Mastering Marketing Questions & Answers

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1 Mastering Marketing Questions & Answers Advertising Q: How do you feel about television advertising for your studio? A:(Farrah) I ve seen a couple of people who have done some fun commercials, but I m not seeing that a whole lot. Probably because for a lot of markets it is cost prohibitive and really expensive to create something that looks great. I think that there is so much that can be done through social media. You can make the same video and instead distribute it on the internet versus on TV. And I think there is something that is a little bit untrustworthy about the television that s my personal take. It is infomercials and commercials and less about true connection. I m not sure if it is the right realm for photographers. (Wendy) The more specific your marketing is to you demographic and knowing your target market, the more success you are going to have. I think the rule of thumb always was to market to people who are like your clients. I think the TV is so broad. I get approached by magazines, but it is not a good fit because it might go out to someone who is not a good fit for my studio. Look at the type of studio you want to be and determine if TV is going to be overkill or if you are going for large numbers, it might be a good fit. Q: What is more effective for you, an ad campaign or word-of-mouth? In my case I received few clients for ads. A: (Adrian) For me, ads have never been a good return on investment. Set yourself apart by doing something different and doing it well. Create a great experience with your clients and nurture wordof-mouth. Q: What are everyone s thoughts about using Google Adwords to advertise your website? A: (Farrah) I haven t paid anyone to do that. A photographer friend of mine bought a book (like a Google for Dummies book), did every single step in the book and now he is on the first page of Google. So, I think you can do it yourself if you have the time and tenacity to do what is required. I would try that first before I paid anybody else money to do it. (Wendy) I am paying someone to do it and I keep forgetting to call and cancel. AN-NE Marketing Awards Q: What are the AN-NE Marketing Awards? A: The AN-NE Marketing Awards competition celebrates the effectiveness and creativity of photographers marketing activities from campaigns to individual pieces and websites. The competition is currently being remodeled and more information will be available in January 2011.

2 Q: For the updated AN-NE Marketing Awards, will there be two awards, one from official judges & one from fellow photographers? A: There is a possibility of two awards. However, the actual Best of Category awards will be given based on the professional judging. There may be an additional award for an overall winner, a People s Choice Award. This People s Choice award winner would be chosen by PPA members at Imaging USA, and it would be a choice among the Best of Category winners. ing and Mailing Q: How do you come up with mailing/ lists? A: (Wendy) It is something that is built up over the years. You don t really want to buy lists or steal names from people because you will cause yourself more problems and headaches. Whenever you are doing any kind of contact with someone get their address. We have a call sheet with a list of information to ask for when someone calls in, and address is on there. Even if we have a small sign up where someone is registering to win something, the address is always on there. I have a really good friend who owns a prom and pageant dress shop and her target market of seniors walks in and out of her doors every day. She wasn t a very good marketer. She knew her dresses, but she didn t know how to send postcards or that kind of stuff. I gave her a form to have clients fill out with their name, address, , if they are on Facebook, school and graduation year. We would get those, provide her with an Excel spreadsheet and help her do a mailing. Now she s doing it all the time, sending thank you cards and doing a lot more marketing. Look for a place where you can obtain that information and that person doesn t mind because they provided the information. Q: Do you use an marketing service? A: (Wendy) Yes, Campaigner.com Q: For your marketing, do you do this yourself, or do you pay an marketing company? A: (Wendy) I do it all myself and will be offering classes soon. Marketing for New Businesses Q: What marketing items did you first send out to introduce yourself to the community to let them know you are available for business? A: (Farrah) The first thing I did, and this was a long time ago and I was less in touch with my own marketing back then, was a big oversized postcard, probably 12x6. It just had images, a tagline, a logo, phone number and website. It was really simple and an intro piece. I could leave it in stores. At the time, that was really kind of all I knew to do and I think it was fine. You can print those types of things so inexpensively and if you have ways to distribute them that are effective, then it can be a good thing. (Adrian) I would agree with everything that Farrah said. Also, even though you may just be starting and maybe you re still trying to figure out your branding, but whatever you do, make sure that it is memorable and different. As a society, there are so many marketing messages everywhere so we get where we kind of tune things out, so make sure that yours stands out from anything else that people might see.

