Branding and Marketing with a Purpose
So let's talk about marketing first of all many partnerships this is like the best thing I ever did for me sorry I'm talking too fast this is the best thing that I ever did for my business what does it mean it means teaming up with somebody who shares your same target market another business vendor ok in the baby world it means a business who targets new mama right or pregnant people yeah mama's with bellies okay my target market is women h twenty to forty five who are having a baby or considering having a baby who appreciate fine art interior design and value community and family familial relationships as well as their family history okay that's pretty much my top market I have a better safer but I should never have said that it's not quite so what you do or what I did with anders is on this still goes out today is clients get a gift card to our studio I mean you guys heard this it's a tried and true method tons of photographers have done this method because it works so I am partnered...
with a baby store in town who sells baby supplies I'm partnered with the hospital birthing classes so every single mama who takes a birth or labor education class in my town gets a gift card from us okay and those two resource is right there pretty much fuel my business. Okay, all kinds of ideas o b g y n offices they give and those of you who may be men who don't really know what happens when you're pregnant because your wives go off how would you know but like when you go to the o p y office obituary in office they give you like a bag like a welcome kit and a oh your baby like thinking you got all these resources and stuff in town to look at for bait for a newborn which is great because otherwise you would know nothing when you're first pregnant so get in that bag with a little gift card to your studio lactation consultants great great resource duel is the midwife baby retail stores, birthing centers, birthing classes maternity store's interior designers little bit of a surprising there are high end interior designers who are designing nurseries I will tell you especially in big towns like this and they are designing beautiful nurseries yeah mula mula money money okay, diaper services were like yeah in my small town of eighty eight thousand there's a company called sweet pea sized diaper surface and for moms who are in this cloth diaper cult there is a whole world of mama's who are into cloth diapers and sweet pea diaper service takes your dirty diapers, brings one of their laundry facilities and washes them all for you and returns them so you don't have to soil your washing machine with baby poop okay, what a great business talk about being in east okay and specializing in something ah lot of things but there are great I mean, this is a fantastic way to partner how cool is that funky quirky especially if your brand is kind of cute that way no more poopy diapers, you know, prenatal exercise providers, fertility clinics goldmine why? Yeah again people going like this money, you know, it costs average, I think it's forty thousand dollars to do in vitro fertilization across this country. He's too far spending anywhere from twenty five to fifty thousand dollars to have a baby and insurance don't cover it. They have money and they want a child and they want to remember and it means everything to them. This's target client right here. If we have fraternal fertility clinic and bend I would be all over it, but we don't okay big towns like this should be your first target is a fertility clinic. Pediatrician's mama's take their baby's probably six, seven times the first couple of months to the pediatrician. Great resource on this. We use it for newborns, but boy, do I use it for baby planners. Okay, people have missed the newborn session that's a great place to get the next ones and I got to do is go in there and talk to him about tit for tat and the thing with vendor partnership is you have to do you have to tell them what you do for them. It's always about the business, it's, not about you. So I'm not you getting your gift card into their little bags. It's about what you could do to get them clients. Can you do the graphic design work? Can you photograph their employees? Can you help cross market? Can you get? Do you have a good facebook following that you can help kind of promote them? What can you do for them? And don't just think about photography services, we're getting them clients. Think about other odd things you could do like, you know photo shop, right? You can put a flyer together, form that's, expensive stuff that they don't want to pay for if you can do it in trade for being able to put your little card in their gold mine. Okay, so be think out of box of the things you could do for a business that will help them. Like I have a partnership with a pr firm. I do. It ended when I first started men I was with them and it's ended since then, but I used to do their headshots for all their pr people. In exchange for them writing for press releases for events that I was doing because I need someone to write write press releases and get it out to the media so I didn't trade for clients I traded for their services I needed them so think of unexpected places where you can partner that will help you advertise displace this is my number one thing that I have and it took me about four years to get it okay and the reason I say that because I want you to know that some of these projects take a long time and they take persistence and they take pounding the pavement and you need to just be vigilant and patient we are the exclusive photographer to display in the st charles health system in central oregon we have three hospitals there are about one hundred campuses forty inch campuses up on their walls in all three facilities we have our brochures every thirty feet down the walls and it's a five year exclusive deal about to renew that got me the birthing classes so now every single hospital in redmond mattress and in bend their birthing classes every single family who comes through there gets a gift card from us at the studio that display right there made us own the newborn market invent and now no one can compete there is not another photographer in bed who specialize in newborn because they know they can't cause I own it but when I first got to bend, there were lots of newborn photographers who specialized but because we powerhouse did and went for the blood, the jugular when it comes to marketing, they kind of fade away and start especially things because they realized, oh my gosh, you know, that also allowed me to break my prices and come in