We just packed a blog full of the best marketing tips from studios around the country. So sit back, kick your feet up, grab a snack, get out a note pad, and be ready to be inspired as you read on.
Friends, friends, friends…did I mention friends?
“Don’t underestimate the power of Word of Mouth advertising…especially in today’s climate of needing to spend as little as possible to bring in new clients.
Treat your current clients like royalty and they will send you new ones. If that isn’t enough – I have offered simple incentives like $50 print credits for each new booking client sent my way. And not just any client off the street, but new clients who WANT to use YOU because the friend could not say enough fantastic things about their experience with you.
With the speed and frequency with which we all communicate in today’s social media frenzy, it is easy to promote these incentives to your current clients. So blog it, twitter it, facey space it…get the word out and then do it again the next day.”
Stimulating the sences…
I am a visual person, I need to see something to grasp the full concept of what its all worth! In marketing you have to use things that could possibly trigger a memory for the consumer. Something that could help them relate to the product. In example, some realtors will bake cookies in a house before a openhouse showing.
Social Media Marketing
“Many people have tons of friends on FB and Twitter nowadays and if you post like a blog post in your status, it can be quickly removed from the newsfeed by more recent activity. This being the case, only those that were online when you posted would only see your post. Here’s a solution to improve on that to target as many people as possible:
1st Day: Tweet about it
2nd Day: Add it to your FB status
3rd Day: Add it to your FB fan page status
4th Day: Create a FB album of images either on fan page or personal account”
High School Senior Open House
Each year, we send out thru mail, email, facebook and personal invites to all seniors to come in for a one day open house at our studio. Seniors receive a free session by coming in that day, but there is also so much more for them to do. We have games, food and prizes all day long. We have several big raffle drawings for large give aways. We now have other businesses involved so they are inviting their customers in as well and they are doing prizes also. We have our senior models here to help out and they also bring in 4 friends each for the event. It is an all day fun event for everyone and is a great kickoff to our senior season.
I think your biggest market favor you can do for yourself is to be personable so that the client you are with at the time wants to share your name with their friends and family. There is lots of talk about your work not mattering but no matter what your work looks like if your not nice and friendly no one will want spread the word
Hines Marketing Tip
The best marketing tip that I know is to treat the clients like royatly! The more special you make people feel, the more they remember you and the more recommendations they make. People remember awesome service!
Facebook Marketing Tip
“Facebook is great for marketing because it’s FREE!
Here is a great tip when using facebook to promote your business . . . POST EVERYDAY AT 12:00pm AND 5:00pm.
Studies show that the internet volume spikes everyday at these times of the day. Makes sense that people would check their facebook home page on their lunch break or when their work day is over! Your message will be one of the most recent posts reminding people of your name and business! Try it out!”
Bridal Fair Promotion
If you are like me, you don’t really like bridal fairs. So this time around I decided to up the ante. As we talked to each bride during the day any bride that booked an appointment with us at the bridal fair received a $300 gift card that was good toward their wedding photography. The cards were only handed out to brides booking an appointment. If they fail to show for the appointment they lose the gift card. We booked 10 appointments at the show and as of right now we have met with 4 brides and booked all 4 for our $5300 collections. That is $20,000 in business simply by handing out a $300 gift card. Not a bad ROI.
Best Advice EVER
“Cultivate relationships – Build relationships with your audience and your peers, online and in person.
Know Yourself – your strengths and weaknesses, your goals, your committment level
Know Your Audience – who do you want to sell too? Decide the best way to reach them. Social Networking, Blog, Advertisments…
Know Your Competition – what do they offer, what do they charge, why are you better than them?
Remember your mom telling you that you had to be a good friend to get lots of friends?
Well if you want to find more customers, you need to be someone worth doing business with.”
My numero uno marketing tip is to STOP BEING AFRAID!! Stop being afraid to just get out there and talk. Talk to everyone you know, and don’t know. Strike up convo’s in the grocery store, the playground, every funcion imaginable, your children’s school. Let the WORLD know what you do, and be confident enough in yourself to let them know that you do it WELL. I carry around incentive biz cards and follow up all of my conversations with them. (good for 8 free wallets). A great, friendly conversation followed up by “free” stuff. If you don’t put yourself out there, on a daily basis, you’ll be stuck right where you are. So get out of your own way!
