by Mark Weber, M.Photog.Cr, M.Artist, CPP It’s getting closer to…
Intro by Skip Cohen
This is the second part of Bryan Caporicci’s post to help you think through things you can do to stand out in the marketplace. But unlike the first half of this two-part post, Bryan’s moving away from online and into the offline space.
Building your brand is about both your online and offline presence. By focusing on both levels of presence, you’ll build a stronger reputation. Plus, while we all love social media and a level of reach that only a few years ago was reserved for major publications, it’s not enough by itself.
Photography is a business based totally on the needs of people. You can’t be a success if you don’t take the time to get to know your audience and at the same time let them get to know you!
By Bryan Caporicci
The Foundations of Marketing
Using these marketing foundations as a starting point, I would suggest the following 5 ways that you can use the basics of business marketing to increase your local awareness offline and ultimately get more business: speaking, networking, press, co-marketing and direct mail.
For this article, I’d like to give 18 examples of how you can put into play each of these 5 marketing basics right away.
- Give a presentation to local business clubs re business portraits.
- Give a presentation to the local Rotary Club about what you do as a photographer.
- Present to a local Mom group re family and child portraits.
- Put on a workshop to teach the basics of photography at a local community center or library.
- Seek out local business associations such as the Chamber of Commerce or a local BIA and become a regular attendee to the networking meetings. Focus on building relationships and not just handing out business cards.
- Personally, reach out to local business owners and connect one-on-one. See how you can help each other.
- Attend local niche trade shows and network with the organizers, sponsors and businesses. If you specialize in family portraits for example, a “home show” would likely have many businesses that serve a similar market as you do. This would be a great networking opportunity.
- Donate to a cause and attach your name to a newsworthy event/charity.
- Volunteer your time locally.
- Offer help to the local media – maybe they need photographs, or perhaps they’d like your opinion on a photograph-related topic.
- Send the occasional press release once you’ve built an established relationship with the local paper.
- Offer to write a column in the paper.
- Offer to decorate local businesses with wall portraits and wall art. Display your business card with it.
- Run a promotion with a local business that has a similar audience as yours. You can share each other’s customer base and generate business return business to one another as a result. An example of this would be a local jeweler who sells engagement rings offering a discount on engagement sessions to your studio.
- Exchange a stack of business cards with local like-minded business owners and offer to help market each other.
- Offer a local business a few gift certificates to give their top-tier clients as a gift from them.
- Direct-Mail Postcard Mailings
- Come up with a specific, time-sensitive offer and mail it to 10,000 homes in the area via a post-card drop.
- Repetition is key – plan to do one per month for at least 6 months.
Creating a well-rounded marketing plan is crucial for long-term success as a photographer. You need to include online and offline marketing strategies to ensure that you are in front of as many potential clients as possible. The ultimate testimony to a consistent offline local marketing initiative is when your clients start telling you that they “see you everywhere”. That is the sign of a well-executed branding and awareness campaign!