And any type of marketing works for everyone differently... so asking if the respond is good for someone will not translate to the respond that you will be getting.
So just make sure you understand that.
Many of my competitor start to advertise at the same magazine, same portal as me... but throughfully, not all marketing that I do will produce result and I do them for some other reason. So it may be a total waste of money but gain from something else.
Also, don't expect immediate results on particular advertising (even if you do it right). Most advertising works if you keep it for at least 6-9 months to get notice and perhaps 12-15 months before you get any booking. So many give up before it produce result.
The fastest respond is from groupon, deals.com and places like this... but these are mostly for bargain hunter, so might not have repeat business after and yes, you have to be "Dirt-Cheap" to work on these platform.
I learn the hard way too... hahaha... I used to skim not going for courses until I attend some... they are absolutely eyes opener and makes the learning curves a lot shorter. But choose the course well.
I am a newcomer to the wedding industry, albeit, in Sydney, Australia. I started off my second shooting a few times for a wedding photographer I befriend whilst maintaining a full-time job. Then I did some further studied, scaled back on my job, and increased my interest in wedding photography. As of March 2011, I quit my job, and went into wedding photography full-time. What this means is that I am solely relying on photography as my source of income.
In many ways, starting off with just photography as a primary source of income is not going to work. You need substantial savings to use as you build a brand name. I had slowly gained a few followers through my blog when I first started publishing my photography work on my blog. Gaining a potential client base takes a lot of time and I now know the harsh realities of running a business.
I used to complain of the lack of hours I had left as a result of my office job. Now I spend almost every waking moment on my business. Everything I do is related to my business. The least time is spent shooting and editing photos. The bulk of my time and efforts are spent through marketing via social media, constantly updating my blog with relevant work, and improving my own skills and business knowledge through lots of reading.
As with any small business, it usually takes a good 5 years to become financial and established. More than half of all new businesses go under within a year due to a myriad of reasons - the top being unrealistic expectations.
It has taken me a lot of time and a lot of clients to build up a tiny referral base. It is not enough to sustain me. I started off cheap but not overly cheap. But still very cheap nevertheless. I've done many things for free to gain experience. I have helped out with other photographers for free to gain insight. I have invested a lot of money, time and time/effort to get my business started.
In short, there is no silver bullet. It takes a lot of time and appropriate marketing to become known. I am slowly getting there, yet, I know it is too slow. I will need to supplement my income. I have depleted my savings. Only now am I starting to book clients at a price that is sustainable. But I don't have enough bookings.
The flip side is, I would not have been able to achieve so many things in the short time span if I had to work another job. There within lies the dilemma. In order to be devoted and not distracted, I sacrificed income to excel the growth of my business. Now I have to sacrifice time for my business, for income.
Wedding photography is mostly business. Photography is but a small aspect. A crucial but tiny aspect of the business. One must be competent technically before starting out. Yet there are so many things to learn and do to maintain a successful business.
I wish you all the best. For myself, I just need to remain financial till the end of this year. I should be ok if I survive the next six months ...
Good on you....
If you need more jobs to shoot and don't mind shooting other thing in Sydney, do PM me your portfolio and if you are good, I could introduce you to some of the photographers that I know when I used to based in Sydney.
I am pretty lucky in a sense... it took me just over 6 months or so to replace my engineer's pay and just over 1 year to get on top of everything when I quit my full time job during my time in Sydney. Singapore is a lot easier country to get known quickly (or trashed quickly) since it is small and very concentrated affluent people living here in Singapore.
Unfortunately, I would rather think, a business would have to make it in the first 3 years. If it doesn't, you need to start doing something quite drastically to change it to make it happen.
Local marketing methods like, ads in newspapers, magazines, radio and cable network, sms marketing and emails are proved to be very beneficial to promote a photography business. You should not be limited to wedding ceremonies only. You can also offer Party shootings also to increase your business and income.