You read that title right. All other things equal, marketing is the reason I see most businesses fail. They ether don’t do it at all or, quite frankly, they suck at it. And no, running a Facebook Ad is not marketing. There are time-worn strategies that go into marketing. You don’t just do something and magic happens. You need a plan. You then must execute that plan. You then evaluate the results, make adjustments and re-execute your plan. Rinse and repeat.
As a wedding photographer, social media is one of the strongest marketing and branding tools at our disposal. It’s also the most time-consuming task, taking us away from our passion of running our own photography business. It’s the end of engagement season, so marketing is a top priority for wedding photography businesses. Social media is where most newly engaged couples hang out digitally these days, but that’s not the only way to get in front of them. How can you make sure you’re doing your best job at marketing when everything keeps changing?
It’s the slow season for many of you, so it’s a good time to build a stronger business and work hard to make 2019 your best year yet. Every year, business gets a little harder. It’s the natural progression of consumer trends, technology, marketing and business. While it’s getting tougher, there are also more tools to help you build your business and your brand.
Branding sucks. It’s annoying. It pigeonholes us. And if we don’t have a distinct brand, we may as well have started photographing yesterday. Or, more annoyingly, photographers who literally just started photographing yesterday can have better branding/presence/awareness than you, and you’ve been at this forever. Hopefully these tips will make the process a little less painful.
I hope you realize that your brand and the perception of your brand can directly influence how much money consumers are willing to spend with you. It’s amazing how many photographers and business owners in general don’t grasp this seemingly simple idea. No one cares how good of a photographer you are. Process that for a second. Let that settle in. It just doesn’t matter. Business is at the core of your success. Here are some things you can do now to get your house in order so that you and your brand are seen as trusted and valued.
Here are the five things that define your brand: logo, imagery, website, social media presence and totality of your past client experiences. Let that sink in. These are all of the things you have to pay attention to when you are building your brand. Let’s dive into each of them and figure out exactly how important they are to your success.
You may have tried Facebook ads before with little success. If so, you probably just skipped one or two of these easy-to-miss (but important) steps. Let’s review the steps now, and at the end I will show you how to get your photography studio’s engine roaring with yet another very powerful tool.
Once upon a time, a photographer in any genre would try to get the attention of magazines, newspapers, clothing designers, automakers, restaurants, hospitals, sports teams and music venues in hopes of landing a gig. Whether it was a one-off campaign or steady work on a retainer, the holy grail of good-paying commercial work has always come from big companies. And while the dollar amounts of these major-client jobs is still highly desirable and worth the effort to land, there is a new type of commercial role that has emerged in the last few years, and it’s exploding by the hour: social influencer.
Are you sitting there wondering why your business is struggling? Why your phone is not ringing? Why your email leads are nonexistent? Are you convinced that it’s not your fault? That it’s somehow the Russians? Or even worse, all those dastardly shoot-and-burners? In this article, I show you some ways to change your “luck” and take control of your destiny. The sooner you realize there is plenty of business out there for all of us, the sooner you will start taking a healthy and realistic look at your business—because then and only then will you accept that you control your business.
We’ve all been there, scrolling aimlessly on our phone, floating in a sea of emojis and LOLs. We may not even realize we’re doing it, but suddenly 10 minutes (or two hours) pass, and we’ve watched 10 two-minute episodes of something called “Parkour Cats From Outer Space” and found ourselves ordering some swag from their website. What is going on here? How does one begin to make an impact in this sea of endless distraction? This is an ever-evolving science, but there are some methods to the madness of keeping people’s attention.