Day 28 Bonus: "Charitable Marketing"
Another way to market locally and get involved in your local market places through charity events and whether you are raising money for a local charity or national or international charity you're creating this business that cares, you know, letting your community know that you are somebody that's willing teo get involved and you raise that money fundraise and do something that is for someone else so I love the idea of charitable marketing and really just the presence that it gives you in your marketplace so we started doing a charity event many years ago about two thousand so it's been, you know, twelve, thirteen years ago that we started this and we created what's called our little angels event and for ten years I did this through and raise money for the leukemia and lymphoma society which worked out really well for us as a studio. We got very involved with the organization and we're there at there main gallas and events and and we'll talk about auctions here in a little bit, but uh w...
e raise lots of money for them over the years. And then a few years ago I started a new organization called dondo amore and dondo more means giving love in spanish and we are raising money and support for orphanages and ecuador in africa so that's been something of course now that is near and dear to my heart and so after ten years with leukemia lymphoma society we switched over and now to our charity for don doa more but you know, one of the things that I want to encourage you for when you you're starting your charity event you know, back in the day I had a little bit of a hard time asking people for money, you know, thinking about the idea of fundraising even beyond ah, the ways that I'm going to tell you it works through the studio, but one thing that I've realized over time is that you know, if you aren't giving people the opportunity to give you maybe taking that opportunity away from them and you just never know who's gonna be blessed through what you're doing and through the things that are important to you so keep that in mind as you're planning a charity event make sure that you're choosing an organization or, you know, it's just something that's important to you and it may be that you have everybody in your family is healthy that's how we picked the leukemia lymphoma society was you know, I really didn't have a charity that was near and dear to my heart and but we opened up ourselves to it and I brought my team together at the studio and said, you know, I really want to do this I want to do a charity event and within days are my office manager at the time came into the studio, and her niece had been diagnosed with leukaemia, and we were given our charity, and so I really truly believe that when your heart is open and ready for these things, you're going to be given them. And so, uh, think about your charity events, and I'm gonna tell you kind of how ours works in a nutshell, I won't be giving you all the nets and bolts, but you'll get a very good idea how you can raise some great money through your studio and the way we work that in the right way we raise money is we're going tow first set up sessions through, you know, little angel sessions, and I like to do the sessions at other businesses, so I want to tie in another business into our cause and the way I find those businesses, I'm gonna look at who's advertising in the newspaper who's taking out full page ads, and I want to find out who is advertising on our local five o'clock news I'm gonna be watching that I want to look for businesses that have a lot of power in the marketplace. And with the media and so I want to tie together with them I will call those businesses and I'll let them know this is our event that's what's going on and this is how you can be involved this is how you can give back and really all I need is their space and I need them to help me advertise the event and by doing that they're gonna look really good they're hosting a charity event there helping raise money for this event they really don't have to do a whole awful lot really the truth of the matter is I want their name behind this event and so I have done this you know, just looking at those newspapers advertisement in our local news advertisement I have done these events at banks at jewelry stores at car dealerships I don't care I just want teo I just want somebody that has a space and we just set up in a small area sometimes it's been a board room it's been out on the showroom floor at a car dealership you know we'll do it anywhere we just need a little bit of space and then we need a place to sell because we are going to sell the package is for our sessions immediately following but the first way we make money for the charity is through the sessions we charge a one hundred dollar donation for each child that's photographed and that was something that I really learned the hard way the first year when I was photographing cousins and dogs and who knows what? Because it was one hundred dollars for the session and so they were trying to bring everybody into the session now it's one hundred dollars per child and so you know, yes, families will still bring their three children, but they start thinking a little bit more about who all they want to be involved in the session. They're not going to be bringing cousins and dogs so that's step number one, we're going to be making money for the charity through those sessions that hundred dollar donation per child and then step number two is really where the magic happens. We make so much money for our charity through voting and what their voting for is their favorite little angel to be chosen for our little angel calendar that we put out every year. And so what happens is is after each session I'm going to choose my favorite image of each child and that favorite image is going to be placed on a shopping cart. The shopping cart that we use is through our photo biz website and don duel more as well as my studio are both on photo biz and then they have shopping carts that you can add onto your website through photo bits, so we use that shopping cart and when we set up the shopping cart instead of, you know, setting up a five by seven and eight by ten eleven by fourteen, we're going to set up one vote, one dollar, five votes, five dollars, ten boats, ten dollars all the way to one hundred votes. Um, that that's going to be set up in that shopping cart, and then what happens is each and every family is