Actual Factual Real World Marketing Tip
“Start treating you photography “”business”" like a REAL business.
WAKE UP on time,
GET DRESSED to impress,
GO OUT and meet some people (other photographers, florists, wedding planners, daycare owners…)
PASS OUT 5 business cards a day.
TURN OFF FACEBOOK, TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER and LEAVE THE HOUSE.
There is a time and place for the internet and facebook/twitter. Most of us spend far too long PRETENDING to be busy.
Get out there and make some business happen, cause it sure isn’t going to come to you!!!”
Going from 32 to 1000 ‘likes’ in a month
“I am in the process of relaunching my wedding and portrait photography business, and plan on using Facebook extensively in marketting. However, my business page, www.facebook.com/BrianZinchukPublishing , only had 32 likes. How do I build it?
One of the speakers at WPPI spoke about giving away something for free. So I will offer a complete wedding package – full day of shooting, album, wall prints, DVDs, everything – worth $2500.
To qualify, each person has to get 100 of their friends to like my page. The first to do so gets the free wedding package. Others will get upgrades like parent albums if they book me.
The promotion will be launched Mar. 7, with extensive Facebook advertising as well as local campaign. The goal is to hit 1000 ‘likes.’
The following week, I will do the same offer for senior/graduates – a full $600 package for 100 likes. Hopefully I will hit 1000 likes by Apr. 7. Check my page to see how I’m doing!
Create a Photography Display!
“The first step to a successful photography display is to find out where your target market hangs out and does business. Then you need a business owner that you can partner with. The rest you can tailor to the specific venue and figure it out as you go along.
Here is my story!:
When our locally owned restaurant moved to a new location, the blank walls called out to me and I answered with a proposal to the owner to put up a photography display in the new restaurant. My goal was to get more high school senior business. I paid for the display, held a contest/drawing, and we planned a 1 year anniversary party. From my suggestions, they filled helium balloons and served complimentary cake & ice cream, and we gave away a framed print and restaurant gift certificates. That was a year ago. Since then I have also done a lot of networking, and volunteer photography for school related functions like ROTC and varsity baseball fund raiser events.
Has all of this paid off? Well I’d say so, because this year I am photographing the JUNIOR/SENIOR PROM. Is there a better way to get introduced to the Juniors than to provide great prom photography and a flyer conveniently placed in with their prints? I say no! Woo Hoo!”
How to Sell More Than Just Prints
Have your clients come into the studio to view their proofs. Simply having them view them online does not allow you to sell additional items such as albums, canvas prints, photo boxes, and cards. Yes, you should also add these items to your online store offering/catalog, but customers are more likely to buy something when they see/touch a sample. Find out ahead of time if they cannot come to the studio for proofing, and then make sure you have these items available for them to see/touch at the consultation/shoot. You can order your samples from Burrell Imaging!
Separate yourself and succeed!
No one trick will instantly make millions, but combining great ideas and treating your customers like family will help. First of all be realistic, and don’t copy or worry about others. Create emotion provoking session and portraits that reflect the essence of the person(people). Then follow up with a down to earth service that makes the customer relaxed. As for specific tips try practical marketing and listen to people and change with the times. T-shirts, open houses, facebook marketing, and great marketing is a great place to start. Overall do it because you love it, and show that through your work and people will notice. A friend once told me “If you’re not interested in life, then photography has no meaning.”
Marketing tip: Burrell’s 2.5×6 design your own bookmarks used as referral cards. We pick a few of our favorite images from each session and put one on the front along with a few smaller on the back. We order 8 bookmarks, and when they come in to view their images we give them the bookmark referral cards as a gift from us to give to any friends and family that might be interested in coming to us (new clients) plus they can keep a couple for themselves. They LOVE it!
facebook facebook facebook
make daily contact with your fans and run contests on your page on a regular basis. also offer coupons and discounts to your facebook fans!
Marketing with Blogging and Google Alerts
Marketing tip: Having trouble deciding what to blog? Try Google alerts. You can have information emailed to you about hot topics in your industry, that you can pass along to your readers. Become a trusted resource in your industry and increase your word-of-mouth marketing.
