Marketing for the Newbie Studio
But what I'm gonna do now is I want to show you rather going into too many of these pieces is talk to you from a marketing perspective, some of the things you should be considering as a newbie, and I'm going to show you because and I don't want I don't want everybody who's, intermediate advance to tune out to the newbie stuff because some of this stuff we still do today, it's just stuff that can be done on somewhat of a budget, and so no budget doesn't mean no marketing, okay, we've gotta ultimately get creative on start thinking about how do we want a market position? Advertise our business and that is the biggest challenge for all photographer so, guys, if you're at work and you're listening or you're at home, start paying attention, right? Stop working at your job, your real job. Pay attention to this one because it's going to get you to where you want to be, we've got to get creative. Why not leverage friends and family, friends and family are there for you. They need family pictur...
es they need people are getting married. Cousins are getting married. This is a great way to get started. Leverage them even if it's just for your portfolio, you can leverage these people who are more than willing to help you take it to that next level, right? So if you've got cousins, aunts, uncles, family pictures let them know what you're doing and why you need them to help you and they will work with you on that and so the stuff we're talking about here is the stuff we started and started playing within our first two years in business, so if we can do it in our first two years of business there's no reason that you guys can't do some of this stuff in your first two years of business. Uh, ambassador program what about starting an ambassador program for every line of business mothers for family portrait's for baby portrait's create mom ambassadors come up with a cool name for it, right? So it's not just your senior ambassadors or senior models senior wraps they could be mom's okay, give certificates for doctors, lawyers, planners I want to talk about this a little bit more. Doctors, lawyers, wedding planners all have access to high caliber clients typically so there's someone I know who up in new york she took all the acrylics that we make for virtuoso and she produced twenty by thirty thirty by forty acrylics off body parts okay? And I'm probably screwing this up but I believe it was a plastic surgeon's office and what she did was she created a display in his office off all these acrylics free of charge! In the hopes of now taking that display and driving business back to her brand, I think that's a brilliant idea. So now she's showing high caliber products in a plastic surgeon's office. The clients have typically have money that are going there. And now, she's finding a new revenue stream. That's not traditional that's. Not your traditional way of marketing. She's thinking outside the box. Sure, it costs a little bit of money. She had to buy the product to hang in there, but you don't have to start off with acrylics. You could start off with prince, okay, and and make it cost effective. But that's that's thinking outside of the box that's. An intelligent marketing plan and somebody who understands that networking and relationships can help drive your your business. So when we talk about gift certificates for doctors, lawyers and planners here's something we created and this was an interesting piece. It's it's got our old logo on it. But I'm gonna turn this on so you can zoom in. Uh, good friend of ours. Nicole. She is a financial planner. Okay. As a financial planner, you're typically helping people who have money. Plan right? That's usually how it works. People have money aren't planning for anything and so she has access to the clients. I want the clients of the future. And so what I did was I came up with a promotional piece for her to give to her top twenty five clients. Think about this. She looks like the hero. So now we have a car here and I'll flip this open. This was a christmas card. I'll just read it to you this holiday season, I would like to extend my best wishes to you and your family. Now remember, this is coming from her as a financial planner as a gift to her top fifteen or twenty five clients. Whatever number you want to honor for her there's no better time to reflect the most, uh, those most important, like express my serious thanks for both your business and referrals, but most importantly, your friendship and trust as a special gift to you, I have arranged for a free one our family portrait session and in eleven by sixteen print for you and your family with salvador cincotti photography. I personally had an incredible experience with my own family this year and would like to share this special gift with you with your family as well sincerely nicole, what an amazing gift! So I just made her look like a hero she's now seeding this for me she's dropping this into her top clients clients I would never have access to that's a referral is it not and she looks like a hero because this has got a three four, five hundred dollar value on the table one of the clients she drop this into their hands was up family that owned a bank I would never have had access to this family without there's that family we went there spent less than forty five minutes photographing individual family units photographing the entire family in the backyard of their state at their house the order was damn near five thousand dollars this is going back looking my logo you can see how old this was this is going back four five years ago into my business yes we have friends that were like oh my gosh he's so amazing to be able to do photographs for him because they have money and they're just be a good clientele to get into and they own businesses like you know dentist or you know insurance companies how do you approach them like you're a friend you know how do you approach him without being intrusive and be like hey give these to your clients like how do you that's right so how do what's the language what does it sound like how how do we do that? So when you're when