Boudoir photography is, by nature, more revealing and intimate than other types of photography. This can make it difficult to market your photography services to the public, especially if you’re new to the game and don’t know where to start. We don’t blame you if you feel a little overwhelmed. But we’ve got your back: here are five tried-and-true ways to market your boudoir photography business to bring in clients and sales.
Use what you’ve got
If you’re incorporating boudoir photography into your existing services, your mailing list is the perfect place to start. You might not want to announce your new business right out of the gate, so a soft launch of your business by letting your favorite clients know about your exciting new photography services. Email marketing platforms like MailChimp have options for you to easily segment your contact list so you can directly speak to the clients you know will be interested... like newly-engaged women, past brides and moms.
Don’t forget about social media! Let your fans and followers know about your new business venture by sharing it on your social accounts. Be sure to include a compelling call to action so those who are interested can find out more.
Pro Tip: Personalize each email with a note to your client so she feels special. Asking her to give you a call to chat rather than playing email tag will result in more booked sessions.
Shoot for ‘free’
Not everyone will be comfortable with you sharing their intimate boudoir photos online, which is totally understandable. Offering a few complimentary mini boudoir sessions is an easy way to build your portfolio, especially if you’re just starting out, while allowing women to have a taste of your services for free. Be sure these mini sessions exist in very limited availability and for a brief amount of time only, otherwise you may devalue your brand. But how does ‘free’ make you money? Well, your work doesn’t just end when the shoot does. Include a complimentary 8x10 image and then let your client purchase any additional images she loves best. Make even more moolah by offering her physical options in lieu of digital files, like a gorgeous linen album or a chic portfolio box (shown below) filled with her favorite matted prints.
Pro Tip: Always spell out what is and isn’t included in your ‘free’ photo shoots with an iron-clad contract.
Create a separate portfolio
Your boudoir imagery will vastly differ from your other work, so be sure that you’re not showcasing them side by side. Take careful steps to avoid uploading your boudoir imagery next to your newborn photos, especially if you have conservative clients that may find this new avenue inappropriate or offensive. This certainly doesn’t mean you have to create a whole new website, but be sure that you have different tabs or categories on your site for each genre.
Pro Tip: You could even create a locked gallery protected with a password for prospective boudoir clients to view your potentially NSFW images.
Include women of all sizes
It’s no secret that undressing (or even just thinking about it!) can bring out the critical self-talk, but your job is to make sure that every woman feels beautiful in the body she’s got. Promoting a body-positive message with your work is an asset to your business - a portfolio that showcases a variety of women in all shapes, sizes, and colors will help you stand out in the business, and encourage women who might hesitate to book a session feel more confident and bite the bullet.
Pro Tip: Ask for a testimonial with each session, so you can begin to collect quotes and content for your site, blog, and social media accounts that inquiring clients can relate to.
Meet with local vendors and businesses
Partnering with local businesses is a sure-fire way to get buzz going around your photography, as well as make the marketing part of your job a little easier. While supplying your client with a selection of lingerie or doing your client’s makeup and hair can be helpful, it’s also time consuming and get to be expensive (especially if you’re starting out). Get in contact with local spas, makeup artists, salons, and lingerie stores and see if they’d be open to collaborating with you. Provide them with some enticing offers and make it crystal clear why a partnership with you would be beneficial for both of your businesses.
Pro Tip: A vendor marketing kit is an easy way to break the ice and make the best impression possible.
If you’ve been contemplating adding this speciality to your business plan, we say “go for it!” Focusing on empowering women is a foolproof way to bring joy and purpose to your business. While boudoir and glamour photography are still a niche genre of our industry, the possibilities are virtually endless. So spread the word, create some buzz, and take your photography to a whole new level.
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