Advanced Marketing


Marketing Your Photography Business


Lesson Info

Advanced Marketing

So let's get to advanced marketing uh tips and trucks here and that's not to say if you're just starting out, you can't try and implement some of these, but it definitely requires a little bit more thought maybe some budget to pull it all off so advanced doesn't always mean more money it's just about thinking differently on how you get your brand out there how you get access to clients, okay? And you should always be tweaking your business it's not about always going after new clients think about it in the apart from the last segment everything we're talking about is about going after new clients generating new leads, new relationships well it's not always about noo noo noo right sometimes it's just about fostering existing relationships okay or tweaking existing customer base so don't always think you have to go after something new let's not forget all the clients we do have that love us that have been with us ah for years as you start growing your business, you want to get their atte...

ntion right that's part of the advanced marketing techniques and brand awareness I've been hammering you guys from the beginning we've got to know who you are, who your studio is what's your identity people have to understand and value your brand if they don't value brand, they're not going to spend money with you it's that simple so here's, some ideas we're gonna cover and I said five uh, you know what? All the marketing collateral while I lied, I'm giving you guys a lot more than five, so we've got three, six, seven, eight up there. I'm gonna try my best to get through power through all of them for you on today. But my goodness, man, you are watching this course have purchased this course on watching it later. You cannot tell me that not one of these is working for you. If you're going to tell me that everything I just proposed to doesn't work for you hang it up, man. Hanging camera strap up, move on because you obviously don't want to be successful. I don't know what else to say, man it's, just I'm giving you the tools to be successful. Figure it out, man. I can't make it any easier for you to make money, direct mail. It does work stopped convincing yourself that direct mail doesn't work. I don't care what you've heard from people. I'm here to tell you it works. We use it in our business now. That doesn't mean you just send out a flyer and all of a sudden the phone's going to ring off the hook. That's not how direct mail works there is history tied to this ok so what you're dealing with with direct mail is understanding that you have to touch people historically three to five times before you will generate a response from them so if your thought process is hey I'm just gonna do a direct mail piece and bam the phone's going to ring off the hook you're going to fail and you're gonna think direct mail doesn't work and it will have failed for you okay so when you decide to embark on direct mail you've got to sign up for three to five direct mail pieces rights you've got to be in it for the long haul um here we go so here's what I'm thinking for direct mail first of all let's run a campaign this year in the month of october family portrait month let's deem it family portrait month okay phrase it however you like but october family portrait month now I am picking the month of october because in the midwest that is one of the most beautiful times of the year right? Maybe on the west coast it's different right we were talking earlier big party your years in august september right starts getting too cold in october so use it accordingly to your area so for me october is really ah big family portrait months or just swap the date and use what works for you so converted to family portrait month and we're doing direct fires one of the direct flyers go out I would say you have to mail out two or three in the six to eight weeks leading up to the beginning of the month, so work with me if it's october one okay, I'd start sending out flyers end of august early september, and I want to hit them every two weeks with a minimum of three flyers total right that we're mailing out to him, so I've got hit him with three flyers and each one you're you're putting with beautiful family portrait on that flier on amazing call the action based on all the things we've been talking about for the last day and a half to get them in there, maybe it's a fifty percent off? How about sending a picture of a bad family? Poor I would kind of be an interesting thing, I've never done it, I've always thought about it, right? Go out to a stock photo agency and look up bad family portrait or something like that, and you might be able to buy the picture for like twenty bucks, okay? And maybe it's tongue in cheek when you're doing this right? Because that's, what it's all about, you've got to get people's attention when your marketing you understand this, right when you look at tv commercials okay and hopefully you guys have all seen the behind the shutter commercials that we've been producing if you haven't got a behind the shutter dot com and check them out and look under commercials we made some kind of spook videos and we had fun right? What's it all about it's about getting people to laugh not become numb to your message so if you ever look at like the doritos commercials are they have a really about garrido's right? If you ever look at pepsi commercials, are they ever really about pepsi the soda no it's about getting your attention it's about creating brand identity awareness hey, if you drink pepsi you're cool, right? So that's the message they're trying to get across to you well, messaging is part of that so why not this october family portrait month get a picture of a really bad nineteen seventies family portrait, right? And the texting caption khun reed when was the last time you had a family portrait question mark that's it main cover of your flyer? When was the last time you had ah family portrait okay, so immediately in that flyer I'm scratching the surface on leyton pain every mother out there I've got a bunch of you here out there, you're already thinking yourselves when was the last time we had a really good family portrait taken right? So I'm already scratching the surface verse if I just send a flier out that says hi I'm susie photography what we call yesterday dancing feet photography we just made that up happy feet. Yes. Happy feet photography come get your family portrait done no that's not we want to do let's get creative let's think outside the box where artists for crying out loud surely we can come up with something better than that. So we're gonna send that flyer out and it's going to say something to the effect of when was your last family portrait? Get that late in pain? They flip to the back side of that. And now it's a beautiful family portrait on the back of the card or multiple, you know, beautiful family portrait on the back card make sure your low goes there right on the front cover. Okay, now, of course you've gotta check out what the copyright releases are on the images, make sure you buy them legally don't go out there and start stealing people's images. Common sense has to prevail. Unfortunately, that does go on in our industry. Go out there and bite it's like twenty five bucks for an image to give you use rights of that image, make sure your logos prominently displayed, but now that's what's eating them weak one you got their attention okay, we too there should be another flyer automatically is already designed in the mailbox with a beautiful family portrait on the cover. Okay, maybe a little bit different caption but your low goes there all right, so these are things that are a little bit more involved but my goodness will you start getting some attention by doing things differently with those direct mail pieces versus sending one? You know, with a random photo on the cover and these fires should be nine by six don't go cheap don't go four by six or five by seven nine by six it's a larger size car there are bigger cards but that's a really good size to go with and I will tell you with postage printing everything all in it's going to cost about ninety cents to a dollar a card okay and that's all in stamp mailing postage printing falling so company we use is four over dot com great company to work with very good quality uh right whenever I submit my images I tried doing local I tried working with local printers in my area and I would submit my images people's