and relatively expensive because I'm the only one who does it. Now when I look at other photographers around the world, there's a lot of people who do what I do, I am not steak, I'm not even I mean, I'm good but there's a lot of better ones out there than me, you say I'm saying and that's where george kind of gets on my shoulder and go, you gotta go, you gotta get better but in my market it's the best on the unique one, the best one. So you have to think that scale wise and try not to compare yourself to other because it's the kiss of death yeah, do what I say now when I do, um but anyway, this is this is actually just a sentimental side note. This is me and my boy in the room that we labored in, so I kind of no one really knows that because you how would you know, but little seminal piece charitable event this is awesome, okay, every year we put on the mommy mingle with the baby store that I partner with, and it is basically we go to mali store lots of different baby vendors, come and set up a table, and we have prices and raffles, and I grow my email list, and we do a little facebook facebook profile shots to the new mommies we do a raffle tea urn, e mails and facebook follows and just grow grow the audience and these kind of charity events that benefits the family access network, which is ah, local charity in town. These are great ways to get your name out there it's a great way to build your lists and then, of course, you can market those people on your list. Your email list is the most valuable thing you own. How have you haven't? Email is growing, not many grow it, you own it facebook, twitter pinterest that can be taken from you at a time I've had I've seen photographers their entire facebook page with a hundred thousand followers wiped out because facebook accidentally deleted it. Okay, yeah, suck bananas your email issue own you download it back it up it's yours, right? And if you market to that strategically with valuable content to your mama's, not just o fail it too limited, who cares? Valuable content? How to take a picture of the kid with your iphone how todo howto find uh what do you really want to register for when you're having a baby shower? Do you need everything? A little article on that interview experts good valuable content then every time they see their email, they're gonna want to read it. So when you do have a sale, they'll actually see it, but if you just bombard them with a new valuable information, they're going to leave you before they even opened you up. Okay? So there's strategy to email that can tell me to some incredible classes here on creative live to talk about email marketing in the business section and the business channel on things like that. So, I mean, this place is clearly a wealth of resource is for all kinds of business aspects and things like that so we can learn from outside our industry in strategy. But events like this have done great things for us. We did a holiday hiatus at my studio where it's like a holiday break for bombs same thing beginning of december, it was just for mom's it wasn't for kids, so mom's got to come with a masseuse and makeup artists we did facebook facelift, that kind of thing, it was just a break for mom for the holidays, the holidays can be so stressful I had a women for wine sense event in my studio there's, an organization called women for wine sense wine who drinking and basically these women love wine and they go into a business every couple months and this is a nationwide organization women for wine sense so there's chapters in lots of different towns and so I met the board of the woman who was on the board of that her name is erin and we had the vet my studio was catered uh got a couple senior senior people out of it senior pair tai school seniors from mom's who had high fears that's a great event as long as you're charging moms you're doing fine okay? So that's like this? Yes, I do a lot of work to put on, but they're incredibly valuable and they could be cheap because you can partner with other people and let other people put in the expense for it does that follow you? Make sense of their you can do fashion shows information fares, girls night out silent auctions, charity dinners, mini session marathons my sister launched her business doing mission session marathons for those of you who don't know my sister is a newborn photographer in southern california jenny mason photography she started a year or two before me who's the copycat she did many sessions every four weeks in a baby faith in a franchise called oh, it's not it's not. It crashed in the two thousand eight kraft was called anyway. Really high end boutique baby store. She would go into free many sessions of kids a week later. Come back to the preview appointment. Then, a week later, the customer had to come back to pick up the order. So three times that customers coming in the store the business owner loved it. She's like yes. So basically, there was a shine up sheet on the counter customers. They're buying something. Oh, three minutes. It's. Okay, we'll find up a week later they're back during their session. They buy something, especially for the shoot. Then they go out. They go away a week later. Jenny's there with the images. Look at him by their session. Oh, they're still there. They buy something and then a week later, yet they come back to pick up their photo order and they buy something that's three extra times that jenny has got that customer into their store and she's making money off of it. And she gave a ten percent cut to the store what she sold and it grew her list. Like you would not believe all those people who signed up put their emails, she got to put them all into her milton account she grew her list by, I think five or six thousand clients over the course of two or three years and then finally the store crashed in the two thousand eight tumble but lost your business. She did that every six weeks. She was in a different store. There was three or four stores around southern california. Cheetahs bounced. It took all of our equipment with her. Was it a lot of work? Yeah, she was at a studio in our garage, working out of a garage and that's how she launched. And now she's in a retail space is one of the few photographers in southern california who could afford a retail space because it's like four bucks a foot there and it's just awesome. So there are ways to do this kind of thing. Did that cost you any money? No, she just had to partner up with the person to do it. Now the problem in a market like southern california is every photographer in his and he wants to do it and it's making yourself unique