Just about every doctor’s office has business card sized scheduling cards that they use for writing down patient’s appointments. And most of the time they’re the cheapest one-sided black and white text cards. The back is great ad space! Offer to print their appointment cards for free to them, if you can put your information on the back! You can target pediatricians, OB’s, or Plastic Surgeons, depending on what types of photography you specialize in!
Use tech to create BUZZZZZ
“Use an ipad mulit-media abiities for more than just games ‘n stuff. Put all of your price list’s, clothing guides, and anything else you need for your consultations on it. You can even download the animoto app so you can have kick-butt slide shows! Talk about Buzzzzzzz!
This one I am most excited about. How can you get people talking about your work even before they see there proofs? Simple. Grab your iphone and use the camera to do a funky shot during your senior sessions. Use one of the really great apps like Infiinam, Camera Bag, or Hipstamatic. These all have really great filter effects and you can literally create something amazing in a few seconds. Here’s the important part…..email or send it to there phone right away (even right has they leave the studio). Post it facebook right away too, then sit back and watch what happens!!!”
Market To Your TARGET MARKET
“All of the marketing materials and plans in the world won’t do you a bit of good unless you are addressing the customers you want and need.
Step1: Envision your IDEAL client. Who are they? Where do they shop? Where do they dine? Where do they go for recreation? Where will they see your marketing and the value in your service?
They’re probably not on Craigslist. They’re probably not even on your facebook. They probably shop at upscale department stores and don’t dine at McDonalds. If you are marketing on craigslist for a client who is going to pay a session fee of $250 you are probably not going to get many inquiries. Those of us surfing Craigslist are looking for a bargain. Unless you have built a great client base on your facebook, you probably aren’t going to find them there either.
Step 2. Once you know who your ideal client is figure out how to get seen by them. Where? Probably the Country Clubs or similar; a favored OBGYN or paid childbirth classes… The list will go on. Then figure out how to get your images and materials there for them to see.
Once you have identified your ideal target market and how to market to them you will find marketing to be so much easier!”
Answer The Phone!
It seems simple, but we often receive compliments for answering the phone and returning calls promptly! Common sense, right? Brides frequently tell us that other photographers are slow to respond to their inquiries, if responding at all. Stay on top of it!
Visual Portraits in your Clients Home
Are you tired of hearing I want a BIG 8×10 to hang on the wall because I have no wall space? But then find out they have huge wall space. Why not be able to project the clients image directly on the wall of their home where it is to be displayed! That way you will be able to see the perfect size for what they need or create a beautiful wall grouping. So many of our clients are visual people so let’s give them what they want.
Wedding Photography Tip – Samples to Venues
If you have beautiful images from a nice venue, provide them with sample images and albums. If a venue has an album highlighting the venue’s features, they will be sure to show the album to the prospective brides. Even an inexpensive press print book can pay off!
Can’t Afford to do Marketing?
“As studio owners, we are often told that we need to spend 5%-7% of our sales on marketing. In these stressful times, it’s hard to part with any money, but there are a lot of FREE marketing ideas that never leave the office.
Coop with a local printer. Most printers distribute calendars to their clients. So why not have the images be yours? Your only cost is the imaging time.
Trade Out an Expo booth. Groups like a Chamber of Commerce are always putting on Trade Shows and Expo’s to showcase the businesses in their community. Trade candids of the events for a booth. Depending on the show, you could net thousands of new contacts.
If you attend WPPi, or any convention or seminar, submit a short press release to your local newspapers business section.
If you specialize in Pet Portraiture, hang display prints in a vets office. The need the decor and you need the attention.
Great marketing doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. But it does require a lot of thought. Walt Disney once said, “”If we both agree on everything, one of us is useless.”" So grab a friend and pick their brains.
The best advertising agencies have the biggest trash cans for a reason. Throw out the first few ideas, they’re obvious. dig into your market and find those ideas that are true gems.”
