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Marketing

Triple Your Inquiries with a Referral Circle!

What if a couple hours of your time, networking with like-minded professionals in your area, and creating a referral circle – could turn into triple the amount of inquiries for your business?

It’s possible! Watch the video below to learn more.

Today on YouTube, I’m going to show you how to Triple Your Inquiries Using a Referral Circle. I may be speaking directly to photographers in the video, but it could apply to any service-based industry. (Graphic designers, florists, house cleaners, etc.)

Today’s Take-Aways

1. Every email from a potential client is an opportunity to provide a positive experience around your brand, regardless of whether or not you’re available.

2. Don’t let inquiries slip through the cracks! Get 2-3 other photographers (or florists, etc, whatever your business is!) on board and determine to refer clients to one another.

3. It’s important that you LOVE their work and can refer confidently. You should also look for companies within your price range, experience level and style.

4. Start a shared Google Calendar amongst the 3-4 vendors only for weddings (or booked graphic design clients) for easy access to everyone’s availability.

[Tweet “Every email is an opportunity to provide a positive experience around your brand.”]

Let’s Hear from You! Comment!

Have ever thought about starting a referral circle in your local area for your industry? If so, what fears have held you back from implementing it? If you are part of a referral circle, has it been beneficial for you?

Marketing

Build Your Blog Following in 5 Days

If you’ve stumbled upon my sidebar in the last couple of weeks, you may have seen a new addition! I recently finished writing a 20-page E-Book called “Build Your Blog Following in 5 Days” and I’ve had hundreds of small business owners sign up to download the knowledge. It’s been amazing to receive so much feedback about how this information is helping people get started with their blogs!

In 5 Days, You’ll Learn:

Day 1: Blog Set-Up
– Choosing a blog name
– Determining your blog niche
– Buying a domain and hosting
– Getting started with WordPress
My favourite WordPress plug-ins

Day 2: Creating Content
– Brainstorming topics for your posts
– Writing the perfect headline
– My blog post “formula”
– Resources for stock images

Day 3: Sharing Content
– How to make your images “shareable”
– Formatting images for different social media channels
– Finding content to engage followers
– The 90/10 rule

Day 4: Scheduling Content
– The 4 best social media tools
– Best times to post on social media

Day 5: Analyzing Your Following
– Setting up Google Analytics
– Simplified approach to interpreting your blog stats

What Others Are Saying

Thank you so much for this, Jamie! I love your blog so much and appreciate your thoughtful ideas! One thing I worry about with blogging is running out of ideas of things to write about, and this is such a great exercise to show me that I have a LOT of content to share! This is so helpful, and I am so glad you took the time to do this for us newbie bloggers!!” -Maegan

“I would highly recommend this E-Book to anyone. Thanks to your helpful in-depth and well-researched pointers, I now have a much better idea of what owning a small photography business might entail — and just how important and central marketing strategies are! I particularly appreciated just how much time and effort you invested in your readership. There is certainly a demand out here for all the knowledge and experience you have to offer. Thanks to you, I’m also just starting out on Pinterest!” -Sandra

“LOVED THIS, JAMIE! So helpful and so informative and honestly I feel like you’ve answered all the questions I’ve asked myself in the past years that I’ve been blogging. I’m definitely gonna be taking all of this on board + pleeease do more like this! Thanks again!” -Jessy

Ready to Build Your Following?

It’s not too late! You can click the book cover below to sign up for my email list and download your free e-book. Or you can click here to download. Yay! I can’t wait to hear about what you learn.

Marketing

Client Welcome Packages for Photographers

Hi readers! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day so far! I’m really excited to share with you one of my most recent projects: a custom-designed magazine exclusively for #jamiedelainebrides. For a few years now, I’ve been wanting to design a physical product that my brides and grooms could receive in the mail shortly after booking. I’m a huge fan of surprising your clients with gifts in the mail, so I’ve had a gift system forever, but I wanted to provide information that would not only be fun to receive but also help them plan their wedding days!

Here are some awesome things about designing a custom bridal magazine for your business:

1. Showcase Your Work

It’s the perfect chance to get clients even more excited about working with you. As they flip through the pages, from getting ready all the way to the first dance and end of the reception, they get to see samples of your amazing work!

2. Make Life Easier for Your Clients

A wedding has so many moving pieces and very often I have my brides asking me advice on everything from make-up artists, to flowers to placement of ceremony chairs to timelines, you name it! Help your clients before they even ask by providing a ton of valuable content they can flip through with a cup of tea after work in the evenings. Who doesn’t want awesome information delivered in a beautiful format?

3. Make Life Easier For You!

Not only will your clients love receiving a custom bridal magazine, but you’ll love them receiving it, too. By prepping your clients on what to expect before the wedding day, you’re helping them to become awesome teammates in creating beautiful photos. That sounds silly, but let me explain.

Your clients aren’t photographers! By explaining during the getting ready, for example, that you love clean, bright spaces with lots of natural light, you’re giving your clients a chance to plan for awesome photos beforehand. I also instruct my brides to clean the clutter in one specific room as a background for photos as well as gather all of their details and accessories in one place before I arrive. It’s such a gift when I walk into a getting ready room and all of those details have been thought of.

Next Steps: Design a Magazine for Your Brides

1. Write out all of the content you want to cover, from beginning to end. It’s much easier to focus on the words, then worry about your design later! Not to mention – your words will shape the design itself.

2. Gather images you’d love to feature! This will take some time, going back through some of your favourite weddings and engagement sessions.

3. In my opinion, the best program for designing a magazine like this one is Adobe InDesign! To be honest, this was the first project I had ever designed in the program. Thanks to Adobe Creative Cloud, you can purchase InDesign for only $19.99/month! I found InDesign super easy to learn and anything I was stuck on, a quick google search led me right to what I was looking for.

