Post Wedding Marketing

 

The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

 

Lesson Info

Post Wedding Marketing

I have mentioned in previous lessons that pricing or workflow or editing probably isn't my cup of tea. But when we talk about marketing, well, now I'm excited. This kind of just is a pep in my step, this is my jam, right about here. So if you're watching this and you happen to find your strength's in, like, album design, and post-processing, but marketing isn't your thing, hang onto your hats, because we're gonna be flying. And I'm gonna be showing you results, like, real time results from some of the marketing efforts that we have put in via social media. Now I make no qualms with my love affair with marketing. I absolutely love it. I love photography, but I cannot do photography unless I actually have a business. So, if I'm going to err on the side of one thing when I am currently working now and when I first started, that was, I need to build a strong business in order for me to actually do photography. And in order for me to build a strong business, I actually have to have a strong...

marketing sense. So, for those of you who aren't aware, marketing is defined as an action or business of promoting and selling products or services. So, what I do is photography. What I sell are my services. And that small little distinction is very powerful because so often I see photographers selling photography. Now, if I were to sell photography, chances are I would lose. Or I just wouldn't be as successful. That's what I think. If we're gonna go head to head, strictly on photography, I wouldn't be where I am today. But we're not going head to head on just photography. We're going head to head on photography and services. And where my service is, my services outshine the photography 10 to one. And that has made the biggest difference. That is what has made me a strong contender in one of the most competitive wedding photography markets in the world, which is Southern California. Now, I have... Some people might disagree, and I completely understand, but I believe from my experience over the past 10 years that people are investing in me as much as they are investing in my services. So that's a thing that I really need to showcase again and again. Yes, the photos are important, but the person making the photos is equally as important. And so often we hide behind that, we just say, well here are the photos, here are the photos. How can you interject yourself as the creator, as the curator, and then as the sharer of those images? Now, I think that one of the things I want to compete on is not just photos, I want to compete on my personality. I want to compete on my brand. I want to compete, first and foremost, on an experience. Now, if we just talk about the definition of a brand, a brand is a series of sets of expectations and experiences that one client chooses one service over another. That was defined, that really awful paraphrase, was from Seth Godin. He says that people choose one business over another, one service over another, based on personal experiences. So if we understand that people are choosing based on experience, and we are not infusing ourselves into the experience of photography, we are doing ourselves a disservice. So what you will see me going into when it comes to marketing is personality, service, experience. Yes, the photos, but how can I be competitive? By adding things that make me unique. How can you be competitive? By adding things that make you unique. So I'm going to show you my marketing forces so that you can utilize them in the future as well. Now, this is going to be a review. One thing to note is that this slide might be familiar, because earlier on in the lessons, and some people are nodding like, yes, thank you so much for paying attention going through the journey. JD had said when I was stressing out around midnight last night, he's like, why don't you just use some of the photos that you've used in the past and just put new text on it? I was like, people notice. And he's like, people don't notice. Well, you just proved, (audience laughs) that I said, you might notice this photo, and she's like yes, I do, I do notice it, so boom, they notice. So, that lack of sleep last night was so worth it. But I'm going to use this image and use this idea of creating evangelists to jar your memory, image association. Now, when I talk about evangelists, these are basically people who are zealous advocates of something. You don't want to have a client who's simply satisfied. While effective, it's not going to get you where you need to be. You need a zealous advocate. Now, when I refer to my efforts and myself, I will say that I am marketing, or I am a marketer. When I refer to people who are talking up my services on my behalf, I call them evangelists. So that's gonna be a key marker as we go into it. Now, basically, you want to create evangelists for your work because they're going to take care of your business far better than you could take care of your business in regards to talking about it. 'Cause I can go up to you and be like, my business is so great, my business is like, so great. So great, so great, business is great, great great great, I'm great, my business is great. It sounds funny when I say this, but when we listen to the radio, what do we see. Our beer is great, our food is great, our shoes are great. You listen to, when you watch TV, our beer is great, our food is great, our shoes are great. Right, so we're trying to compete with this onslaught of pay attention to me, I'm great, I'm great. But what if your sister came to you and said, "Jasmine's great." You would trust her so much more. That's the evangelist, that's the zealous advocate I wanna create. So, how do we first kind of create and get into those advocates? First, I wanna prepare my images so that my advocates can use them. So that my evangelists can use them. So, the first step that I use to make sure that my images are gonna go out in the most effective way is BlogStomp. Now, BlogStomp will rock your world. People who are using it are just like, mm-hmm. That's right, like we just went to church, in like, Atlanta, Georgia, mm-hmm, BlogStomp, amen. Because what we do is in a single button, we have watermarked all of our images. Yes, but wait, there's more. (audience laughs) I'm gonna show you how this actually happens, it is an app, and it will revolutionize the way that you approach it. Because sometimes... My biggest complaint that I hear from photographers is that it takes me so long to blog. It takes me so long to share my images. Well, we're gonna talk about how easy it is. Now, as a clarification, I have received emails, I have read in the Facebook group, when do you watermark and when do you not? Rule of thumb, I don't watermark. So if anybody's gonna walk away with something, it's that. I don't watermark. However, if I do watermark, I wanna clarify, I do watermark, but I don't want people perceiving that I give my vendors watermarks, that I give my clients watermarks, no no no. People who have participated in the event and they are close to the event do not get watermarked images. I watermark the images that will go out in that first marketing campaign, because people on Pinterest, people on Twitter, on Instagram, they're going to be seeing my images, and I really want to be able to be sourced back to that. At least initially, that's where the biggest push comes, and that's my largest concern. So, why I don't watermark images for my vendors, for the creative team, is because I want them to know that I trust them. I want them, I send an email, and I have a template email, one I send to the creative team to cite me when they use images