If you’re a wedding photographer, this is the slow season. Weddings pick up in the spring, and continue until fall. But after November, you may have a tendency to wait until spring again to gear up your marketing efforts.
Here are 6 things you can do in the next few weeks to improve your marketing for 2017. If you do them now, it will increase your online exposure over the coming months, and even improve the likelihood of potential brides finding you in 2018 and beyond.
Blog Last Season’s Weddings
Last year you photographed several great weddings, but in the rush of the season, perhaps you didn’t take the time to maximize the marketing you could have gotten from them. If you posted wedding photos in a blog, take the time to go back and put paragraphs under each photo with your keywords. For example, if you photographed the wedding at St. Paul’s Church in Northville, write that in the article. Include a link to the church in your blog. Do the same for the venue. The more text and keywords in the blog article, the more likely it is to be found online by brides looking for photographers at that church, venue, or in that town. Don’t include the date in the blog article and it will appear fresh for the next 2-3 years.
Create a How-to Guide
A guide is just a list of some of the best practices or ideas you’ve learned from your experience as a wedding photographer. Make a numbered list (like this one) of main ideas, then write a short paragraph with an image under each one. You can publish it as a page on your website, or in your blog. Then as wedding season gets closer, you can link to it in Facebook as a gentle reminder to your fans that you are an expert in weddings. A quick Google search of trending topics reveals some popular titles you could use for your article:
- What to ask your wedding photographer
- How to choose a good wedding photographer
- How to find a good wedding photographer
- What to look for in a wedding photographer
- What are good pictures to take at a wedding?
- How to fix bad wedding photos
If you added reception images to your Facebook page after a wedding, go back through and tag all your clients. Then reach out to them and ask them to tag the other people in the photos. New tags linked back to your page will show up on their friend’s pages, and eventually end up on the feed of a potential bride looking for a photographer.
Shoot a Venue
If you have a venue you’ve always wanted to shoot at, give them a call and ask for permission to come out when the place is decorated to shoot some photos and “test the lighting.” Offer to give them retouched images they can use in their marketing. You’ll have some images you can use in your marketing, and they may remember you when a potential bride asks them about photographers.
Share Images with a Wedding Planner
Wedding planners need images for their marketing too. If you shot a wedding last season with a wedding planner, offer to send them 2-3 great high-res images of their work. No charge. They will appreciate the effort, and will remember you when brides ask them about photography.
Ask for a Referral
While the best time to ask for a referral is when you deliver the prints, now is the time to reach out to last season’s brides again and ask them if they have any friends who are thinking about planning a wedding. You could write or say something like,
Dear Jill – I hope you’ve enjoyed your wedding photos just as much as I enjoyed creating them for you. With the new year, I’m starting to book clients for 2017-2018. Do you know any friends that are planning a wedding that I should speak with?
If you’re comfortable with the idea, consider offering your past client a free portrait session or even cash for any brides they send to you that you book.