Networking you know all this is putting all those pieces together so that you could begin that networking process and um like I said earlier I used to have somebody that that was her job was to really you know, come to me and say, you know, this is an event that's going on or this is a charity thing that's going on a gal that's going on you need to be here you need to be there there's an art gallery opening you know, whatever it wass you know I mean, she just plug me into the right place uh at this point in my life I don't want to do that anymore um my business is pretty established and you know, yes, we go through times or we have to I got to do real kids I got to you know, do something I've got to make money tomorrow you know where I'm networking for that right client again, but overall I'm not you know, out into the marketplace if you're new in business and starting and you want to be in front of the right people it's great teo scour the newspaper, scour your local publications and ...
and it doesn't matter where you live, there are local put publications that you can plug into and just to get information you know, find out what's going on in your area and who's doing what who's opening a new business that's another great one you know you see a new business come into town and you think my target client is going to be there you know call that person and say you know hey, I noticed that you open I'm you know congratulations send them flowers I mean do whatever it takes to get in front of that person and let them know you know, ifyou've got marketing that you need done I'd be happy to come over do a headshot for you um you know, photograph on event if you have something coming up on open house to celebrate your grand opening, whatever it is start networking, you know, it's all about those relationships that we can build your client database is your most valuable asset and, you know, like ernie said, this is bare bones marketing this is all you know, business is business is business no matter where we are, you know, it's two thousand twelve and yes, everything is constantly changing it's about the only thing we can count on is change we know things are going to change, but the basics of business are always the basics of business. If we don't have a client database, we don't really have a business, so but that's the beauty of doing these portrait events is it literally can start with one person and I love that don't be afraid to ask for referrals from some from people and even if you you know, picked that person out in church and had a conversation with her and it wasn't right for her, you know, ask her you know, who do you know that this would be right for, you know, like I could tell you again I'm going to say a lot you know you're well connected those air really keywords that if I stay to kristen you know, I know you're really well connected and you know, I would love to just meet some of your friends and, you know, find out who this might be perfect for you're gonna love hearing that I'm telling you I've heard that you're well connected or you seem so well connected you know, that kind of thing like it feels good and when somebody tells us that were the person in the know we want to give the information you know and so you know when somebody comes us for any for any advice, you know I love your glasses miley you know, where did you get them she's gonna love telling me you know, um so what? So whatever that is don't be afraid to ask for referrals people love giving information implements is always welcome yeah, exactly that'll be afraid for them to ask for them um from the secrets of ward a mouth marketing another book there's a quote that says word of mouth is the most powerful force in the marketplace more powerful than salespeople advertising and all other marketing elements put together now that's a pretty bold statement and but it is so true and I know you know, probably most of you like me, you know, referrals built my business um I do believe displays or another form of referral I'm getting in and networking with other businesses that's that business saying this is my photographer of choice this is the person that I trust in and love and I'm recommending them to you. And so, you know, it all goes back to that word of mouth that referral, so ask for them do you ever have you had points? Um, you know, early on when you're developing your business where you will actually act like, ask clients like for feedback and say, why do you keep coming to me like, what is it about my work that draws you and why do you keep coming back? Because I have a handful god bless them people who continually book me and I love them they're my favorite clients because they will always come to me and I want more clients like that, and so I'm at the point now where I'm like, why are they coming back because it's I don't have any objective I mean I see that I do good work but it's different than having somebody else say this is why right? Well and it's great always to ask for testimonials testimony is a great great for your blogging your website and even facebook and um and so that's that's one way to get some of that information from them without just saying you know why why would you come back why do you like me oh but but let him know that you're building your block and he would love to have their experience and writing you know and just tell them you know, your some of my favorite people and you know I'd love to be able to share your experience with other people and again people like that and you know as a blogger you