by Ron Pybus Published 01/11/2006
Part 3 on the business aspects of being a successful photographer by Ron Pybus.
In the last issue we dealt with some of the ways in which you can market yourself and your product. This article continues with other marketing ideas.
In this issue we will talk about marketing yourself through others in similar or linked trades, marketing yourself at wedding venues, the need to display pictures, use of computer displays and joint promotional leaflets and joint marketing.
Many photographers work from home and need to publicise their existence to potential customers in the town centre or via some other means. This article will concentrate on how you can achieve this.
I tend to specialise in baby and child photography and have a long-standing link with the local baby shop which promote my services for free - and has done so for the last ten years.
On average I receive about 10 leads per week. It all started when I was looking for a suitable outlet and the baby shop was worried about Mothercare moving into the town. I spotted this in the local paper and contacted the shop manager, offering him a free sitting and free photo for his customers - with exclusive rights in the whole of the District Council area. After a detailed explanation and some examples of my work he agreed to give the scheme a trial. I offered each of his staff a free set of photos and some photos of his shop for his website. Ten years on he still loves the scheme and promotes it to all his customers. A baby shop is ideal as new babies are always arriving.
I have run the same scheme with a couple of hairdressers, but they have only a limited lifespan before they have been through their regular customers. At times such as Mother's Day and Valentine's Day I also offer local hotels and restaurants vouchers for free sittings, but this has to be done well in advance of the day and with people who know you and know your work. In offering any voucher it is important that the voucher is completed in the shop and not taken home. How often have you collected a leaflet and then discarded it when you got home? Usually only 4% will return vouchers, but if they are completed in the shop you get 100%. Some people will turn down the offer when you phone them, but the majority make a booking.
The card they complete asks me to phone them, which gets over the legal problems of TPS (Telephone Preference Service) and cold calling.
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