by Mark Weber, M.Photog.Cr, M.Artist, CPP What is your reason…
Intro by Skip Cohen
Sometimes we split up articles in multiple posts because they’re too long. Other times it’s because each component is so important and deserves to be in its own spotlight. This marketing article, thanks to Sarah Petty, is being shared in three parts because each component is critical to building a more substantial business.
To Sarah’s points in the post below – stop thinking you have to be everything to everybody. You know how to focus your camera on what’s most important, and marketing is no different. Focus your spending on your business areas worth a more significant investment and, in turn, a larger return.
And when it comes to your marketing materials, including the look and feel of your website and blog, I’ve seen so many photographers who felt their DIY skills were good enough! If you don’t have the design skills to create a presentation that leaves people speechless, in a good way, then get a pro involved!
The pandemic has changed so many different aspects of marketing. You don’t have the same opportunities to meet face to face that you might have had six months ago. That means everything a potential client of yours sees has to show you in the very best light!
By Sarah Petty
Number two, I see so many people spreading their budget too thin, trying to make way too many things work. I had a student, Olivia Pritchard from New Orleans. She did one marketing activity. One. Didn’t spread her budget too thin. And she hit $235,000 in her business in just three years. She added a hundred thousand to her gross sales that next year. She worked with charitable events to donate to their silent auction. This is just one of the many things I teach.
Most photographers say, “Oh, I tried doing those things for marketing. It didn’t work.” But the truth is, there are so many moving parts for just one activity. They have to be perfected. You don’t need to add activities. Instead of spreading your budget too thin, focus on one activity and all of its moving parts until it works.
Number three, the reason your photography marketing isn’t working is that you’re designing materials yourself. You can stand on a soapbox and wear a hat, but if you’re not a trained professional designer and you’re designing your own marketing materials, you probably look like an amateur. When we are in business, people judge us on everything. And when they haven’t hired us yet, they can only judge us on what they see.
Think about it. Think about going into a restaurant and you walk in and before you order, you look at the menu and it’s tacky. It’s designed with horrible fonts and it’s dirty and it’s gross. And that’s your first impression. And you think, “Oh my gosh, what’s going on at this place? They don’t know what they’re doing.”
The same thing applies to you and your marketing materials. If you can’t hire a professional designer, I recommend holding off and doing a different activity that doesn’t require excellent design. Or find a way to trade with the graphic designer who can help you. There is a way to get it done if you have tenacity. Is it easy? No. But if it’s easy, everyone can do it. Putting out a discount, being cheap. Everyone can do it, which is why it doesn’t work anymore. Right? So, make sure you have the highest quality of design.
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