With constant advancements in technology and everything online, print media marketing is often thought about as something of the past. We reached out to wedding photographer, Mark Condon, of Shotkit to find out whether wedding photography advertising in print can bring you additional bookings for your photography business. Keep reading to discover his print media examples and how you can use them in your marketing plan.
Wedding Photography Advertising
In this digital age, it’s often easy to forget about the power and importance of print. Maybe you’ve discussed the importance of print with your clients when you’re trying to persuade them to get a wedding album, but have you ever considered the relevance to your own business’ marketing strategy?
Don’t get me wrong – without planning, printed flyers, leaflets or brochures can be a huge waste of time and money. However, by following the method outlined below, I believe you can book more weddings each year by using good old-fashioned paper and a bit of smart marketing.
First of all, why print? Everything is digital these days, so why return to something that’s expensive and inconvenient? Well, what was the last digital photography ad you can remember seeing on Facebook? How about on TV – the last commercial that caught your eye?
It’s pretty hard to remember anything served to us digitally since we’re inundated by it, and entertained online from every angle. Done well, print has more gravitas. If you can create the kind of leaflet that makes you feel guilty for throwing it away, you can make something that will reach your target’s house. Maybe they’ll even keep it for a while on their kitchen table.
My point is that print has a much longer presence than digital, and this makes it a very powerful medium. In addition, I’m not sure about where you live but here in Sydney I never see print advertising for wedding photographers. The only time I see it is at wedding expos, but they don’t count! So that should ring a bell in your mind that there’s a gap to be filled in this marketing opportunity that everyone else has ignored. Making a good print ad (from now on I’ll call it a ‘leaflet’) takes time and effort, but I believe it’s worth it. It takes more time and money than a Facebook ad, but I’ve had lots of bookings via leaflets that I may have missed otherwise.
Making a good print ad (from now on I’ll call it a ‘leaflet’) takes time and effort, but I believe it’s worth it. It takes more time and money than a Facebook ad, but I’ve had lots of bookings via leaflets that I may have missed otherwise.
So the first step is producing your leaflet. My format of choice is an A5 piece of card, printed on one side. It’s important that you spend some money on the card stock and print quality. If you can afford it, use letterpress as it’s beautiful. Maybe even add some gold foil if it suits your brand. If you can’t push the boat out that far, just opt for a heavy-weight stock and the best printing company you can find. As a rough guideline, if you’re ordering around 200 flyers and are paying less than $1/flyer, think again. Remember, you need to invest in something that’s hard to throw away. Don’t think of it as a wedding photography business card – think of it as a leaf out of your portfolio!
As a rough guideline, if you’re ordering around 200 flyers and are paying less than $1/flyer, think again. Remember, you need to invest in something that’s hard to throw away. Don’t think of it as a business card – think of it as a leaf out of your portfolio!
For the image and copy, you’ll have to put some thought into this. It’s probably a good idea to hire a graphic designer or find a great Flyer Template on Creative Market and have a go at editing it yourself. This is the route I took. I’m a real hypocrite when it comes to spending money on marketing material, baulking at the price at every step of the process, but I keep telling myself – this is an investment. If I spend $500 and book only 1 wedding, it’s still cost-effective.
At each step of the process, I remind myself that I spent time and money on the previous step, so I should do the same again, or the previous step would have been in vain. For example, I spent time and money on choosing a high-quality stock, so I should do the same for the print. Then if I don’t spend some money on hiring a designer, there’s no point having good print and stock. You get my point – don’t go cheap. Honestly, it’s a complete waste of time to produce cheap looking leaflets that’ll blend in with everything else your target is handed during her day. A cheap leaflet could also devalue your brand. So now you have a beautiful design thanks to your graphic designer.
You get my point – don’t go cheap. Honestly, it’s a complete waste of time to produce cheap looking leaflets that’ll blend in with everything else your target is handed during her day. A cheap leaflet could also devalue your brand. So now you have a beautiful design thanks to your graphic designer.