Ryan’s Best Tip Ever
“KISS” me I’m Irish haha. Keep It Simple Stupid & Engage with your audience… no no I’m not calling you dumb it’s just an expression my friends.With marketing especially with social media marketing you want to give people an experience. It’s all about engagement.You can have access to a Billion people and upload images,content,video,blog posts,and stories about photography all day long but if you are not engaging with people then are you really being effective? Be Bold,Original,and Keep it Simple. I’d say the most important aspect of all of this is simple… Have FUN. If you are having fun it will come off in your marketing and people will sense it and you’ll intrigue them into your world it’s then up to you to keep them intrigued and interested. We live in a world where we are bombarded every single day by hundreds of different things. What sticks out in your mind & why? Was it a KISS? Have Fun and Enjoy One.
free prints & a thank you
I think a great marketing tip is giving the customer a thank you note stating how much you enjoyed working with them. Then you pick your favorite picture from the shoot and make wallets out of them with your contact information on the back, so they can hand them to their friends and family!
Senior Shirt give away!!!
One new thing that I am trying this year is giving away a free tshirt to every senior who books a senior session with me. It says “I got flashed” and then says by Alexandrea Lee Photography. Its walking advertising at only $5 a shirt for us and students looooove free stuff!!! Plus its witty ;o) Thanks for having this contest its a great idea and I would love to win the ipad for my bday *march 31st!*
Thank You New Mommies!
This gift certificate is a thank you gift from the Dr.that delivered the recipiants baby. There is no obligation for purchase. The good news for me, is repeat business, referals and the posibility of selling additional images and products.
We will be using Burrell’s metal prints to create a gallery display of car photos at our local car wash. The images will be displayed in the car wash bays so they can get wet. We will be having a Gallery Opening June 5 with a car show of the cars that will be in the images. We will be inviting all of the local media outlets to cover this unique gallery event.
Cross Pollinating your Business! I have a handful of preferred vendors- they fit my brand and style, we attract the same kind of brides. I easily cross pollinate my business doing the following: After a wedding with these vendors I create 8.5×5.5 promo cards featuring their specific work with the wedding. I include the vendors logo and contact information, and in the bottom right corner put “photography by Melanie Soleil” with my logo/ website. They key is to show off the VENDOR’S WORK because then they hand out the cards to brides. I’ve created templates in InDesign so the process takes only 5 minutes and costs me about $10 per vendor. My vendors LOVE these and actually call me asking for more.
“We went back to the old way of direct mail 6×9 postcards for our 27th anniversary and let all of our previous and new customers that we do seniors, families, weddings, corporate, restoration and everything had had $27 coupon on each type of photography that we do. It is amazing that people received this and said’ I didn’t know you did weddings’
It has truely helped!”
Stay True to yourself and Keep an Open Mind!
The best marketing advice I can give is “Always Stay True to Yourself”. Know who you are as a photographer and what direction you want to go with your business and stick with it. Create, design and shoot in a style that reflects the creative side of you. Stay loyal to your customers and let them give you feedback on what they would like to see more of and listen to their constructive criticism…you will be amazed at what you will learn. Keep an open mind and DO NOT assume just because they are not photographers that they can not teach you alot.
Jessica Tschirn ooo we need an ipad! …marketing tip…um…. we always have whoever came along with our high school seniors step in for a photo or two. Parents have so few photos of them with their kids that it’s a guaranteed sell. (Or seniors can’t resist best friend pics.) Also, having mom in the photos gives us a chance to show off the retouching, which often leads to family portrait sessions later on.
TANIA ALLEN MARKETING TIP
Run a campaign that when a clients order reaches $400 they will get an entry into a quarterly drawing to win an I Pad and for each additional $250 in orders they will get an additional entry form, so the more they spend the better their odds will be and the better my sales will be as well as encouraging clients to book return sessions.
My tip is quite simple – for clients not sure if they should spend X amount of money because of their spouse, usually their husband, I tell them about our “Husband Plan”. Just pay your order with some on cash, some on check and some on the credit card and we could even do half when the order is placed and the remainder when the order is picked up. By dividing it, then 6 ways, he’ll never know how much you spent unless you them him.
CEO of My Own Destiny
Know your audience and design your marketing to appeal to different segments of your audience. One size does not fit all.
Let Burrell help you make a memorable “first impression”
Business Cards they love to Share!