in print, online, any sort of promotional campaign. I say I do not watermark images, but please cite photo credit as Jasmine Star. So I'm letting them know. Now, by and large, the creative team takes care of me, because I have taken care of them. Have there been instances in the past where a vendor will use the images and not cite the source? Yes, that has happened. And the next time I work with that vendor, do I send them images without my name on them, no. First time, shame on you, second time, shame on me. So, once we have established that, but 9.5 times out of 10, everybody's doing it the way that I should. Now, I don't watermark images for my clients. Because, some photographers might disagree, but my clients are just as much of an owner of the images as I am. I could not do what I do without them. Why would I give them watermarked images for them not to share, to make them feel like they're having to promote me. I would prefer to inspire them to promote me. I'll talk about what that looks like. So what I'm gonna do is, I'm going to get into a demo of BlogStomp so that you guys can kinda see what that looks like and how quickly and efficiently this is working. So we're gonna bring that on up. Great, so this is BlogStomp. This is an app that you download. Now, very basic, very intuitive. So, let me just follow some directions. Go on, drag some photos in here. Well... Let's grab 41 images, all high-res. So what it's doing for me automatically is populating them in my box, okay, cool. So why don't we just do a little preview of what it would look like. Well I can select this photo, and look at here in the lower right hand corner, my watermark is already there. Now, you can add borders, you can add your own type, font, within the app. I have uploaded a png file because it's a font that I want, but you're capable of doing that too. Let's just say that I wanna create some sort of, like, diptych for a blog post, for social media, or a triptych. A diptych are two photos next to each other, a triptych three photos. Maybe I wanna add a quadrych, I don't even know if that's technically a word, but it makes me sound really smart. Let's just technically try a couple things here. Why don't we pull, let's see... Let's go, so we're gonna click on freestyle, and then I'm gonna select this probably, great. So what it's doing is, like, do I like what's going on here? I don't know, let's try this one. Oh, let me redesign here, or redesign here. Okay, how easy, boom. Let's go back to batch, right? So let's just say, I don't wanna create any sort of collages. Let's just say that I want to watermark all of these image, all 41 images. Hang on one sec. What I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna simply say stomp it. Look at down here, go on girl, get your BlogStomp on. 41 images stomped into your folder. Now I have a folder on my desktop called Stomped, all 41 images in here, watermark, watermark, watermark, watermark, watermark. Can we get an amen? (audience laughs) That's right, amen, Mount Zion. Okay, so, what I do is I get all of my images that I think will go on the blog post, that I think will go on social media. An average blog post for me has around 30 images from a wedding and eight images from an engagement session. I've gone to blog posts in the past where photographers will have 50, 60 photos in their blog post, and I think that that's way too many. Because most of the time, people aren't scrolling. You want what's online to be your best work. Anything beyond your absolute best work, put it into a slideshow, we're gonna get into a slideshow right there. So I wanted to do that demo. And a lot of the teammates that I'm talking about today, let's see, in a past lesson we talked about Photographer's Edit, we're talking about BlogStomp, we're talking about my album designer, we're talking about Totally Rad Actions. All of these sponsors have come onboard with the bootcamp to offer discount codes, you can find the discount codes on the course page, so definitely dig into that. So, that is what it looks like to prepare the images. Now, these are how my images are prepared for my blog. Once I have the images for my blog, then I know that they're also prepared for Facebook, for Twitter, for Instagram, it's a one-time thing. So let's dig in back, now that we have the images set up to go, we're gonna get back into the keynote. So, once the images are blog-ready, after using BlogStomp. The first thing I'm going to do is the images are going to be prepped online, and I'm going to blog them. My first marketing coup, blogging. And we've talked about in a previous lesson why I personalize each blog post. If you have not seen that lesson, please go back and review it, because I can't get into the reasonings why I personalize every post, but just trust me in when I say that it works, that it is effective, and it makes your clients feel like you were there. I'm gonna take a second and I'm just going to read the first few sentences of the story, because what I want to do when I write is draw someone in. You are a photographer, but you are also a curator. You have to sell people why these photos are important. At least, I believe it. I'm speaking very, like, directly, but it's all or nothing with me. I want you guys to... I know, you're, poor thing, she's like, what did I get myself into? (audience laughs) It's all or nothing, it's very pleasant. (audience laughs) Okay. It was aptly described as a wedding for friends and family from far and farther to gather in Sonoma for what promised to be a day filled with love, laughter, and contentment. But it was filled with so much more, simply because a boy fell in love with a girl whose soul lights the world on fire. Samantha can walk into any room and make someone feel like they're the most special person she could spend her time with. And no one knows this better than Taylor, the man who acts like the match to Samantha's flame. For as much as the couple ignites love around them, people can't help but be attracted to their light. They emit a positive, joyful energy, and invite others into their love as if they had been there, just waiting for the right moment for their paths to intersect. This was apparent when they said I do in front of 125 of their closest friends and family at Chateau St. Jean in Sonoma. I go into a little bit more about explaining about The Knot Dream Wedding. And then, at the end of every single blog post when I blog about a wedding, I write a personal note to the client. Photographers often wonder or ask why I blog, and to be honest, I'm gonna be very forthcoming, I don't blog for the industry, and I don't blog for photographers. I blog for my clients. And I blog for their friends, and I blog for their family, so that when they read this, they understand that I hope I was not commissioned as any other creative member of their team, I was commissioned for my voice and because I was there with them and present. Sam and Taylor, I don't have all the right words to say, but what I came up with is thank you. This is a rather small thing to say for how much I appreciate and adore you, but it's all I have. You made me feel like the luckiest photographer to document your love, and I'm happy to call you friends. Cheers to health, joy, and making memories. Much love and appreciation, J. Star. What I did know in this situation is, usually I will say, have fun in Greece, or enjoy Tahiti. But they had won a honeymoon to Tahiti, but because of Samantha's mom they had decided to postpone. So I made no mention of the honeymoon during this time. That's why, I think, making these small little notations, people ask if I write notes on the wedding day. No, I'm fully present on the wedding day, but if you have a lot of stuff on your mind, that's okay. Step away from guests, step inside, go to the bathroom and write notes on your phone so that at a later point in time, if you have to revisit it to write the blog post, you can review what you wrote about the day. So now what we're gonna do is I'm gonna highlight a few things that I do strategically. So yes, the first part of the blog post is for the client, is for their friends and family. But let's talk about how we can leverage the rest of the blog post to really help us from a business perspective. Now, I write, I try to write verbiage in between each photo. And I'm doing this strategically. 