View Full Version : Promotions and Building a Business... Need Help
24th of November 2010 (Wed), 23:17
So I just moved to a new area and am stumped... let's just say thinking of marketing is not my forte'. Anyways, I would like to see what advice everyone has and try to pull some wisdom from those who have seen success.
Here is my situation. I just moved to Colorado. I know, well, not too many people. I printed a bunch of promo cards. I built a website (http://www.j-anderson.com)
So where do I go from here? I need and really would like to build up my business. I have thought about placing promo cards at local coffee shops and I understand that networking is typically key.
Alright, Have at it. I'm sure many other than myself could and will benefit from this discussion.
24th of November 2010 (Wed), 23:34
Here are the 2 promo cards I made as well. The grey bars on the side of them were trimmed.
25th of November 2010 (Thu), 04:09
1. Specialise. You can be a jack of all trades, some people can do that and get business, or you can specialise and have people come to you for that. It's hard to optimise yourself and your website for everything.
2. Read about SEO (google SEO the best sites are at the top of the list). Your site right now has no unique domain name (it's on livebooks), has no useful title tag (should say where you are, what you do, and then your business name), and no text on the home page (google needs this to work out what you do - more text is better).
3. Built up a portfolio. Work for free if you have to. Don't find non-paying customers where you plan to find paying customers later. You wedding gallery has things in a bad order, show your best first. It looks like you've been 2nd shooter on one or two weddings, maybe. The main differentiator between photographers is what they do with the 20 minutes (or whatever) they have with the B&G.
That's all for now. That should take you a few months anyway.
25th of November 2010 (Thu), 06:35
I'll echo some of Tim's statements. I went from zero to middle market very quickly. Mostly, that's come because I do NOT follow the typical trends and shoot in a more traditional and classic style. The demand for this look is smaller, but it is also vastly underserved so people who want it seek me out.
Your promo cards are okay, but not exciting and not expressive of creativity. More importantly, be more targeted than tossing them around a coffee shop. Go where your clients are. Talk to some of the big venues, see if there's a bridal community in your area (either real or virtual), etc.
25th of November 2010 (Thu), 08:10
If you are doing weddings and want to advertise.... facebook, facebook facebook!
Targeted ads to the demographic you are after and in the locations you are after.
25th of November 2010 (Thu), 10:46
Hey everyone, thanks for the advice. I'm definitely going to look into the Google SEO and see what I can come up with. In terms of site and content I also have quite a bit more work I can put up, plus sample weddings, etc. I have been trying to watch what I have up with this site and not become cluttered with content.
Point in hand I am going to take a look and try to get some more work on there that might better serve the purpose and will post when that is done. The website is also a redirect at the moment until I publish it.
In terms of speaking with vendors, this is definitely an area that I need to approach. The area I am in has a plethora. How do you guys typically build a relationship the vendors you deal with apart from shooting a wedding they have been involved with?
Memoriesoftomorrow- Have you found success using advertising on Facebook? I've always been interested in how effective this might be.
Thanks for the input everyone! Please keep it coming! :D
25th of November 2010 (Thu), 11:35
I'm not as aggressive as I should be. I typically look to introduce myself to the other vendors of the day on the day and make images available to them. What you need to do is get out in front of that. Get to know the key venues in the area as well as the DJ's and videographers. Bride's typically shop venue first so they're important, but there's a lot of cross selling with DJ's and video guys. I'd just start reaching out to them directly, introduce yourself, and talk about any ideas you may have for cross promotion.
And Facebook is very effective in general, but ads on Facebook have been discussed in previous threads. I believe the consensus was that they were marginally successful for some, not at all for many others. But having a Facebook presence is very important.
25th of November 2010 (Thu), 17:32
I find facebook adverts good for brand recognition as well as traffic. It does take a lot of management, trial and error and constant fresh approaches.
I look at it this way... a business card sized advert in the yellow pages (printed directory for telephone number and businesses) costs the same as 18,000,000 impressions to a targeted demographic of 23,000 engaged people in the areas I primarily service. That is 782 impressions per person, per year.
Having a facebook page/presence is also a must... tagging clients (with permission) is the best WOMM you can have... providing your work is good of course.
29th of November 2010 (Mon), 08:38
looking at those two cards... i have no idea what you do... find better photos to promote yourself.
29th of November 2010 (Mon), 08:54
Marketing is not my strong point either, but as the managing engineer in charge of a 50 or more strong team of electricians in a past life it was a constant headache.
A good friend (and competitor in the same field) ran a very cheap, very simple (word only, no images)ad in local freebie papers/journals. The fact that they cost him virtually nothing but never missed an issue was important. When people wanted electrical work they picked up a copy of the paper and his phone number was always there, with a little box around it so it stood out from the crowd.
I'd suggest that the same approach would work for you as well. It's never going to create a rush of business, but provided it costs almost nothing, it could provide a regular trickle of work.
Of course the other (higher profile) route could be to run some exhibitions in local libraries/galleries. That would get your name "out there". Our local library does these often, more often than not in fact.
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