Marketing Ideas for Wedding Photographers and Vendors
It's been a hot minute since I've been on here and with a Facebook live happening tonight (members only!), I thought I would write down a few pointers about our marketing goals and strategy. Let’s agree, despite what our friends, moms and society think, running a wedding business is real, hard work. You’re a one man (or woman) show! You’re the owner, the accountant, the office manager, the art director, the secretary, the sales & marketing manager, the technician, and so on. The list of responsibilities and skills required to run a successful business is ridiculously long and overwhelming.
So here are some marketing ideas & tips, so you can keep your marketing & promotion campaigns relevant in 2021 and consequently increase your revenues and brand exposure.
1. Offline promotion
This can make a huge difference for your business and it’s easy to implement. Print a stack of business cards with your details right before a wedding. Include on those business cards a direct URL to the gallery where you’ll be uploading all the photographs from the event if you're a photographer. Share those business cards with the guest and let them know that they can view the photos on that link in a couple of weeks/months.
Now, guests can easily find all the photos, order prints, albums or holiday cards from you directly + they have your details in case their own event is approaching.
Even better, add an email sign up to view the photos, and you can market directly to those individuals, especially great around anniversaries and birthdays.
2. Online promotion
Tools like Pic-Time offer you an easy & beautiful way to up-sell to your clients, their family & friends. It can be anything from holiday cards, large prints, albums, etc, all with a sweet promo code for extra motivation.
3. Create a Client Guide
A Client Guide can not only save you time on answering the same frequently asked questions over and over again via emails and social media – but can also help you attract new, qualified leads with potential to be converted into clients. All you have to do is create a pdf guide with useful information, tips, vendor recommendations, planning insights (it all depends on your target client and what’s important for them in relation to your photography service). Then offer that pdf for free on your website in exchange for a user’s email.
- This allows you to grow your mailing list
- You know there are potential clients for your type of service, all you need to do is nurture those leads into happy & excited clients, through a series of relevant [automated or manual] emails.
4. Collaborating with Other Vendors
There are a few things you can do, when it comes to partnerships with various wedding vendors:
- Include them in your Client Guide & ask them to feature you in their recommended list
- Tag them in blog posts & on social media, as most will return the favor and gladly share your work with a credit coming back your way. Guess what, your target audiences are the same – so you get free advertising within a relevant community.
- If you’ve been shooting often in the same venue, you probably have tons of great images of their location and decor. Select the best ones, print a beautiful sample album with those images and gift it to the venue. Include your name, website url and contact details in that album, so a couple can always find you once they see your work. And they will!
- An alternative to printing a sample album would be emailing most vendors after a wedding and offering them a selection of images with their products. Most of them usually lack great quality photos and will happily post yours on their social media and website, with a credit mention and link to your website as a thank you. Remember, this is not just a friendly exchange, it’s building backlinks for your website, which is a serious bonus for SEO.
- Write Google reviews for vendors and venues that you’ve worked with.
A. Most likely they’ll return the favor, which aids your SEO
B. You create relationships, hence they are more likely to recommend you to a couple who has hired them and is looking for a photographer. You may even get added to their “recommended vendors” page on their site simply because you’ve been kind in the first place!
5. Collaborate with other photographers
If you’re ignoring active Facebook groups where photographers from all around the world share inspiration, ideas, questions, photography tips and important news – you are missing out on a HUGE ton of networking & potential partnerships. Don't forget our own Facebook Group!
Apart from getting help & advice (business, marketing, sales, client communication) quite often posts about a job opening appear there, as the photographer is booked, or needs a second shooter, various fun opportunities are shared, which you can apply for. Do quick search for local and global photographer communities and join now!
6. Impactful teasers before delivering photos
Your couples are probably dying of curiosity and excitement to get their wedding photos asap. Actually, scratch out “probably”, your couples ARE dying of curiosity and excitement to get their wedding photos ASAP. Given the overwhelming joy & hectic-ness of a wedding day, the newly married couple is left with a blur of memories, and only your images can help build the whole puzzle back.
Use this exhilarating anticipation to your own advantage – share a preview with a selection of 30-40 photos (normally on a Sunday evening) before delivering the full gallery a few weeks after.
7. 'Packaging' when delivering photos
How do you share images with your clients? If you’re sending them a selection of prints & a USB flash drive with the entire gallery consider getting some nicely branded packaging for it, like Wooden Banana for example.
