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15 Ways to Build a Destination Wedding Following

destination-wedding-marketing-073014-bryan-caporicci*Image Credit: Bryan Caporicci

My last post for Design Aglow on “25 Ways to Build a Local Following” was well-received in the photography community. One reader in specific asked for a similar article, but geared towards destination wedding photography. I love writing topics that are explicitly asked for, so let’s dive right in!

First I’ll step back from the specific topic of “destination wedding photography” for a moment and look at marketing as a whole and how you can create an effective marketing plan. Here is a proven 3-step approach to market anything to anyone:

  1. Who are you trying to reach?
  2. Where do they spend their time?
  3. What kind of message would they likely respond positively to?

Ready for it? All you have to do is #3 in #2 to book more of #1 – simple as that!

Let’s apply this to the destination wedding photography market in one quick example:

  1. Who? We’re looking to reach brides planning a destination wedding.
  2. Where? They are having meetings with their travel agent (booking their wedding/trip), they are likely also spending a lot of time online on Facebook (socializing), Pinterest (looking for inspiration) and Google (researching).
  3. What? They’d appreciate and connect best with advice/education that revolves around their destination wedding. They also love finding new inspiration and ideas for their dream wedding. It’s important to also understand why they’re planning a destination wedding as this will help you define a message. It could be because they want a fun getaway trip with all of their friends, or it could be because they are busy professionals and want to make their wedding a special trip with their closest family members to be together in a place of tranquility, relaxation and warmth. Figure out their “why” and you can frame yours to match.

Once you can define the who you’re trying to reach, where you can reach them and what you can put in front of them, it’s a much easier process to determine a marketing plan for destination weddings.

Here are 15 specific ideas for you:

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All-in-all, while destination wedding photography has a slightly different approach in marketing to local wedding photography, the principles are still the same – it’s all about relationship, trust, education, and connection.

bryan-caporicci-headshot-200pxBryan is an award winning portrait photographer based out of Fonthill, Canada. He is a Fuji X-Photographer and is one of the youngest photographers to receive his CPA. He runs a popular educational website for photographers called Sprouting Photographer.

CATEGORIES: Education, Marketing

inside real studios: tiny touch photography

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Today we’re taking a peek inside the beautiful studio of Angela McLaughlin of Tiny Touch Photography.

In what kind of space is your studio located, and where?
Commercial, just outside Washington DC

Square footage
1407

How long have you been there?
1 1/2 years

What makes your studio special?
Our studio was custom designed to create the perfect space not only for capturing unique images, but also for giving clients a spacious, homey atmosphere where they could relax in and take a much needed break. Almost everything that a new mom needs during those first weeks after a baby is born is conveniently at the studio, so there is no stress over forgetting something. Our well equipped kids play room is also a huge hit with new moms with toddlers, giving the new big brothers and sisters somewhere to play and have fun during a newborn session.

How has it helped your business?
Being able to have a large professionally designed space has been wonderful in portraying to my clients the level of luxury that they are receiving when the work with our studio. The mood is set for them the moment they walk through the doors. They are able to see large examples of my work, and be able to roam around and not be clustered into a little room. Many times a clients sees the images of our studio online and fall in love with the idea of working with us.

Do you have any tips for opening a studio?
Be sure that you are currently profitable in your business before looking to open a studio, and are bringing in the amount of revenue needed to stay profitable and cover all of the extra expenses…before making the jump. Have a solid business plan that has set goals and milestones that need to be reached before making the move. The move to a studio is often pricey if there is any construction work that needs to be done as well as expenses like furniture, artwork samples, studio supplies and equipment. Everything adds up very quickly, so having a realistic spending amount before hand will save a lot of heartache.

Once you have your studio up and running, celebrate!! Having an open house gives you a lot of publicity and gets the word out quickly.

What products do you sell the most?
In the Washington DC area a lot of clients have small spaces, or are relocating often. Because of this, our books and albums sell very well so they can have a beautiful keepsake of their session without a lot of space commitment. Equally as popular are our gorgeous gallery wrap canvases.

