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Recently, I did a whole rebranding of my wedding photography educational material from Wedding Photography Podcast to Success In Wedding Photography. In this episode, I want to share with you the process of rebranding, how I went about it and the lessons I learned along the way, which will hopefully help others who are considering rebranding their business.
I’ll chat about how I got started in podcasting and how my wedding photography educational efforts have evolved into webinars, YouTube live sessions and one-on-one coaching. I’ll also share with you why I thought it was important to rebrand and what you can expect going forward in the coming year under the Success In Wedding Photography (SIWP) umbrella.
The New Year heralded in a transition with my wedding photography educational efforts, rebranding from Wedding Photography Podcast (WPP) to Success In Wedding Photography (SIWP).
The good news is that my intentions haven’t changed and that’s to help you book more weddings and do this full-time. It was also the main reason I wanted to do the rebranding - to be more effective, provide better content and different ways of helping you.
I want to take a walk down memory lane when I first started Wedding Photography Podcast in the Fall of 2015. My wife and I were listening to some financial podcasts and it was her that proposed the idea of starting one for wedding photography. I’ve been a wedding photographer for 10 years now and maybe there are some things that I can share and teach from my personal experience.
So here we are 2+ years later, 115 episodes in and I feel like we’re heading in the right direction. But from the outset, I knew that there were so many other ways that I wanted to help and through other mediums.
But I wasn’t going to be able to do a podcast and videos and all these other things that were swirling in my head while shooting the number of weddings that I was.
I knew I had to get the podcasting part done correctly and have that set in motion before I could tackle anything else. More than anything, I was just excited. I wanted to be able to provide this while having online coaching and workshops.
I wanted to offer some great content through email and do some webinars and continue to do the podcast. All on top of running a wedding photography business.
So because of that, it just wasn’t as effective as it could have been and I learned a lot of lessons along the way. But it was time to hit that reset button. I also received a lot of feedback from my listeners and the community through Instagram live or through the stories I post, maybe a few emails here and there. Any chance I could to communicate with whoever was watching me and listening to me was absolutely valuable.
For example, requests for more in-depth discussions of how I do things. Breaking things down more. Not just showing the number of inquiries I get or even the bookings. But how did I get them?
Maybe you’ve seen some photos on my Aevitas Weddings Instagram account or on my website and were curious, "How did I take that photo? What gear did I use? How did I pose the couple? What lighting situation was I in?"
In addition, many of my community members, my listeners, want to have more access to me on a one-on-one basis to discuss how certain things apply to their situation. "This is the environment I’m in. How could this apply to me?"
Another reason why I wanted to rebrand was that of the name itself - Wedding Photography Podcast. Maybe people think that’s all it is, a podcast. But I wanted my educational efforts to be much more than that. I didn’t want to be seen just as a podcaster.
The next thing was the website and logo. I was using a Wordpress template for podcasts and it didn’t quite look the way I wanted or envisioned my brand when it came to educational efforts for wedding photographers. It did its job when I started out in 2015 but by the end of 2016, I was getting tired of looking at it. So aesthetically speaking, it just didn’t fit my brand.
I wanted to come up with a phrase that really got right to the point. It’s not just providing you with wedding photography tips but helping you to achieve success in wedding photography.
That means seeing an increase in your inquiries and bookings. Making a higher profit. Having the lifestyle that you want as a wedding photographer.
So what better new name to use than that - Success In Wedding Photography. I bought that domain back in early 2016 and I did use that name before with some in-depth analysis and videos for a small membership group. But with the whole rebranding, I decided to create that as the umbrella name for everything I’m doing in my wedding photography educational efforts.
The podcast itself is still called Wedding Photography Podcast but it will be under the Success In Wedding Photography umbrella, together with everything else that I’ll be providing.
If you connect with me on a regular basis through this podcast or my YouTube live videos, you’ll have noticed some of these changes happening during the past month. Changes to the cover art, a different photo, and font - it happened over a transition period. But it really was the perfect time, just after I hit 100 podcast episodes.
If you have ever rebranded in your business, you’ll know that it’s never this night and day kind of thing. It takes weeks, possibly even months for that transition to take place.
The whole rebranding is not just a website or a logo. It’s much more than that. It’s about marketing to the prospective clients that you want to attract, sharing your vision and your message.
The big day that all of this really got rolling was actually on Thanksgiving. I had decided a few months earlier that I was going to hire a web and branding designer/developer to help me with this entire process. I knew that I wasn’t going to buy another Wordpress theme and wasn’t going to count on myself to come up with the new logo and do the whole rebranding myself.
I’m not a graphic designer. I don’t have a background in it. So I wanted to hire somebody else to do that. The ball for that started rolling last summer but it didn’t work out quite as I expected, and I was considering looking in another direction. But around Thanksgiving, I just decided: forget it, I’m going to cut my ties with these companies. I will be doing this whole rebranding on my own.
I went back to a system that I had considered using earlier on last year and it’s working like magic. I could not be happier. I’m not using Wordpress, Squarespace or any other CMS (Content Management System). I’m using something specifically for online ventures, education, and business, with everything that I would need to be built right in.
