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How to Build Community Presence within your Business

Watch the video below or scroll down to read the recap

The Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority (BEDA) hosts workshops to meet the needs of our local and regional business owners. This class is taught by Katelyn Workman, a Southern West Virginia Wedding Photographer and owner of Katelyn Workman Photography. In this workshop, Katelyn shared how to engage your customers on and offline, ways to build a sense of community within your brand, and practical strategies to implement. Katelyn lets attendees in on her own strategies to achieve this and how it’s worked for her.

BEDA Executive Director Jim Spencer opens the workshop up with a welcome to attendees and begins the class with a comment that learning how to connect with the community is key, that business owners should strive to connect well with their communities, tell their stories, and operate with kindness.


Some key take-aways from Katelyn’s Presentation:

Community Marketing: Creating a Personal Connection

  • Give people the connection that they crave – You can use your online platform to create a sense of connection. You want people to feel as though they are part of something bigger than just a transaction. Katelyn showed attendees her branded video that was done for her photography business as a way to let people have a deeper look into her business and mission.

  • People spend money on things that matter – Katelyn takes pride in creating more than just good photos for her clients. She offers the “Katelyn Workman Photography Experience” (KWP Experience), going above and beyond to serve her clients and connect with them the best she can. She focuses on creating a meaningful experience and encourages others to do the same with their businesses in their own unique way.

  • Think about who you are – The best way to start marketing your business and make connections is to first know who you are. She encourages folks to have 3-5 things to share about consistently with customers (on social media, website, etc.). Katelyn often shares about her family, and her personal interests like foster care, food, or a good coffee. Doing so allows you to connect with your target audience, creating connection points that they can relate to.

Katelyn asked attendees to stop and think of 3 connection points they could have with customers. These could be your family, animals, a hobby you enjoy, a favorite restaurant, or other interests customers could relate to.

Examples: How Katelyn Has Done This with her Photography Business

  • Facebook – She uses her personal social media pages for marketing her business, shares personal photos, shares personal interests through her blog, shares selfies, created a “Bride Tribe” Facebook Group exclusively for her clients, official booking, engages with clients or potential clients' comments, shares reviews of her services, all to create connections.

Tip: Posting about your business on both your personal + business Facebook pages can increase who sees your content as Facebook likes to only prioritize business page posts that are ran as ads. To view Katelyn’s Facebook page: (2) Katelyn Elizabeth Workman | Facebook To check out her blog: personal Archives -

  • Instagram – She shares personal stories to her followers, posts Instagram stories to interact with clients or potential clients, makes reels, creates personal posts, runs polls or questions through Instagram stories to interact, goes live with her followers, engages through comments or messages, seeks out customers, and offers value through her content by offering potential client’s free things (like tips, blog posts, industry advice, etc.).

Tip: A way Katelyn has sought out customers is she will actively look at hashtags of common places couples get engaged at, like The Greenbrier. She will search that hashtag on Instagram, then look for newly engaged couples and comment on or like their posts as a way to create a potential connection. To view Katelyn’s Instagram: Virginia Wedding Photographers (@katelynworkmanphotography) • Instagram photos and videos

  • KWP Experience – She will add a bride as a friend on social media and start to engage on their posts to create connections. They’ll book an engagement session. Katelyn will send a gift box to brides that book for their wedding, as well as send them a personalized gift after their wedding. Katelyn also offers a KWP Reunion, where couples she’s worked with in the past can gather together and reflect on their big days with refreshment and fellowship. Katelyn also highlights brides on her blog posts and will even post photos about past clients' anniversaries on her social media as a way to celebrate and keep the connection. She also helps connect brides with trusted vendors she has worked with, focusing on serving her clients the best she can.

Tools + Resources Katelyn Mentions

  • Canva – A free, easy-to-use graphic design tool used to create social media content and marketing materials.

  • Inshot – Free, user-friendly video editing tool.

  • Jasmine Star & Jenna Kutcher – Social media gurus that share a lot of good content surrounding this topic as well as a plethora of tools on marketing and more.

  • Tribes by Seth Godin – A book that speaks much to this topic, including leadership, marketing, and building a “tribe”.

  • Unfold – A free graphic design app to create social media content.


To check out Katelyn's workshop presentation, click here


Let's Get in Touch!

Jim Spencer, Executive Director Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority | | (304) 902-2332 x 1

Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority Logo (The words "My Bluefield" underneath an outline of the Bluefield, West Virginia Skyline)


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