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How to Grow a Photography Business in a Different City

1/23/19

Is there an area you want to grow your business in more? Maybe you’re planning to move there and want to start booking things now. Maybe you want to expand and travel more and know this would be a great city for your business! Whatever the reason, there are certain steps you can take to grow your business in a different city!

Post about that area- a lot!

People aren’t going to know you’re booking there if you don’t tell them!! Share different things about that city and why you love it and that you’re booking there! This will allow your followers to connect you to that city!

Go on a trip there, and take a LOT of photos!

No matter how close or far it is, head there with a camera in hand and build a lot of strong images you can share! Use these with the captions you created from the previous step! Extra bonus points if you can also get some images of yourself in that city!

Plan a trip there- even if nothing is booked yet!

Announce you’re heading to that city or state and are booking for that specific date! People will get excited about the opportunity to do photos with you there, and then you can build your portfolio after shoots of clients in that location!

Tag your location, and use hashtags.

Whether on Instagram or Pinterest, use hashtags to tag that location! Make them specific! If you’re trying to book more in Charleston and post a picture from a trip there, use hashtags a bride might search for like #charlestonweddingphotography #charlestonweddings! This way when she searches, she regularly sees your work!

Plan a styled shoot there!

There are many benefits to doing a styled shoot if it’s done well! A few benefits are the vendor connections, the content that can be used for publication, building SEO, and showing off a beautiful portfolio in that area! To break it down, connecting with vendors will allow them to share the images and tag you so their followers see your work there, and also encourages them to recommend you to brides! Submit the shoot for publication, and also post on your own blog (following the guidelines for where you published it-sometimes you have to wait for it to be published elsewhere if you submit to an exclusive publication) using intentional words in the title, keywords, and alternative text to reach more people searching for this!

Have a package just for that area!

If you LOVE shooting somewhere but there’s a travel expense, have a package for that area where the travel charge is built in! Instead of sharing that your rate is $3200 with a $400 travel fee, make a new package that shares that the entire rate is $3600! This looks a lot better and allows you to appear more established in the market than a “non-local”! Extra bonus points if you use a guide to send your rates and booking info with images from that location to build credibility and trust with shooting in that area!

If you aren’t booking there, discount services in that area to build up your name there!

If you’ve just been dreaming about a certain venue in that city or state and an incredible inquiry comes, it might be worth working with the client and giving small discount if it’s an opportunity that will lead to more profitability in the future! I never suggest pricing so low you’re losing money! You still need to make money with your services, and know in your mind you’re worth what you’re charging! But if there’s a location I can drive to and it’s somewhere I’ve been dying to shoot and really believe this will excel my business, I’ve knocked down my travel fee to shoot there! This way I’m able to build up my name and have a wedding under my belt there, then as I get more inquiries I can charge my full rate! This is at your own discretion and if you think it will be worth the opportunities it might lead to!

And my last word of advice…

Know how much it costs you to shoot there!

While it might seem like a dream at first to go to a specific area to shoot, make sure you’ve figured out how much travel is actually costing you! Things like gas, food, and hotels add up fast! If you’re flying, calculate plane tickets and the rental car fee. Remember, if you’re flying in or have to drive the day before, that’s an extra day of your time you’re putting into working in this area! Make sure you charge enough as you establish yourself to know it’s worth traveling there and that you’re making enough that it’s worth booking in a different city!

Wishing you the best as you grow your business!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy my FREE wedding equipment check-list so you never forget a thing at weddings!! View it here!

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