My wife’s friend offered a free photo shoot for any friend who could help her rename her company. My argument was using her name was her best marketing tool. Think of all the great photographers–you know their names. Instead I told her what I’d do if I were a wedding photographer.
1. Call every reception hall that you see spending money on advertising. If they are spending money they aren’t fully booked. Offer free wedding photography for the first couple who books a wedding–provided they put your name in the ad as the photographer. (Bonus-If you do a great job chances are they will give you referrals in the future.)
2. This bit advice comes after you get booked either from #1 or another way.
a. When you are at a wedding brand yourself by giving out cards.
b. Take poloraids of every person at the wedding, give them the poloraid and on the back put your company name, number and website. Maybe even offer a deal if they use you.
c. Offer a free photo session for anyone that helps you book a session.
3. Even when you giveaway free sessions the only way you give them photos is on a CD otherwise they must pay for the photo printing. That keeps you in their minds every time they want to buy some photos. Just don’t overcharge to try and make up for your free session.
4. Create a blog. In that blog give wedding photography advice. Don’t promote yourself other than your “about you” page. List a few dozen questions a couple might have about wedding photos and every few days answer those questions. Questions might include: what to expect from a photographer. Average cost of wedding photography. What is the best way to archive your photos. Advice on a photo album.
Best of all, put a dozen or more of your best photos on the page just so you can say how good you are without any words.
To make it all work costs you nothing but your time. The only thing you have to gain is new customers.