Where do I find clients?

Before starting your expansion into the field of glamour and boudoir photography (or starting up an entirely new photography business), ask yourself a few fundamental questions:

  1. What genres should you shoot in (additionally)?
    Portraiture, boudoir, glamour, weddings, maternity?
  2. Who are the potential clients (new & existing)?
  3. What will be the pricing, meaning what is the common local market-based pricing structure?
  4. Should you do TFP first for portfolio building reasons first when missing out a specific style/genre?

Simply put, draw an outline of “My Ideal Client” related to “What Do I Need/Want To Earn”.
It’s about having the right clients; clients that understand our value and will pay our prices.

1) My Traditional Clients: Recurring & Evolving Services

In my studio previously doing family portraiture, we had repeat customers, but at the same time also carried out a lot of new and ongoing marketing, including local promotions.

Glamour+Boudoir Photography - Running The Business - Lime Imagery
Glamour+Boudoir Photography - Running The Business - Lime Imagery

Additional promotion for pregnancy and newborn photography were ongoing marketing activities, targeting the client base we gathered from weddings and referrals.

Corporate work came from local area marketing, the website, and referrals.

As we were thinking about expanding our service portfolio towards new genres, one question arose: will our proven techniques from our traditional services also work when approaching the Glamour Photography market?

2) Approaching A New Business Field: Glamour Photography

To find out the above question, we implemented a specifically tailored, email and print, marketing campaign, based on our previous client database.

For attracting the “Glamour” buyers, we refined the words and images used, created special offers, setup joint marketing with other businesses doing online and print advertising, just like we had done before.

Glamour+Boudoir Photography - Running The Business - Lime Imagery

Boudoir as marketing twist.

Before approaching the new field we changed one important focus: the selected market (prospects), which is often described as Boudoir, is predominately aimed at women who want high quality imagery, not just the cheapest price.

Sometimes the client’s images will end up as a gift for some lucky person, sometimes it’s just themselves.

Charge common prices but offer more.

With respect of pricing – while it’s tempting to offer TFP to build up a portfolio – I would rather offer more in quantity (= different sets/looks for example) and still charge market-based fees. This crucially helps you to maintain the client’s perception of your quality!

Free add-ons could for example be: “buy one print, get one free”, upsize on prints or albums. This may be combined with occasional special offers at reduced prices in quiet times.

Additionally product ideas you can offer:


3) Lifting Off Pro-Glamour: How Exactly?

To offer a really professional service, there is a bit more than just photography, yep…other important parts of the service, such as:

Need to offer perfectly wonderful hair and makeup.

We held castings for makeup artists, who assisted in creating the images for the promo materials.

Glamour+Boudoir Photography - Running The Business - Lime ImageryGlamour+Boudoir Photography - Running The Business - Lime Imagery
Provide an area for MUA to work.

Not only clients need to feel special but also your staff deserves a “comfy” setup.

Create Sets & Stories.

Have a clear planned idea on how to create little scenes with existing furniture and areas in the studio. No time to muck around during a shoot, as you may have a schedule to keep.

Glamour+Boudoir Photography - Running The Business - Lime ImageryGlamour+Boudoir Photography - Running The Business - Lime Imagery
Develop a suit of products.

Obviously there is a little trial and error to go through here.

  • I decided to offer prints in various sizes, and 2 sizes of album to keep it simple. I am a firm believer in printing, rather than digital only.
  • But on reflection I did also add a digital offering of an online gallery and smart phone app.

    For me, supply of digital files only, are out.

    The justification being that prints are a more tangible, longer lasting keepsake, and our skill as photographers with such unique products, makes us stand out.
    Plus it avoids any problems of the client having to get prints, which don’t match the image we showed!

Glamour+Boudoir Photography - Running The Business - Lime Imagery

4) Workflow: Combining New Services With Existing Business Streams?

Do workflows start to clash?

In short: as long as I plan my “traditional” week and have a separate day or two for shooting the Glamour genre, the workflow is the same, just a different style of imagery.

So far there has also been no dilution of the wedding brand or other effect on the other work done by the studio. Professionalism is key in all aspects in order to keep all the customers happy and confident.

I simply describe my business/studio core offering as Expert in Shooting People. All types of it and in all ways.

And here our newest promo video, targeting (sexy) women photography:

My Complete Marketing Strategy For A Glam/Boudoir Photo Service

While this is not intended to be a marketing ‘primer’ (I am no expert; well a self-thought-it-worked-well-expert I am), this is what I did:

    Brochure. A new brochure was designed, including selection of images, entirely new wordage, and a review of prices, as they would be on the brochure.

    Info material. To back up the marketing, all-new standard letters were created. Covering: gift vouchers, appointment confirmation, what to expect, what to bring, etc.
    You do not want your potential clients to forget about a booked shoot with you, arriving unprepared etc.
    You want to motivate them to trust you and be ready for the best possible shoot, and subsequent purchase right away!

    Joint-Marketing. We also maintain a number of promotions that are email-based and via joint-marketing with local businesses by tapping into their client base.

    Social Media. For greater exposure on social media, we chose Video as the best format. A few short clips were created for showcasing the fun and feel of a glamour shoot. We put together a team and shot the promo video, and edited it into a number of examples.

    No Independent Website. A lot of discussion and research went into deciding if the creation of an entirely new site or linking and adding a more “glamorous’ page to the existing, was better. The general idea behind this: to separate genres and to not dilute your studio’s brand i.e. being already well-known for wedding photography.

    Marketing gurus will debate this, but honestly I feel the result of linking direct to a certain page is the same, as having 2 sites/domains. So for the time being I retain a single site, but I have linked glamour inquiries direct to the appropriate sub-page. This means a URL, or landing page to direct traffic to special offers, and to the correct (new) sexy glamour page.

    Visit my Our studio’s dedicated Glamour Work samples site

    Decision Time. Make a distinct decision. Before you even shoot a single frame in glam/boudoir style it’s time for a basic decision: A decision whether or not to focus 100% on boudoir/glamour.
    If you’re debating to create a separate brand for your boudoir I would like you to ask this first: What is your end goal?

    • Is your end goal to do 100% glamour and boudoir?
      If so then creating a separate brand where you can phase out the old one might be the best option for you.
    • For me, as I did some glamour along with weddings, corporate, and family photos, I felt glam/boudoir were just a natural addition of offerings.
    • I felt that all services (styles) should be together on the same website especially so I wouldn’t have to be running both all the time.

    • If I will change direction later down the road and start “only” to offer glamour photography & weddings I have already everything on the same website present. I would need only to remove some pages.
    • If your goal is to continue doing other types of shoots, it really depends whether or not you feel like these types of shoots and glamour can be combined under a single brand. If they can, you can simply add your sexy offerings to your current website and build out a new portfolio.
    • However, if you shoot primarily kids, for example, you might not want that next to boudoir photos, especially if your style is more risqué.
      In this case, you might want to create a separate brand, and running it along with your current brand, so you are basically running two businesses at once.

    Administration, Management & Workflows. Small details count and we want (need!) to appear and act entirely professional interacting with our clients.
    This has the nice effect of helping to put them at ease, and making them confident that you are not only able to deliver superlative imagery, but also wonderful products that exceed their expectations.

    It is a very emotional purchase decision for most women or men for that matter, and they need assurance and the feel that they will enjoy the shoot and get great products.