You’ll be able to use that design elsewhere in the future, so pat yourself on the back. You also have your stock and printer chosen, so pull the trigger and place the order. I’d go for between 200-500, depending on the economy of scale your printer offers. Up until this point, you’re probably rolling your eyes as there’s nothing unorthodox or creative about getting some leaflets printed. This next step, however, will be different to what you expect, so keep reading…
Now you have your beautiful leaflets in a pile, so it’s time to hit the streets. However, leave the leaflets at home. That’s right, they stay right there in the box. All you need to worry about right now is dressing well and looking your very best. On your way out, start Googling wedding vendors in your area. Start with ‘wedding dresses’, as the dress is usually the first thing after the venue that a bride will think about.
Now head to the first business that pops up that aligns with your brand. When you enter the shop, it won’t take long for the staff to pounce! Just introduce yourself casually as a local wedding photographer, and mention that your clients often ask for recommendations about wedding dress shops. Say you love the shop’s dresses and would like to recommend them to your clients.
Here’s the key – now ask them if they have any leaflets you can take away to display in your studio. Even if you don’t have a studio, just say this. Your kitchen table can be your studio for all anyone cares – the point is that you want to display their advertisements for free. By this stage, the salesperson should be pretty happy. You’ve asked
for nothing at all and have offered to try and find some referrals for them, all for free.
Then ask the salesperson if they’re the manager, and if not, who he/she is. It’s always good to have two contacts, giving you double the chance that your requests will be remembered – more on this bit soon. When you’re handed the leaflets, there’s a good chance that the salesperson will ask if you have any promotional material of your own. It’s human nature to reciprocate kindness, after all. Simply reply that you’d love to provide some and that you’ll drop them in next week. If they don’t ask, just mention as you’re leaving that you’re having some new brochures printed and could drop them by, if they’re interested.
It’s human nature to reciprocate kindness, after all. Simply reply that you’d love to provide some and that you’ll drop them in next week. If they don’t ask, just mention as you’re leaving that you’re having some new brochures printed and could drop them by, if they’re interested.
It’s up to you whether you want to repeat this process with other vendors in the same industry, i.e. multiple wedding dress makers, multiple florists, etc. Casting your net wide like this can have its merits, but I’d recommend concentrating on one vendor who you feel really aligns with your business. The more business you refer to that one vendor, the more they will reciprocate, so don’t spread yourself too thinly by going after every vendor in your city!
The following week when you deliver your leaflets to the vendor, presentation is key. I usually wrap the leaflets with some stylish ribbon to form a bow, then place them in a branded paper bag. You can decide what to do here, but make sure that whatever presentation you choose, it screams quality and professionalism. I also include a handwritten thank you card addressed to the salesperson who helped me, or the manager if I have their name.
The final step of this experiment is to return to the shop after one month to ask for more leaflets. Say that you’ve given them all to your brides and need some more. Obviously, if they gave you thousands of leaflets to start with, you’ll have to decide when to return or it may seem a little fishy! At this point, it’s a great chance to ask whether the shop needs any more of your leaflets. There’s a big chance that the shop has completely forgotten about giving their clients your leaflets, but that’s fine – you popping into the shop will remind them, and they’ll have a better chance of remembering the next time.
Repeat this process as often as seems natural to you. One question of ethics – what to do with all those vendor flyers that you’ve amassed? Well, remember that most vendors are just like you – small businesses who spend time and money to market their services, so treat them with the respect they deserve. I usually have the vendors’ leaflets with me when I meet with couples, and leave it up to them whether they choose to take the leaflets or not. Having a selection of vendor material with you also serves to show what an active member of your local wedding industry you are, and may even give you some plus points for being so helpful and knowledgeable about your market!
After taking a look at Mark’s wedding photography advertising tips, what do you think? Will you implement print media marketing into your business? Let us know in the comments!
To find out additional ways to market your photography business, download our Guide to Marketing for Wedding Photographers!