The Business of Wedding Photography

Lesson 4/19 - Social Media

 

The Business of Wedding Photography

 

Lesson Info

Social Media

We are going to step into the social media section here. We already talked about how your brand has to be stable, especially on social media. And for weddings right now, it's all about millennials. And I know you think that's a bad m-word, that's the dreaded m-word, millennials, right? But that's a demographic that our clients are in right now! So we need to learn all about millennials. In all seriousness, while millennials, you may have a hundred different things about them, you know, you can YouTube a hundred different (laughs) videos where they make fun of millennials and how none of us ever, I can say us by the way, I'm technically a millennial, and none of us ever make eye contact because we're only looking at our phones, and all we do is update social media about the most stupid little things, right. In all seriousness, they're just like everyone else, right? It's simply the fact that we grew up in an environment seeing certain things, like traditional advertising, that because o...

f it, we're now desensitized to. We just learn differently, they learn differently from the generations beforehand. This, while we call them millennials, this is in no way a new thing, there's nothing new under the sun here, right? The generation of photographers before us had the same complaints about that generation they were trying to reach, which, I don't know, were the hippies, right, "Why aren't these guys cutting their hair?" You know, they had all the same things, it's just, it's just different, it's just different complaints, different little minute quirky things. So you simply have to understand how their brain works, and what works with them as opposed to what doesn't. I'm gonna be a little bit polarizing here, alright, I'm gonna throw out some blanket statements, take them with a grain of salt. What works for millennials, here's what doesn't work, first of all, reading a lot, especially on social media. You throw out some novel, very few people are gonna read past those first few sentences, alright. Um, on your website, while it's kind of good to have the novels, and the people that end up hiring you, your clients, will read them, most of the potential clients that are going through your website and looking at those novels aren't reading them. You still should have them, by the way, because one, your mom's gonna read them so that's always good, right. Um, no, but two, Google reads them, Google likes text, so it is good to have writing. However, if you're directly trying to reach them on social media, a lot of reading doesn't work. They like to the point, they like listicles, listicles are great. "Three Things That You Can Do "To Get Your Mother-in-law Off Your Back," right, that's a really great article, someone should write that. That's a good article that'll attract the client set you're looking for, right, brides. Alright, they don't like long promotional videos. Do you remember, five to ten years ago, where it was the thing to have, like, this three to five minute long promo video, "All About You!" No! (laughs) Nobody wants to watch "All About You" anymore because what's it all about? It's all about them, everything's about me. So you can't, that doesn't work anymore, alright. They're good, I like those videos, but it's not workin' anymore, along with traditional advertising. What does work, right? Let's get past all the making fun of millennials, we love them of course, but what does work? Short, short works, lists, like we said, but not really long lists. Sometimes it's fun to have, like, "101 Ways To Have A Fun Wedding" and they'll, maybe they'll read all of that. But short is better, short videos are better, quick information, anything that they can digest quickly. You know, 60 seconds on social media, that's actually a video that we produce for this course, 60 seconds on social media. Something that is digestible, tangible, and applicable quickly, that's what we like. And anything fun, because what really, ultimately, other than hopefully a happy, healthy marriage, what's the one thing that couples want from their wedding day? They just want the best wedding ever, right! So anything fun, they love anything fun. This is a really great quote from a very intelligent person in New Jersey, me, no, (laughs) but it is me. I actually, I read this quote to someone the other day, and I was like "And that quote is by," I'm like, "Oh wait, no, I said that." (laughs) So your social presence equals the perceived credibility of your business. Who you are online is how good you are in your business, or who you are in your business. So it is absolutely directly correlated, again, even if it's subconsciously by your clients, it is so important to be there on social media. It's also good for search engine optimization, but Instagram specifically, I'm gonna talk mostly about Instagram here, Instagram is where most clients, right now, in the demographic we're looking at, go to to look at your business past your website. Sometimes that's the only place they go! Sometimes they find you on Instagram, they contact you on Instagram, and that's it! They don't even walk through your online front door. So Instagram is your portfolio almost more than your website now. I do a lot of business mentoring, and I had a photographer that came to me asking for my help. So we scheduled a session and he came in and had the typical concerns that a lot of photographers have. "I'm having trouble booking weddings, I feel like I constantly have to lower my prices "to compete," which is so horrible, it's just like walking backwards, right, you feel defeated, you're lowering your prices, you're not making enough money, and you're not booking as many brides as you need to, as many couples as you need to. So I'm like, "Come on in," we sat down, I walked through his process, I looked at his photography, great stuff, really great stuff! His clients were happy, he was turning around work in a timely manner, there's nothing wrong with what he was doing. Looked on his website, it was okay, a little dated, not quite as mobile friendly but not horrible. And then I looked at his Facebook and his Instagram, and he wasn't there! He was there, he had the links, you know, he had the accounts, but he was scarcely posting, really wasn't doin' much with it. And one of his biggest complaints was that his couples would ask him these questions, he's like, "They ask me questions as if I started yesterday! "Why are they asking me these things?" And I'm like, "Well, if you look online, "it looks like you started yesterday." Because they're not reading that bio where you talked about the fact that you've been a wedding photographer for 20 years, they're looking on your social media and seeing that you've only been on it for 20 days! Right, there's only 20 posts on there. So they couldn't trust him because he looked like he started yesterday, or he was a complete hack, like a spam account or something. So it's imperative that we pay attention to our social presence