If the thought of relocating as a wedding professional makes your stomach drop, you’re not alone. Relocation can be scary as f*ck when your livelihood is dependent on the income from your location-based business. But guess what?? If you make the right preparations, successfully relocating your wedding business can be a breeze. Follow these tips to get you goin’ in your new location!
Update your Instagram
Updating your IG profile should be one of the first things you do! Be sure to change your location in your bio from your original location to your new one. On top of that, once you know you’re moving, stop geotagging your photos!! If you’re moving from the PNW to the East Coast but all your most recent photos are still geotagged for PNW locations, potential clients visiting your profile are gonna be confused. Instead, skip the geotag altogether, and start only posting photos that could resemble your new location.
Have model calls
Doing model calls on your IG story is a great way to connect with new couples in the area. Make a list of concepts and specific locations that you want to shoot, and put it up on your stories a lot. Chances are you’ll be getting an influx of new followers in your new city, so that’s why you want to regularly chat about this on your stories.
Attend wedding expo/fairs
When changin’ up your location, don’t forget to do some local research on wedding expos! You don’t even have to be a registered vendor for these events – just go to connect and network with other vendors in the area. Chances are you’re also looking to make some new friends after your move, so use this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone!
Second shoot for local photographers
Even if you’re a seasoned photographer, don’t pass up second shooting opportunities when relocating your wedding business. Not only is it a great way to 1) discover new, local venues 2) connect with more local vendors 3) get updated photo content, but it also takes some of the pressure off of you to find your own clients ASAP. Once you’re more comfortable and familiar with your new area, you can shift more of your focus on getting new clients. But second shooting provides such an awesome opportunity to have some fun and ease your way into it!
Set up coffee dates
Along with making new wedding biz friends, try actually reaching out to them and setting up a coffee date together. You can also reach out to wedding vendors/coordinators and chat with them about getting on their preferred vendors list. Of course, you want to make sure you’re being genuine in your efforts and not just making connections for your benefit only. This is an opportunity to make business connections and friendships, so make sure whoever you’re chatting with holds the same values that you do.
Update your website content/SEO
Making sure your website is up to date with your new location is crucial. If you’ve already had your website SEO professionally done, reach out to the OSP you worked with and see how much it would be for them to update it for you. Or if you know how to do it yourself, you can update it on your own as well! There’s also lots of educational courses teaching you how to DIY it, so think about investing in one if you want to make your own updates in the future.
Along with your overall website SEO, you also need to update your blog content! Start building a library of relevant content for your blog to attract clients in your new location. If you don’t know the benefits of blogging yet, check out my article Why Blogging Should Be at the Top of Your To-Do List. Make a list of evergreen blog topics you think your audience will want to learn about, and start from there. In addition, make sure your portfolio is updated as well! Take all the content you’ve got from your new location and blog the sh*t out of it.
If that sounds like a headache to you on top of everything else you have to prep for, I gotchu. My VIP Days are designed to give you a month’s worth of content in one day for situations exactly like this. With payment plan options available, (‘cause I know finances can be tight when relocating) you could have 4 fully written, drafted, and optimized blog posts up on your site in less than 12 hours! To book your Blogging VIP Day, you can click here.
Hand out business cards
In the age of digital marketing, sometimes we forget about the power of traditional marketing. If you’re a photographer, you’re in the small percentage of OSP’s who can market to anyone. Of course this can be dependent on your niche, but unlike someone like me who only markets myself towards wedding pros, you have the advantage of knowing anyone you come across in your day to day life has the potential to become a client. Whether they’re in a relationship or not, they probably know someone who is.
When you’re out grocery shopping or taking the kids to the park, strike up organic conversations with people. If the conversation naturally leads into what you do for work, give them a business card and direct them to your IG or website. Always always always keep business cards on hand, because you never know when you’ll have an opportunity to market your biz.
Shoot for local businesses/brands
Even if it’s not necessarily your niche, try reaching out to local coffee shops or other businesses that might need some updated social/website content. Let them know that you’re new to the area and are trying to build your portfolio while also supporting small, local businesses. You could offer them a discount on your services (or not, you deserve that $$$) and take advantage of the networking opportunities that would bring. And who knows, you might fall in love with these types of sessions and shooting for local businesses can be an additional revenue stream!
Location scout & ask strangers to take their photo
Now this would be working for free, so it’s up to you if you want to take this one to heart. But when you’re location scouting (think local/state parks, hiking trails, beaches, etc) and see couples together, ask if you could take their photo! Let them know that you’re a local photographer and you’re trying to build your portfolio since you’re new to the area. Ask them if they’d be willing to get in front of the camera for a few minutes in exchange for 5-10 free photos. Chances are, couples will jump at this opportunity and will remember you when they actually want to book a couples session. And of course, don’t forget to hand them a business card!
I hope you feel confident relocating your wedding business after reading this article. If you ever have any questions or need some additional support, feel free to shoot me a DM via IG and I’ll do my best to help. And if you’re thinking about booking a VIP Day but are still on the fence, let’s set up a 30 minute call and chat about if that service is a right fit for you.