Along with a global health emergency, COVID-19 also brought along a huge financial downfall impacting everyone, including wedding photographers who found themselves suddenly without work. Now it’s 2021 and many of you are back, photographing with new strategies and work models adapted to the new normal. You have resumed business, but still with caution. And now it’s time to strategize to get more clients to recover the losses incurred during 2020. For that, you need a game plan. We can help! From adhering to safety regulations to learning new wedding photography techniques, this blog offers tips that will help you book more weddings in 2021 and beyond.
Tips to Help You Book More Weddings in 2021
1. Prioritize Client Safety
Since we are still in the middle of a pandemic, many couples are continuing to look for photographers who are adopting various safety measures. As you strategize to book more weddings, it’s crucial to do so with certain safety measures in place. Sanitizing your studio and gear, wearing a mask, maintaining personal hygiene, and following social distancing rules are some of the safety measures you can adopt and talk about as you start reaching out to potential couples or as they reach out to you. Consider being proactive and include your safety protocols on your website and social media.
2. Revisit Your Wedding Photography Package Prices
Creating profitable wedding photography packages or refining those you have in place is needed when strategizing to book more weddings this year. While this could be challenging and time-consuming, especially with uncertainties still ahead, it’s still good to know what you are worth, find out what your competitors are charging, and come up with price tags that you can justify while still being profitable so you’re prepared when inquiries come in. However, even if you have set your prices, try to be open to communication and negotiation, especially with clients who request discounts.
Suggested read: Modifying Price Plans for Weddings During COVID
3. Use Instagram For Marketing
Instagram is one of the most powerful ways to promote your wedding photography business and book more weddings. Whether you are trying to increase your bookings or just want to keep your followers updated with your activities, Instagram could be a simple and effective marketing tool. However, try to make sure that you follow some basic guidelines. Planning ahead, being consistent, and interacting with your followers are crucial to Instagram marketing. Select your best photos and add creative and engaging captions to keep your followers interested. Remember that your photographs are proof of your skills, so use these to attract potential brides. Besides keeping your Instagram up to date, you could also use Instagram Stories to announce that you are looking to photograph more weddings and open to discussion with potential clients.
Related read: Use Instagram To Grow Your Wedding Photography Business
4. Update Your Portfolio Through Styled Shoots
Styled shoots allow you to plan and organize a wedding your way. You will most likely be organizing a styled shoot with a planner, so start by reaching out to planners who want to be a part of this event. Use this styled shoot to build relationships with other vendors and use your creativity to build a portfolio that attracts your ideal wedding photography clients. Even though this option requires considerable effort and time from you, it could help you book more brides!
Besides getting to show off your creative side, styled shoots help you learn about the process that goes into planning a wedding, something that you could use to your advantage. Showcase photographs from styled shoots on your social media and website. If you want to go the extra mile, you could even share them with wedding venues that could potentially refer you to other couples.
5. Book More Weddings By Getting On a Wedding Venue’s Preferred Vendor List
Getting on a wedding venue’s preferred vendor list could prove to be an excellent move as you strategize to book more weddings this year. Next time you photograph a wedding, try to connect with the venue coordinator while you are working. Remember that this is a two-way relationship, so clearly communicate how your services are valuable to them too. Connecting in person can ensure that you are remembered but if in-person connections don’t work, try reaching out through email or setting up a digital appointment. Keep in mind that venue coordinators are usually very busy, so they might not be prompt with their response. In the meantime, communicate with newsletters or seasonal greetings. Also, we suggest reading this post on Top Ways To Get On A Wedding Venue’s Preferred Vendor List.
6. Learn New Skills
Keeping up with wedding photography trends and learning new ways to photograph is another strategy to attract wedding photography clients and book more weddings now and for years to come. Wedding photography is constantly transforming, so brainstorm ways to offer more than just the classic wedding portraits to your couples. With elopements, small intimate weddings, and internet weddings becoming more common during COVID, you could add your creative twist to photographs from these weddings. Since photographing your clients over FaceTime or Zoom won’t give you high-quality photographs, you could try to develop editing skills that would make internet weddings look just as good as the physical ones. Besides these, you could even add shooting with film or drone photography to your toolbox.
7. Keep Your Website Updated
One of the simplest strategies to book more weddings as a wedding photographer is to update your website!. Think of your website as the face of your wedding photography business. Make it look good by removing any clutter or outdated information. Display your best photographs on your website to give potential clients a glimpse of your work. Link your social media pages and double check that all your contact information is correct on your website too.
Booking more weddings doesn’t just mean making more business deals; try to connect with potential wedding photography clients on a personal level before you start talking business. Along those lines, when was the last time you updated your ‘about me/us’ section? Look at it with fresh eyes and add personal touches like talking about your wedding photography business, your core values, or your story. Try to keep it conversational and use your words to connect with your couples.
8. Run Special Offers & Discounts
Announcing special offers and discounts, especially during the pandemic, is another strategy to book more clients. While your focus might be on profit as you resume business during COVID, many people are still recovering from the economic side effects of 2020. Therefore, they might not be able to afford you at your pre-COVID prices and might even skip hiring a wedding photographer altogether. Even under normal circumstances, running special offers and discounts is one of the best ways to attract new clients. If offering discounts isn’t feasible, then think about other services that you could offer for free instead. For example, you could announce limited time offers that include free prints or even a free session for your couples.
9. Blog About Your Work
Blogging about your work is a long-game strategy, but it keeps you top of mind (and top of Google) when potential clients are looking for you online. Blogging gives your audience and potential clients a backstage pass to experience your wedding photographs. From writing about your favorite wedding venues to sharing funny stories from your favorite weddings, there are several topics that you can write about to engage your audience. But the best thing you can do is make sure you use keywords in your posts that allow you to rank for search returns on wedding photography in your area.
Related read: 15 Ideas to Help You Write Wedding Photography Blogs
10. Be Reliable
Clear and prompt communication is an essential strategy for booking more weddings. Try to be fast with your responses and encourage meetings – whether virtual or in person – to make those personal connections. You’d be amazed to know that doing simple things like returning an email quickly, answering your phone, or calling a client back, could make a lasting impression that puts you ahead of your competitors.
Don’t Rush the Process
It’s always a good idea to diversify your efforts into short term and long term strategies. Expanding your skill set, working on your portfolio, using Instagram for marketing, and keeping your website updated are just some of the strategies we suggest to help you book more weddings in 2021 and beyond. But there are so many more! Whatever you plan, it’s important to remember that developing a strategy takes time, and seeing results can take longer still. Set expectations and benchmarks that are realistic. Set goals as well. And most importantly, be patient. All your hard work will pay off, and if you set goals, plan well, and execute in accordance with your plan, you will book more clients in 2021 and beyond.
Further read: How To Book Weddings In The Covid-19 Pandemic
At ShootDotEdit, we try to offer suggestions that could help you make better business decisions. We also help to lessen your post-production work and timeline by editing your photos. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our price plans.