Wedding Photography Business


Lesson Info


Rue marketing. Okay, so a common themes that were what what party? I don't clearly clearly next creative life is gonna be a for all my students. Got you guys okay? Uh, common theme throughout the marketing section and they want people to look at his opportunities like opportunities, opportunities, opportunity and people will always remember what I said about yesterday. People said that I had been lucky and I firmly believe that I have luck is when preparation meets opportunity and this is just not an opportunity. It was an opportunity to be me. And the beauty of my marketing approach is that what I do is everything you khun dio I cannot stand the notion that photographers have been perpetuating this idea that there are secrets in the industry. You think there are secrets? You think that what you're doing is such the secret sauce that nobody can get to what you're doing? Listen, I have a jacket, I'm going to open it so I can show you I don't have secrets there's no such thing because wh...

at I am doing will make you better and by making you better, we make the industry better, and if you are equally as competitive and as good and as fabulous bride wants both of us and I helped you get to that point, great, you were the better photographer it's like when we watch we watch like reality shows and there's the people that took the high road like if I'm gonna lose I want to lose against the best person set it's great so I booked three weddings in two thousand six I booked thirty eight weddings in two thousand seven and I think we're gonna break down the marketing section into four different sections or you know are you ready with your color coding? Aaron get that pen ready bring up the orange okay, so opportunities to definitely be the first section will be social networking and how I started using it in how I started doing it and how it's changed from the beginning to what I use now it's a community the third section will be image specifically related to your online image and how about you and what you could be doing and taking the opportunities to be you and taking and how I tried to take opportunities to beat me for everything I didn't have relaxes a photographer I just cried tried making up with me being me and I didn't think it was going to work I really didn't even know what I was doing but whatever it was what it was and I'm here today and I'm going to keep on doing it until it gets broken so we saw a talking about social networking the way that I had used social networking wass through my block at the time, facebook and twitter were not on the radar, facebook was, but it was for college students and I had just graduated college and I wasn't using into capacity and I wasn't ever on my space, so I just wanted an outlet to right, that is what the blood became the blogger was simply a way for me to find my way. I started the block as a way to document this idea that I was going to fail because I have so much faith in myself. I really remember yesterday gave ourselves a year to start the business, and if I failed, I was going back to law school with a nice camera, so I was like, I'm gonna document all the steps, so one day I could look back and you remember that one time when I tried to do that one thing well, guess what it's different out, so now we're going to kind of move forward from there. I didn't have readers, you know, people see what the bog is turned into today, but what it was when it was started, it was like, my mom, my mom read my block and maybe jd if he was bored at work like I had to, readers were a very, very long time, and the crazy thing was, remember hi spoke about jodi that second bride that he booked and how her friend happens upon my block is she did a search for cancer oncology. And I had blogged about my mom that happened actually, on a consistent basis, because the more you write, the more things you put on the web, the higher your search ability becomes for the randomness of things. And so I started writing, and I started collecting what I now called cubicle cities. These were girls who just started reading my because from one cubicle to another, we identified on some level, like, here was a girl. They might not want to be photographers. But there were people who I wanted to cheer, perhaps for a girl who was trying to do something different because I think we all like the story. You know, we like the underdog story, like, specifically americans like I think the europeans heir like you americans love the underdog. We do give us rocky eighteen and we'll still be going is right. I wonder contestant this time again. You know, we'll always cheer for him because we believe in and we love that story. And for some reason, people started reading it. I wasn't writing about anything was reading what I eat for dinner was letting out my dog I was reading about my god and wonder this is my first wedding in the second she like all of those things I don't know if I'm too scared to do this that's what that first log became and then I had my very first opportunity now not an opportunity but specifically an opportunity to be me and everybody has the same opportunity it's when you shoot your first wedding we just spoke about christine and danny's wedding now how did I then use it as a way to turn it not just into a wedding photography experience but as a jasmine star experience and I think that that definitely helped because kristina had twelve bridesmaids and christina was young