How I Got My First Paying Client

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When I was new into the wedding photography business, booking clients was incredibly intimidating.  I was hesitant to even tell people that I was a photographer, let alone get myself out there to book any type of business.  But after pushing myself completely out of my comfort zone, I was able to book my first wedding client and now I’m almost 200 wedding clients later!  So, how exactly did I book that first client that led to so many more? I will give you a hint…it didn’t involve any expensive wedding shows or pricey online marketing.  Here are the steps I took to get my wedding business moving!

1.) I second shot….A LOT!  By the time I even had the opportunity to shoot my own wedding, I had a lot of wedding experience.  I second shot as much as I could and soaked in every bit of info at each wedding.  I paid close attention to timelines, events, and shooting techniques.  And honestly, for some of those weddings I didn’t get paid.  But the experience that I gained was priceless!  And the portfolio that I was able to build was crucial to booking my first clients!

2.) I posted my work!  With each wedding that I shot, I posted my work!!!  I made sure to follow the guidelines set by the main photographer with regard to sharing images and made sure to post post POST!  The best way to get the word out about your business is to post about it often.

3.) I talked about my business!  I made sure to tell anyone and everyone that I was a photographer and what I loved to photograph. This was exactly how the wheels were set in motion with my first wedding client.  My first bride was a referral from a neighbor.  That neighbor referred me because I talked about my photography and I talked about it often!

4.) Even when I was new, I presented myself and my work with confidence! You have to believe in what you’re doing if you want anyone else to believe in you!!! When I had my first meeting with my first paying client prior to them booking, I had no website, no sample albums, only a handful of photos that I had taken from weddings that I had second shot.  Even though that was all I had, I presented those images with confidence and assured my potential new bride that I was ready to photograph her wedding day!

5.) I made sure I was a wedding resource!  When booking my first bride, although I didn’t have a large portfolio of images, I made sure to have some working knowledge of timelines, local vendors, and wedding trends. I offered to help construct the timeline and offered insight about who the great vendors were in the area. This information is HUGE for a couple getting married. They don’t do this every day so any bits of info that you can give them will be so helpful to them and also build trust!

Confidence and knowledge are the BEST ways to make your potential client feel comfortable and confident in YOU!  It doesn’t matter how new you are into the business, there ARE clients that are meant for you. Just present yourself in an organized way with a heart full of kindness and plenty of nuggets of information that will be helpful for them and you’ll be well on your way to booking wedding clients over and over and over again!


P.S. Are you ready to go Full-Time in this crazy business?  Or are you Full-Time and want to book MORE business?  Click HERE to schedule a one on one call with me to talk about getting you there!

P.P.S If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs! ~ Tony Gaskins

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