Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!
Manali is a wedding photographer & educator based out of Charlottesville, VA. When she's not making couples laugh or teaching other photographers how to save time & grow their business, you can find her at a vineyard with wine & cheese in hand with her friends & fam!
Marketing can be such a tough topic! There’s so much advice on what to do, when to post, what platforms to show up on and it can easily become overwhelming. We hear everyone preaching their specific platform and believe that we have to show up on each one, all the time and it can be truly exhausting. Over the years I’ve really worked to find a system that works well, is simplified and allows me to show up well in a few places consistently.
Here’s a breakdown of how I structure my marketing workflow. I have purposefully kept it a little general so that it can be applicable to you and your personal strengths and traits and help you serve your audience well without feeling like you need to act any differently or be constantly selling something, because who likes that feeling?
Always Remember That You are In Charge
Just a quick note of kindness that once you settle on a marketing strategy, there’s nothing to say that you have to stick to that forever and ever. Give yourself the permission and space to switch it up if something isn’t working well for you! Check-in quarterly and see if there’s anything about your strategy that you want to switch up!
Choose a Hero Platform
I think it’s really important to have a home for your work. Preferable a home that you own, allows for longer-form content and is focused on providing a lot of value to those taking the time to consume it! Here a couple to choose from and I recommend sticking with a platform that has longevity: blog posts (this is what I do!), Youtube videos, email newsletters. Creating this content on a consistent basis should be where most of your creative time and energy should go into!
Next up, you’ll want to decide how frequently you’ll be able to feasibly create content on this platform. This looks different for everyone! You GET to decide, that’s the cool thing about running your own business. If you’re still at a full-time job maybe you’ll shoot for two times a month or if you’re running around with a little toddler you might even just stick with a high-value piece once a month! It’s whatever that works well for you and the time constraints that you have.
I personally have found that it works well for me to blog once a week. I had initially started with blogging two times a week after I had gone full time. But after a time, I was finding it really difficult to create, schedule and distribute out two blog posts a week to multiple channels ALL on my Marketing Monday days in 8 hours. Especially when I had a wedding to cull and start turning around on Monday as well. So, for 2020 I have cut down to consistently blogging once a week and actively showing up to distribute my blog post content on other platforms!
Make sure you carve out a consistent time in your schedule each week to create this content! This is my biggest tip for keeping your sanity. Let’s avoid having to do more mental work each week to figure out WHEN you’re going to make this hero content.
It’s important to keep in mind that although your creative time and energy should go into creating your hero content, you’ll want to make sure that you spend more time distributing it so that you actually get some eyeballs on it!
Choose Your Distribution Channels
While we are easily pulled into wanting to do ALL the things, I think it’s really important to narrow down and do a couple of things well. This means choosing a small number of social media channels to distribute your content on!
I have two recommendations on figuring out which social media channels to focus on:
Where do your inquiries come from? Does Facebook do really well for you or are you naturally getting a lot of traffic from Pinterest? Take a look at your Google Analytics and figure out where most of your website traffic AND your leads came from in 2019!
Which platform do you naturally enjoy spending time on? You’re much more likely to stay consistent with a channel if you actually ENJOY showing up there! I challenge you to really focus in on one or two channels that you will have a fun time being on! It’s so easy to get stuck in the idea that we HAVE to do something in business and then end up dreading it rather than focusing our time and energy on what we actually enjoy. Marketing doesn’t have to be draining!
Choose Your Distribution Frequency
For every piece of hero content, choose how frequently and exactly WHICH days you’ll distribute. Similar to choosing when you’ll create your hero content, make sure to choose when you’ll post to your social media channels. I recommend pulling out some wording from your hero content for these channels instead of reinventing the wheel here and spending more time and energy than necessary!
Use a Marketing Map to Organize Your Content
I recommend mapping out all your hero pieces of content on a quarterly basis and mapping it out to specific dates on the calendar! From there, you’ll also map out when you’re posting to each channel based off of your distribution schedule. This makes your entire marketing plan extremely easy to see and follow on a weekly basis. Taking a day or two to visually map this out each quarter will save you so much time each month and each week! Plus this will help ensure that your content is really driving towards your target sales and bookings for each quarter.
If you are looking for more resources to help figure out your content strategy for the year, check out the Resources Vault! There’s an entire section dedicated to marketing that shows you the EXACT step-by-step to schedule out your marketing posts (efficiently!!) and how to create a system that is simple & sustainable for you.
READY TO START PUTTING SYSTEMS IN PLACE IN YOUR BUSINESS?
If you’re wondering what the inside of a successful & streamlined photography business looks like the Resources Vault is for you! It includes everything from email templates, client questionnaires, workflows for portraits & questionnaires, a breakdown of a profitable marketing strategy & how to streamline and organize each and every part of your business. More of a visual learner? Be sure to watch the totally-free masterclass!
More Great Business Tips – The MP Education Series