Each week I host an Ask Anything Friday where anyone can post to my Facebook page a question they have about photography, business or websites.  When I say ask anything I’m serious!  This is my favorite part of the week!

Co-Marketing, Co-marketing for photographers, partnering with other businesses

It seems like lately we’ve been talking A LOT about marketing!  This is great because it means marketing is a high priority for you guys- as it should be.  I have read a few statistics about marketing…one saying it should be 80% of your business!  I don’t know if I’d go that far but I would say it’s one of the things I work the most on.

Another thing I’ve heard is that for every one booking you want to have you should be getting four inquiries.  To be able to reach these numbers you HAVE to be marketing on a regular basis.  My schedule is booked out months in advance but that doesn’t mean I can stop marketing.  That’s how I want my schedule to look all the time.  If I quit marketing or even fall back just a little I run the risk of having empty dates on my calendar and I can’t afford that!

When I gave you some marketing ideas in a recent Ask Anything Answer Katie asked if I could elaborate some on CO-Marketing.  Co-Marketing is an AWESOME tool for you and your business.   Co-marketing is a win win for you and the business you’re choosing to market with.  Here’s a few different ways to use co-marketing.

  • Local business giveaway-  Team up with other local businesses.  Choose businesses that share the same target market.  For me, as a family photographer, I chose to work with the boutique stores downtown, a local high end salon and a winery.  You can see how I ran that giveaway here on my photography page. The giveaway went great I developed relationships with all of these businesses AND we all combined our fan base by sharing the giveaway with our clientele.  Combining a fan base is great but I think the big thing here is the relationship I’ve built with each of these businesses.  Now when they need a photographer, they hear someone is looking for a photographer or it comes up in conversation I’m the first person they think of!  It’s a win win for all of us!
  • Gift Certificates for Events- When other businesses are planning events and giving away swag bags or door prizes this is your chance to get your name out there.  Offer gift certificates. They don’t have to be huge.  I give $50 off a session fee or even the whole session fee.  My business income is primarily from my sales after the session.  The way I have my pricing structured makes my session fee less important so I’m happy to give it away when I know there’s a good chance it will result in a $2000 sale.  Ex. A baby boutique is hosting a Mom’s night out- at their mom’s night out they offer an ABP gift certificate to anyone who spends $200.  Not only did ALL the mom see my name but some of them are walking away with my information AND a small gift certificate to use at their first session.  WIN-WIN!
  • Product Trade- When there is a business who offers something you could use for your business CONTACT them!  A lot of times businesses love to offer their services in return for promotion.  Ex. My salon does FREE hair and makeup for my senior reps.  That’s a cost I would normally have to absorb but instead they do so I will market them to all of my seniors. I take pictures while my reps have hair and makeup done, I offer hair and makeup by this salon in my collections.  It’s another win-win!  This could apply to any stylized session.  Outfits from a boutique, flowers from the florist–reach out to them!
  • Feature Blogs-  Ever feature a local business on your blog?  Contact some of your favorite local businesses and ask them if they would like to be featured on you blog for FREE!  Maybe they even want to give a special discount to your readers!   How does this benefit you?  Well most likely this business is going to be excited! They’re going to share the blog post with their fans.  They’re fans are now going to be seeing YOUR NAME! Not only that but now you’ve built a relationship with this business (remember we talked about the importance of that in up above).  Another thing this does for you is CONTENT.  Now you have another blog post idea.  This is especially helpful during any slow time! Try doing a feature business of the month.  That gives you easy content once a month!

These are just some basic ideas for you- depending on your specialization you could get even more creative with ideas.  The biggest thing to remember is DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK.  I happen to be VERY shy and have a terrible time promoting myself, talking to new people and putting myself out there. It’s been a huge struggle of mine in my business BUT I realized that without doing it I wouldn’t be successful.  The more I push myself out of my comfort zone the easier it is!  So go get ’em! (And while you’re out there just picture me cheering you on!)

If you found this article helpful I’d love to hear from you!  I also love it when you share so if you know someone who might find this helpful share it with them!

Have you had any success with Co-Marketing?  Share with us in the comments below?  Gonna try something out?  Let me know in the comments below and definitely check back and tell us how it went!


