How can I promote my wedding photography?
While we have explored this topic of attracting your ideal photography clients at depth, the basic things you want to keep in mind are what defining attributes will your clients have? A simple example for us is that we enjoy working with people who are laid back, casual but cool, artistic themselves, open to a little adventure, enjoy nerdy things like Star Wars and Game of Thrones, and enjoy music similar to ourselves like Bright Eyes. Obviously, not every person we work with meet all of these criteria, and that isn’t strictly the goal – but having at least some of these things in common will make our photography sessions and wedding photography a lot easier, because we can jive with our clients on a personal level. After all, the best photographs come from being able to form a connection with the people you work with, and as long as you have the technical picture-taking skills to go along with it – photography is a fairly easy thing!
We feel that we have a valuable voice in the world of marketing photography services because we have seen great success in our first year of booking clients, and have learned much in the process as well.
1. Attract your ideal clients, and make them happy!
If you currently have some couples already booked, the most important thing you can do to help your photography business thrive is to make them happy. For us, a mandatory part of this process is finding ways to make getting their photos taken enjoyable and authentic to their life experience. It makes following up and helping to assure them that their wedding day will run smoothly – even if we get off time. While every client should be treated this way, it is especially important to focus some of this energy on those clients who epitomize your ideal client.
Why is this so important? Highly satisfied clients will talk to their family + friends, and recommend you – driving more business. What often happens as well is an “ideal client” will have a family + friend’s circle often with similar characteristics. This is true for just about everyone, as we tend to stick closest to people who are similar to us. So, when shooting a wedding for your ideal clients, keep in mind that the bridesmaids and groomsmen (in particular) are probably pretty similar in personality to the bride + groom, and might be getting married sometime in the future themselves!
2. Make connections with other vendors in your area.
Other wedding vendors can help enable your photography business. Every time we shoot a wedding, we make an effort to talk with the DJ/band, food vendors, venue management, etc. We are happy to recommend these people when they do well, and in many cases they offer the same to us. Do not limit yourself just to other non-photography vendors, as building relationships with other photographers is also valuable. We learn much from other photographers, collaborate on occasion on styled shoots, and even exchange client referrals when we have dates booked. We have booked several weddings like this, no small feat.
3. Business cards and album samples.
There is something unique about offering something tangible to someone you meet to help solidify your brand in their mind. If you are noticing a trend of in person, face-to-face interactions in these first couple of wedding photography business marketing strategies, you are noticing something critically important to success in this industry. Learning how to socialize and promote yourself to prospective clients, current clients, and the people you will work with (both directly and indirectly) is key. Leaving business cards with all of these people is critical in providing a physical representation of your business with them. Some even go as far as to leave album samples with venue management to show to people who book their venue, and who are looking for photographer recommendations.
This can make a huge difference for your business and it’s easy to implement. Print a stack of business cards with your details right before a wedding. Include on those business cards a direct URL to the gallery where you’ll be uploading all the photographs from the event. Share those business cards with the guest and let them know that they can view the photos on that link in a couple of weeks/months.
Now, guests can easily find all the photos, order prints, albums or holiday cards from you directly + they have your details in case their own event is approaching.
Even better, add an email sign up to view the photos, and you can market directly to those individuals, especially great around anniversaries and birthdays.
Tools like Pic-Time offer you an easy & beautiful way to up-sell to your clients, their family & friends. It can be anything from holiday cards, large prints, albums, etc, all with a sweet promo code for extra motivation.
Create a Client Guide
A Client Guide can not only save you time on answering the same frequently asked questions over and over again via emails and social media – but can also help you attract new, qualified leads with potential to be converted into clients. All you have to do is create a pdf guide with useful information, tips, vendor recommendations, planning insights (it all depends on your target client and what’s important for them in relation to your photography service). Then offer that pdf for free on your website in exchange for a user’s email.
This allows you to grow your mailing list
You know there are potential clients for your type of photography service, all you need to do is nurture those leads into happy & excited clients, through a series of relevant [automated or manual] emails.
Most likely you’re already doing at least some basic SEO for your website. You’re probably choosing keywords more accurately for various sections on your homepage and website, you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin (if your website is with Flothemes or just WordPress). SEO is a long term, continuous process. It’s not this thing you do once and then forget about it for the next 10 years.
If you want to increase your chances of being found by clients on Google (and other search engines), there’s a whole list of steps you need to take & implement on your site. We’re describing most of them in this article on Everything a Photographer Needs to know about SEO. You can also join groups like Fuel your photos, The SEO for photographers group and FloSEO to find out about new trends and changes to Google’s Algorithms, get tips, recommendations and help from SEO experts within the photography industry. Don’t get overwhelmed. It’s one solid step at a time.
If you’d like to dive a bit deeper into this topic – there are a few important things you need to take care of to be sure that your site meets minimum requirements for SEO. Here are some of the optimizations you might want to address, to get better results in organic searches:
- Make sure your website is secure with an SSL certificate – this is an important ranking factor and is good for your customers’ experience
- Make sure your site looks good and works well on all devices – this is an easy task with Flothemes, as all our templates are fully responsive and look great on different screen resolutions.
- Improve your site speed – it’s essential for your UX and conversion rate, especially on mobile devices. If your site takes too long to load, nobody’s going to wait. They’ll exist your site – potential client lost. Learn here how to speed up your website by yourself.
- Make sure your site is crawl-able by search engines – Google and other search engines still heavily rely on textual content and keywords. Your text and images should be visible and descriptive. Also, make sure you don’t hide relevant content on mobile devices, as this isn’t good for mobile first indexing.
- Avoid duplicate content – it’s bad for your SEO and dilutes the quality of your website. Identify pages that look similar and make sure you redirect them or point them to your main ones.
- Take care of your on page SEO – structure your pages well and include relevant textual content, headings, internal/external links, images with alt tags, SEO friendly URLs and structured data.
- Build more backlinks – the more high quality websites link to your site, the higher are chances to rank on the 1st page in Google. Don’t forget that quality beats quantity.
The most important online presence that you need to create for yourself is your personal website. This site should showcase a portfolio of your best photography work – normally targeted towards weddings and couple’s portraits.
More than that, though, your website should be designed around your brand vision. Honestly – this may be one of the more challenging aspects of starting a wedding photography business. With a rock solid brand, more people will be attracted to working with you.
Some aspects of your brand that should be reflected on your website will include a good About page (should talk about who you are, how you work, what you offer that is different – and include a personal touch to help people connect with you more), brand specific imagery (think: logo and other graphics), and so on.
Have clients recruit their friends
Offering a free gift or a small discount to people who find two or three friends to all schedule photo sessions on the same day can be a huge motivator for people to find others to hire you as well. Again, we’re harnessing the power of word of mouth advertising, but it’s so powerful that it can’t be ignored.
Get featured on photo blogs
There’s a ton of wedding and portrait blogs out there that feature photography, and there are some portrait blogs that feature portrait photographers as well. Get featured if you can, then promote it where your clients can see it. There’s nothing wrong with reminding them how awesome you are. It’s simply good business.