April 25, 2018
Before I say anything else, I have to mention that I actually really don’t like the word “jumpstart” because to me it sounds like it’s saying that something is easy and fast, and starting and growing a wedding photography business is far from easy and/or fast for the vast majority of us. But I decided to use “jumpstart” anyways because I do believe that these 3 things will help you get going and will help give you a boost in your new business!
I’ve received messages from aspiring wedding photographers many times over the years asking questions about how to get their wedding photography business up and running. (So many messages, in fact, that I started a Coaching Program;-) I know that many new photographers have questions about the basics of getting things going, so today I’m sharing 3 easy tips to help you jumpstart your wedding photography business!
1. Build Your Portfolio Before You Start Selling Your Services
Having some photos showcasing your skill and style is an important part of building your photography business. Potential clients who will be paying you for your services want to see examples of what you can do. They need to be able to see photos of your work, especially if they are going to trust you to photograph their wedding day. So what is a new photographer supposed to do to build their portfolio when they are just starting out and haven’t photographed a wedding yet?
– Photograph friends and family
I recommend photographing friends and family with the goal of doing the exact style of posing, composition, and editing you want to have in your business and using those images to build your portfolio. Now, you want to show want you want to attract, so if you’re marketing to wedding clients, you’ll want to show more couple photos (a husband and a wife, for example) to show how you would pose a couple (i.e. a bride and groom).
– Do a styled photoshoot
I also highly encourage you to do a styled wedding photoshoot. This is a great way to show that you can photograph wedding details, a bride and groom, a bouquet, etc.
It is important to showcase what you want to shoot (if you want to shoot weddings, show weddings/wedding related photos), therefore having photos from a wedding styled shoot is a great way to build your portfolio to start bringing in wedding inquiries!
A styled photoshoot is also a great way to connect with other wedding vendors! Which brings me to tip #2…
2. Connect With Other Wedding Vendors In Your Area
If you’re new to the industry, try reaching out to other vendors in your area to grab coffee and to learn more about their business. Ask them to share ways you can support them in their business.
Notice how I said to discuss how YOU can support THEIR business and not just the other way around. I think it is important to approach a new vendor relationship by looking for ways to support them, not just thinking about how you can benefit from the relationship.
I recommend doing your research on their business so that you know exactly who they are and what they do. Follow them on social media and actively like and comment on their posts. And don’t forget to buy their coffee when you meet! ;-) These are simple but easy ways to connect with other vendors in your area and start building relationships in your local wedding vendor community! I have many so many lifelong vendor friends, people who I feel 100% confident in referring brides to and who feel the same about me, through coffee dates! I wish I would have done more of them when I first started my business almost 10 years ago!
3. Utilize Social Media
There are SO many big and small ways you can utilize social media to help jumpstart and grow your business… so many, in fact, that I probably just need to write an entire blog post — or an entire blog series — on the topic. But today, I’ll share just a few ways you can utilize social media…
– Set up a professional Facebook business page and Instagram page
If you don’t have social media accounts for your business yet, make plans to set those up as soon as you finish reading this blog! Add your logo, a brief description of your services, a photo of you (so that people can see the person behind the business), and don’t forget to add those portfolio photos you created ;-)
Virtually everyone is on social media, and chances are, your potential clients are too… and they are probably trying to find their wedding photographer via social media right now! Having a website is great (definitely do that too), but you should also have social media accounts for more daily/weekly updates. Which brings me to my next social media utilization recommendation…
– Post several times a week
Being active on social media is just as important as actually having social media accounts, if not moreso! I recommend posting on your Instagram and Facebook pages several times a week, or even every day, if you can! I try to post every day, but lately I’ve decided to give myself some grace to post closer to every other day, and that works much better for me! So find what works best for you and your schedule, and then stick to it! Be consistent in your posting! When your followers know what to expect from you (i.e. that you post something every day), they’ll keep coming back every day.
– Engage with your followers
When your followers leave comments on your posts and/or send you messages, respond to them! Engage with them! Write them back. Show them that you see them and you want to connect with them! It’s a simple but easy way to show your followers that you are a person behind that business. When people feel more of a personal connection to you, it builds trust, and when trust is built, they may just decide to book you one day :)
I could add 20+ more ways you can utilize social media to jumpstart your business (I definitely need to do a blog series on the topic… one blog post just isn’t enough!), but I hope you found these suggestions on how you can utilize social media helpful!
And I hope you found all 3 of the tips on the blog today helpful! Build your portfolio by doing shoots with family and friends and by doing styled shoots, connect with local wedding vendors, and utilize social media! If you found today’s blog helpful or if you have any questions or suggestions for future blog posts/series that you would find helpful, leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you!! I take your questions/comments and use them as ideas for future blog posts, so yours may just make it onto the blog one day! :-D
If you’d like to learn more ways you can start and/or grow your new wedding photography business, my Coaching Program might be the perfect fit for you! You can find out more information by clicking HERE!