The photography world is extremely competitive. In fact, there are over 120,000 people working as photographers in the United States alone. 

Especially in urban centers, there are just so many other top professionals to contend with. It can be hard to stand out from the crowd.

Nevertheless, we’ve got some good news for the entrepreneurial photographers out there. The photography industry has not yet tapped into the online marketing world in a big way. That means that a little bit of effort into your online presence can go a long way.

More specifically, a good lead magnet can do wonders in terms of growing your email list and giving you a wide pool of potential clients to nurture relationships with. For those of you who don’t know, a lead magnet is a free resource to give away to potential clients in exchange for their contact information.

Keep reading to discover 11 incredible lead magnet ideas to get you inspired to create your own and 4 key elements that should be included in any excellent lead magnet.

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Our 11 best lead magnet ideas for photographers

We’ve divided our photography lead magnet ideas into four categories: 

Professional resources

Many well-established photographers go a step further than putting together lead magnets with potential clients in mind. Instead, they tailor their lead magnets to their peers: other photographers.

The examples listed below all come from photographers who have education elements integrated into their business models. These lead magnets therefore help them build email lists full of other photographers who are interested in learning from them and accessing their educational content.

1. Lighting lessons

Caroline Tran is a well-known wedding and lifestyle portrait photographer located in the Los Angeles area. 

Not only is she booked-and-busy as a photographer, but she also has a robust photography education platform that encompasses courses, free guides, curated gear, presets, and more.

Above, you can see the lead magnet that she uses for website visitors who aren’t ready to invest in her courses just yet. She offers two free lighting lessons to anyone who subscribes to her mailing list!

This is a great lead magnet because it shows off her talents and allows subscribers to get to know her photography and teaching style better before investing in her educational content.

2. Long exposure photo tutorial

Trevor Sherwin is an English landscape photographer. He loves shooting everything from more traditional nature landscapes to manmade cityscapes.

For Trevor, photography started out as a hobby and snowballed into something much more intentional over time. Owing to this, he provides budding photographers with a range of resources like gear guides and shoot spots in order to deepen their crafts.

His current photography lead magnet is a free ten-step guide to long exposure photography. This is a great resource because it compiles the actionable tips and insights that he’s learned through time consuming trial and error over the years. 

Trevor’s long exposure photography guide is an effective lead magnet because it puts his photography style and expertise on display and opens the door for amateur photographers looking for more similar educational resources in the future.

3. Magical image secrets

Rebecca Yale is an award-winning wedding, editorial, and fashion photographer from Los Angeles. She’s been named as one of the top photographers in the world by Harper’s Bazaar and has worked in 55 countries worldwide. It only makes sense that her audience would be curious as to exactly what goes on behind the scenes of her captivating portraits. 

Rebecca has one of the best photography lead magnets out there for a good reason: she pulls back the curtain and provides a look into her process. By signing up for her email list, anyone can discover how she made some of her most stunning images a reality.

This lead magnet is particularly valuable for other photographers looking for inspiration and guidance on how to take better pictures, but would also be an interesting resource for anyone who loves Rebecca’s Yale photos.

4. Landscape photography tips

Felix Inden is a German landscape photographer with a passion for capturing the natural world around him. 

Alongside commercial bookings and selling prints, Felix has tons of educational resources for other professionals in his field. We’ve included one of his current resources as one of our top lead magnets for photographers because it’s useful for novices and experienced photographers alike. 

Felix has put together a comprehensive ebook full of tips to help other photographers improve their landscape photography. Rather than focusing on the obvious and mundane, he dives right in and shares the secrets he feels have impacted his abilities the most.

Regardless of your skill level, this lead magnet is useful and will make a big impact on your work. It’s easy to see how it would help Felix’s email marketing strategy by converting all kinds of different leads.

Client guides & tutorials

One of the biggest reasons why photographers put together lead magnets is to connect with potential future clients. Once someone opts into a photographer’s email marketing funnel, they’ll ideally enter a nurture sequence, learn more about what the photographer has to offer, and hopefully book a session in the future.

