9:15 am - Relationship Marketing
And we're actually going to jump back into marketing, and I've referred to these things already. I've talked about relationship marketing, I've talked about event marketing, and we're actually kind of backtracking and working backwards here. I wanted to talk about the dog days of summer yesterday because obviously we're here for pets, and I wanted to give all that content in in a lot of detail, but really, the truth is I didn't start photographing pets until five years ago, I had a whole business that I built, you know, seven years prior to that that I was doing events, I was doing things like dog days of summer, it wasn't dog days of summer, but to grow my database to get clients in the door on it was the same sort of concept with the events and the relationship, marketing and working with vendors, so I'm actually going to talk about other events we've done, so they're not necessarily pet driven, but I like to talk about the bigger picture because it's been really key to my business a...
nd how we grew our business and why I part of the reason why dog days of summer was successful is because we had a huge database we could email blast out, too, so I'm going to talk about how you get get that database through your relationship, marketing or through these other events um, so just just a few things with relationship marketing. Um, I keep calling it relationship marketing, and I don't call that display I've little story, so you can understand what I mean, specifically with relationship marketing and what that means when I first started attending conferences and going to things when I started my business, you know, years ago I kept hearing speakers talk about displays and getting displays and working, you know? So so I'm not creating these concepts, you know, like, get your images out there, get him in the public, and I was like, ok, cool, like I could do that, like that's, not too expensive, and I started talking to people and I started trying to get a display. Well, I finally got one, my very first display, and this is one of the things of what not to do just so you know, don't be taking notes of what to do here, so I really didn't understand, and I didn't term the use the term relationship, marketing I was using the term it's like like, okay, just need the images out there, people will call me, you know, have your contact information and I put it on display in our local airport. That was brand new. So it was beautiful. I thought this looks really nice. Save these nice new display cases, there's. Lots of people, you know, everything seemed right. Like lots of people going in and out of here. It was only a couple hundred dollars a month. I did have to sign a three year lease, but I thought that's one session like, you know, if I could book one session a month it's paid for return on investment is good. So that and this was the first one and I learned from it and you can learn from it without making the same mistake three years it costs ten thousand dollars. Okay, uh, we got one phone call in three years that I know of and I actually had a receptionist and I'm not even the one normally answering the phones at that, you know, at that time in our business and I happen to answer the phone, the one phone call we got and it was a maintenance guy and he said, hey, this's joe, you know from the airport and mean, my buddy have a bet and we were, like, wondering, is that image in your display of a mother daughter or two sisters that's the phone call I got for ten thousand dollars and so I was right and then there was a couple of times I flew out of that airport and totally screwed it up because I'm sitting there and I'm watching people actually look at the display and I couldn't help it and I finally I hop up there and I'm like, do you like those? And I start talking about business and they're like kind of I freaked him out you just sit here at the airport, you know, like talking to people and say, look at your images s oh, that didn't work and then another time I saw somebody I know they're just using it as an arm rest and they're just leaning up against it and nobody can see the images. So what I learned is that I'm not going to play pai for a display so that's my number one thing I would suggest you do not get into a situation, I'm not saying one hundred percent don't do it, but really maybe get some consultation from some other people before you would sign any sort of lease or pay for display because I truly believe there's so many opportunities where you're only cost would be the prince and you you're not locked in financially so much so that the other thing when I started referring to miss relationship displays and going about this in a better way is when it seems so straight board but really what went wrong there like what is missing out of that scenario what is it that I need to mix a display work and I had the main thing is there is no person there is no relationship there is no contact so the difference being let's take dogs okay the dog bakery let's say there's a dog bakery you have solicited them or talked with them of a hey let's have a partnership here I'd love to decorate your new store I will provide those images you know for free and it's not that they own those and you're displaying in their space and maybe if they have a pet or or an animal that they could be in the you know the images and the shots give them some images for their facebook page social media and so you're again helping each other so there's a relationship there the beauty of that is and I'm not charging them for that like I'm not charging them too to take those photos if they want business cards if they want things were actually I will eat that cost will design them for them are websites on there because I know what's gonna happen if they have images we've taken on hand in their store you know while it's in their purse when they're out in public it was somebody comes another store and says oh wow those are really any images who took that who took those? Well, now you have somebody who's actually excited about what you're doing is basically like an