So you're just starting out in the world of wedding photography, you've photographed a couple of your friends' weddings, and have one or two clients booked in later on in the year, If you want to make wedding photography your full time gig, you'll have to book A LOT more weddings than this, but where do you start? In this article I will list a few ways you can start getting more wedding bookings right now!
1) Go to parties
"Wait...what?" You undoubtedly ponder whilst reading my article. Allow me to explain! Meeting new people is the best way for you to find new clients in the early years of your business. The more people that know you are a wedding photographer, the more likely you are the acquire bookings.
Lets say you go to a party with 60 people, if you make an effort to have a high quality 3-5 minute chat to each person, whilst sneakily slipping in that you're a wedding photographer, the amount of exposure you will receive in return will amaze you.
Lets say the average person has approximately 25 friends and acquaintances that they encounter on a weekly basis. If you are between the age of 20-40, there is no doubt that 1 in every 2 or 3 people at this party knows at least 1 person who is getting married. After some nerdy number-crunching, it is clear that you are likely to be referred to a bride-to-be by at least a few of the 60 people you have just talked to, particularly if you are social and encounter these people on multiple occasions.
2) Get a gym membership
"Ok Ben, wtf are you talking about?" Just wait! All will be explained.
There are a huge number of gym franchises that once signed up, allow you to enter a large number of gym locations for just one membership. Many of these gyms have a classifieds board where members can add flyers to sell their old junk or advertise their products.
For example, in the humble city of Adelaide, South Australia, there are a total of 120 'Anytime Fitness' gyms. This is 120 locations for you to add a flyer and some business cards on the classified boards for dozens of people to see every day!
It is easy to see the power a gym membership can have when you start adding up the potential exposure you can give to your business, and for just $40-$80 a month you also get to use the gym too!
3) Advertise online
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but is vitally important if you wish to see bookings piling up in your email, particularly if you are new to the wedding photography scene.
You're the new kid on the block, which means people don't know who you are, google doesn't want to rank you high in its search, your portfolio could be more impressive and you're still perfecting your sales pitch. The only way to play is to pay pay pay!
My advice is to spend 100% of the earnings from your first few weddings on advertising whilst you're still working in another field and can afford to invest into your business. Get a feel of which advertising platforms work best for you and start seeing more bookings roll through the door.
4) Fake it 'til you make it
Don't get me wrong, don't be deceptive and don't tell lies. If someone asks you how many weddings you have shot you must be honest! That being said, don't be scared to sell yourself and explain that you are the best man/woman for the job!
One of the only ways you are going to get noticed when you are at level 1 is to pay for it, and the only way to lock in your clients when they find you, is to prove to them that you are capable capturing one of the most important days of their life in an amazing way!