These lead magnets are designed for ideal clients that photographers want to eventually book sessions with. They provide these leads with free, professional advice and guidance that’s genuinely useful and shows that they know their stuff. 

5. Portrait session tips

Andie and her husband are the powerhouse couple behind Costola Photography. They’re based in Washington DC and specialize in weddings and editorial portraits.

Most people are nervous when getting their photo taken professionally. This is totally understandable, because we’re not all models that go to photo shoots day in and day out!

Costola Photography have tackled this common anxiety in their photography lead magnet. Their 5 Tips for a Stress Free Portrait Session free download would come in handy to any potential client thinking about hiring a photographer but feeling nervous about it. 

The fact that Costola Photography has taken the time to put together this resource for their target audience also shows that they’re empathetic and care about their clients’ needs.

6. Guide on how to find a wedding photographer

Raph Nogal is a Toronto-based photographer who specializes in wedding and engagement photography, family photos, headshots, and product photography. 

Raph has worked in the photography industry for over ten years, so he knows a thing or two about how hard it is to find a good wedding photographer. So, he put together a lead magnet that can help couples find the perfect photography business to capture their big day.

Raph’s lead magnet is simple yet effective because it provides his potential clients with valuable content and promotes his own photography business at the same time. 

There’s no doubt that many leads have downloaded this resource, realized that Raph ticks all the ideal wedding photographer boxes, and chosen to invest in his photography services.

7. Headshot wardrobe tips

Vanie Poyey is a Los Angeles and Detroit-based photographer who specializes in headshots. She’s passionate about creating stunning headshots that will help her clients achieve their goals, express themselves and have fun in the process. 

When it comes to headshots, many people have no idea what to wear to their photoshoot. It doesn’t matter whether a client is taking a headshot for the first time or if they have tons under their belt, there’s always a question mark when trying to choose the perfect outfit. 

With this in mind, it’s a no-brainer that Vanie developed a lead magnet that helps her potential clients figure out what to wear in order to get that perfect headshot. Once leads opt in and read her guide, they’ll feel confident when booking their own session and know that Vanie is a photographer with their best interests in mind.

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Discounts & freebies

Everyone loves saving some money. Providing a discount code in exchange for an opt-in is a tried-and-tested way to build an email list for a reason… it works! It provides great motivation to click the subscribe button and really goes the extra mile to convince an ideal client who’s debating making a booking.

The following photographers have come up with innovative lead magnets that provide their leads with some kind of discount or freebie. 

8. First session discount

Jamiya Wilson of JW Headshots is a New York-based photographer who’s an expert in actor and corporate headshots. He loves creating images that show his clients’ diverse personalities and help them stand out from the crowd.

Let’s face it: great headshots don’t come cheap. Although they’re a worthy investment, they’re an investment nevertheless. 

This is why Jamiya’s lead magnet makes such a big difference. When a lead subscribes to his email list, he sends them a coupon for $25 off their first session if they book it within 30 days. 

This lead magnet shows great marketing prowess because it gives leads the opportunity to save some money, but there’s a time limit involved. Instead of hemming and hawing, they’ll be motivated to make their decision quickly and get great headshots at a reasonable price.

9. Free phone wallpapers

Paul Nicklen is one of the most well-regarded wildlife photographers out there. He’s based in Canada but is constantly traveling far and wide to capture powerful images of creatures in their natural habitats. Even if you didn’t know it, you’ve probably seen one of Paul’s images before.

Paul uses a unique lead magnet that’s appealing to lots of different audiences. When you subscribe to Paul’s email list, you receive five phone wallpapers of some of his favorite animal encounters for free.

This is a great lead magnet idea because it’s genuinely useful (who doesn’t need a new phone background?) and shows off Paul’s skills as a wildlife photographer. He also used images that he’d already taken, so he didn’t have to put too much time and effort into building his lead magnet.