I love when you share!!
  • Christine Keegan Hamrick

    Love these tips! I’m pretty introverted, too, so marketing myself is HARD, but I will definitely have to give these a try.ReplyCancel

  • Jill Orchard Kuykendall

    These are great tips, Anna! Thank you!!! I clearly need to make marketing a better priority!ReplyCancel

  • Mia Harris

    If you are serious about making money with your photography, then look no further! Photography-jobs.net gives you fool proof, step by step instructions and list of companies guaranteed to earn you money! I started 3 weeks ago and now earned $700 using the information found in the site. Definitely highly recommended! Click here ->> fb.me/7eFXGrPC9ReplyCancel

If you haven’t already noticed by my site, I specialize in ProPhoto customization for photographers.  If you’re not sure what ProPhoto is it’s a website platform for photographers.

Due to the nature of my business I have done TONS of research, seen TONS of websites and know what works and what doesn’t.  I love using all of this information to help other photographers improve their websites and make more appealing and user friendly for their clients.

Our websites are often our client’s first impression of us.  We don’t want to screw that up!

A better, more user friendly, website will convert to clients staying on your website longer, leaving inquiries and in turn more sessions!  This is what I want for you!  Have I mentioned I’m your biggest cheerleader!

Today we’re taking a look at Ladd Photography.  Thank you Anna for letting us look at your site for our WEBSITE WEDNESDAY!

free website critique for photographers, free website critiques, websites for photographers

If you’re watching this and would love some insight on your own website you can sign up for a website critique below the video! 

Great job Anna on your website!  As I mentioned in the video you’ve done a great job on your website so far and there’s just a few small changes I would make.  Here’s my list for you:

  1. Make logo smaller and take away some of the dead space.  Keep in mind that theme is the same size on all monitors.
  2. Add feature images to header slideshow
  3. Take out extra FB like buttons.
  4. Customize your share buttons to go with your brand.
  5. Allow comments to appear


I love when you share!!
  • Idie Mawby Atencio

    What a great idea to do these critiques! This is so helpful!!ReplyCancel

Phew! Happy Monday…well Tuesday I know!  I hate being late and I actually laid awake in bed last night disappointed that I didn’t get this post out yesterday!  Taking time off is hard but this mama needed it!

Today we’re going to answer a question about building your e-mail list.  Last week in our Ask Anything we were talking about marketing and I told you how important e-mail marketing is!  SO important to have an email list that you can send out updates.  Whether it’s a monthly newsletter or it only goes out when you have a special going on, email marketing is probably the most efficient way to get our message to our clients.  So this week Desiree asked “What’s a good incentive to capture e-mails to build a contact list?”

opt-ins for photographers, building email list, building contact list, opt-in ideas for photographers

I love this question for two reasons.  The first is Desiree is seeing that it is IMPORTANT to have an e-mail list and the second is that she’s seeing there has to be an incentive for people to sign up.  The typical incentive I see everywhere is “Sign up for updates from ____ Photography”.  Love that there’s an opt-in on your page but how often have you signed up for a newsletter just to receive updates?  To me that screams JUNK MAIL!

Adding an opt-in to your site doesn’t have to be difficult and the great thing is once you get it set up it’s a “set it and forget it” item.  You can create your opt-in and change it as often or as little as you want.  If you feel like it’s not working then it’s something you’ll want to revisit but if you feel like you’re consistently growing your list then you’ve found your opt-in!

Finding your successful opt-in doesn’t have to be complicated either.  This goes back to your ideal client… think about who you’re appealing to.  We talked about this a bit in my article about coming up with blog ideas.  This is very similar.  You need to figure out what your target client is interested in.  What appeals to them?  What do they struggle with?

I’m a family photographer so my clients are moms.  What are some things I as a mom would find helpful…something that would be worth putting in my email address.  I’m currently working on a new opt-in for my site a “How to take better pictures of your kids with your iPhone”.  An easy PDF download for moms to download and read…after imputing their email addresses.

The key to creating a successful opt-in is to step into your clients shoes and think of what you can GIVE to them for GIVING you their email.  Think like your client and most likely it will be easy to come up with an idea!  Just to get you started here are some opt-in ideas for photographers:

Children & Family Photographer-

  • Guide to taking better pictures of your kids
  • Meal Planning Printable
  • Seasonal Printable
  • Guide to a stress free session
  • Secret poses to flatter mom

Senior Photographer-

  • Coupon for free sheet of wallets
  • Guide to packing for college
  • Make-up tips for session

Wedding Photographer-

  • Wedding day checklist
  • Honeymoon packing printable
  • Tips for wedding great wedding day photos
  • VIP vendor list

Boudoir Photographer-

  • Favorite places for outfits
  • Best boudie poses to flatter you
  • Guide to great session
  • Make-up tips
  • Secrets to looking good in every picture

Do you see a trend here?  It’s not rocket science.  Find something you have that you can give to your clients to make their lives easier!  No one loves junk mail…I hate opening up my inbox with 100 emails to delete so I am very careful with where I put my email address.  Most people probably share this feeling…do you?  I’m guessing you do so you have to make it worth it for clients to opt-in!  Comment below and let me know what you plan on doing, do you already have an opt-in that’s working?  We want to hear about it!

