Go grab market share. Coupons, promotions, word of mouth, etc. Get your name out there and have a high quality product and people will come back to you.
Also... market to groups that frequent these types of services... maternity wards, preschools, etc... make lasting relationships with customers so they don't feel like they are just a meat bag with money.
Offer them free Facebook sized prints for upload and sharing. Feed their ego.... having omg, that is the cutest child ever, LIKE, will do more for your business than a print hanging in their living room.
No, no and no. these are all ways to cement yourself into low prices in a low paying market that competes with low charging, rebel wielding amateurs.
in most markets, its increasingly more difficult to find clients that pay well. you won't find them any faster by offering coupons, discounts and freebies. you will set up the expectation of continued discounts and freebies.
any further advice would greatly depend on what type of photography business you are trying to start up. are you looking to get commercial/advertising type of stuff with 1200.00+ day rates or are you trying to do private/family types of jobs? they are two very different markets and require different approaches.
two things that have helped me get higher rates is staying diversified and maintaining a professional network of photographers in my area. the diversity allows me to survive any lulls in business. i shoot corporate and collegiate events, commercial and advertising, weddings, head shots of all sorts, architecture, and product. if any one of those business streams starts to slow i can usually count on the others to pick me up. because i stay busy i dont feel the pressure to take low paying jobs. networking with other professionals also helps. i still assist and do second shooting for my fellow photographers when i am free. the relationships i have developed by doing this has gotten me my best paying work as when one of those photographers cant take a job they flick it to me.
it takes time and patience to build a sustaining business. you have to know what your bottom dollar is though and have the discipline to say no to a rate that is too low. try not to worry about the low rate amateurs, even though they will keep coming out of the woodwork they never last that long. they literally
price themselves out of the business.
private photography unfortunately is really difficult to reach decent wages unless you are doing massive amounts of work and have a support staff you can pay minimum wages. professional clients are harder to find but you will get better wages in the long run and won't run into as many rebel toting, discount waving amateurs. pursue professional businesses, doctors, lawyers, commercial real estate companies, universities etc. they will understand better the difference between a professional and an amateur and will pay better.
get a good website going and only show professional caliber work. do not rely solely on social networking sites like facebook...they aren't professional and real professional clients avoid them like the plague.