1. Build Your Community.
Community is King and your database is the lifeblood to your business. Keep it up to date and complete. By complete I mean, email, mailing address, anniversary, birthday.
2. Be a Guest at your industry Trade Show.
Go as a guest, walk the show, bring your camera, and photograph the vendors at their booth and details of their booth. Collect their business card (ADD THEM TO YOUR COMMUNITY DATABASE) and then write up a post, upload them to Facebook, invite them to connect, tag them up, shoot them a thoughtful email with a few images attached and share with them your blog post that has a link back to their site.
3. Produce Your Own Mini Events.
Connect with 5-8 other specialists in your world that are a different category (if you are a photographer, get a cake person, coordinator, hair & makeup, florist, DJ, videographer, etc. along with a great venue.) Pool your resources and bride lists to generate a great little social event where you have category exclusivity and a captive audience. It will cost you next to nothing and the event will have a synergistic outcome that you will be thrilled with!
4. Write a blog and link it to EVERYTHING!
Link your blog to Twitter, Facebook Profile, Facebook Fan Page, LinkedIn, Wedding Wire, basically anything that will let you feed your blog into it, do it. Consider writing a NEWSLETTER too that has a teaser for your blog posts. It will help you capture a more defined audience and will help to position yourself as an expert in your industry. It also keeps you in front of your community even if they do not click through, they still see your name.
5. Consider Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising on Facebook.
This is highly targeted marketing. For example I have my campaign set to Females from 23-28 years old with a college degree who live within a 10 mile radius of Los Angeles and who’s status is “engaged.” You cannot get that kind of targeting anywhere. Guess how many people at the time of this writing that is? 4,820 ladies. Gotta love Facebook! 😀
6. Submit articles to other popular blogs.
Some to consider are Daily Candy and Style Me Pretty.
7. Hire an Intern.
The local colleges and high schools are teaming with people interested in learning the ropes of a professional. Contact the photography department and ask them to put up a sign or email the instructors. They WILL do this for you at no charge. The intern will then work for you for free in return for learning from you. Sometimes at the high school level, they are getting credit for interning. This is the best place to look if you are just starting out as a professional photographer. Things interns can do for you: write personal birthday notes to your community, update your community database by inserting the business cards you have collected and calling the person for other detailed info, do the legwork in finding out how to submit Real Weddings, print and package your Real Wedding submissions, post your business information on every free business listing on the web. There are countless things they can do for you!
8. Send HAND WRITTEN Notes.
The only think I open are bills and things that are hand addressed. Period. I am sure you are the same way if not close to it. We are so immune to junk mail that going back to old school ways sometimes works! They are thoughtful and take time so people WILL read them and they WILL remember you.
9. Get Published
Get your work into the public eye through Real Wedding submissions. This is still a great way to get noticed however it is really hard to get picked. It is time consuming but will pay off once your shots start getting picked up. See more info HERE.
10. Brand Yourself Well.
I cannot stress this point enough. If your branding is confusing, your potential clients will be confused. Not good. Make sure you have a nice logo that represents your style, then plaster it everywhere. Keep things consistent! More HERE on the subject.
Best of luck to you for a wildly successful 2010 and remember: “People use who they know, like, and trust!” So be known, be liked, and be trustworthy!
Copyright © 2010 by Jen O’Sullivan http://www.jenosullivan.com
Beverly Hills Wedding Photographer, Jen O’Sullivan is a boutique wedding photographer who specializes in portrait journalism. She is known for her beautifully captured emotion filled moments, stunning details, and imagery that has a storybook feel.
Jen O’Sullivan, LLC | 357 South Robertson Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California, 90211 | 310-494-6547