Choose one of your favorite images from a session, with the first order include a page of wallet prints with your logo, website, name & contact information on it. Clients love to show off and share their photos, friends are more likely to keep them than toss them because they know who is in the photo and shabammm! They have your at their fingertips!
Put a sneak peek of photography shoots just a few days after the event. Let the client know to look and be sure to invite them to tag themselves as this will publicize your work all over Facebook! Don’t forget your logo!
A photo weiighs more than a million words
Ask for theirs !
Here is a great tip I learned from David Ziser. Dont give out business cards to prospective clients, ask for theirs or get their contact info. This will enable you be to in control to contact them and you wont be waiting for their call after they have probably lost your card.
Title Bout Tutorials
My marketing tip is this: do live tutorials with your staff about your products and how they can benefit your clients. Include in the tutorials a “certificate of appreciation” that recognizes clients that have referred clients and make a BIG deal out of the presentation by posting a video each week/month/etc’ whatever works for you! People desire recognition, appreciation and approval. I have a professional friend who did this in his chiropractic business and built it into the 10th largest practice in the greater Sacramento Area using this simple idea! I hope this helps!
BFF multiplication — simple math
“when you are shooting a senior ask them to bring along their best friend. as you shoot the session the BF can be adding color and humor and relaxing your subject AND she can also be a last check on hair (girls mostly) then shoot the two together. it is likely that the BF will book her own session and you will probably be able to sell a DVD or two of the images of the two girls horsing around as well as the touching best friend portrait that you create.
Add prospective clients as FB friends ASAP! They’ll get to see more of who you are!
The marketing tip I will enter in this contest is follow-up with interesting things. Follow-up with clients and keep your business relationship continuing, growing and alive with new ideas that keep clients interested in what you are doing. In turn it helps keep you fresh and motivated too.
“*To the client* As an added incentive you could receive 2 parent mini album just by following a few simple steps within 90 days of your event! 1) get you photos chosen pronto for your album. 2) get a written review to your photographer. 3) write a review on “”yourchosenonlineweddingste.com’ 4) friend/like your photographer on facebook
It’s so easy!! ”
Client List Specials
Keep an ever growing list of everyone that buys photos from you. Then you will have a list of people who you know like your work. Then when, for instance, Burrell has their “Big Print Special”, you can ALSO have a special (sell your large prints for less for a limited time). Then email this special to your ever growing list of happy customers, making sure to mention in your special that only THEY are getting this deal for being such great customers.
eNews with Photo Tips EVERY MONTH
“Put out a newsletter EVERY SINGLE MONTH. With everyone into photography right now, helpful photo tips keep people interested. I book AT LEAST one job every time I send an email out.
Continually build up your mailing list and use an email program such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, or iContact.”
My marketing tip
One of the best marketing tools out there is Google ad words! It is SO worth the investment!! I have booked several of my weddings by advertising on it!
Essence “A Great portrait is like a great short story, where the beginning draws you in, the middle brings out the details and the end captures you emotions.
It is said among authors and I have found over time that being able to write that story is about knowing the character or characters. You have to discover personality traits, what stirs emotions, really get to know them like a best friend. I start with a conversation avoiding the negative aspects of the day preceding the session. If not I let all out and then move on to a brighter subject, it is easy if you listen to the character. You will know what question to ask.
It’s while we are having our discussion that I bring the camera into the session and will say that I am going to make some minor adjustments as I begin to take a few images. The truth is, I am keeping them relaxed and un-posed. I will give short requests on looking up down left or right. I use my head and chest since most of the time I want them to maintain eye contact like you would with any person you are talking with. So, it will tell them to look at my left ear or may be even my feet, you get the idea.
You’re still talking with them and again you say need to make another minor adjustment to the camera or light and fiddle a round with them, because it is all about keeping them relaxed and the focus off of the camera. I continue to take a few more “test shots” before we begin. After a few more shutter release I will have them do a couple specific poses and end the session. I had already written the story but I wanted to have an ending to the conversation till the next time we meet.
It is about finding the essence of a person that make a great portrait or pictorial, think about the images created by Hemingway’s “Old Man and The Sea”, the words he used create vivid pictures, we need to use words to create the picture too.
