Marketing tips with Teri Ritter:
We’re hearing it everywhere; times are tough, and discretionary spending has taken a hit. How do photographers make the most of these times and position our businesses for short term and long term gains? I have some tips to assist in that effort.
Although I’ve never believed in spending a great deal of money in marketing per se’, I do believe in basic, grass roots marketing. It takes effort and a little money, but the benefits are many. It also solidifies your business within the community.
What is grass roots marketing? It is getting involved in community events, providing products, providing services, and displaying your work throughout the community in various venues. By giving of yourself and your talents, what you get back far outweighs the effort – if you do it strategically.
McDonald’s restaurants built their business on grass roots marketing years ago. It continues to be a requirement that the franchise owner of each restaurant spend a specific amount of money within the community – giving back.
Here are some thought starters……
Father’s Day is fast approaching. Work with a local nursery school, church or similar venue and have a day where you set up and photograph quick shots of kids at no charge. Provide them with a 5×7, free of charge. When you set up for the pick up of the prints, show the others you took that day. Do this in a way that it is a service, not a sale. Trust me; you will get additional sales out of this. The word will spread on the quality of your work, and those people that can afford family portraits will look for you because of your efforts within the community.
Seek out a local charity and provide photography services or products for them. Set up programs that can result in raising money for this charity. Make certain that your logo and name are always visible in your efforts. This insures that people make the connection between your good will efforts and your business.
In these times, loyalty is building and people are getting more ingrained at a community level. Be sure that you become a very active part in the community within which you do business. The benefits are not only financial, but you’ll feel good too!
Learn more about how our Photo Lab can help you market your work today!
Bruce Roberts May 15th, 2009 at 11:10 AM
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Just because you have a sign in the front window does not mean you will get customers. Get up, Get out and Get involved with your community.
The more you can present yourself as the photographic authority from a helpfull position, the more you will be able to educate consumers what true quality photography should look like. I have said for years, what the consumer sees with consistancy will become the social normal. From what I have seen that is becoming true. If all they see is selfproduced images, they will loose sight of how high dimentional portraits should look. The time for upscale education of customers is prime. Everyone has a digital camera. Most have printed their own pictures and should be able to start really seeing the difference between what they produce and what a professional photographer is capable producing. That is, unless we don’t show them.
I feel that this is the perfect time to counter attack the digital revolution by pointing out, thoughout our marketing presentations, these quality shortcomings of selfproduced portraits.
Quality, customer service, and treating your customers as if they are the only one, will still be some of the best marketing a photographer can do.
The only thought I have to the free work, is just because it is free, does not mean it has to be “cheap”. That will only cause the reverse social education.