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Our Top 3 Biggest Marketing Secrets For Photographers

Alright, friend! You know we don’t like secrets around here (because besties don’t keep secrets from each other, right?!) so I’m excited to share our 3 biggest marketing secrets with y’all. A couple of them we learned from D’Arcy Benincosa, our secret marketing ninja!

Last week I shared all about the biggest investment I made in my business ever! We are talking almost 5 figures y’all! Seriously, it was scary but it has been SO worth it! Read all about the best business decision I’ve ever made here!

So, this month I really want to share all the ways that it’s transforming my business along with these marketing secrets! My business coach is a marketing guru, y’all! Seriously, I could sing D’Arcy Benincosa’s praises all day!

Check out her FREE (and nope, that’s not a typo!) marketing masterclass this Wednesday at 10 am!

The Marketing Map D'Arcy Benincosa

Since marketing seems to be the biggest struggle we’ve been hearing in response to our email newsletter for photographers, I want to talk about 3 marketing secrets we use in our business! There is a good chance these things are probably missing from your business marketing plan!

(Feelin’ the FOMO? Join the Cotton family to get our 3 free Lightroom Tips along with our weekly dose of encouragement & coaching straight to your inbox? Leave your FOMO at the door, everyone’s welcome here! Join below!)

These aren’t just marketing tips for photographers! You can apply these marketing tips to all creative businesses!

Basic photography business marketing plan

Aside from these 3 marketing tips for creative businesses that I’m about to share, let’s just go over the two most basic marketing tactics everyone should be doing!

I know these sound simple (because honestly, they are!), but they are two of our oldest marketing strategies!

Instagram Marketing

Firstly, Instagram! I know I told y’all these were basic but just looking at the last 6 weddings we did, 3 of them found us from Instagram! What?! YES! That’s wild!

It’s mostly crazy because I’m pretty much just posting photos of my child at this point! ; ) But also because with the crazy algorithm, our engagement is WAY down! If yours is too, don’t worry! Instagram is going through some serious changes.

Your business doesn’t NEED Instagram to survive. I promise! Which leads me to my next point…

Marketing tips for photographers

Word of Mouth Marketing

Secondly, word of mouth is STILL one of the greatest tools we have as business owners! If you over-deliver, provide a great product or service paired with a wonderful customer service experience, your clients WILL tell their friends!

Plain and simple, be kind, actually CARE about your clients, do a great job and people will rave about you to their friends!

the cotton collective

But you know that, which is why you are here to learn something new! ; ) So here are the 3 marketing secrets you may not be incorporating into your marketing strategy!

3 Marketing Secrets You Can Apply to Your Photography Business

#1: Be Clear About Your Brand

We have gotten very clear about our brand over the years! We know who our ideal bride is (and isn’t)! Our Cotton bride is sweet as a button, full of love, puts family first, and is madly in love with her fiancê!

Narrowing down her bridesmaid’s list was the hardest part of planning her wedding because she’s such an incredible friend! She could honestly have 20 bridesmaids up there with her! And you know what? This is ALL of our brides!

Most of them also happen to love Friends, the TV show, as much as we do! This is not an accident, friend!

We put ALL of this out in our branding! It’s in the language we use, in our email marketing, and all over our social media. The more we put it out there, the more that comes in.

People always ask if we get bridezillas and we can honestly say we don’t! All of our brides are total sweethearts!

If you know your ideal client, then you can figure out how to talk directly to them!

For example, are they prim and proper just looking for the perfect vendor or are they looking for another best friend at their wedding to take beautiful photos for them?

If your ideal bride is prim and proper, your branding and voice should be classy and minimal. Think of all the high-end brands that literally have as few words as possible on their websites.


Someone like us who literally wants to be BFFs with all our couples because we truly want to be in their lives foreva! See what I’m saying? The way you would talk to them would be completely different!

This might sound simple but I promise you this is the biggest mistake we see with our coaching clients! You are yelling from the rooftop to anyone and everyone who might be a possible client.

