Word of mouth provides many photographers with a large percentage of their new customers. However, it is also important to those looking to grow their photography businesses that they find ways to reach out to those who might not otherwise have learnt about their services. Sending a direct mail letter is one way for photographers to generate new business.
Include an Introduction
One key in a letter to new prospects is for the photographer to introduce his or her background, experience and market niche. For example, a wedding photographer might explain that she has been shooting weddings in a particular city for a certain number of years, and name a few of the venues in which she has shot. A portrait photographer might describe his studio's location and list schools for which he has done senior portraits.
Make an Offer
To induce the reader to take action, the photographer should include a specific offer for services. The offer can be a simple list of available packages (perhaps with a discount), a coupon or a one-time deal. The offer is intended to persuade the recipient, who has likely never heard of the photographer, to consider taking advantage of a unique opportunity. For example, a portrait photographer might offer a one-hour sitting for only £64.
Show a Portfolio
Especially when targeting those who do not have firsthand experience with the photographer, including a portfolio or sample pictures with a letter is essential. Photographers are judged primarily by the quality of their work and a portfolio can show not only how well a photographer takes pictures but also the range of that photographer's work. Additionally, a portfolio can show the subjective style of a photographer, which lets a potential customer know whether the photographer would be a suitable match.
Determine the Right Audience
As important as the content of a photographer's letter is to whom such a letter is sent. Photographers must choose a mailing list based not only on which demographics are likely to buy photography, but also what type of audience is likely to respond to the photographer's own unique style and marketing approach. A wedding photographer will likely want to find future brides and their mothers; a product photographer will be looking to reach businesses.