getting the word out

Getting the word out

This is a blog about marketing photography and we’re just now talking about websites? Gathering up your best images and putting them on a website is a challenging but really fun part of marketing. It’s also a step that people want to put ahead of too many other important details. A website is now an essential part of marketing but it’s not the beginning and end of the process, it’s just one of the important steps.

In the past few marketing installments we’ve looked at what you want to sell, what your competition is doing, who you are going to sell to and what makes you and your photographs unique and special. Hopefully you can see that, by thinking through the previous steps, you will be able to create, across the board, more effective, targeted marketing materials. Speaking of targeted, that’s an important word, especially in this conversation.

I think of marketing as two basic approaches, “blanket” and “targeted”. Blanket means you throw a big blanket of marketing over a bunch of prospects and hope there are some takers for your product or service. An example of this would be printing up a flier for your pet photo business and putting them on the windshield of every car at the local market (make sure it’s okay to do this first). You will hand out hundreds of fliers but only a portion of those recipients may be pet owners (potential customers).

Targeted marketing means you’ve done your homework and identified a smaller number of prospects that you will direct your marketing to. Now take that same flier and venture inside a veterinarian’s office. You may only hand out a dozen fliers but it’s a good bet that every one will be to a potential (pet owner) customer.

Both methods can be effective and both take time and energy. You use a lot more energy and paper when distributing the blanketed materials at the market and so the targeted approach seems more efficient (and I agree with that thought). But the targeted method did require your time to research prospects like the vet’s office. I say concentrate on targeting marketing first. Identify your prospects and go where they are.

Whew, this is supposed to be the overview on marketing so I better start generalizing a bit and get on with other business. Details can follow in future posts. Here are the basics of getting the word out:

Put together a business card, website and printed materials that show your shiny new logo and that express who you are and what you do. Tell anybody and everybody about your new business, from friends and family to the marketing prospects you identified earlier. When you do get a job, work really hard to please the customer. Then they will tell their friends and family about you. Word of mouth marketing is where it’s at.