Moving can mean starting over in your business, so what can you do to grow? Susie Evans shares tips for photography marketing in a new state!
I have a really fun post for you today because if you are a lover of the Bachelor and the wedding industry, this is gonna be a good one for you! I have the one and only Susie Evans with me on today’s episode. And we’re just talking about her journey becoming a wedding videographer and what it’s looked like for her to pick up and move her business across the country in terms of how she’s marketing it, what that looks like in terms of getting lead generation and just having a really good conversation.
So again, if you love The Bachelor and you’re in the wedding industry, this is gonna be a really fun post for you!
Photography Marketing in a New State
Susie started by studying film in college, so 10 years ago she was a film major and then didn’t do anything with it for years. She went and worked at Disney in Japan and she did marketing stateside for a few years and then in 2019 she did her first wedding. She did it for free and it was so much work that she thought, I will never again do a wedding for free.
And then the next wedding she charged $300 and even then, every time she thought this is not worth it. But it wasn’t her full-time job. She was in marketing and she was just doing it to get back into video. And then in 2020, in February, she had so many things going on, she had just won Miss Virginia USA and was working as a project manager in marketing.
So she had some experience with marketing, and it helped her a lot with the admin side of owning her own business. But she left her job in February of 2020 and then Covid hit. So it was a tough first year and she was very broke.
She went through like all of her savings because the company that she left went on a hiring hold. She ended up going back to them midway through the year when they came off their hiring hold and then picked back up on weddings in 2021. She’s always loved videography, she’s always had a camera. Even when she lived in Japan she did music videos for her friends and fun stuff, but it was really 2021 that she actually made money on her business.
Transition to Marketing Yourself
Susie never did a great job at marketing herself but got better since last year, and having a social media following on her personal platforms helped her. When she first got started, she didn’t have enough confidence in her work. She would look at her work and go, ‘Oh I do not want that on my YouTube or website’ because she felt it was not a reflection of her work.
At the same time, she thought she was probably worth the $400 or the $500 that people paid at first because she was new and they probably couldn’t afford a videographer that was established. It was ultimately a good trade-off. Majorly it was always word of mouth and at first, she did a good job of storytelling.
Her frames weren’t always good but the video meant so much more than the photos because she involved emotions in her storytelling, and that makes her client cherish the videos forever. Now Susie found the power of marketing through social media, as social media is powerful, one just has to put themselves there. If you switch your mindset, it can be the biggest blessing for any business person.
Game Plan for Marketing
Susie has a game plan, it’s also very flexible, which is her style. Susie likes flexibility. She’s willing to do weddings on the East Coast at a slightly lower rate. This is if they’re willing to pay for her travel so she can see family. Her process is if she can book a few weddings on the East Coast she was willing to give a little bit of discount.
And then, on the west coast, Susie also engages in unconventional marketing strategies. She acknowledges the importance of expanding her client base and making her presence known. Instead of simply offering discounts, she takes a more proactive approach. Susie reaches out to wedding planners through direct messages. She offers a $500 incentive for any planner who recommends her videography services to a bride. While this approach involves some financial sacrifice, Susie views it as an investment in marketing.
Susie recognizes the power of word-of-mouth referrals. She experienced it firsthand when one wedding led to three additional bookings from the bride’s friends the following year. This success has fueled her belief that by accepting lower profit margins now, she can secure multiple fully booked weddings in the future. Although Susie admits to lacking formal business training, she embraces the opportunity to learn and grow from her entrepreneurial endeavors. While she remains open to the possibility of refining her marketing strategy, for now, this is her plan to establish her business in the industry.
Journey on The Bachelor
In Susie’s journey on The Bachelor, she understood the risks involved but believed it was a major blessing. She recognized the potential impact on her business, fearing that it could either harm or establish her name. On wedding days, she prioritized the bride. She acknowledged that it was not appropriate for guests to approach her for photos during such occasions. However, she did encounter some respectful individuals who approached her at the end of the night.
Although she was aware that her appearance on the show could potentially harm her business, it turned out to be a net positive. Susie received numerous inquiries, although many were not fruitful due to logistics and distance. Nonetheless, she managed to book destination weddings and received requests from various cities. All thanks to her exposure on the show. Overall, she considered the experience to be positive.
Susie’s enthusiasm for weddings
Susie expresses her enthusiasm for weddings. She has a love for them and her intention is to continue working on them for the foreseeable future. However, she reveals an even greater aspiration rooted in her film school days—to become a documentary filmmaker. Initially drawn to the idea of capturing the wonders of oceanography as an underwater videographer, she soon discovered her fear of the ocean, realizing that this path wasn’t suitable.
Nevertheless, her desire to make a positive impact using the medium of film remained steadfast. While she acknowledges the practicality of marketing herself and accepting various videography projects, even the more unconventional ones, she admits that they don’t ignite her passion the way working on a documentary or a human interest piece would. Being in Los Angeles now, she hopes that this vibrant city will provide her with opportunities to meet influential individuals. As well as establish connections, and collaborate on projects that truly make a difference in the world. This remains her current dream and ultimate goal.
Final Piece of Advice
This past year has been a transformative journey for Susie, as she has discovered the true power of creativity. She has realized that she doesn’t need anyone’s permission to embark on her artistic endeavors. Previously, she would often hesitate, thinking she needed a specific subject, a script, or something grand to film or practice. However, she has come to understand that she can simply pick up her camera and begin creating without constraints.
What she finds truly empowering is the knowledge that she doesn’t need a major platform like Netflix or YouTube to start expressing herself. Susie has learned that she can start small. Capturing the beauty of nature, filming passing cars, or anything that catches her eye. The ability to create lies within her hands, and she can exercise it whenever she desires.
She has also recognized the value of surrounding herself with like-minded individuals who are willing to be subjects for her artistic endeavors. Building connections with talented and interesting people who are open to being in front of the camera has opened up endless opportunities for her to create.
Through this realization, she has broken free from the limitations imposed by the lack of a job or consistent work. Instead, she focuses on the present moment, setting her intention to create something meaningful each day. By doing so, she not only enhances her skills and grows as an artist but also lives a life driven by passion.
Susie’s most valuable advice to others is to never wait for permission to start creating. The power to shape one’s artistic journey lies within oneself. And it is through the act of creation that true growth and fulfillment are found.
Susie can be found on her personal Instagram @susiecevans or her business page is Susie Evans Media. You can inquire about her photography on her blog and YouTube. She started doing YouTube recently and can be checked out there!