Top 5 Tips for Using Mobile Marketing as a Photographer

mobile marketing tips for photographersMore and more individuals are using their smartphones to listen, view, read or search for information and content. Much of what they previously did on their computers, such as checking email, paying bills, shopping etc. is now being done on their mobile phones or tablets. In order to understand how you can use these devices or mobile media for marketing, you need to look at the full range of opportunities that exist.

I’ve always been a proponent of first developing a strategy when it comes to any type of marketing. I advise against thinking about the applications or all of the other bells and whistles of what they can do, but instead I want you to think about your customers, who they are, and how they currently use them.

Are you still wondering if mobile marketing is right for you?

It seems like everyday there is another approach to marketing and taking the plunge into mobile marketing can be overwhelming and also scary for a lot of professional photographers. I challenge you not to overlook this awesome opportunity and get in front of your target customers and market.

Here are the top 5 tips on mobile marketing for professional photographers and some things you should consider should you move forward with this type of approach.

Mobile Marketing for Photographers Tip #1 – Know Your Customers Preferences and Habits

Don’t just think about the latest new tool or technique people use, go a step further and understand how your studio’s customers prefer to use their mobile device for communications or contact. See what their habits are by running a poll or a survey.

Here’s what you need to find out, right off the top:

  • Do they use their smartphones more than their PC’s, as much as, or less than?
  • What is their preference for being contacted or informed of things,  SMS Text Messages, Voice Alerts or social media on their Mobiles?
  • What applications do they use the most on their smartphones?
  • What sites do they enjoy visiting via their Mobiles – and why?
  • What type of Mobile device they most frequently use (and make and model, if they’ll tell you)?
  • What is one thing that bothers or irritates them the most about Mobile marketing?

You can find all of this out by creating a survey via a free Survey Builder such as Survey Monkey (the most user-friendly Survey Builder on the net).

You could also consider using the inexpensive paid option, and conclude your survey with a contest. This would allow you to offer a prize for those who voluntarily select the additional option of providing you with their Mobile Number, First Name and Last Name (the paid Survey Monkey option allows you access to that data).

You can also run a similar poll on Facebook or simply ask your current subscribers via an email from your auto responder. Be sure to conclude by inviting them to sign up for optional Mobile contact.

CAN-SPAM laws are particularly strict when it comes to Mobile marketing. So be sure that, however you get them to sign up, you have access to (and keep records of) your proof of their sign up.

Mobile Marketing for Photographers Tip #2 - Check to Be Sure Your Sites are Mobile-Ready

Bottom line, a mobile website is a site which can be easily viewable from mobile devices or tablets. Traditional websites were made for viewing on desktop computers. Many times these sites are not easily accessible or readable from mobile devices.

Mobile phones and tablets do not have the processing power, large viewing screens and fast speeds of desktop computers. So when mobile users access the web via their mobile devices, they usually experience slow loading speeds as well as the inability to find the information they need due to the amount of excessive scrolling that is required.

Make sure you have a mobile-friendly version of your website, which still consists of browser-based HTML pages. However, these pages are built to comfortably fit and view on mobile devices that access the using WiFi, 3G or 4G networks. To see a sample of some sites that work nicely on different platforms look at www.theimagineproject.com on both your computer and your smart phone. This is a site that my team built using a WordPress responsive theme.

Mobile Marketing for Photographers Tip #3 - Consider Text Messaging or Voice Alerts for marketing

This is exactly as it sounds, and is very simple: market to individuals via direct text messages. Remember it is illegal to indiscriminately collect thousands of phone numbers and send unsolicited messages. So make sure that the customers sign up for this voluntarily. Here are the five essential steps to take:

  • Research and decide the best delivery method for you and your subscribers
  • Understand any fees to you or your subscribers via your chosen method
  • Remember that all-important step of obtaining proof of Sign-up for your SMS Text or Voice messages
  • Set your budget
  • Track your results

Mobile Marketing for Photographers Tip #4 - Customers Buy from Who They Like and Trust Building Relationships via Mobile Marketing

When it comes to marketing this way you need to remember a few very important things. Especially when it comes to staying in touch with your customers.

  • To be successful with Mobile relationships you need to remember that immediacy and fast response to your customers is key.
  • Create creative and consistent ways of keeping in touch, good contact habits are essential. At the same time, don’t spam your subscribers with meaningless messages
  • Think of the messages you like to receive on your mobile – and do your best to provide ones that make your subscribers feel that way
  • Keep them engaged by offering benefits and bonuses only available via your mobile
  • Make a list of promotions and exclusive contests, coupons, etc., you can please your Mobile subscribers by offering.

Mobile Marketing for Photographers Tip #5 - Expanding Your Horizons

After you are comfortable and started a few things with mobile marketing expand your horizon by looking into other ways you can creatively use this marketing technique.

Research what your competitors are doing in the way of providing mobile Apps, as well as finding out what your Mobile subscribers want. Then back to the time-honored but effective practice of “filling in the gaps”. Give them what they’ve been asking for – and haven’t yet received. Be their mobile hero!

Here are just a few things to think about.

Don’t let the thought of App creation intimidate you. Remember that what they want may be incredibly simple. (It doesn’t even have to be stunningly original – though it’s always an added bonus when it is!)

Decide on:

  • Your budget for App creation (figure on $500-1200, if you’re outsourcing to an App developer)
  • Whether or not you’re going to create it yourself via an online App-building service
  • If you’re going to approach an online programmers job board such as
  • iPhoneFreelancer.com with a design proposal
  • How you’re going to offer your App to your list
    •  A Sign-up incentive?
    • A reward?
    • A Bonus?
    • A “thank you” Freebie?

One last way to expand your Mobile horizons (and monetize your efforts in the process):  Look into Google Mobile Ads and whether or not implementing these in your content is a good mix for you.

Ultimately, going mobile will save you both time – and increase your enjoyment of connecting with your list in a fun and profitable way. Remember… “Feed the need” and it will feed you too for a long time to come!

For more great insight into Mobile, join Georgia for her Web Wednesday video on July 24. We’ll be announcing more info on our social networks as we get closer.

 

Guest post by Georgia McCabe – As an author, speaker, trainer and social media and photography evangelist, her perspectives on social media appear in print in her newest book entitled “SocialMorphosis – Transforming Your Business through Social Media”. Georgia is also a co-author of the book “The Relationship Age”, with social media guru Mari Smith. Georgia is a frequent guest blogger for our professional photography lab.

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