out campaigning for their child to win as the favorite little angel that's going to go in the calendar. So we have that voting going along for a month. We raise lots of money through that in one year alone, the biggest year that we ever had. We raised almost thirty five thousand dollars through voting, so you know, it is a huge, huge campaign that that we can do to raise lots and lots of money. This is the calendar we've got, of course, twelve spots through the calendar for the one through twelve placing of the little angels, and then our thirteenth angel is our cover, which is actually number one, the one that raises the most money is going to get the cover and it's so fun, starting a project like this and mom's really will get out there and fight for their kids to be in this calendar and on the cover so it's a super fun way to raise money and even awareness for the studio it's great marketing for the studio because people are sending their friends over to vote that family over to vote so that's the second way that we raise money the third way that we're going to make money for the organization is through the calendar sales themselves and one of the things that I learned the hard way you're going to get to learn right up front but if you wanna have your calendars in another store, if you want to have him in a bookstore or a gift store someplace where they're going to be sold for you, then you need to have what's called an espn number and that's what this barcode is that goes on the back of any book any journal calendar any printed piece that is in any store magazines even are goingto haven't I s p n number and this cost us about seventy five dollars I believe each year and you confined it just by researching I s b n number and just google that you'll come up with several different resource is for that we typically just purchase ours right from espn dot or ge but there are a few other in it's less expensive places to do it um we we do go that route and pay about seventy five dollars they send this bar code to you and then this goes directly to your printer, the printer that we use for these is marathon press, and we've been really happy with the quality of these over the years we've been using them since the beginning. Um, one other thing I wanted to mention about this campaign that we haven't talked about yet is, uh, the sales that we do immediately following our little angel sessions, and we do it that way for a couple of reasons, you know, in the beginning, actually, the very first year I showed the images immediately following the session, and we did our sails right away, and it worked really well, but I also believed in the power of projection, and, you know, that whole process with the clients so the next year we thought we'd be really, really smart and bring everybody back in for their sale the next week. Well, fifty little angels on does not take next week, it takes, like next month and the month and the month after that we were photographing are showing little angel images and doing those sails forever, and it was a nightmare. And so ever since then, we've been just doing them immediately following, and I love it because it just completely cuts down our workflow were only touching the images that have been ordered, and that is a wonderful, beautiful thing. But to do that, we've got to be really prepared. We've gotta have packages in place that we're plugging people into and suggesting for people, and I'm working through that we'll talk about some of that when we talk about pricing, but I want you to consider if you're going to do an event, consider showing the images immediately following it really, really cuts down on that workflow and that those sales are the way that the studio is profitable through these events and, you know, yes, we want to give, but I always say, you know, make a lot so you can give a lot and if your profitable in near business it's going to be so much easier for you to be able to give and to be able to do these kinds of things, you know, over and over. So yes, you want to be able to give but also learned teo teo, to stay profitable and to receive as well. When you start doing charity events, you're also going to start being asked to participate in auctions and auctions can really be a great thing for your business. I know a lot of times the first thing that we think about it, so we don't want to give away the farm at an auction. And so we put up a session and eight by ten that is going to go in the silent auction well that is not going to give you much bang for your buck and it's also not going to really reach that target client that you're after so think about doing something really grand for the auctions that you really wanna have a pardon you're going to be asked to do things from school auctions teo you know little local things to the big uh events like the leukemia in the film a society or maybe something particular that you have in your town through junior league or something like that that's a higher end event those are the events that you want to do something really special for the lower and events the school events and that kind of thing I want to be able to have a presence in I don't want to participate but that's not where I'm going to plug in a thousand dollars or fifteen hundred dollar package that's really not my target market but I do want to be involved and so you can do something like donating an art piece or even just a frame from your studio and that's fine to go on the silent auction another thing that I do is I create gift certificates and those gift certificates are good for one hundred fifty dollars in the studio and they can you know sal those auction those off for a donation of one hundred dollars, so for a hundred dollar donation to the charity, they're going to get one hundred fifty dollars certificate to the studio. So those are the type of things that I want to give to the schools and the other, you know, smaller local charities because it's something that they can fundraise and due for one hundred percent of the donation, you know, it's not like selling candy bars where it's a ten dollar item and they're only getting three dollars of it or five dollars of it, you know, this is a one hundred dollar donation and they're keeping one hundred percent, so they're excited and it looks good for me in reality, you know, I'm giving five ten of these hundred dollars one hundred fifty dollars gift certificates away so their fund raising for five