Of the many hats you wear as a wedding photographer, marketing can be an overwhelming one. I often hear from photographers that this is their number one area of stress. I want to help you simplify it (without sacrificing the effectiveness) and make it manageable for your business so that you can attract and book more brides.
Today, I will be sharing 4 videos I have made on the topic of marketing for wedding photographers to give you more insight on effective marketing. The topics include: Marketing for Photographers, the 5 Key Marketing Steps to Booking Brides, How to Book More Brides, and Why You are not Booking Brides. Let’s dive in!
Many of us tend to over complicate this area of our business. It is overwhelming, so let’s break it down. There are five steps (or areas) that I want you to think about when it comes to marketing your photography business.
The first is to know your goals. This is key in becoming successful in your marketing. Before you dive into your social media platforms and writing your content, sit down and write out who you are trying to reach. Think about what type of bride you are wanting to work with. Who is your ideal bride? What is their style? What are they like? Write down their interests. Then, think about where to reach them, whether that be on social media or bridal events.
Second, stop selling and call it marketing. Selling is such a small portion in marketing. Don’t get wrapped up in shouting out your deals, discounts, or limited time offers. These have a place and a time in your marketing plan, but not in the beginning. Before you can sell you must first work to gain their trust, and in order to gain that trust, you need to get exposure and be seen. In order to get exposure you need amazing valuable content. Think about how you can bring VALUE to your future clients that was talked about in step one. GIVE before you ask. Give value and solutions before you get the sale. Being a resource will help to build trust between you and your client.
Third, create a plan and stick with it. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t think many people are reading your emails or following you on Instagram. Stick with it and don’t give up. Give it a considerable amount of time (at the very least 6-8 weeks) to see if your marketing plan does work in order to see if it should be changed. Stay consistent with your marketing plan, keep delivering value, and you will soon find that your results will come!
Fourth, don’t forget about your brand. Your brand is so much more than your logo. Don’t get stuck focusing too much on the visuals of your brand. Think about what makes you different and what makes your experience exceptional (this is how to gain referrals in the future)! This is going to be the lifeblood of your business. Your brand is what makes you different which is invaluable to establish because there is a lot of competition out there. Really dig deep to figure out what your brand is all about.
Lastly, establish authority with professionalism. What I mean by this all the tiny details within your business – your website, email, and headshot. Your website should be easy to navigate through. It should show off your brand. Your email should be your name or info@yourdomain. This really shows that you are the real deal. Lastly, your headshot should be recent, professional, and representative to your current brand. If your current head shot is not one that you are proud to display, you have your next project! Remember to be professional to show your clients who you are and what you represent.
Each month you want to be sure you are doing things in your business to market yourself so that you can be constantly attracting and booking your ideal client. These five stages will help promote and get new eyes on your business and help convert clients into customers. Here is my five step framework to booking more brides.
First, you want to ATTRACT. This is when you are getting new eyes on your business. It shows you and your brand. Examples of this are getting your work featured, collaborating with other vendors, and utilizing social media to its fullest.
Next, you will start to ENGAGE. This stage is where your potential client really starts to interact with your brand. They may start to engage on social media, or maybe share your posts and comment on and like your content. Set time aside so that they really feel like they can interact with you and your brand. Be sure to comment back and reply.
Then comes the NURTURE stage. This stage will take a little bit longer to accomplish, so remember to stay focused! Think about the know, like, and trust factor. The client is getting to know you and your brand, they start to like your work, and start to trust you. I think of this state as relationship building.
Then you will move naturally into the INVITE stage. You will be able to connect with the client to have them download any educational freebies, hop on the phone with them to chat, or make a consultation with them. This is the stage where the sale takes place.
Lastly, you get into the DELIGHT stage. You might think your job as a marker is over because you booked the client, but it’s truly just beginning. This is the most important and fun stage. You want to think about how you can over-deliver to that client to continue building that trust with them. Remember that your current clients still need to be marketed to. This is important because it could lead to a referral or they can become a repeat client. Some of my best clients have come about through referral.
I invite you to go through and implement each of these five stages into your marketing plan! Check out another blog post on another 5 ways to market your photography business.
Like above, I want to break it down even more to get into the nitty gritty of being able to book more brides. We will talk about the what and the how. Here are three ways to do so.
First, we have Referrals. You need to leverage your referrals. You need to have your overall client experience mapped out. Being good at what you do is assumed in this industry, but being exceptional is what you need to do. What do you do for your clients and what do they get from you that no one else has? How are you going above and beyond with your client experience? Really map out the experience that you will give your client from the very beginning to the end when you deliver that album to them. It will help you to become confident in your brand and client experience.
Next you have your Vendor Relationships. Giving, giving, giving! Give your vendors love and in return they could send you business. Highlight them within your social media platforms, let them know you care and enjoy working beside them. Share their posts, content, and product or service. Another way to create a relationship with vendors is to offer to take pictures for them. This way, they will tag you and remember you if a prospecting bride comes along.
Lastly, leverage your Social Media. Brides are everywhere on social media. They are constantly looking for inspiration for their wedding day. It’s time to show up and be present! I suggest you choose two platforms to really focus on and market your business, and don’t take on more than you can handle. You could burn you out really quickly. I suggest starting with Instagram because it is a visual platform. You will find that you can engage with many brides that could become paying customers.
If you feel as though you are doing everything people say you should be doing to market yourself, but you still are not getting clients, this part (the above video) is for you. You may be doing many things right and missing one key element called messaging.
I want you to think of the message you are sending to your ideal bride. Start by answering this questions: What do you do? We all know that you are a photographer, but let’s take it a step further. What problems are you helping your bride address and what are their pain points? Show them what specialty area you are in by answering who you do it for and why you do it.
Once you have answered these questions and really figured out your message, it becomes clear and concise who your ideal bride is, how to communicate better with her. Not only that, but you position yourself as the unique solution to her problems!
I hope that these 4 videos help you to implement clearer and more effective marketing into your photography business. Before you go, I want to invite you to join me inside my Facebook group Photoboss with Joy Michelle for exclusive marketing materials and videos!