Okay, so here's the deal..I'm 19, young, naive, whatever you want to call it. I've spent the past year and a half building up a portfolio and name to go into business, I was always operating under the assumption that once I open up for bookings, people would just come..so I finally posted prices and hiring info on my website and big surprise, not one email, not one phone call, no one knows my name.
I have some business cards that I had done through UV Cards for about $150 for 500 after learning my lesson about cheaping out with vistaprint, but I haven't found many appropriate opportunities to hand them out other than one real estate agent that I met last weekend who had some friends who were wanting to hire a photographer for bookings (not that I really planned on making a big business around real estate photography, but it is something that's interested me) she seemed pretty enthusiastic about getting me some clients but so far nothing's come from that..not a big deal though, it was fairly recent and I'm seeing her again this weekend.
So since the cards weren't providing the immediate buzz I was hoping for, I jumped on the facebook page bandwagon and got about 36 "likes" in the past month, luckily enough I'm in a college class with a guy who runs a social networking and web development business and he's helping me out with getting more publicity with that, but still it's mostly friends with the exception of 6 people so I don't expect much to come from that, at least not until I make a name for myself outside of social networking.
So I'm stuck here now, with $2500+ credit card debt on gear I thought I needed to run a "successful" business and no idea what to do to get those first couple paying clients, and also wondering if there's something I'm doing wrong that would turn people away.
Here's my website: www.jamesrphoto.com
Here's my facebook page: www.facebook.com/jamesrphoto
Maybe my prices are too high? I priced myself lower than the competitors with their own studios by about 50%, but I did some calling and found one studio willing to rent out for $30/hr with a big white cyclorama wall, so pending unavailability that solves my problem for now.
I'd love to hear some insight as to what can be done either differently than what I'm doing now, or in addition to attract some paying customers (keeping in mind I'm out of money, no big ad campaigns). Only exception I'd like to make to that is my website theme, I've received some negative reviews for it on here, but outside of these forums the feedback has been mostly positive and I'm not open to changing it at this time.