and so all of them are still like they were twenty one twenty two we're all in college and after I shot christina and danny's engagement session we went to laguna beach we saw shot their engagement session I posted a few pictures like I think three or four from their engagement session but then I posted a web slideshow now what the web slight you did bring it up what's my job okay? Yeah okay what the web slide shows did was help spread my name like wildfire because than these girls at college were like oh my god christy looks so great and sometimes they would send it to their friends or their mom's friends or whatever and all of a sudden it became this little network of I know her by association and look how good shoot look how christina grew up and these people night not even be going to the wedding it was just remember when we to play together now she's getting married in these our engagement photos what these essentially turned into b was empowering the j star choose squad so these twelve bridesmaids became like little miniature don king telling people right telling people how to find me what to do and that experience that was the cool thing. Now I firmly believe that web slide shows again and I told you again and again I might do the seams are magical they are jasmine star commercials storing my clients and they're actually goodwin commercials storing your clients in there anthony q commercials storing your clients okay, here is the deal though if your friend from college emailed you and said you guys will never like candies he'll never believe it happened I got casted for afford commercial you'll see me here's the link on youtube what do you do? Click if ford emails you and says candace we just came out with a ford f one fifty here's a new commercial what would you do? Click in a ford for excuse me? Okay so what then happens? The difference between those two situations was that her friend became the validator her friends became this the person who said I am in the commercial please watch it that changes everything if you was a photographer were to get everybody's list of means at the wedding and then sent them like the slideshow email hey guys, I'm the photographer here's the wedding photos you might get you might get people if you get the validator to send it to her friends and hurt like inner circle of people that changed everything because and this is what I'm talking about people in the internet word of mouse click to click to click this spread mining much faster than it ever could buy means doing traditional forms of advertising I'm not gonna fake the funk I know that the price like how did I grow my business so fast? Well, price was a major factor in the california market yeah I was charging a thousand between one thousand and fifteen hundred dollars that made me a very competitive photographer I'm not going to say like I was still awesome no I mean however within the spectrum between a thousand and fifteen hundred dollars photographer I became extraordinarily competitive just because I was different and I was personal so even if you feel like oh I'm like the bottom barrel photographer even if you're at the bottom to the top of the bottom you know like that's always my philosophy I personally I person he would prefer to be the bottom of the top but at this point in my career I was at the bottom but I want to be the top of the bottom we ok? Am I talking in circles it's circular reasoning, right? Okay no okay so this is kind of with the first step was so yes social marketing has definitely social social networking has definitely changed and at the time I was on my block but for new photographer's coming in twitter and facebook in addition now I believe my approach to social media my approach to adjust anything online is that I have megaphones and not everybody listens to a certain megaphone now for me what I firmly believe is that my largest megaphone is my website like that's the thing that I want now people always oh but your blood gets a lot more hits yes, but two photographers I'm not trying to book photographers. However, if there are photographers on the internet calm way uco give me little wriggling okay but my who's paying me who's keeping a roof over my head are my paying clients and how I'm getting them and soliciting validity is through my website that's a very large megaphone another mega funny's a block another megaphone is twitter another megaphone is facebook now I do all of these things because not everybody's on twitter and not everybody is seeing what's going on facebook so all of these different things work into playing how I'm using social networking we're on the same page about that okay, cool now we are going teo cool so show it has been giving away off a slide shows that some of the prizes for people who didn't win the slide show if you're gonna show it fast dot com backslash hashtag backslash slideshow hashtag found this link last night I'll get you there directly um you get a fifty dollar discount at checkout the promo code is jay star live and that's for everybody who is watching today so if you wanted to use side shows that's where you're gonna go okay so what we're now going to be moving in teo is community this is the second portion of the four part marketing section basically yesterday I spoke about o s p and the v school right these are online forums to connect with what is going on in the community I want you remember I told you get involved put yourself out there start conversations reach