We get so caught up in the big picture of our business that we sometimes forget it’s the little things you do day to day that makes the biggest difference in your business.
I love baseball. The pace, the strategy, and there’s always something that happens during a game I’ve never seen before. There are also the stats. Ever see the movie Money Ball? Years ago my mentor Lisle Ramsey and I shared a passion for St. Louis Cardinals baseball. He explained in a presentation once that the difference between a Hall of Fame player and the average one is just an extra hit in a game now and then during the season. That’s less than 19%!
So how do we as studio owners get that extra hit now and then in our business? By doing the little things and being consistent about them. When we think of advertising our business we often think it’s going to require something expensive and time-consuming. But in reality, it’s often a culmination of many little things working together that makes the difference.
Let’s look at some ways you can have a positive effect on your marketing regardless of your budget.
WHIDTPTST? = What have I done to promote the studio today? Plaster this on the front of your computer screen and everywhere else you tend to look at each day as a reminder. Every day you should take action on something, even if it’s just a handwritten note inviting a VIP customer in for a complimentary session. Do 3 of those before you leave the studio each night and at the end of the week, you’ll have made 15 contacts you otherwise wouldn’t have. EASY!
Networking. The ability to connect with like-minded businesses targeting similar customers enables you to coop some of your advertising together and maximize referrals. Having displays, lift cards, and VIP Gift certificates for that vendor to gift to their best clients greatly benefits all parties as well.
Community Displays. Having a portrait display up at the restaurant your ideal customer shops at or their favorite jewelry store, hair salon, clothing store, or doctor’s office can make a big difference. Those places need to decorate too and what better way than with your portraits? Don’t bother contacting the chain stores. There’s too much red tape and they have their own advertising and decorating department at headquarters. You’re looking for an independently owned business.
Website. Don’t let anyone tell you a website isn’t important. It’s an important tool in your marketing inventory and one that you have the most control over the branding, design, and content shared. You should drive all your social media links towards that and make sure to include a short, inspiring video to motivate them. Check out Nicole Begley’s website – https://www.nicolebegleyphotography.com.
Social Media. Strengthen your digital media presence thru a variety of sources. Just make sure you are consistent with using it.
Community involvement. Every successful studio today is very involved in their community. They don’t just join clubs & organizations; they lead them with charitable campaigns and good causes that benefit people in the community. These situations enable you to naturally connect with other leaders in the community and develop new relationships and referrals.
Printed Support Materials. Having professionally designed and branded marketing materials give you a tremendous advantage over the competition. It also gives your customers confidence that you are trustworthy and committed to the community.
Check out a few core support materials to help separate you from the competition.
Business Card. I love Marathon Press’s Teeny Tiny brochures as it’s like a business card on steroids. With its interactive tri-fold and compact size, it’s a must-have for any business.
Brochure. Nothing says you’re a specialist better than a brochure. Regardless if you use something purse size or something bigger for impact, brochures add power to your marketing message and credibility.
Referral Cards. This is one of the easiest but most overlooked support materials to utilize. Regardless if you’re piece is fancy or a simple flat card, make sure you ask for referrals after each sales session.
Gift Cards. These are easy to have on hand and ready to use in thank-you notes, personal invitations, or at bridal shows as personal handouts to qualified brides.
Lift Cards. Having promotional cards to use with your preferred vendors is a great way to network together and expand your business. In some cases, you might have a vendor group that you can all promote on the same card and share the advertising cost to hand out in each other’s businesses.
Note Cards. Studio branded note cards that are blank inside enables you to write thank you notes or give the gift of a VIP card for a complimentary session for being a valued client.
These are just some of the things that separate you from the competition. This brings your brand to the forefront and keeps it there. It’s not any one big thing that you do in marketing but rather a combination of little things. Happy marketing!