The path to success differs for every business owner. How can you build a roadmap that fits your wedding photography business, helps you increase income, and ensures your longevity in the industry?
In our Online Training: How Hope Taylor Built a 6 Figure Business in One Year, Hope Taylor shared her secrets to success, including how she built a 6 figure business in just one year. Here are the top 5 tips to help you achieve the same goal in your business.
1. Set Up Free Shoots
Although you should avoid advertising free shooting opportunities on your social media platforms, it can be helpful to set up a few to jumpstart your marketing plan. Use these opportunities as building blocks for your business, rather than something that is a waste of time. Free shoots give you plenty of chances to practice your skills and create a library of images in your unique wedding photography style.
Hope shared a few do’s and don’ts of how to set up a free shoot and strategically market it to grow your business:
- Be selective and strategic
- Contact them privately
- Make it feel like a privilege
- Serve them well and over-deliver
- Take advantage of having artistic control
- Strategically add variety
- “Fake it ‘til you make it”
- Give in to those who ask
- Allow the client to be in control
- Offer discounts frequently
Related: Are you using proper lighting and posing techniques during every shoot?
2. Be in Demand
Another reason to set up free shoots for your business is to appear in demand and popular. Clients who are perfect for you will want to be a part of your business because you are in demand. When you set up free shoots, ensure they are with people who are ideal clients and then strategically market those images on your website, blog, and social media platforms.
“When it comes to social media, perception is reality.” – Hope Taylor
Keep in mind that people’s perception of your business is important. If the only people who know the shoots you did were free are you and those clients, everyone else will think you are just in high demand and want to be part of it.
Related: How can you develop and share your unique wedding photography style?
3. Maintain a Consistent Workflow
Sometimes when you first start out, you may not feel like a business owner. Even though you are still learning and growing, you still have to treat your business like a business. It is okay to take yourself seriously before everyone else does. Build and maintain a consistent and streamlined workflow, because that will allow people to see you as professional and experienced, and it will help you achieve your goals.
Make sure you are consistent in everything you do. From the schedule, you create to post on social media, the style you share in your brand and images, the booking process and client experience, and the times you post to your blog, consistency is a must. Consistency helps build loyal followers and keeps you top of mind with ideal clients.
Tip: With the images, you share on your website, blog, and social media platforms, make sure they are also consistent and represent your style. When you outsource wedding photo editing to a specialist like ShootDotEdit, you can always deliver consistent and branded photos to clients.
4. Market Yourself
Instead of marketing your products and services, market yourself. When you market yourself, you set yourself apart from other photographers in your market. People want to book you, not your service. They want to know more about you as a person, so they can connect with you. When you build your marketing plan, think about what is going to draw them to you because of your unique qualities.
In an Instagram post showcasing behind-the-scenes of a shoot, Hope incorporated more of her personal story in the text. Because she shared more about who she is, the post doubled in likes from the professional sneak peek she posted earlier of the same shoot. The reason for this is because her followers want to connect with her and interact with her based on what she shared.
5. Create an Incredible Client Experience
As a wedding photographer, you can separate yourself by creating a client experience that is more than just a business transaction. Hope recommends starting with under-promising and over-delivering. This is the concept of intentionally setting low expectations for clients and then exceeding them.
To ensure you follow this concept, write out what client experience you have now. Include how many images you deliver, what your turnaround time is, and how quickly you respond through email. Every part of your client experience should be done with the intention of exceeding expectations with your clients.
When you take the steps to create a business ideal clients want to be a part of, you can work on booking more weddings and increasing your income each year. What else can you do to book the clients you desire this year? Grab our free Guide to Marketing for Wedding Photographers to discover insights and techniques from industry leaders to attract and book ideal clients!
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