Every professional business person needs a portrait or head shot for their website, their printed literature, and for social media. But offering business portraits is different from successfully marketing them.
That’s why we’ve collected several ideas for marketing business portraits. No one single way is right or wrong, but we’ve seen all of them work. The trick is to actively market them during your slow season, and not simply wait for the work to come along.
EZ Head Shots.
Ads placed in local magazines, Chamber of Commerce newsletters, etc. offer a single, color-corrected head shot on a disk for $49.95. these are scheduled in the studio, and should take no more than 20 minutes from beginning to end. They emphasize speed, convenience and low-cost. The secondary benefit is that these can lead to larger sales via word of mouth or coupons sent away with the client.
Full-Service Business Portraiture.
Business portraiture is a status purchase. A business portrait might be used in a magazine, for a large print or billboard, or for a book cover. This type of clientele takes years to develop. To market this, you should start with a website portfolio devoted to business portraiture for upper-level executives, not mixed in with seniors, weddings or families. $1,000 plus packages should include a full day shoot at the studio or on location, multiple outfits, on-site makeup and hair stylists, etc.
Partnered Business Portraiture.
Offer to work with a local Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Rotarians, etc. and set up to do business portraits “on site.” The business portraits are offered by the organization as a service to their membership. Each person gets a low-res image, but for a nominal amount they can purchase a higher res file delivered via email. This allows you to collect emails for later marketing.
Co-Branded Business Portraiture.
Marketing firms often ask business owners for portraits for their literature and websites. If the business owner doesn’t have any images, the marketing firm can hire you to create whatever images they need. For example, Chelsea Mills at Behind Your Design contracts with local photographers to shoot business owners, employees and even buildings to be used in trade show publications, for websites, and for print advertisements. To market this service, you’ll need both a list of packages and a complete, ala carte price list the marketing company can use to add photography costs to their quotes.
An advantage of working as a photographer for a marketing company is that they can help you develop professional package lists and flyers to market your business portraiture to other clients.
The benefit of business portraiture is that it is a year-around business. While many professional photographers list it in their offerings on their website, it takes focused marketing to build this profitable business.