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1. Redo your samples. If you have a studio, frame some new images for your walls. If you meet with prospects regularly, create some new sample albums to showcase your best work. Remember to create samples based on what you want people to buy. We sold multi-album sets because we presented our prospects with multi-album samples. You will get what you show. So make it good!
2. Find a new album company that improves the look of your final product. You can check out my list of resources, or do a search for professional wedding albums. There are many beautiful options that consumers can’t purchase on your own – which gives them more reason to book you.
3. Get out of the office and meet people. Don’t just hit a Chamber meeting or a local networking group; work to find a wedding group. With places like ISES and ABC in many cities, you should easily be able to find a place where you can talk about weddings with peer vendors.
4. Sign up for a bridal expo. From large, nationally organized events, to small expos put on by a few vendors, there is always an opportunity to set up a bridal fair and reach out to potential customers. Check out things like the Great Bridal Expo, or Google your area to find something near you.
5. Attend a photography conference. One of the biggest tradeshows for photographers is coming up in March in Las Vegas. WPPI has been helping thousands of photographers for years. From print competitions, to classes with the best photographers in the world, to a tradeshow that’s miles long and showcases hundreds of vendors, you’ll come away inspired.
6. Get out and shoot. Head out and give yourself daily assignments. “Today I’m shooting red.” or “Today I’m shooting food.” gives your mind a new way to look and focus on things. Don’t stop with a dozen images, really push yourself to see things in a variety of ways by shooting 100, 200, or even more with ever theme you create. This will help you at the reception when you have down time while the family is eating, and you’re not sure what to photography. You can instantly think “theme” and let the creativity begin.
7. Head to your local bookstore and browse the magazine section. You can look through bridal magazines, photography magazines, business magazines and more to give you a ton of fresh ideas that you can bring into your business today. Buy the magazines that motivate you most and create a vision board using your most exciting ideas.
8. Offer up something new. Are engagement images available only if someone asks you? Create an entire package that makes your engagement sessions fun and marketable. Never done a Trash The Dress? Get started and market it to your existing clients for the year.
Dig Deeper: 10 Tips For Creating A Trash The Dress Package
9. Get better at selling. If you cringe at the word sales, its time to do something about it. Read a book on sales – I highly recommend Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling. It’s a fun, easy to read book that really will improve your sales techniques in a short period of time.
10. Write something on your blog about your weddings. Sure, you have your services page up describing your packages. But do you have anything personal on what weddings mean to you? Weddings are personal in nature – there is a reason you decided to become a wedding photographer. Add your personality to your site and tell people all about you.
Dig Deeper: Why Are You A Photographer?
11. Take a look at your wedding packages. Are they confusing? Is there enough separation between the packages so a potential customer can see why moving up would be beneficial?
12. Send out a newsletter. Do you keep in touch with your past clients? Do you connect regularly with the other wedding vendors in your community? If not, why not? Sit down and create a newsletter that you can send out and share with everyone in your circle of influence.
13. Learn more about online marketing. Is Facebook working for you? Or do you have 20 friends that never have much to say? Online marketing changes every single day; if you don’t understand it, it will never work for you. Sign up for a class and learn more about your favorite sites and how to use them. (I just gave a 2.5 hour class on Facebook last night here in Denver. You can find classes either in person or online – sign up for one today.)
14. Look at new photo labs. Do any offer new products you can incorporate into your packages that make them more valuable? Professional labs today stretch the limits of what’s possible – which helps you look even more professional in your clients’ eyes.
15. Create a list of local wedding vendors in your area. Then call up the owner/manager and invite them out to lunch. Or stop by a for a short visit. The more connections you make, the more well known you’ll be within your local wedding community.
16. Create a destination wedding package and start to promote. Most people don’t understand the concept of being a destination wedding photographer. Learn more about it and strive to become well known in your chosen area.
17. Write an article and work to get it into your local newspaper or magazine. News sources are always looking for things to publish. And if you time it right and connect with them before they run their spring wedding articles, you may have a great story that can gain you a ton of exposure.
18. What message are you sending out to your prospects? Is it a mishmash of content promoting all kind of photograph – i.e. I’m a portrait, wedding, event, commercial, model, food, product and pet photographer? Or are you showcasing that you are a wedding photographer – you love what you do and you’re good at it.
19. Do one thing that is uncomfortable for you. We all have things we love and things we hate. We may love sitting in front of the computer and editing our latest shoot. We may hate picking up the phone and calling a potential client. Dedicate time every day for doing one thing that makes you uncomfortable – you’ll be amazed at how fast your business can grow.
20. Are you taking time for yourself? As a business owner, its easy to get caught up in your business 24 hours a day, 7 days of the week. Block off time and do things just for you. Spend the afternoon with your kids … and no phone. Sit down after dinner with a good book and a glass of wine … no computer and no phone. Do what makes you happy – and allows you to gain time and perspective away from the hustle and bustle of your photography business.