Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Hard copy marketing – expensive, but worth it?

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  • #988816
    OpusNOIR Photography
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    Greetings all,

    A while a go I read an article posted by FS entitled “Are you chasing field mice, or are you chasing antelopes?” (I may not have the exact animals or the order thereof correct but you get the idea) The point of this article was that one lion may spend all day and a lot of energy catching small “prey” (clients) and not replace that energy with the resulting meal, whereas another lion may spend a small part of the day stalking and catching a large beast and have a couple of good meals, and even be able to have the next day off!

    This got me thinking, my target market, realistically are larger businesses who have budgets for photography. Clients I have approached or who have approached me thus far have very little capital to invest in photography and I find my self having to discount and offer freebies to get the job which is not good. The alternative is they get somebody “cheaper” and I lose the job altogether.

    Suggestions I have had from a couple of people have led me to the idea of producing a small but impressive printed portfolio to send to prospect clients. I can instantly identify 2 problems with this:

    1.Cost. With no guaranteed ROI and the need for this to be a high end attention grabbing marketing device, I am looking at about $600 for 10 portfolios. Having recently lost my “day job” and struggling to find clients, this is quite a risk – but I am more than prepared to take it if it will bring results.

    2. Getting it into the right hands. This is possibly more of a challenge than the first. How do I find out the right person to send it to and make sure they get it?

    Any comments, suggestions etc would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks :-)

    #1169051
    MissSassy
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    I think you have answered your question here

    A cost saving idea may be to do a virtual portfolio that you can take on a IPad or similar. There a plenty of creative ways to market your business to clients.

    Networking is really one of the best ways that photographers can get their message out.

    #1169052
    OpusNOIR Photography
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    Thanks Kelly, however I have tried various forms of digital marketing and networking.

    99% of the time they do not work for me.

    The 2 clients I have found in this way are the one’s I have had to both work for free for and then offer heavy discounts, with the alternative being simply not getting the gig.

    What people don’t appreciate now in the digital age is how amazing a printed images, as opposed to a digital image can look. Emails, messages via social media and so on are very easy to ignore, delete without reading, or they simply go to spam folders and are never seen. I have various online portfolios and of course my own website, however I am talking about the impact of a printed image and getting in into the right hands.

    #1169053
    bluepenguin
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    When you start a business, you need to explore a variety of marketing channels and methods, until you can work out what works best for you.

    For many businesses, there just isn’t an off-the-shelf solution that will bring you instant marketing success. You could have 2 identical businesses side-by-side, and what worked for one, wouldn’t bring the same results to the other.

    So, even if you were to spend the money and realise that it didn’t bring enough ROI, it wouldn’t be wasted, as you’d be one step closer to finding something that worked.

    #1169054
    IncredibleCo
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    I read an article a few days ago about a man that got 12 clients in 2 days by making a calendar. He didn’t have the calendar – he was going to make it and just approached business who wanted to be in the calendar until he got 12.

    How about you make a coffee table book (or similiar)?

    Get your work on an ipad (I like that idea) and approach your chosen “prey” in person. (requires guts).

    Show them your work in person and pitch the idea of a coffee table photography book. Each business will have professional photography and short expose’ written.

    Not only will this create exposure for each of the businesses you approach but allow you to get investors without spending any money.

    As this is good for local business you might be able to get a story written about it and published in a newspaper. Etc.

    #1169055
    Anonymous
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    Hi Alister,

    I’m thrilled to hear that my article resonated with you. If you’d ever like to read it again, you’ll find it here: Are you chasing field mice or antelope?

    For my two cents worth, when I hear you say this, it makes me worry that you might not spend your limited budget wisely:

    Quote:
    my target market, realistically are larger businesses who have budgets for photography

    I think if you dig deeper into this, you’ll find it easier to work out how to approach the right people. For example do they have budgets for photography for their website, their press ads, their CEO’s portrait in the annual report, or for artwork for their offices?

    When you think more about what makes them buy, you’ll be in a better place to create the perfect approach, whether it’s online, offline or via networking.

    Good luck!
    Jayne

    #1169056
    help4bis.com
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    OpusNOIR Photography, post: 196016 wrote:
    What people don’t appreciate now in the digital age is how amazing a printed images, as opposed to a digital image can look. Emails, messages via social media and so on are very easy to ignore, delete without reading, or they simply go to spam folders and are never seen. I have various online portfolios and of course my own website, however I am talking about the impact of a printed image and getting in into the right hands.

    You are sooo spot on it is simply not funny. I had no real idea until recent, the “boss” is constantly asking for a better printer so got a brother all in one… Needless to say that that one went flying out the door with some interesting words.

    We now calibrate our monitors, printers and cameras every month… until you do such a thing and print on a proper printer, you have no idea what the differences are. It is like day and night.

    Back to you, photography it is an art, selling it is a skill. The question is for you.. do you focus on the sale of a photograph or do you focus on the sale of your services.

    I have no idea about your previous job etc but what I do know is…. areas you might have a crack at… Do some research into construction, mining etc. reason for that is progress photos. The digital age has given us the ability to show things in any way shape or form.