'Cause it's important to personalize, absolutely, the blog post. One, it makes the clients feel special, and it makes them feel like you're paying attention. But two, it gives Google more of a way for my images to come up in an organic search. How, Google reads text. This is gonna be super important. The vineyard at Chateau St. Jean was lush and green. Too perfect, linking to Chateau St. Jean. The wedding reception was at Chateau St. Jean in Sonoma, one of the prettiest wineries in Sonoma, and the best makers of wine, I may or may not have nominated myself as the official taste-tester, obvs. A few seconds into their first dance, the music stopped, and the couple was surprised to hear that one of their favorite country singers, Canaan Smith, was going to serenade them with a special song. This was their reaction. Couple photos later. As part of The Knot Dream Wedding, the couple participated in an episode of the Food Network's Cake Wars. The cake was debuted at the wedding. Another one, once guests departed, I had some time for bridal party photos along the St. Jean property. I'm using Chateau St. Jean all the time and hyperlinking it. That makes my post come up higher. I have labeled the photos in the post Chateau dash St. dash Jean dash wedding dash photo underscore number. When somebody types in Google Images, says Chateau St. Jean wedding, I want my image to come out the top. When somebody says first dance Canaan Smith, I want my blog post to come up. I'm thinking about what people can search for. Winery wedding Sonoma. How many times did I mention wedding? How many times did I mention Sonoma? How many times did I mention winery? There was other things, like, for the florals, I describe what the florals were. Peonies, chartreuse, pops of colors, vineyard. I'm typing out searchable items. This is all done strategically. So, once... I need to smile more, I've just decided that. Everyone is just like... And I'm just like, I think I'm a scary force right now. Let's make this pleasant, let's make this pleasant. Okay, so, once we have this blog post live, and once you guys know the strategy behind what it is that I'm doing, I'm going to get attention to this blog post in three main ways. One, Twitter, two, Instagram, three, Facebook. And the order of their importance is starting with least to greatest. Essentially, I'm maximizing my ways to get reach. Now, I understand that some people like Twitter. Other people hate it. Some people are on Facebook, some people can't stand it. So what I'm trying to do is, I'm going to pick and choose what marketing vehicles play to my strengths, and then I'm going to tap all of them, hopefully finding one outlet that connects with different people. Even you yourself as a business owner and then you yourself as just you, you have a personal preference like, oh, for business, this one works. But for personal, I just love this one, right? So now what I'm trying to do is tap into four different wells, my blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Those have been, by far, the most effective in regards to getting more business. So, what I'm going to move into is my, I'm gonna review my blog efforts, the results, from blogging. This just happened a day ago. So blog marketing efforts. Well, in less than 12 hours, the blog was viewed 11,500 times. 7,000 of those were unique blog views. There were 35 comments, and there were 30 likes on that post. I'm aggregating these stats yesterday to bring them here today. This number will be greater in a week. And when The Knot Dream Wedding happens again in the future, and people are googling The Knot Dream Wedding, I will have some sort of activity then too. Cool, again, smile, here we go. Now what I wanna do is I wanna talk about Twitter. Remember, 'cause we started off. And what I'm going to do, is I'm going to talk about the four mechanisms in which I employ, and then I'm gonna show you the results of each of them. So now you're gonna call me to the carpet, and I'm gonna show you that I'm not talking trash. At least I hope I'm not. So, on Twitter. Blogged @TheKnot hashtag Dream Wedding today, loved this day. I kept it short because I needed to include a link to my blog post. And then I strategically chose three vendors who I could fit in 140 characters, and how I chose these vendors was strategically, those with the largest followings. Large followings indicates there's activity on Twitter. The venue, Chateau St. Jean, had less than a hundred followers, but they don't tweet. So why would it make sense for me to highlight Chateau St. Jean if there's a really low likelihood of them retweeting me. The goal always is to get a retweet or to notify those people that I'm writing. So I chose The Knot, Details Jeannie, the coordinator, and Farmgirl Flowers. And I included a photo. Give people a reason to actually stop and look. What I wanna do is highlight one of the vendors who highlighted the photo. So this is from The Knot. Can't get over these gorgeous hashtag The Knot Dream Wedding photos from @jasminestar. Now, one thing I wanna talk about was that the creative team shared images by way of Twitter. This is one particular look at The Knot, but others who shared were the coordinator, the florist, the venue, the linen company, and CreativeLive. So, knowing those things, let's talk about what resulted from these Twitter efforts. So our Twitter marketing efforts. In less than two days, we had the potential to reach 304,000 followers. This is incredible. Do I think that all 304,000 followers saw it? No, but do I think a chunk of them did, yes. In my marketing theory, is you throw enough mud on the wall, some of it's gonna stick. So, let's move in to Instagram. So, this was a sneak peak that I shared after the wedding day. This goes back to a question that I get quite often is how do you get the contact from all the vendors? And in a previous lesson, I talked about what I do in advance. I will find out from the bride or the coordinator who's involved with the wedding, and then I will do my homework in advance. 