When you first learn how to start a photography business, you spend time on the necessary elements that go into the process. Once you follow the path to start your own photography business, you are ready for the next steps. These steps include preparing a strategic photography marketing plan to help you reach and attract ideal clients.
Photography Marketing Tips
Here at ShootDotEdit, we provide photo editing services for professional photographers. Outside of that, we love to share valuable information to help you with starting a photography business, growing your business, and maintaining success for years to come. Throughout this post, we will share top photography marketing tips to help you capture the attention of your ideal clients. With tips to on how to market your photography business, you will learn how to encourage ideal clients to access your photography website and blog, where they can learn more about you. Here are some of the ways to start on your photography marketing plan for your business, with examples from a few top industry leaders.
Your wedding photography website is the gateway for your photography business. It communicates the brand and the authentic message you have created, and this is often the backbone of your wedding photography marketing. Not only is it a powerful tool to help you connect with future clients, but it can also be used to connect with other industry professionals. Your website is the virtual storefront for you and your photography business. It is your online foundation and the platform that you will grow your wedding photography business on.
Like any other tool, your wedding photo website needs to be sharpened for it to work to its best ability. Resist the temptation to overload it with too many photos and information. Remember, your wedding photography website should work in conjunction with Facebook, Twitter, and your other social platforms to form a complete web presence. When it comes to your website, strive to have a clear and concise bio page, image gallery, and wedding photography pricing page. In addition to this, your site should be mobile-friendly.
As you write your bio page, introduce who you are as a person, before showing your wedding clients who you are as a business owner and wedding photographer. Your clients want to know they will be working with someone who they can relate to, which begins to build trust in the relationship.
The more you can share about who you are as a person first, the easier it will be to connect with clients who are ideal for your business.
When potential clients open your website in their browser, they should immediately see some of your best wedding photography examples. This sets a precedent of what they will see as they continue through the site and if they work with you. Remember, with images, less is more. Rather than showcasing an entire wedding on your photography website, select the top 10 images to highlight. After a professional photo editing service does the work necessary to edit your images, place them on your wedding website for ideal clients to view.
The #1 reason clients will not book you is confusion. Keep your message clear and concise – less is more.
The key to creating a successful wedding photography pricing page is to keep the information clear and concise. This avoids confusion and allows your wedding clients to know exactly what they will get when they book you. It should be created in such a way that it is easy for your clients to find all the information they need to make a decision. Your pricing page should be in a scannable format that can be reviewed in a single glance, and is not overwhelming.
Start by setting up proper wedding photography pricing that will simplify the sales process for you and your wedding clients:
- Price: If you price your products or services too low, clients will not order it. Set a price you know the product or service is worth for you and your clients.
- Placement: Your pricing page description of your Must-Haves should be in a visible area and should be short and concise.
- Simplicity: Less is always more – especially on your pricing page. Avoid cluttering this page with unnecessary info that may turn clients away from a purchase.
70% of your wedding clients will make a purchasing decision based on how they feel about you, so remember to be personable on your photography website.
Since 81% of the people in the U.S. alone own a smartphone, it is important to create a website that is accessible through all devices. Allowing potential clients to use their mobile devices to access your wedding photography website opens doors for you as a business owner. Not only will your clients be up-to-date with you, but potential clients can view your photography website while simply browsing the Internet on their phone.
As a business owner, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the holy grail of finding the perfect equation to rank higher in search engines like Google or Bing. With so many companies aiding people in becoming #1 on Google, Google works to constantly change and stay one step ahead. Currently, SEO relies mostly on social media and sharing links, so what does that mean for you? The more people who visit your site, the higher you will rise in rankings.
Who’s Doing It Right?
Corey Potter is the founder of Fuel Your Photos, an online community, teaching photographers how to get more clients using their websites (through SEO techniques). Corey has 5 tips for SEO techniques that can grow your wedding photography business, including:
- Know the basics
- Do your research
- Share your authority
- Create a consistent workflow
- Track your results
- Build your wedding photography website to represent your brand message, starting with your bio. The bio is where potential clients can get to know you and your brand, so you want to work to make this personable and clear.