    Would you be having a “ticket” to enter a building site to take pictures of the construction then you can market that for their brochures, training and induction manuals, safety manuals etc. It is not what you want but it gets you well…. doing photo shoots.

    How do I get about this.. i am involved in a big coal terminal project (only 7 world wide), technical drawings ample… but no pictures…. some of the stuff you will never see again…

    Anyway just a thought…. not knowing your situation… but if you can use photography to improve your skills in another area then you might get some tax money for that. It shows diversity etc etc.

    I know, a complete different spin…. Same applies for car dealers…. there is really a lot to have taken pictures off…

    H
    Ps… Join up with SandraS, she does photo albums…. perhaps you can struck a deal … who knows.

    #1169058
    help4bis.com
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    See that is what I am talking about :-), that is how it should work LOL.

    So OP,

    Time to get up and hit the pavements, get to those offices that have waiting areas (eg car services have coffee areas) they NEED a COFFEE TABLE BOOK showcasing their company. Not a novel, just a picture book.

    Snap a few shots, put some text on it from their marketing department, have http://photobookmoments.com.au/ make the books and presto you are in business.

    Not your end-goal, but money, experience, examples, showcases and recognition coming in.

    Let us know how you go.
    help4bis

    #1169059
    bb1
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    Are larger business’s really your target market or your percieved nice to have market.

    Why especially when you are starting out limit your thinking to only the big end of town, aim for them, but pick up the small fry on the way, this will allow you to gain experience, a portfolio and a list of referreals and job history.

    I picked up my biggest client because 6 or 7 others had knocked back a waste of time 1/2 hour job, not worth the drive to go do. Well I did the drive, did the job, put out some feelers, and ended up scoring a $20k plus job from what at that time was a $25.00 job.

    I now target the larger jobs, but that has come with a few years of building up to it, but the kids and I never starved along the way, but had I aimed at only the larger business’s I am guessing there would have been a few struggles on the way.

    Dont limit youself to what is your percieved i would like market, start elsewhere and work to it. That little old grannie wanting a single photo of her pet rabbit, could just be the CEO of some major company

    #1169060
    OpusNOIR Photography
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    Wow thanks everyone for the great ideas and insights, I will definitely look into some if not all of these! For some reason I was not being notified of replies to this post so please excuse my late response.

    Thanks again :-)

    #1169061
    Anonymous
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    OpusNOIR Photography, post: 197112 wrote:
    For some reason I was not being notified of replies to this post so please excuse my late response.

    Hi Alister,

    To be notified of replies, head to the Control panel (the link is in the grey bar above the forum), and choose Edit options. The option for subscriptions is about halfway down the page, and is called Default Thread Subscription Mode. Just choose the option from the drop down menu that suits you best, and then scroll to the bottom of the page to save your settings.

    Hope that helps,
    Jayne

    #1169062
    OpusNOIR Photography
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    Thanks Jayne, I have set that up now.

    I have drafted an approach email that I was about to send to one of my dream clients and I thought, “wait – this is a bridge you don’t want to burn!” so i thought I’d seek some feedback first…

    Hello! I am a fashion photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. I am a huge fan of the Illamasqua aesthetic. I would like to send a printed portfolio to the relevant person to be considered for Illamasqua’s photography needs. I would very much appreciate if you could help with providing a name and postal address. Kind regards….

    …and I also realised that due to my car breaking down a few weeks ago I no longer have the funds for printing…

    I’m still of course open to assignments from clients of any size, but I’m keen to test this “aim for the top” approach as well!

    #1169063
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    Hi Alister,

    Some ideas…

    In your email it sounds like you haven’t done much homework. I think it would be much better received if:
    -You already knew the name/email of the relevant person.
    -You were able to talk about what you like about their aesthetic and how that relates to your photography.
    -You could show that you have some understanding of what their photography needs might be – where might they use your photos?

    As it stands, you could be sending the same email to 100 companies by simply replacing the name. This is the giveaway (when I get emails like this) that tells me that it’s not an email I need to pay attention to.

    Hope that doesn’t sound too harsh, and best of luck. :)

    Dave

    #1169064
    OpusNOIR Photography
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    FS Forum Support, post: 197969 wrote:
    I think it would be much better received if:
    -You already knew the name/email of the relevant person.

    Hi Dave, thanks for the feedback.

    Finding the right person to send the email/portfolio to is kind of the point…. I’m trying to get past the “gate keeper” to make a meaningful contact.

    Can you suggest another way to get through to the right person?

    All your other points are spot on, and no, it doesn’t sound harsh :-)

    #1169065
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    OpusNOIR Photography, post: 198097 wrote:
    Hi Dave, thanks for the feedback.

    Finding the right person to send the email/portfolio to is kind of the point…. I’m trying to get past the “gate keeper” to make a meaningful contact.

    Can you suggest another way to get through to the right person?

    All your other points are spot on, and no, it doesn’t sound harsh :-)

    Any sales experts around here will know better than me, but I’d research their company website, company linkedin, Google, or anywhere else to get some ideas/names. Email is hard because it’s so easily ignored – with this in mind you can imagine that Email < Phone < In Person. Dave

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