Have you noticed how hard it is to get wedding photography clients these days?
It’s almost like the Wild West out there in Internet-land — with photographers slugging it out on every corner just to get enough business to stay in business.
Everyone is fighting for the attention of brides and grooms, hoping to add another wedding booking to their woefully-empty calendars.
It wasn’t like this back in 2006 – online marketing was so much easier back then!
The Good Ol’ Days Of Wedding Photography Marketing
I remember talking to a minister in the quiet moments before a wedding rehearsal one Friday night in 2007, to introduce myself and let him know I wasn’t going to do anything to upset the sanctity of the ceremony.
“Oh, I know who you are!” he said. “I was wondering when I’d find you at a wedding.”
What? Was there a preceding reputation of me I was unaware of?
Before I could reply, he laughed, and said, “It’s funny because I’ve seen you all over the Internet. Everywhere I go, you’re there. You pop up on Google for almost anything I search for here in Memphis. It’s like you’re famous, and you’re not even from here!”
My British accent had apparently given me away again.
“How do you do it?” he asked.
A Photography Website + Basic SEO = Wedding Photography Clients
Looking back, the answer seems ridiculously simple, although it didn’t feel simple at the time.
All I did was create a website, do some keyword research, and optimize my web pages with some truly basic SEO.
I popped up on page 1 for anyone who searched for anything remotely connected with weddings in Memphis.
Admittedly, there was a lot of copy on my website to describe what I did, why I loved it so much, and how clients benefited from working with me, but the site was as ugly as a Walking Dead extra after a bad night out.
Heck, I didn’t even have a blog because I’d never heard of WordPress back then.
Social media was still a screaming baby that lots of people wanted to adopt but were still scared witless about because they had no idea what kind of monster it might grow up to be.
Fast forward to 2015 and things look a whole lot different, don’t they?
Welcome Back To The Present
When I look at the amazing technology we have at our disposal (WordPress, social media, amazing website designs, smartphones, HD video, and a world where daily life falls apart without the web) it’s tempting to imagine that marketing must be so much easier now than it was back in 2006.
Oh my sides!
Not a chance!
This is no Utopia for professional wedding photographers.
Here are just some of the complaints I hear every day:
- Search engine optimization is as clear as mud and getting worse…
- Cheap photographers who don’t know what they’re doing steal jobs left and right…
- Social media is a huge confusing mess…
- Getting noticed by brides online is like trying to make a pile of water…
- More talented photographers are losing the battle and the will to fight every day…
It’s total madness!
You have no idea how much I wish it was as simple for you today as it was for me back in 2006.
But it’s not, and it’s a case of adapt or die.
The “Attention – Connection – Conversion” System
If your wedding photography calendar for the year is half-empty, you’ve had enough of struggling, and want to do something about it then I’ve got a plan for you.
Here are the facts we know:
- There are more wedding photographers today than ever…
- The pool of weddings hasn’t increased at the same rate…
- So, more photographers are fighting over the same business…
- Cheaper photographers can undercut you because brides don’t know any better…
- SEO is no longer the answer on its own…
To combat this, here’s what you should consider:
- Forget about competing on price – doing so is a death sentence for your business…
- Charging higher fees means you don’t need as many bookings to be profitable…
- Educating brides on the value and quality of a premium experience is key…
- SEO is only one channel, but you must find new ways to get website traffic…
- Don’t let your website visitors evaporate – do everything you can to capture leads…
- Building more productive business relationships with other vendors…
But you also have something big in your favor:
You already know you have an excellent chance of making a booking as long as you can get the bride and groom in the same room with you for a consultation.
Am I right?
If not, you have a sales problem you should address first.
But if what I just said is true, this is where the “attention – connection – conversion” marketing model helps.
Basically, it works like this:
Here’s a very simple formula for this:
Bride’s attention + emotional connection + easy way to convert = more wedding clients
You attract the right people to your website through various incoming channels by providing content specifically designed to appeal to them. What you’re doing here is capturing attention.
Next, you have to transform their attention into genuine interest to make a human connection.
Therefore, the content on your website is created to educate your prospects about who you are, why you do what you do, how it benefits them, and to demonstrate the amazing experience they’ll enjoy by hiring you to photograph their wedding.
This creates a deeper connection with your prospective brides than simply, “hey, look, you take nice pictures!”
The final step is to convert your anonymous visitors into excited brides with an email address or phone number so you can follow up with them personally, arrange a time to meet, and then make a booking.