportunities to get together for a group hangout. 

 

Reach out to friends and family to see if anyone needs photos taken. Use the opportunity to build your portfolio and tell them to refer their friends to you if they like the photos. Check in with past clients and see if they have an event coming up that they’d like to document or need new photos for social media. 

 

Styled shoots and trade-for-print (TFP) photography meets are also great ways to build connections and an impressive-looking portfolio. And most of the time, they’re either cheap to attend or completely free.

 

4. Share your work

Post on social media – Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn, you name it. Don’t worry about building a presence on every single social media site. Choose a couple that work for you and create content you can easily use for both. 

 

YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram all lend themselves to posting short-form videos and visual work, so try creating a simple content schedule and sharing with consistency. One 30-second clip will work for all of them. 

 

The more that people see your work, the more opportunities they will have to hire you. The algorithm is a fickle beast, so this shouldn’t be your only strategy, but it can help build your brand and establish authority. 

A BTS photo of Dom Salmon's Z 6II camera set up with his cage. For the Nikon magazine. Caption can read: Here Dom (check shirt) is recording a podcast with Kerry from wellness consultancy, Together We Breathe and Matt from experimental organisers. Realm at the London shoot location Sourcey)  and is using his Z6ii in tandem with the very popular Atomos Ninja V to record the Pod for YouTube. The Ninja is great for cheap, high volume storage recording and a big bright monitor, one less thing thing to worry about! Shot is taken by an Iphone to show the use of a cage
5. Diversify your income streams

If you’ve only focused on one area of photography in the past, say headshots and portraits, try branching out and diversifying your income. Professional photographer Brandon Woelfel outlines a few of the methods he’s used to grow his business over the years on his YouTube channel in an informative video. They include:

  • Referrals 
  • Affiliate links
  • Brand deals
  • Image licensing
  • Google AdSense (from YouTube)

 

And more. Consider your strengths and skill set, then think about how you can apply them to new sources of revenue. If you’re very good at editing and people on Instagram are constantly asking how you get your ’look’, selling digital presets and making tutorial videos on YouTube could become a source of revenue for you. 

 

6. Invest in software tools

If you can afford it, now is a good time to invest in some software tools beyond the basic Adobe photography package. 

 

A picture-sharing service, for example, lets you share galleries with clients and sell prints super easily (though you could also sell through your website). Advanced ones such as Pic-Time let you create an entire website, sell galleries, host a blog and more.

 

Invest in tools to help you edit more quickly and effectively. AI editors like Photoshop’s generative AI options or programmes such as Luminar can help batch-edit the hundreds of photos that result from wedding and event gigs.

 

7. Invest in your brand

Get some professional branding photos done – or take them yourself! Use them on your website and LinkedIn page. Update your LinkedIn page. Update your website with your best recent portfolio images. Refine the appearance of your public-facing channels so they look as professional as possible. The more professional you look, the more confident potential clients will feel about hiring you. 

 

Consider these ideas a jumping-off point for 2024. Try them out, explore them and see what works for your business. You may have a few tips to add yourself by the end of the year!

 

John Bogna is a freelance photographer and writer based in Houston, Texas. He’s shot everything from portraits to street on both digital and film. Follow him on Instagram here.   

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