Do you use Design Aglow products in your studio? If so, which product(s), and how have they helped your sales?
I have a bachelors in graphic design but have little time to create my own work, so Design Aglow has been a fabulous tool for me! I have used the products from Design Aglow for the past 5 years, and whenever I am looking for something for my business it’s the first place I go. The products have helped my sales by giving me clean designs that allow the photos that speak for themselves beautifully. The marketing materials have been a great source as well in getting my name out and giving tips to creating a successful business.

*We noticed the desktop background from our Studio Workflow Assistant on Angela’s computer and some lovely wall gallery displays from our Inspire Guide.

Do you have a great space you would like to share with our community? We would love to hear from you and possibly peek into your world. Simply visit this link and we will guide you through the quick submission process.

CATEGORIES: Inside Real Studios

18 months of complete studio organization is yours

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Imagine every aspect of your photography business, completely organized.

No matter what month it is, it’s never too late to get organized. Just because it’s August doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of your summer and year has to fit within the confines of sticky notes and smartphone reminders. You still have goals to fulfill this year!

The Big Picture Planner planner spans 18 entire months (and onward!), so why not get a jump start on setting yourself up for complete studio organization today?

Introducing The Big Picture: An Essential Planner for Studio and Personal Success, which will make (the rest of) 2014 and 2015 your year! Turn your hopes and dreams into real accomplishments with our innovative system for getting things done. Other planners on the market don’t take into account the specific needs of successful photographers and their businesses; The Big Picture’s gorgeous aesthetic and practical approach will change your life.

Let Design Aglow set you up for success in workflow, planning, marketing, and your unique “big picture” goals every single day.

Start planning with The Big Picture on any day you wish, with a clean design that allows you to fill in your own dates for 2014 / 2015 and beyond. Once you’ve personalized The Big Picture with your choice of cover and other customizable components, keep yourself accountable by joining The Big Picture Facebook community and enjoying our time management newsletters, motivational content, and additional downloads for your planner for the next 18 months, all included with your purchase.

The Big Picture includes:
• 40 printable 8.5×11” PDF planner pages to assemble in your choice of binder
• Customizable, layered Photoshop & InDesign files to completely change the colors, text, and overall look
• 16 page how-to tutorial, Setting Yourself Up for Success, guides you through our proven method of transforming your goals into achievements
• Our favorite ideas for customization and best practices
• Productivity tips for getting more done, in less time
• Innovative design that allows you to begin the planner on any day of the year
• 8 sections to keep you flawlessly organized and on task: Daily & Weekly Planner, Monthly Planner, Contacts, Workflow, Marketing, Financial, Inspiration & Education, and Notes & Ideas
• 3 unique and customizable cover options
• 6 smart marketing and goal achieving worksheets for strategic planning
• Cut lines on corners of the pages keep today easily accessible
• Inspirational, educational newsletters with bonus content, updates and worksheets for the remainder of 2014
• FREE BONUS: Access to The 2014 / 2015 Big Picture private Facebook community to keep you on track and supported.

Buy your Big Picture today, then email us for the bonus access to our private BIG PICTURE: Planning for Studio & Personal Success community on Facebook. To join, reply to your receipt email with your Facebook name AND include the email address you use to to sign in on Facebook, then look for our invite within 2 business days.

Get ready to achieve your goals every single day of 2014 and beyond!

CATEGORIES: The Big Picture Planner

Blog & Print Layouts: Geo Modern

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Get ready to implement stylish branding into your workflow, without sacrificing smart business practices! Show off a unique modern look and delight your clients with our new Geo Modern Blog & Print Layouts, a collection of 16 fresh collages complete with unique sizing and versatile watermarks to prevent sneaky right clicks.

These thoughtfully designed geometric templates will add visual excitement to your blog and marketing materials, creating a buzz that will draw new customers and get your existing clients excited to see (and purchase products from!) the rest of their session.

Print these designs as big as you like… use for album pages, framed prints, or even giant size canvases, our products are meant to be 100% versatile for any project you can imagine.

