Differentiate your Photography Product Offerings with QR Codes

Whether you’ve been a photographer for a short time or almost forever, you’re going to have days when you can’t think of what else you could do to set your business or products apart from the rest. Your products are just like all others…you feel like just another fish in the pond!

Have you noticed all those funny looking bar codes now appearing at places like Best Buy, Starbucks, Billboards, or even on business cards. You should wonder what they are for and why a consumer would ever use one.

qrapping paper for photographersThey are called QR codes and you might be surprised to know that there are now more than 50 million people in North America that have and use an application on their Smartphone that can read a QR Code. ComScore found that over 14 million Americans scanned at least one code in the month of June alone? Everyday new ideas are being written about ways that businesses an individuals can use these codes, from a simple business card to detailed product information. There are even ways you can tie them into your Google calendar and create reminders.  Their is even some pretty wild new wrapping paper called QRapping PAPER™, billed as the world’s most interactive gift wrap!

Behind each QR code printed on this gift-wrap are original holiday videos that can’t be seen or accessed form anywhere else. With over 50 videos in all, they turn simple holiday gift wrap into a tiny holiday film festival!  The list goes on and on.

As a photographer, you can be much more creative and offer up products for your customers that can be uniquely engaging. So try some of these simple ideas for how to use this new technology to help you get out in front of the pack and offer a new creative products that your customers will love.

QR Christmas Card for PhotographersDesign a prominent QR code on the front of a greeting card, allowing people see a more extensive digital album of their holiday shoot and share with their loved ones.  This could be perfect for the holidays.  Imagine linking to a video that has beautiful images with text and music wishing everyone a happy holiday season.  Not only do you have the opportunity to sell your customer the cards, but also you could sell the service for creating the video and build potential follow on business opportunities.

Not sure about what QR codes are for, or how to use them? Check out this video to get a head start:

QR Codes are easy and free to create.

The beauty of QR codes is that you can easily create them and link the reader automatically to whatever content you desire. Do a simple “QR code generator” search on the internet and you will find a number of ways to generate your own… and they are all free!  Personally I like Kaywa.  You can use it to link to just about anything.  In the above examples I linked them to my Spotify playlist and another to a video.  But the possibilities are literally endless.

Most of the available tools generate black codes on a white background, but if you would like to have a more colorful code and also want to embed your own logo image inside, check out the code generator available at unitag.fr/qrcode.

QR code Readers for your Smartphone

The QR code reader app that works best on my smartphone is Barcode Scanner, but just type “QR code reader” into either the Android or iPhone app store and you will find a number of them that you can give a try…and they are all free as well.

Who knows what the future will bring with QR codes, but for now they are gaining widespread use.  The most important thing to remember as photographers is that you are the ones who can give these codes value when combined with your creative photo products and expand the value of the services that you deliver to your customers.

Guest Post by Georgia McCabe – As an author, speaker, trainer and social media and photography evangelist, her perspectives entitled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Friends…or Enemies” appear in print in the book entitled The Relationship Age, with social media guru Mari Smith. Georgia is a frequent guest blogger for our professional photography lab.

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