So you are booking weddings, yet you can't help but wonder how to find the right clients, and book more of the weddings YOU want. Let's be honest, not all photographers like the same things. Some may want DIY backyard weddings, while others may prefer adventure elopements, themed weddings, or a classic church event. Whatever your style preference is, there are a few simple steps you can take to find, and book the client of your dreams, and shoot more of the weddings that you love.
1. BRAND FOR YOUR BRIDE
Branding is key. To really stand out in the market, your brand should be loud and clear and should target the types of wedding you want to book. If you are a wedding photographer that specializes in Rustic CHIC weddings, but your website and logo are designed in a high-end couture style, it may confuse the Rustic brides you are trying to attract.
Before you dive head first into completely rebranding, take some time to really try and define the types of weddings YOU want, and the style you want to project. We personally are head over heels in love with the Backyard Party weddings, so for us is was a no brainer to brand ourselves with bright colors, and falling confetti, and to keep it light and fun! When brides view our page they know exactly what to expect, and they are immediately drawn to what we have to offer.
2. HANG OUT WHERE YOUR BRIDES DO
Stop wasting time and money marketing in areas where you won't reach your ideal bride. Chances are a bride planning a non-traditional wedding won't be hanging out at the Bridal Show. Try spending more time in places where you KNOW your ideal clients will be.
Are you looking for trendy hipster brides? Try hanging out at the local brew-pub or getting involved with the local music scene. Do you prefer Country Rustic Chic weddings? You might have luck if you set up a booth at the craft fair, or hand out cards at the co-op. You may need to be creative, and think outside the box, but once your couples see how much you have in common with them, you immediately gain credibility in their eyes.
3. CREATE CONTENT THAT YOUR BRIDE MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN
So you've defined the types of couples you are looking for, and maybe you met them at some of the places we talked about above, but now you have to keep them interested in you. Brides spend SO much time online these days, reading DIY articles, pinning decor inspiration, and more. So why not get ahead of the game and WRITE the DIY articles they will be reading, or CREATE the pin boards, filled with the specific style you want to book. If you love Potluck Style weddings, write an article and create a checklist and then blog about it. You will be surprised how many brides will find you when they search those keywords on Google.
4. MAKE YOUR MEETINGS STAND OUT
When engaged couples start planning their weddings, they will be setting up a lot of meetings with a lot of different vendors, and maybe several other photographers as well. When you go into your initial consultation, make sure to knock their socks off. Chances are all of their meetings so far have been at Starbucks, so when it's time for yours, make it memorable. Take them to lunch and then mini-golfing, or meet at the park and go for a hike. Use your time wisely, and make an impression on them.
When we first get a bridal inquiry, we set up a fun lunch date so that we can all meet each other. Lunch is on us of course. We also show up with a gift bag full of goodies, and when lunch is over, if everyone is still having a good time, we'll ask if they want to continue the fun and go watch a local band, or grab a movie. By the end of the consultation, we are like old friends.
Making your initial meeting stand out is HUGE. So many of our brides tell us that they had already met with other photographers, and while we were more expensive, they liked us better so they were willing to pay more.
5. SPOIL THE BRIDES YOU'VE GOT
Once you get them, spoil them! It's been said that "You will get more word of mouth from making people happy than anything else." This is absolutely, positively 110% true. Our biggest evangelists are our past and current brides. They tell everyone about us, and they encourage their newly engaged friends to hire us too.
Send your couple a "Thank You" gift after they book you, mark their wedding date in your calendar and give them a gift on their anniversary, send them a "Your First Christmas" present during the holiday. Set up a referral program to encourage your clients to keep sharing your name, give your current couples gift certificates to hand out to their friends.
There are a hundred different ways you can spoil your couples, and make them continue to feel important even after their wedding has come and gone.