To help get ready for our huge upcoming annual event, Photo Week 2016, we’re highlighting some of our favorite instructors who are part of the event.
We’re going to be sharing with you, everything from their tips and advice on how to make it in the photography business, how to frame perfect shots within their domains, how to create your unique style, and much more over the coming weeks.
Today I got to interview wedding photographer and community marketer extraordinaire, Katelyn James. This Virginia-based wedding photographer has learned a thing or two about marketing her photography business over the years, and boasts a very impressive social audience for her work.
Katelyn started her wedding photography business while in college and quickly got up to shooting 25+ weddings per year within her second year of business. Now that she’s well-established in the industry, Katelyn spends more time teaching other photographers about techniques, business tips, and how to market your photography business.
Here’s our interview with Katelyn, focused on how to build (and manage) a powerful community for your photography business.
Q. You talk about your clients being part of your tribe vs simply making a 1 time transaction. Can you tell me how you first starting practicing this?
Katelyn: “I first started realizing that I had a community forming within my pool of clients, when one of my brides named herself a ‘KJ Bride’. All of a sudden it hit me and I realized that these brides were loving their experience so much that they were giving themselves a title!”
“After that, I started paying more attention to the experience and the community that surrounded my business instead of traditional marketing tactics. And you know what? It worked. Brilliantly! For the past seven years we have been growing and strengthening the ‘KJ Bride’ community and it’s stronger than ever. I don’t think I could ever go back to a traditional marketing approach in my business.”
Katelyn is a phenomenal example of how providing more than just a product or service – creating a meaningful experience for your clients, can plant the seeds of a powerful community for your business.
Q. How do you manage to both be a part of your wedding shoots and still find the time to grow your business?
Katelyn: “Outsourcing. One of my mentors once asked me, ‘Katelyn, how much would you pay to have a life with your husband? How much is that worth to you?’ That one question changed everything for me and my photography business. I couldn’t have any excuses anymore.”
“At this junction, I knew that my work/life balance was unhealthy, so I started handing over the work that I didn’t absolutely have to do and guess what… everything worked out. In fact, my business and income have grown significantly simply because I had margin in my life.”
Q. What else should the CreativeLive audience know about you?
Katelyn: “Be aware that I grew up in the country and have been told that I have a slight accent. I’m thrilled to be on CreativeLive and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to share my story and experience in business with friends new and old. There are so many photographers in our industry who have the potential to create their own community and I’m excited to share practical steps and education to make that a reality!”