Now that you’ve tried all the different types of photography and decided you want to be a wedding photographer (congrats!), it’s time to get down to business. Camera? Check. Lenses? Check. Gear? Check. Wedding website? Check. Next up: learning how to promote your wedding photography business.
The wedding photography business is incredibly competitive, so you need to make sure you can advertise your wedding photography services as widely as possible. Not sure how to market a photography business? We’ve put together a list of the 10 best ways to promote your photography business online. Best of all? They’re all free or budget-friendly. Let’s get started!
Best For: Showing off your most stunning work.
When it comes to wedding photography marketing, your online portfolio is your strongest promotional tool. It’s how your prospective clients will get to know you—and a stunning online portfolio will directly impact the amount of work that you receive.
If you want to get your wedding portfolio up—and fast—why not use an online website builder? Choose one that offers a free trial and a variety of clean, modern templates for you to pick from, so you can create the wedding portfolio that fits your budget and style. See how other wedding photographers use the platform so you can get a feel for how you can best show off your work.
Best For: Growing your fanbase.
Wedding photography is perhaps one of the most common topics posted about on Instagram, making it a competitive niche on a crowded platform. Here’s how to promote your wedding photography business on Instagram—and stand out from the rest:
Grow Your Followers
We all want to gain thousands of Instagram followers as fast as possible. But how do you do it?
Make sure you follow other wedding photographers and engage with their content. This could be as simple as consistently liking their pics, or leaving the occasional compliment on a great post. Hopefully they’ll follow you back—and help build your numbers.
Increase Your Post Frequency
You need to post high-quality photographs on a steady basis. Post too little, and you risk followers losing interest. Post too frequently, and you could annoy your fanbase. Try and post somewhere between one to three times a day. An Instagram scheduling tool can help you keep on track, and Instagram analytics apps can fill you in on what content is working—and what isn’t.
Ace those Captions
As tempting as it is to caption a shot with that single perfect emoji, this is not a good way to promote your photography business. Instagram photos with engaging captions tend to fare better. Write a description that doesn’t sound like it’s coming straight from the fingers of a PR firm. Give your Instagram followers a sense of your personality by writing captions in your natural voice; it will help make you seem authentic and approachable (just the kind of person they’d want to work with for their own wedding!).
Use the Right Hashtags
Keep a copy of your go-to hashtags in a document on a program like Evernote so you always have them at the ready. Stuck? A hashtag-finding service like Hashtagify can offer up inspiration for how to advertise your wedding photography. Some of the most popular hashtags for wedding photography advertising include: #weddingdress, #bride, #photographer, and #weddingphotographer, just to name a few.
My Business Page
Best For: Making sure that your business shows up in Google searches.
Setting up a Google My Business Page is easy! Here’s how you do it:
- First, sign up for a Google account, if you don’t have one already. This can be a Gmail account—just make sure the account name is one you wouldn’t mind associating with your business.
- Log into Google Business with this account by going to “Google My Business” and then “Get Onto Google.” Add your business address and contact information.
- A box will pop up prompting you to choose your business category. Choose the most appropriate category.
- Google will ask you to select a verification method for your business. This is a necessary step. You will not be able to progress any further until your business has been verified. Once you get the go-ahead, you’re ready to add all the fun stuff to your Google Business page.
After your business has been recognized by Google, it will be a lot easier for clients to find you, thanks to the magic of search engine optimization (SEO). Not sure what SEO is? Basically, SEO is what determines how likely it is for your page to show up on the first page of Google searches. The good news is, it doesn’t take long to learn the SEO basics—and it could pay off for your wedding photography business big-time.
Best For: Building your reputation as an industry leader.
Another way to boost your wedding photography business’ SEO performance? Create a blog. Provided you use the right keywords (just think back to your basic SEO training!), producing regular blog content will help you show up in more search results—and, hopefully, get more clients for your wedding photography business.
Choose an online portfolio platform that allows you to publish a blog. There, you can post a wide range of content to give a little insight into you and your wedding photography business: personal projects (photos from your own wedding?), behind-the-scenes shots, mini-tutorials—even little write-ups to share the story behind a special shot.
Best For: Staying in touch with existing customers—and potentially finding new ones.
Make sure to equip your wedding website with an email capture form to start collecting email addresses. Creating a newsletter mailing list is a great wedding photography marketing strategy. It allows you to maintain a direct connection between you and your customer base, from people you have shot for before to prospective clients.
Fill your newsletters with helpful content, whether it’s tips on how to ace that “we’re engaged!” selfie or some of your most unique wedding shoot ideas. Folks you signed up at wedding fairs or prospects who joined off your website will be stoked to see that you’re a helpful, knowledgeable wedding photographer—and that’s the kind of wedding photography business that they want to hire!
You can use your newsletter to offer a referral bonus to existing customers. Say, for every person who books a wedding with you, they get a free one-hour portrait session, complete with five finished prints.
Social Media Giveaways
Best For: Attracting attention to your social media accounts and gaining followers.
Posting a giveaway on your Instagram or Facebook account can be a great way to promote your photography business. It’s even better if your giveaway is in celebration of a follower milestone, as this draws attention to your popularity and can inspire others to follow you in hopes of future giveaways. Some examples of the things you can offer include a free engagement shoot or a free print.