faces were coming back orange like they just were not committed two high quality flyer so four over does a great job with high quality flyers they understand skin tones and that's important for us. Of course when we're selling our photography ah use client images, get them excited if you have them if you don't have them right remember what we talked about in the beginning marketing on a budget stuff that's where you're getting some of those images from tau lend to the direct mail piece gotta find your demographic data so we used to cos one is called info yusa american student list now american student list is gonna be great for high school seniors but not necessarily for family's info yusa you can actually go out there right now and you could start searching by demographic so you can say hey, show me all the households and we talked about this on our senior program so it's the same website but now instead of looking for a house with a senior in it you're just looking for a house with anybody in it okay certain income range certain mile radius that has a child in the home right? Because we're looking to produce family portrait so probably seventeen and under is what you're looking for so you're going to get back a lot of names to start mailing too seniors direct mail may, june, july, august september so you should be sending out three to five flyers ok the marketing schedule's going to be in may fifty percent off any session fee june forty percent off july thirty percent twenty percent writing that special is going to keep dwindling down because we're not going to reward bad behavior we want to get you to book sooner than later and again we did talk about that in previous creative live course so I don't want to go too much into that but direct mail is great it works for families and it does work for high school seniors all right so this is a great campaign to kick off what about vendor images so after every wedding and if you notice I'm trying to give you some advanced marketing techniques for all different niches that you're you're working and right so this one was more families and seniors ah this one is for weddings vendor images ask your bride who her vendors were you should already be using that form I'm giving to you okay is part of the course you're getting that form that's goingto ask your bride a siri's of questions that you use for the block post how did you meet tell us about your first kiss tell us about the proposal all those kinds of things that are going to make their story a little bit more intimate but on that list is also the questions off who are the vendors? Well get that list of vendors so now after the event you should be connecting with every single vendor and create an export script right out of light room light room couldn't make it easier so you create an export script and you call it vendor okay, images and you're going to set the size that they're going to be your insect where your logo is going to be. And so now it's part of your workflow, you're able to grab ten, fifteen, twenty images, export into a folder, vendor images from the job and get them out in our organization. Taylor owns that that's taylor's job she handles getting those vendor images out and she is really good at it. I am really bad at it and so that's why she owns it. So our vendors as a result love us because we're getting them images of their flowers of their table settings of their ballroom, and we're getting them out to them extremely quickly so that they're building the building, their business building their brand, of course, building all sorts of loyalty for us, right? Create that export script out of live room makes it easy shoot everything when you're at an event, the rule of thumb. If the client spent money on it, take a photograph of it. Okay, there's? No reason not to it's simple. We're shooting digital were already overshooting anyway. So now take pictures of the things to your client spent money on that's the rule of thumb they spent money, you take a picture. Um build relationships both old and new so this isn't all about building new relationships, right? The worst thing you can do is establish relationships with a vendor with a um catering hall with the florist and then once you're on their preferred vendor list you forget about it, you guys have screwed I'm already on their list, you've got to keep giving back to them we can't keep taking from people you've got to give back right to that community of people that are helping you grow your business and this is your way of doing that. Glad to have lunch with these guys I know that has nothing to do with vendor images, but why aren't you taking your key vendors out to lunch minimum once a year there's no logical reason why you wouldn't just go grab lunch with them, invest the money right? Maybe the essential wedding maybe they sent you a couple of leads that didn't book it doesn't matter. This business is all about relationships if people like you there more willing to refer you you know they're not referring you because your artwork I hope you guys all understand that you're dealing with ah floor or something like that. I don't think they really care how good your photography is or isn't when they're referring you it's about relationships if they like you, they're going to refer you it's that simple so give him a reason to like you stop taking start giving, all right ask for space in their sales room so we've got a couple of venues we work with in st louis where we have a big canvas fifteen by thirty twenty by thirty campus on the wall did they pay for it? No, we paid for it they're giving me wall space for free I'm gonna pay for that campus and guess what's on it my logo so all you can ask for us to have that premium marketing space. And so now there's a place in st louis on the wall is a big fifteen by thirty campus every bride who goes in whether they book that venue or not seize my canvas sees my artwork I will get calls from clients and say, how'd you hear about us when I ask him oh, I saw your ah, I saw that beautiful image you took up on the wall at x y z x y z facility. Oh, you're gonna love having your wedding there. We didn't book that venue we book someplace else but we saw your picture on the wall there how's that from marketing okay that's what I want so once again they can never say they've not heard about us because almost every place there they go they're seeing one of our images bridal shows now we're not going to dive deep into this, but this is more advanced for you. Ah, bridal shows high level this is where the brides are, there is no logical reason why you would not go to the one room where all the brides are when you're trying to book wedding is that is counter intelligence, it doesn't make any sense. I'm tired of hearing all the horror stories about why bridal shows don't work I'm sorry to tell you they work they account for forty to fifty percent of our business there's a bride in the room, she's looking for a photographer I want to be there that's usually how it works I want to be where my clients are are the kicking tires? Of course they're kicking tires, but there's five hundred to one thousand brides in the room and I'm looking to book for, so find the four that aren't kicking tires because now you know how to find your client and you're gonna have a little bit more success, right? We do four to seven bridal shows per year, sometimes more, sometimes less. It just depends on how our calendar's filling up right if I'm at capacity so this year, right? I'm at capacity, I have no more rooms I've got room for like one or two more weddings on my schedule so we pulled back on a bunch of bridal shows that just don't make any sense for us to go to tell everybody know we're already booked already book, so you're there's gonna have to be that ab and flow when your calendars not booked up, you should be in more bridal shows, you need to be daniel and more bridal shows right now based on what you're telling me, so we got to get out there and do it and be there so that we could capture some of these weddings. Now, when your calendar starts getting too seventy or eighty percent book no start pulling back from bridal shows. Okay, but now come august september, those bridal shows are geared towards twenty fourteen, so now I'll start doing those bridal shows looking to book twenty fourteen I don't wait till I'm in twenty fourteen to start booking weddings that doesn't make again doesn't make any sense. I want to be on top of this thing and so that's gonna be