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Marketing Plans

Lesson 6 from: Wedding Photography Bootcamp

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

6. Marketing Plans


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Introduction to Sal Cincotta Studio


The State of the Wedding Industry


Legal Entities


The Business Plan


Marketing Plans


How Brides Find Photographers


Lesson Info

Marketing Plans

all right well let's get into this now all right so we need to put together our marketing plan and so we need to understand what are some of the marketing options out there these air not by any stretch of the imagination all the marketing options that are available to you these are just some that come up some of that are more popular some that we've explored ourselves so and what I've tried to do is kind of break it down by cost the amount of time involved and then of course your return on investment and so this is my experience press release your cost is free if you're not doing press releases you're missing the boat there's absolutely no reason why you can't you can go google pressure in these templates and word documents and you'll come back with a million free press release templates almost everything that goes on in our business we do a press release you know uh mid year we had the opportunity to photograph for the white house twice we get to photograph president obama twice and d...

oesn't matter if you're a democrat or republican it doesn't matter it's still the president of the united states well it's a pretty big deal for us so I guess what we had a press release both times that local photographer salvador sing cotter was asked by the white house the photographs president obama that is a really big deal what point is there to sit on that now I understand what you go do what if I'm not shooting you know photographing the president right we don't shoot the president would be bad very bad we get shut down for that kind of stuff but if you're not photographing the president doesn't matter anything that's happening in your business that's newsworthy make sure you release have a press release statement and you might be wondering why because guess what local news agencies still look at press releases I cannot tell you how many times I have had clients clip newspaper articles that were tied to a press release put him in a card mail them to us and say south congratulations on your opportunity to photograph for the white house south congratulations on winning that print competition south congratulations on this now did I make more money from that maybe not but guess what there's a word it's called brandy my clients see the value because you know what they're saying they'd like to he photographed the white house oh he photographed he won this print competition award all establishing value right so don't underestimate this I think you're foolish if you're not utilizing this is a marketing tool for your business there's no reason to its free or not to I should say it's free television we tried television cost is very expensive time involved low to medium depends on what you do for your television had not a lot of time involved um your return I think is very low now this was my experience with television we tried it we ran an ad campaign for family pictures in the fall we were on a plethora of channels we did it right from my opinion and the return was negligible a complete flop in my opinion so again these are these are my experiences so I'm just trying for you guys to learn and not waste your money where you don't have to direct mail direct mail I would say your cost his medium time involved to put your direct mail piece together invest is also medium there is some time involved there to design and all that other stuff you return is also going to be low to medium it just depends on what you're doing now I will tell you for weddings I do not believe in direct mail at all I don't think it works the data is not timely enough by the time you get that list of names of people who are engaged they're probably already married right that the data doesn't refresh that quickly way use direct mail heavily in our high school seniors so that's where we use it high school seniors and families remember what I told you guys out there this course is beyond just just weddings this applies I think any aspect of your business and so direct mail I think works great for seniors great for families now I will tell you only because I'm working with michelle in the side she you had some trouble you did direct mail and what happened list was out of date right so if you get a list of names for high school seniors and then it turns out they're now college sophomores right the data is probably the most fundamental piece you gotta make sure you're working with a reputable company that's providing you that list of names and most importantly something you didn't do in the direct mail is when you do direct mail make sure the first mailing that goes out is first class what that does is now they'll mail they'll return to you all the wrong addresses okay that's also important because that gives you the opportunity to go back to the male house I want my money back you guys give me a bad list right and that will happen so that's different by every market the list of names okay but you don't have to just go buy a list of names for the record what's wrong with doing some direct mail to your existing client base there's nothing wrong with that what's wrong with doing direct mail from a list of names you get from a show think about it for a second let's forget weddings for second let's talk families right everybody a lot of people not everybody I guess has a family of some some former fashion what would be wrong if your family photographer a portrait photographer of setting up shop at the next home expos show in your city and on display in your home expo show you've got all sorts of family portrait's family campus acrylics like this set up what would be wrong with having that that set up you know you brought more likely be the only photographer there and guess what you're going to collect names name's galore registered a win a free family session registered or win a free twenty by thirty acrylic you're gonna have traffic in