If you don’t yet, also consider offering printed albums to your clients. Software by Pixellu, Pic-time and Fundy for example, offer amazing design layouts, smooth client communication channels for agreeing on the page structure & images used, as well as great deals on printing from leading print labs.
Encourage your clients to film their “unboxing” process – their happy reactions, the fun comments & tears of joy. What better marketing content can you get? Nothing beats real, raw, happy emotions!
8. Set up a Google My Business account
This is especially important for local vendors, but can benefit even destination vendors. Register an account with Google My Business (GMB), or if you have one already, make sure to update & strengthen it. Ask a few recent happy clients to share a testimonial there about you, upload some beautiful images of you and your work. Your Google My Business listing gives you more chances to get organic traffic from your local area. If you optimize both your site and your GMB listing for local search, you’ll get more traffic which hopefully results in more sales.
9. Monitor mentions
Wondering what clients/users speak of you on the wide world web? Well, there’s a way to see those messages even if you don’t get tagged. Register for Google Alerts, it’s absolutely free. Get daily/weekly notifications when somebody talks about you or your business on any platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, even their own website. Following your mentions online helps discover good reviews that you can later share or bad reviews that you can help resolve, depending on the user’s problem.
10. Blog like a Pro
There are 2 ways you can bring potential clients to your website, to make them aware of your existence. ONE is to work hard on your SEO (see more in section below) and rank high for relevant keywords, such as “Best Wedding Photographer in XYZ location.” But the competition can be crazy for keywords. Imagine how many other photographers are working their butt off to get found by the same keywords. A LOT!
So the SECOND method, which we highly recommend, is investing some time into writing useful articles for your future clients. First bring them to your blog with information that they are desperate to find, and then WOW them with your insights, advice & photography. These articles can be anything from “Best wedding venues in XYZ region” to “Checklist for Brides for their wedding day” or “10 Reasons why Eloping is better than having a Huge Wedding”. These are always the type of posts that do the best on Wedding Sparrow.
Use tools like BuzzSumo to identify what content are future brides & grooms looking for, then create an article that would satisfy their needs and answer their questions. Add relevant, catchy titles and start monitoring the traffic brought by those blog posts. Tools like Google Analytics will help you track conversions brought through those specific articles, and then you’ll know for sure – if this method is working for you or not.
The writing shouldn’t be anything extravagant, NY Times type. It just needs to be clear, concise and based on your own experience. Don’t underestimate your expertise in the wedding planning area. Struggling? You can always hire someone to do the writing for you, and then improve it with your own style.
Most likely you’re already doing at least some basic SEO for your website. You’re probably choosing keywords more accurately for various sections on your homepage and website, you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin (if your website is with Flothemes or just WordPress). SEO is a long term, continuous process. It’s not this thing you do once and then forget about it for the next 10 years.
If you want to increase your chances of being found by clients on Google (and other search engines), there’s a whole list of steps you need to take & implement on your site. You can also join groups like Fuel your photos, The SEO for photographers group and FloSEO to find out about new trends and changes to Google’s Algorithms, get tips, recommendations and help from SEO experts within the photography industry. Don’t get overwhelmed. It’s one solid step at a time.
If you’d like to dive a bit deeper into this topic – there are a few important things you need to take care of to be sure that your site meets minimum requirements for SEO. Here are some of the optimizations you might want to address, to get better results in organic searches:
- Make sure your website is secure with an SSL certificate – this is an important ranking factor and is good for your customers’ experience
- Make sure your site looks good and works well on all devices
- Improve your site speed – it’s essential for your UX and conversion rate, especially on mobile devices. If your site takes too long to load, nobody’s going to wait. They’ll exist your site – potential client lost.
- Make sure your site is crawl-able by search engines – Google and other search engines still heavily rely on textual content and keywords. Your text and images should be visible and descriptive. Also, make sure you don’t hide relevant content on mobile devices, as this isn’t good for mobile first indexing.
- Avoid duplicate content – it’s bad for your SEO and dilutes the quality of your website. Identify pages that look similar and make sure you redirect them or point them to your main ones.
- Take care of your on page SEO – structure your pages well and include relevant textual content, headings, internal/external links, images with alt tags, SEO friendly URLs and structured data.
- Build more backlinks – the more high quality websites link to your site, the higher are chances to rank on the 1st page in Google. Don’t forget that quality beats quantity.
There are some tips to get started! Back soon with another helping!