These days it seems that everyone and anyone is setting up in business and despite a recession, the wedding industry is experiencing a boom. Historically, glamorous escapist activities like going to see Hollywood movies or musical theatre peak in tough times. Perhaps weddings are our new glamour fix and chance for everyone involved to dress up and forget any money woes. For the enterprising and creative amongst us, this is exciting times. With the Digital Revolution and onslaught of Social Media, it has never been easier to promote your new or existing business. The entire planet is at your fingertips via your computer/phone/tablet, there is a potential global marketplace for your product or service. Most likely precipitated by having minimal or non-existent marketing budgets, suddenly the small businesses are leading the way in viral marketing. Big companies have noticed and are now employing the same techniques, backing up their traditional ad campaigns with social media. In 2007 Cadbury released their TV ad for Dairy Milk featuring a gorilla playing the drums. It was very quickly uploaded to YouTube and the link shared by hundreds of thousands of Facebook users who also set up fan pages for the ad. Cadbury then joined Facebook and now has pages for several of its products.
By successfully harnessing the power of all the social networks and with free blog providers, you can set up your own marketing campaign for minimal costs if any at all. I have a Facebook business page for Lisa Devlin Photography plus separate ones for my training courses – Photography Farm and for the Photoshop Actions that I sell. My clients may be a bride and groom or photographers so I have different things to say on each page. I also have separate Twitter accounts and I regularly tweet a mixture of chat plus some promotion of my services & products.
The flip-side of all this accessibility is that the market is over-saturated with suppliers in most areas. When I started as a wedding photographer in 2000, I really had very little competition. I was offering natural editorial style wedding photography when most of the established photographers were still shooting very staged images and old fashioned albums. My first groom was a website developer, so instead of payment I traded my services for a website. I listed in a couple of online wedding directories but it was word of mouth that established me very quickly. Brides love to talk about their weddings and this is still the case today… they just have more platforms to do it now. So how do you stand out, how do you find your business mojo?
First things first, whether your business is brand spanking new or you have been getting along just dandy for a while but now feel a bit stuck in a rut, the new year is a good time to have a good long hard look at your business. I do this every year, because