It’s tough to enter and make a place for yourself in the wedding photography industry. Especially when most pros in the wedding photography market are continuously looking for ways to be more creative and offer premium services. The competition keeps getting more challenging, and to survive and be successful, you need to keep coming up with innovative business strategies. Even if you have been in the industry for a long time, modifying your wedding photography business plan can help you keep up with the changing trends in the market. From offering something that makes you different from your local competitors to investing time and resources in marketing your business, in this blog, we offer some suggestions on how you can stay competitive in the wedding photography market and attract more clients.
Top Ways to be Competitive in the Wedding Photography Market
1. Set Realistic Goals
Just like they help you achieve certain targets in life, setting realistic goals can also help you practically plan your business strategies. You might get busy and sometimes lose track of your business goals, but setting measurable and realistic goals will help you stay on track and track your progress. Instead of making it a daily task, take out some time once a month or week to plan what you intend to achieve for the month or week. Whether it’s about the number of new couples you want to get on board or the latest equipment you want to buy, write it down and keep referring back to it. Being your own competition can sometimes be the easiest way to keep getting better results.
2. Build Relationships With Wedding Vendors
To have the edge over your competitors in the wedding market, try to build relationships with wedding vendors. If you have a great network of bakers, florists, or DJs, they can help you by referring you to their clients. The bigger your network, the higher your chances of getting in touch with potential wedding photography clients. Establishing relationships with vendors can take time, so stay patient and get familiar with the people first. You can keep in touch with them through a weekly or monthly newsletter or even send gifts during the holidays. To get in their good books, you could even offer to take free photographs for them. If they use these photographs for their websites or social media, you could request that they tag you or give you credit. This way, their followers also become aware of your business.
Related Read: How To Build Trust With Wedding Vendors
3. Offer Something Your Competitors Don’t
This might sound a little difficult to put into practice, but it can be simple if you put your creative cap on. Even the smallest thing you do differently can put you on top of many couples’ lists. It can be a personalized keychain, a free lunch, or even a book you think your clients might like. For example, ShootDotEdit customers Terrence and Heather Huie of Apollo Fields offer their couples something unique at the time of final delivery. Using information from the client form and a short interview, Terrance writes a poem for every couple that gets their wedding photographed by Apollo Fields. They get a calligrapher to write the poem on a beautiful sheet and frame it to give it to their couples. If that’s not a great and unique way to get more referrals, we don’t know what is.
4. Request Past Clients for Testimonials
Praises from past clients can turn out to be one of the most efficient ways to get more clients. People tend to have a natural tendency to read reviews before investing their time and resources into something. Therefore, hearing good things about you from friends or relatives, and sometimes even strangers, can be exactly what some couples need to hire you as their wedding photographer. Good ratings and reviews in online forums and reputed wedding blogs can also help you stand out from your local competitors. You can also request your past clients to write you a testimonial to attract more clients through your website. Additionally, you could again ask them to tag your social media handle when they share photographs.
5. Build Your Brand Online
Use your website and social media extensively to market your wedding photography brand. You can keep your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter handle updated to enable your followers to keep up with you. You could also organize live sessions to take your followers behind the scenes or even advise them on perfecting their photography styles. If you have the time, you could create a YouTube channel to promote your business online. But anyone can do the posting. The real job is to engage your followers. Be quick and helpful if a couple reaches out to you online. If they have any questions, solve them on the spot or assure them that you will get back to them soon. Let your social media be where your clients can directly engage with you and see a side of you that goes beyond your profession. If you are comfortable with it, you could use your official page to show who you are as a person as well.
6. Get Into Blogging
Brides-to-be often like to read blogs on wedding photography shot lists, behind-the-scenes stories, or how-to tutorials. Anything that can help make the planning easier. So blogging about subjects that couples can use as they plan their big day can set you apart from your fellow photographers. You may not be a pro at wedding planning, but with a little research and experience, you can even advise couples on venues and decor. Keep two things in mind as you turn to blogging: Consistency and SEO. Being consistent would give your followers something to look forward to and establish that blogging is an integral part of your business. Incorporating SEO strategies is crucial for your hard work to be noticed. Couples won’t be able to find you easily unless you impress Google too. To lessen your burden and focus more on your photography skills, you can outsource blogging to experts like Fotoskribe.
Related Read: 15 Ideas To Help You Write Wedding Photography Blogs
7. Offer Discounts, Deals, & Giveaways
If you are in a position to offer special discounts, deals, or giveaways, especially during the pandemic, it would be an idea worth considering. Couples aren’t exactly going for grand weddings right now, and many might even consider not hiring a photographer for their COVID wedding. But if you can convince them to hire you even for their small wedding, you are already ahead of your competitors. And to convince them to hire you, you could create limited-time offers for COVID weddings or add more services to your existing packages without increasing your price. Giveaways through your social media will also allow you to increase your engagement. You could organize them by asking your followers to refer your page to their friends, and in turn, you could offer free sessions or even photography gear to random winners.
8. Take Care of Aesthetics
From how you set up your studio and Instagram page to how you package wedding albums, wedding photography clients will always be attracted to the pretty and memorable elements of your brand. For example, having a certain aesthetic, a particular style of photography, or color scheme, also speaks for your brand. Whether it’s monogrammed gifts or wedding albums with premium leather covers, incorporating your brand’s identity in different aspects of your business also has the added advantage of having a recall value. The idea is to have potential clients look forward to something and for previous clients to remember you by something.
It’s not easy to stay at the top of your game all the time, but in the wedding photography market, you have to keep finding new ways to attract more clients, and so getting innovative and creative is crucial to success. Investing time and energy to digitally market your business and build relationships with other wedding photography vendors can work wonders. Set realistic goals for yourself, but also don’t aim too low. Go the extra mile for your couples when you can, and give it your all. You may not see results overnight, but in the long run, adopting these strategies can help you stay at the top.
At ShootDotEdit, we love sharing tips to help you stay top of the game and succeed as a wedding photography business owner. We understand your challenges and offer photo editing services to help you with your post-production work. To learn more about how we can help you grow your business, take a look at our price plans.