know you know when you asked for some somebody you know I'd love for you to guess blogger that was one thing that I did a couple years ago is I actually had one of my best clients one of my monies hi emily um she I asked her to be a guest blogger on on the lorry nor some studio blogged and I said you know you're my target client I know you have a message to the rest of the other mommies that I want to you know reach and would you just mommy blogger on my studio website and you know and so she did that and but you know anybody really that you ask they people love guest log and they love writing articles and giving information mask one quick question about their first do you offer a referral fee like I would also offering offer like a ten percent referral fee so if they book whatever thing they got or do you mean your upstage you don't need to but for us let no I do every day we do a fifty dollar gift card for every referral okay and my policy even in the studio if someone calls are a studio and says susie johnson told me all about you she loved working with you she's got great this and that whatever um we hang up and and right susie johnson a thank you and sent her a gift card even if that client didn't book because in my opinion she did her job she talked about us she got that client to call I'm sending her thank you. You know you always offered in the form of a gift card yeah, always a gift card and it's a fifty dollar gift card and we actually tell our clients now um which is another something that I learned but um we tell our clients now you can use this or you can gift it and so we actually allow them the opportunity to gift it to someone else which a lot of times, wait another week for all you know, can you apply it to anything product, shoot anything, or do you, like, you can apply it to anything yet? I don't want to differentiate around that because I do want them to be able to use it for anything I've had people that have stacked him up, you know, we also we keep track of everything so they don't have to even bring the gift card back, and we know keep track of it all for then, um, I was going to say the we have our our referral campaign, we actually have a whole thing around it, but it's called circle of friends and kind of the idea behind it when we developed it was we want your circle of friends to be part of our circle of friends and that's when I really got aggressive about asking for referrals and I say aggressive lightly, because again, I'm not the aggressive type person, but I'm the I want everyone to like me person, but I will when I'm done with an ordering appointment, for example, I will sit down with somebody and I'll say, and I've really enjoyed working with you. And I know I would love working with your friends now is there anybody that you would think would enjoy this and it really it's just uh I just want them to kind of have it in their mind and be thinking about they don't need to give me a name right then but I just want the you know, just wanted to start kind of generating ideas I just want to share maybe is it like, you know, like this city that I work with with which is I'm just starting so I'm like a baby stay ahead but we have this uh process every client that comes to the student and buy anything with the order they get a reference reference card which is one off the picture that they choose so it's one off the favours and then they get like maybe fifty or so and then in the back hazard informations and they all love that so if anybody comes with through the card they get some discounts on some of the products that you want to buy more if everybody just did their love it because it's like it's your photo like something that you like and is very personal yeah besides all the cars in marketing head so it's the product line that that has worked really well for me and is our seniors and because we do it they're ordering appointment a week after their session and they don't actually get their order for another four weeks, those referral cars or something that we print for every single high school senior it's typically my favorite image. Um, but we put it on a little referral card with the fifty dollars gift covered. Basically on the back of it, they get a stack of fifty of them and I think fifty from the lab costs from a c I a is like twelve bucks or something, you know it's like it's, super cheap, no, just a business card and it's another thing that is just a template that gets dropped in their name goes on it on the back. It's always the same it's a fifty dollar gift card to the studio. But it's it's the only thing they get to take away from their ordering session. And so they're super excited about getting out. So it kind of doubles as that thing of you know, the kids don't care about handing out a fifty dollar keep on, they do not care, just like there, they want to pass out their pictures and that's the only thing that they have, and so it's a great way to get something in their hands right away, I really believe that if it if we waited and it came with their order they probably wouldn't get him out as much, but the point of that is just to not be afraid teo phil had an ass for referrals and you know, if we know that referrals and word of mouth is that powerful, you know, why aren't we putting something in place to make sure that it happens and then thinking those people that do refer us with a you know, whether it's fifty dollars or whatever it is just making sure that we're saying thank you uh, same colds true before I'm about the same holds true for the businesses