by Mark Weber, M.Photog.Cr, M.Artist, CPP I’m a big believer…
There are a ton of talented photographers out there. All you have to do is Google search the word “photographers” and it’s amazing the talent you’ll find. Now put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. Can you imagine how confusing it must be for the public to choose a photographer? Who do you know? Who can you trust? Who’s going to be around in a year or two?
While technology has lowered the cost to start a photography business, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the need to market your business properly. Most studios cannot survive on word of mouth and social media alone for their success. Let’s face it, there are only so many dollars to spend and the confusion of knowing where to best invest that marketing money can be paralyzing.
Thanks to marketing education — through PPA and its Affiliates, or one-on-one resources like Marathon’s Marketing Advantage Program — the industry has tools available today to help set yourself apart from the competition.
There’s no better place to find outstanding professional educators than at PPA’s annual Imaging USA convention, which will take place in Phoenix on January 12-14. One such expert, Ann Monteith, will be teaching a preconference 2-day Business Basics course that is ideal for both novice and experienced photographers who need to know more about pricing, selling, marketing and financial management. Ann is widely credited with helping to put some of the industry’s most profitable photographers on the road to profitability. Bridget Jackson, CPA, who is the lead advisor with PPA’s Studio Management Services, will join Ann for a segment on taxes and legal obligations. There is still time to register for the January 9-10 class by clicking on this link: http://www.ppa.com/edu/eduEvent.cfm?EventID=46318
Throughout the convention you will find outstanding marketing and management programs such as these:
On Sunday, January 12 – 9:30 – 11:15 AM Angela Carson will present “Forget the Fluff and Let’s Make Money!” Angela will explain how to navigate your business during slow times and during economic downturns. Among her topics are:
- Non-traditional marketing.
- Recruiting more qualified clients.
- Being profitable while still having happy customers.
- Building a repeat client base.
Check out Angela’s photography at www.angelacarson.com
Also catch Angela at several #Hash it Out sessions: Launched for the first time at IUSA last year, these fun sessions are back by popular demand. They cover business best practices, sales and marketing, customer service and more. This is your opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by experts!
Another great Sunday, January 12 marketing program features Padraic and Sonia Deasy, directors of Deasy Photographic, Ireland’s leading boutique portrait studio. Their 6:45 – 8:00 PM presentation, is entitled “Photography with a Cause — Making a Charitable Event Work.” This powerful charitable marketing program will cover:
- Cross-Marketing with corporations — to put you in the public eye.
- Shooting – how to create that “engaging” head shot, through light and posing.
- Workflow – a simplified workflow to make your charitable event profitable.
- Selling – it’s an art, and yet it can be used with scientific efficiency. Watch your customers smoothly transition from initial contact to closure with this streamlined system.
See the Deasy’s internationally recognized photography at http://www.deasyphotographystudio.ie
Yet another “don’t miss” program on Tuesday, January 14 – 3:30 – 4:45 PM is “High-Value Children & Family Portraiture with Drake Busath & Friends.” Drake and his team of Master Photographers will share techniques they use to add perceived value to family and children’s portraiture. Fresh-Classical is the Busath brand, a key reason Busath Studio & Gardens is busier than ever, when many competitors are struggling. This dynamic program incudes live posing and lighting demonstratons. View the studio’s website at http://busath.com
And don’t forget to visit the Marathon booth 1233 at IUSA, and you’ll see why Marathon is your one-stop shopping resource for all things marketing. Drop by to see what’s new and how Marathon can help you take your business to a whole new level!
If you arrive at IUSA on Saturday, January 11, don’t miss the PPA Charities Celebration and Auction Gala at the Sheraton Hotel, second floor Valley of the Sun Ballroom C. The fun, food, and festivities begin at 8:00 P.M. Marathon is proud of its support of PPA Charities’ Celebration of Smiles Day, which will take place in 2014 on April 5. Learn more about PPA Charities on Facebook.