unpaid employee like a person promoting your business oh my gosh look what she did for me look what she took up my petr only you know what that's my daughter's guinea pig you know, whatever whatever it is you've built that relationship with them, they love you, they love your business. They know what you do there comfortable referring people to your studio so that is way different than the airport like totally way different than the airport because there's nobody there representing somebody sees that and likes it sure there's a contact name or number and that brings me to the other big part of a relationship display you obviously want to work with somebody who's in the working with the same clientele like at the airport I had access to thousands of people tens of thousands of people at the dog bakery, hundreds of people thousand people like way last but they're qualified people I would right way rather have my phone ringing you know less, but from the right people than getting a bunch of phone calls from people who aren't going to pay the price is that I'm demanding or you know they don't have that they don't see the value in what I do I would just rather work with that smaller clientele and that's what I'm more important in my business as I keep referring to how we kind of simplified things and downsize because I don't have somebody full time on staff answering phones so I don't really want to be getting tons of phone calls that we need teo really go through an answer in return clause that aren't really people who are going to come to the studio and so the last part with relationship displays and then we're gonna move on to events uh is one other concept and thing to think about is uh what's the mindset of your clientele when their senior images what's that mindset when they're at an airport I know most people they're like frustrated our plane's delayed or chasing kids around you're not typically like super excited about let's get some portrait's like that's just not the mindset you would be in versus any sort of a display where people are spending their discretionary dollars because let's face it like not everybody values photography like it is a luxury item like weaken survive our clients can survive without professional portrait so we need to find those people that target market who value what we do and they want to pay the price for that and they see that value so that's not gonna be everybody and we said that yesterday you know it's okay to say no it's okay that you're not the photographer for everyone and so thinking about that mindset though if you catch people where they're shopping they're spending discretionary money in dollars buying things that aren't necessary then I think you're gonna have better luck and you're going to see a better return on your investment from those displays so for example just I'm going to tell you some of the other displays that we actually do have displays with not necessarily pets but I'm sure there's a lot of you that have businesses doing things besides so um you khun use this across the board I have ah home stores like they sell really high end like women's clothing things for your home again less people going in there than them all because we used to actually do the mall we don't do them all anymore it's the same concept to me um somewhat as the airport justin that's just mass amounts of people a lot of them are the right clientele plus I don't know like our mall is so saturated with like every kiosk is a photographer so rather than trying to like, compete with that and have people like just it's almost like the phone book for me like we don't do the phonebook either like we don't advertise in there there's just too many options to many things uh and you're paying for it so I literally have a policy like we're not like our marketing budget is pretty much nothing I mean it's like what we send out through our e mail blasts and our campaigns paying, you know, for website stuff on and then printed materials to set out at our displays, but it's very, very minimal. Um, so yeah, that's it? Does anybody have any questions? Because I'm not I'm not I'm going to move on to events, so actually, we'll show you a couple other images of a relationship display. This is probably one of the best ones that we have is a hair salon, and that actually would work for everything pets, kids, family, seniors, brides because I'll tell you why we love the hair salon, and here she is in the back and see the stylist those air actually images to her left on her right that we've done of her kids over the years, so for the stylist actually give them images. We have designed all their business cards, so our actual websites on their business cards with their images, and then tomorrow we're going to talk a little bit more in the charity section of the programme tomorrow afternoon or tomorrow morning about the funds that we started about giving back, and she advertises that and sells our posters and things for us, but with the hair salon, the cool thing is, or if you guys work with the dog grooming place for pets like people go to the dog groomer before photographs people go to the hair stylist before photographs so actually for our senior sessions we actually happened has school seniors a package our top package we spent a half day there a model for the day and includes hair and makeup. Well, who do you think we get to the hair and makeup? Corey and so now she's getting business from us this is where the relationship part works like she's doing things for us we're doing things for her we're getting business from her she's getting business from us the same thing we have not done it with the dog grooming, but I think that would actually be really tremendous like you could actually work a deal I think we have I think somewhere in here and our brochures we can talk about it later in the pricing I guess already did talk about it. We had a don't say they're twenty five dollars off coupon to come in for a session from the gallery like I'm just envisioning with the dog groomer you could have like a cute little dog grocer that's the twenty five dollars off or