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Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 20 of 33

Unconventional Marketing

 

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 20 of 33

Unconventional Marketing

 

Lesson Info

Unconventional Marketing

when we roll into unconventional marketing because there are obviously conventional marketing that we can do. Obviously, we all know that your basic avenues of marketing where we go get this printed. We try this because we know this has been done and we know that it gives some sort of success. Well, with me, a marketing budget is something that was not always there. And I hear from a lot of people and they say, Well, maybe you take 15% of your overall sales, and that's what your marketing budget would be. And for May I say, if I took 15% of my sales and put it in the marketing, my lights would be turned off. So that's how it lunch for me, you know, and I do better now, obviously, but I know how it is to not have that money to market with. But I think that you can market a lot smarter and a lot harder and not really have to spend a ton of money right. And as we all know, there's a lot of people when they first get started, you know that we're not. We don't have a website quite yet, you ...

know, there's nothing wrong with that. You don't have to have a website to get started in photography. Sometimes it's not necessarily a bad idea to start without a Web site. It's unconventional. You start without a web site and you see how things go and you figure out your brand and you figure out how to brand yourself, How do I wanna be? Where do I want to fit in? And then you get a website. So just because you don't have a website, it is unconventional. But just like with all the marketing I'm gonna share unconventional, sometimes gonna be the best way to go. Why follow the same path that everyone else has followed? Jump off the beaten path, make your own path, you know, So what a lot of people are doing now, and some of this is a little redundant. But I'm gonna show you how I'm using something and avenue to the fullest extent of his advantage. And I'm making it work for me, and we're not gonna talk about anything derogatory. And I'm simply talking about Facebook. So don't get your feathers ruffled here. Just about Facebook. These are some of the things I'm using, and this is a form of marketing. Facebook is a free avenue for me to get my work in front of people, and I'm using in my advantage things you can do. Encourage your clients to check in when they come in. And you can't just say, Hey, check in when you come in they're not gonna go through the effort of doing that. You have to give people something in order to receive something. These days again, it's our society. It's sad, but it's true. We have to give in order to receive. So the checking and let's everyone know where they are. So it shows up on their feet. You know? Hey, just checked in Blair Phillips photography And then they can click right on that, and it takes them to my page. They can start exploring. Well, what's my friend doing? What? What is she giving? Because I don't want the same thing she's getting. I want to be different, but secretly, I want the same thing she's getting because I wanna be just like her, Marijuana said yesterday. Everyone wants something different, yet we all want the same thing now offer deals for multiple check ins in our studio, we have a little sign in the dressing room interpreted eight by 10 with an easel back that we get from H and H color lab. And it's a nicely designed piece with an image. And it says for if you check in three times, receive a free eight by 10 from your session, they're gonna be there three times. Anyways, they're gonna be there whenever they check in for their their session. They're gonna be there for this, uh, for the order appointment. And then they're gonna come back to pick up the order. So expressed him. Hey, look, you're gonna be here anyways. If you just use your phone, give me your phone. Don't be afraid to take their phone and do it for him. Moms. A lot of times they don't know how to use that stuff. They have a Facebook Onley because they want to be nosy and check on their daughter or their son. Grab there. Phones they Look, Mom, get you don't even know what you're doing. Give me that thing. Let me check in about 14 times for years. Figure out how to set it on auto repeat and just have him check in and fill it with Tiger for every day. Like it's their job, you know? So, you know, figure out clever ways to use Facebook to your advantage. Don't just post an image and say, Here's my latest work. Figure out different ways. Toe you you know, different avenues of it. That is simply just one of the easiest ways that we found. It doesn't cost you a lot of money. It doesn't cost you any money whatsoever to do that. And there you have it. Now there are also all types of different social media APS There are APS that you can download and buy that can help you pimp out your Facebook page and make it look a lot nicer than it already is. So if there's something that you're looking to do, like if you don't have the website yet and you say, Well, I'd really like to get to that point. But, you know, I just don't I don't know where to go right now. I've got something in here. Later, I'll show share it with you. Where to go, but use your Facebook to your vantage. Make your Facebook look better than everyone else's Facebook. So just food for thought. Now, as we know, I am really, really big on creating partnerships, and I'm really big own giving back to the community. And I'm really good with the community given back to me. So every where I go everywhere I go, I have my IPad with me. I also have my phone, but I found that the IPad is more impressive. When you're showing images bigger, it's, you know, it just allows for a better screen. So it's very common for me to go into a business. And when I walk in my okay, this is somewhere that I need to market with. Prime example. I went Teoh, I forgot even where I was, I think was in a restaurant, and this lady comes up to me and it was very awkward because she wanted to hand me some business cards. And I'm like, OK, I'm trying to eat Launch kind of rude number one, But she said, Hey, really quick, I just want to give you something. Next time