august, september you want to find the right shows? Of course we've got to ask for demographic information. All the shows should typically be able to give you a demographic off the bride's that are going to that show and that's not look that's, not a duel end off, but that is a starting point. All right, if they're telling you the average bride spends fifteen thousand dollars on their wedding that comes to our show, I would say that's, probably not the show you want to go to if they're saying the average bride spends one hundred thousand dollars on their wedding on the surface, that is where you want to go, right? Not necessarily your client, because they have money, but at least we know they could afford you. It doesn't make any sense to go to a show where we know right out of the gate they cannot afford you, of course, keep trying don't go toe one bridal show, not have success and go, I give up. This doesn't work, it does work. If you're not having success, you're doing something wrong and that's okay, we've all made mistakes, but let's, tweak it and go back at it. Try something different, okay, so if you went to one bridal showing it didn't work, don't go to the second bridal show and do the same thing that didn't work and expect a different result that is called insanity. Okay, so let's not do that, that wouldn't make a whole bunch. Percents let's, keep tweaking our business you went to the first brow show what went wrong if you didn't book any buddy and you went to a bridal show the first thing you do when you step away ok a week later give it time. Two weeks later what did we do wrong? What went right? Here's what we did right? Okay, don't beat yourself up all the time. But what did you do wrong? Something went wrong. Maybe a pricing wasn't clear, right? I'm not saying you personally did anything wrong, but maybe your pricing wasn't clear. Maybe you weren't handing pricing out. Did you find brides that we're asking you the same question over and over again? So if you have a bunch of people coming through your booth asking you the same question over and over and over again, you need to come up with a way to get that answer out there before they ever ask the question. Okay, so pricing we give out pricing at the bridal show? Absolutely I'm right there, I'm with them, I can walk them through it and I can show him all the product, so I want to give them that information I don't want them leaving, not knowing how much we are you want to try and close business at the show absolutely I can tell you after the five day wedding boot camp how many people during the broadcast will like that will never work that will never work and then all of a sudden I got slammed with emails about I didn't think it would work, but it did uh having that show special you want to have that show special book today get ten percent off any package bride's want to save money so when our base packages forty five hundred dollars fifty five hundred dollars eight thousand dollars for our three packages you could save up to eight or nine hundred dollars just by booking today I know I'm going to make that money up in the sale session, so I'm willing to get one in hand today so that I don't have to have another sales meeting. I don't like sales meetings, by the way, not from the bridal show, so a lot of people go into the brush and they're not even trying to close business. I think that's a big mistake you don't try and close business they can go someplace else meet with another photographer and you just lost that sale that's on you so why would you not try at least try and close business at the show here's the thing not only do you want to try and close business at that show, you've got to give them the reason okay, you're going to look for some of those aps like square up. We used to swipe the credit card right then and there, but if you start scheduling meetings for a week later, you run the risk of in the course of that week, they go meet with another photographer in bookham. You run the risk of them canceling that meeting altogether, and that has happened, right? Jules, you're not in your head because that has probably happened. I do not try and schedule meetings at the show. If they want to schedule a meeting, they'll call me after the show to schedule that meeting. I got one mission, one mission only at the show. I want a book weddings and I will typically book three to five weddings at a show right there on the spot. Because of that discount, we're running it's very aggressive, and people know that if they go to the show, dale, wait no way. Two weeks till the show to go book us there because they had a friend or a cousin that knows the only place I'm gonna honor that ten percent discount is at the show. Don't contact me a week later don't contact me a month later and be like, oh, I heard you had a special the show, can you honor it? No, we're not going to do it once the word gets out that you're willing to write get wishy washing on that everybody knows cousins friends, maids of honors don't let that rumor get out everybody knows in our local market if you want that discount one place one place only to get it that bridal show but what's the risk you run I may be booked on your date well before then so how much is saving five hundred dollarsworth so some brides don't want to wait and they will book us way before the show um hopefully that makes sense again brand awareness everybody knows you vendors and brides don't discount the value of the show it extends well beyond just booking off ah wedding now you're at the same show you're connecting with all these other vendors that are there okay you are all in the same boat you're getting their earlier setting up you're breaking down make connections network at the show get there early walk the floor when I get to the bridal show I get there probably a couple of hours early or we set up the night before sometimes they let you set up on a friday night for saturday's show and then I get there a little early and I'm just walking around how's it going guys good to see again shaking hands okay how's everything going this year you know we haven't seen you guys in couple months you wanna get together for some lunch? I am a networking machine. When I'm at the shows, I'm not even talking to brides. I'm talking to everybody else around me, man sue, this dress is amazing. Is this new in your shop? I've got to get back in there and photograph there's you down for that. Let's make this happen in the next two months. Okay? That's what's going on when I'm at the shows, walked the floor, connect with people it's all about relationships, dress for success. Look, I understand where archie group we want a dress arty and just be cool and be comfortable, but at the end of the day, we're dealing with business people. Okay? So the catering manager right over at the four seasons isn't creative she's a business person, she doesn't want to be hanging around with slobs, so we've gotta dress up, dress for success, go there and dress within our our brand or personality. But have the best version of us available and dressed for success is not a tuxedo. Holy moly, I don't know what is wrong with photographers do not show up in a tuxedo unless you're going to a wedding in a tuxedo on dh I see djs, man and our local market, the djs air out out there in tuxedos doing the macarena and all sorts of things. So I get attention and is just corny, man, I don't want to be corny, so no macarena, you know what I mean? Um, collect names. Okay. So collect names in a fish bowl again. We talked about this before. Don't underestimate the power of this. I understand that the vendors will, in fact be giving you a mailing list. But guess what? When you get that mailing list of all the brides, so did every other vendor. I want to be all the other vendors to the punch. Because all these brides today it goes to junk mail. They just don't even want to look at it. And so I want to beat everybody to the punch. Have business cards on you, of course that you're handing them out to vendors. When you're networking, make an impact with your booth. Okay, if you followed our five day bootcamp, your booth should look amazing. All right. And all of you out there have shared your boots with me. Sent pictures and I love it. Congratulations to all of you on nothing could be truer. Then, when I went to my local bridal show at st louis in st louis. It's run by st louis bridegroom there probably thirty some odd photographers there and I think twenty eight watched the creative live course