out to people that's the first parts of building community and when you build community you are essentially marketing your brand on a personal level to your peers are we on the same page? Perfect I didn't even wait for you to say yes google calendar now what? This is the thing that was kind of like a game changer for me ah google calendar then became I had all these friends online, but I didn't have any friends in real life like photographer appears in real life and I was god, this is so isolating and lonely, so I looked around in my area and I found three other female photographers who charged kind of what I charge who kind of had a very similar style at the time and we all proud of yourselves in client care and they just seem like overall nice people. I randomly shot them an email, I knew each of them a marginally on a personal level, but all four of us didn't know each other collectively they said, hey, do you guys want to meet up for lunch at cheesecake factory what's up with me in the cheesecake factory? Um dude, I apparently loved to eat s o they were just like, yeah, this is great and I wasn't sure I took a risk I wasn't if these girls were even going to say because remember what if they viewed me as as an enemy and not an ally? Thankfully they saw the bigger picture, and I believe that these girls are so successful photographers even till this day because they see the bigger picture, so he met at, um cheesecake factory talked about everything about business, about life, some of kids, whatever the case may be and then at the end it came up and we do. You said, listen, how about we help each other book out our year? So we started to share a google calendar so we would fill up. We shared all four of us shared the google calendar on whenever I was booked, I would mark out the wedding of the date that I was booked and everybody else would do the same. When I got an inquiry and I was booked, I would look at the date and see who wasn't booked on that date, and I would send those clients to the two or three other photographers who were available. They were in my area, they were similarly priced at the time, we had very similar styles, and I knew that they were as mean as a division of my brand, my endorsement to these other photographers, I knew that they were going to take care of that client because of their help. I think we all helped each other stay books, you're stronger together as a unit than you are isolated, and if anybody ever tells you that walk away from them, they don't know what's good for you, always in a pack in it seem three wolves howling at the moon three wolves are stronger three wolves are stronger than one wolf you know three howls bring it all back thanks for the demo that is the google calendar and working together as a team we'll thank you. Ashley ah bender promotion people talk about marketing so let's have a vendor promotion as a form of marketing but let's flip the switch on what were commonly used to so at the time um I wanted to get a sample album for myself but I couldn't afford it so it was so far for me to think that I could get a simple album for a vendor right? Like sample alums are expensive and if I couldn't afford them for myself how could I ever forget for a florist a hotel or whatever the case may be well, I created templates in photo shop five by seven templates and what I would do after a wedding if I worked with the florist or coordinator that I liked I would pick five to eight of my favorite pictures from these pre existing templates and I would drag him into the templates and they weren't of the couple because while vendors left the couple they want to showcase their work not necessarily cool pictures that we like they want to showcase the boo nears the course aj is if that's applicable the archway what the church looked like anything that's gonna table skate the bouquet anything doesn't showcase their work now what I could have done in the middle, I left the blank spot. I could have put my jay star logo in the middle and send them to them and said, go share, right? But am I incentivizing them to share what we? What I did was instead of putting my logo in the middle, I went to their website, grab their logo, put their logo in the middle and put a copy or a very small copyright at the bottom with my name. What I did was create marketing materials for the vendor at my cost, because what am I doing? I'm incentivizing the vendor to market herself with the copyright to my images because essentially she will be validated my work by passing that cart out when win win, how can you find ways to make other people's businesses successful as away of doing that? Those endorsements that they give you are so sincere they believe that you care about them more than you care about your business, and I hope that you do. I hope you care about these people and their businesses because they're just as hungry as you, and if we start collectively working together as a team, the industry gets better and we all have each other's back and there's less snarkiness, net making now making is a word I made up and jd hates it and I use it all the time just annoy him net making is the antithesis of networking ah sorry net making is the antithesis of networking oh, so networking you go up to people you asked what can you do for me? Net making is making net what can I do for you? What can we do together? So I used when I first started out I would go to these like social networking things like these magazine parties and