I love when you share!!
  • Christina Baltazar

    Awesome suggestions! Any tips for maternity & newborn photographers? ReplyCancel

  • Christine Keegan Hamrick

    These are great suggestions to give people an incentive to sign up! Definitely need to try this – thanks so much for sharing 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Dena McMullen

    Great ideas!! I need to bookmark your website right now!! 🙂 ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Lopez

    I love these tips and can’t wait to implement them! ReplyCancel

  • Carmen Polk

    Very helpful suggestions. Just what I was looking for! Thanks, Anna!ReplyCancel

Marketing for photographers, marketing strategies for photographers, marketing ideas, marketing ideas for photographers

Marketing for Photographers- it’s a hot topic lately!  Facebook made it SO easy for us photographers to get our names out there and keep business coming and now things have changed (every good thing comes to an end??).  Facebook is still a great place for marketing but the saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is very important to remember!

On Monday in our Answer Anything post we talked about word of mouth and what to do when it’s not working.  We discussed how we can promote word of mouth through our clients and how important client relationships are-  it’s definitely worth the read and you can find that here!

In that post I also promised a Part 2 with some other marketing ideas for photographers.  I spent this morning compiling a list of the marketing strategies that I have seen the most return from.  SO here are my top 10!

  1. YOUR WEBSITE- What a surprise…the website girl is telling you that your website needs to rock it!  I’m not joking…it has to!  Where do people turn to if they want to contact you, if they find you on google, if they want more information…your website.  It needs to be user friendly, informative and professional.
  2. EMAIL NEWSLETTER- If you don’t have one it’s time to start!  If you have your previous clients/inquiries send out a newsletter to remind them you exist.  Add a place on your website that potential clients can sign up.  I send one out once a month and it just reminds people that I’m alive!  I am sure to get at least a few new inquiries or previous clients ready to schedule every time I send out a newsletter.
  3. GET INVOLVED- Getting involved in your community has numerous benefits outside of your business but it also can really benefit your business.  The more you’re involved in your community the more people you are going to be in relationship with.  You’re not gonna be handing out cards to everyone you meet but what you do is surely going to come up in conversation.  The more people that know you exist, the more clients you will have!
  4. FUNDRAISING AUCTIONS–  I’m not asking you to go out and donate to every cause but find some that you care about, find some that appeal to your ideal clients.  I choose to donate to 3 or 4 places every year- my son’s pre-school and YoungLife (christian teen organization) are two that happen every year then I may choose one or two others that pop up that I think are worth supporting.  I give away a session and make up for that in sales.  Usually if someone is at an auction supporting a cause then they’re going to be comfortable enough spending money on photos.  I ALWAYS have my product guide out at the auction and tons of business cards.  People who aren’t winning the auction usually have my card and even anyone who didn’t bid at least saw my display.
  5. CO-MARKETING-  Building relationships with other business owners that are serving your target market.  This can be as small as taking a few shots for them, featuring their business on your blog, or something as big as a giveaway.  There’s two things I’ve done with other local businesses that proved to be very effective.  The first was the Local Business Giveaway.  I could do a whole blog post about this one but I’ll spare you (for now).  The other thing I did was team up with a local baby boutique.  This boutique had high end moms coming in and they were doing a shopping evening event.  For the event I offered a handful of gift certificates ($100 gift certificates) to those who spent $200 or more at the store.  The store loved it and I got a few new clients out of it!
  6. PUBLICITY– Your local newspaper, local magazines, mom blogs.  Press releases are great but how bout submitting an article for them! Pick a topic that your clients would like to hear about and write about it.  See if you can get it published in a local resource.
  7. CLIENT REFERRAL PROGRAM-  This one is pretty simple…give your clients some incentive to refer and review.  You can do this in a few different ways by giving all clients the opportunity to earn free credits for referrals, a rep program (this even works with moms) or incentives for leaving reviews.
  8. INCENTIVES NOT DISCOUNTS- Stop giving away the farm.  No more discounts.  When you discount your services you’re attracting the wrong clients and DEVALUING your work.  Stop that now! Giving incentives is a much better way to entice people to book.  “Book your Holiday session by _______ and get 25 cards free!”  Guess what…not only are you giving them incentive to book..the free product you’re giving away is a marketing piece for you!!!  Other marketing pieces could be an iPhone app or Mini-Albums.
  9. ENGAGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA- I’m not talking about just posting your latest work or latest promos on Facebook.  Engage with your fans.  Ask them what the best part of their weekend was, tell them something you did or enjoyed.  The keyword here is ENGAGE.  No one like advertising all the time…so stop doing it.  Another way to engage is commenting on their posts, replying to their comments…the more engaged you are with your clients the more loyalty you’ll build and the more referrals you’ll get!
  10. BLOG BLOG BLOG!!- I’m not sure how many times I can say this one but you better start doing it! Between interaction with your clients, SEO and share worthy info this is something that has to become a priority…do it…and do it now!