because they were all decorated exactly like our boots it was kind of funny to go out there and see but ultimately when you're helping people out you understand they're going to start copying what you're doing so it was totally cool I was excited for all of them you know there were two photographers who didn't do it I don't know where they were but apparently they were watching us here on creative life contracts and flyers you gotta have him the handout gotta have the contracts if you want to book people there you gotta have the contract there's no reason not to on your ipads there's all sorts of digital options to deliver contracts how cool would that be? You plot your ipad be like absolutely that signed contract and they're signing with their finger that's cool man that shows your innovative that shows your trendy you don't think your clients know what ipads are let's get them let's show them how trendy you are and how plugged in you are teo technology in fact those very same aps you can now right from the venue email them their contract right and their receipt where you can say awesome we're done you're locked and I'm excited to be working with you your contracts probably write your email right now they're blown away right again. These are ways that we can continue to go out there and innovate, so keep it up don't give up on bridal shows magazines not necessarily gonna book weddings directly from magazines but not necessarily not going to book weddings from magazines write it works its hand in hand, it's going to dovetail everything else you're doing it's about brand awareness there were looking at those magazines don't let him fool you, okay? They were looking at the magazines they're flipping through, we've got to get him to see our imagery in there. It creates brand awareness. Well, most importantly, it's going to lead to shoot for the magazine, so the magazine is never going to give you the cover of a magazine unless you're extremely lucky never gonna give you the cover of magazine unless you're advertising in the magazine that's how it works, okay, so I don't know if you guys just don't know how publishing works, but that is in fact how it works, so to get the cover of that magazine, you are typically advertising in it unless you are extremely fortunate. So that being said, I want to buy advertising my local magazine I've had I've had three of the last five covers for this magazine that's exciting to me, it's exciting my brides to my bride's it says, wow! He's all over the covers of magazines and they want to envision themselves and their wedding day on the cover of the magazine that makes an impact again. My name, my brand, everything we're doing is out there on and it's all about relationships, brand awareness, brand building. Okay, so some of this stuff, like I said earlier it's gonna cost you a little bit of money, but it's part of the bigger picture, uh, you get featured weddings, so most magazines today have a featured wedding section. Well, guess what you look in the same magazine I'm talking about where we've got to cover, we've probably got four of eight featured weddings, no lie that's because not only are we advertising, we've been with the magazine a long time, we have a relationship with the magazine when they call me and they need a favor, I just drop everything and I go have that photo shoot for them. Maybe a photographer didn't show up that they had something else schedule, maybe they need to photograph a room for an ad that they're trying to run. I will do that free of charge because once again it's all about relationships so we can't keep expecting money for everything we do, we've got to be smart because we are making an investment, it is an investment, I get it I'm investing my time, but I love sweat equity it's easy to invest it doesn't cost me a whole lot of time and then whenever you're featured press releases, this could be really cool by the way so a lot of newspapers today their press release cycle if you will is online so guess what that does for you and search engine optimization it links right back to your site and newspaper sites have a ton of traffic, very high google rankings and now they're linking back to your sight because in your press release it says for more information, visit dub dub dub dot sallis and kata dot com your cost zero now, not all paint newspapers press release cycles are online, but a lot are moving to that and I can tell you this if they do it in st louis, they got to be doing it in the rest of the country. And so this is something you definitely want is going to give you a lot of traction with your key, and you could do a press release for literally anything. So definitely if you're getting some publicity in a magazine let's do that mall displays these are all things that we have tried so on the mall display let's contact the local mall rent wall space we paid about five hundred dollars a month can we had a big wall when you enter in one of the main entry ways now it doesn't have to be a wall you can have a little kiosk set up in the middle of the mall uh you're looking for a high traffic area but for five hundred dollars a month well worth it okay walls kiosks custom spaces they'll do sometimes there's a mall in over in st louis and one of the stores went out of business and there's a local photographer there who's been in that mall for years years they gave him the store until they rented out so all of his work is in that store like an art gallery all right I bet he's paying your nothing because they didn't want the store to sit there empty right they wanted something in there and who were they going to give it to somebody who's already on the list I guarantee you I would not have been able to go in there and say well I'll take that because they're going to know we are to have a photographer in our mall we're not gonna let you in so these this opens up opportunities for you imagine if you had a space in the mall for thousand dollars a month or less five hundred dollars a month and you just have easels set up with your pictures hanging on the walls and uh you know flyer set up for you how much traffic with that generate for you and now you can go in there and swap out images as often as you like what could be better than that? Ah swapping by season wedding seniors families keep it fresh don't just put images on the wall and leave him there I know they're expense if I get prince made but keep things fresh swap him out keep your clients engaged twenty by thirty or bigger logo of course I's not only is it on your images it's a centerpiece so let's had twenty by thirty wall set up with all these images here I'm not sorry sorry not twenty five thirty well just twenty five thirty prints all over this wall the center image would be an image of my logo right? So I don't want every image to be just this little logo the centre one is going to be my logo create some brand awareness there you're going to see about five hundred thousand dollars a month by a stand for your flyers company we use is called displays to go dot com and they've got really cool modern steel stands that come curve up and they've got a little platform there with where your flyers consider okay so get something that looks for a modern matches your brand and maybe you're looking at a hundred bucks for that two hundred bucks for that but well worth it because this has to be there so people from grab your fliers on book you're right we're gonna run specials things things along those lines and then maintain this constantly go look, if you do do this, go look at it monthly not monthly sorry. Go look at it weekly because your fliers are going to run out kids are going to steal him. Uh, pictures going get crooked. That was my biggest pet peeve. We had this wall every time I went in the mall my pictures were crooked and just started making me twitch, right? Because I'd like twenty prints along the wall and it's just, you know, up and down, up and down, up and down because the wind would blow when the doors opened so would move those prints around. So right that's your virtual storefront so to speak. Right, there's no real store there. You just got this wall make it look the way it needs to look for your brand, hopefully heads or spending man alright, referrals tell me why I should refer you it's gotta be a reason I'm your client. Why should I refer you just because because you're nice because you're cool because you took cool pictures what's in it for me it's got to be something in it for me why am I referring? You