Click here to check them out in the shop with introductory pricing today!

Special thanks to Hatch Photography, Kallima Photography, Katch Studios, Rachel Devine Photography and Milou + Olin Photography for the lovely images in our samples.

CATEGORIES: Design Templates

clean and simple packaging for your photography studio

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Today Maria of Camomint Photography shares her recent packaging success, “For my packaging I was looking for clean and simple design, just as templates that Design Aglow offers. I always felt a bit sad looking at the packaging photos Design Aglow provided, understanding that once I get a template I will have a headache of where and how to print it. So when Design Aglow offered a Packaging Starter Kit, I knew I had to get one.

This is my first attempt to use Design Aglow packaging. At first I was going to use only a small welcome folder, since it has these nice little compartments on the sides. I put a Thank you note in one of them, and referral cards in another. Prints fit wonderfully in the middle. After I got the folder set up, I’ve realized, that it perfectly fits into 8″x10″ charcoal print box and looks much more worthwhile.

I like that the welcome folder has two small pockets, in which a Thank you note and referral cards fit nicely. I really didn’t want them to be lost among the prints. I like that the client has to open it, and take some time to see, what’s inside, check all the pockets and enjoy getting all the small gifts out.

I like the print box, because it’s not too thick. It is perfect for prints or a welcome folder wrapped in tissue paper.

I like the variety of boxes Design Aglow offers. They are good quality, clean and simple. Various thickness and sizes allow you to choose the perfect option! And since there is logo embossing offered, well, this is my number one packaging choice! It is not so easy to find the perfect packaging. I’m so happy that there is someone out there creating just exactly what I’m wishing for! Thank you!

Thanks for sharing, Maria! We love your approach and are so happy for your success. Enjoy your $75 shopping spree on us~

Have you created something awesome with Design Aglow products? Feel free to send us images here. If we feature it on the blog you’ll get a $75 shopping spree at Design Aglow!

CATEGORIES: Marketing, Paper Shop, Success Stories

how a photographer sells frames to 75% of her clients, the easy way

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Gorgeous, modern photography deserves an equally gorgeous, modern display. Design Aglow believes that there is great value–both for your clients’ walls, and your business–in selling a polished final product. We understand that professional wedding and portrait photographers need sleek frames to enhance their clients’ imagery, and simple solutions for selling those frames to their clientele. Our frame shop offers both. We provide affordable, California-made frames to elegantly present your finished work, and support them with resources to help you earn additional revenue on every sale, with minimal work.

Elizabeth of Elizabeth Clark Photography shares, “When Design Aglow debuted their Frame Shop last year, I was immediately intrigued. I knew there was a desire from clients to have me frame their pieces, but I couldn’t figure out a financial and time-efficient way to deliver what they wanted. But I had a feeling that these frames would work really well, and I was right!

For my sample walls I used two grab-and-go wall collections – one in Gold Bella and one in Barn Grey Woodworks. I also use the Frame Shop Catalog & Lookbook, which I printed through MagCloud. All the frames along the wall are for two client orders that I am about to fill!

Since putting them up on my studio walls and creating a catalog from the downloadable template, I have sold frame collections at 75% of my client sales meetings. I have also used some for my own home. Selling these has allowed my clients to receive a product ready for the wall, instead of having to do the extra step of going to a framer themselves or settling for mounted prints (most of my clients tend to like the more traditional look of prints matted in frames, which is my personal favorite display option for photographic art as well).

One little sales tactic I use with these frames – I only sell them in sets of three or as the other pre-made wall collections. This way, I don’t have extra frames sitting in storage… but even better than that, I get more images up on my clients’ walls. All of my sessions are taken with the goal to tell a story, and I mention that putting up frames in a triptych or collection is the best way to do this in a home. It has worked so far!”

Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth! We love your approach and are so happy for your success. Enjoy your $75 shopping spree on us~

Have you created something awesome with Design Aglow products? Feel free to send us images here. If we feature it on the blog you’ll get a $75 shopping spree at Design Aglow!

CATEGORIES: Frame Shop, Success Stories
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