So what would happen if Social Media and the internet disappeared tomorrow? Not likely, but you never know! Would your business be dead in the water? We’ve talked about the importance of social media and web presence, but realistically not everyone is trafficking to your site so get out there! Here are a few simple, low cost ways to get exposure in your community that don’t take much work at all!
You don’t need a huge logo on your car (although this can help) to start conversations with people that you’re a photographer. Brainstorm small things you can do, such as carrying something with your logo on it or photography related item.
I carry my Nikon 24-70 coffee thermos every morning with me when I drop the kids at school. GREAT conversation starter. It always starts with “Whoa, I didn’t know that was coffee! How cool”, and I get to joke how you can’t even tell the difference between this and the lenses I have at home interjecting how much I love having an at-home business that allows me to be there for my kids.
Business Card Dropping
This drives my husband crazy! I’m a chronic business card dropper. Yes, this won’t always get the target client every time, but that is okay! The point of business card dropping is to get exposure. Anywhere I can leave a stack of business cards (with business owners permission), I do. I stick one in the check after paying (unless we complained about the food 😉 ). Make your business card memorable! You want it to stand out with colors, quality, and relay of information amongst all others that may be sitting there.
Expos and Fairs
Local expos and fairs are perfect places to meet people. Where’s a better place to meet brides than a bridal expo? Or families than at a family fair? Offer to donate items to be given away, or even set up a booth. Stay within budget and don’t expect direct return. The exposure of your name will pay off in the long run. See the “using holidays” section for tips on reducing your cost of marketing materials for these events! These are great opportunities to show off your work, so make sure you bring plenty of examples and don’t forget your branding materials!
Holidays can be used by a variety of photographers. Discount marketing material packaging, discount client gifts, and conversation starters! Watch for sales when packaging materials go on sale. After Christmas through after Valentines are perfect times to stock up on tissue paper, ribbon, bags, etc. Remember, when you’re figuring up your marketing materials, you should do price per unit/client. Discount items will greatly reduce this cost and leave more room in your marketing budget for client gifts! If you do shoot families and kids, TAKE ADVANTAGE! Especially if you have kids in school. Let them market for you! For example, turn their valentines or Christmas party goodies into a marketing opportunity!
Even if you’re not confident enough, or unwilling (as I am) to take pictures of your own kids (mine don’t listen to me at ALL. I hire someone), you can still do a small cutesy valentine and add your business card into it!
When people ask what you do, be proud to say “photographer”. Even on the paper work at the doctor’s office, fill in your occupation. You NEVER know if your doctor or nurse will need pictures done! And always have your business card on hand! These are just a few ideas to get out of the computer and into the path of your clients!