and so let's create a robust referral program free printer canvas with every referral first of all, print ah mounted sixteen by twenty four prints you're looking at oh, I don't know less than forty bucks sixteen twenty four campus you're looking at about a hundred bucks you're telling me you're not willing to get a three thousand dollar client or two thousand dollar client for one hundred dollars then you don't understand the cost of acquisition you do not understand your business you don't understand how much it's costing you to get clients and so you need to understand what that cost is because once you do, you will realize that one hundred dollars to get a new wedding is well worth the investment I have one of my bride's recently she referred six weddings she is a machine she's got six campuses coming her way and that's, what you guys need to be able to do now is every client refer that many weddings? Of course not, but I'm giving her a reason to keep referring me. How can I ask a quick question? Yes commission customer acquisition. So I'm pretty certain that you're always clear where your customers air coming from, whether they came from a referral where they came from a bridal show, you know when they come to you where you came from so you know if you're getting bang for your buck out of that magazine or that's, right, brad osho, etcetera yeah, absolutely so you've got to understand how about I drilled down on uh cost of acquisition because I just kind of breezed right over it, right? How much does it cost you to acquire a client? So in theory, if I do a direct mail campaign all right not to recommend campaign cost me a thousand dollars and I get one client my cost of acquisition is a thousand dollars that's a very expensive acquisition but let's add book ten clients off that thousand flyer cost of acquisition is one hundred dollars expensive but well worth it and so you everybody's going to have a different set of numbers certain mediums are more expensive than others and not all will generate new clients, by the way. So just because you're in a magazine, that doesn't mean you're going to get any klein acquisition out of it whatsoever, so just because the number is high, don't get scared off by and go wow, that cost me a thousand dollars to get a new client because what you're doing is you're ignoring the brand awareness that you're creating so we can't discount what the what the value is to your brand by having your name up there remember I told you the worst thing that could happen is no one knows who you are, so there's still value there, but you still need to understand how much it's costing you offer a free session to your vendors. You guys consider doing this. We're all about developing relationships right in giving back. How about giving a free photo session toe all your vendors right now? Your daughter, your daughter's? Uh, your daughter's engaged him a free engagement session. Maybe you'll get the wedding. Oh, your daughter's ah, high school senior, let me give her a free senior session was the last time you guys had a family portrait. I'm gonna give you a family session free in october. You know, it's family portrait but let's update your family portrait. You're already in the rhythm of doing all this. Just add another session, teo, to the docket there and what you're gonna do is they're all going to be excited to come in and work with you and now refer you and now when they get to work and they're selling their beautiful space or wedding guess what's on the wall the family portrait that you created for them and that's who they're going to end up preferring who did that? Oh that's ah that's! You know that's jules that's sao er, right, that's wrong! Those are the people that you want to refer other people you're working closely with ah, for a wedding referral, give a free sixteen by twenty four campus for seniors don't give him a free campus for a referral because the numbers aren't there, the numbers don't match up right? You can't give somebody a hundred dollar product when the average sale in your studio might only be five or six or seven hundred bucks instead give them a free studio credit so if you refer a client to us, I'll give you twenty five dollars studio credit I'll give you fifty dollars studio credit whatever whatever number you want to offer give them not, um for families if a family refers another family give me free eleven by sixteen print you might wonder why I'm all over the board with what I'm offering versus one flat rate because a wedding is worth more to my studio, then a family portrait is okay, so I've got more wiggle room in what I can give someone right depending on what where they're coming and what they're booking that makes sense, all right, we keep going head shots, how about free headshots and team shots for all your vendors? Why would you not do that? So back in st louis is a local deejay company, we do all their headshots all their team shots for free go to their website boom team shot we took form why does this matter? Because when I'm at weddings, these guys take care of me if you worked with djs before you go out to the room, you go, you go to the bathroom, you go grab a drink, you go grab a bite to eat and actually, you know, first dancers they're going on uh, amen. We're not even in the room. Mind telling us oh, totally forgot. Well, it's all about relationships. This deejay company I work with one of the largest deejay companies in st louis. We have an amazing relationship with them. They're deejays take care of us. They let us know what's going on, they think about us. They refer us that's a powerful man when the deejay company is referring us and they're solid leads, I'll get bride. You call me, they go d j company told me if, uh, there's only one photographer this town that they would recommend and that was you that's powerful it's a powerful testimonial that I can't pay money for. It builds loyalty. They're going to put you on their preferred vendor list again. This is easy stuff to do, right? It's, sweat equity it's not gonna really cost you anything, it's, just your investment. It's sweat equity, personal referral. Start coming in. The staff knows you, they go out of their way at video, so one of my vendors is st louis cardinals we're on their preferred vendor list where one of only three or four photographers that they actually refer out for weddings that happened on the field. So when st louis, you will get married on the field on that don't ask me why people love doing it. They're big cardinal fans in st louis, and they do. The bridegroom will get married there on the field. They have the reception there, a cz well and so we are on their referral list. So not only do we do their head shots, we produced video for them off their, uh, of their venue space. So we went in, we took our video team, we interviewed the lead person and we said, right, we coax him with questions. Tell us a little bit about your space. What makes you you space so unique, right? We gave the script like five questions film this and then over laid images that we've taken there, right over laid fly throughs of their space where it was decorated. That is a powerful vendor relationship that goes beyond just your headshot, right? So make this investment in your vendors and give to them and you'll find them very willing to give back to you stop taking all right this one's huge I want to take questions before I go to this because this one I think is kind of huge I haven't tried it yet it's a big experiment I'm always trying to stop something curious what anybody thinks about it but all this stuff we're talking about you guys hit me up what what do you think in what what's resonating with you? Maybe I would start with you I don't have a question but I will say we did a um video fusion for vendor and that's one way we became their preferred vendor that's all he's anew a new venue venue but we went out there and he loved it so much that we got on his list there you go he's hungry right he's in new he's a new vendor you're going to him not saying hey can you do this for me? Can you give out my stuff you're going to him going hey here's what I want to do for you let's work together but he said he wants to pay us for the next one in the summer that's awesome I'll take his money because we did this during the winter and he said well I want you to come back let's get a couple do a stylized but I'm just gonna be honest with you I would do it for free yeah okay I don't know how much he's thinking of paying you