you want to get your hair cut, you know which is pretty soon because you look like a goat by now. Um, she said here, give me a call and she said I'll do your 1st 1 for free. Just come check us out. That's all. Okay. Well, I went home that night. Was point on the stuff out. Like, you know, that sounds like something I would have done. That sounds like somebody that knows their target market. That has those in their pocket. When they see someone that might be their target client, they're gonna go after it. So I was like, I was pretty impressed by that because it takes, you know, some nerve to walk up to a complete stranger in a restaurant and just say, you know, hey, real quick. I just want to give you now. I'm not recommending that US photographers do that. I'm not saying that that's the way that we market. But she marketed that way for her business. That was her business. And as a result, when I needed my hair cut, I said, You know what? I've been going to the same girl for a while, But you know what? Why don't I give this girl a chance? She went out on a limb, called her up. Yeah, come on in, she says a matter of fact. Bring your wife with you. I'll do her hair, you know, complementary as well. I walked in there getting my hair. You know, she says, come on in. Wash your hair and I'm like, I just watched it this morning on us. Way do that Here. We're upscale salon. Whatever. So I'm sitting down, You know, I start talking as though my head's in the bowl. Yeah. So what do I know that she's like lady telling the wrong one A show like I don't know how to be quiet on. She says, you know, do you care for lavender or Rosemary? And I'm like, Now, look, if you bring in some kind of a dancer out here while I'm getting my hair cut now, I'm not interested in that. So she wraps this hot towel around my news and he starts massaging my scalp, and I'm like, Oh, this is all right here. Like, I'm glad I came here and, you know, when she was done, she's like, Okay, you can get up now and I'm over there like Like where you could get up. It was the most amazing experience. I had getting my hair cut. And I said, You know what? Before I leave, huh? I'm gonna give it back to them. And I said, Hey, Denise, before I leave, I'm gonna run back. We want out of the truck, right? We're right back. Okay? I said, who owns this joint anyway? And she said I was gave and Marissa here. I was like, Can you grab gave and Marisa's? Another may sound crazy. Kind of like when you came to me and said, I know this sounds kind of crazy. Grab gave him. Marissa, I'll be right back. Just like okay, she grabs, gave him Marissa, I'd come back and win the IPad. And I said, Listen, I'm gonna tell you right now is blown away with service I got here because it is the exact same replica of the type of service that I offer in my studio. And I said I want to just take a look at some of these images scrolling through him like, Oh, my gosh, do such great work. If I would have told him. Yeah, I do. Really nice work like, Yeah, I bet you do. That's cool. Good for you. But by showing them I said, Hey, what if What if I could get get just a small little table put in here? And I could just throw some alums out? Because our brand reflects one another, I could send people your way. If you have the occasional client, you could send my way. I would greatly appreciate it. Well, they were dumb enough to say yes. So I had some albums printed, sent him out there, and now I get a ton of business from them. Tom business people sitting there lobby. They have those old, outdated magazines, but then right beside into They have pictures. People are nosy. They want to look at people so they flip through him every single page. My name is on the bottom. There's business cards out. Everything is there. So I'm putting my work in front of people without spending a lot of money now. Yeah, I did have to buy the albums, but I call it H and H Color Lab. When they were having a special A sale on albums and I racked up, I'd put a little bit of money aside, and I said, When that sale comes snatch up about three or four albums threw him out there. So that is one small little idea of marketing that I'm gonna give you throughout this next hour. And actually, I think we're gonna make this segment a good bit longer. I think about four hours on this. When you guys good with that, you're like, No, not this late in the day, but eso a hair salon. Never be afraid to market to someone. I would walk in the bread store and figure out a way to get my work hanging in the bread store. People are gonna be in there. Not everybody is going to be your client, but someone that comes in well, I'll give you another great example of how we're using. Member told you use a marketing piece, but use it in a way that it's not not supposed to be used. Take this image here. This is a marketing piece from a change color lab. This is basic, like an announcement or card that you would get. But we're using it in a very unconventional way away that you're probably not supposed to be using it. We basically punch those little holes in there with the whole punch and we lace it up so it looks kind of like a course it. And on the inside of that is ah, high school senior. Just kidding. High school senior. I was going to go with that for a few minutes and see how long it took. No, this is ah, mature of, you know, mature lady. But what this is, we give these two a plastic surgeon again. This is unconventional marketing. You open it up, down on the bottom is his logo, and we make this appear as though it is coming from the plastic surgeon. But actually, we give it to the plastic surgeon to give to. Then it almost looks like he went to Blair Phillips photography and bought you a session and had it all wrapped up so that when you get your work done and you feel really, really good about yourself, you're augmentations done. What better way to say thank you than here? Go get a professional photo shoot. Done. I'm gonna take care of the session fee for you. I am given the session away for free, but it's coming from a qualified client. A client that's going to go to a plastic surgeon have worked on they obviously, you know, they care about their appearance, and they're not afraid to spend a little bit of money. So that's my target market now. Same thing goes with high school seniors. I could