in the business of wedding photography. We're gonna go over six powerful uses for social media. The first one, it is your portfolio of work. So when you are posting on social media, cull that, don't just post everything, don't post every picture from every wedding you've ever shot, post intentionally. Pick the images that you want to represent your brand, that your photographic style represents. So if you've decided that your photographic style is, um, I don't know, that nice, desaturated, rich, dark tones, then only post images that look like that. If you've decided that you're going for a much brighter, airier, colorful look, then only post images that have that tonality to them. You're going to take other images, you look on my social media, it's mostly bright and colorful stuff. But do I take black and white photos or deliver them? Of course I do, do I take very dramatic photos? Of course I do! But what I am putting online in the bulk of the body of work I'm giving to my clients is going to be bright and colorful, just love color, just can't help it. Alright, number two, reaching potential clients. Now this is the one where a lot of people are like, "Well duh, that's what social media's for, right?" Reaching potential clients, I'm going to give you guys some tricks to reaching potential clients in just a little bit. Connecting with existing clients, a lot of people don't think about that, but your clients, after they book you, they stalk you! They stalk you online, they wanna see you working, they get excited for their wedding! Networking with colleagues is another one, an absolute must. I was recently on a webinar that Jasmine Star gave and she suggested that you send out over 200 direct messages to colleagues that you could potentially work with. Wow, if that's not a homework assignment for your weekend when you're not working a wedding, I don't know what is, alright. So, network with your colleagues. Now, I'm not telling you to go spam, like, 200 different accounts, and she wasn't either by the way. But find ways for you to network with them! This is a nice, easy way that I network with my colleagues. (bright music) So that right there is the easiest thing in the entire world, alright. It was from a styled shoot that I did with Sophisticated Weddings Magazine, which is a New York weddings magazine that I absolutely adore. If you're in the New York area shooting weddings, pick it up, fantastic magazine. But we did a styled shoot, every single one of the vendors from that styled shoot got a video like that. Showed off, that was the floral designer, so I showed off all of the florals, I put her logo at the end, and my logo at the end. So now I just gave her social media stuff, maybe she puts it on her website, and I did that with every single one! I got to work with RBI Cakes, Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, massive cake guy in New York City. He's such a great guy, he used to have a reality TV show. I gave him a video like that that just featured his cakes, talked about his cakes, I even went to his website and just pulled off some key phrases that he had on there. He talked, I think he talked about how he was the Prada of the wedding cake or something along those lines that I thought was great and I put that into the video. That was just an Animoto video, are you guys familiar with Animoto? A lot of photographers are. If you're not familiar with Animoto, it's one of the best things I've ever done for my business. It creates slideshows for my clients so it's an extra give to my clients, but on top of it, it creates, and I'm getting ahead of myself 'cause we'll talk about this later, it creates videos that I send to my clients left and right for things like communicating with them, and then I can just make stuff like that. I make hundreds of videos, hundreds of videos a year. And they're so easy to put together, that was, I don't know, all of 15 minutes it took. So gift videos like that! You could send that to them right in Instagram direct messenger! "Hey I made a video," you know, you worked with a florist on your last wedding. "Here's a video of all your gorgeous floral work, "feel free to share it online. "I'd love it if you could credit me, "it really helps me out when you do so, "and can't wait to work with you again." You think they're gonna remember you if you make them a video? Lot of photographers give them pictures, but if you go one step extra and make 'em a video too, how great, and great networking, and great way to get yourself out on social media in other ways than just posting yourself. Alright, moving on to the last two, obviously social media has endless, endless marketing and branding. You've determined your photographic style, now you get to show it off, and you get to market yourself however you see fit on there. We're gonna go into a little bit more about how to post on social media in a second, but another thing people don't think of when it comes to social media is lead generation. Anything that you've ever learned about marketing always tells you to have some kind of call to action at the end. But ironically, when we post on social media, we don't always give 'em the opportunity to do that. Sometimes you do, sometimes you post and you're saying, "Book your free mini," not free mini session, maybe you're, "Book your mini session today!" Or, maybe you are hosting a contest for a free engagement session. But you can have a direct call to action on all of your social media accounts! This is one that I used to have on my Facebook profile. On my Facebook cover photo, I had this there so anytime someone would come to my Facebook, they would see this, "Do you feel awkward in photos? "Four Tips to Great Photos, get the guide." And they would click over here to this link and get the guide. I've recently changed this up, I'm in the process of changing 'cause what I used to do is I used to have them click and they could give me their email address. Then I messed with that and I took that away, now they just click and I gave it to them, but there's a lot of "Contact me about your wedding" throughout the page. Alright, so now I'm working on doing an email sequence. So they get four emails from me, in four days, not just four all at once, when they sign up for this. And you could do anything, you could do, like we talked about before, right, millennials love quick information, they love listicles. So maybe it's, you know, "Five Ways to Have a Great Wedding," or "Three Hacks to Saving Money on Your Wedding," right. Anything that is interesting to them, you can put this on your social media. Now you could just post about it, or you could put it as a cover photo here. On Pinterest, stuff like this gets repinned all the time. One of my best repins was, like, two hacks to save money, to save $5,000 on your wedding, repinned like crazy. Who's not gonna pin that, right? Another way that I've done it is on my Instagram profile, instead of just having my website in the clickable link, I said, you know, "Click the link below "to download those four photo tips." So have a call to action of some kind.

