Intro by Skip Cohen Photography is a word-of-mouth business, yet…
Giving Back Helps Get New Clients
Sometime in the late 80’s, I attended PPA’s annual marketing conference and Jay Conrad Levinson was a guest speaker. He’s the father of guerrilla marketing and is the one who actually coined the term. He passed away in 2013, but there’s no expiration date on anything he shared over the years.
During his PPA presentation, he shared the top 100 things guerilla marketers need to do in order to build a stronger business. Right near the top was the importance of giving back to the community.
Why? Because people like doing business with companies they perceive as giving back to the community. The bottom line is simple to understand, you’re looking for your community to be good to you, so you need to make sure you’re good to your community.
And remember, not everything you do to support the community needs to involve your camera. While it’s obviously terrific and better when it does, even helping in the refreshment stand at Friday night football games shows you’re involved and starts to expand your network.
By Sarah Petty
Giving back is an important piece of building a photography business that survives and thrives for years to come.
As a small business owner, I feel so strongly about giving back to the community that supports my business and is so good to me. Imagine teaming up with your favorite charity and seeing them make more money than you could ever give them on your own. Not only would it feel good, it would also help you grow your business!
Here are 4 reasons for giving back will help you get new photography clients.
Reason 1: Helps others
It’s our responsibility as business owners to support our communities, and not just by writing checks. We are leaders, so we should do what leaders do and give back. It’s the right thing to do and it won’t go unnoticed.
Reason 2: Creates goodwill in the community
People need to feel good about the places they’re spending money. They need to know businesses care about the community and are giving back. When you partner with a charity in your community, it shows that you’re established and invested.
If you don’t have a retail brick and mortar location, partnering to raise money for a charity creates credibility. It also gives you things to talk about on your website, blog and in your newsletters. Your branding makes people fall in love with you. The charitable marketing you do becomes intertwined with your brand and makes you feel so good. It also makes people feel good about giving you their business.
“Goodwill is hard to quantify. It’s intangible and it’s something that you have to have. It’s part of laying the foundation to a successful business.”
Reason 3: Creates opportunities for publicity
Publicity is when the news media is talking about you, gushing about you, sharing with the world that you’re doing something extra special. Generating money for charity is newsworthy. It’s really difficult to get the media talking about you, but when you’re doing something newsworthy it only makes sense because they’re writing and covering the news. It’s really hard to get feature articles on your business or what you’re doing, but when you’re tying it in with a charity and helping your community, it’s the best way to get the media to pay attention to your business!
Reason 4: Creates exposure to a database vs. cold leads
This is probably the most important reason to work with charities that directly relates to marketing your business. Here’s the thing — you can go out and rent a random mailing list of people you think will like your products and services. You’re paying money. You’re going out there and renting a cold list. You’re trying to convince them to come to your business. But you have no idea whether or not they will respond because it’s a cold lead. Think about the database of a charity. The people on their list give money. They have disposable income. You are partnering with a charity they care passionately about. What’s cool is that when you support the charity they care about, that love of the charity will be transferred to you.
What’s stopping you from partnering with a charity? How perfect would it be to partner with a veterans charity this Veterans Day? Reach out to your local chapter of The American Legion and offer to photograph any veterans who are members as a gift for their service to our country. Then pitch this to the media as a newsworthy story of giving back to the community.
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