Particularly if you specialize in wildlife or landscape photography, giving away images as phone backgrounds is an excellent lead magnet idea. 

10. Free extra images

The Boudoir Divas are an all-female photography team based out of San Diego. They’ve been working in the industry for 15 years and specialize in everything boudoir. They love creating unique photoshoot experiences and helping women celebrate themselves.

The Boudoir Divas use a very effective pop-up lead magnet on their photography website. Once you’ve spent a few seconds browsing, their first lead magnet appears! Basically, if you sign up for their mailing list, you can get two digital images for free ($44 value) when you do a photoshoot with them. 

Getting a couple extra digital images is a nice treat to offer leads as a thank you. After a successful photoshoot, it can be difficult for people to narrow down their image selections so that they’re covered by the package they chose. This lead magnet offers them a couple extra bonus images to enjoy and cherish for years to come.

Miscellaneous

Some lead magnet ideas really stand out from the crowd and don’t fit into any specific category. We love how the photographer below uses a unique, interactive quiz lead magnet on her website.

11. Creative superpower quiz results

KT Merry is a luxury destination and editorial photographer. She’s worked everywhere from beaches in the Maldives to the Serengeti National Park and has been featured in Vogue, People, Elle, and more. 

We’re big fans of the lead magnet KT Merry uses on her website. Rather than relying on more typical downloads, she’s put together a quiz entitled “What is your creative superpower?”

It provides interesting information, is very on-brand for KT Merry, and certainly isn’t something you see every day.

All a lead has to do is choose their answers and opt into her email list. Then, they’ll receive an immediate message with their results on the unique strengths they have and can put into action in their photography businesses.

The elements of an excellent lead magnet

We hope that the photography lead magnets we’ve curated have gotten you motivated and inspired to build your own. 

Of course, there are a myriad of different ways to go about developing a great lead magnet. However, there are a few key elements that should always be kept in mind for great results. Read below to discover what they are.

Solve a problem

If you’re not sure where to start with your photography lead magnet, make a list of the kind of photography-related problems your ideal client or target audience might face. They could be anything from “I’m a photographer and I don’t know how to pose my clients,” to “I don’t know what to wear to get a headshot taken.”

One you’ve established your clients’ biggest problems, make a lead magnet that provides them with a solution. Leads will be most likely to convert if they see a resource that can help them directly.

Keep good design practices in mind

Remember, your lead magnet represents your photography services. It’s an extension of your brand, so you’ve got to make sure that it looks fantastic. Keep good design practices in mind, choose high quality images, and make sure everything looks professional. 

As a photographer, you’re in the business of making things look beautiful! You’ll never convert your leads if your lead magnet doesn’t live up to those same standards.

Show off your skills

Even when just considering the very best, there are so many photographers out there. The best way to differentiate yourself from the crowd is by showing off the special abilities, skills, and styles you have that make you unique.

A photography lead magnet is a great opportunity to show off the skills that make you special. It gives you a space to put your expertise on display, whether that means sharing your custom presets or your favorite nighttime photography tips.

Make it simple

When building your lead magnet, don’t make things too complicated. 

In all likelihood, your lead magnet will be your leads’ first major connection with you and your business. They might get overwhelmed and lose interest if you send them a resource that’s overly long, technical, or complicated. 

Your first lead magnet should be something simple and valuable that your audience can digest easily.

Quick tip: Once you’ve got your lead, don’t forget to send lead nurturing emails to keep it!

You’re ready to make your own photography lead magnet

There you have it, you’re ready to start building your very own photography lead magnet! We can’t wait to see how it helps you connect with your ideal clients and takes your photography business to new levels of success.

If you’re looking for an email marketing platform to help your photography business tap into the world of online marketing, Flodesk has a 30-day free trial that you can try with no strings attached. 

We’re passionate about helping small to medium-sized businesses make a big impact with their email marketing efforts and send out content that their subscribers will love to receive.

Click here to sign up for your free trial.

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