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How I prepare my Photography business for an out of state move

Moving a business can be a lot of hard work especially since it takes about 3 years to establish your clients, I tend to get new clientele right when I'm leaving a new state (I'm here Hampton, Virginia but I was in Alamogordo, Vegas, and St. Paul before that). But there are things you can do ahead of time to start out strong in a new place and keep clients from where you just moved from. Here's how I prepare my business:

Hampton roads fitness and boudoir photographer

1- Stalking or as I like to call it, educating yourself on other businesses in the area. I spend hours and hours researching businesses that not only I like but think I can do something for them as well as they could add value to mine. Because I'm heading towards beauty/boudoir/fitness I look up fitness instructors, pole dancing classes, women's groups, lingerie shops, boutique shops, makeup artists, hair stylists, wedding shops/events, fashionistas, and meet up groups in the area along with anything specialized in that area. I don't jump the gun and email every location. I look up their website and all forms of social media and see who they are and what they're about. If I feel we'd be a good fit and complement one another, I reach out to them. Once I actually get to the city, I do more cold call/marketing in person which at first is overwhelming and you'll hear lots of no's, but it's part of process to meeting new people and businesses. 

2- Look up events to advertise at or be a vender. There are tons of women's vender fairs, Christmas, wedding, etc so I try to find one I think will get me the most face time with people and worth the money. However with a photography business, there is hardly a sale at the vender fair so I don't spend a huge marketing percentage there, because there isn't always a lot of direct income from it. However, it is a great way to meet other venders and people. 

3- Getting to know other women and their businesses. When I start to meet people in person whether it's marketing meet up or organically, I try to do a lot of the listening unless they ask. So I can learn about them, so I can do something for them and don't make it about me. 

4- Don't forget where you move from! I still hashtag a previous location where the photograph was taken because I still want clients from those cities! So I try to keep connections to get business, and I don't try to cater only to the new city by only posting for them. Which is why I don't do a lot of suggesting places in the new city because most of my followers aren't there. 

you are fearfully and wonderfully made

5- Take some time to re-do your online presence. I switch locations on Instagram, google, linked-in, Facebook, website (which I forgot and a very wonderful person pointed it out to me!) and social media in general. I try to make my website SEO friendly for my current city so they can find me. 

6- Announce my travel schedule online. In order to keep clients from other cities, updating when you'll be there both in my newsletter and online is a great way to keep them in the know and able to schedule a session!

7- Re-do all my business licensing for the new state.

8-Update physical address on my brochures, address labels, etc. 

9- I set up model calls to work with locals and also a great way to first work with makeup artists/hair stylists before a client gets there so the team together is polished. 

10- Make friends- word of mouth is always a great way to build your clientele, plus you'll need a great group of people to support you.. even outside of business.

 

A little extra- It will be slow moving. You feel like a beginner in your craft, trying to get clients in the door. It's often frustrating and you might feel like it's too much to take on trying to rebuild something that was built up in the last place. But I always tell myself to keep working, because this is what I love to do, and I know it's what I'm supposed to be doing right now.

Keep Shining

Shanna Star