that you're networking with if there's a business that's referring clients to you where you're getting clients as a result of a display or whatever it might be anyway that you're networking, make sure you're thinking this people and continue that relationship you know, we we all like to be thanked and, you know, we like we like cards and notes and you know all those things that is a great thing, so make sure you're doing that for your your networking partners um give certificates another great way to meet new people, get involved with new people and just, you know, good old fashioned marketing is to get those gift certificates out and whether it's with current clients that you're gifting to give other people right now around the holidays is a great time um a lot of times with are with the real kids events I'll give every single person that comes a fifty dollar or hundred dollar gift card to give to a friend that will you know they can use at a future portrait event um another thing that that works just marketing in general, you know, around mother's day around now the holidays you know, around certain times pick ten of your best clients. So you said you've got this little pocket of clients that are that you would like to have more of, you know, picked ten of them and write amo a letter and including they're a handful of gift cards and calm stocking stuffers or whatever and just, you know, tell him I've really loved working with you over the last couple of years, and, um, I know I would love working with your friends I would like to gift you with ten hundred dollar gift certificates to give to your favorite people at christmas, you know, you could do it before mother's day you could do before school starts again called back to school. I mean, you could do it at any time and I ask like, on an internal side, does that end up looking like a credit basically like you just knock off, set him out, okay, yep, just take it off though um give certificates we do a lot with, um store's other businesses um you know again, if I can get it in somebody's hands it has my target client and make it look like it's coming from that business, then it's it's that much more powerful. So for example, again, when I lived in colorado, I worked with a home builder and that it was somebody who we all know you know, high end home builders always give a gift to the people that buy a home and usually it's a gift basket from somewhere local or it's um, you know, a plant or you know, something for their new home they're they're giving them something. And so I started working with this home builder and went in and offered him a free family portrait session for each one of his new uh, clients knew new buyers and I designed cars that were just for him they had his name on him and basically it just said, you know, we so appreciate your business. Uh, you know, we've enjoyed the process with you building your home bob black we'd like to give you with your first family portrait session for your new home with maureen orth from studio and then it had the gift card in there and uh and when I presented this to this builder, he said well can I go ahead and buy a wall portrait as well? And so I gave the free session but then he bought a wall portrait for every single one of his new clients he was spending that money anyway and so you know, when you start thinking about the possibilities and again that's going to someone with the kind with the idea that I've got some things I want to throw it you have got some good ideas for how we might partner together and I'd love to hear your ideas too you know, it leaves that ball in their hands where they can threw something back at you and it may not always end up being you know, yeah, I want to purchase more, but they might have other ideas for you um I worked with a local bakery at one time that I had to display in the bakery and they actually sold for birthday baby sessions for me and to me it was another one of those things you know, I think everything through like this when I'm thinking about marketing and giving away those free sessions you know isn't my target client. I do a lot of profit from baby's first year and so there's I don't want to necessarily giveaway certain you know, things in that time that's not my target client but if it's this they've reached their first birthday and I haven't photographed them yet then yeah I'm going to seize that opportunity to get the right client into my studio and so I went to the bakery with the display and you know, talking about some things that ways that we could work together and she actually said well you do lots of first first birthdays first birthday babies right yeah well what if I sold birthday sessions for you like rock on you know that's awesome and so you know again it should be her commission no, she sold the gift cards and kept the the prophet oh, she was selling okay, yeah, okay and and you benefit from that just by shooting the session and then selling product exactly yeah, we're really full session fee did that gives the typical she actually my studio session is one hundred eighty five dollars and they sold the birthday baby sessions for one hundred dollars and it included a cake. Okay, so they client actually bought a cake in a session and it was discount and they had it on their, you know, regularly one hundred hundred eighty five dollars and however much the cake was and then and they got it for under so it was a deal okay for the person but then when they came to me, you know, just like a regular client and of course those types of clients