'Cause I want their Instagram handles, I want everything ready. So, this is after the wedding day happened. I highlighted, I tagged the bride. So I tagged Samantha, I tagged The Knot, Details Jeannie, and everybody else who was on Instagram. I used the hashtag, because I want, yes, for my images to come up when somebody looks for Sonoma, Sonoma wedding, Chateau St. Jean, The Knot Dream Wedding, I added all of those. Now, because I was working with a new creative team, by and large, I was new to everybody, and everybody was new to me. So how do I go out and find how to create those connections? Because my goal was to get everybody involved. Somebody had told me that a rising tide raises all ships. So what could I do to help raise the tide? I sent an email. So, what happens is, a few days before the wedding, which happens quite often with a coordinator, and if it does not happen and if you're not working with a coordinator, you can do it on your own. She sent an email to the creative team and said here is the timeline. This is what time everybody's starting. These are the cameras that'll be there, yadda yadda yadda. So, when she sent that email that had everybody listed on it, I was like, goldmine, you just did my work. So I emailed everybody back, and I didn't ask for permission. So this is what transpired. (audience laughs) Jeannie, the coordinator, you are a dream to work with and for. Thank you for all your hard work, I can't wait to see it come to life, happy face. For those who I don't know, my name is Jasmine Star and I'll be photographing the wedding. I can't wait to document your artisanship later this week. Because this is such a great opportunity for us to collaborate, I put together an Instagram cheat sheet in case you want to share the images as part of this event. I tried to make it as easy as possible to simply copy and paste. The hashtag, Knot Dream Wedding, by @TheKnot for serendipity, I listed everybody, and I highlighted what everybody did, right? So, simply copy and paste. I did my best to find everyone's Instagram from their websites, but if I missed you, please feel free to add. Lastly, my goal is to send the team 20 to sneak peak images from the wedding day no later than six p.m. on the same day as the wedding. So yes, you will be able to share the same-day sneak peeks that I'll be sending to press. The entire wedding gallery will be completed a few days after the wedding on Tuesday, June 9th, 2015. The creative team will have full access to the high-res images for you to use and share as part of this amazing event. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to drop me a line, shine on, J. Star, and then I listed all forms of my social media. To be honest, to prove credence. I listed my Facebook because I have a following. I listed my Twitter because I have a following. That I'm not following, excuse me, that I'm active, even if you have 20 followers on Twitter but you're active, it shows that you're using it. I'm putting out that I'm active on Instagram. So in case any was like, who is this girl? So, let's talk about how things transpired. Brief overview. The Knot shared my images. Jeannie, the coordinator, shared my images multiple times, multiple times, multiple times. Flower Farm Girls, twice. The linen company, the band, the fact that everybody was prepared to know who did what made it very effective. So I can't help but wonder, maybe this would have happened organically. But I didn't want to leave it to chance. I didn't want to say, hey you guys, maybe you can give me photo credit. Or hey, maybe... No, let's all do this together. So, let's talk about our Instagram marketing effects. Efforts, excuse me, our Instagram marketing efforts. In less than two days we reached, at minimum, 591,000 people. There are over, that I know of, 10,500 likes, and over 225 comments on photos that I'm just aware of. There's other stuff that's floating around. Do I think that I worked and had a hand to contribute to this type of success, yes. Do I think that this type of success is relegated just to me, never. What I just showed you, please copy and paste it, and send it to your creative team at the next wedding. Set yourself up for this type of success and start growing your following incrementally. So, that was just on Instagram. So now let's hit the money maker. Let's go to Facebook. Now, we're not even including the sneak peek. Remember, 'cause we already talked about the sneak peek. The sneak peek was addressed in a previous lesson on Facebook when it came to expressing appreciation. Now we're just getting solely into wedding marketing. Beyond thrilled to share, tagging The Knot Dream Wedding, I blogged it here. So one thing I want to talk about honestly is I know that Facebook, I get the most drive from Facebook. So if I get the most drive from Facebook, I want to share my wedding on Facebook twice, but in two different ways. I simply can't copy and paste the same update. So this is the first of two. Now, I'm going to update with a link to my blog. Statistics show that people in Facebook do not like to leave the organic platform in which they are in. So, I know that, so I know that I'm not gonna get as much punch from this link, but I'm still gonna do it for those who are willing to bounce over. Now, what I want you to notice is that there were over 66,000 people who reached this post just from my page. There were over 1500 likes. There were 95 comments, and there were four shares. Okay, so this is approach one on Facebook on the day that I blogged it. Now what I wanna do is go to approach two. Now, for those who don't like to leave the organic platform of Facebook, I will, about three, four hours later, update a folder of images. So I update a folder of images and all of these images that go in the folder are the exact same images that were on the blog. I am not doing any extra work. I'm simply dragging those photos on over. And I'm including the story. That story that I posted on my blog goes into the body of this folder. I'm not doing any extra work, but I'm finding a way to personalize this approach on Facebook. Now, when I upload the folder, the folder, not the first update, the folder. I am linking to every creative vendor. So I'm linking to Jeannie Savage of Details Details, I'm linking to her page. I'm linking to The Knot, I'm linking to Farmgirl Flowers. I'm linking to Wildflower Linen. A rising tide raises ships. If I want another business to link to my page, I must link to their page. It's etiquette, it is absolute etiquette. Now, this particular post reached over 40,000 people reached, it had 1200 likes, it had 75 comments, and it had 12 shares. So, I wanna highlight what The Knot did. The day couldn't have been any more beautiful. Photo, link to my page, sharing images from the wedding that I had sent as part of that first push. And I can't tell you how many people it reached, because I am not an owner to that page. You will only be able to see reach if you are owner of that page. What I do know is that The Knot has 400,000 likes on their page. So do I think they had a great reach, I do, I do. So, let's talk about our Facebook marketing efforts. In less than 12 hours, this is what transpired. 108,000 people reached. 2700 likes. 170 comments. 16 shares. Now, this is not including the sneak peek that I did a couple days earlier, and this is not including anybody else's Facebook pages. This is not Peony Farms, this is not Farmgirl Flowers, this is not Jeannie, this not The Knot, because I couldn't get those numbers. I could guess, but what does that do for us, nothing. I just know that it's happening, and it's happening good. This right here is solely my network. This is solely your network. This is the stuff that, like, fires me up. This is not me serving my current clients, this is me getting new clients. I'm in the business of new. Taking care of my present, but they already paid me. You gotta go hustle for the new stuff. So, we just spoke about all the online marketing that we've been doing. So I'm gonna grab a little something. Now, I like to, for weddings that I think I want to work more with the creative team, for weddings who I think JD and I... Well, not JD, I tell JD, that there are certain weddings in our business that we refer to as unicorn weddings, that they are just so magical and everything worked. Like, the timeline worked, the light worked, the venue worked, the details worked, right. So, what I want to shoot more of, I must show more of. What I wanted to do is for wedding vendors, I really wanna work more with Farmgirl Flowers. She's based here in San Francisco, she does great stuff. Like, she ships internationally and she gets her bouquets and she wraps them in burlap, and even if burlap isn't your zhush, even if you aren't like