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  • Writer's pictureGiovanni Rusconi

Marketing in wedding photography


As my business has evolved, I have increasingly focused on one core customer base, and discovered how to best appeal to my target market. Unlike at the beginning of my career – when I simply decided to set out to create an artistic product, imagining that the growth of the business would follow accordingly without obstacles – I now place a real emphasis on building a coherent image of the wedding photography firm, getting my work seen in the right venues and establishing lasting relationships that lead to the right types of referrals. Ultimately, I want to create a strong brand that will flow through the best advertising channels, until my ideal clients call me.


I value the personal and professional reviews people give me for the quality of my work more than any other company, because those types of clients help me grow my business and it's great free advertising.


A review on the wedding photographers page on Google, for example, gives me a lot of visibility and helps to establish a solid relationship of trust with a future potential client. Type “bridal photographers” into Google, and see what comes out! You can also click directly here.


Consistency

Consistency in work is key. Your materials, the way you present yourself, how you display your images – everything must be consistent with your branding and your overall corporate image. When you walk into my office, it's like you're walking into my website. My website and blog are virtual representations of my physical business materials. This consistency in presentation is essential.


Always show your best work. Showcase work that demonstrates what you want to do and that includes the types of customers you want for your business. Don't show mediocre work. If you show images that are not the best or that are not close to you, you attract customers that you really don't want to have: wedding dates are limited anyway!


Your presentation does not go unnoticed. That's why I always hand-deliver a company calendar to potential clients. That's why I only send high-quality photos when making a preliminary choice for albums. That's why I use the best quality albums I can find, no expense spared.


Make sure your products and presentation items are a solid representation of who you are as an artist and how you work as a professional. Make your materials nice enough to make customers proud to show friends and family. When they are proud of their wedding image slideshows, they will show them to everyone. This leads to referrals and new questions about your services. You never know when one of your clients' friends might be a new prospect.


Website

Ideally, you should defer all of your online advertising investment to a professional, well-designed website.


Despite the rise of blogs as an alternative to a full website, my website remains an important part of my marketing package. The website is the professional gallery of my images, while the blog is a more personal expression of my work and personality. To appeal to a certain type of clientele, I believe it is important to have a high-level online presence. A website is like your virtual store. It must represent you at the highest professional level so that potential clients recognize that you are the total package. If your website works perfectly and looks flawless, you work and look flawless too.


Consistency is essential when appealing to a selective audience.


Reviews and word of mouth to get great deals

Building a business through word of mouth helps establish long-term, trusted relationships. It also costs much less than traditional advertising. Early in my career, I spent a lot on online ads. From those ads, I got a couple of calls from brides, but I didn't book a high percentage. My booking rate from clients who heard about me through word of mouth is exponentially higher, and it costs nothing! Now, I'm not against paid advertising. It still remains necessary, especially as a way to let customers know that you are out there and exist. Even if you don't receive direct bookings, your advertising could put you on the radar screen of wedding planners, which could pay off in the long run if you can create a lasting partnership. But once you have an established reputation, you can turn off the ads and work harder through the network you've already established.


These days, 45 to 50 percent of my business comes from word of mouth. Weddings requested by this clientele are much easier to sell than those that come to you unexpectedly. Many of these people have actually seen me work a wedding, or a previous client explained how I operate. So they have already peeked into the package they are going to buy. They usually book an appointment to find out if I'm available and immediately find out what my rates are. I have booked 90 to 95 percent of clients who found out about me through word of mouth.

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