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*Special thanks to Bell Portraits for the lovely studio images throughout our guide.

CATEGORIES: Education, Selling

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:


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

25 ways to build a local following

Today we have a guest post from Bryan Caporicci of Sprouting Photographer.

We’ve all heard the saying “failing to plan is planning to fail” and we know it’s truth, yet so many photographers still run their businesses day-to-day without putting much time and effort into creating a plan. In the busyness of shooting, editing, having meetings, writing emails and making phone calls, we need to set aside time to work on our business instead of just working in our business.

We often think of running a marketing campaign in the “off” season to get more business when things are slow, but by then it’s too late; the time to run the campaign was two months ago so that your phone is ringing now. Simply put, you need to market in the “on” season so that it generates interest in your “off” season. The key is to be intentional and premeditated with your marketing plan so that you can be hitting the right market at the right time in a consistent manner.

I suggest taking some time this week to look at a month-by-month calendar for the next 12 months and put together a marketing calendar. If you need help with this, Design Aglow has a great Marketing & PR Guide & Calendar.

Here are the three steps I recommend for designing your marketing calendar:

  1. Brainstorm all of the promotions, programs and campaigns you want to run. Write these down on a blank piece of paper without any dates associated to them yet. For each idea, define its purpose, theme and call to action. Narrow this list down to your best 6-8 ideas that you’ll run over the next 12 months.
  2. Schedule those 6-8 ideas in your calendar. When do you want to run these programs/promotions? Do you want to tie them to specific dates or holidays? How long will they run?
  3. Plan out the timeline for each program. Work backwards and set out dates one month prior, which is when you will announce and start the promotion. Also mark a date two months prior, which is when you’ll want to start planning the program, designing material for it and putting the details together.

The Internet has been great for spreading ideas and reaching an audience, and I would certainly recommend incorporating an online component to the promotion of your campaigns (Facebook ads, Twitter, e-newsletters, etc). Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater though… it’s important to consider a strong offline component to your marketing initiatives as well.

Here are 25 ways you can gain local awareness and recognition. Each idea could be strategically tied to a specific campaign or be used independently to build your brand locally:


Creating a well-rounded marketing plan should incorporate 4 key components: variety in concepts, diversity in promotions, consistency in presentation and repetition in visibility. The ultimate testament to a successful local marketing plan is when prospects are calling you and saying that they “see you everywhere”.


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

10 Ways To Use Pinterest For Your Business


In case you haven’t heard, Pinterest is the king of traffic referrals to third-party sites. So how are you utilizing this sleeping giant to further your business? Today’s post launches a monthly blog series on basic business hacks you probably haven’t thought of yet.

We know you don’t have tons of time to spend on Pinterest (be careful, you don’t want to end up in a Pinterest support group!) so we’ve put the hours in for you. Here are our Top 10 tricks for utilizing Pinterest to your advantage:

10 Ways To Use Pinterest For Your Business

1. Be visible. Create an identifiable name and bio for your account, and use your logo or a good headshot for your profile image. Verify your website so people know it’s really you (the little check mark that shows up next to your site). Pinterest offers easy step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

2. Be pinnable. Make sure every image on your website/blog is pinnable! It’s easy to install a “Pin It” button to your site — there are multiple options available for every web hosting platform. Add a Pinterest widget to your blog/site and help your fans market for you!

3. Remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of your pins should be lifestyle content related to what your brand represents, and 20% should be your own content and images. Consider adding boards themed around travel getaways, framed wall galleries, lifestyle or anything else that speaks to the “voice” of your brand.

4. Pay attention to your Pinterest analytics. This can be found in your profile under Analytics. Export your Site Metrics and record your findings in a doc weekly to keep track of what’s working and what’s not.

5. Create content. Tall vertical images are the most popular on Pinterest. Create and upload Pinterest-specific vertical images directly from your computer to link back to your site. Need help? Check out our Blog & Print Layouts for creating perfectly-sized ‘Pin Me!” layouts.

6. Be intentional. Make sure you’re following and interacting with the same people you’re connected to on other social media channels. Like whatever pins you want, but be picky about what to repin (your clients probably won’t want to see 99 smoothie recipes!).

