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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 14 Aug 2007 (Tuesday) 10:52
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Effective Advertising

 
Transcendence
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96 posts
Joined Feb 2007
Location: Blacklick, Ohio
     
Aug 14, 2007 10:52 |  #1

Does anybody have any advertising ideas that actually work? Either I am choosing the wrong outlets or I am just going about it all wrong. I actually have a decent amount of work but I am really trying to grab a bigger share of the market here and I am comming up empty. I have advertised in the local paper which actually is a huge paper. I have passed out thousands of flyers on mailboxes. I have made hundreds of cold calls to Real Estate agencies, Race Tracks, schools, Pet stores and Dance Studios. The cold calls have generated some work for me but I know it could be better. So any ideas or things that have worked for you guys would be appreciated. Word of mouth just does not cut it for the growth we have planned.




  
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MichaelAlan_Photo
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Aug 14, 2007 11:04 |  #2

I have done everything with word of mouth and networking so far. The other way of getting people to contact me is by having a website, business cards and flyers made.

I am also trying to get my name out there by donating to local Chinese Auctions and judging local art and photography contests and even getting editors for local newspapers to do a writeup about my company (better than advertising because of the fact that people see that I didn't pay for the article to be there so it must be good if someone decided to write about it right?)

Granted, we shoot mostly 99% weddings so there is an audience and a crowd who needs a service. You are trying to break into a market where dance schools, schools and the other areas who you mentioned probably already have a "regular" and if they are satisfied with their work or are too lazy to find a replacement then it will be tough to break in and take their place.

I do sports portraits and got into it by a roller hockey league needing a photographer, or to replace one who took all the parents money and ran without giving them prints (he got caught BTW), or one to replace a no show and stuff along those lines. The only way I got those were, word of mouth. I took & taught karate before getting a full time job and replaced the regular there because the owner knew me and I tossed him 10% commission for having me there.

So word of mouth, breaking in by offering commission to the owners, staying on top of the situations around those markets and plain luck are what you will need. I called 20 other karate schools and even golf courses and other places around the area and not one person called or emailed me back...


my portfolio: www.michaelalanphoto.c​om (external link)
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Transcendence
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96 posts
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Location: Blacklick, Ohio
     
Aug 14, 2007 15:00 |  #3

We have a website and business cards as well as 4x6 full color flyers that we hand out. Our website is being completely rebuilt so we can offer online sales so hopefully that will help for the upcomming football season. We have 5 large football leagues this summer so online sales should do well.




  
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asdisc
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Joined Dec 2005
     
Aug 14, 2007 17:17 |  #4

It appears that you are doing quite well in your work. Since I don't see a website, and just from reading this one post, are you doing just group work, football, baseball, etc...or is there a portrait studio behind all of it?

I'd say use some Google Adwords to help you out a bit, its cheap and simple to start and has generated some good leads for us for business.

We also do the flyers but truthfully it hasn't shown much of a result. (Question for you, are you allowed to put flyers in the mailbox? We walk all the way to the door to drop them off? DOn't want to waste time if we can drop them in the mailbox)

Thanks


http://www.cameronstud​io.net (external link)

  
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chris_m_atl
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia
     
Aug 14, 2007 17:22 |  #5

asdisc wrote in post #3728150 (external link)
We also do the flyers but truthfully it hasn't shown much of a result. (Question for you, are you allowed to put flyers in the mailbox? We walk all the way to the door to drop them off? DOn't want to waste time if we can drop them in the mailbox)

Thanks

You won't be able to open the mailbox, but you could use thumbtacks and stick them on the wood that the box is mounted on.


"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute" --Gil Stern

  
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michael_
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Aug 15, 2007 02:59 |  #6

with your mailbox drops are you continually dropping them in the same area? have you placed a code on the flyers to track where your calls are coming from? you may well be targeting the wrong market, something else to consider (a marketing idea i got from StreetFighter Marketing Man Slutsky), try postcard mailbox drops over flyers, people generally toss flyers thinking its rubbish, generally postcards are personal items so people will take the time to look and read it, you may get a better hit ratio, in the end though no harm in trying. Whats the response from the businesses you have contacted? what about offering some different services to your competitors? ie different printing options, canvas prints, magnets.


ichael ... (external link)
vettas media (external link) (me) | myGear (all my equipment) | sportshooter (external link) (my sportsshooter member page)

  
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Gary_Evans
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Aug 15, 2007 03:25 as a reply to  @ michael_'s post |  #7

You have to build on cold calls if you want a good client. If a prospect instantly leaves his current photographer for you then the next time he gets a cold call he will change again. Do you want clients like that?

Flyers are a waste of time due to the amount of junk mail out there. Google Adwords are fine in the short term, but you are better spending the money on SEO for continued website exposure.

I would suggest that you are spreading yourself too thinly - I cannot see the connection between Real Estate agencies, Race Tracks, schools, Pet stores and Dance Studios etc. If you specialise the work really does come to you.

One final thought - do you ask your current clients to refer you? or are you just sitting back and hoping they will? Your client list is the best form of advertising that you will ever have.


