As a business coach for female wedding photographers, I get asked all of the time : What is the most effective way for me to market my photography business?
Are you marketing your photography business in a way that feels true to you? Or does your marketing strategy make you feel uncomfortable? Does the thought of marketing in general make you feel so uncomfortable that you avoid it at all costs? Or raise your hand if you feel like you’re marketing haphazardly! (Yup, that was us for a while!).
In the next year, I’ll be launching my pricing course for wedding photographers . Once I finish the course, I’ll need to promote it in some way and let other wedding photographers know it exists. That’s where marketing will come in and I’m excited to promote it in a way that will reach my perfect customer.
In the past few weeks I’ve been “marketed to,” by other businesses in ways that have made me cringe inside. They are using marketing strategies to try and connect with me, but instead, they are doing the opposite. They are repelling me because they don’t feel good to me when I receive the message as a potential buyer. Perhaps this is where I could suggest these businesses should change their strategies into one that actually works to get me to buy what they’re selling. BUT, the truth is:
I believe the most effective way to market your photography business, (and any business for that matter), is to MARKET in a way that feels good AND natural to you! If it feels good and natural to you, it most likely feels good and natural to your perfect client. I believe it’s good I felt SOMETHING from these other photographer’s marketing strategies. The way I felt was telling me that I was NOT their perfect customer. It’s okay to repel the person that is not your ideal client. Just as important as it is to attract the person that is your ideal client.
One of the ways I find out if my marketing strategy feels good to me is to ask myself, “Am I marketing in a way that I would like to be marketed to?” If my answer is yes, then perfect! My strategy should work to attract people just like me. If my answer is no, I try to spend some time in reflection thinking about other ways that could work to reach someone who is just like me!
The next question I get asked a lot in my coaching is:
“But what if marketing doesn’t feel good to me at all? It feels icky”
My advice is simple:
- Outsource your marketing effort to someone who loves to do it and who can help develop strategies for you
- Take a break from marketing until you come across a way that does feel good to you
- Lean into word of mouth marketing and let your clients do the marketing for you.
The worst thing you could do is to keep trying to market and push your product to other people if it isn’t feeling good to you to do so, (customers can sense this struggle and it often turns them off from making a purchase!) Don’t discount that sometimes marketing doesn’t feel good because the product you are offering doesn’t feel good to you and it might be time to do some self reflection on if what you’re offering resonates with your values. Your off-feelings are often a sign to get curious and ask yourself: is what I’m offering a match for who I am and what I desire in my life?
When we are feeling burnt out from marketing, (or just busy in general!), we hire someone to copywrite our blog posts for us, upkeep our pinterest account, curate our social media, paid for ads on google for what we’re selling, and so on. We’ve also taken a complete break from marketing to clear our heads and let new ideas flow in. Most importantly, we are always striving to under promise and over deliver for our clients so that they can be sure to promote us by word of mouth in a natural way, even when we aren’t actively marketing ourselves!
We’ve been using our feelings to guide the decisions we make in our business and marketing since we started our journey, and the results are always exciting when you listen to yourself.
When something feels right, we do it, and when it doesn’t, we say no.
Sometimes it takes doing something to realize that we went against our intuition and then we learn, hey, we’re not going to do that again… it didn’t feel good, (and coincidently, it didn’t bring us any results as a marketing strategy either). Sometimes it takes doing something that we THOUGHT was a good idea to leave us with a result that doesn’t feel that good, and then we adjust from there for the next round of marketing.
It’s also important to recognize that different seasons of your life will call for different marketing strategies. There was a time in our life we ENJOYED hustling. We photographed every opportunity that came our way, self-promoted endlessly on social media, paid for advertising, and sold ourselves short to get more work. We enjoyed it, until we didn’t any longer, and then we adjusted accordingly to a way that felt better. In this season in our lives, being parents of 2 and being more in tuned with the things that bring peace in our lives, we really rely on blogging and SEO, making connections in our community, and word of mouth marketing. It feels very right to us now, but we never take for granted that we are ever shifting and evolving humans and something could feel better to us in the next season of life.