How Customizable Magazine Templates Can Grow Your Photography Business

October 19th, 2016

Zenfolio is always on the lookout for the best new tools and tricks to make our photographers successful. Magazine Mama shares some great advice on how printed marketing tools can make a big difference in your business. Use code: ZEN20 for 20% off your Magazine Mama template order, today!

Welcome guides have fast become an essential marketing for photographers. They’re a great tool to use in meetings to get client bookings but there are several other ways that you can use these guides that you might not have thought of yet.

Here are a few creative ideas for getting more mileage out of your welcome guide so that you can grow your photography business.

1.  Generate revenue with a custom magazine add-on product for clients

Custom magazines are an excellent add-on for clients. With an average cost starting at $4.00 – $5.00 each, a magazine allows you to provide a larger selection of products for a smaller amount of time and money. Custom products also provide that wow factor when meeting with clients. For example, you could create an engagement magazine for your wedding photography clients. You may already be bundling an engagement shoot with the wedding day collection to create a higher perceived value for your clients. However, with so many photographers offering this already, it’s no longer as unique as it once was. So other than your featured work, what are you offering to potential clients that someone else isn’t?

A custom engagement magazine is a simple and unique way to tip the booking odds in your favor. This particular magazine can be used by the couple as a:

  • Save the date
  • Invitation
  • Out of town guest welcome packet

Brides are always looking for ways to make their event as unique and memorable as possible, and a custom magazine fits the bill. Use the magazine to feature their engagement photos, bios of the bride and groom, the bridal party, a cute infographic that shows how the couple met, an area map, wedding program, information on the wedding registry, and an RSVP tear off. Not only you’re your brides be happy but this can also double as a take home marketing piece for everyone that’s invited to the wedding. It’s a win for your client, their guests and your photography business.

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2.  Use magazines as a booking incentive

When you use magazines as a booking incentive, the key is to make sure that you attach a value to them. So let’s say a 5.5 x 8.5 magazine consisting of 8 pages costs you $5 to print, mark it up to $8 – $10.  A bundle of 100 copies would cost you $500 but you can display the value as $800- $1,000.  

If the magazine is an add-on product as mentioned in point 1, you’ve just made an additional $300 – $500. Not only have you increased your revenue, but if this will be used for a wedding, all the guests become potential clients when they take it home with them. It’s as if you’re getting paid to market and advertise your business instead of paying someone else to do it for you.

How many copies should you include as an incentive? 

When you’re putting your offers together, you don’t necessarily need to include a bundle as large as 100 copies. You could make it 25 copies if they book your smallest package, 50 if they book your middle package and 100 copies if they book your top package. If it’s for a wedding, keep in mind that they don’t need a magazine for every single guest as most people come as a couple so bargain on one copy per couple. Remind your clients that they have the option to upgrade their incentive bonus.  So if they get the bonus that includes 25 copies and they need 50, just charge them an additional fee for the extra copies.  This same idea can be used in Senior photography by creating a magazine personalized around your senior photography client.

What about a digital incentive? 

Maybe you like the thought of offering a booking incentive but you’re looking for something even more cost effective. Well I’ve got you covered!  Convert your custom magazine into a .pdf instead. This way you still have the novelty of offering a custom product but you don’t have to worry about the printing cost.  


3.  Use welcome guides to define yourself as an industry expert

Content is indeed powerful when it comes to marketing your photography business. But content doesn’t always have to be in the form of a blog on your website in order to attract leads. Content in a client magazine or welcome guide can be just as effective at getting results. 

We spoke about the importance of differentiating yourself from your competitors. If you want to be seen as a leader in a particular niche, you need to show your potential clients that you have the necessary knowledge to fill those shoes. A welcome guide helps you step out of your competitor’s shadow and speak directly to your prospects. Clients are looking to do business with a photographer they can trust. They want someone who will answer their questions and give them an honest opinion. Your clients want to make sure that they not only get their money’s worth, but that they receive all of the knowledge they need to make their experience as successful as possible.

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4.  Provide useful information to clients to achieve better results

The information you include inside your welcome guide magazines is very important as well. A few topics you may want to cover are Why hire a professional, What to wear for your photo shoot, What to Expect, Tips for how to look great in photos. These topics not only build trust among potential clients but they also help you:

  • Answer frequently asked questions
  • Provide useful information to client on topics they might not have thought about
  • Give clients helpful advice to achieve better photos

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5.  Network with other vendors 

Most welcome guides will include pre-written articles to help save you time.  Additionally you could reach out to other vendors and ask them if they’d be a guest contributor for your magazine. Perhaps it’s a florist who shares tips on how to choose flowers for a wedding or a D.J. who talks about song recommendations. You could even put a styled shoot together to feature images along with the various vendor articles.  Offer to give each vendor some images and/or printed magazine copies in exchange for contributing.  Make it a win-win for everyone involved.

As you can see, there really is no need to spend a fortune to get your name out there as a photographer. With a little creativity, some out-of-the-box thinking and using the resources around you, you will be able to grow your photography business easily.