your booth like nobody else right cause you could only look at so many tractors and lawn rakes and all that other stuff right you're going to get the females in the boot they're going to want this you're going to generate all these names now you've got all these names leads that you could start sending direct mail too so a really powerful way right to go after a segment of the market not guys I just made that up on the fly let's just families right so you've got to start being creative with direct mail charities I don't know how many of you do charity work we do in our business was starting we did a ton of charity work and so I think at one point time we were involved with thirty different charities when we were growing our business cost is low there's not a whole bunch of cost to get involved in character and charities you're basically donating your time so it's not very expensive it's time consuming writes what time is going to be loaded medium you return is also going to be medium on that so that is going to generate some leads for you so let's talk about ways to interact with charities here's the first thing you got to dio gotta be a time frame again learn from my experience we started doing charities early on and we like you win a free family session no expiration date two years would go by before we get a phone call that defeats the entire purpose off participating in a charity right the reason you're doing this is because you want to generate leads you want to generate business and so that we can't wait um for that so you want to put this six must be used by so it's very very important also don't give away the farm in the charity give away a session fee giveaway small print I don't want to do the charity and then be giving charity right I want to get limit what I'm giving away because I want to use this as an opportunity to have a sale session anybody doing charities today work with charities what's your spirits been good bad indifferent how you use it I work with the uh american heart association in my area I just did a photo benefit for my friends who do the disney five k for um autism awareness and um the leukaemia foundation leukemia lymphoma society there's a lot of them that I work with right now it's been really really well yeah I think it's autobahn it's rewarding a cz well for me like we just did recently we did wish upon a wedding and one of the recipients or winners she was a photographer and she wanted award for her contribution she actually passed away less than a month later we captured one of the last photographs off her it was very it was very touching to say the least but we donated all our time we produced a video for him we actually had no called action no sail off that whatsoever it was just more goodwill so it doesn't always have to be about making money this becomes my way of giving back to the community giving back to people so I love you know participating in this one when I can so again goodwill is priceless magazines cost extremely high uh time involved low right you just running a magazine and not a whole bunch of time involved to get some of that out their return is also low to medium now that you might be thinking well if it's llona medium and it's expensive why do it the reason we do stuff like this is because it's called branding we cannot underestimate the power of our brand I'm gonna give you a real world example the super bowl you look a superbowl look at all those television commercials that are run and notice they're not just like lane television commercials running they are elaborate productions so not only did the production of that television commercial cost money the running of that ad cost money right do you think burritos right cause we know they run big ads all the time you think to readers can ever walk away from a super bowl commercial and go because we ran the super bowl commercial we made or we sold ten thousand more bags of doritos no they can't measure it they cannot measure it cleanly that doesn't get them away from doing it because it's about the brand because guess what the next day what are you talking about would you see that garrido coming through did you see that pepsi commercial did you see this commercial mission accomplished success as a wedding photographer the worst thing that could ever happen especially if you're following my model if you're gonna follow my model the worst thing that could ever happen is you get to a point in your business where your bride looks to her bridesmaid right and they're having this conversation who's who's shooting your wedding oh sal same khanna who I've never heard of him that would be the worst thing that could happen to my business if somebody does khun say they never heard of me now they're paying ten thousand dollars for me seven thousand dollars for me that is disastrous right lisa I'm picking on you again because you know my right right we had this conversation over lunch though right I asked you I said if I gave to you tomorrow seven thousand dollars ten thousand dollars what would you spoil yourself we're not not bill's not right family or any that's up what would you spoil yourself with and you said his shoes and handbags probably shoes and handbags right right so your and your brand of choice was product right and then I then ask you is the product bag any better realistically than any other handbag that would be out there the truth is maybe it's better a little better quality but it did for damn sure in ten thousand dollars better right but yet you're willing to pay for that why what are you paying for really it's the whole idea of the brand behind it the brain behind it so guys this is what all of us have to learn about our own brands that it doesn't matter how good a photography work because this is the conversation we were having over lunch is everybody and I'm sure you guys out there struggling with it too right cause I'm on you all morning raise your prices raise your prices were surprises and everybody here was struggling there like south I hear you I want to raise my prices but I'm afraid too because what if I'm not good enough and I bet a bunch you out there feel that way what if I'm just not good enough here's my philosophy on a scale of one to ten look I think I'm a good photographer so