you're approaching when I approached the coal on this right, first of all, it was very important that nicole had the experience with me because I don't want her handing something to her clients that she doesn't believe him. So we gave nicole and her husband a free photo shoot, okay? She had a great time, she enjoyed it, she had pictures taken in the past and she hated and so this particular time they loved him, they had a great experience, they put big prince up in their home, and then I said to her, I said, hey, nicole, I've been thinking about something, okay? I said, I'm trying to obviously we're growing our business, and I think I have a way that could benefit both of us. What I'd love to do is put together a package together of about a five hundred dollar value that you give to your clients as a christmas gift. I said, without be something you'd be interested in and then that fostered the conversation because our next question was, well, how would that work? Do they have to pay anything? I'm like no, no minimum orders, you're giving them a free photo session and a print, of course, if they want to upgrade and buy stuff they absolutely can and she's like, totally get it so she's, like, I love the idea how about we just do my top fifteen or my top twenty five write verse all her clients, so my original pitch to her was I wanted to do all her clients, but then I started thinking about him like that's, a lot of people, and she started thinking about it, too, because what she wanted to do was kind of like her mid and lower and clients right from spending money with her, maybe she's going to get them a nice christmas card, ah pie or something like that around the holidays, she delivers like an apple pie from, you know, from a local form in our area, but for her top and clients, that wouldn't made more of an impact. So imagine pitching this to friends who have their financial planners, and we produced these we didn't charge her for these, she didn't even have to pay us for it, so I didn't charge her she didn't buy this from me for five hundred dollars or three hundred dollars, that was actually the give get from me getting access to that client base. Now she let's just call it twenty five she handed out twenty five of these, I would say less about twenty five percent took advantage of this the rest didn't didn't redeem it, I don't care the ones who redeemed it spent money and that's all I care about that gave me access to annette I don't have to spend any money on marketing it's back to sweat equity, right? No money on marketing, no money on advertising. But the concept is brilliant, there's no reason you guys at home can't do this now. I could take it a step further. No, you shouldn't do just one. Launch it in parallel. Do this for financial planners. Do this for doctors do this four lawyers why wouldn't lawyers want to give their high end client right? The ones we're spending the most want money with them doctors and ones who was spending most money with them, give them a gift like this. It makes them look like a hero and gives you access to a client base that you would never typically have access to or at least it would take a long time to get on. Did you have them write like a it's? Like right there? Um, experience in the card like hey, can you write to some blurb on your experience with us that you're not bright? No, I wrote all the country here. Okay, so this copy was written by me she's too busy, so the more difficult it's a great question, by the way, the more difficult I make it for her to give these out and to put it together it's just going to sit there and die how many of you have had great ideas and then you just can't get traction with the people you're trying to implement them with because once again you're leaving your destiny in the hands of someone else? I want to control my own destiny so I knew that if I didn't put this copy together it probably never happened, so I designed the card put the copy together and then I had to approve it, of course, but that was how that's how high these people work, they don't have time for this and so this is not something she wants to spend time on proving so I just wrote something that seemed very general very true I don't want to write something that wasn't true she proved it she's like I love it, I sent it to print done on, so we handed we gave the store in an envelope she handed out. I think this is a brilliant idea, there's no reason you guys out there can't implement these something else we started doing around the holidays. What about mother's day father's day? So we started mailing out andi don't do this anymore, but we started mailing out mother's day and father's day cards just to stay on the minds of our families and encourage a family shoot and this wass pretty generic card so it's just blue pink on then you know how wishing you a happy mother's day wishing you a happy father's day just another way of touching our clients when we were doing families and babies this made sense today this doesn't make sense we don't do a lot of families and babies so this was our way of just continuously touching our client base but let's come back to this for a second maybe something another marketing idea that I've never spoke talked about before can you imagine doing something like this for realtors so think about when somebody buys a new home who's your client right somebody buys a new home they move into a new home and I'm not talking about somebody buying one hundred thousand are home I'm talking about somebody who's buying half million dollar homes million dollar homes find that realtor in your area okay who's buying your high end homes if you're telling me you live in an area where there's no high end homes I don't know where you live right? So you've got there somewhere somewhere they're building high end homes find that those people now you go to that realtor and you say as a welcome gift to every one of your clients who are moving in okay I'd like to give them a free family session and a free portrait of some size for their for their over their fireplace right? And of course, you're looking for the upgrade