Cross Promotion with a high end retailer
“We recently tried cross promoting our studio portrait session with a high end clothing store in town. The store hands out a one page flyer to anyone purchasing clothing. The flyer offers a great discount to any customer who books a portrait session at our studio as well as an additional discount to a customer if they come back for a future purchase at the retail store. IT WORKS for us.
Any of our client that book a session with the studio receive a discount coupon for the same high end clothing store.
NEVER EVER EVER….
Give any of your services away for free regardless of if it’s friends or family…they’re the ones who should understand the MOST that it’s your life and your profession.
The Best Marketing Tip Ever! ”
While social media may be on the top of everyones best marketing tip list, think about life prior to the internet and social media marketing. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing. How do you get clients to pass along great positive information about you and your business? By treating every client (trade,free,paying,big name) the SAME (read exceptional,important,as if they are your only client). Offer them excellent service, an excellent shooting experience, and excellent images. Making sure to follow through and offer 110% with your service,shooting experience and final product is the best marketing tip ever. ”
This is all you need to do
This marketing strategy always works: love your customers, treat them with honesty in every situation, always deliver the best product you can, and give your customers more than they pay for.
A Simple 5-Step Marketing Plan
“1. Return calls immediately
2. Do exactly what you said you would do
3. Under- promise; Over- deliver
5. Deliver a FREE gift & ask for referrals”
I have been photographing at local dog events for about 4 years. I set up my small booth like a mini studio and take themed pet portraits. Everyone loves it! I donate 20% back to the dog charity that is hosting the event and I gain a ton of exposure by being there. I always donate a free portrait session for their raffle table as well. During the event I also take a few minutes to walk around and take pictures. I give the images to the event coordinator to use in their marketing for next year’s event…more exposure. There are a ton of families and couples at dog events so I am exposing myself to my target audience. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
If you haven’t heard of the email coupons you really need to check them out. These companies have an extensive base of contacts which they promote a special daily. It’s a really great way to reach new customers. My studio did a 2 day featured special and sold almost 100 $49 packages. This was in January, our slowest month of the year. I was excited beyond belief to generate that much income in just 2 days.
E-Z Marketing tip
SMILE. Really, smile and mean it.
An Old Idea with new Technology
“When we first started with senior reps we would send around a folio with their images in it. Then they would collect names of interested seniors.
Now you can do the same thing but instead of a folio with PROOFS you can use an IPad. The Ipad turns on and off fast. The interested seniors can type in their name and info right in the contact form. Also we let the seniors keep the IPad for a few days with all of their images. If they return it with over 25 names they get a bonus. If they return it with over 50 names they get an added bonus.
With the IPad the senior can show their images in a slide show with music. They can also show off Animoto videos as well.
Technology is a wonderful thing!!”
Photo Shoots to benefit Companies
Doing photo shoots for new company, or a non profit oganization can not only bring in new clients, but form a great relationship between companies. Afterwards, offer a print for their wall or album.
Planning a Promotion
The most important bit of information about planning a promotion is to use as many resources and media as possible to get the word out. Enewsletters to your mailing list, Facebook, Twitter, studio blog posts, printed pieces, email signatures, press releases, local blogs, newspapers and magazines, and referrals. By using all the applicable media to spread the word, you cast a wider net and have a better chance to spreading your word to your target market.
Simple and easy, find several locations in your town to hang or display samples of your work. When people think about photography you want them to think of you first. The more they see your work the better.
“Decide whether you want to feed your ego or your family. Sexy, expensive image-building campaigns might win your ad-firm a Clio, but, with rare exceptions they don’t put money in your bank or food on your table … at least at the level small businesses can afford. So, drive your branding efforts with free PR in the early days and spend your money on measurable direct-response marketing that delivers X dollars of revenue for every dollar spent on marketing.
People Choose the Middle
On any product you offer, have a huge, expensive version, a nice middle priced one and a low, basic one. People will almost always choose the middle one.
Burrell has always done a great job on my work. I have my order in two days and if I have any questions they anwser them right away. I would recommend for doing your photo needs.
Photo/Portrait Marketing Tip
“Clients will buy close to what you show them! Show off those big prints so clients can see the beauty of BIG!!!