oh god I was so desperate to be invited and I didn't get invited for such a long time and the first time I went to I was so nervous I was like, oh my gosh my gosh was jd please come with me so yesterday what I say I'm not the wallflower on the wallpaper you know, I just I was if you don't come to me, I will never be talking to people I took it I took a stack of business cards and what it turned into was like speed dating it was like, hi, how are you? My name is jasmine from orange county I shoot weddings. I've been doing this for your really cool hi, I'm doesn't start doing this for three days it was like one thing after another nobody and once people realized that I had nothing to offer them completely off the radar and people who had been in the industry for such a long time already had their cliques and they do that the shoulder turn oh, hi hi. You know it's like e I don't want to talk to your shoulder and they did the shoulder turn and I've just been raised that people don't want to be around you you walk away, you have enough pride to say you can't do that to me you can you will on ly let people make you feel how you let them make you feel I could see in control of the situation by saying you give me the shoulder, I'll give you the prom you know that just came to me that teo jenny hates when I do that stuff no yeah that's a jasmine quote uh, so net making how can you help others like, really if you are in a funk, if you feel like your business isn't going anywhere, the first thing we should do is not power or capitulate or quit it's how can I help somebody else to help me see the situation that I'm in differently? That's not making we're gonna move into image image when I get into this I believe that image is one of the most important components to branding you and not what you look like it's, the online image what is that idea that you're presenting to people in an online capacity anything that is on line people I'm talking about twitter I'm talking about facebook I'm a specifically talking about your website your web site is a big thing and I think that this um is the best way to create your image in and of itself everything else is just a byproduct of it at least that's how I approach it so people always ask about my first website not very many people are familiar with it because it's it's offline but I had a blogger for a little bit and I knew that I couldn't book weddings I couldn't book weddings because I didn't have a legitimate a site they just had a block and people are like and especially at the time now people use blog's as legitimate websites and I'm just like what the heck was like back then nobody would hire me because I only had a vlog so my first um my first website I didn't have I didn't have enough money to afford a website and uh I didn't trade for services with a photographer I liked to write and I heard this photographer needed article written but it had to be written in first person so I ii not shi shi and I wrote the article in first person for the other photographer and the photographer gave me his or her old website and it was that html website and I would pay a graphic designer three hundred dollars, two or three hundred three hundred dollars to change out texts in colors and swap out pictures, but it was three hundred dollars for every grouping of changes, so if I wanted to add gallery pictures or take out calorie pictures one or ten it was going to be three hundred dollars so I think that acted such as an impediment because once I got the website up as it started shooting more weddings and I style start changing it wasn't ever to me advantageous to keep on paying three hundred dollars to swap out those images so I've got the website I was like, ok, cool, great but then it just kind of teetered because I didn't want to keep on paying all that money to make it better so I think that what happened was, uh let me too like a roadblock because the people saw the jasmine star who I was on my block and I paid to get accustomed walk because I saved money on the website I remember how I have been profiting around this time three thousand dollars per wedding well, I was taking out money to cover my home costs like our team caught j denies team cost j denies that doesn't make sense our team costs eyes goals going are our costs and so I would take out from that profit are home costs and then I would take out a little bit of money for our savings and then whatever profit that it could take time that we would put it towards the business account business account business about business account and once I had saved enough money to invest in a website when I got this ten html site that I was able to pay three hundred dollars to do the designer for it left me with fifteen hundred dollars for a block and I was like, I'm gonna get my own custom log so I spent money in the block and people saw a mismatch the blob started growing and the website just stayed there now I was like, oh cool great this is fine for me, but it never really wass because the types of weddings that I wanted to get into they would go to the website I couldn't get coordinators to refer weddings to me because my website looked through the way that it wass so there was an inherent mismatch between the jazz mr on the block and the jasmine star on um my website. Now um people ask if I had the option. Of course I had an option between a custom site or a template website everybody has that option, but my options for a custom site at the time was gonna be