The What and Why of Creating a Publication Plan
Brides love seeing their weddings published. Vendors love seeing their weddings published. Everyone wants to get published this year and that means that you are going to have to stand out against numerous submissions. Having a publication plan is going to help you remember where and why you want to submit to certain blogs and magazines. Building a publication plan is really simple! I know because it’s the second year that I have actually written out my publication plan. In 2014 I was published on a regular basis and this drove in more inquiries and helped to establish vendor relationships.
I want to share what a publication plan is and why you should write one today. Getting published has directly impacted the growth of my business and I wouldn’t have the portfolio that I do if this plan had never been created.
A publication plan is a list of blogs and magazines where you want to be published in a particular year. A publication plan can be as detailed or as simple as you want. The important part of creating a plan is that you have a clear vision for where you want your publication portfolio to be at the end of the year.
Streamlines your workflow
It’s good to be thoughtful and intentional about your submissions so go ahead and do that work in advance! You will save yourself a lot of time if you simply decide where you want to submit for the year and then assign shoots to that blog or magazine in advance.
You will photograph things differently
There is no room for a lack of creativity if you want to get published. Photographing sessions with the purpose of getting published is going to push you as a creative artist.
Your submissions will stand out
If you can shoot with a particular blog in mind then you will stand out against the rest of the submissions. For example, Belle Lumiere prefers to feature shoots that happen in one location. I look at my calendar for the year to see if I have any weddings or engagement shoots that will take place in one location. If I do, then I slate that shoot to be submitted to BL.
It keeps you focused
Instead of scrambling to find the right blog for the right shoot, you will know where you will be submitting and why. You won’t look back at the end of the year and feel like you missed an opportunity for publication. The why is an important part of remaining focused!
Lets you know what kind of shoots you need to schedule
Once you look at all of the shoots you have scheduled, you can assign each shoot to a blog or magazine! If there are still places where you want to be published then you can schedule inspiration shoots to cover the blog/magazine in your publication plan.
Grows your publication portfolio
A publication portfolio is a list of places that you have been published. When a bride first visits your site, she may not initially care that you have been published. But by creating a list of places you have been published, it lets her know that getting published is part of a photographer’s business. This will set you apart as she looks for her wedding photographer.
Related: Does Getting Published Really Matter
You can be selective about what inspiration shoots you take on
When I am asked to be part of an inspiration shoot I have to make the decision that’s best for the business. I have become selective about the shoots that I participate in because I want to make sure that I am spending my time well.
If the style of the shoot isn’t something that lines up with the vision of the Jordan Brittley brand (and therefore the publication plan), then I have to decline the shoot. Most wedding planners have a great understanding of the type of shoots that I take on because of the work that I post on my website and blog.
Focus will be on submitting to places that line up with your overall vision
In the same way that you should be selective about inspiration shoots, you should be selective about where you’re submitting your work. Consider your ideal bride. What blogs and magazines is she reading? Submit there!
Helps you to get published regularly
If you’re submitting regularly, you’re going to get published regularly. Yes, I understand that submissions are often declined, but view every “not a good fit” email as a challenge to make it happen next time!
Establishes trust with potential brides
When Style Me Pretty publishes my work, they are indirectly promoting my business. If the editor of that post has something really great to say about my work, then that is an added bonus. Brides trust the blogs and magazines that they read!
Vendors will trust you with their work
Vendors like to see that you have a plan. Not only will they trust you as you’re shooting their work, but they will trust you as you submit the wedding.
Develops an incentive to submit your work
Are you feeling like you aren’t ever going to get published? Well, this is just not true! By developing your publication plan and sticking to it, you won’t be able to give into fear.
Related: 10 Myths About Getting Published
Creates connections with editors
I would love to shoot some editorial work for blogs and magazines in the coming years. By being established in the publication industry, you will build relationships with editors. Give them every opportunity to remember who you are.
Helps you measure accomplishments so you can celebrate them
I am pretty driven to make each year my best business year yet. Because of this, I tend to be hard on myself as I am reflecting back on the year. Creating a publication plan helps me to see where I have had success in the year! You should always celebrate your success!
So now that you know what a publication plan is and why you should create one, go do it! It’s worth the time to decide where you want to get published so that you can take action and see those dreams take flight.