- Review your image gallery and determine the following:
- How many images do you have?
- Should you add more or remove any?
- Do your images properly reflect your brand?
- Set up a strong SEO plan:
- Where does your photography website currently rank in Google?
Content Marketing Tips
Once your wedding photo website is ready to be shared with potential clients, the next step is to work on your photography marketing strategy. Marketing for your photography business is one of the most important responsibilities you have. The good news is you have an endless amount of content to share with your wedding clients. As a wedding photographer, you have beautiful images that are key to capturing the attention of your ideal client.
Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content. Since you already have the main content (your images), the next step is to develop and implement a process for sharing your work.
The 5 Wedding Customer Phases
- The Pre-Engaged Prospect: This is the phase where you begin planting a seed with potential clients, inviting them to be a part of your world. What you share with the pre-engaged lead encourages them to fall in love with you as a brand.
- The Engaged Lead: This is a hot prospect. Glowing with happiness, these are your newly engaged prospects that have not yet booked your business, and you need to stand out. This is where 80% of your photography marketing should focus.
- The Engaged Customer: At this point, the lead made the decision to book you and your services. This is the client that you maintain a relationship with throughout the process to the wedding day, providing them valuable resources to help plan the big day.
- The Married Customer: Even though the wedding day has passed, there are still many things to take care (images, albums, and other products). It is still important to continue to connect with your client throughout the post-wedding process.
- The Married Post-Customer: After the last product is finalized and sent to your wedding clients, they become post-customers in your business. Although they may not use you again for photography services, it’s necessary for you to keep in contact to ensure a lifelong referral source.
Within your photography marketing plan, content creation is key to mastering to capture the attention of your target market. Treat your content creation process just as you would for setting goals for your business: use long-term and short-term goals to achieve success. A short-term goal is one that will be completed in a short amount of time, whereas a long-term goal can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to complete. Over this period of time, focus on these 7 steps to develop a routine that your clients can count on for your content:
- Post a highlight image on Facebook: After you get home from the wedding, immediately upload your images to your computer. Once they are in a folder, pick your favorite, add some quick edits, and post to Facebook (still do this even if it is later in the evening).
- Publish a complete blog post with a comment contest: Creating contests for your followers on social media (in this case, Facebook) invites them to be more active with you and drives them to your blog and your photography website.
- Share blog post on Facebook with a targeted boost: Boosting in Facebook is a way for you to reach a specific group of your ideal clients. You can specify who the post will go to, as well as what message you want to send to your audience.
- Share images from your blog post on Instagram (daily): Instagram is an essential tool for wedding photographers. The main goal of users on the site is to like and comment on beautiful wedding pictures like yours.
- Pin images from your blog post to Pinterest: Pinterest allows you to post all your images from the wedding shoot. Followers who click on these images will be immediately redirected to your wedding photography website.
- Write a personal blog series: Much of your blogging can relate to topics that will help your couples during the wedding process. It’s also beneficial for you to add a few blog posts that tell stories about you as a wedding photographer so that your followers can get to know you.
- Develop newsletters for your wedding clients: Even if the final product has been sent to your client and this is the end of your working relationship, it doesn’t mean that you stop communicating with them. Creating email content for past brides is a creative way to keep them as a lifelong referral source.
Spend more time on content creation when you streamline your workflow. For example, outsource your wedding photo editing needs to a specialist like ShootDotEdit to create a consistent process and to save you an exponential amount of time after every wedding shoot. When photographers edit, it takes a large amount of time away from their workflow. This, along with many other parts of your workflow that do not necessarily need your attention, is something you can trust a specialist with to allow you to work on other parts of your business, such as content creation.
As you create relevant content that targets your ideal clients, there are several ways to keep prospective clients, current clients, and even past clients invested in you. Email campaigns allow you to keep in touch with your clients and nurture them throughout the entire process, from the first point of contact to well after the wedding day. Use these 4 points to create successful email campaigns:
- Know what your audience is interested in: When you create email campaigns, you are looking to increase engagement with your wedding clients. Provide your clients with actionable and relevant information that will help them throughout the wedding planning process.