dollars and now they're getting access to this high level client who's buying a million dollar home they have money to spend on cards problem? Um, we just did that actually, we did headshots for one of our rules here, friends and she had such a good time with us she's, like I'd liketo give each family who gets the purchases a home from me free photo shoot and so that we're in the middle of doing that right now for them that's brilliant, I think it's going to be perfect, but but so she came to you with that idea. I want you to be more proactive going after going after them because you don't have to do it for just her. You could do it for a couple of high end realtors that are moving properties, and if you're like, well, how do I find hyeon realtors? Just go out there, drive around a high end neighborhood and you're more than likely going to see a sign right or go to realtor dot com and just start looking up homes in your area and who's the listing agent, what are you gonna find it and that's their way of doing it now? The thing is you're not you're not giving it to people who sell their home because when they sell their home their moving someplace else you're giving it to people who buy a home in your local community I think that's an important distinction to make um what about toy stores and so we talked about this once before uh toy stores we did a toy shoot if you don't remember he didn't see the last marketing episode we did imagine now you could have a casting call for a toy store so find a local toy store in your area I'm not talking about toys r us I'm talking about more of a boutique toy store that has unique toys something to that effect and now you walk in and you approached him to say I would love free of charge to take your toys if you'll be willing to give them to me not to keep but for photo shoot will photograph all the kids using your toy toys and then we'll put prince on the wall with our logo on them okay that was a marketing strategy we implemented early on and it was very, very successful so what we did was we ran a casting call craigslist at the time right today you could probably do it on facebook craigslist friends family however you can get the word out casting call they come in thirty minute many shoots and you give them a free eleven by fourteen but man if you're shooting kids for thirty minutes and you can only get one image that the parents like man you're not doing your job right you should be able to come up with plenty of images that the kids that the parents like and you should have a sail off each one of them and we did that we had a multi multi thousand dollar day just by doing all those many sessions will now we walked off printed those for the display in the store had our logo on those they were twenty by thirty prints hanging on the wall and then at the cash register we had a point of sale display and it said registered a win free photo shoot valued at three hundred dollars okay and there was a little uh pad there that they would fill out and they would drop their name in and then once a week we go collect those names pick a winner but then we had all these names that we could do a marketing marketing and direct mail too this cost me damn near nothing to implement this idea these are all things you can do as a newbie and you know the marketing piece was there was sitting in a frame right at the cash register so I pointed check out all these people were seeing that the pictures all over the walls and that led them to want to fill out and one of three three hundred dollar photo shoot it just making sense, right? Realtors, new homes. We talked about what charity's boosters I talked about yesterday a little bit. Look up every high school in your area, every church in your area. Um, every booster club you khun you confined and figure out a way to participate in their charity events and what I want you to do is offer up a free baby, shoot a free family, shoot a free engagement session, not prince. If you feel like you have to offer a free prints because you're just starting out, just offer one, okay? A free eleven by fourteen or free, eleven by sixteen everything else? Uh, you're looking to get an actual sail off that. So if you did our first year of second year, we were doing twenty to twenty five of these charity booster events that was driving twenty to twenty five new clients into our studio. So what a creative way to get new clients in some bought plenty of pictures. Some bought none. They just took their free eleven by fourteen and ran with it, but the law of averages say they're going to spend money. This is how you grow your business. This is how you hustle when you're starting out a referral program, start off a referral program now, even if you're just starting out it's not too late. Or it's not too soon I should say to start a referral program now is the time and so at this point in our career early on when you stare starting out we did a fifty dollars studio credit as a referral we couldn't afford to be toe offer more, we just didn't have the margins and so those are the things you can start right now these are ideas I believe you can actually start right now no matter where you are the idea of the gift certificates for doctors, lawyers, planners on dh you don't realtors new homes why can't that be started now? Yeah, uh, so with our studio, I also do the hair and makeup for a seniors or gland where side of it and now that I'm getting more into that and it climbs like we love us, we love this that you should be maybe going to different like high end salons, going there with like, vouchers and having them, you know, they put them in baggies have you ever done that before? As far as like high end salons or anything? No same concept. So you go to a high end salon, but what do you sell into them? So you could imagine and I'm we're just spitballing here if I went too high come on, I'd be offering glamour sessions, yeah right? That makes sense I wouldn't be going to a high end salon offering engagements or offering uh anything else to me that's like perfect for glamour so why not go to a high end salon? Okay, take the same concept