but we didn't talk about that yeah, so you see what I'm saying? You give him a number that's not right you run, you run the risk of losing that I'd rather do it for free bill loyalty and start getting referrals from him because the truth is, even if you were going to charge him a thousand dollars or two thousand dollars, the real money is in the referrals he's going to send you sure, ifyou're short term you're like thousand dollars thousand dollars thousand dollars, right? If your long term you realize that thousand dollars is meaningless in the course of doing business with him, right? So just keep that in mind and same with the bridal shows the first one we did, I told you in march, I think I lied when I said we weren't successful because to the venue's there fell in love with our personality so much that they said we're going for all of our brides to that was just off personality, not at work, right? So you know, I love what you're saying right now because all too often people define success as did you book a wedding and that cannot be the only measure of success of that bridal show, so you may two monster connections at that bridal show yeah, they didn't book a wedding right there, but it will well I did, because mom is planning her daughter's wedding. The bride and groom are in their air force she's getting married in october, and she came to me that's awesome. So what is success owed his success as work? Ah, question about client referral programs is this something that you print out or is it word of mouth? Or do you like ham things like here? If you refer so on, you know, you get this? Yeah, when we started off that's a great question. So when we started off the referral program was a was just word of mouth, okay? And then we realized we need to make it a little bit more formal because people were forgetting about it because just because, you know you get married a year ago, you just forget a year later what we like to do now is produce more of a coupon style thing and give that to him so they have that they hang on to it, they put it on a mirror, and if you're doing that as a five by seven print, use one of their images in the price because then they're more likely to hang onto it because a little more meaningful, so yeah, let's jump to that don't do what I did do what we're doing now, which is make that more of a print so we did kind of a hybrid of the head shots for the vendors and the family shoots where we told all of our vendors when was the last time you did a family session we got everybody together that wanted to do it on the same day at the hotel in a lobby you know in between check out and check in and did all the shoots for free and then have them over for viewings and made a buttload of money off of their prints so from sees another session for free yet and worked at the same time working at the same time they have about they appreciate what you're doing because you're they know that session fee cost something and then you made money on prince that is crazy it works definitely doing that again yes. Good job right you good? Well um I met a editor of a magazine at a networking group and um he was goingto launch his premiere issue like within a week and I asked him if he had a photographer for the event he said oh, I didn't even think of it nice so I said, well we we'd love to do it for free you know if we could just come in take some shots and so we did that and he appreciated so much that god sent him the digitals the next day loved it so much he gave us a full ad for for a whole year well for a whole year yeah, that is phenomenal man I'll tell you what one thing you are good at is understanding late in pain right? So you went in there and you're like hey do you have a photographer for that event and he's like I didn't even think about it right? So you are really good at asking those questions we all have to take a cue from what you're doing because that's usually an area people struggling right it's almost like why didn't I ask? Well, now you're doing that now we've got to get the rest of the business converting to take advantage of what you're doing is that's amazing good job you got some with the magazines I happen to know an editor of a bridal magazine and we had a long discussion about you know what they're looking for us faras content and things like that and so many of these magazines air going teo online version's now and she said they're constantly constantly looking for content for those right you know the print princess a little bit harder because there's a limited amount of space but they're always looking for content and they love having people new people you know do a little feature right up on you know what to expect on your wedding day what your photographer needs of you you know it's all been done but they still need new content all the new pictures a lot of magazines believe it or not will actually continue to use the same copy for years okay? Because the bride who got married and you know how to pick a photographer it doesn't change next year too much so they'll use that same copy but they'll swap out images ah lot of these bridal publications because the client changes once they get married next year you got a whole new set of bride's coming through they need the same amount of data so very, very good how we doing out on the internet? You know there's a ton of questions coming through for you right now. One from joel I lawrence he asked ideally what percent of the booking should be the cost of acquisition? What percentage of the booking should be the cost of acquisition? I do not have a heart answer for you sorry, my man it is going to be different per medium it's just about understanding what that is it's gonna be different for market per medium but if you don't know what your number is that's where you're running into trouble okay, so the key is understanding getting historical trend line so that you can look over the course of time and say cost of acquisition has historically been one hundred dollars for a new bride fifty dollars for a new high school senior whatever the case may be then with that data, you can start making more intelligent decisions as your business grow so that makes sense another question online coming from ah sonora and they ask about what about using q r codes are q r code so two thousand nine q r codes air done, man they're very two thousand nine I cannot stand when I see companies using them anymore I'm like catch up please keep coming keep coming I do not want that big, ugly black and wide box on any of my marketing material it's not what I want to be using to market my business it's just it's just not there it's over another great question and people are to come shopping it on this own lines. But when you build those relationships with vendors, sal can talk a little bit about not necessarily expecting a quid pro quo but building genuine relationships you mission, taking people out to dinner and offering things like this is not just waiting to when you gonna help me out now. Yeah, it's good. You raised that point. It becomes very transparent if you're looking for something from them, it becomes very transparent that the only reason you're doing this is to get something back really quick from them and you know, you come across is being fake and if it's one thing I cannot stand, especially in biz this is people who are not genuine and I don't know if that's just my upbringing coming from an italian family or coming out of the northeast we are very direct blunt on genuine people s o you know, I find that that's the best way to do business be honest, be a front there's, nothing wrong with arguing, there's nothing wrong with disagree, but ultimately I'd rather do that than you coming at me sideways and I can't really tell if you're being genuine with me or you're working me okay? And so what you want to do and this is how we run our business this is how we deal with people is I'm trying to get to know them, I'm trying to get them to know them as people, what they're interested in, they understand that this is business, they understand that ultimately I'm doing this to grow my business, it just doesn't have to be and I don't have to be in your face about it and so keep developing that relationship, understanding them, remembering their names right that's the worst part about being in business if you can't remember the names of the people you're doing business with again, it comes across his very superficial, so go out of your way to remember their names or remember