the shabby chic, she just does it right. And I'm like, I like you, I wanna work more with you. So, what I want to do is create promo cards. Now, because we're literally, like, I'm editing these photos, I hopped on a plane, I got here, I didn't have an opportunity to make the cards and have them printed for today. I wanna show you a card that I did for a recent wedding, and I'm gonna show you how all of this comes together, stick with me, stick with me. Right here, let me first show you, first and foremost. Anything that leaves my studio is accompanied by a handwritten card, I have customized stationery. Now, before you say, oh, customized stationery must be nice. I first started with customized stationery that cost me about 75 cents to make. I had a friend, my mom's friend from church did something called Creative Memories, where they just kind of make cards. They used to make albums with, like, sticker paper. Well, I said can you make a card for me that's similar to an album, just put my logo, and have a little ribbon, and she said yes. And she was gonna charge me a dollar. And I said, okay, that's great, I'll buy 20. I could afford 20 cards. So I paid her $20 and she made me these customized cards. I now have letterpress cards I'm about to show you. So yes, my business has grown, and my stationery's gotten fancier, but it doesn't mean that anybody else isn't in that position. And in worst case scenario, if you're really hard up, you can walk to Paper Source or Papyrus, get 10 cards for $12, anything to personalize that experience. So this is the card. I will have it in another envelope, and it will have my address, I'm not including it with my address 'cause we're not tight like that. Have my address, the studio stuff, they open it up and it's handwritten with their name. So then they open this up. And I want all of my cards to be branded. So this is my card. And when you pull up the card, there's a little note. And it says, let me pull it all the way out. A note from the heart and an invitation to call me, enjoy a cocktail, join me for yoga, walk on the beach, watch the sunset, all of the above. So I will choose one of these things. Usually it's all of the above or else I'll look rude. (audience laughs) And then I note, as a child I begged my mother for a pen pal. Every month I'd faithfully write my new friend in Sydney, Australia, imagining a koala reading over her shoulder. Years later, I'm thrilled to send a note to you because there's nothing better than a handwritten note sent with the utmost care. Here's to scribbled words, notes, and koalas. And then there's a space for my signature, and that's what I write there. And then what they'll do, they pull out the card, it's letter pressed with my name, and I have a handwritten note here. So what I will say, when the cards are ready, and maybe I'll do a blog post, but I'll say, dear Jeannie, thank you so much for everything at The Knot, it was fantastic, I'll list a personal memory, much love, let me know if you need anything else. Then what I will do is I'll send promo cards. These are five by seven promo cards that I had printed at White House Custom Colour. And what these are, and you can make up this template, I literally cropped these pictures into squares, and I dropped them on a five by seven card. And then what I did is, so this was from a wedding that I shot in December in Chicago. I shot this wedding in December in Chicago, and the team that I worked with was fantastic. And I had a really good feeling about this wedding, and this wedding will be featured in the Chicago Knot edition magazine this coming season. And when I was shooting it, I knew that it was gonna be something good, and I liked the team that I was working with. So this is Kehoe Designs in Chicago. So what I did is, I got designs, I got his flowers, I got the chuppah, more flowers, the bride and groom in front of the chuppah, it was a nighttime wedding. I got all of his floral details in an overview, then I went to his website and I just grabbed the jpeg form his website and I cropped it into a square. And I plopped it in here, and I went, and I got these images, I ordered them from White House Custom Colour. Now, if anybody notices, my name isn't on this card. My question is, to you, why do we feel we must make marketing material for ourselves and expect somebody else to pass it out for us? What if I did this same thing, and then right here, I put Jasmine Star Photography. Good, not as good. When I send Kehoe Designs, I've made them a marketing material, but guess what. I gave myself photo credit, right? So what I'm going to do is, these sets come in 20, these are from White House Custom Colour, this is a small investment. Correct me, but I mean, give me a little bit of grace, it's around 25 or $30 for a set of 20. This is fantastic. I ordered a set of 20. Now what I'm gonna do for The Knot, I'm going to do this same thing. And in Photoshop, I just save this template. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna drag and drop this other set of photos from The Knot Dream Wedding. And what I'm going to do here is I'm going to change this out to every vendor. I wanna work with Farmgirl, I wanna send one to Jeannie, I'm gonna send one to the Chateau St. Jean, why? Why, why do I wanna send it to the Chateau? (participant mumbles) So I go back to Chateau... (participant mumbles) Yeah, I wanna go to Napa. (audience laughs) You need to pay me so I can go and drink, yeah, okay. (audience laughs) Yes, so, that's what I'm going to do. And I might change the design slightly to raise it up, make the squares a little bit smaller, and at the bottom I will say The Knot Dream Wedding, because I do think that's a very important marketing component, that I'm going to be taking care of them, and I will have my photo credit in the back. This right here is a $30 investment. And my stationery is $1.50 a piece, or like actually, I think it was a little bit more. JD's like, no. I had, we went back and forth, he's like, you wanna pay how much for stationery? I was like, but it's part of the brand. I think my cards were like 4.75 a piece. Yeah, I know. But you know what, I go to Paper Source and I buy expensive cards. I do, it's terrible, and I love it though. I go through my cards and I hand write... Like, my birthday, if you have a birthday and I send you a card, know that I probably spent an hour trying to find the perfect card for you. That's just me. But guess what, I attract that in my clients. I can't tell you how many clients will email me and be like, I got your note card, I love it. Great, if you like it, we're already really well-prepared for a really great experience. You gave us a card after modeling for you and we were both like, oh, that's so sweet. Aww, okay, so Ashley's not on a mic. We still have it, so it does work. I'll pay you later. So Ashley didn't have a mic. Ashley modeled for a workshop I had in Orange County. And I'm a firm believer in writing handwritten thank you notes, so I wrote Ashley and her husband Kaya a note saying thank you so much for being here, you literally helped photographers around the world by coming here and modeling for us. And the fact that Ashley said that when she opened it, she said, "Aww," and the fact that she still has it in her possession months later is a testament that it works. Personal touches work. That's the era of marketing. So, one thing I want to do, is I wanna take a second, because where we are now. Slideshows, a photographer's commercial. So I'm gonna be prepping to show you what my slideshow looks like online. But one thing I wanna make sure is, this is something I've said, I'm gonna take a second to take a step back, is that we are a photographer, but we are secondly