some other type of promotion if you come in for a session with the gallery for your pet before and put like an expiration put a date, I do recommend that with any promotions that you do, teo have a limited time that you offer that the reason being we talked about yesterday with limited editions and when you do your specials you don't want to get swamped when you're already busy so you could put a sip stipulation or only dio tryout this promo code thing let's say the first quarter of the years slow for you and that's when you're going to really try toe put your efforts into girl your pet photography business you know you could really hit hard some of these other pet business is what some sort of promo to get them in but say has to be session has to be photographed between january two thousand thirteen and april first, two thousand thirteen you know so you actually have the time you can build your portfolio you have extra time for the sessions rather than in the fall when you're already busy at christmas so I think that covers the relationship marketing pretty well unless someone has a specific question do you have any questions about relationship marketing from the audience here and then we'll jump into events last one quick could you just give us a little bit of insight and how you approach people? I mean do you call ahead of time say can we set that meeting? Do you just walk in because I'm sure they get inundated with people like that what's the best approach to go on and try toe game that relationship um I will tell you because we have done it many different ways way have had luck I have had luck with sending an employee out to do this we've also been told no by senate and employees out to do this basically they would go with a packet of like our information we had like a little it's so easy to get get things made nowadays with the products available to us I would just do like a white house one of their senate senator albums or books I guess that is like a portfolio that you could take in and just show him your work is yes I do I agree with you people get inundated way more now than they did five years ago like a lot of people are trying to do this so they need to know your work is good that it's legit you know and the big thing is whether it's me going in there and I would recommend all this over the phone well I'm trying I don't think we really ever just called we actually have gone in and talk to somebody and at that point you know we respect that like I don't want to be looked at as a solicitor if it's like from there we want to set up a time to talk with them it's not just like here you need to talk to me right now but almost mohr of ah michael it's me it's part like oh hey, I was just in the area you know, if I was running area errands in the town you know, next to us and there's a business there I want to talk to you just like popping in and at least getting the contact information that way or if they're willing to talk right then go for it the one thing I will say so people don't get overwhelmed thinking I have to go out and get all these displays I would way rather see you it really doesn't have to be overwhelming so I would way rather see somebody have one display that they actually build a relationship with thin spread themselves too thin and get life four things and all while I got all these displays and you can't keep up with it like it it technically really should be something that you do keep up with and we haven't we failed at this like we have we got way in over her head even with employees that we got so many displays years ago when we first started this thing that we ended up like kind of pulling some some weapon we just kind of wrote off we weren't getting it's business from and then really focused on the ones that were working well, which are the ones that I'm you know sharing with you like the children's clothing store, the hair salon the bets office, we actually two displays to different bets office is in the hospital for kids, for children, but I think, yeah, just listening, I'm showing your work, but if your goal is just get one, you know, just get one. I really think you can find somebody, but I would make it personal, you know, ifyou're lonely trying to get one to start off with, like, make the time go in, take the time, take portfolio. Um, the other thing is, if you actually have a call to action that they'll be excited about that, they benefit from right away that's going to help you. So if you have you, hey, I would love to take pictures of, you know, your grandkids with your pets or your new puppies, or I would love you know, I'd be happy to make you some marketing pieces with, you know, and just you can pay for the cost of the printing or, you know, give them some sort of benefit that it's not just hears them just hanging on your wall, and the cool thing is, make it we'll talk about this this afternoon, the way I talk to my clients when they order, but make it really easy for them and make it. I'm something they don't be afraid of until I tell him up front right away that you know what? This could just be something we try like I don't feel pressured thes, aren't you're not buying these images these actually well still own them and that's important because you want the option to pull it if it's not working for you on to switch it out so tell him you know if they try it you know let's, try this and if it's working great for both of us awesome I want you know I want this to be a good relationship for both of us, so if it's not working out for you let's talk about it or I'll let you know there's things you know I need differently and if it ends up not being something either of us want to dio that's okay? We tried it, you know? They don't have to feel committed it's not like you're saying, oh, these have to be in here forever so I think it's just your wording you know, I think be excited about it and give them options, you know, like an easy out and give them some sort of great benefit of why they would want to do this and work with you, okay, if you're trying to make the relationship more of kind of like a friendly kind of