have a casting call and it would be from the people in the salon think of the buzz that would happen if you photograph actually because we're totally spitballing this this is what you would do grab the all the hair makeup artist and do a makeover for them? Who cares who doesn't make up for whatever but on the walls you would produce their headshots. Okay, that's a brilliant idea now in there so I guess what's gonna happen when I'm not being makeup station and I'm doing that they're here may is this how you would do it is that I feel like I'm cutting a possible it works, but so as I'm messing with their hair and I'm doing my thing right behind me is gonna be the picture of me on the wall that's going to spur conversation between me and now my client sitting in the chair or my god where'd you go, I went to the right I went to these guys get it done brilliant idea you loving that idea of my best friends are her makeup artist in this on their way to take some of these concepts and apply them to different areas really easy really effectively because I love this idea I think it would work so now you give them and bring him into your studio give them the experience because ultimately you have to understand how the sale's gonna work the sail is not gonna work just because you got a great picture on the wall behind them the way the sale's gonna work is it they're going to talk about their experience so when they come in first of all the shoot should be at your studio music's playing champagne, wine cheese the whole thing now when they're working on the hair and they're talking about oh my god we did a girls night out was absolutely amazing we went in there we were drinking wine and cheese was amazing and this was she made me feel comfortable things like that those air how girls are going to talk about it and that's what's going to lead you to the sale and then help you khun now turn that hairstylist into one of your ambassadors so now give her a coupon card to hand out that for every refer this thing just keeps going and going right now for every coupon she hands out she gets a twenty five dollars studio credit towards her own prints that cheat she can now get or a book or something like that and so these are the kind of things we that are easy, great idea. I love that sal cayenne would like to know. Do you assume that most clients know that the free is only for shooting feet and that they, if they want images, they stuff to pay? Or do you find yourself constantly explaining that to them when they come in? I don't know where they come in, I find it to be a fifty fifty proposition because it's, the language we use, we highlight session fee act's, right? So where we're highlighting that that is a session so it doesn't say prince there's, nothing there that eludes to that so there's no reason they should get confused, but I find that when clients have a question, they actually asked before they book, so when they call in, they'll say how much you know how much to work with your studio, where however they ask, and we'll say, well, a session fee is a hundred dollars, two hundred two hundred dollars, and that gives you about an hour and a half the time, and because we deliver the message that way, if there's any confusion, they're going to ask, so that doesn't come with any pictures, no pictures air afterwards, but most of them are fairly educated and educated about it and feel they understand going into it. Yeah, they and we try to make sure the language you choose gets him there as well. So you're always gonna have some people who are confused just make sure you're not you know you're you're communicating his best you can I think no matter how much we communicate things it's like you almost have to get to a point where you like, you know, session for one hundred dollars now this is your just for your time with the photographer. Now this means there's no pictures included and so you don't want to start putting language together that talks about what's not included. Be very careful of that. You always want to talk about what is included and you got to figure the rest out with him by the way silvana photo who took the pictures for the surgeon's office is in the charente said yeah, he's talking about me yeah, and I am talking about so and I'm curious she should write in because that that thing we were working with her and virtuoso, which is the company that makes all the acrylics to get her the right deal, to get in there and make that cost effective to her for her and threw her own word I'd love for her to write in there just tell everybody how that process has worked for because it's been my understand he's been really successful he'll be great yet let us no, let us know what you think on. We will read it out, but first lets a couple other questions. Uh, alan birch from missouri. Do you want to keep a level of exclusivity with who you partner with, for example, one or two financial planners vs anyone out there? Would your gift ever lose its impact with too many partners? Agreed? Yes. So you definitely wanna limit who you're working with when you come up with these kinds of programs because the whole reason the doctor is willing to give you access to his list or that financial planner is willing to give you access to the list is because you're working with them exclusively, so it makes them look better when they're the only ones handing out your exclusive gift. So definitely want to limit how many you work with. Also, you're not looking to work with financial planners or doctors or lawyers who are not dealing with high end clients, right? So if they're not dealing with high end clients that's not somebody you want to align with, uh, at all. So keep that in mind. All right, we have a question. Um for like, weddings and seniors and, um, kind of breaking into those new markets, could you d'oh the same kind of thing that you're talking about with the financial planners and doctors and lawyers? Could you also do that same kind of gift certificate, gift promotional thing with jewelry stores as well? With that kind of fall along the same lines, you have to be careful. So with jewelry