General advice on prints….They will buy one size smaller than what you show them.
Show them a big fancy 40 spread album….That’s where they are going to create their expectations for their album!!!
Can I get an amen!”
30-60-90 Helps Grow Your Business
My marketing tip is that anyone that is not spreading payments out over a 30-60-90 day is missing a big chunk of the sales. We have had the biggest January and February ever this year due to being able to give our clients that option of paying over a 30-60-90 period. They pay 1/3 of the balance when they place their order, and then we fill out two more credit card slips with the other amounts on them and have them sign the slips. One month from that date we send the card through and one month after that we send the final payment through. Sometimes, we get two cards just in case one is full. So far, this has been very successful and we are making money using it.
BACK TO THE BASICS
At our studio, we have gone back to the old door to door campaign that has proven true for years. With new and colorful brochures, we are bulk emailing them, and facebooking them and if they repost they receive a 20% discount. Then they reply to us and go into a weekly drawing for an 11 x 14 print. We are even going out to the locals in our neighborhood giving them a brochure with a 20% discount coupon for portraits and/or framing! It has worked well for us!
Accordian books, press product 3.5×2
These little books may not be purchased however we give them away to qualified sales or as a thank you to a special/frequent client. Usually in black and white if they ordered color.
With so much competition out there, you need to always present yourself professionally. Customer service is key. Answer emails and questions as soon as possible, alert clients to delays and offer options, dress appropriately for the event, put proofs up soon after each session or wedding, have your best work displayed for clients to get excited about, and listen. If you are excited and interested in your clients, they will feel special and as valuable as they are.
We do a monthly photo session that is called Just for Kids. We have found that the our bring a friend promo is really effective. When two friends book back to back, they both save 25.00 off their session. We make lots of new friends this way!!
Give Back and Reap Rewards
As a pet photogrpaher primarily, I’m looking for ways to “Paw it Forward” and give back with my work. Donating not only a session, but something of high perceived value, like a larger canvas or specialty item at a charitable auction at some charity’s high end event is great. Blog about it, and send out press releases, and get some press.Then be there to network with people!
My best marketing tip is to have large studio samples and lots of them… Simple. If people can see it they will buy it…
Care About Your Clients
If you truly care about your clients, they will realize this before they are even your clients. They will just know you will do the best.
Thank You Cards for Newly Weds
Brides & Grooms love anything custom. Use the senior Thank You card templates to create a custom thank you cards for clients. Mail one shortly after the wedding as your thank you to the bride and groom. We often get orders for the cards following this custom thank you. Frequently they tell us they already purchased thank you cards but love the idea that they can send a few wedding pictures to everyone along with a thank you.
Business Cards with order
My clients love their kids and what better way to get them to hand out business cards with your studio information on it than to print your info with their kids images! They will hand them out like candy!
Made up holiday
March is ice cream sandwich month. All kids taking a picture with a rabbit in march get ice cream sandwiches
Let the Art Speak
Nothing shows the world your eye and skill better than your work itself. I constantly strive to bring out emotion in my photos, so that even a stranger viewing the photo is touched by it. When someone can see themselves in YOUR work, you have successfully caught them. Make them WANT to be in your photos, and the rest is like breathing.
A GREAT Marketing Tip! “Blog posts:
Blog the client. She tells her friends to look and comment so she can win free stuff! The client that gets the most comments gets a gift…
Make the gift a reasonable amount, but leave room for upgrading so that you can potentially make an up sale off their win. You can also have the top 3 winners…This also generates traffic to your website! Which increases your ranking on google ”
“Nothing is more powerfull than word of mouth. My referal program has been a big success in making my business great!
here is some of the wording….
Thank you for your portrait photography order from
Erin Kenly Photography. I have designed an incentive
program as my way of saying “”Thank You!”"
Now when you send your family & friends to Erin Kenly
Photography tell them to mention your name. It’s just that easy!
The more people you refer…the better your gift.
Details are below & again, thank you for choosing
Erin Kenly Photography.
Referral Program: Gift certificates are not redeemable for cash.
This program is valid for any referral (portraits, weddings, commercial, etc)
1 referral: $25.00 Gift Certificate
2 referrals: $35.00 Gift Certificate
3 referrals: 11×14 Print of your choice ($120.00 value!)
