Diversify Your Marketing StrategyJun 20, 2023
I got to talk on the podcast about one of my favorite topics, diversifying your marketing strategy. I feel like this is a huge struggle for so many photographers because there is so much that goes into the backend of running a business and there isn't as much education on this. When it comes to marketing our photography businesses, the most common issue I see is that so many people are relying on social media solely to get their leads and get their name out there. If you are one those people, you might be feeling frustrated that you are posting daily and not getting the amount of leads you'd like to.
You probably follow bigger name people on social media who are ALL about social media. It is true, some people get big through social media. But my belief it is isn't the norm. It will happen for some, but it isn't going to happen for the majority of us. Social media is just too unpredictable. My ultimate goal with my business and what I teach my students is finding balance in business, getting to have a thriving business but also getting to live your life. I just have no interest in creating reels every day for the rest of my life. I can't see how you could possibly create balance in this constant content creation mindset. It sounds exhausting to me and I don't want my entire business to be chained to social media. For me, it is more important to find things that will work long-term and can work in my business without me being hands on all the time.
Why diversity is important
When it comes to my marketing strategy, the most important thing to me is having a diverse strategy. I don't want to be just relying on social media or one way, but to have multiple different steams of leads coming in. Diversity is key to a strong marketing strategy for your business. When you rely on just one or two ways, things can quickly change and you can see a drastic decrease in your leads. Just think about everytime the algorithm changes on social media and you are left trying to scramble to figure out what the algorithm gods want now. Social media is constantly changing, which is why I don't like to have my strategy based on it.
Blogging - a huge thing in my business
You might be asking, isn't blogging dead. Well, you are reading this aren't you? Blogging isn't dead and is HUGE for marketing your photography business. This is something photographers in their first years aren't doing. If you look at any seasoned photographer you love, you will most likely find blogs on their website. Blogging is an anchor in my business because I use it in so many different ways. It is extremely powerful...because it works. People always want to know, how do I boost my SEO? My answer is blogging. If you went to Google right now and looked up a wedding venue in your area right now, on the first several pages there will be lots of blog posts from photographers and wedding vendors. This means that as a couple is looking for venues or looking for inspiration for the venue they just booked, they are going to come across your blog post and website. They most likely don't have a photographer yet, meaning you are getting in front of them in the right stage of their planning process. There is so much power in this.
Other ways I use my blog posts:
- I send blog posts to potential clients. If a client inquiries with me, I will send them blog posts of past weddings AT their venue. This allows them to visualize you at their wedding and you are more likely to get hired.
- I use them on my website to draw people in that may be getting married at that venue.
- In those Facebook groups, instead of just commenting your website when someone is looking for a photographer, comment a blog post at the venue they are getting married at.
- I use my blog posts to create a lot of my social media content. I've already written my blog post, why would I need to come up with social media captions too? I can repurpose what I have already written in the blog post for my social media posts. We are working smarter, not harder.
- I deliver my blog posts with the final gallery to the client. A lot of my clients will share the blog post on their social media.
- I create pins on Pinterest that link back to my blog post on my website.
All of the ways that I use these blog posts bring people to my website, which organically is boosting my SEO, allowing me to be found and rank on Google. Blogging and SEO strategies go hand in hand and work together.
Most newer photographers don't have email marketing set up in their business. I didn't realize how important it was until I started incorporating it and saw the results. One huge benefit of email marketing is that you own that list. Once someone gets on that list, you have control over how and when you are reaching them. When it comes to social media, you have no control over how and when you reach your audience because it comes down to an algorithim and if they are actively scrolling the day you post. There are so many people who follow you who will never see your content or will only see one out of ten posts. With email marketing, you have the control over how and when you are showing up in their inbox.
Another huge benefit of email marketing is the ability to talk to different parts of your audience. With social media, you are talking to every single person who follows you the same way. With email marketing, you can talk to different niches differently. You can reach your family clients about things that are related specifically to them. You can talk to potential wedding clients, booked wedding clients, and past wedding clients all differently and specific to their phase in your business. Email marketing can be huge for those who have niched their business but still want to do other things. This is what I call niching on the surface. Your website and social media are all weddings, but you still service family and maternity clients. Since you aren't posting about those services anymore, they might wonder if you even still do it. With email marketing, you can be showing up in their inbox with family related topics and sessions, showing you are still their go-to photographer.
Most photographers are frustrated that their standard here is a pretty picture and this is what I do Facebook ad isn't working for them. My ultimate goal with Facebook ads is to get them off of social media and onto my email list so I can continue to market to them long term over the next several months. I do this through a freebie, which is a free pdf that can be downloaded in exchange for their email address. From there, it is all automated. As soon as they put in their email, it will automatically start the process of sending them emails over a period of time. What I love most is that it is hands off. I am not constantly having to be working on this, it is working in the background of my business.
With a social media ad, it can be hit or miss if you are reaching the right audience, even if you are setting specific targeting. Most of us are targeting engaged couples, but that doesn't mean they are looking for a photographer. With a Google ad, the couple has to actively search for you for your ad to pop up. This means they are in the right phase of searching and need a photographer, giving more power to Google ads.
Harness the power of relationship marketing
When it comes to relationship marketing, a powerful relationship to have is with fellow vendors. Just like you have a lot of weddings and you refer vendors to your couples, they also have couples they may need to refer photographers. With these relationships, we want to ensure we are being authentic. I always encourage people to create real relationships, not expecting anything in return. If they do start referring you, that is just a bonus. Create relationships that even if they never give you a single lead, you still want to be friends with and work with them. Because ultimately, getting leads isn't the goal here. If you take care of your couples and treat people with kindness, vendors will see this and feel this and want to refer you.
We also want to get referrals from our clients. It is easy to get this, just provide a great experience for them. It is so much more than just pretty pictures, they want to tell people about their experience and how you made them feel. I have had so many couples leave reviews for me before even receiving their galleries. Because at the end of the day, I made them feel a certain way and they want to share about that.
If you have ever wondered "how the heck do I even run a photography business", I'd love to help!
My passion is helping photographers with the backend of their business. I have two courses that go in-depth on marketing in your photography business.
#1) The Marketing Strategy Course - in this course, I talk in depth about marketing your business. Learn more about the course here
#2) The Wedding Mentor Course - this is a more in-depth course for wedding photographer that encompass "how the heck to run a photography business" where I go through how I run my entire photography business. This does include the full marketing strategy course inside it. Learn more about the course here
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