they're buying a session I'm not telling them we're gonna walk you through just like a regular client they are regular kind, you know? But we are same thing taking them through that process there still purchasing at the end and you know, so it's a win win all the way around, I know when to move quickly just wanna clarify have you always done the session? Is there ever a time that you would have do like a free campus print with your something one of the products so that then you don't have the oh oh, great, you're giving me a session fee and now I have to pay for my product. Is there any time that you've ever done way like with auctions and that type of thing? Okay on, we will talk about auctions later, but there are certain circumstances were completely makes sense that you would put product make product involved. The thing that you don't want to have happen is that you are giving away something where they can walk away you can pay for the session, but what I'm saying is it's like, would you ever do like a free campus print? Yeah, like you could do and what usually when we do a gift card and it's a dollar amount it doesn't have to be towards our session they can put it towards something else, however, if it's a hundred dollar gift card assesses session of one hundred eighty nine dollars and eight by tens hundred fifty so they really you know there's still gonna be investing I'm just wondering which would be in their minds that they yeah and I think it's in your mind yeah e o you gotta decide because you feel the same for if even if his baby fisk aids is our baby's first year is four sessions for the price of two so they can invest three hundred seventy and have four sessions but it's still that one eighty five session? Yeah, which is studying in a session? Uh, no, no, no, the portrait event our thirty minutes, ok, but the regular studio sessions or an hour okay, yeah. Okay, let me see. Uh, we've already talked about displays. My philosophy behind displays is seeing is believing people have to see and experience our product to get it. You know, I could never say to a client on the phone if they called and said hi, can you tell me how much your eight by ten is one hundred fifty dollars? Click that's how that would go, you know, so displays being in people's homes you know, um that all allows them to experience a product and start having that level of value be built in their mind if they haven't seen anything um you know then I've got a little bit more work to do on the phone if they call and say how much is your eight by ten I'm gonna tell him you know I'd love to send you over our complete product menu so you have all the pricing in front of you um you know, tell me about who we're gonna be photographing tell me about how you heard about us you know, I want to start asking them questions and how you heard about this question tells me a lot if they saw it at the eye doctor if they saw it in susie johnson's house you know, whatever some of that work groundwork has been laid if they googled and found me online, I got a lot of work to do with this person you know? I could never tell them an eight by ten to one hundred fifty dollars itjust wouldn't fly, you know and and speaking of pricing it doesn't matter if you're eight by ten is ten dollars or one hundred fifty dollars it's going to be too much for somebody you know that's that's not what it's about what it's about is the value that leads up to that price and so and it really can't be about one hundred fifty dollars for an eight by ten that's it's not what it's about we'll talk more about that on our pricing day but um my seeing is believing and this again is justin preview but it's something that I would show somebody for their, you know, their waiting office the same idea we just take a picture put the display on the wall showing what it's gonna look like just and when we're now going into developing that contactless in other ways to market so an open house is a great way and I mentioned earlier that even if you don't have a place to bring people into if you don't have a studio if you I would never bring your target clyde into your home, you can always partner with another business uh, teo host an open house and, you know, building those relationships who's my target client were really spending time with this many money I want a partner with those people so I can call somebody and, you know, once we started this relationship once we maybe even have a display, you know, well, I would love to host an open house for you, you know, how would it look if we both invited our favorite people? We can make the vips, the people who are have their portrait displayed here and just do an open house in unveiling of the portrait that we've got hanging and you can come in, bring the wine and cheese you know, whatever and be the host and that's going to introduce you to all the rest of their clients who were going to come and visit this open house? We've also done open open house with just with clients, you know, somebody comes in and they purchased really well for their home and done a couple of wall groupings in different places I'll just tell him, you know, I'm sure you're really excited to start showing this stuff off and they'll say, oh, I can't wait for my friends to see it and, you know, and and I'll just offer, you know, you know, well, if if you're interested, I would love to host an open house for you let's get everything showed off, you know, show you know, all this great stuff off and, you know, and that has turned into being able to go into somebody's home