Today I was chatting to a young and upcoming wedding photographer who was feeling stuck with his social media, website and general content marketing.
He’d been passed my way by a mutual professional friend who identified that I might be able to see his marketing in another way.
It was a great call. He’s switched on, he knows who he wants to work with, he knows his prices and packages (not charging enough though!) and he knows what his ideal business looks like.
So, we went through his client journey starting with the way they come into contact with him - usually via social media, word of mouth or his website.
Here were the top 5 takeaways from the call, which I thought I’d share as the essence of them translates across other industries.
1) More in not necessarily better
Our photographer, lets call him Bob, was in the habit of posting 100+ images to his Facebook page of weddings he’d worked on.
Great for the bride, groom and those who know them.
Not so great for a prospective client who happens to catch your page from paid advertising or something that’s been shared. Who has time to trawl through 100 pics of a strangers wedding?
Another way Bob was giving too much away was he was posting montage pictures of a recent wedding in one image. So 15+ images all squished together in one small Facebook window sized image.
This meant you couldn’t see the detail in the pictures, the depth of field, the emotion. It was a waste. One image would have made more of an impact than cramming too many in together. Solution: Post up to 5 ‘hero’ images from the wedding and a link to your website to the full set for anyone wanting to see the types of pictures they would get from a full day’s shooting.
This way people see up to five stunning images that draw in the eye and capture attention, and then head to the website to see more and the rest of the portfolio. You entice them in more and give them a flavour of your style and flair.
2) What problem do you solve?
This was a big one for Bob.
As any service provider, you are there to solve a problem.
Bob solves the following problems;
- Captures breathtaking unforgettable ‘real-life’ moments on the biggest day of their lives
- Uses his charm, wit and personality to put them at ease before and during the wedding
- Provides a pre-wedding engagement shoot so they get used to him and don’t feel on edge on the day
- Stays discreetly in the background or on the edges and does not get in the way of the wedding day
- Captures natural reactions and emotions from the couples, their families and friends
Now when you look through Bob’s social media or website, he’s not telling this story of his amazing problem solving skills.
The reality is that yes, there are some absolutely incredible photographers out there who create some mind-blowing images, but if they’re an egotistical arsehole and not very nice to work with, well they’re going to ruin your wedding day.
I’d hazard a guess that your average couple aren’t looking for perfect technical ability and expertise. Yes, they want good pictures, but they also want a friendly, professional person who will put them and their family at ease and blend in the background, work quickly and enjoy their job.
So if that sounds like you and how you operate, do you tell your audience that’s your style? Do you give them solutions to their problems, challenges or worries through your marketing?
3) Stop trying to identify your target market this way
Bob was stuck on who his target market is. He really didn’t know and said “I don’t expect you to have the answer to this, but it’s something that I just can’t seem to figure out.”
Woah. Wait a minute there Bob.
You’re a professional working in a highly emotionally driven, heart-centred sector. This is brilliant!
Know why? You get to CHOOSE who your target market is.
Let’s be honest, people get married every single day. There is enough business to go around. So why not target the people that YOU want to work with?
I hazarded a guess that Bob might like to work with couples who are laid back, down to earth, allow him creative freedom, not too shy, good sense of humour and ultimately a couple you could be mates with and take to the pub for a pint.
Turns out I was right. Bob only wants to work with awesome people. So, why don’t we tailor the language and messaging to be down-to-earth, fun, colloquial and like something you’d see a friend write?
4) Bob’s not blogging
Bob doesn’t even have a blog on his website or any text.
I’d guess that brides and grooms have sifted through hundreds, maybe thousands of wedding pictures when looking for a photographer. So what is going to make Bob stand out?
Firstly blogs are a great way to get the story of your business across. According to the Bridechilla podcast, they estimate that couples spend a collective 20 hours a WEEK planning their upcoming weddings which includes reading articles, blogs and social media posts.
Bob is missing a trick here, particularly in this wedding market where content is still king.
It’s a great opportunity to showcase those stand-out images from all weddings, write some nice things about the bride and groom (making them feel famous in the process), encourage them to share on their own social channels therefore sharing that out to many of the guests who were at the wedding and saw Bob in action…. the possibilities go on, but you catch my drift.
Also, nowhere on Bob’s website is there any information about him and why he is awesome at what he does.
He’s young, he’s good looking, he’s personable, he’s creative, he's flexible and he’s easy going.
Bob, don’t be shy! Tell those awesome couples just what you have to offer.
Which leads me nicely onto…
5) Let your clients shout about you
We’re British. We are crap at selling ourselves. It makes us feel icky and odd.
So, why not let your clients do it for you?
Bob had a perfect 5 star rating for his services on his Facebook reviews. Some of the things written about him were achingly beautiful and incredibly valuable.
So, Bob, get those reviews written up as testimonials on your website!
Bob was a little hesitant at first. I mean it’s fine, nobody likes to biggety big themselves up.
“Do you ever buy things off Amazon?” I asked.
“Do you read the reviews and notice the ratings?”
“Do you ever buy a different product to the one you originally looked at based on the star rating and the reviews?”
“Yeah, yeah I do all the time”.
So do your clients.
Let the new prospective clients know your value and worth by using the
legitimate amazing 5-star reviews your previous clients said about you!
Don’t be shy, less is more, let others big you up, tell your business story and your worth.
Strike that prose, there’s nothing to it.
(Currently now doing the Vogue dance moves)