memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #16592120
Organic WOM is hands down the best form of advertising... and it is free. What you spent on a half page ad is well over half of my annual marketing budget this year.
Indeed, I get many referrals from former clients that lead to bookings with new clients. Word of Mouth is merely one tool in the toolbox, however. It is dependent on former clients referring me to their friends and family (most of whom were at the clients' weddings to begin with, and will have already known of me from those events). The thing is, not all former clients have a pool of soon-to-be-married friends that just happen to be looking for a wedding photographer. I have to compete with photographers up and down the west coast of the United States, a far larger region than, say, Perth. While it is true that WOM is important, I will never rely on it to be the largest factor in attracting future clients. One thing I have done, however, is to offer previous clients discounts on albums and other services for every successful referral they send my way. I also offer incentives to my favorite wedding venues, asking them to recommend me (since the venue is almost always the first vendor to be booked in any wedding), and I keep a close watch on how my products and business cards are displayed at those venues.
As I said in my original post, my first print-ad was incredibly successful while subsequent ads, in the same publication, have not been as successful. While I am considering dropping my ad from that publication, it's a hard decision to make: the initial success of the ad has still outweighed (in terms of cost/benefit) the subsequent failures.