Instead, think about your absolute favorite client ever! Talk to THEM! No one else!

You can’t please everyone so just go after the type of client that you truly want and love!

I know it seems scary and you may feel like you might miss out on business but I promise this will pay off in the long run!

If you’ve got questions about this, hit us up in the comments or over on Instagram!

Marketing tips for photographers

#2: Pinterest Marketing

I’m sure you know by now Pinterest is the place to be and that couldn’t be truer! But somehow almost all of my creative business owner friends don’t have business Pinterest accounts! What?! Y’all need to make this a priority! 

70% of our traffic comes from Pinterest. We share every single blog post on Pinterest using Tailwind to schedule them in advance.  

The posts that perform the best and bring the most traffic to our site are the ones that truly have helpful content for our future clients. Whether they are moms or brides, we have useful posts for both!  

Right now, our three highest performing posts are these guys:

5 Reasons not to do a First Look

Perfect time to do maternity photos

5 Reasons to do a First Look

Be a resource for your client! You are the expert so show them that!

I know what you are thinking! You don’t have time for one more platform! I get it but that’s no excuse! Outsource it then!

Last year, we literally had no presence on Pinterest. We hired Angela from Golden Oasis Media and we love her! She is truly a Pinterest wizard.

She’s taken our Pinterest game from nothing to over 2+ million monthly viewers in a matter of 9 months!

Traffic to our website has grown by 200 percent because of Pinterest for business!

So, if you don’t have time for it! Outsource Pinterest! It will be worth it! And tell Angela, our Pinterest expert, that Michelle sent you! ; )

Marfa photography

#3: Yelp for your business

Okay, I know you are probably like, “whaaaatt! Are you kidding me, Michelle!?” But honestly, I am not!

We live in Houston, one of the biggest transplant towns. Meaning so many people move here for work and don’t know anyone! Where do they turn? YELP! Yes, even for photographers!

I’ve had a Yelp business page for YEARS! If you search photographers, we show up on the very first page! It also helps with the SEO of our website!

Yelpers are BIG into reviews so you have to make sure you have solid 5 star reviews. Ask any of your clients if they ever use yelp. If they do, ask them to leave you a review after you set up your page. Offer to give them a gift print or something as thank you if you have to.

While I do get a few price shoppers from Yelp, I also get a ton of INCREDIBLE ideal clients! We probably get at least 10-30 inquiries per month from Yelp alone. Even with being a high-end photography business, we still book at least 2-3 of those!

I know this is adding to your neverending to-do list but it will be worth it!

Please don’t rely on just one platform. You can’t just sit around and think that because you built it, they will come. Diversify your marketing so that if one area starts to lack, you know you still got this!

Marketing tips for photographers

Get your marketing party started!

I know marketing for photographers (and for any business really) can be hard and overwhelming at times! I hope this helps give you a few ideas on how to book more clients and ramp up sales for your business!

Don’t forget to watch for the FREE marketing masterclass and learn from our personal business coach, the true marketing ninja, D’Arcy Benincosa this Wednesday!

Sign up for her FREE masterclass here! 

Got questions? Comment below or email us over at hello@thecottoncollective.com!

You got this, friend!







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Houston wedding photographer | Houston newborn photographer | Houston Family photographer | based in houston, TX | web design by alyssa renee made | contact us

HoUSTON Newborn photographer
Lifestyle family & baby photographer
based in houston, Tx | travels worldwide
website design by Alyssa Renee Made
contact us





Cocktails, baby giggles, best friends
& one big family hug!

in love & engaged, let's elope (!)
from the ring to the first kiss


cotton lifestyles

our secrets for sun-soaked photos, a happy couple & a heart-centered business

cotton coaching



Cocktails, baby giggles, best friends
& one big family hug!

in love & engaged, let's elope (!)
from the ring to the first kiss

wedding photography

Lifestyle Photography

secrets to sun-soaked portraits, happy clients & a heart-centered business

Cotton coaching

 THe blog

contact us

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