1. Use Destination Photography in your name
Skip the cutesy names or the bland and generic. If you know you want to be a destination photographer, say so in your name. It tells people exactly what you do, and it makes it memorable when you are networking online.
2. Describe yourself as a Destination Photographer
How do you talk about yourself when you post online or you network in your local community? Do you say “I’m a wedding photographer” or “I photography families”? Nope. If you truly want to be a destination photographer, say so. “I’m exclusively a destination photographer for some of the most spectacular weddings on the planet.” Yep, that’ll get their attention.
3. Use Destination Photographer in your keyword descriptions
A recent search for “destination photography” on Google says it all. These people want to rank high for “destination photographer” and they do – these are the top four.
By using keywords built around destination photography, you get results.
4. Do what Destination Photographers do
A recent post on Huffington Post Weddings article says it all:
One of our favorite trends in destination weddings? When couples opt for the post-wedding “Trash the Dress” photo session.
If other destination photographers are doing something well, you can learn from their experiences and do it better. In this case, Huffington Post needed 12 trash the dress photos for its story – strive to make the next story.
5. Be where the people are
When a bride and groom to be decide they are holding their wedding away from their local community, they don’t research things in their local community. Which means if you are advertising in your local wedding guide – you’ll never meet a destination bride.
They go to the resources that help them plan a destination event. Destination Weddings anyone?
6. Know what Destination Photography means to you
Yes, some people may search for destination photography. Yet many, many more know exactly where they are going and start searching from there. If you want to shoot in Mexico, you better include Mexico in the way you talk. Pick your locations and start talking about them. That’s how you get known in those areas.
7. Find Destination vendors
Photographers aren’t the only vendors that like to travel. Find a group that caters to the destination business and network with like-minded vendors and business owners. Try Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialists Association or the Association of Destination Wedding Professionals to get you started.
8. PR yourself
Every day newspapers, magazines and television shows have time/space to fill. They are always looking for fun and unique things to share with their audience. If you have a unique slant to your clientele and the way you do business, you’ll be at the forefront of gaining the attention of these sources. All you have to do is let them know what you are doing.
9. It’s not all about weddings
Lets say you really love a ski town. And your goal is to be in that location two months out of the year. Why not get involved with the local Chamber, or link up with the visitors center or in-town magazine? There are many ways you can get your name out to people that want to travel there in the future – you just have to look for the opportunities. Check out Steamboat Springs magazine for some ideas. What family wouldn’t love a unique portrait in a location that will always bring them happy memories?
10. Work with other vendors
The more you get to know people within an industry, the more opportunity will come up. If you love working corporate events, a hotel may be the perfect location to build a relationship with. If weddings are your thing, an event coordinator that travels the globe may be your best referral source. Instead of advertising exclusively in things that reach a potential customer (ie. a bride), don’t forget to spend just as much time reaching out to potential power partners. They can share unlimited opportunities over the coming years IF you find a way to connect and stay in their line of thinking from this point forward.
Remember, Destination Photographer doesn’t mean unlimited locations (though the opportunity is always there). Instead, Destination Photographer means you’re expanding your business potential outside of your local community. You can choose the locations. You can choose how and where to focus. The only thing left is connecting up with potential clients, which will be easy when you start thinking like a destination photographer.