by Norman Phillips Published 01/06/2010
Another way to market your photography in your community is to work with a large church where you will arrange a day, perhaps two, of portraits that will raise funds for the church, or if you like, a synagogue. We selected the Catholic church with the largest membership and scheduled families at 15-minute intervals and charged $50 that provided an 8x10 and which returned $25 to the church. We discovered that Catholic churches had the highest memberships so we were able to make contact with a greater number of potential new clients. That was a long time ago so the charge could be upgraded to whatever you believe is workable.
We photographed 40 families over two weekends, generated good revenue due to re-orders and won over some 20 new clients for the long term. The setup was simple - two large umbrellas and a backdrop, though several families were so large we removed the backdrop and used what was available.
This same promotion was used on two other occasions, once to another church and also to a local synagogue and in both instances proved successful and profitable. It might be possible for you to arrange this promotion numerous times over a period of two years with different churches. But don't do the same promotion with the same institutions or you will undercut your own business with the new clients you served in the initial promotion.
The Norman Phillips Children's Support Foundation
I created this charity because of my love for children's causes and clients appreciated that we were donating a small amount from each order to the charity. The funds were distributed to kindergartens and day-care centres. Now and again a client donated to the charity.
This added more to our community profile and was just another reason we built a reputation as one of the city's institutions.
If you do not want to set up a charity of your own, you can adopt an existing charity. If you specialise in children's portraits I would suggest you adopt one that supports children's causes and has a local connection to the people you are marketing to.
Each of the promotions discussed was successful and other than the church promotions became an annual event that clients looked forward to. Once in a while the response was less than hoped for, but each promotion generated very good income and built our client base, and each successive year they would look forward to our promotions.
I am sure that, with a little imagination, anyone can create similar promotions and grow their business by being different.
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