I thought Bethany had a good idea to have some more discussion on the business side of photography. So, I'm going to start a sticky of the week, or maybe leave it up for two weeks depending on responses. Perhaps we can incorporate the information into an FAQ section for this area of the site. Anyone who has a topic can feel free to send me a PM and I'll put them up every few weeks. So, starting from the beginning......how do people hear about your business? Do you have an Ad in the yellow pages, a webite with metatags, flyers, referrals, bridal fairs, etc, etc, etc? When I first started the business I got some trifold glossy brochure paper and designed a simple brochure with some samples of my work and the prices for various packages. I tacked them up at bulletin boards all over our town and distributed them to our neighborhood (there was a spot for ads to go next to the regular mailboxes). I also put them at at work (I worked for a large company) and I told everyone I knew that I was starting a photography business. When I moved to New Hampshire it was more of a challenge because it's very rural here and I decided to place an ad in our local newspaper. It went in the engagement and birth announcement section on Sundays. The cost ran about $35-45 a month and I did get several weddings booked from it. I offered a 20% discount for people who mentioned the ad. I also run an ad in our local yellow pages which runs $75/month. I have gotten the majority of our business from that ad. For whatever reason people in NH tend to use the phone book to search out businesses instead of the internet. I do also run a website www.stalleyphotography.com . It costs me $120/year and I also have an online ordering system that costs $45/month. Overall the website has been a fantastic tool. We hear from a number of our clients that they love being able to see their photos displayed online, it's increased our sales from out of town relatives that buy photos and it's a great starting point for cleint inquiries. Anytime someone calls for a wedding I ask if they have visited our website. It doesn't take the place of a personal client meeting, but it does help to ensure that our style is what they are looking for and we also encourage them to browse through the completed weddings we have done so they can see just how many pictures we take and so they can see a full wedding from start to finish. Referrals have also been a good source of business for us. Last year I booked a wedding for January, her cousins booked us for May and the sister of the groom from the January wedding has booked us for next year. I always make sure to have card to hand out at the wedding if anyone asks. We have also done some donations to local charities. That is one area that really didn't work well for us. We were just starting out and while the response was great we underestimated how much it would cost us in the end and ended up in some debt that I am now working to pay off. I wouldn't say it's a bad idea all around, but next time I'm going to offer smaller scale items, like a gift certificate instead of a whole wedding! :blushing: I would love to hear how everyone else has handled marketing. One thing we haven't done is do a bridal fairs and I'm interested if anyone has done them and if they recommend them.