hundred dollars or thousand dollars they're making from the studio, but in reality, you know, one or two of them may come back into the studio, which is fine with me that's great those one or two that actually take me up on it, make the phone call coming and used that gift certificate usually are good targeted clients. Another thing that you can do is plug those people into certain events in your studio, and so our local charity are just our school when they do, they're fundraiser and somebody calls me from that we're going to plug them into a wednesday at our studio when we do winterset wednesdays and have a little bit different pricing and a little bit lower session fee for people that are in our own five zero two seven three zip code you know, so you can plan those kind of things as well so that you're not tying up prime time for your target clients if you're working with them but find little ways like that that you can tie in and could be of service and give and get your name out there and not, you know, break your bank so those are the things that we do for the smaller events I also do those for the large events because once they auction off my large item and then they can say all right, anybody who bid on that and didn't win we now have one hundred fifty dollars gift certificates to lord lord some studio that you can have for just one hundred dollar donation and then they auction those off so it's a great way for them to raise another five hundred thousand dollars looks great for my business and but, you know, it's not really giving away a lot for one hundred fifty dollars you can't really buy much at my studio so think about that too when you're setting your price point now on those large oxen auctions I want to really have a presence and so there's a couple of things that I want to do first I want to ask the charity where are your sponsorship levels and typically a sponsorship level's going to start in about a thousand dollars so whether it's a thousand dollars or fifteen hundred dollars I'm gonna look to that sponsorship level and that's where I'm going to plug in my uh my auction item and one of the reasons is I want to be on the live auction and not the silent auction I want to be up there with a high dollar items that people are excited about infighting over and bidding over so the silent auction I I'll let every other photographer there beyond that silent auction I don't require that I'm the only photographer by any means I love having, you know, five other photographers that have a session in an eight by ten on the silent auction that's fine, I'm gonna have this big item that people are gonna get excited about so it's going to be a thousand of fifteen hundred dollars I've even done in eighteen hundred dollars item at an auction at one time if somebody's bidding on that type of auction for you they are going to be your target client and you know yes when they come in we make additional income from that but that's not the point to me I want a client for life that is the whole reason for me working with somebody I want to keep working with them again and again and so if I'm bringing in that right target client who's bid eight hundred thousand, you know, fourteen hundred whatever on my auction item, that person is probably going to be somebody that I'm gonna work with want to work with again and again so you know, think about those sponsorship levels another just couple of things that have worked really well for me tio have a larger presence at these events is really communicating with the charity and finding out really just how I can be involved sometimes they'll have a slideshow that's running throughout the event and so I've been ableto plug images into that, um, you know, with the leukemia lymphoma society and went and photographed kids with cancer and did special stories on those that they ran on the slide shows when show the little angels images as well, you know, there's different ways to get tight in we've also had events where we've given away calendars we've given away thank you cards every single donor we provide the charity with thank you cards to send out I print those I encourage the cost of that I donate those with those thank you cards air going out from the charity with a gift to lauren words from studio and if you do this you can pick your your donation point you know anybody who donated over a thousand dollars I want this thank you card to go out it looks like it's coming from the charity but it's tied to a gift to the studio so those are the type of people that I want to come in so one of the things that I did start doing a couple of years ago that it was really successful was to find out who the special gas or speaker is at a charity event and so I'll just ask the charity you know, who's who's gonna be your special guest who's going to be your speaker and then we can talk about that person and when they give me their name I'll let them know you know how would you feel about me giving them a call and offering to photograph them on your behalf and have their portrait there displayed at the event? Um if we can do this, I'll go out, I'll do a session with them and then they're actually gifted with that portrait there at the event and so that is something that I'm completely donating I'm going and donating my time I'm donating the printing usually I just do a large canvas piece and then we'll have it on display there at the auction and what that does is you know, it ties me into this speaker, which everybody knows, you know, that's, the guest speaker, and then I have been, I would have photographed their family and that's on display there, and so all of a sudden we create, ah, lot more value for a product that's coming up because now I'm tied and associated with that special guest. So, um, you know, think about how you can work that way. Another very powerful thing to do is to find out who the auctioneer is and photograph that family, which, you know, that sounds crazy. But if you can do that and photograph that auctioneers family before the event, they are so much more tied to your package and so much more excited to talk about your package. No longer is it this auctioneer whose trying to auction off a fifteen hundred dollars photo package, you know, now they've been tied to you and your experience, and they can talk about it in a much different way. So lots of ways that you can add value there to your big events, the big charity events that you want to be involved in.