I think I'm the best photographer in the world no don't care don't care from ever considered the best photographer in the world you know I take pictures I learned I continue to grow my business I learned about posing I learned about lighting all the time but here's what I don't care about I don't care about getting that nod that I'm considered the best photographer in the world you know what I want to be the best that I wanna be the best business person in the world so I'd rather be on a scale of one to ten I'd rather be a ten business person six photographer flip it you got somebody who's a ten is a photographer but five is a business person that person is a starving artist I don't want to be a starving artist I'm not gonna apologize for running a successful business and the that what drove the point home was this concept of product we all agree that it might not be a better back maybe it is who knows but the reality is it's not that much better it's not ten thousand dollars better what you're paying for is the luxury it's the brand it's the idea that was the word you use the idea of the brand that is how we have built our studio is on the idea of what salvador's and kind of tired if he represents and this is the way you do that we have to be everywhere everywhere my bride looks I wanted to see like who took that picture salvatore loiacono salvatore cicada salvador singh kham when my brides come eat with us you know what they say to us I see your work everywhere mission accomplished so they might not come back and say I booked you because I saw this magazine ad but I know that magazine ad had influence and impact on islamic sense blogging cost his free time is medium right you gotta invest sometimes sit there think about what to write about all that other good stuff return is also medium because now this is out there it's all about branding again you're driving traffic to your website driving traffic to facebook and clients are engaging in your imagery that's very very important you've got to make sure you're investing their facebook advertising right now this isn't like posting images to your facebook site this is literally advertising on facebook so you can run ads and we're going to cover this I believe on on day five you can run ads on facebook where you are targeting brides in your zip code that have engaged as their status holy cow talk about getting right to your bride now what your conversion rate is right that remains to be seen because there's something there called cost of acquisition a lot of people don't think about this right what does it cost you to get a new bride if you go to a bridal show and the bridal show cost you a thousand dollars to be there and you book two weddings what's your cost of acquisition five hundred bucks is that good or is that bad I don't know it's over time you're gonna have to measure right or or document how much it's costing you to get a new bride so if we say that you go to a bridal show you spend a thousand dollars you get two weddings your cost of acquisition right is five hundred per bride but now we can do some facebook advertising and I said and now it turns out that your cost of acquisition is twenty five dollars per brian that might sound high if you didn't have any context around how much it was costing you in a bridal show think about it if I told you for every bride your book off facebook it's gonna cost you twenty five to fifty bucks per you guys might balk at that you might be like whoa fifty bucks for every time somebody books me on facebook that's not really a lot of money when you consider in context how much it's costing you the other realm right so you've got to remember this number everybody cost of acquisition how much is it costing you to acquire a new bride expertise is another form of marketing writing for others guys were all photographers there's wedding magazines everywhere you know we do twice a year we write articles for our local bridal magazine so I just submitted one right to my local magazine and it's called what today's bride wants and I wrote a completely unbiased article yet it's very biased okay so I didn't mention you know what today's bride wants it is an italian photographer wearing white shoes right that's not what I wrote right I'm telling them stories what today's bride wants today's bride wants to feel beautiful today's bride wants artistic imagery today's bride wants high end products and I went on and on and I wrote this entire article and guess what the magazine didn't pay me a work done dean paid me a single dime to write that article do I care no it's not where I'm making my money I'm not making the money writing that article I'm making the money on the exposure from that article now from my bride's perspective I'm an expert does that make sense so my costs there it's nothing it's just my time and guess what in the article all my pictures so free advertising in this magazine I see all of you writing down word of mouth referrals of course cost his low timeslot return is high so lisa you refer to this earlier on right I want I want referrals to come into my business that's great of course we all want referrals to come into my business but how are you going to execute on that this has to be become part of your marketing plan I think everybody wants referrals that's free business what are you doing the things required to get referrals if you're handing over a cd of images those referrals are not going to be good but instead if your clients are displaying probably some like this if you walk into my client's home and this is on display what do you think her friends are going to say when they walk in and see that album out there like what's this oh my god I've never seen anything like that oh yeah grab it it's our wedding album oh wow and he starts flipping oh my god it opens calendar style I've never seen anything do the more it can keep getting my clients to say I've never seen anything like that that becomes huge word of mouth who did this oh my photographer salvador cincotti you see what starts happening there but I'm just offering generic albums my clients are going to talk they're not gonna say anything but I'm just handing over a cd of images my clients are going to say anything and so I've got to understand that

