How To Photography: 8 Revenue-Generating Reasons to Look Beyond the Big City for Wedding Photography Clients
If you’re a wedding photographer competing with seemingly hundreds of other photographers in a big city, then re-consider your business strategy and seek prospective clients in the smaller towns within a few hours’ drive. True, there may be fewer big weddings that generate top revenues, but you’ll probably spend less time and money to secure each small-town wedding job.
1. You’re likely to find less competition in a small town, which can only support a limited number of wedding photographers. It will be much easier to research the competition and their prices, online portfolios and marketing tactics.
2. Many, if not all, small-town photographers may be part-time or semi-professional and can’t compare with your big-city, full-time expertise and experience. You don’t want to overemphasize this point, however, because it could cause potential small-town wedding clients to think they can’t afford you and/or you’ll want to do more than what they and their families are willing to accept.
3. As a wedding photographer who has been competing in a big city, you are apt to have a greater array of equipment and of better quality, so you can offer a small-town wedding client more creative ideas.
4. Your portfolio is likely to display a greater variety of types of weddings and images and your Web site could be more professional and complete. A part-time wedding photographer in a small town, who relies on word-of-mouth to contract for an occasional job, may not even have a Web site.
5. Enlarging the geographic market for your wedding photography will also allow you to add keywords to your Web site relating to these additional markets. For example, your primary keyword for your big market presence is “Central City wedding photography.” A wedding couple doing a search in a small town 50 miles distance may find your site, but will be unlikely to contact you, thinking you don’t offer wedding photography services in their town. Add locator keywords for each of the small towns surrounding your big market and now you are more likely to attract interest from couples in those markets.
6. If you think there is good potential for new wedding photography business from nearby small towns, then consider creating a Web site for each market. You’ll appear to be a local wedding photographer, which technically you are, but one with a much better Web site than a local part-timer or semi-professional. The contents of these sites can almost be identical, but with a home page that reflects the local community. If you’re generating regular Web site content in the form of articles or a blog, then add these to each of the small-town sites to improve your search results position.
7. To maximize the effectiveness of separate Web sites for each small town, you must also appear to have a presence in the community. Make sure to write and distribute a series of press releases slightly customized for each town’s media. Explore the opportunity to write a wedding photography tips/advice column in the town’s newspaper or to be a guest on local radio stations’ talk shows.
Look for opportunities to photograph a community event at no charge or to help a local nonprofit that needs photos/videos to promote its mission. You may also find display opportunities at local art fairs and festivals or local businesses that would like photographs of their products.
Your goal is to create an identity in each small town, so potential clients will view you as one them and not the big city slicker come to exploit the local community.
8. Marketing dollars you spend in a small town to promote your wedding photography business are likely to be more effective because there are fewer media choices for advertisers and consumers and the costs should be lower. For example, an ad in a local small town newspaper will reach more qualified prospects than a similar ad in a big city’s metropolitan newspaper.
Photo by PhotographyTalk member David Marshall
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