Class Description

Along with your technical and creative knowledge, you need to know how to run your wedding photography business and set it up for long term success. How else can you expand and reach your desired clientele? Vanessa Joy, an award winning wedding photographer, joins us at CreativeLive to teach you the skills to help your business thrive. She’ll provide actionable steps in marketing, communication, workflow, and pricing that will attract the couples you want to work with. You’ll learn:

  • How to show your photographic style
  • Secret areas to brand your business
  • Social Media Quick Tips
  • Methods to make clients happy
  • Keys to effective and efficient workflow
  • What products you should offer
  • Packaging that sells
  • Understand how to make profit

Photograph what you love and learn to run a business that allows you to market your creativity.

Reviews

Célia Gomes
 

I loved this class! So inspirational and useful tips! Congratulations Vanessa. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! And thank you Creative Live for opportunity of watch the class for free. Célia Gomes, Portugal.

angela warmington
 

Great course. Full of great business tips and practices that are adaptable to your own personal style of business. She has such a passion and love for her work and it comes across very clearly as she teaches. I am new to wedding photography and am so glad I purchased this course!!

a Creativelive Student
 

This course is fantastic! Whether your new to the industry or been at it forever, there are amazing tips that can easily be implemented to improve your business. Vanessa lays everything out clearly. There were a number of things I had heard in the past, which is not a bad thing. This reinforced ideas and reminded me to work on things that I have been putting off. I highly recommend checking out this course with Vanessa Joy.