something about them, right? Because in the course of having lunch with somebody you're talking about they're talking about their kids, their talking about a vacation they're going on make notes and if you're horrible mentally it remembering this stuff we all got these cool little things called iphones start writing notes down there or in there contact so that the next time you talk to them you could be like, oh yeah? How'd that vacation go? I thought you guys said you went on a cruise that I remember that correctly welcome back oh, my god, yeah, we did that was amazing. Now you just made an amazing impression on them on and it is fairly genuine, right? But you're just making an effort out it's so great point and they're also great tools as you expand your business some serum tools, customer relationship management, cheap software to have all those details in their kid's birthdays last day to contact absolutely how about anniversary cards? How often do we you know, our clients get married and then we're just like all right, peace out, man, we're done and we never contact him again so it was part of our, you know, marketing efforts or continuing marketing efforts. Taylor right my wife owns every month looking up okay, she's got a spreadsheet, she keeps track up and we send out anniversary cards to our clients up even five years ago so we're still sending that out to, you know, just say, hey, happy anniversary, thinking about you guys and it's, just a generic card that we're sending out, uh, maybe we add a little had handwritten note to it, but it's just a way of continuously being in touch with those clients again, an easy thing to do. Great relationship building tips, man um, one more quick question from l a photographer speaking of relationships after every wedding, I email photos of their work, all the vendors along with a I loved working with you email, and I rarely even get a thank you much less anything else. Is that normal? Um, is it that people just don't know how to say thank you anymore? Or is that that vendors are taking their own photos so they don't value photographer's work? So just based on what this person is telling me, you can't just throw that cd over the wall to him because that's not really relationship. So this person's actually doing the work right? They're actually making that effort there doing the hard part, which is the heavy lifting, getting those images, making the effort, mailing them out, sending a hand written note or anything else, are you following up with him? So you should be making a phone call following up with him hey guys just want to make sure you got my cd with the images let me know what you think let me know if you need anything else why don't we grab launch right? Take that relationship to the next level so it sounds like they're already doing a big part of the heavy lifting now drive it home and go to lunch with them and take him out to launch on your dime not there dime and that's how that relationships get gets going even further we have more questions or we'll keep going hit me with one more question well, more questions than interesting one right here this is from terror and terrell photography to sell you say this stuff takes a lot of sweat equity how do you remember recommend doing it all when you have children and hubby makes me think about the question who paid john grisham to write his first book? Nobody did he got up in our early before work every single day to write that book. Yeah, no doubt. And you know what she needs to understand is, um I don't I'm probably the worst person to ask about work life balance let me tell you what I don't have any of its work life balance, so if it were up to me I would work eighteen or twenty hours a day, because there's always something to be done my to do list is literally a six page to do list it's scary on I get anxiety, so I was on vacation in hawaii, maybe six months ago. I can't remember and there's a picture of me that my wife took I'm sitting on the beach under a towel on my laptop, working because I just can't relax. So I'm the worst person asked about that. Now to the point, how do you do it all? If you got a family got kids, you can't, you can't do it all. You have to surround yourself with the support network. That support network is not just okay, um, going to be you or your husband? That support network is your accountant, for example, your attorney, your outsourcing company, your album design company, so you cannot possibly do it all that becomes part of your scalability plan, and you've got to figure out how to surround yourself with the right people to make it all happened. So yes, I totally understand what she's saying, but unfortunately I'm the worst person to ask about it. So let's, uh, let's keep going, as I'm sure taylor's in the hallway laughing, um let's keep going here, this is my new plans, so ah, here the entire plan out and then I am gonna ask you guys what you think about it you're gonna think it's brilliant or it's the dumbest idea you've ever heard huge idea mall fashion show okay now fashion shows are done that and it's in and of itself is nothing new but can you deliver this as a photographer? You own the fashion show so it becomes a major event we're going to coordinate with the mall it can be done with kids teens, seniors there's no real limit to it we're going to coordinate with the clothing companies in the malls, the tuxedo companies, the dress cos banana republic that gap twenty one and under whatever the stores are in there, we're going to get them to donate clothes for the fashion show okay, we're going to coordinate with the deejay company why? Because he's me cutting it up right out there aah and he's going to set up the stage for us? We're gonna have lighting there and the deejay is going to be able to promote himself. We're going to coordinate with the limo company. Why? Because they're going to pull off friend limo in the mall for prom let's say we're going after seniors ok? We're gonna call it the senior fashion experience, okay? And then you're going to get your you're going to get a senior casting call going out there okay, so let's forget kids let's forget anything let's just focus on seniors for the moment I'm gonna run a casting call for seniors by the way, this casting call is going to be your future crop of seniors because these were gonna be sixteen, seventeen eighteen year old they're gonna have all this amazing high fashion clothing we're looking for models in the age group range whatever kind of fashion show we think we want to do that's what we're going to do the contest winner gets cash and a free portfolio where does the cash come from? The clothing companies that are going to advertise in this thing right and I'm not talking about charging them all those clothing companies in the mall have budget okay it's not a big budget but they have budget so you're going to make it affordable form maybe it's two hundred bucks to be part of the show right you're gonna get ten of these now you've got a two thousand dollar cash prize the mall is going to donate the space for you your wheel should be turning right now right? Do I have this all flushed out? I do not I'm making this up as I go this is a new idea there's going to be road bumps there's going to be details but conceptually this thing has all the makings to be huge we want to get ten to twenty models, male and female to be part of this we want we're then going to bring them in for a previous session. So guess what? We're going to create this runway for them it's going to be set up with studio strobes? You're going to be the only photographer at the end of this row and you're taking pictures on them. Okay, maybe you could get one of the local model agencies to donate time and train them on howto walk down the catwalk, so to speak, ok, just to give him a little bit idea or you give them some direction, right? I don't have all the details flushed out. We need to create packages again two ninety nine for ninety nine seven, ninety nine in that range. We talked about it earlier, we're going to set up a runway with tvs and lighting. How cool would that be? You can come up with the tvs, the deejay company, all the deejay companies today at least the ones that are worth anything have these tv setups for their boots. So now as you're shooting, tethered those images air showing up so everybody in the mall are seeing your images pop up on the screen, okay? And maybe you thinking, whoa, I'm showing images as they're coming off right off my camera