I’ve always thought that meeting new clients face-to-face was the absolute best way to find new clients. If they can meet you, see how you work, and love your personality they are more likely to book with you – even if they haven’t seen your entire portfolio. But where do you go to meet people face-to-face? Aside from giving business cards to your dentist and chiropractor when you see them there just isn’t much of a chance aside from signing up to do an expensive bridal show. Of course I think bridal shows have been very worth my money because I always book something from them.
When you photograph at someone’s wedding you’re going to meet on average 75 potential new clients. Some of them won’t live in your area, but many of them will. While you don’t have time to chat them all up while you’re working many people talk to the photographer at the wedding. Although usually it’s Uncle Bob making jokes about standing in your way while he still continues to stand where he can get the best shot. I’ve had many people come up to me at a wedding and remark about how hard I’m working which is a good thing. I want to be viewed as hard working and trying to do the best at my job.
So what I’m trying to say here through my rambling is that you need to figure out a way to market to all these people who actually get to see you at work. There truly is no better way to meet people or show them what you’re like when you’re at work than to have them watch you at the wedding and give them access to the final product.
The day before every wedding I go to my online client gallery and I set up their gallery and password – or if they already have a gallery with engagement photos I go into that and set up a wedding album next to it. I’ll put up a photo in the wedding album that says “Coming Soon – photos will be up by such-and-such date.” Then what I do is get the cheap business cards you can print yourself from Office Max. I don’t need anything fancy and I tend to not spent a whole lot on these cards, especially when I have to make a lot of them. I make small business cards that say my name, contact information, the bride and groom’s name and most importantly – the link to their gallery and the password. Before the wedding I like to put these cards out on the reception tables so that all the guests can easily grab one. Then when I’m working I don’t have to fish business cards out of my pockets for inquiring guests while I’m busy. They can throw these in their purses and look at the images later.
The best part is that the pregnant bridesmaids, engaged bridesmaids and other young guests who are in the same boat are actively looking for photographers or will be and there you are giving them access to an entire wedding feature as well as your contact information. If they’re looking for a photographer they’ll pick up your card and introduce themselves and this is the best way to gain new clients.
Added bonus? Now all the guests know where to go to buy prints! You’ll at least double the amount of print sales you would normally have gotten when the bride and groom don’t have to pass out their gallery information to all their friends and family. The bridesmaids who want some photos and the family members who were in photos will likely buy from you!
All it takes is a few dollars at Office Max, a printer, and an hour or so of your time and you’ll be set to bring in a ton of great new referrals!
Want to learn more about marketing and branding? Come to next week’s online live class on marketing! You’ll learn a ton of great affordable tips to market your work and gain more clients.
As always I <3 your questions so please feel free to ask me any photography questions you might need help with!