Day 8: Where To Invest Your Marketing Dollars

In 2012 I landed my first commercial job. It was a one-off thing, I wanted to be a wedding photographer but I needed the money and before I knew it, I was shooting for Vogue.  No, just kidding. I accepted a job for a company to photograph marketing materials for a new app they were launching.  At the end of the job, I decided I wanted to put all the money I had made back into my business, you know, like the smart business lady I was destined to be.

I quickly started reading online about investing money and the more I read, the more I realized just how many directions there were to go here. The catch was, none of them were guaranteed to work. The big advice was “try it for 6 months, evaluate your numbers and reallocate your money as you see fit.” Um, okay… I had this like, one lump sum, not a marketing budget for the remainder of the 20-teens, but thanks anyway, Yahoo Finance. So I did what any photo boss would do, I upgraded my Wedding Wire account to the $200/month plan.

The thing about Wedding Wire is, it’s where everyone is at first. Vendors and brides alike all flock to Wedding Wire. Vendors craft what they believe to be a bomb profile and brides run a mass search and end up with a mile long list. They might as well throw a dart and hire whatever one it lands on. So the point that I quickly realized was, there were too many of us. Brides don’t hire the first in Google anymore, they hire who their friend hired. Who their venue recommends. Who they’re already somehow connected with. So that is my advice for you today.

I canceled my Wedding Wire subscription with the realization that: I would rather spend $200/month strengthening vendor relationships or enhancing a client experience than I would throwing it at a website that was essentially ten thousand faceless commercials. As Tom Fishburne says, “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” Creating a client experience, cultivating vendor relationships, serving your couples well… all of this is marketing that doesn’t feel commercial.

With your marketing money you can:

•Take a planner to lunch
•Send a venue an album of a wedding you photographed for them
•Send a client a Greetabl
•Send a planner a thank you gift for a referral
•Surprise a couple with custom thank you cards (with your logo on the back)
•Bring a venue team Monday morning coffee
•Send a print to the parents of the Bride & Groom
•Take your couple to dinner after their engagement session

Can you add to this list? I bet a million things popped into your head. I’d love to know some of them in the comments below.

By taking care of your vendors and your clients, you’re creating an experience that they will want to pass on to their clients and their friends. Your reputation is built on what you do now with the clients and the relationships that you have. As that gets better, more clients will come your way.

Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments down below and I’ll see you tomorrow for day nine: Getting Better: Secrets to Improving your Craft.

Day 98 is currently reserved for any questions you have throughout the next 100 days. To submit a question, please click here!  If you’re interested in supporting this project, please share, PIN and comment! Any other questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to email me at denise(at)denisekaris(dot)com

Denise Karis is a film & digital hybrid wedding photographer based in Phoenix who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

denise karis photography blog 100 posts in 100 days for photographers

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