Word of mouth are still a photographers best resource, and face to face recommendations are the most solid way to convert into an opportunity to both gain another client, and a situation to gain more potential recommendations.
It is for this reason that successful contemporary wedding photographers are starting to find ways to carve their niche, through how the deal with a client, how they can add to their experience, and finding new ways to meet and exceed expectations.
There are both tangible and intangible ways to make sure you offer a unique and memorable experience and that overall you’re making sure you’re gaining a good reputation and more notoriety with every shoot you undertake.
Some methods are simple, for example proactively making sure you are in 2-way communications with the bride and groom, to be able to capture their expectations, style, and generally make them feel they are receiving a higher value experience.
It is worth noting the importance and difference meeting with the couple face-to-face can be (or at least a phone call). It gives you a chance to show the styles you are able to offer, a better understanding of their wants (a lot of communication is non-verbal!), and makes them feel more at ease with you as a person so you are not a ‘stranger’ on their wedding day.
More tangible ways to make the couple feel special include (possibly obviously) dressing appropriately, taking a card or simple present. When it’s time to settle with them why not give them more than initially agreed? Remember, try to generally have fun and be sociable at the event itself, it is an opportunity for you to sell yourself in front of potential customers!
Remember, this is probably one of the most important days of the couple’s life too, and if you are a part of that, you need make sure it is a positive and pleasant part, that they would be pleased to explicate in their stories of the day, as well as excited to show in their pictures.
Something else a modern wedding photographer might consider is a blog. It can prove as a way to potentially eliminate the reliance on promotion via face-to-face and word of mouth recommendation. This is because in a blog, the photographer is able to demonstrate their portfolio in an artistic way, incorporating a story and anecdotes, and giving the impression that there has been real effort and thought put into each blog post representation of a couple’s wedding.
This can both generate sales, as well as generate traffic for a home photography website, and is generally a good idea, to make you think about your specialism’s, and which niche you might be interested in targeting. And yes, targeting a niche may prove to be more effective, when an increased number of potential clients are viewing your online representation of what you can offer, and targeting a more specific audience allows you to stand out from the increasingly competitive online market.
So, it might be time to rethink traditional marketing and PR methods, and employing a more personalised experience, with increased customer focus, and as such, an increase in value, recommendations and sales.