Use this wedding photography marketing technique sparingly, however: you don’t want to pull in too many contest people who have little intention of booking you. Make sure to engage with your new followers right away!
Best For: Reaching new clients from near and far.
Pinterest is huge in the wedding industry—making it the perfect platform for you to advertise your wedding photography.
Pinterest actually gives you the option to set up a business account. The benefit of this is that it allows you to keep a close eye on your performance through Pinterest Analytics. This gives insight into which of your pins are most popular and which ones have the highest amount of engagement. A Pinterest business account also allows you to create ad campaigns through the ad manager tool. This way, you can choose which pins to promote and determine your budget, timeframe, and target audience.
To kickstart your Pinterest self-promo, create a board featuring the best shots from your wedding photography business. Using keywords in your photo descriptions helps you connect with an entire audience who has the potential to fall in love with what you are doing. Organizing your photography into themes (outdoor weddings, destination weddings, getting ready photos, dancefloor photos, etc.) is a great way to show off your range.
Best For: Investing in exposure.
Chances are you have heard of tremendously popular wedding planning websites like The Knot and WeddingWire. What you may not know, however, is that it is actually possible for wedding photographers to advertise directly on these sites.
Placing an advertisement on wedding planning websites is not free, but there are several options available that fit a variety of budgets. On The Knot, photographers can either opt to advertise exclusively on the mobile and desktop site, or they can take it a step further and buy spaces in email newsletters or in the print magazine. The Knot will even pair you with an account strategist who can help you get started and understand your ad performance.
Best for: Creating a buzz in the blogosphere.
There is no shortage of wedding blogs on the internet, with many of them wildly popular. Getting your photographs placed on a popular platform can go a long way to boost your career. Not only do these sites carry a strong reputation and sense of prestige, but they also have the potential to show your work off to millions of people monthly, which could bring your exposure to a whole new level.
To get your work featured on a wedding blog, it is important to be selective in the photos you choose to submit. Blogs are always on the lookout for photos that offer something new or unexpected—if you have a fresh shoot idea that hasn’t been done many times before, chances are an editor might be interested in featuring it. Quick tip: wait until you hear back from an each editor before pitching your photos to other outlets! Simultaneous pitching is generally frowned upon in the blogging world.
Best For: Connecting with your clients and fans one-on-one.
Facebook is a wonderful place for wedding photography advertising. There’s a lot you can do with your Facebook presence. First, you need to set up your Facebook Business Page. Here’s how it’s done:
- Create your page name and fill out your basic contact info. In order to do this, you must have a personal Facebook account that you can link your page to. It is not possible to operate a Facebook business page without a personal page.
- Pay close attention to your Facebook business page’s name, as this will also serve as your page’s URL. Though it’s possible to change your page name, you cannot change your URL.
- Choose your cover photo and profile photo for your page. This is where you can let your photography skills shine through.
- Invite friends to like your page. The more likes, the better!
Now that you’re set up, here’s how to market a photography business on Facebook:
Work that Facebook Business Page
Share photos of recent weddings that you’ve shot, and offer sneak peaks. (Just don’t forget to get those release forms signed first!) These photos are generally a hit among family and friends; this means that they are likely to be shared, which is great for wedding photography marketing. Add a watermark and ask posters to tag your business page so folks know whose amazing work it is.
Utilize Facebook Messenger
Facebook’s messenger feature is extremely useful as it provides an alternative to the telephone for both you and your prospective clients. If you are attentive to the messages that you receive, Facebook awards you with a badge that says that you “typically respond within an hour.” This metric can encourage others to reach out.
Try Facebook Advertising
Don’t be intimidated: running a Facebook advertising campaign is surprisingly easy! You can learn all about how to run Facebook ads in our handy guide. Make an effort to play around with the platform because there are two big benefits in terms of wedding photography advertising:
- Facebook allows you to choose the right advertising campaign for you, depending on your intended target audience and budget.
- Facebook lets you target your advertising audience based on factors such as age, gender, and perhaps most importantly, location.
Take a Peek at the Facebook Analytics
Facebook offers its own analytics, which come in handy when you’re trying to figure out how to market a photography business. Some of the things you can view include:
- How many people have seen your post
- Where your audience is
- Which posts get the best engagement and which posts get the worst
- Which posts are resulting in the most page likes (or page unlikes)
Use Facebook Groups to Your Advantage
There is a Facebook group for just about everyone! To best promote your wedding photography business, find the groups local to your area (try searching for groups for wedding planners, the recently engaged, etc). Then, advertise your services in the group. Heads up: make sure that the rules of the group allow for self-promotion. Some only allow vendors to post on certain days or only to PM if specifically asked to.
Best for: Reaching a younger, image-obsessed audience.
The goal here is to get your posts re-blogged in order to reach as many eyes as possible. One way to do this? Make sure to use hashtags. Hashtags help group your posts with similar content, and make them easier to find. (Hot tip: Tumblr allows you to use spaces in your hashtags, so you can use both #weddingphotography and #wedding photography in your posts.)
You should also follow other wedding photographers you admire; if they follow you back, it’s a great way to build more followers and grab more reblogs. With Tumblr, the more reblogs you have, the more likely it is that your posts will grab the top spot in the site’s search engine—and win over your next couple.
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