and actually doing in an unveiling of their artwork and and again, I could be there playing host, but what I'm really doing is I'm getting to be all these people's friends, you know? And I'm the I'm really the featured person there because they're showing off everything that I just created for them and so, you know, it's again, it's a win win all the way around and and you never know unless you ask, you know, just taking that extra step um the next thing and I talked about the bakery and selling the birthday sessions. But what lead from that was our birthday club and what we do in the studio now is anybody that I do. Ah, portrait event with anybody that comes in does a regular session in the studio. Whatever. Whatever. Um, their child is then enrolled in our birthday club, and I actually do a free session for any kid during the month of their birthday. And, uh, this is again is one three fourteen. So kind of the same rules as the as the portrait event system. That again is because I want those high school seniors coming back to the studio, but what this has done for me is, first of all, it's allowed me to contact people that I I want to contact. So if somebody has been a good client in the past, even if they know about the birthday club, they might, you know, not collar. Forget about it by the time the birthday comes around. But I've got this and this tracking system where I can say, okay, lucy's, birthday is next month, so I'm gonna sit down and make the calls for the birthdays for next month, and I can just concert, you know, hi, this is laurie, how are you guys doing? I see that it's lucy's birthday next month I can't believe she's gonna be fore you know, whatever the conversation is and then you know I would love to get her in for that free session and again we've got to have these rules you know, it is just for the child it's not for the family and it's not for siblings but to make that a yes all the way around and make it a very positive thing for the client what I'm going to do is I'm gonna I'm gonna tell them you know we want to you know, if mom says well, can we just bring the whole family since we're going to be there? Can we bring the other kids? I must say, you know what? Let's make this a really special day for lucy let's start a tradition that she's gonna look forward to every single year coming into the studio with you for her special day and I wanted to be all about her I wanted to be about her birthday. Now I'd love to schedule a family session for you guys, but I'd actually really even prefer not to do it on the same day because this really should be all about lucy and you know when you explain it like that to a mom, you know, I don't have people that come back to me and say, well, she's really not all that um you know, so they get it they understand and you know, when I put a couple of key phrases in there you know, let's create a tradition let's do something really special for her that she's gonna look forward to every single year you know? And if it's a mom ringer you know you could tie that in, you know, make it a girls day let's make it all about her and you know, something fun that she's going to look forward to it could be any time the month of her birthday and but what has happened is that as we do schedule family sessions as a result, we've got him on the phone and, you know, sort of we're talking and they'll book the birthday session and yeah, it is we do need id to get in for another family session it doesn't happen every time but it's, that opportunity for me to make those phone calls connect back with that person that has been a good client in the past and get them back in the studio. I love doing business with people who have already worked with me because they know the process, you know, it's not like if, you know, bringing in a new client there's a lot more work to do when we're bringing in a new client so any time you can communicate back to past clients um you know figure out a way to make it work for you and for them um other just quick ways to market any press print items that you can do I hear from a lot of photographers that well I don't like I don't want to press print products there's not enough markup on him or they're too much work you know, whatever I've been doing print press items since away before you could do them you know, I was sending to a company that they would scan the picture you know put him on these cards and I had to buy five hundred at a time and I would sell a minimum of one hundred to my clients and pretty much chunk for hundred I'd pay for my costs and that was it and the reason was because I knew that every single time those cards went out it was paid for marketing for my business you know not only had they paid for the printing where they were paying to mail it to qualify clients you know, their friends and family and so I have believed in print press items since the beginning since day one of my business and I feel just a strongly about them now you know if you're if you're not capitalizing on holiday cars and greeting cards and thank you cars and every opportunity that you can to get press print items in your client's hands you're missing the boat it is paid for marketing that's being hand delivered a lot of times to your target market so um strongly believing that for marketing and yet we're not paying anything for that uh publicity's and press release you know if you guys go home and you decide I'm gonna start this I'm going to do start doing portrait events I'm gonna make this happen it's something new and exciting that you're