Special Series: How to Build a Photography Client Base with Seasonal Promos [Step 1/5]

How to Start Bringing in New Clients With Special Seasonal Promotions

At my photography studio Scott Sylvia Photography, running seasonal promotions have helped us gain on average 10-13 new clients per season. This has taught us how to craft a stress-free special that makes it easy to steadily build a client base throughout the year, and you too can have a better chance at success by following these steps!

-Scott Sylvia
Founder, Hobby to Pro Photo

Today we have the first step in our process for setting up a successful seasonal promotion with the goal of building your client base.

These steps may seem simple, but most photographers neglect to consider these when planning their promotions. Following these steps will instantly put you head and shoulders above many of your competitors.

We are going to look at two main areas as we begin crafting our promo plan:

  • Who are you trying to attract?
  • How can you make this offer an event? What will be your hook?

You don’t even have to think about marketing techniques or advertising yet. Don’t worry – we will guide you through those areas over the next few days. But right now, let’s focus in on nailing down the foundation!

1- Select the Target Market For Your Promotion

Choosing a target market for this promotion will ensure that your marketing appeals to more of the right people.

Will this promotion be to attract more clients who fall into your main area of expertise (Babies? Families? Seniors? Etc.)

Or are you trying to attract clients for a secondary focus or area of the market that you want to get into? (Ex: maybe you specialize in weddings but want to do more engagement sessions, so you would choose to make this promotion specifically for engaged couples).

This is the most important thing to nail down first. A more tightly focused marketing campaign will work better than a generic-try-to-appeal-to-everyone type of campaign.

Why? Let’s say we want to fill our schedule with newborns. Now that we know we want to target parents of newborns with this promotion, we can focus our time, energy and money on reaching specifically those parents when we run our ads or mail our marketing pieces (more on that later).

We also know that we will be featuring infants in our promo pieces, making it obvious to potential clients whether they are the right fit for us.

2 – Select Your Holiday “Hooks”

The purpose of creating a “hook” is to ensure our marketing stands out in a crowded marketplace.

Photographers all use the big national holidays to bring in potential clients. You’ve seen them everywhere; “get your Christmas portraits made while there’s still time,” etc.

These are obvious times to run promotions, but what about the rest of the year when clients aren’t as motivated to seek you out?

There are many other seasonal events we can take advantage of to bring in new clients when other photographers aren’t even thinking of advertising.

Action Steps:

Create your own marketing calendar! Take a look at the lists of holidays online (here’s a good list here) and find some holidays you can use as “hooks” for bringing in new clients. I’d suggest choosing one holiday per season (that means you could potentially run four seasonal promotions per year).

Take a page from the auto dealers… not the obnoxious yelling and hype, but the way they use many “minor” holidays as a reason to make a sale.

That means you can create promotions around Groundhog Day, May Day, Grandparent’s Day, Cinco de Mayo and many others.

There are so many of these minor holidays sprinkled throughout the year that you can literally have a different special for each month (if you’re feeling really ambitious) and even have plenty of holidays left over to choose from the following year.

Find a fun way to tie your special promotion to the holiday of your choice so that it gives your marketing materials a little personality and fun factor.

Pro Tip: keep an eye out for what other businesses (not Photography related) do with these holidays. If you see an ad in a magazine or newspaper, clip it out and keep it in a binder or notebook of ideas. Take these ideas and think of how you can modify or use them for your photography promotions.

Promotions can be fun & highly profitable!

Our challenge to you is to choose the specialties and holidays that you would like build your promotions around. That’s all you have to do today - no overwhelm required!

Let us know your favorite holiday idea below in the comments, along with any questions you have.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to keep an eye on your inbox for part 2 of the process, coming your way tomorrow.

Plus, now that you are here on this page and taking the time to begin brainstorming for your promotions, you are really going to like our in-depth program.

It’s called the Seasonal Promos Made Easy Kit, and it’s a pre-created promotion toolbox that you can use out of the box! We are releasing on of these Seasonal Promos per season so that you can literally download the toolbox, customize the materials for your own business, and launch a successful promotion within just minutes.

This is going to save you hours upon hours and a whole lot of stress that goes into crafting a photography promotion - this way, you can spend more time on what you love - the photography! Click here if you’d like to learn more.

Chat soon,


Let Us Know - What's Your Seasonal Promo Idea?