- Always represent you and your authentic brand: In every aspect of your business, it’s important for you to maintain your unique brand message. Anything you send during a campaign should reflect who you are as a photographer and a business owner.
- Continuously nurture to the next phase: With email campaigns, you can split up your audience based on the phase they are in. Couples who are still in the lead phase need to receive content that will help convert them, and couples who are clients need you to help them solve problems – you may also create True Believers based on the experience you provide!
- Monitor results and adjust accordingly: Even if you create email campaigns regularly, the results still need to be tracked for you to continue to grow within the process. If the results are not what you envisioned, adjust your campaign and test a different method.
Just like you send emails to brides before the wedding day, be sure to keep in contact with them afterward as well. Many brides spend so much time planning their wedding day that once the event is over, they are still thinking about how great the day was. Keep your brides in the loop by providing emails and newsletters that relate to the point where they are in their lives. Newsletters allow your brides to connect with one another and create a community.
Newsletters are also key to keep your fellow photographers up-to-date and share your knowledge with them. When you want to educate other photographers with the success photography tips you have, newsletters are a great way to do that.
Similar to email campaigns, creating guides for your clients can help them solve problems as they get ready for the wedding day. There are endless topics for you to write about in your guides – from picking out the dress, to choosing the flowers, as well as what music they should play during the reception. Be creative and think of potential problems your wedding clients will run into. Reaching out to your clients with solutions will make them appreciate you, which turns them into a referral source for years to come. Follow these 10 steps to create a cohesive guide:
- Choose the concept: For the most part, you want to develop smaller guides that act as a “how-to” for your clients. Choose one topic you can dig deep and provide an abundance of information for them.
- Decide on the specifics: What audience is the guide going to be marketed toward? Will you make a guide for leads to get to know you and your business, or will you create a tutorial for your clients planning their wedding? Pick the specifics before you start working on the content.
- Customize content: Since guides are a different format than blog posts, take the opportunity to customize your content so that it is personable for your wedding clients.
- Design the template: Come up with the main idea for the design of your template. Is there going to be a specific color theme? Will you feature images and graphics throughout? These are decisions for you to make before you get started constructing the guide.
- Add in links: Every opportunity that you can, add in links that direct your clients back to your photography website. Most of the links you provide should be of relevant content that you provide. The other option is to include vendor links if they pertain to a featured topic.
- Create tracking URLs: For every link that refers clients back to your wedding photography website, create a tracking URL. This tells you how many people clicked that specific link from your guide.
- Design graphics: Most people enjoy visual stimulation, such as graphics, so be sure to design and execute stunning graphics for the guide. Your graphics should on par with the standard of your images since they represent your brand.
- Construct a landing page: Instead of directly giving your wedding clients access to your guide, use a landing page where they can sign up. The benefit of this is that you can receive their information, such as their name and email address (especially if they are not leads yet).
- Launch the guide: On the day that you decided to have the launch, be sure to set up the appropriate channels to announce the release of your guide. Create an email campaign, send out social media updates, and create a blog post on your photography website to attract new clients.
- Track the performance: Tracking the performance of your guide gives you an insight into what topics are popular and which are not for your clients.
Remember, guides can also be created for your married post-customers. Once the honeymoon is over, your couple is facing other life-changing events, such as buying a home, sharing finances, and planning for a family. Do a bit of research about these important times in their lives and provide a guide as a tutorial for them. The guides don’t have to be lengthy, just enough to give your wedding clients an idea of what direction to head.
5 Laws of Content Marketing:
- Develop a photography marketing and business process
- Create relevant and valuable content
- Use content that attracts, acquires and engages
- Create for a clearly defined and understood audience
- Drive profitable customer action
- Create a detailed and cohesive marketing plan:
- Write out your short-term and long-term goals and develop plans accordingly.
- Understand and market to the 5 phases of customers:
- Pre-Engaged Prospect
- Engaged Lead
- Engaged Customer
- Married Customer
- Married Post-Customer
- Develop email campaigns and guides for clients:
- Find out what your audience likes
- Create compelling and relevant content
- Solve problems for your wedding clients
These are just a few photography marketing tips to add to your business plan. Stay up to date with the latest in marketing when you read photography articles and download relevant resources.