relationship with the business you choose? Do you ever feel like you have to do a contract or anything like that for write something up or just kind of ah, we never have I mean, we never have uh, you know, really I was turning like what's the worst thing that could happen would be, I don't know what they take the prince like I don't, you know, it's faras what? I'm not exactly sure what that contract would even say, because I don't really want to be locked into it either, like so the contract at some point would say, well, you're agreeing to have these in here for a certain length of time, or I don't really want that on my end, either, and I've actually never had anyone asked. I mean, if it was a place that I really wanted to get into and that's what they were requiring, I'm not saying I wouldn't do it it's just I don't really have much to tell you on that because I haven't I haven't done it, we've been asked to do that. Uh, the one thing that's cool, I will tell you that has happened for me with the relationship displays, I don't just show, I do show I what I want to sell, I show what I want to book, so don't just go get the chick cheapest prints made and thrown and cheap little frames ifyou're gonna expect your clients to come into your studio and by one thousand dollars worth of frame is and by the canvas finish and you've shown him something totally different like whatever they see in the display really is like what they're going to get excited about and potentially want to come in to your studio and I get so excited about this place like this I'll just ask the questions that usually gets asked which is ok I'm a photographer and I have a limited budget or I'm just starting out like where should I put my money? What should I do? Well, we all know there's tons of sandra really with effort in of time tens of rather an expensive freeways with social media, right? So yes, I would say of course do all of that you really have nothing to lose but then I would say take that small chunk of money and put it into a relationship display um I think that's the best bang you know, the best bang for its buck you talk about not paying for displays and we my studio mate nae nathan pepin that we just signed a contract to do a kiosk in the mall but it's just for one month and there's no one else in the area that's actually doing that so we're trying to tie that in with another event, which is a fashion show so that I mean, I think I guess if you're going to be tying it in with some sort of event that's bigger than you, that could really be great yeah, and I think I I'm not saying that absolutely don't pay for play that's what I said you have tio I would just think about it before you do it so yeah, if you have a really like you have a specific plan like a marketing plan, okay? We're going to do this for this one month or do whatever because we're really focusing on this specific market and this is a good place I definitely and you said it's just for months so I think that's worth a shot and you you said that nobody else is doing it, so the reasons why it doesn't appeal to me is in my area everybody is doing it so that really just kind of turns me off a little bit like let's find a different a different way to do this a different way to market eso no, I think that especially sent a fashion shows that for high school seniors possibly and so that's obviously a totally different market for for pets and what that's one of things I can talk books we actually done a fashion show in the past four high school seniors as well the one other thing I do want to mention really quick before we move on is with the relationship displays one exciting thing that has happened in the last just in the last couple years but we have been I think some of this just takes time like the way things snowball like that's how it for me I see that my business kind of snowballed my marketing kind of snowballed, things kind of get bigger, they grow um so here, you know, I was paying for displays, then I moved to okay, I'm not going to pay for displays, but let's build these relationships and now people see it, other businesses see it and what I do in some of the I think it was back here and some of the displays I've been starting to mix in some of my fine art because rather than just having only portrait like that's really nice for some of the businesses, you know what the spa and they want just like a cool, serene scene it it's still they have all my information they hand out that would be the other thing you would want to have in that not contract, I guess, but relationship, which is they're willing to put your brochure on cards out on display, but when you look at it, um when you look at this and you have all the fine art stuff to what's actually happened because of this, I've been paid very well by a couple businesses they have purchased, purchased my work to do a display to do the exact same thing that I paid a few hundred dollars to do. A display in a space has now evolved into a couple people approaching me wanting this specifically now at that point, it's a little more work like they pay for way make money I mean, we do charge them a lot less than we charge our clients so it's more than break even, we make money doing it. Um, but again, it's still a relationship and they get to keep it though that is the difference. Like I own those friends if I need that frame for something else, these people are purchasing these images and these prints on dh they were more involved to at that point, they were picking out which ones they want it kind of looking at my portfolio, so it was a little more they had a little more control because they were paying for it, whereas that's the one thing like I'll get people's input like, oh, what jim and just do like but like that blue nine opening collage frame, we just gave that to korea last week like she didn't even know she was getting it. I just took him into this from a session. We did. So I don't give when it's free. Like I don't make it a big pain and a lot of control. Like we just show what we want to show because we like it. And we want to show that to their clients.