doing in your business and right now around holiday times every publication is looking for items to put in about holiday gifts and things that are happening during the holidays and so you know, talk about a great new frame line that you're carrying or talk about um photo jewelry or you know I mean just something cool and you could just put in a couple of images um all these companies will offer you images that you khun drop your images into either the framing using preview you can do it um katori has great templates for the photo jewelry that you could drop your images into so you could actually show your images in the jewelry already built in for you so think about sending some of that stuff out with the press release um if you've got specialty publications in your area send him you know hey here's what's going on don't make it about you but make it about something that their target market is well and publications even have them but the people that they're reaching, something that they would be interested in and, you know, home decor, holiday items, all those things, air of great interest to people. Um, so get those things out. Sending out your newsletter is a great way to market and again, um, biggest thing that I could say about that is, and I'm not great about sending out a newsletter on we do it all electronically. Now, I do as much as I can digitally, but with the newsletter you never wanted to be about you, you know, blah, blah, blah and nobody cares, they only care about them, you know? And so talk about a family who just had a baby or talk about somebody who did something great, you know, for a charity or one of your clients, that was one of those top ten doctors or, you know, whatever it is, talk about somebody else. If you photograph high school seniors, make it about, you know, the football player of the week or the straight a student or whatever it is that's even a great way to get clients is to call a day care and say, you know, hey, I would love to feature a family once a month in my newsletter. Um, you know, can you put it out in your newsletter that I'm looking for a family to talk about, you know, go to those day cares that are charging thirty thousand dollars a year because they're out there, you know? And if that's your target client, tell him I want to celebrate the families that you're working with, I'll come there, I'll do whatever I need to do but get in front of those people and then talk about those people. Those people will then spread the news because they want to share their pictures, they want to share what's going on in their lives. So, um, tie those people in your block? Um, I'm going to show you with our poor treatment system, how we just part of the system is getting those images into block templates on the block. We're allowing our our clients to share them, putting them in email newsletters for them. Um, and again, I'm horrible about keeping my block and facebook and all that up to, but but it does work those lectures I said, I don't like that word, but there it is, every group in every area, if you've targeted your target client, you know, for instance, your target mom is has her kids and these play groups where they have um there baby swim classes or whatever it is you know, their target client is spending time somewhere figure out where this place is our and get in front of those people and again it could be decorating with portrays a home and with the self esteem that that raises in a child to see their torches on the wall to see their memories in an album it could just be designing the core ideas based around portraiture and again why you're doing this? You don't have to ever say, oh, look at me, but you're showing images throughout the whole entire thing um charity work auction's we're gonna talk all about that on sunday um personal cars and phone calls that's so not my writing if it was, you couldn't read it but it's just a little tight thing, but you know, we all love getting personal handwritten notes and that's something that's built into my work flow um all through the process, we want to send out a note after the first phone call telling them we love talking to them and we're looking forward to working with them. We want to send out a hand written note after the session telling them how fun the session was and what a great time we had um and then again after the order appointment, letting them know they made great choices and we can't wait to see their artwork so we're sending hand written notes all along the way, and I would really encourage you to get it into your workflow somewhere, you know, you don't have to be that aggressive with it, but somewhere in your workflow, somebody you know, your client should be getting notes from you and phone calls as well. And I told you guys that around this time of year we're actually making phone calls to our clients and sometimes it doesn't even start with actually booking appointment. We'll make the phone calls that just say, hey, we were just thinking about you guys, how the girls we haven't seen you in a while and then it's crazy crazy how many times somebody will say, oh my gosh, we've been thinking about getting a portrait or we've been thinking about calling you and, you know, it's it's just taking that one extra step I don't ever, ever want to complain about my schedule not being booked if I'm not being proactive and reaching out to my clients it's it's not gonna be booked its two thousand twelve, we just have to face it. We have to do those, you know, take those out extra steps to stay booked and stay busy.