coming up with a name and registering with your city.
get your best shots together and get a portfolio is actually the first step.
then start doing a bunch of free events to get your name out there.
here's a list done by a friend of mine.
The old adage is true, you have to spend money to make money. I’ve found a well rounded campaign of internet advertising, magazine ads, and bridal shows helps me stand out in a highly competitive market.
9. Use all five senses.
Music and scent can have just as large of an impact as the photos people see and the albums they can touch. If you want to be seen as a 5-star business, don’t serve tap water. Also, don’t put yourself in a position where you have to apologize for the smell of the fish you made for dinner. The experience of meeting with you is made up of more than just showing your work.
Tip: Getting scented candles or oils and preparing a play list is easy and inexpensive. How about serving some premium chocolate too?
People refer vendors that they know and LIKE. So get out there and go to an industry mixer! If large crowds aren’t for you, invite someone to lunch. They’ll appreciate that you reached out and you may have found a new friend to talk you up.
7. Give photos away.
To vendors that is. It costs nothing more than a few minutes to send images of the flowers to the florist or cake shots to the baker. Many photographers promise photos, but few deliver. For venues, I’ll happily provide an album that shows off their setting. It’s not a copy of the bride’s album, it’s been custom designed to show off the features of their location while showcasing my photography too.
Tip: Elements from Finao are great cost-effective vendor sample albums. If it’s an important venue, go ahead and make them something top of the line. Remember it’s not for them, it’s for the potential clients they’ll show it to.
6. Fake it ‘til you make it.
When I did my first bridal show, I’d only photographed two weddings as a second shooter and one free wedding as the primary. I didn’t let that slow me down. I made a 24-side glossy brochure that stood out. It only had about a half dozen photos in it, and small minimal text. It looked like an extremely high end marketing piece from a well established company. The first wedding I booked from that show was for my $5,900 package.
Tip: “Faking it” does NOT mean lying and I never lied about my experience. But when you look professional and established, nobody will think to ask.
5. Show what you want to sell.
This idea is popular for portrait photographers. They understand that not showing large prints means not selling large prints. The idea applies to everything you sell. When I first started, I had two main sample albums, one was 24 sides and the other 36. So, my clients normally pre-paid for 24 to 36 sides! Now I show several 40-50 side albums and most clients pre-pay for a bigger book.
Tip: Investing in sample products like albums, framing, or whatever you want to sell definitely pays off.
4. Let them give you more money.
I used to tell clients that my packages were so complete, that there would be nothing left form them to buy from me. What a mistake! There are a lot of things your clients need and want to buy, and they can either get them from you or somewhere else. Whether it’s a product or a service – diversify!
Tip: It’s easy to add to your line. If you don’t do engagement albums, try it. How about invitations or custom framing? Remember though, you have to show it to sell it.
3. Give yourself a facelift.
It’s easy to become stagnant by using the same brochures, website images, and text for way too long. Take a good look at yourself through a potential client’s eyes. Does your web site show how good you really are? Does your brochure or business card project the image you want to portray? Are your albums your most recent and best work? If not, take the time to give your business a face-lift.
Outsourcing allows you to spend more time doing the things that will make you money. I outsource my accounting, album design and post-processing to name a few. In 2005 I photographed 36 weddings and was completely overwhelmed. In 2006 I photographed 52 weddings, at twice the average price and I had MORE free time. Would you make more money editing images all day, or making a new contact at a local venue?
Tip: Most people only think about outsourcing in terms of their business. I outsource lawn-care and housecleaning as well, it gives me more time for my growing twins and businesses. Finding someone qualified to handle domestic duties is often easier and more affordable than you’d guess.
1. Believe in yourself.
Nothing sells like confidence. Do what you need to in order to give yourself the confidence to project a strong, positive vibe. If you don’t believe you’re worth what you’re asking for, no one else will either. Clients who can truly tell the difference between a good photographer and a great photographer solely by looking at images are rare. They use other clues, including how you carry yourself and how you talk about yourself.
Tip: More education, practice shoots or second shooting for other photographers is a great way to start!