happy bridesmaids and boho bride
Chances are, if you're reading this post, you've experienced first-hand just how POWERFUL blogging is for your business. For you it's not a question of IF you are going to blog, but HOW you can optimize your blogging efforts to be most effective.

Here at MJP, we've been shifting our blogging efforts over the course of the past two years to do just that. And I'd love to share a little of what we've learned:

1. The state of our clients = SCARED TO DEATH.
The #1 rule of blogging or writing anything is to know your audience. If you want to blog for your ideal client, you need to have a good idea of who that person is. When it comes to wedding photography, it's helpful to keep in mind that our clients are approaching this process of choosing a photographer with a good bit of fear and trembling. We're selling a very high-priced service that they have no background or experience with. We're effectively asking them to give us all their money and trust us with something really important that can't be redone if we screw it up.

In light of this truth, our biggest hurdle is to build trust with our ideal clients in order to help them overcome this fear. Blogging builds brand trust and a tribe like nothing else can. And blogging, when done well, can almost single-handedly drive sales for a small business. I've found that by blogging and forming a connection with my readers, I don't have to be as much of a direct salesperson. My blog, and what I share there, does the work for me by building a genuine relationship and fostering trust.

2. Go beyond personality marketing to build rapport.
Many photographers attempt to build trust and rapport with clients through personality marketing -- sharing who they are in an effort to relate to their clients on a personal level. I do this myself and have experienced a good outcome with it. But there's a step beyond personality marketing that can be even more effective at building trust with our ideal clients:

Add value to their lives UP FRONT by providing helpful content that solves their problems and meets their needs.

Think about your ideal client. What problems does she have before or during the time when she might be looking for her photographer? Envision your ideal client and then make a list. Then BLOG ABOUT THOSE THINGS.

It's as simple as that. Be helpful. Solve problems. Meet needs. And do it all for free with no strings attached. Be the expert that helps your potential clients to understand something that perplexes them or to make a decision simpler. When you do that, they will grow to trust you. And you will become the photographer they connect with and want with them on their wedding day.

One helpful note on defining your ideal clients: Often times we think primarily of engaged couples as our clients, but don't discount the pre-engaged. I've found it powerful to create a connection through my blog early on in the process. That way a strong bond can grow over time to the point where you have brides contacting you saying that they have been following your blog for years and just got engaged and can't imagine getting married without having you there to capture it.

Over the past few years we've been blogging much more consistently with free helpful content for brides. You can see these posts under our blog category "Tips for Clients." We share links to this content on Instagram and Pinterest. And we also email links to this content out to our clients who have already hired us in an effort to educate them and ensure they have an amazing wedding day.

3. Show what you want to attract
When it comes to blogging your work, make sure you keep your ideal client in mind. When you're curating images from weddings and shoots, make sure you show only the best of the best of your photography and show the types of weddings and shoots that you want to shoot more of. The work you show should allow your ideal bride to envision her dream wedding and herself as a bride. That means you don't have to blog or show everything you shoot. And if you aren't currently shooting weddings for your ideal clients, you might consider collaborating with other vendors to put together some inspirational styled shoots in order to build your portfolio with more of the type of work that will attract your ideal bride.

Blogging is SO powerful. But it's time consuming when done well. If we're going to invest time into blogging, it makes sense to be intentional and direct our efforts towards our ideal clients. Keeping in mind the state of our clients, building trust through providing helpful content, and curating our blogged images with our ideal brides in mind will all help to optimize those efforts.

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Tips to help wedding photographers blog more effectively
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