Have you moved a few times since starting your business, or are you thinking of moving soon? If so, this blog post is for you! Even if you don’t plan on relocating your business soon, this post may help you gain more clients and make a name for yourself in your city!
Since 2013, I’ve moved from Knoxville, TN to Gainesville, FL to Jackson, TN to Chicago, IL. I had to start over in all aspects of my life: finding a new home, new friends, and new clients. While moving, I was not always happy about my situation, but I am so thankful I had these learning experiences. I was stressing myself out, putting too much pressure on myself, and trying to be perfect the first time around. You CAN be and WILL be successful in your new city. There are opportunities everywhere you will go.
“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”— Richard Branson
I am thrilled to be writing 3 tips that helped me jumpstart my photography business in a new city! My hope is that after reading this post, you put some of these tips into action and start to see a difference in your business! Cheers to new adventures!
Tip #1: Network with local wedding professionals. The first thing I did when I moved to a new city was hop on Google and search for local wedding photographers. I wanted to see who else was around me (if I happened to know any of them) and if there were any that I felt comfortable enough to contact. I reached out to several after finding them on Google or social media, introduced myself and told them that I was moving to their city! Don’t be alarmed when some of them don’t message you back. That’s okay! I found that 3 out of 4 people I contacted would at least reply, and 1 or 2 of those people would be kind enough meet with me. The ones that met with me ended up being some of my best friends in that area! We stuck to each other like glue and helped one another build our businesses. We had lunch or coffee together regularly and loved each other’s company. Try looking through social media for local wedding groups in your new city. In those groups, you can ask questions about locations, recommendations on awesome vendors and even catch a referral every once in a while! This helped me the most when moving.
Tip #2: Ask for opportunities to grow and learn. Whether you’re an experienced photographer or still a beginner, don’t underestimate the power of asking to second shoot for a local photographer. This is a great way to build a portfolio that showcases your new city! Often times, clients love to hear that you’ve shot at their venue before or love the fact that you know your way around the city. Second shooting provides a great opportunity to get experience in those venues and locations, meet vendors and have pretty things to blog about! Another great way to connect with local vendors and build your portfolio is to plan a styled shoot! Team up with vendors you would love to work with, share a similar style and that you get along with. It’ll be so much fun, and you’ll love the images you get (and so will the vendors)!
Tip #3: Be kind and be yourself. You would think this goes without saying, but I feel that this needs to be addressed. Each time I move, I do find some people that just aren’t very nice. Don’t let them discourage you! Find people who believe in running their business like you do. Find people that believe in community over competition and that will encourage you. Remember that little things can go a long way! Here are a few things that I do and find very easy to do because I genuinely love to make people feel appreciated:
Smile and hug people often.
Tell people that you meet with just how much you appreciate them taking the time out of their day to be with you.
Send hand written thank you cards and gifts to them when you book a client from their referral.
Genuinely support them and, in turn, they will support you back.