Don’t you hate being in a group setting, like a class or seminar, and being asked to raise your hand to something that ends up being a trick question? I do.
I imagine the question “Do you do enough marketing?” could be one of those questions. Don’t say yes! It’s a trick!
We all know that marketing should be right up there on any list of our important daily/weekly activities. But a lot of us got into photography because we were in love with, and have a talent for, making great photographs, not necessarily being marketing masters.
How can you get more excited about marketing your business? I’ll share something that’s helped us stay excited about our marketing. Trying creative ways to get our message out there.
Oh, we do traditional marketing methods, sure, which include our print advertising, forum sponsorship/participation, even direct mail. They’re effective and… we’re kind of good at it. But among these traditional and effective marketing tools, we like to try new things. And sometimes it’s the new things that get us, and others, excited about working with us.
Photo Restoration Day
In 2004 and again in 2009 we sent a proposal to each state’s governor requesting a day in each state to be declared “Historical Photo Restoration Day”. We then coordinated with a client in each state to meet with their governor to accept the signed declaration, as well as work with any local media to announce the day and get some publicity for their photo lab. Could you get a day declared as “Professional Photography Day” or “Family Photo Day”? It’s not unlikely. Here are examples of some of the state proclamations that were approved:
Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin.
The Candy Bar Manifesto
We wrote a couple articles that laid out some important reasons photographers choose to work with us. We wanted to invite all photographers to read them, but how?
We created CandyBarManifesto.com, and offered a choice of a candy bar of your choice to anyone who would read one of the articles. We then distributed the candybars at the WPPI show in Las Vegas. We considered it a great success. Hundreds of photographers got an in depth understanding of some of the reasons we should be in their toolbox – all at a fraction of what a print ad would cost.
What information would you like to get out to YOUR potential customers? Once you have that information together, what fun ways can you get your audience to read it? Anyone who answers three questions at the end can enter into a drawing? Anyone who commits to look through your entire gallery can click on a button that gives them a small discount? Anyone who reads all of your testimonials and then orders from you gets an extra 8×10?
Right now, Hurricane Sandy is raining down on the East Coast. A few years ago, we created CharleyFix.com (no longer maintained) for Hurricane Charley. We provided free photo restoration services to those affected by that storm.
It was an opportunity to serve, and also to get the word out about photo restoration in general.
What opportunities to get out and serve your community would help recharge your batteries, help you feel fulfilled, and also extend your circle of influence/contacts?
On a NON-marketing note, not all service is done to be visible, or for a marketing gain. One fantastic opportunity is the NILMDTS organization. It is a sensitive yet real need in the community. (We operate the AngelPics project which has a related goal, wherein we retouch images for the same families that NILMDTS serves.) It’s hard to give truly selfless service when the service itself can bring us a sense of joy in giving.
Can getting to know your personal side help people choose to work with you? What if you had an overview of “What can you expect with a session with me?” What if you showed a video with your top 10 tips for dressing for a successful shoot?
We put together some videos that had a purpose, but also showed off a little of our personality.
The Retouch Fairy
Currently, we’re having fun being “The Retouch Fairy” on Twitter, where we watch for tweets from photographers struggling with their retouching, and send some free retouching/pixie dust their way in an effort to help free up some of their time. And if they learn about a great resource that would help them next time while they’re at it? Well that’s fine by us!
What if you had a promotion called the “The Fix It” – and anyone locally who has a bad experience with a non-professional, can be referred to you and you’ll hook them up with a discount/extra prints, etc. What if you could encourage people in your community, that when they see people on THEIR social media complaining about photos, that they automatically think “Are you aware of the Mr./Mrs. Fix It promotion? Yeah, if an amateur photographer messed up your photos, they’ll help make it right, and get you a deal!” The specifics don’t matter – the idea is – what kind of creative way can you use social media to break through the status quo?
What’s Next For Us Both?
These are just *some* of the things that we’ve tried/are trying
Would trying new things get you more excited about marketing your business? You’re a creative person – and if you don’t enjoy traditional marketing, it’s understandable. If you mixed in some of your creative ideas along with some tried and true methods, could you get more excited about doing more to market yourself?
Let’s have fun this next year! Let’s grow and enjoy doing it!