“Here’s my whole marketing idea: treat people the way you want to be treated.”— Garth Brooks
Some photographers, including myself, are not naturally adept at marketing and, at the same time, not solvent enough to afford to hire a dedicated marketing or sales person. This means that the bulk of marketing falls on the Big Enchilada—you—but the process doesn’t have to be traumatic. Here’s a few easy marketing tips.
Business cards are your single most important marketing and promotional tool. While tiny, this card has billboard-like implications. Avoid using those generic cards from a business-card-in-minutes machine and also avoid the temptation to print cards on your ink-jet. Future clients will be less likely to toss out something with a quality look and feel especially if it has a photograph of a person on it. To them it’s a real photograph. People hang onto photo cards for years and then one day there’s a call about an assignment—all because they hung onto the card. Take a look at affordable photographic business card from Moo. Make sure the card has your website, e-mail, and social media addresses. I have different cards for the different things I do; you can read about my approach here.
Wear your company name. One successful entrepreneur I know always wears a golf shirt emblazoned with his company’s logo. These are nice-looking shirts, some are silk but all of them get attention because you never know where your next sale might come from. Several of his clients liked the shirts so much they’ve asked him to give them one, turning themselves into walking advertisements for his company.
True story: I was photographing a cars at a show in Los Angeles. On day one I was dressed in a blazer and wanted to photograph a racecar but it was surrounded by stanchions and ropes and I could never get a good shot. On Day two I wore one of my long sleeved shirts that has the Tortuga Racing logo discreetly embroidered on the front and www.joefaraceshootscars.com on the back. I went back to that same display and someone from the race team come up as says “let me move these out of the way so you can get a better shot.” And while shooting he returns and says “ Would you like one of our models to pose with the car?” Needless to say, I got much better shots. A coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.
Common courtesy. All of your marketing efforts don’t have to be expensive or even cost anything! Try smiling a bit more and never underestimate the importance of just being nice to your customers or potential customers. I think over-the-top customer service always pays off in the long run. And even if it it doesn’t, it just feels better to be nice.