Gary
www.myeventphoto.co.uk (external link)
www.garyevansphotograp​hy.co.uk (external link)

  
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Transcendence
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96 posts
Joined Feb 2007
Location: Blacklick, Ohio
     
Aug 15, 2007 12:03 |  #8

asdisc wrote in post #3728150 (external link)
It appears that you are doing quite well in your work. Since I don't see a website, and just from reading this one post, are you doing just group work, football, baseball, etc...or is there a portrait studio behind all of it?

I'd say use some Google Adwords to help you out a bit, its cheap and simple to start and has generated some good leads for us for business.

We also do the flyers but truthfully it hasn't shown much of a result. (Question for you, are you allowed to put flyers in the mailbox? We walk all the way to the door to drop them off? DOn't want to waste time if we can drop them in the mailbox)

Thanks

I dont display the website because I am not happy with it now. Our old web designer dropped the ball and never finished the site even after we paid him. It has been in its current state for about 4 months. I have a new person completely redesigning a new site but it is still a few weeks away from going live. This is our current site www.transcendencephoto​graphy.com (external link)




  
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Transcendence
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Location: Blacklick, Ohio
     
Aug 15, 2007 12:05 |  #9

chris_m_atl wrote in post #3728167 (external link)
You won't be able to open the mailbox, but you could use thumbtacks and stick them on the wood that the box is mounted on.

We usually just fold them in half and slide them in behind the flag on the mailbox. I have tried changing the flyer style and content on it and still no work from that. I do have 5,000 full color 4x6 flyers that we hand out at events. I am thinking about trying those on mailboxes since it looks a little more professional.




  
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Transcendence
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96 posts
Joined Feb 2007
Location: Blacklick, Ohio
     
Aug 15, 2007 12:10 |  #10

Gary_Evans wrote in post #3730527 (external link)
You have to build on cold calls if you want a good client. If a prospect instantly leaves his current photographer for you then the next time he gets a cold call he will change again. Do you want clients like that?

Flyers are a waste of time due to the amount of junk mail out there. Google Adwords are fine in the short term, but you are better spending the money on SEO for continued website exposure.

I would suggest that you are spreading yourself too thinly - I cannot see the connection between Real Estate agencies, Race Tracks, schools, Pet stores and Dance Studios etc. If you specialise the work really does come to you.

One final thought - do you ask your current clients to refer you? or are you just sitting back and hoping they will? Your client list is the best form of advertising that you will ever have.

I do have to say that we may be offering too much as far as services go. We do a lot of different types of photography that does not relate to each other at all. The approach we took when we started our business was that we would not specialize in any one type of photography but that we would offer on site services. Basicly we come to them. The reason we did this is because we had a successful event photography business. Pretty much just Drag Racing and Little League Sports. Then we added custom framing and instead of opening a retail store we decided to offer the in home type service since we had everything already for the event photography. It is convienent for the customer but harder for us to get our name out there except for word of mouth.




  
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rhys
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Aug 15, 2007 12:10 |  #11

My advertising suggestions:
Join the local business bureau
Place discount coupons in friendly businesses
Put advertising on your vehicle (can claim fuel as an advertising expense)
Get tee-shirts made with your company advertising on them
Give a friendly accountant your card
Network
Sponsor the local youth football team for a season.
Try to get into the newspaper in a newsworthy context.


Rhys

The empire conquers yet more galaxies:
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jbrow375
Senior Member
255 posts
Joined Jul 2007
     
Aug 15, 2007 12:17 |  #12

Actually your site is okay. I understand your want in making sure it is top notch before promoting, but more than anything you just want people to know who you are.

I think you are probably in-line with the right direction of service promotion - it is a tough business. The only suggestion I have is to put in some tracking measures so that you know if you are targeting the right audience.

For example, track visits and statistics on your website through Google Analytics - it is free, and gives a good vision of what is happening on site and what your visitors are looking for.

Good luck,
Jessica


www.bliss-media.com (external link):: Not only our hobby, our buisness
Equipment we use (external link)

  
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Transcendence
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96 posts
Joined Feb 2007
Location: Blacklick, Ohio
     
Aug 15, 2007 13:14 |  #13

I do have vehicle advertising as well as t-shirts. My friend owns a sign and apparel company so I can get stuff like that done pretty cheap. As far as the site goes, my hosting company has a control panel I can log in to and look at all my stats. Honestly though due to the condition of the site I have not paid much attention to it. When we launch the new site I will stay on top of it though.




  
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rhys
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Aug 15, 2007 19:38 |  #14

Thus far I have a website although I discount this as a worthwhile exercise in advertising but regard it as a useful place for people to look up services, fees and locations having viewed my advertising elsewhere. The only calls I get from people that have seen my website are from people trying to sell search-engine listings. I do have a short answer for that one!

I have vehicle advertising and have ordered one tee-shirt just to see what the reaction would be.

I will get a Domke photo vest from B&H and will put my advertising on that.


Rhys

The empire conquers yet more galaxies:
www.sageworld.co.uk (external link)
www.sageworld.org (external link)
www.sagephotoworld.com (external link)
Blog: http://360.yahoo.com/t​hunderintheheavens (external link)

Free cheese comes only in mousetraps

  
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