One thing that I did take from the other companies was the logo and what’s called a “branding package”. So I am very thankful for those things as they really helped me figure out the direction I wanted to take.
After about 3 or 4 days over that Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I really buckled down on my computer and that’s where I put together this all-new Success In Wedding Photography website.
If you haven’t already, please visit my new SIWP website. So even though it only took me a few days to create, it was months and months of envisioning it. Having a game plan. Hiring a logo and branding website company, and going back and forth here and there.
I wanted to have my message very clear at the top of the website. Helping wedding photographers book more weddings and go full-time. That’s always been my vision.
Everything I do has to go back to that goal. You can also download my latest freebie on the site. It’s a video on how I made a $150,000 in my second year as a wedding photographer in 2009.
So right off the bat, I wanted to give some concrete, tangible value to anybody that’s interested in meeting that goal of becoming a full-time wedding photographer.
Also on my website, you’ll see some more things regarding my reputation and credentials, especially for anyone who has never heard of me before. "Why should I trust him, why should I learn from him?" Then afterward, there are links to my YouTube channel and podcast.
So what exactly did I learn through this whole rebranding that could be of help to you? The first thing I learned is that it takes time. You can’t rush it. On the one hand, you do want to work efficiently and you want to get things done. But on the other, you need to be patient as it’s not going to happen overnight.
Even though it was going to take some time, I still had to have a game plan. For me, that was taking notes in the Evernote app on on my phone. Jotting things down here and there. Some ideas.
Then when you really have the time and the focus, buckle down. Perhaps it’s rebranding your wedding photography business, just updating your website or figuring out how you’re going to market. If you have all these notes you’ve taken over the last couple of months, you can organize them into a concrete, solid game plan.
Another thing I learned from this rebranding and particularly by taking some time to do it was what my audience wanted.
I couldn’t just create all these things without really listening and understanding to what my audience actually wanted. Having a better understanding of who I will be helping out was really important.
The daily show I had last year from January through June - ASK WPP - provided a gold mine of questions from the WPP community, my listeners. So that helped me understand what they were going through and how I’m going to be able to help them.
Relating this to your wedding photography business: do your vision, personality, and brand fit the clientele that you want to reach? And how are you going to understand what they want out of a wedding photographer?
They’re not just looking for a bunch of photos. They’re not just looking for the cheapest price. They’re looking for much more than that. They want memories, they want to feel something. They want a return in high value from their investment.
The other lesson I learned was that sometimes, it’s best to just do things yourself, rather than outsource to a web design team or other freelancers. If there is a good solution out there, you might not need be spending all this money and putting all your faith into a company that might not deliver the results you want.
What if you need to make some changes and the company is no longer around or they’re too busy with something else? That has happened to me in the past with my wedding photography company. That’s why, these days, I really try to have an understanding of how to make changes all on my own.
Now with SIWP, I have a system where there’s a great support team. If I ever have any issues or questions, I can email them and get a response within minutes. They have a live chat service and a great Facebook group. So I know that I’ll be well taken care of in case I ever need any help with my online system.
Obviously, if that company ceases to exist, I’m in deep trouble. If anything, I should back up the entire site on my own computer. My point here is that you might not want to put all your eggs in one company’s basket and rely on them solely. Sometimes you do need to take matters into your own hands.
Secondly, there’s the YouTube videos. Specifically, I’m going live every Tuesday at 11AM Pacific Standard Time. Then every Friday, I’ll have a pre-recorded video filled with wedding photography tips.
I’ll be addressing four main areas - actual photography (gear, style, how I capture photos), business strategies (marketing, how to get leads/bookings), people skills (personality and communication), and general/miscellaneous.
The third type of content that you can consume will be my freebie - my training video that I have over on my website. You’ll see it at the very top. Enter your email address and you’re good to go.
In addition to the free stuff, for those wanting to take the next step of working directly with me, I’m going to have a couple of flagship services offered, including one-on-one coaching directly with me on a periodic basis over 6 months.
I’m happy to say that last year when I did this for a handful of students, all of them were very happy they did it. They’ve more than increased their bookings and given me wonderful feedback.
So if you want to find out more about that, it’s fulltimeweddingphotographer.com. There is a button to join the waiting list. But if you see a questionnaire, that means I have a spot open right now.
The other program that I’m creating is what I’m calling the Book Your Next Wedding Mastermind group. If you haven’t heard of a Mastermind group, it’s basically a small group of individuals who all share a very similar goal and is usually led by a moderator, somebody that’s going to come up with the content and plan to help with that business.
If you want to find out more about that program, the website to go to is bookyournextwedding.com. It is a bit more cost-effective than the one-on-one but it’s very intensive as well.
If that all sounds overwhelming, just go to my website at successinweddingphotography.com. Everything is on there, from the links to my podcasts, YouTube channel, free training video, and the special programs that I have.
And as always, if you have any questions or any way that I can further help you, don’t be a stranger. Send me that email to [email protected] or a direct message on Instagram @successinweddingphotography.
Watch my FREE video explaining how I made $150k+ in the second year of my wedding photography business.