Are you are an aspiring photographer who wants to find wedding photography clients? Are struggling to find ways to promote yourself?
Do you have a website, a few weddings under your belt, and some nice images, but need more bookings?
Unfortunately clients don’t just walk up to you in the street. However with the right approach over the longer term you can bring clients in to your business. Here are 5 things you should try.
Wedding Photography Fairs
We have spoken to loads of up and coming wedding photographers over the years and the one method they have all used to increase their business and find wedding photography clients is wedding photography fairs.
You don’t have to book a massive stand at Olympia because small, local and niches fairs are the best place to start. Most towns and regions in the country should have one and and a good place to search for them is here.
Once you’ve chosen a wedding fair that ticks the boxes for your target market, put some thought into how you sell yourself on the day because there is no point investing in a stand and then not making the most of it.
Tips for wedding photography fairs
Based on speaking to wedding photographers who have had success at wedding fairs, here are our recommended list of things you’ll need to make it work
- A printed album showing your work. One would be the minimum, and it would be better if you can show full albums from around three full weddings (or more if you can). These can be used to show the quality of your photos and let people literally hold your product in their hand.
- Several large prints, framed or mounted to hang around your stand. These will both make your stand noticeable and will draw people in to speak to you. Plus they will make your photos look great.
- An LCD screen showing a slideshow of your best images. This is a great way to draw people in and show them a large number of images relatively quickly so they get a feel for you as a photographer.
- A way of capturing contact details. When you’re chatting to couples who visit your stall you can politely ask for their email address, name and date of their wedding, so you can send them a follow up email, saying how nice it was to meet them, a week or so after the wedding fair.
- Business cards, or postcards, to take away.
- Your sparkling personality. The couples choice of wedding photographer will come down to who they like, as much as how much they like their photos.
There is some effort and cost up front involved, but it should more than pay for itself in wedding photography bookings.
Getting Found On The Web
Where is the first place people go to when shopping around for a service like wedding photography? Google Search. Imagine if you could sit at your desk, struggling to answer all of the emails coming in from your website. Thats what would happen if you were ranked number one for the term Wedding Photographer.
Whilst that may not happen overnight, and will probably never happen at all because it’s a highly competitive and broad search term, you may get results by targeting what are known as long tail keywords.
These are specific keywords that not many people use, and also that not many photographers use on their website. For example “Documentary Wedding Photography In Sydenham”, or “Quirky Wedding Photographer in Surrey”. These terms may only garner 10 or 20 searches per month, but when people search they are looking for something specific. If they find you when they are looking for it, you have a good chance of interesting them.
Here’s what to do: Think about specific topics or categories that are relevant to you, and that you think people might look for. Then create blog pages with these words as the title and write at least 300 words about that topic. Don’t write a blog post with the title “Sue and Dave’s Big Day” because no-one will ever search for that. Instead, adapt the content to a title like “Retro Wedding Photography In Guildford” if that’s what you did.
This is a long term approach that will win you visitors to your website over time. You may only get 10 hits per week to the blog post, but if you have 20 blog posts that’s 200 hits per week. All of them from people specifically looking for your service. Over the next 6 months, how many blog posts can you write?
Blogging and Writing
Related to above, blogging is another way to bring customers to your business. Very many businesses, websites and publications are desperate for content. The age we live in means that they need to constantly push out fresh and relevant content to their audience and who better to do it than you?
You will receive multiple benefits from writing. You will be seen as an authority, raise your profile, generate awareness and build links to your website. All of which help with getting found on the web.
Here are a few examples of what you could do:
- You visit a lovely wedding dress shop, chat to the owner, take a few pictures and then write a blog post about the experience which you then tell the shop owner about. They may link to the article and they should share it on social media.
- You contact the local press in your area with a list of the top 5 local wedding related shops and venues.
- Write a rave review of a wedding that you’ve photographed at a local venue and email it them.
You should make sure it’s optimised for long tail key words. Ensure there is a reason for the person you are writing for to link to, and share, the article.
Can you work with another business or organisation to find wedding photography clients for each other?
The wedding photography industry is huge. It consists of florists, caterers, venues, make up artists, photographers, videographers, dress makers, suit hire companies, stationary suppliers and magazines to name but a few.
Your task is to make friends, and do favours, for some of the businesses in this ecosystem. Don’t just write to them and ask them to recommend you, instead offer to help in some way. Can you take some photos for them which they then publish on their website with a link to you? Could you send some customers their way, so that they do the same for you? Maybe you can share a stand at a wedding photography fair.
Partnerships work if you are both serving the same set of customers and if you can be of value to each other. So what value could you add to another business? And what could they do for you?
Word Of Mouth
It’s highly likely that some guests at the last wedding you shot will get married soon. If you do a good job, it’s likely these guests will see your photos and become future customers.
Three ways to increase word of mouth referrals are:
- Ask for the referral. It sounds too simple to be true, but it works. When your client says they love your photos, ask them to refer you to their friends so you can do a great job for them too.
- Surprise your client by delivering something unexpected which causes delight and which they’ll talk about with their friends. Perhaps you could send a welcome home present after they get back from honeymoon, or a box of prints.
- Find ways to stay in touch such as an anniversary card made with a photo from the day.
These are five of our techniques for finding wedding photography clients. All of them require effort, but done in the right way they will bring clients your way.
If you need more advice, check out our wedding photography course.
What do you think, what has worked for you?