Even the best photography talent won't pay your bills unless you promote your business. Bringing in new clients doesn't have to be an expensive or arduous task. All that's required is strategic and effective advertising. Schedule some time to spend every week making your photography services known to your future customers.
Use Social Media
Create a business presence on social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many blogging platforms are free and easy to use. Update your blog regularly with quality posts and include samples of your best images. Obtain permission from past clients to use the wedding or portrait photographs that you have taken and create an online portfolio, tagging those that you post to Facebook. Tweet about your blog posts, and network online with other photographers and potential clients. Add your business to online listings and directories.
Create Promotional Material
Create promotional material from each session to leave with your client for referrals. Examples include business cards or fridge magnets made from a suitable image from the session. Print your contact information on the back of a set of complimentary wallet-size images from the shoot for your client to give to friends and family. Offer incentives for referrals and discounts for repeat business.
Know where to network. If you specialize in children's portraits, join a parenting organization. If weddings are your niche, liaise with wedding planners and staff at bridal boutiques. Barter with local business. Shoot complimentary advertising photographs for them in exchange for their assistance in promoting your services.
Work for Free
Do some free work. Donate to fundraising efforts by offering a free photo session as a door prize and have promotional material on hand to give the prize winner. Do some photo shoots that involve donating all of your proceeds to a registered charity. Offer a specified amount of free studio time and one complimentary print to demonstrate the quality of your work as well as open the door for additional sales.