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

The Business Blueprint.pdf
The Business Blueprint.doc
cL Sal Cincotta Wedding Bootcamp Keynote.pdf
creativeLIVE Sal Cincotta Bonus
SCP Wedding Contract.pdf
SCP Copyright Release.doc
SCP Copyright Release.pdf
SCP Wedding Copyright Release.doc
SCP Wedding Copyright Release.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Carlos Rosa

This class is Gold!!! This class is a must, I have purchased around 20 CreativeLive classes, I'm building my own curriculum, but I did purchase this class because of Sal Cincotta's name, little I knew how good it is, it's a mind blowing and it contains so much key information to be a successful photographer. I was still a little "afraid" to start my business, but after this class, I feel confident because it was like put the puzzle together. Yes, Sal really insist in his blue print, how he calls, to implement in your business and you will be successful, and I do believe that. However, I can't do that at moment, because I'll need more money then I have, but I do believe I can implement the idea and slowly works towards implement all his system. Yes, in this class you'll have all, from engagement section, to bride reception, to SEO, everything you need. Sal is a Genius, an amazing mind, I truly admire him as a person, artist/photographer, amazing Educator, but man, as a business man, he is just a mind blowing, I mean, look at him, he had practically built an Empire in only 10 years and that's enough for me to listen to this guy. With all he has, he could just quit photography for good, he totally don't need, but he is still behind the camera, and that shows how much he really love photography. Totally recommend this class, it will change your life, and I mean it. I just wish CreativeLive would do some update, even if is just in pdf, because a lot of recommendation he does in the course does not apply anymore, website does not exist, the iPhone app does not exist, etc... just an update it would be truly appreciated. And that goes for all classes, you guys could just contact the educators and ask them for an update in those areas, that's all.

KR Productions

In 2016, I decided to try and start photographing weddings. I've been a wedding videographer for 16 years now, and have consistently been asked to do this, but never have. Last year, the number of requests was unusually high, and so I decided to explore what all is involved in doing wedding photography. I actually bought Sal's 30 day photo business class here first. Watched it over and over. There were principles in that class I was able to apply to video. Great! I then decided to buy this class to get the actual "day of" mechanics down. I've watched this over and over as well and started wading slowly into the wedding photo waters. I have the benefit that my second shooter, is actually a photographer and has been shooting all his life. So, having him to back me up with his already trained and creative eye is a huge benefit on the day. (We do the one camera has a wide angle, one camera has a telephoto technique like Sal discusses, and it works amazing) So far in 2016, I've shot one wedding for $350, the next one for $1,000, and now I'm up to $2,000 on my third for just basic stuff. Incredible. Working on moving into IPS, but right now I'm focused on making sure we're capturing the right shots and doing great impressive edits for marketing , and that's already paying off. I had 4 requests yesterday! Thanks to Sal and CL for helping jump start me on this amazing journey!

Paul Marcus

Once again.....Sal proves he's the man! Wow. What a great wealth of knowledge. I wish I had seen this a few years ago when it was fresh. It makes me cringe at all the money I have left on the table. Thanks to Sal and Taylor for being so open and sharing their business model with us. I hope to have great report to share with you in 2019 as I put a lot of this class to work in my business.

Student Work