enough and providing to that business owner mohr value than the other photographer. So you think about how you can provide more value to them and own the market. Your work has to be better, you have to build a better relationships. It means about communicating with people and learning to be likable the buying treasure triggers what's going to make that business by you and want to work with you scarcity, social proof likability authority all these social buying all these buying triggers that people have you need to implement to the business owner as well social media, online communities we have just developed it's still kind of because I'm so busy it's still kind of works, but I'll let you guys look at anyway when I was pregnant in bend there was literally no place to go like is here with positive pregnancy test going oh my god, what a day you like how where I go o b g y n I guess I better call my o b that was my first phone call, right? But then from there you're like, ooh, I need holy crap to make a nursery oh crap stroller by going where I go you know you just you just like there's overwhelming you don't want to do you don't know howto think your body's doing like weird funky stuff because that's normal. So the baby brief me and belinda built the website that is the resource for information event for any pregnant mom are there photographers on here? You betcha every single one in my market and they're on there for free it is a service that I provide to my community for my mommy's I want them to have every single resource possible when they are pregnant, what to do, where to go, who to talk to their options there's block post there's information on what you should experience when you're pregnant what's normal what's not I mean it's just it's a local resource for mommies and I the reason I put other photographers on there because I want it to be authentic, honest and trusted if I only put me on there oh, she's just self serving and myself serving hell yes, but I don't want it. I mean, I want to be true. I want to be true to the mom more than I want to be self serving doesn't make sense and this has been great and the audiences slowly following I advertised in the local parenting magazine and we need to baby sit a little bit more and do some more stuff with it it's been it's been hanging out for a while. We need to like to inject some life into it but this is a great, very inexpensive thing for you to do in your town. Is that a lot of work? Yes, but once it's up it's up you just gotta baby sit okay, now we have businesses who target new mommy's calling us and going how do we get on that they want to party with us and our next step is to make a card and handed out to all the businesses who we put on there and go oh this is a resource for your new mommy stoppable and now they're gonna wanna partner with us are going do stuff with us and again it's just going to grow everything upward to be the leading baby resource provider including photography in town so steal this do it then handed out and say oh we're doing this it's a couple of free service and the business is going to be looking at you like what's what's the catch no catch just wanna provide a good service for families in town eventually what we might do a baby fair but if you want your they'll see you on there were happy to do articles if you want to provide some kinds of articles for it we'd love to get you on there and promote you as one of the resource is in town you're basically give me free advertising if I write an article about my business and my service yeah okay first I don't believe you but when they go on there and they see the resource and they see what we're doing they go is a really cool what a great idea I want to be a part of it okay what about advertising should you advertise should you spend that money do you have to why don't you trade for it the whole I trade for it ben ness comes out every quarter and I don't always do the cover this was the valentine's day cover we did and I get to advertise full page, innit for free we're next week after boot camp I think were photographing the holiday gift giving guide all the kids will come in and we'll get the cover again fall cover and not only do I get half full page my business I got a half page for the baby brief so not only is our business being advertised but there's a whole other out in their fur for the baby ruth community and we trade for it direct trade dollar dollar it's awesome. Okay, it's a day out of my day one day every quarter were half this shoots for it after process images but it's working okay, so there's lots of little parenting magazines like this around town that you can help do. And is there another photographer in there who already owns that may be, but they love variety. I wanted to be the only one to own that they wouldn't let me they're like no, we need variety and photographers so we're gonna get a lot of different photographers to help us out with this. Okay, cool, so that means that you might look your parenting magazine in town to go o someone's already owns that no, they don't get in there and asked to contribute asked to contribute the first time for free and see if they like your work. We have to pay for that. I give you advertising nothing if they don't like your work when they want to go for it. That way they contest you out without any risk, and if they like your work and you do a good job and all of a sudden you have a partnership going on, trades are wonderful. I trade with my social media manager, sarah daily media. She rents space out of my studio and I get free social media marketing for free. She does my facebook, she does, my twitter, she does, we're both on pinterest and I'm on instagram and I'm on periscope, but now we have a facebook group that all but I'll tell you about a minute, I'm the one who's in that because she doesn't, you know it's an education things so she doesn't really know the talking knowledge, but in our jewel images facebook page, she's one post on there all the time and all I do is she gets free rent and I get three social media, so she baby sits my social media and it's awesome there's got to be ways for you guys to trade all social media management companies need imagery imagery is what pushes on social media videos and imagery are what people look at and social media marketing companies need imagery if you provide them in reggie my gifts free social media marketing and you have to baby sit the beast and frickin facebook is something gotta baby sit every day good grief that thing is a monster it needs to be fed like crazy okay, thank god for sarah I'm now by the way third