Hey Showiteers! I'm Jessica Frey, owner of Jessica Frey Photography, wife to Eric and mom to 6 month old Evan. As a military wife (USMC) and full-time wedding photographer I know what it's like to leave an established business and transition to a new city! I had a successful business in Central California for 5 years with solid relationships & a large client base that I left behind to start over in a much larger market full of amazing photographers! Instead of being intimidated or discouraged, I worked hard prior to moving to make sure I had a successful transitional year.
I'm now in my 2nd year of business here in Austin, TX and feel I can pinpoint a few things I did that made a difference.
Before leaving California, I made a point to be very social with my future community. I used the power of Instagram, Facebook groups and the Showiteer map to find and like local photographers, caterers, florists, venues, etc. I asked people out to lunch or coffee and as Liz stated last week in the newsletter, “we're a lonely group,” so I found it was easy to get a ‘yes' from people who also wanted to meet for lunch & just have some interaction! I took the time to get to know them and genuinely looked for friends (the type of people I could talk shop with). I slowly put it out there that if they were booked for a wedding, I would appreciate the gesture of recommending me to that couple and vise versa. I booked 4 weddings the first year from those recommendations!
It was also important to research venues that attracted my ideal couples. I worked hard to define my brand and wanted to find like-minded venues and vendors that would attract those brides. I attended open houses at those venues, took photos and gave them to the owners for their use along with tagging them in blog posts and social media. I'm now on several of those venues' referral lists that get handed out to each couple that books!
So, if you're moving to a new market — look at it as an opportunity for fresh ideas, locations, and friends. Make the best of it by putting yourself out there with a smile, a positive attitude, and a firm handshake!
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