Over the last ten years, I’ve used lots of different marketing strategies. From traditional marketing strategies like wedding directories and bridal shows to social media marketing strategies on Instagram and Facebook to search engine optimization strategies through my website, blog, and Pinterest and more, I’ve done it all. Well, almost all. I’ve never paid for The Knot and I only became a paying member of WeddingWire for a short while back when I was starting out and didn’t know any better, ha! Nevertheless, I’ve tried out my fair share of marketing strategies and the effectiveness of them all has changed greatly (remember when all of your followers used to see your posts in their Instagram feeds?) but through the years, I’ve seen one marketing strategy stay consistently effective: Personal Marketing.
Personal Marketing is a strategy that is used to promote your own personal brand. As a wedding photographer, you do this by communicating your value and experience to potential clients. You create content that shows off your skills and expertise to clients. You put yourself out there to increase the know, like, and trust factor.
Let’s face it – it’s a saturated market out there. Couples have so many options when it comes to picking a wedding photographer to capture their day. Not only are there thousands of local photographers they can hire, but there are millions of others they can fly in from literally anywhere in the world (after the pandemic is over, of course).
Your best marketing asset as a photographer isn’t the budget you have to spend on marketing strategies to compete with all the photographers out there; your best marketing asset is YOU. Building a brand around yourself is arguably the best way to stand out among all the photographers out there. Clients want to see the person behind the business; they want to connect with you on a personal level so that they have a unique experience with their photographer versus feeling like just another couple whose wedding day you’re photographing this year.
So how do you create a personal marketing strategy? The good news is that, no, you don’t have to dance on TikTok if that doesn’t fit your personality. You also don’t have to share every part about your personal life if you don’t want to. I sure don’t! Here are a few tips!
You need to know exactly who you’re marketing to. In order to do that, you need to spend some time identifying your ideal client. The better you know them, the better you can create content that will attract them.
What makes you different from all the other photographers out there? That’s your unique selling proposition that you use to attract one specific type of client – your ideal client.
Choose the channels you will use to attract your ideal client to build your marketing strategy. This is where you should decide where you will go to attract them – Instagram? Pinterest? YouTube? Don’t take on too much here – only pick the marketing channels that you’ll be able to use on a consistent basis.
Depending on the marketing channels you choose, putting yourself out there may involve personal brand photos and/or videos. As a photographer, you will naturally lean towards sharing images, so that’s a no-brainer, and you should certainly do that; but video is the best way to take your online presence to the next level.
“A 2020 study by Wyzowl reported that people share videos at twice the rate than any other form of content. It also found that 84% of people were convinced to buy a product or service based on the brand’s video” (qtd. in Bretous, “3 Short-Form Video Trends Online Marketers Should Watch in 2021″).
The good thing is, you don’t have to create long-form content; short-form content is just as effective, and it’s probably easier for you to produce. By short-form content, I mean short videos that you may post on Instagram Reels, IGTV, TikTok, or YouTube.
If you’re looking to get started with short-form content, Instagram Reels are a great way to do that. Instagram is currently pushing Reels to their viewers and they’re getting many more views and much more engagement than regular Instagram Posts. This short-form content will allow you to stand out and establish yourself as an expert in your field while increasing the know, like, and trust factor. And no, I promise you don’t have to dance if you don’t want to!
If you’d like to learn how to get started with Instagram Reels as a personal marketing strategy, click here to sign up for my Intro to Reels workshop happening on April 5th!
[Update: Enrollment for this workshop is now closed and the workshop is now part of my Book More Weddings 101 course. Want to know when enrollment opens? Click here to get on the wait list.]
Remember that as a wedding photographer, whether you like it or not, you ARE your brand. Don’t compete with other photographers on price. Instead, find ways to showcase who you are, what you do, and how you are different from others in your industry in order to stand out in a saturated market.
Hello there! I'm Alex! I teach hobbyist photographers how to take better photos and professional photographers how to build a thriving business. Here I share tips and resources to help you grow. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!