Charitable Marketing with Pets

Charitable Marketing with Pets

Intro by Skip Cohen

The top three reasons people hire a photographer in the portrait/social categories are brides, babies, and pets. That’s based on a very old Kodak survey, and up until the pandemic, I don’t believe it’s changed for all these years.

However, life is different now, and I believe weddings are going to move to the bottom of the list for a few more months due to the elements of social distancing. That moves pet photography up on the list.

At the same time, your business has been dormant for the last few weeks. So, what are you going to do to rebuild your awareness?

There’s so much great content in Nicole Begley’s blog. I’m a big fan of cause-related marketing, and now is the time for you to tie into charitable causes. You need visibility, and there are few things as effective as being involved with pets in your community.

Plus, being involved with a non-profit pet entity gives you plenty of great topics for your blog. It’s about giving back and sharing your expertise. And right now, our pets have helped so many of us through the anxiety of the virus!


By Nicole Begley

Charitable marketing can take many forms and it is one of my favorite types of marketing.  One of the easiest ways to start getting involved in charitable marketing is by donating to silent and live auctions of organizations that you believe in, especially if they are frequented by your target market.

One of the most successful partnerships can be working with a charity on a fund-raising event.  The details of these partnerships can take numerous forms and will be different for each person and each partnership, but I wanted to give you a few ideas that you can expand on

One thing to think about before you do any type of marketing is what are your goals for that marketing effort.  Do you hope to gain visibility in your community?  Do you want to lead to more sessions on your calendar?  Do you want to increase revenue for you and/or the charity partner?  By really thinking about your main goal it will help you determine which type of project is best suited for your business at this moment.

Here are some ideas for charitable partnering:

  1. Offer a special opportunity to top donors, such as a specially priced session in which the session fee is donated back to the charity.  (Consult your tax advisor, you may or may not have to collect sales tax on that session fee…even if you are donating it back to the charity.)  This will get your business in front of qualified potential clients, some clients in the door, and if you have a strong sales process you will also make some nice revenue for both yourself and for the charity!
  2. Create a mini-session day to raise food or money donations for a local shelter.  This is a great way to raise awareness of your brand and also secure lots of great press.
  3. Offer to assist on calendar projects for charities.  This rarely results in much direct revenue, but is a great relationship builder, getting work published, and becoming more visible in your community.
  4. Assist local shelters with photographing adoptable animals.  This does not usually lead to direct revenue but is an incredible way to give back.  It is also a great way to improve your technical skills, possibly generate some press, and most of all create relationships within the shelter that will make it easier to approach them about more partnership ideas in the future.

 

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This article was written by
Nicole Begley

Nicole Begley, M.Photog.Cr, CPP, is an animal trainer turned pet photographer based in Pittsburgh, PA who also travels the world teaching pet photographers from every corner of the globe. She is the creator of Hair of the Dog, a site dedicated to helping pet photographers run a profitable pet photography studio and has authored a book - Pet and Horse Photography for Everybody. A member of PPA since 2010, Nicole has earned her Master of Photography degree, Photographic Craftsman degree, as well as her Certified Professional Photographer designation. Her work has won several awards at local and district competition, as well as a four-time medalist in the International Print Competition.

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