stores, you can obviously do that. But that's actually a program that I've seen implemented and not worked very successfully. So in jewelry stores, in my area, I'm assuming other parts of the country they'll do something where when you buy an engagement ring, you get a free engagement photo shoot on dh that tends not to work quite as well. So I've seen a lot of people do a lot of shooting for free and get nothing, nothing out of it. So you know my my advice and philosophies, always trying, right? If it works, keep doing it, and worst case you get burned once, right? So do it like that, but as far as the gift goes, right, if we're talking about that, you could do the gift for the jewelry store and say to the jewelry store this year for your top twenty five. Purchases in your jewelry store this is what I want to do and I think that would work versus the other way which is what I've seen implemented a jewish or does that make sense? Awesome. And if you did um charities and boosters and giving away sessions that way could you to break into the senior market, give away a senior session for some sort of event like that at our school thinking that that would no absolutely yeah high schools do have their own charity in booster event and that's where ah high school senior session will resonate they'll know what that is whereas if you go to like, you know, breast cancer awareness fundraiser maybe somebody in there knows what a senior session is on will go after but you if you put it into something that school's running for the football team baseball team that senior session is going to resonate with them so no, I love that idea sal adrian far from england had asked about giving how do you get salons or businesses? Uh the incentive to actually give your vouchers away when customers come in rather than just forgetting about them like what's in it for them do you build that relationship with them like it's definitely about relationships and it's about that referral program? Okay, so in the example we're talking about here with rachel if you go into that salon and you know, the hair stylist, you've got to give her a reason to refer you one, you gave her free prints, but now you've turned her into an ambassador. And so if it's not the hairstylist, that you're developing the relationship, it might be the studio owner. We're in our case it was the toy store owner. And at the point of sale where the cash register is, we have this on display. So it's either going to be the owner of the beauty salon where they're going to give you you no point of sail check out which will give you some exposure or getting the hair stylist to become ambassadors for you giving them either cash or ah, referral credit into your studio every time somebody comes in, because if that hair's beauty stylist comes in and loves her pictures she's gonna want more and now you're giving her a way to get more pictures so you don't find that an ever kind of falls off and that people don't really do anything with this. Sometimes it well, I mean, it's not like if you if you photograph ten people, all ten are just gonna be, you know, ambassadors good well for your business, but if you could get two of the ten three of the ten to just be ecstatic over it those become your evangelist, so to speak and they're the ones who you're going to give them the most attention teo is well, it's okay, you just got to get a feel for it. It's like anything when you're doing a coupon based system, it's never one hundred percent right? It's always going to be like that five, ten or fifteen percent same will hold true here. Great, thank you so and actually kind of along the same lines silvana photo wrote in and says so the plastic surgeon actually hired me to photograph one of his after clients. However, I don't think they're promoting me is a photographer in the area instead, I think they're just viewing the images as artwork. So for that reason there's a disconnect it's not converting the clients as easily as I had hoped. Yeah, what do you think? So so what we need to do is get a point of sale or coupon in there that they're handing hears we have to do so vanish he's a plastic surgeon. So when you go in for that plastic surgeon and you go in for a console to okay or you come in for your check up right after your surgery, you go in and you have that check up, they make sure everything looks good everything's healing right why not create an advertising campaign? I feel like I'm the marketing person to the world right now. Why not create an advertising campaign that says, celebrate the new you right? I love this, so we created it and it's a campaign and you're showing maybe before and after it because you're doing glamour stuff for but all it's all about celebrating the new you, and that becomes the gist of the campaign you could work with copy adjusted, but your it's all about celebrating the new you and you have them put this in their packet when they're done and they're leaving after their check up that's how you can start getting a little more traction so they're not seeing is just artwork, and they understand you're the one who created this artwork, so that might be the answer is to stay in touch with me. Let me know if that works. Do you have any more questions? We'll have everybody else here in the summer. We raise our hand here. Did you? You gonna say something cool that happened? We had recently just started doing our glamour and we had three just kind of friends come in, they're all really pretty, and the very first day we had any pictures posted, we got to email. Being like, oh my gosh, I want to come in, when's, your next time, we can come in. I have a girlfriend that wants to do. It was just automatic, because the three you did for free, right there were girlfriends, did it for free and ended up on their page. And all of a sudden it starts going just starts going barrel and that's, exactly how it's gonna happen to the best thing you could have done in that situation was doing for, yeah, given the experience that they're just really excited, they become your ambassadors. That's, what you have to understand that we're all going after.