a curator. We are gonna be sifting through hundreds of images. How then can we put the best foot forward? Now, I create a slideshow for my clients. So the way that it works is, I will blog the images. I will share on social media. And they get to see other people validating on social media. When I tag my clients from my Facebook page, 'cause I will only tag from my Facebook page, not from my personal page. My Facebook business page, not my Facebook personal page. And then when other people are leaving comments like, what a great day, how beautiful, her hair was great, look at the light, and my clients are reading that, they are feeling great and they are feeling validated by their decision to hire me. So once they have all these warm and fuzzies, now what I wanna do is I wanna come in and... Not, I don't wanna punch them again, I wanna hug them again. (audience laughs) It's that one-two hug, right? I wanna go in and I wanna set the expectations of seeing the 20, 25, 30 images on Facebook, and then I'm gonna come back, and I'm gonna show them a slideshow. An average slideshow for me, so I'm blogging and sharing in the morning, and I'll send the slideshow late afternoon. These slideshows are empowering my evangelist to talk more about me. That is all marketing is. Having people talk about you. So, I must empower my clients to talk about me. But I can do that by giving them things to pre-qualify my work. What these essentially become are a commercial. This is a Jasmine Star commercial starring Samantha and Taylor. And when Samantha and Taylor send their slideshow to their friends and family, they are pre-qualifying me as their photographer. When she updated her Facebook, she said only nice things about me, and then gave a link. So, I'm going to share what that slideshow looks like for me now. (gentle chiming music) (chiming music and drumbeats) (moves to uplifting strumming music) (moves to upbeat joyous music) (audience applauds) So one thing I want to point out that I had said specifically that we are curators of our work. We are curators, we are curators, we are curators. You must've noticed because you were there with me at the wedding that the wedding did not unfold this way. And I'm not talking theoretically, I'm actually talking about timeline. Like, really, I had to incorporate... Not I had to, I chose to incorporate bridal party photos and bride and groom photos out of order. I could not sell the story of the day, I could not sell the arc of the day, if we had actually followed what transpired. So if you were with us, you know that we didn't do bride and groom photos until after everybody had left. We didn't do the group bridal party until after everybody had left. How do I tell that story, there's dancing, and then all of a sudden there's just bridal party? It just didn't make sense. So what I needed to do, is because yes, the slideshow is for my clients, 1,000% it is only for them, but ancillary I get to use it as a commercial for my business. So that if somebody inquires and says, I'm getting married in Sonoma next year, what I'm going to say is, funny, I shot in Sonoma. Let me send you something. So that slideshow will be, hey, I can shoot in Sonoma, I have done a Sonoma story, but do I wanna sell weddings where I shoot bride and groom after in a hot vineyard? No, I have to sell the story that I ultimately want to book. That's gonna be the thing, the types of decisions that I was making. So what I wanna do is I wanna hop back into my keynote. Now, let's talk about what actually transpired as a result. This is an email from Taylor. Hey Jasmine, thank you so much for the kind words. You and JD are seriously the best. I sincerely appreciate everything you said in this email and your offer to take photos with her mom if her health ever allows. That means the world to us both, and I just wanted you to know. My only goal in life that matters to me, truly, is making Sam happy, so I can only say thank you for helping me do this with your photos, memories, and just for being you. I will keep you posted on her mom's health, and if we think that photos are a reality at some point in the near future... And if we think photos are a reality at some point in the near future. Much love back, Taylor. Oh, your slideshow had me bawling by myself in my house. It was absolutely perfect, Jasmine. (audience chuckles) This is from Samantha. Jasmine, I wish you could've been a fly on the wall in the hospital when I showed... Oh my God, sorry, oh man, okay, okay, hold on. Okay. (sighs) Okay. Okay, I'm so sorry, forgive me. Jasmine, I wish you could have been a fly on the wall at the hospital when I showed this slideshow to my mom this morning. It was the first truly happy smile I have seen from her in a while. She was so mesmerized by your photos and fell so in love with the moments you captured. Thank you so much for sending this to me, and for all the love you continuously sent our way, Sam. Forgive me, I'm so sorry. (sighs) This email I got yesterday, so I feel like, I don't know, just being close to it is a little difficult, but I... Here's the thing. I can choose to see the sad, or I can choose to see the good that our, my photos, our collective photos by you guys joining the journey with me, it's offering her mom something. Her mom wasn't there. But she was able to join us on a very important day. And for that, I am honored and I take it very seriously. So... Why this marketing approach works. The marketing approach works is because, I'm not gonna get into debate about what is more effective. What I do know is that I'm a fan of this type of marketing because it's available to every photographer. Myself, and the photographer who's been doing this one year. This is a new generation of marketing. Advertisements are powerful, but they are not powerful in the traditional sense. So we see commercials, and radio stints, and pop-up ads on the internet. Those are effective, but they are not half as effective as marketing that chooses to be heartfelt. That marketing that chooses to be real. And that marketing that chooses to be helpful. The best part of this marketing, if you have not noticed by now, is that it is free. I haven't spent a dime. But this marketing takes a lot of work. This marketing takes a lot of time. And this type of marketing takes a lot of dedication. But it pays off in big ways to enhance and outshine your current state and portfolio. I look forward to seeing how you guys employ these type of marketing techniques, because I hopefully showed that they work and they are very effective. I wanna say thank you guys, we have about five, 10 minutes of Q and A if you guys are willing to get into it. So, we'll make sure that the mics are passed around for anybody who has it, and please forgive me for that cry fest. (clears throat) I have to clear my throat a couple times there. Do we have any mics to go around? Do you have it, oh great, sorry. Okay, I'm sure you've been asked this before, but do you blog every single wedding? Yes, (participant chuckles) I do. I'm gonna tell you, I blog every single wedding for two reasons. One, it puts the fire under my butt to perform every single wedding, even if I feel like I can't. There have been weddings where I show up and I'm like, oh my God, still to this day, oh my God, what am I gonna shoot? How am I gonna tell the story? Like, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. And it's too easy for me to say, oh, this one's not making the blog. And then I just go through the motions. What this does is keeps the fire at my back. Get better, make the not-so-pretty beautiful. Second reason I do that is because I have had photos of my husband and I taken, and this photographer blogs quite frequently, and