How To Make Your Photography Business Stand Out In An Oversaturated Market
Do you ever feel like every other photographer out there?
Or struggle with thoughts like, “Why would anyone ever hire me over someone else? There are so many photographers out there! The market is oversaturated with photographers.”
If so, I wrote this post for you, because a. I’ve been there and I get it and b. You don’t have to be like every photographer out there (because you aren’t!), and I’m going to share 4 ways your photography business can stand out in a seemingly overcrowded market.
4 Ways To Make Your Photography Business Stand Out In An Oversaturated Market:
1. Invite people fall in love with YOU.
People buy from people and brands they like, connect to, resonate and fall in love with.
If you’re not sure why people would love you, ask your friends, acquaintances, and past clients what it is they absolutely love about interacting with and spending time with you.
Trust me, there are things that they absolutely love about you. The things that make you, you.
How you can do this:
Infuse your personality into your brand. If you want to stop being seen as the same as every other person in your industry, set yourself apart by being YOU. And it’s okay if not everyone likes you; not everyone should. If your goal is to build a photography business that EVERYONE loves, your brand isn’t going to stand out. It’s going to feel diluted.
If you haven’t yet, share your origin story of why you started. Why did you go into photography? Everyone loves a good story, especially when there’s passion and purpose involved. Don’t be afraid to share yours.
2. Create your own mini niche (unique selling point).
Want to stand out in an oversaturated market?
Don’t do what every other photographer in your industry is doing the same exact way they’re doing and definitely do not take on any and every job under the sun (or even if you do, don’t advertise it as such).
Build your portfolio and expertise, and pick a specific direction you want to go.
One of my favorite IG photographers (@cheyennegil) is a boudoir photographer, who provides a safe space for all bodies and shoots them in her studio in Philly. Her IG is filled with photoshoots from her Philly studio. Not only are you paying for the photos, but the experience that comes with it.
She’s known for her style, her aesthetic, her mission, her voice.
How you can do this:
Don’t just offer another service.
Provide an EXPERIENCE that people can only get with you. Maybe your specialty is shooting in a studio or at a beautifully designed Airbnb. Maybe you’re really good at shooting headshots for millennials in the start up industry. Maybe you want to become a beach elopement photographer on the west coast.
Brand your photography business and be known for your experience. That’s how you set yourself apart as a photographer in an oversaturated market. Have people come to you.
This is specifically why people come to you, and this is what you’re known for. Create a niche within your niche.
3. Provide value.
How are you going to make someone’s life better? We all have aspirations, dreams, goals, struggles, etc.
Become their guide - the person who takes them from point A to point B. (book recommendation: read “Building A Story Brand” by Donald Miller).
Value can come in so many forms: inspiration, education, storytelling and/or building culture and community.
How you can do this:
Give, give, and then give some more. (Something Gary Vee taught me.)
What are they struggling with? What do they need to hear today? Why do they need your services or products? Give from a place of abundance, instead of fearing that others will steal your ideas.
This also helps with creating top of mind brand awareness.
Examples of culture and community building: Gary Vee (#firstinline and his FB group) & Jade Darmawangsa (Darmanation meet ups and YouTube and she’s always getting on IG live to connect and chat with her community), Build & Bloom (meet ups and FB group), Rachel Bell (Instagram audits and stories), and of course Rising Tide Society (Tuesdays Together and FB group).
Make it more than just about just you. Remember to make it about them, too.
Most photographers are only concerned about them, and that’s where the problem is.
They focus on why they aren’t getting engagement and comments on their photos, but are they engaging with others? Are they sharing about themselves in their Instagram stories and posts? Do they ask people in their community how they’re doing?
Remember it’s not just about you, it’s about your community.
4. Create an awesome brand experience / buyer journey.
Your favorite brands create brand experiences all the time, from the way they arrange their store to their social media channels.
Take a moment to think about how you feel when you interact with your favorite brands.
What are they doing to make you feel this way? What are they doing to inspire you to take action? (i.e. buying their products and services) It could be their brand mission, storytelling, design, messaging, aesthetics, overall vibe, etc.
How you can do this:
Think about how you want people to feel when they interact with your brand.
Then, write down a list of all the possible ways people interact with your brand. (Ex. IG posts - stories - highlights, FB, Pinterest; email newsletter; freebies and lead magnets; in-person events; investment guide; website; etc.)
How you can make your brand interactions more cohesive, consistent, and clear? How can you inspire them to take action?
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Molly Ho is a branding and graphic designer for photographers and creative entrepreneurs. Her mission is to help you create a brand that will give your dream clients the confidence and clarity they need to hire you.
She believes in being (and becoming) the kind of person you want to see more of in the world, because change starts with you. And you have the power and capacity to become the person you want to be.
On the blog, she talks about topics including branding, marketing, social media, body image, and personal development.