4. Export your design and upload to an awesome printing company. I used MagCloud (owned by Blurb) for these and was super pleased with the quality.

Let’s Hear from You!
If you already implement client magazines into your business, have you received any valuable feedback from your clients? Do they love them? Have the tips you’ve included really helped prepare both your clients and yourself for the wedding day?

Pay it Forward
Did you enjoy this post? If so, I’d absolutely love if you would leave a comment below, share on twitter or facebook and pin to your pinterest board for future reference!

P.S. 
Like what you’ve read? Join my mailing list for exclusive resources.

Marketing

How to Blog a Wedding

Hi friends! Today, I’m really excited to share my process for blogging a wedding day! I make it a priority to blog every wedding I photograph within a couple of days. If I’ve had 2 weddings in one weekend (or in the very rare case, 3 weddings) I’ll take up to one week to blog the wedding… but no longer! I really believe blogging is a powerful tool and one you can’t miss out on. Having proper systems in place makes blogging weddings a breeze for me.

Step One
Import all images onto your computer. I start this process at the wedding reception on my laptop during dinner. I make two separate folders within a folder called “Bride and Groom’s Name” (with their name). The two folders are: “Jamie” and “Second Shooter.” (I use their name.) Whatever memory cards I cannot download at the reception are downloaded immediately when I get home.

Step Two
Monday morning, or whenever I sit down to look through the images, I’ll open up one of my favourite programs called PhotoMechanic. I’ll choose the “Jamie” folder and zoom in. Each photo will be rotated through by pressing the right arrow key. If I like the image, I’ll hit #1, which colour tags the photo.

“Why do you choose which images to keep? Why not just delete the bad ones?”
I find it to be an easier process. I may take five images of a very similar interaction and I can know quickly which is the best. Going through and determining the “worst” of two great shots is depressing… choosing the best of two great shots is fun!

** SUPER important noteI wanted to use an example of this gorgeous wedding but don’t have the original RAWs anymore. So… do what I’ve done here with my jpegs with your original RAWs. These were all my keepers. Haha! Okay, continue on.

Step Three
Once you’ve reached the end of your images (I shoot around 2000-3000 images on a wedding day, depending on hours of coverage, number of bridal party members, family photos, etc,) you can hit a button on the bottom right of PhotoMechanic, leaving only the tagged colours. (Look for the arrow in the below photo!)

Step Four
Repeat for your second shooter’s folder.

Step Five
Create a folder within the Bride and Groom’s folder that is called “Picks.”

Step Six
Transfer the tagged images from your folder, as well as your second shooter’s folder, over to the “Picks” folder. (You can just drag them!) If there are any alerts that say “Would you like to overwrite?” be sure to say “NO!” (In some cases, your second shooter’s files will be named very similarly. However, you can change this on your camera settings to avoid  this.)

Step Seven
Still in PhotoMechanic, hit sort by Capture Time. (Note: this only works if you have “time synced” your cameras, meaning, set both of your cameras to the exact same date and time. You can do this manually by setting the time and pressing “Set!” on the count of 3.)

Step Eight
Select all and click, “File > Rename Images.” I like to name my images by BridesNameGroomsName001.jpg etc.

Step Nine
In the “Picks” folder, you should now have approximately 600-800 images (whatever you deliver) organized by the time they were taken and re-named. Now, you need to choose 50-100 images for your blog post. I like to scroll through the thumbnails rather than individual photos, as I know what I’m looking for as I blog. (Detail shots in the morning, walking down the aisle, funny vow moments, the exit, lots of portraits, a few of bridal party, reception details, entrance, a few candid moments and First Dance. There’s a lot you can skip by scrolling thumbnails.) As you choose what images you’d like tag them with the #2 button – a different colour than the first round of picks.

Step Ten
Use the bottom right section of PhotoMechanic to hide all the images except for those tagged #2.

Step Eleven
Drag your blog picks into Adobe Lightroom. As you import, apply a basic colour preset on all of your images. (I purchased the VSCO Film Pack 01 and I use a modified version of one of the colour films. I’ve toned it down and use this on every coloured image you see on my blog.) Once all of the images have imported, select all and then go to Library > Previews > Build 1:1 Previews. This will save you SO much editing time. As the process takes place, begin to write a blog post of the wedding day.

Tips: What to include in your blog post? Here are some ideas – the couple’s story, a link to their engagement photos, snippets of a speech you remember, something the officiant said that stood out to you, unique elements about the day, lyrics to a song they played at the wedding, your favourite part of the day, all vendors involved!

Step Twelve
When your previews have finished building, use the Develop tab to go through your photos one-by-one. I’m looking for two things mainly: exposure and white balance, setting it as I go.

Step Thirteen
When that’s done, I export the images into a sub-folder called “Blog” sized for the width of my blog.

Step Fourteen
Drag blog images into a new post in my WordPress admin.

Step Fifteen
If you didn’t have enough time to write the blog post in Step Eleven, finish writing the post now – being sure to link to all vendors involved!
Phewf! You did it! Once a wedding is ready to blog, I use CoSchedule to schedule three tweets announcing the post and a google plus post. Then I hop on over to my Facebook fan page and post a wedding image with a link to the blog and schedule another for a couple hours later. (CoSchedule allows you to post to Facebook pages, but the image resolution is compromised. I only use it in a pinch! You can schedule on Facebook fan pages so it’s no big deal to hop there.)

This entire process takes about three hours for me. Culling a wedding (Steps 3 and 4) take the majority of the time, up to two hours. Editing the blog images takes less than a half hour and the other half hour is spent writing a blog post and adding appropriate links!

To see a visual example of this process, watch the video below of my screencast.