our photo session did not get blogged. (audience laughs) And I remember thinking, like, I had that 14-year-old girl moment, am I not good enough? Did I have a bad hair day? It must've been my makeup, right? (audience laughs) And here's what I think, I did not get a homie hookup. I paid full asking price. I went to this photographer as a paying client. How I was made to feel was that I was second guessing. Far be it from me to ever make my client feel that way. So 1,000% yes and yes. And, it's a great marketing opportunity. And if you don't see it as such, you're not working hard enough. That sounds mean, but it's true. I need to make this warm and fuzzy. Are there any, yes, we have a mic, great. How long after you send the clients their gallery are you, this is a two part question. So how long after you send them the gallery are you doing the blog post and the social media push, and are you sending them the links to the blog so that they can see it right away? Fantastic. I don't send the gallery first, that's a great clarification. So the way that this chronologically works is that I will prepare the photos for marketing purposes. And then I blog, and then I do social media, and I don't actually email my clients and tell them that they're on the blog, why, because I'm updating my fan page, so maybe organically they would see it like that. But when I get into the second Facebook push, and I upload the album, I'm tagging my clients, and there's a link to my blog post within that. And even if they don't go to the blog post, they're reading the verbiage that I wrote, they're seeing the photos, so they're having a quasi-blog experience within Facebook if they so choose. So I do not need to follow up with it. I always assume that my clients will see it, because most of my clients are very active on Facebook. So if I were to tag them and then they see that, I would only follow up with them later that afternoon to send them the slideshow. Now, what I'm doing is I'm creating baby steps of anticipation. So they see the blog post, they see the images on Facebook, and they're feeling excited, and people are publicly validating their decision to use me. And then I create the slideshow which empowers them to share it with their personal friends on a personal front, because they may or may not share my album. Most clients do, but some clients don't. If I give them another reason to tap into that network, I absolutely will, that's what the slideshow becomes. So then they usually will send back emails like Sam and Taylor, thank you so much, we're on our honeymoon, my mom was crying, why didn't you tell me I needed Kleenex, we get these emails, right? And so, what's their emotions right now, sky high, they're loving it. They're feeling validated, they're feeling empowered. They feel like they made a good decision. Then I send the gallery. Because, can I... The same day? No, the next day. 'Cause I can control how they feel about 80 to 100 photos. I may or may not be able to control what they could feel around 800 images. So the baby steps to anticipation is making it really effective marketing. We have one and then two. Question for you, I know you mentioned this in a past class, but for those who maybe didn't see it, what do you or who do you use for your slideshow, and then do you post the slideshow on Facebook or do you just email your clients? First answer to the question is I use soundslides.com, S-O-U-N-D-S-L-I-D-E-S, soundslides.com. I use it and love it because it's a one-time fee. So I downloaded it, and I upload the slideshows to my server. So I have made hundreds of slideshows, and it has paid off in dividends. But I also looked into a lot of different slideshow options and for me, this works great, it's very simple. It's not fancy, it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it's fully compatible with mobile devices, which is where my clients are usually experiencing it. They're experiencing it abroad, on their phones or on their iPads. I want to make sure that they can then share. Now, I don't post it on Facebook because there's a lot of images in there that I think work on a very personal level, but maybe not on a business level. And if I put it out on Facebook and then I shared it, it does not give my clients a reason to validate the deeper marketing. It's important for me to use my resources, but I wanna tap into their circles, and the slideshow allows me to do that. Yes, we'll have a question. Mine goes back to sharing to the blog and to Facebook. Have you had the problem where maybe the couple isn't into social media that much, and seeing their pictures on your blog or Facebook before seeing them privately or sharing them with their family and friends privately before the world sees them? I think that's a great question. I'm gonna answer it confidently. So the first part of the question is, have I had clients who aren't on social media. Or don't wanna share on social media at all. I'm not gonna answer that question, here's why. Well, I'll answer it, but not in the way that you think. (audience laughs) I'm so nice. (audience laughs) Clients find me online. It is the nature of the beast. When they sign my contract, they are agreeing to how I do it. However, you can't play both sides. You can't have a dead Facebook page and then all of a sudden you shoot this great wedding, and then you wanna go and plaster it with 40 photos. Because your clients aren't expecting your pattern, your routine. We are all animals and instinctual by nature, we love and crave patterns. If I am, which I am, which I do, every week I'm posting a new folder of wedding images. Ever week I say, oh, I'm in Sonoma. Three days later, here's a sneak peek from me in Sonoma, here's a blog post from me in Sonoma, here's the folder of me in Sonoma. And then the following week, oh, here I am in Newport Beach at a sneak peek, here I am with the folder, here I am with the push. It's like, they know that this is the pattern. So people aren't coming to me and being like, why am I, why? So, if you're a photographer and you're in the point to where you have not created a pattern, you have to start slowly. Because you do run the risk, if you kind of aren't really active on social media and then after this course you're like, I'm going, I'm gonna do it. And then clients are just like, well, why didn't you get my approval? You can't hold them accountable for the changes that you're making internally. So slowly start ramping it up, but no, I have never had a client email me being like, why did you post that picture, or why this, or why that. Not once in 10 years, because I think that they understand that my force is that push force. It is, and if I had said, hey, look at this great wedding that I shot in Sonoma, and I made it, how do I... Okay, I'm just gonna say it for what it is. Sometimes I read photographer updates and it just sounds, like, so pretentious. I'm so blessed to be shooting in the Bahamas, and we stayed at the Ritz Carlton and we went scuba diving right before the groom surprised his bride with a 14 karat yellow diamond. It's like, wah wah. It just sounds like promotion for you, promotion for you. But my promotions are, highlight who the wedding's about. Highlight the marriage, not just the wedding. And I think that people feel that. So when people feel loved and feel respected, then it empowers them to share. First is I shot a wedding in Sonoma, it's here's a love story about two amazing people who got married, and that changes the dynamic. On that note, I want to say thank you, I look forward to seeing how you guys change your marketing approach. And remember, personalization is the strongest form of marketing that you guys can create. Thank you. (audience applauds)

