Determine Your Business Level
Determine what level you are in, and areas you might be lacking in. You might find that you are in level 2, but have a handful of things in level 1 that still aren’t solidified. Consider this normal as we grow our business each area requires upgrading and refining, this isn’t a process that suddenly happens all in one time.
- Research the wedding photography industry and the local market (review modules in course, utilize research tools such as semrush, similarweb, utilize keywords on Pinterest)
- Identify your target market and ideal clients
- Determine your unique selling proposition
- Develop a business plan and set realistic goals
- Determine your pricing and packages
- Register your business and obtain the necessary permits and licenses
- Get liability insurance to protect your business and clients
- Open a business bank account and set up bookkeeping and accounting systems
- Set up a system to track expenses and income
- Invest in a high-quality camera, lenses, and other essential photography equipment
- Purchase or rent lighting equipment and accessories
- Create a portfolio of your work to showcase your skills and style
- Create a professional website and social media accounts to showcase your portfolio and attract clients
- Develop a marketing plan to promote your services and reach your target market
- Network with other wedding vendors and build relationships
- Attend bridal shows and other industry events
- Offer special promotions and referral incentives to attract clients
- Develop a system for managing client inquiries, bookings, and contracts
- Establish clear communication with clients to understand their needs and expectations
- Provide excellent customer service and follow-up
- Deliver high-quality images and products in a timely manner
- Continuously improve your skills and stay up-to-date with industry trends and techniques
- Seek feedback from clients and make necessary improvements
- Evaluate your business regularly and make adjustments as needed
Take a critical look at your current business operations and identify areas that could be improved or streamlined to increase efficiency and profitability. This might include refining your pricing structure, outsourcing specific tasks, or upgrading your equipment.
Consider offering additional services, such as engagement sessions, bridal portraits, or boudoir photography, to increase revenue and attract more clients. This can also include albums and prints if you are not already offering this.
Hire associate photographers and assistants to help you manage a higher volume of weddings and expand your reach. This can free up your time to focus on higher-level tasks, such as business development and marketing.
OR Create a mentorship/course.
Invest in software and tools to help automate certain aspects of your business, such as scheduling, client communication, and invoicing. This can save you time and improve your client experience. If you already have this, then refining your work flows is going to be next.
Build a strong brand and marketing strategy to attract high-end clients and stand out in a crowded market. This might include building partnerships with local wedding vendors, creating a strong social media presence, or investing in targeted advertising.
You might already have a marketing strategy, however, as you scale into a team or higher prices, you MUST revisit your nonvisual branding and your client avatar because this will naturally change.
This should also include vendor networking.
Build a reputation for exceptional customer service and go above and beyond to exceed your client’s expectations. This can lead to more referrals and positive reviews, which can help your business grow even further.
At this point you must decide if you want to:
- Create an Associate Team
- Create A Course/Mentorship
Or continue doing weddings yourself by raising your own prices and packages. Remember, there will still be a limit for scaling this way. You will need to learn to create a business that has outsourcing.