ten thousand dollars I didn't have that then remotely and a template website it was, you know, three hundred dollars at the time even in cheap or no you can get a template website for one hundred fifty dollars, but guess what? You look like you have one hundred fifty dollar template website you look like everybody else the on ly thing that's different about your template website are your images? Do you think that your clients are so uneducated that they can't possibly see the difference between that do you go to like diane von furstenberg and then zac posen? And they have the same website except the clothing is different? Absolutely not you're not going to, you know, a jackson pollock website and then, um I don't even know like a dolly website and they're both the same websites, but the paintings on the website are different absolutely not. We claimed to be artists and yet we're using the same medium to showcase our art that's not fair to you, I don't even know if that's the best decision to make further more. I heard of a photographer tall a story of one time of client had asked this photographer if he worked with another photographer because they had the same website, but the pictures were different yeah that's like, oh, well, what do you suggest then? Um if you really can't find it, you might be about to get to that yeah, I'll get to that financially really like shell out the cash for that? Yeah, definitely all I don't get to me in the capacity in which you're buying it. I want you to pull it, pull it me appointment and work through this because I think a lot of people are in your situation a lot. I was in a situation, but my situation five years ago there was options that I didn't have back then that I think a lot of people now yes, that's the question uh, mike c would like to know why your website and blogger separate uh we're gonna get that? Absolutely. Oh, and it's it's imperative that they're different? I believe we're going to my web site changed everything. So what happened in two thousand eight? David j my wedding for terror for her photographer came to me and we had a conversation. And again, here is a blaring opportunity, not just an opportunity but an opportunity to be you. I brought you to me I'm bringing I'm bringing their when I pause to say me create the next time I was like, okay, ready, huh? Ready? Okay, uh, yeah, so the website definitely changed everything in two thousand two thousand feet, I had a conversation because again, my options were to stay with the hdl website to get a template website or to get a custom website I wasn't going to get a template website because even though like my little ghetto html website wasn't all that great it was mine nobody else had it it made me different maybe not the best but it made me different and you all know how I feel about that I couldn't afford the other day I couldn't didn't want the template and it couldn't for the other option he came to me he says hate we have this crazy idea what if we design a service for photographers to design their own web sites would you be on board? I was like I've been waiting for this this is what I want are you willing to be the guinea pig? I'm will and whoa I'm willing to be the guinea pig slammed me up I didn't know what the heck I was getting into hours and hours later because I was we were working through everything together my website was the first website to be an official show it site yes david j has hit had his website you show it but it was fugly he didn't know what he is throwing stuff up there we collectively as a team sat down and I forced me to make very specific decisions about what I was going to do with my website in my brand that is what happened back then um I had a finally an opportunity to create ah website that I saw in the head part of the brains that I wanted all of those good things furthermore, I'm going to get more into this in a little bit about the how and the why but it legitimized my web presence because remember I had that each nail website I couldn't get cornered anderson's and finally you get a website where people like oh she actually looks and acts like a professional that's what the website does and I don't know if people are really grasping this idea of the gravity of what it could do for your business and it personalized my business but we're gonna get more into the personalization of it because remember I'm all about personality personality on the web is like jazz hands I see that again and again you know what it means so much here you guys love the spear fingers jazz hands like but that's really that's really really really what it is on going to get two more of the how? Because I can't just say go god go get a website guys great awesome cool it's not enough anymore to do that I want to talk about the how and I want to give you every tool possible for you to go back I briefly touching websites at the last creative life and I'm really proud of the five people three of the people got since then, in five or six months, cash has been five months since it three people got brand new websites to them or show it. And they're just blowing up, not because of the tool that they use, of how they're using the tools of the themselves. Very, very, very different. We'll talk about that.

Class Description

In this workshop Jasmine explores how to grow your wedding business. Build a brand that embraces your unique strengths, and communicate that brand to attract clients through today's online social media tools.