bridal magazines – marketing tips for wedding photographers

Bridal magazines

marketing tips for wedding photographers

 


Like any other business, wedding photography needs advertising in order to become a business survive and grow over time. The concept is very simple, the more people know about you, the better chances you have to succeed in your business. As an example, even Apple or Coca Cola they still invest in advertising despite the fact everyone know who they are and what they do. It is crucial to think like a business even we are talking wedding photography.

The beginnings:

there was a time I used to work like everyone else and have had the perception of the world’s worker, same job, day in day out. I was going shopping in the weekend and spending my money buying stuff. I was being annoyed by people trying to get to me and sell me stuff and I used to believe some of them for what they offering. By buying decision as influenced only by their selling skills.

I was reading about this photographer telling his story and he was saying like he tried to do one wedding, and when people saw his photos, they jumped on him and all followed from that moment. I had this image in my head for a long time until I tried the same and guess what…same reaction at my first wedding as a photographer, but nobody was jumping on me….

what is going on, I ask myself…how come the world does not recognise my talent?

I have started to read about small business and how to market myself and it took one year to get the second paid gig. I have applied all techniques and got advice from other people and now it is time to give something back to the world and today I am going to share some of my experiences and you can take whatever you want.

I have some bad news for you…it is way more difficult than you read about, as everyone just shows off for the innocent reader and they all sell dreams. Since I have started to promote myself as a wedding photographer I became a target for another kind of people and businesses…the ones who rely on working business to survive. I have believed for some time that if I pay enough money to get myself out there, I will get noticed, but i was disappointed few tens of thousands of dollars later as the success was getting late. I have realised that I am surrounded by what I like to call “money collectors” they are happy to take your money, sell you a nice dream, show you some numbers and statistics that you cannot challenge and take you money. Do not get me wrong, they will get you the service, but they present themselves better than they really are. Today I am being chased by all sorts of magazines, publishers, marketing companies, SEO’s promoters…they all are very concerned by my wellbeing and they worry that I do not save enough money.

Bridal magazines are part of those money collectors. They come with strong numbers, distribution statistics, they tell you that your name will be in so many places and your head starts to spin. You coverage will be so big, that you phone will be just like a call centre. I used to believe that. I spent $10,000 in 4 bridal magazines over a 2 years span and guess how may phone calls I have got? maybe 2 or 3 overall from which 2 of them were in a far location in the country side, and they fainted when they heard the fee and on top of that I was supposed to travel for 2 days.

Now looking back I smile and i know it is just of the learning process. I have been there I have done that I have learned.

Bridal magazines do not care about you and your business, they only care to gather as many business as they can to advertise. It does not matter if your add is better, which I believed in may case was on the good ones, the only thing you need to realise is that you have 1/50 chances to get selected as you have other 49 photographers next to you. And I will give you more bad news. I have asked a news agency how many they sell in a month, and they told me 3 pr 4 copies. And I will give you more bad news: there are 20 bridal magazines on the shelf.

I cannot believe that in this google/facebook/twitter era, people still believe magazines are a viable marketing option. They are dying and they will be very dead soon.

People google everything these days and they will google more tomorrow. Why bother buying a paperback magazine when you hold the entire universe on your smartphone.

Magazines will include a one year subscription to convince you to take your money, they will throw fake traffic numbers at you so you will believe them but if you stop, that service stops as well.

I have got only one positive aspect for spending money on a magazine: it give you a bit of weight when you have them around and show them to your clients. It does seem to impress a little bit and that helps. I am not sure how I can measure the return on my investment, but all I can say is the best and most expensive photographer in my area, buys advertising in all magazines and he takes the covers. I believe he spends $20,000- $30,000 easy, but he is averywhere. His fee is inline with his spending and that seems to work for him.

Before I go, all i can say is that no marketing tool works in isolation and if you mean business, publishing in a magazine should be an addition to your other 10 ways to advertise.

My question here is , if you are a photographer did this work for you?

feel free to leave comments down below

regards

Christian
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About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and owner and principal photographer of Tudor Photography