Here’s a few tips from my experience in moving our photography business to a new state! Since Kidron and I learned a lot in the process, I want to share some ideas to help you prepare and adjust to the big move!
Travel to the area you are moving to at LEAST once if not multiple times before you move! The earlier you do these trips before you move the better. When planning these trips, announce and talk about it non stop. Offer discounts on elopements and weddings while you’re there and put out model calls! Shoot AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. That content is like your golden ticket to marketing out there for the year before you move! And don’t forget to start up that savings account once you’ve made it a goal to move. Having money set aside for moving expenses can help so much when getting settled in, and can be a life saver for your photography business.
If you can begin blogging all the content you get from all your trips to your website and start plugging in all that amazing SEO to get the ball rolling, you’re on the right rack! Blogging, instagram hashtags, city location tags (tag responsibly!)
Talk about your move non stop! Make people think you already live there! Speaking it into existence will be more help than you know. I literally had friends and family think we actually moved there months before we really did! People kept asking me how Colorado was even though we hadn’t even moved yet!
If you just moved and it’s a slow season for bookings and shoots, set up model shoots a few times a month to get as much content as you can! The more you keep shooting and posting the more you will be seen in the community. Plus the more people you shoot with locally the more they’ll tell their friends about you. You never know where the connections will come from.
A side note to this: be careful not to book too many weddings/shoots in your current state for after your moving date. I know it will be tempting to accept all the inquiries in your old state BUT it can actually be super harmful if you are booking too many. Traveling back and forth can be very stressful, plus you want to make yourself available for every possibility in the new state. We also don’t want to confuse your new market if you’re still shooting weddings in the old state after you’ve moved.
Don’t expect your first year in the new state to be like your last year in the old state. By this I mean, don’t compare your first year of business in the new state with the successful year you just had in your old state. If you built up a business in your current state and had no trouble getting bookings, it’s all going to shift when you move to a different market. Compare your first year in the new state to your first year in the old state when you just got started there! This helped me a ton to not get too discouraged! It takes time for the new market to know you’re here and to get known in the community
Be patient. Like I said, it takes time! I would say a full year of living in the new state, if not longer, for things to start flowing like they used to!
Meet new people in your area and get plugged into your community! This isn’t necessarily a biz tip, but really applies to your personal life as well. I know how hard it is trying to make new friends as an adult (especially after moving!) But it’s SO important, and worth it to put yourself out there.
Try to post in local photog facebook groups and introduce yourself, see if anyone would be interested in meeting up for coffee or a hike, or an exchange photo shoot! Host a game night or find a couple to double date with. Social media has been a game changer for building friendships! It’s almost impossible these days (especially with covid) to organically find new friends, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there online (social media is basically like a dating app for friends) Remember to follow through with your connections and don’t be flaky or ghost anyone.
Okay that’s all for now! Check out more of these photos that Emily Dekoster took of us at Lookout Mountain, in Golden Colorado. And go give her a follow!
If you’re looking for more resources for building your photography business check out my Education page for more resources!