4 referrals: Free studio portrait session & 8×10 print
My marketing tip is to always proclaim a personal relationship with the client, where you can be yourself and not a salesperson. Trust must be earned and I find this is so helpful for success.
Create a relationship with every business owner that you can that would meet your client qualifications. High end children boutique gives their customers a thank you for shopping with them and give them a $100 gift card my studio. A wedding shop gives a thank you card for purchasing their dress with them and gives them 2 free hours wedding photography to my studio. Network as much as you can with wedding venues, hair stylists and more.
Claim your Google Places Listing & Print QR Bar Code
Do not miss out on all that Google Places and Maps has to offer. Claim your business listing, add images, videos, brands carried, extra details, a description, your website and more. You can print out a QR code or quick reader “bar” code that people can scan with their smart phones to find out more information and link to your Google Map listing. You can even get a free Google Voice number that can follow you from cell phone to home phone, has voice mail and allows you to have a local number or area code to expand your client base. If you need help claiming your Google Listing contact your webdesigner or visit www.brasswindweb.com and I will be happy to offer you this affordable service.
one year anniversary
send out a special invitation for a portrait session for the newlyweds 1 year anniversary
You have a BEAUTIFUL CHILD CARD
Beautiful child cards…. FLattery goes a long way and every parent loves to hear that their child is beautiful…..Make Business / Gift Cards to hand out to parents when you are at the same stores/places that your prospective clients frequent and you see someone with a baby/child hand them a card and tell them that you would love to photograph there child for you portfolio/marketing pieces and in exchange you will give them xx$ off the session fee. You will still make money on the print order.
Engagement Rep Cards
We include an engagement session with all of our wedding packages. With that session we provide 60 rep cards of the engagement session to pass out at the wedding. The front of the rep card has our favorite photo of the engagement session. On the back it says the couples name, date of wedding, our website, phone number. It also states when photo gallery will be up and the password. When I tell couple that I will have 60 of these rep cards available for their guests, they usually purchase more. So on the day of the wedding, 90% of the wedding guests walk away with our card in their pocket. Not only are we planting the seed in future brides, but we are driving up the sale of prints to guests attending the wedding.
“DIRECT” Mail to Class of 2012
In January of 2011 we send all of our 2011 Seniors a packet of information which includes – our Senior Class Survey and Names and Addresses of Junior Class Collection Form. They are asked to fill out the survey and collect names and address of the Junior Class. For every 10 names they get 8 free wallets (reorder of previous images). We also add the incentive of $100 grand prize for the most names and address recieved. Last year we collected over 300 names – this year we have collected 325 names so far and the contest ends March 15. Statistically we will photograph at least 50% of those students. It’s a much better average then the bought student name lists. In addition we start the buzz for the Class of 2012 to anticipate the upcoming events our studio will be having in the spring. – Senior Open House, Mall Wall Unveiling Event, 12 Hour 70% off Senior Session Sale. This marketing tip will help make the cost of direct mail more “DIRECT”
No matter whether you are taking pictures of children, dogs, families, weddings or tables, you must care about your pictures almost as much as you care about your client. Look them in the eye when you talk to them and focus on them alone during the session. Hold other calls (including those on the cell phone) and care. People care if you do.
“You’ve have spent the past hours shooting many cards full of wedding photos of the pre-ceremony, ceremony, and now you’re part way through the reception. Your assistant sorts through all those cards full of memories to find a few dozen A+ images. He makes minor adjustments on those then syncs them to the iPad. Now the fun begins. You take your iPad to the bride and groom’s table to present them with a small taste of what’s to come. As they sit together, hungrily scrolling through their slideshow, you can see in their eyes how they’ve been touched. After they’re done, your assistant walks the iPad over to the in-laws, and now you hear them oooh and aaahhh at what’s just taken place a couple hours earlier.
You have just marketed yourself and the photos from the wedding before anyone left the reception. Now when they go home with your business card, they’ll be anxious to place orders for prints and products. ”
Build your own email database and ask existing clients and contacts if you can have their email address to send newsletter updates. Advertize via your website or blogging.