3 Marketing Products and Items Q: What specifically does Farrah use her t-shirts for? A: The t-shirts are freebees we give them away. I give the t-shirts out at our maternity and newborn sessions. We usually do it right at the end and tell the client that we have a little present for them. We will go and get the t-shirt, which is wrapped in a cloth bag (and we always tell them that the cloth bag just so happens to be the right size for a small wet wipe container and a single diaper this gives them a use for it so they don t throw it away). People love them they will send me pictures of their kids in my t-shirt. Q: Are there certain key pieces you should include in marketing campaigns? For example: pricing, bio, etc.? A: (Adrian) The number one thing would be contact information and your portfolio. People need to know how to get a hold of you, so your address, phone number and website. And depending on what marketing piece it is will determine if you are going to include more than that. If it is a brochure, you can include a bio so that people feel like they know a little bit more about you. Include your background, show your personality and why you re doing what you re doing that way your clients have a more personal connection to you. I personally do not put my pricing on marketing pieces. What you could do is make a separate pricing piece. Sometimes my pricing changes, so I don t want to have to nix marketing materials that I have invested money in. But if that is something you want to do and it is cost effective, then it is totally fine to include pricing on a marketing piece. (Farrah) I second everything that Adrian said. On the pricing issue, one of my mentors, Tim Walden, always says that if you are marketing on price, you can always be out-marketed or beat. He feels very strongly that your marketing piece should market solely based on emotion and not price, so that is what I try to do. I do have some pricing though, like on my website we have a price menu that we send people right before the consultation. But, as far as marketing pieces, the only time I might include a price is if it was a promo if it is a special session fee or if there is a special price and a reason to include it. Tradition things like brochures and general use items, I would not put prices on. (Wendy) I don t put pricing on anything. In fact, we don t even price lists that leave the studio. We have a price book. Price is just a small part of the experience. A lot of times people will call and ask how much a 8x10 is and they usually ask that because they don t know what other questions to ask. So, we kind of steer them away from that not that we don t want to give them pricing, but don t want to be competing a just price. We are dealing with art, style and experience you can t compare that. It s not apples-to-apples, and that is what we tell people. Price won t do them any good unless tell them if it is in their budget. Q: What is one of the key items you suggest a photographer have to catch the eye of the consumer (besides a business card)? A: (Adrian) Whatever you give them, MUST be memorable. Your business card and website are many times the very first impression you'll make on a potential client. Make sure those are top notch (and memorable) before you move on to other pieces.

4 Q: Adrian, who did you go to when you were trying to brand your logo and did you have the modern look in mind or did you have help with that? I'm stuck trying to get help with the logo. A: Yes, I took time to evaluate what I wanted to communicate to potential clients and the elements I was drawn to. Hire a professional graphic designer and they can help you with the logo, but be sure you know yourself so you can present the designer with good info. Marketing Campaigns Q: What are Adrian s three style words? A: Playful, modern and vibrant. Resources Q: What packaging companies do you recommend? A: (Adrian) Nashville Wraps has been GREAT for me! Q: What was the name of the book that Adrian recommended? A: Blink by Malcom Gladwell Q: What would you recommend for studio management software? A: (Wendy) PhotoOne also an online version called P1Wired. Social Media Q: Do you find that Facebook and other social media brings in business? A: (Adrian) I think they are good mediums to stay on people's minds. The more potential clients are thinking about you, the better! Q: I have been told that Facebook is a good marketing tool. What do you think? A: (Wendy) It can be good depending on how you use it...it is just a piece of the whole marketing puzzle. Studio Practices and Products Q: Do you offer coupons or the like? A: (Farrah) We don t do a traditional coupon, but we do a gift certificate during the holidays as a part of our holiday gifting. We do folded bookmark things from White House that look like a gift tag and we put it on the order that the client picks up. So, they ve already spent money and they re already a client. Its fun and, honestly, I don t get that many of them back. We also do a referral program which has been really good for us because I get almost all of my clients through word-ofmouth. What we do, is whenever a client picks up their order they get a stack of these little referral cards that we make for them. It has their kid s picture and name on it and if someone comes with that referral card, then both people get a $100 credit on their account. It s pretty generous and people are surprised by it and they love. I have some clients who have $500 credits on their account and that is totally okay. So, it is not a coupon, but it is a way for them to save. (Wendy) I don t really do coupons. My rule of thumb is that I never discount my portraits because we are trying to maintain the brand, worth and value. But with frames, session fees and other little add-ons we have some flexibility and can so specials.

5 (Adrian) We don t really do coupons either and I don t ever really discount my work. We do gift certificates sometimes during events or certain times of the year. They have an expiration date on them. They are put in very nice packaging with multiple layers and different paper textures, which matches my other marketing pieces. It is something that might entice them to book a session or check out our website and make a mental note about us and become a client later on. Q: Do you sign your portraits? A: (Wendy) Yes! I was told to do it digitally, but I just can t do that it s not as personal.

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