When you plan a wedding photography business, you are joining not just the photography industry, but the huge American wedding industry. There are multiple potential channels for marketing your services in this industry, and your marketing plan should detail how you will take advantage of them to spend you precious marketing dollars.
Unlike consumers looking for certain products, brides do still look to magazines as a significant source of information about weddings and wedding services. Purchasing advertising in bridal magazines can be a good marketing spend. However, running a public relations campaign which targets these magazines with article ideas featuring your business may be an even better way to pursue this channel, assuming there are specific remarkable stories you can push.
Wedding websites, such as theknot.com, weddingchannel.com, and brides.com, are another source of information and services for brides and wedding planners. Pay-per-click advertising with Google AdWords or other search engines is another valuable way to advertise. The upside of internet advertising is the ability to track the number of hits your website receives directly from these sources and the rate of converting these hits to those who request more information or even call. The AdWords campaign manager or free tools such as Google Analytics can supply this information.
To seek the higher end of the wedding market, you will need to work with event planners who tend to manage the planning process for bridal clients. Join industry associations where wedding and event planners take part, both to gain mailing lists and to learn about events and conferences to attend. Use these events to network and build your reputation with wedding planners one at a time. Many will be interested in a commission relationship, whereby they earn 10% or more of your fees to wedding clients they refer to you. Be prepared for whether you will be happy with this kind of relationship or if it will effectively obliterate your profit.