does this for the photographers so if you want to look her up, go for it um creative promotions could easily be accomplished on a budget budget and I think I've shown you guys some tactics. These basic tactics are what I've been doing since day one I don't pay a dime for marketing do I have time like try to make sure I don't know I don't spend any cold hard cash on marketing now does it cost me to put up a display? Yes, of course it cost me a bit to put on an event yes, of course, but I am not paying thousands of dollars to advertise in the magazine every month at all. I won't it's a waste of money to me ok my display costs of minor fortune I have about a hundred campuses up in all three facilities we printed and wrapped and stretched every single one ourself I could have spent two hundred dollars a campus lab they maybe want to give me a discount? I end up spending about forty dollars a campus because I bought a printer I learned how to print I learned how to stretch and I learned how to rap my husband did in our garage for a month straight okay, so I end up spending about ten grand total on the printer on the ink on the paper and on the stretcher bars for the entire hospital system. The materials alone were only about five or six thousand. Now I have the printer and now I can print all my competition prince I can print stuff for clients. We have a whole fine art line. We do watercolor paper and deck allege prince we doing caustic work I do stuff that's so unique that only I could do because every printer so I elevated my brand just cause I don't want to pay a lot of the lab doing this darn display so happy accidents do happen and I encourage you to look for those and it also increased my skill set and now I can print so I encourage you. Yeah, it was huge learning curve oh my gosh, there are times when I wanted to beat that printer across the room but well, I'm telling you it's a learning curve it'll take a while you have fish papers, be patient with yourself but that initial investment that ten thousand dollars has made me almost half a million in gross revenue over the four years three or four years that's a lot of money because about eighty five and ninety percent of our clients come from those hospitals so how long did it take me to get that display three years I oh I can't tell you the number of red tape and roadblocks I ran into trying to get that hospital display and it finally was a little stroke of luck but it was also who I knew and the reason it was because I knew I knew because I had built up a network of people trying to get in and I learned who people were and finally found the right person and that person happened to be the guy who was head of contracts for st charles and he had a baby his mother book the session for me couldn't even pay for it at the time because she was so broke for some reason I took it anyway god heavenly divine intervention I don't know what it wass but when they came in for their session I had fifty bucks in my pocket from that mother they don't even know because she didn't want the kid that she didn't want the the dad the guy who was at st charles to know that she couldn't pay for it if you wanted to go it was a gift and when I found out that he was head of contracts within a month, I have a meeting with the family birthing center charge nurse we had a plan and by tuesday I had a signed contract from the from the cfo ok, so it was really who you know and for some reason I book that session and even though I wasn't paid for it and so do leo, you little serendipitous things will happen like that throughout your your your career but the threes and I got it because I'd done the three yearswork prior so when you run into a roadblock don't take no for an answer sometimes you'll have to marinate on the no for a little while. Okay, what am I gonna dio do this a year ago by and you'll meet somebody on jack new blood into you and you'll keep at it again just keep at it that's one thing I learned from being in photojournalism is teo never take no for an answer so remember you will need to market hard in the beginning it stinks I know been there done that got the t shirt okay, it is not fun and it's a lot of work and it will take up every ounce of your time to do so be strategic and who your partner with do not partner with every tom, dick or harry ok, they must match your target clientele it's pointless if you're gonna party with somebody who's horseshoe okay partner with people who really aligned with your target market too make sure you hold up your end of the bargain don't drop the ball at all cost big projects sometimes take years to get and some promotions worked some don't but the fish always know you're there I like in marketing to fishing fly fishing because I like to fly fish sometimes you're gonna have a sage pole top the line perfect line beautiful conditions water's perfect the fissure biting the may fly yours yeah that's gonna happen forget don't bite. You just spent all that money on that stage with rod you're all grumpy and pissed as hell because it's not working sometimes you go out there with a bamboo pole in a rusty hook and nobody uncatchable okay? They always know you're there on the banks of the river no matter what marketing effort you do no matter how much you spend on it whether it's a sage fly rod or a bamboo pole with a rusty hook on it they always know you're there and whether or not they bite depends on your brand and whether or not your brand appealed to them at the time so make that brand unique make it solid make it you make it authentic and own it and do not deviate from it because whether or not they bite depends on father are not they like what you're offering at the time. Fishing marketing is fun that's why they call it marketing, not client getting just like fishing that's, why they call it fishing and not catching. Okay, you have to enjoy the process of fishing of marketing. We all want to catch a client, but you won't always catch a client it's just the way it happens. But marketing is a lot of fun and its strategic and if you when you do catch a client, yes, perfect tense, you cast baby. Okay, so be patient with yourself and try to just go. They know I'm here even if the marketing effort you did at that particular time and wasted a boat on a lot of money on it's working just not quite immediately in your eyes, okay? And you're getting good at fishing. In the meantime, you gotta practice so back to this client cycle we've talked about getting new clients in we've talked about brand appreciation, and in the next segment we're going to talk about what happens when they actually call you.