Class Description

Running a wedding photography business is stressful work – you are on the hook for capturing one of your client’s single most important (and expensive!) days. But if you do it right, wedding photography is also a whole lot of fun. Learn how to balance the books, get the shots, and deliver the magic in The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience with Jasmine Star.

The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience is an all-inclusive wedding photography bootcamp that gives you all the tools you need to run a wildly successful business. You’ll learn the marketing, shooting, posing, and branding skills you'll need to thrive as wedding photographer.

On the business end, Jasmine will teach you how to:

  • Create an effective business plan
  • Attract new clients
  • Establish and communicate pricing
  • Build a referral network
  • Get free marketing

Every day, for 30 days, you’ll get a 30-90 minute comprehensive lesson designed to inspire and help you build a wedding photography business that thrives.

You’ll also learn all about Jasmine’s shooting and editing techniques for wedding photography. You’ll learn how to:

  • Prompt clients to get natural-looking poses
  • Leverage natural light so everyone looks gorgeous
  • Deal with unexpected events and shoot under pressure
  • Cull, edit, and market on social after the event

Jasmine will take you on location as she shoots a real wedding, narrating her on-the-fly decision making and how she keeps clients happy throughout the day.

This comprehensive class offers powerful insight into how one of world's leading wedding photographers runs her business and gives you the tools you need to pick up your camera, follow your dreams, and develop a rewarding career in wedding photography.

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