So now that the wedding season has slowed down, I’m making some time to brainstorm ways to improve my wedding photography business here in Pittsburgh as well as implement some of the ideas that I’ve been tossing around over the past year. Because it seems when I’m in the thick of it, I get a lot of great ideas, but I’m too busy to really stop and consider them. It may seem odd to blog about this, but I see it as a way of holding myself accountable. So here’s a running list and some of the thoughts behind it:
Create new intro page, make logo more prominent in design
Create introductory video
New bio, new portrait
Update wedding and engagement galleries
Create portraits site and portfolio galleries
Get royalty-free music for sites
My website is the main way that clients find my business and I want to put my best foot forward when it comes to first impressions. There are lots of great wedding photographers in Pittsburgh and great web sites for that matter. I want mine to communicate my style and personality so I can attract clients who are a good fit – that way, it’s a win-win for everyone. So the design, video, bio, portrait, galleries and music all play a role in communicating my brand. Music is something I’ve held off on for a long time because it’s not recommended by web designers, but I’ve always loved combining different art forms for an experience that appeals to more than one sense. It can be so powerful, so I’m going to give it a try and see what kind of response it gets.
The way people communicate and gather information is changing so quickly, so I want to make my site more mobile-friendly. I heard the other day, that by 2013 most people will rely on their smart phones and personal computers will become less and less useful. That’s crazy, isn’t it? If not this year, I will definitely be looking into optimizing my site for mobile devices for 2012.
Blog three to five days a week
Use twitter and facebook more
Read a few marketing/small business books
Get published on blogs or in magazines
Create new print materials
Create new products: rehearsal dinner coverage, engagement guest books, gift certificates, etc.
Create incentives for referrals, reviews, comments on the blog, etc.
Ok, blogging so much will be a challenge, but maybe it’s like getting into a work-out routine where after a few weeks of consistency, it becomes second nature. At least I hope it’s that way. And after I get that routine down, I’m going to get back to exercising—I was doing so well until July…
Back to the way people communicate—I know social media is here to stay and it’s a great venue for marketing. My trouble has been putting myself and my business out there. I’m a bit shy, so I haven’t been making the most of social media and after attending a seminar by Jasmine Star, I decided that I’m going to put my big girl panties on and just do it.
I’m not a natural marketer and if I’m truthful, running a small business has been an eye-opener. I’ve learned a lot from making some mistakes along the way and I find inspiration from the people around me. I feel truly blessed to have a great network of people who are willing to share, listen and collaborate.
I want to put more effort into getting my work published. I’ve been fortunate enough to have photos on the covers of Expectant Mother’s Guide to Pittsburgh (2009 volume 2) and the Pittsburgh Filmmakers Summer 2010 Catalog, but those were pretty luck coincidences. I’m going to reach out to bridal web sites and local magazines with the coming wedding season, because I have some great clients lined up and it would be pretty exciting to see their weddings published.
I need to freshen up my print materials like the price sheet and general info about Captivating Imagery. I need to look through the latest weddings for photos to use in those pieces.
Ok, past, present and future clients out there: what products do you want to see? I get all kinds of requests and it’s hard to know what to offer. I’ve been thinking about offering rehearsal coverage, custom-designed guest books with images from engagement sessions, framed prints, canvases, and gift certificates that can be purchased online. The gift certificates could be nice for couples who would like to add additional items that weren’t included in their package after the wedding.
I also would love to set up a few incentives for referrals. I like to reward my clients when they spread the word about my business, but I never really formalized a plan for incentives.
Ok, it’s time for some chocolate to keep me motivated as I’m realizing this list is too long for one post. More to come about my goals for next year. If you have any ideas or experience with some of the things I’m planning to implement, please let me know. I’m all ears.