So those are my top 10 ideas!  Marketing for Photographers 101 we’ll call it!  If you have ANY questions on how to implement these strategies you can always reach out and ask.  Remember I’m you’re biggest cheerleader here to help you succeed!  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need a helping hand!

If you found this content helpful be sure to share it with a friend, comment below and of course sign up for my weekly tips!



I love when you share!!
  • Rachelle Chase

    awesome!! ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Martin

    These are great tips, Anna!!ReplyCancel

  • Heather Harris

    Great tips! I espcially love the “Incentives, not Discounts.” I really need to start remembering that one!ReplyCancel

  • Amy Hohl

    Incentives, not discounts is something I’m trying to implement! Would love a post about Email Newsletter! I’m trying to build that but always feel kind of stuck on how to do it monthly!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy Cloutier Shea

    Awesome as always Anna! ReplyCancel

  • Sashaographer Holloway

    Great tips. ReplyCancel

  • […] My top ten effective marketing strategies – marketing for photographers by Anna Bartell – she offers such great words for any business owner, really . Small business is about people and relationships, and our “marketing” efforts are really about connecting with people. As a small business owner, we don’t exist in a vacuum. Get out. Meet people. Connect. Both online and in real life. So. Much. Good. […]ReplyCancel

It’s Episode 2 of Website Wednesday where I give one of my subscribers a FREE website critique!

If you haven’t already noticed by my site, I specialize in ProPhoto customization for photographers.  If you’re not sure what ProPhoto is it’s a website platform for photographers.

Due to the nature of my business I have done TONS of research, seen TONS of websites and know what works and what doesn’t.  I love using all of this information to help other photographers improve their websites and make more appealing and user friendly for their clients.

Our websites are often our client’s first impression of us.  We don’t want to screw that up!

A better, more user friendly, website will convert to clients staying on your website longer, leaving inquiries and in turn more sessions!  This is what I want for you!  Have I mentioned I’m your biggest cheerleader!

Today we’re taking a look at BJ Photography (be sure to go like his page!).  Thank you BJ for letting us look at your site for this week’s WEBSITE WEDNESDAY!

free website critique, bj photography, website wednesday, pro photo customization

If you’re watching this and would love some insight on your own website you can sign up for a website critique below the video! 

With each website critique I want to make sure you’re leaving with some actionable changes you can make right away to improve your website.  Here are my top 5 for BJ!

  1. Take out the music (I may have mentioned that once or twice!)
  2. Content, Content, Content- provide your clients with some information, that’s why they’re coming to your website don’t let them leave frustrated that you’re not giving it to them.
  3. Create portfolio galleries- Separate your portfolio so people can choose what type of session they want to view.
  4. Blog!  This should be number 1…a blog is so important so get to it!
  5. Fix broken links- Take off any links or menu items that lead to nowhere.  It’s so frustrating as a client to click on something and expect to find info that’s not there.

I hope you all found these tips helpful! If you’re looking for ProPhoto customization information head over up to the “work with me” tab and check out the details on my ProPhoto design!

If you think you’d like a free website critique be sure to sign up below!

I love when you share!!
  • Amy Hohl

    I was just thinking the other day how much I loathe sites with music! Expecially when I can’t turn the music off or its really hard to find the place to turn it off! Greats tips!