7. Be consistent. Like any social media channel, you will see your following increase exponentially when you keep with it. Create a social media calendar you stick with every day/week, and make sure Pinterest is a part of that. Like, repin, respond to comments. Even setting aside an hour each week is better than being invisible!

8. Talk about your Pinterest on other social media channels. Let’s be honest: who is really seeing your Facebook page these days? It’s important to move your existing following over to newer platforms. Taking time to invest in your Pinterest following now will pay off in the long run!

9. Don’t use hashtags. Your pins will show up in a search without hashtags (they just look cluttered). Create short, snappy captions using important keywords.

10. Be strategic. Keep your Pinterest clean and clutter-free. Put the most important boards first. Make sure the links aren’t broken. Go through your boards and delete old/outdated pins that haven’t had much traction. Use Secret Boards for personal content.

For more inspiration, be sure to follow us on Pinterest and check out our Pin To Win #designaglowwishlist contest going on now for a chance to win one of our favorite marketing products!


product spotlight: pricing guide for portrait photographers

essential_portrait_pricing_guide_020513_01 essential_portrait_pricing_guide_020513_19essential_portrait_pricing_guide_020513_09essential_portrait_pricing_guide_020513_10essential_portrait_pricing_guide_020513_15

The numbers behind your business might not be pretty, whimsical, or full of joy… but they are important! One of the primary causes for failure in small businesses is not the quality of work produced, but the inability to get a handle on finances, costs, and profits.

Understanding the true cost considerations of your business allows you to determine how to price to cover your costs, then to price for your brand – two very different, but equally important, concepts.

Design Aglow has created another exceptional educational tool that will cover the groundwork of basic business finance and budgets, provide you with Best Practices thinking to set up budgets for cost recovery, calculating your time and paycheck and pricing to support your brand strategy. In addition, we have provided you with three ready-to-use price lists that you can put into place today to immediately achieve profitable sales. Finally, of course, we have our industry experts weigh in with their thoughts and experiences to place everything into a perspective you will understand.

The Essential Pricing Guide for Portrait Photographers is a mini-MBA created just for you!

Hear what other professionals are saying:

“The Design Aglow Pricing Guide for Portrait Photographers is a fantastic resource that no one should miss.  It explains how to create prices in such a easy to understand way that applies to both just starting out photographers as well as experienced professionals. With this guide you will never second guess your price list again!” – Laura Novak, Little Nest Portraits

“I just couldn’t put it away. I worked through the whole thing from start to finish. VERY different approach from what I’m used to hearing (which is the “multiply it by 7 or 10 for prints and by 3 or 4 for canvases/books” etc. It’s a whole paradigm shift! I’m planning on reviewing it and comparing it to EVERYTHING I’ve heard in the last 3 years. It’s THAT different.” – Caryn Scanlon

“The Essential Pricing Guide is just that….essential.  The wealth of information and guidance provided in this product is really unbelievable!  Not one stone has been left unturned, and it can guide both seasoned portrait photographers and those just starting out through tricky budgeting, pricing, and planning hurdles.  We get emails daily from those just beginning their business, asking sweeping questions about the hows and the whys of how we operate.  We now have the perfect resource to point them towards.  This pricing guide should be a cornerstone resource for all portrait photographers serious about their business.” -Angela Weedon

“Are you a portrait photographer? Do you know your numbers? I am discovering mine thanks to this Pricing Guide – thanks Design Aglow for another awesome (elegant and useful) product for photographers.” – Seshu Badrinath, Seshu Photography


the mini session guide is here!

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Sometimes great things really do come in small packages. Perfect for clients on the go, Mini Sessions deliver a custom boutique photography experience without a huge time (or financial) investment. The Design Aglow Mini Session Guide includes step-by-step instructions to guide you through the entire process, from lighting, to handling clients, time squeezes, and session workflow.

With our Guide to lead your way, your studio can feature an entire year of gorgeous Mini Session events in five themes: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter & Anytime. Ideal for building buzz, bringing in new clients, and generating business during slower times of the year, our comprehensive Mini Session package will get you started as soon as you download!

*Special thanks to Shannon Sewell Photography & Alyssa Saylor Photography for the lovely images throughout our guide.

CATEGORIES: Education, What's New & What's Hot
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