you sure are, because you're going to apply a preset that sitting in light room, right? The weight shooting tethered works is you shoot hits light room edit immediately gets applied to it via filter. Nobody's doing it. Boom shows up on the screen. There's technology out there to allow this to happen. Uh, so were displaying images real time. We sell advertising to the stores in the mall. We create fliers special thanks to banana republic on we give them a full page ad in this thing. Okay, so we're selling that advertising again. Don't have all the details flushed out. We use ad dollars for the grand plies prize flyers everywhere. With what show special. You've got a captive audience, little susie's, a runway model. You don't think little susie's gonna bring everybody she knows to cheer her on. Of course she is. Man, you've got this captive audience there now, watching you ready? Right to engage and maybe sign up for a family session. Book a family session today. Fifty percent off your session fee. Book your senior session. Get fifty percent off your session fee. Somebody's there helping you booking this session. This is a monster idea that I think you can pull together. Thoughts we digging it, am I crazy? A little crazy I mean it could work because I mean like you're going to set up something huge in the mall where there's tons of traffic and everyone's going to be like, well, what's going on what's going on what's going on and you're gonna build an amazing crowd talk about brand awareness you're going to have a massive amount of brand awareness for your brand why wouldn't the mall want to participate in this if you're not excited about and you're just coming up to me, I'd be like yeah, you know I'd like to have a little brother what no, I got this amazing idea we're going to have massive amounts of traffic to the mall because every model is going to bring all their friends and family to the mall you don't think there's every mall in america is dying to have more traffic in the mall they sure are they will give you this space you may have to wait for your moment time to get that space, but they definitely want to be part of something like this. What else were you guys thinking? I'm not kidding you. I tell you this idea is completely raw there's something over here internet loves this and brenda uh j says can't tell you how many vendors I've been talking teo I'm a portrait photographer that want to do this exact I dea, especially people associated with children, the planning stages becomes a little overwhelming, but looking to get a pro party planner right now to donate the services to make it all work. Also the thing about taking some photos of the model, including before the event so you can have running a slide running slide show before the event building anticipate brenda, brilliant man, that is an amazing idea, right? So brenda just is, like, kind of taken it to that next level. I didn't even think about that, right? That's how raw this ideas take the kids out the day before, okay? Get them comfortable in front of the camera, shoot them outside or locally or create a studio set up. And now those air rotating through as the kids were coming through. That is an amazing idea. But, brenda one thing. What the hell are you waiting for, man? Get out there and do this. She's got it like this amazing idea. So I know it's overwhelming and that's the part that's holding me up right now is I'm slammed. I don't have time to execute this and so if it's one thing, this will take his time. But I think the payout could be monsters for your brand and also think what I'm hearing you say also sells that look, this is a business, but you got to take some risks risks I'm trying to put yourself out there getting a little bit uncomfortable know not everything is gonna be a home run, but you got to get out there, get your hands dirty this is a calculated risk is far as I'm concerned I really believe no matter what good bad or indifferent your brand is going to be all over this thing right there's all sorts of ways to create point of displays for your brand, for your logo and your marketing but you own this right? And so now you're controlling everything you're not merely the photographer participating in the event, then your you have all these rules and and limitations you only event you're driving the event, what could be fricking better than that? And if you get in there and you make it work, you think the mall is going to do this with anybody else? No, they're going to be dedicated to you, you do it once for seniors, you go back, you go hey, you know that then we did for seniors, we're going to work again for we're going to it again for toddlers all you know, that event that worked for for that we're gonna do it again for teens were gonna do it again for seniors right and now you made that work at one mall now you got a proven track record now you can go to another mall in your area you could another more fifty miles away and do it I'd be willing to go fifty miles away to a new mall to run this entire event because I know I'm going to make money on it this is monster man it also sounds like you mention this earlier regarding brad oh shows that things don't go as planned you you recommended that people always go back and ask you about what went wrong so every time you execute something so what's the postmortem process like how do you evaluate pros in the kinds of what happened that's a really good question and that is where you're process I guess comes into play when we're done with an event no matter what it is whether it's a wedding whether it's a bridal show oh our show like this or even w p p ay me and my team sit down we grab coffee we spend two to four hours sitting there brutal honesty about what went right what went wrong you are not going to build your brand to be a million dollar brand if it's just all fluff in sugarcoating you've got to be willing to surround yourself with people were going to give you straight honest advice and it's, not always pretty it's, not always fun. We're going to get our feelings hurt, but at the end of the day, it's all for what to build a better business and that's. One thing we are really, really good at is stepping back and going, okay, what we do, right? What'd we do wrong, and you've got to be able to accept that feedback. That's what every high performance team in america, not just photographers, any high performing team is willing to do is that's. Look inward at what they did right or wrong.

Class Description

Learn actionable and affordable marketing strategies you can use to help grow your business from Sal Cincotta in Marketing Your Photography Business.

In this class, you’ll learn how to generate more site traffic and prospective customers though easy-to-implement digital marketing techniques. Sal will show you how a combination of social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs) and search engine optimization (SEO) can attract leads to your site. He also show you how to build a marketable portfolio that impresses potential clients once they arrive on your page. You’ll also learn how to determine if your marketing plan is working, and how to fix it if it's not.

This course is great for both beginning photographers and established studios. The basic strategies provide a good fundamentals refresher for established studios, and the more advanced information gives less-established photographers a roadmap for the future. There will be advice for ANY genre of photography marketing.



I'm currently a business owner in another industry. The business is financally successful, highly respected and the envy of our competitors. In order to market the business how I visualised our brand/customer, I learned how to take a photograph! I then feel in love with photography... I can completely relate to the concepts Sal is offering. This is fantastic advise many of which I have implemented in my own business. It's amazing how this advise can easily transfer to marketing any business or product. Unless like I had done you want to find the time to read countless books on the subject of business marketing, learn from trial and error, then simply fast-track years ahead and buy this course. It's a no-brainer! If only CL had been around when I had literally fought my way through setting up my business I would have found success a lot earlier. Sal's passion, drive, creativity and determination is what he can't teach you however. You are gonna have to do it your own way! Good luck to you all and Happy New Year.