use this in a very similar way. And I'll show you how we do that in just a few minutes Now, Randy shared with me something quite interesting earlier, while we were on break. That Orian has the was the third largest parade. Portland. Portland has 1/3 largest parade, I guess in the country, right? Yeah. Well, I don't know about where you guys are, but where I am in a small town parades are people really look forward to the parades. We have a Christmas parade, a Thanksgiving Day parade, our Christmas parades or the biggest around the around the holidays, Christmas, whatever you celebrate. Um, and we go to the holiday parade, and we do it in an unconventional way. Do does my brand strike you as the kind that is gonna sit atop the back of a 65 Mustang and rolled through town? Okay. Waving at people? Probably not. That's just not me. So I would rather just not do it so I could miss out on the opportunity and must feel say, Well, ok, a parade. You're gonna goto a holiday parade toe advertise photography that makes no sense at all. But yeah, I'm gonna use every avenue I can think of. That doesn't cost me a lot of money. I'll give you a break down here. Holiday parade, The entry fee. I One thing the interfere was $150. Okay, that's you know, that's not just something you can throw away. I mean, these days, that's, you know, half a tank of gas and the and that's I was supposed to be a joke that you guys were supposed to laugh at, but I Let's rewind that thes days is I have to take a gas. All right, be here all day, $150 for your entry fee. And what I did was I went out and made partners and I was riding by this place when they have always been enthused with big trucks. As you saw in the slides before, when I bought the big rig and there was a guy here Mr Gibson. He's very meticulous. A ride by on all of these trucks are always lined up just perfectly in the evening, and someone's out there detail in them. I mean, these things look amazing. And his personal shrug, That's a 19. I think it's a 92 model with, like, three million miles, and it looks brand new. I mean, he keeps this thing spot on Perfect. So wheel in there one day and first thing he says, Man, I don't like your trouble But he got a big drug. Yeah, I'm a little guy. I guess I got that little guy. Big truck syndrome. So what of it? I'd love to hear that diesel engine purr. Yeah, that's right. And it's so funny. Have you ever found yourself doing this? If you speak to someone from a different nationality or you speak to someone like myself that has a Southern accent, you automatically kind of become that person. So, like, if I'm talking to someone else from Ireland before 10 or 15 minutes, I'm speaking like I have an Irish accent and they're like, OK, what are you doing? You're not making any sense here. Either that or I feel like they can't understand me. I speak louder. So if I speak louder than suddenly, they will understand me. Which is totally wrong as well. Mr. Gibson was a very, very country fellow, very country fellow. He basically would light one cigarette after the other. So at a very raspy voice like mine because of me not feeling well. But I have to match his personality when I get out of the truck. I can't get out of truck and approach, Mr Gibson and say hello, Mr. Gibson. I'm Blair Phillips. Blair, Phyllis, Entirety. Nice to meet you, sir. No feel is a like Well, yeah, but if that's what she wanted to you Come on down. That's found Lee. I have to approach feel and I have to get into character. And I have to You know how you feel. How's it going, everybody instead of hello feel? How are you, sir? Now I'm greeting someone here. A creativelive One of the executives that I would not come to say Hey, everybody. You know I know, but I know to get into character when it's appropriate. Hello, sir. How are you? Nice to meet you. So I can wear many hats now pulling his business. I get out. Hey, everybody. How are you? And we start, just kind of, you know, talking for a little while, You know, we're breaking through barriers. I'm asking about his trucks, letting them know I'm interested in what he does. I'm complimenting his trucks, asking about his business, things like that. Before you know it, I said, Well, man, this is gonna be a really odd question, but have you ever thought of driving one of your trucks through the holiday parade? I said, do you know how many people goto a holiday parade that are looking for a long distance truck driver? Have you ever thought about that? Everyone there needs a long distance truck drop? Not really, but I was a joke. You know? I'm killing the jokes today, buddy, but, you know, he was like, Well, nobody. I never really thought about that. And I said, Well, you know, it's just good advertisement. It's always good to be out in your community, let people know you're there. You may have that one guy that owns a large corporation, and he's really mad with his current truck and company and he sees the robe on. He said right that name down, I'm gonna call him. And next thing you know, you could have a $ million in business next year. So why don't we do this? Feel I didn't ask him? Well, feel what were you charged to do this? I said feel. Look, this is what I can do for you, buddy. Let me throw a couple gallons of gas in this old thing here and we borrow one of your flatbed trailers. Well, deck this thing out. Why don't we roll through that holiday parade and we just make a statement like listening? I'm listening. I'm gonna show you how Blair Phillips Photography does the holiday parade. This was the very 1st 1 I did. Dont pay attention of the graphics. I didn't film the video. The newscasters is live television. So I'm getting press and pay attention to the to the newscasters. They don't even know what to say. So when you watch this, don't judge, but just pay attention. See if my brand reflects this video partner with the deejay. I'll talk about that terrible font, by the way. Never used before. It gets too loud in here. This is Blair Phillips photography. They actually have a D. J on their flight. They're located in downtown Landis. Merry Christmas way. Be scared. I fall off the back of that GM and right there on the back of that truck, I would be holding on for dear life, especially if you were trying to do any dancing or anything like that In the party mood. That's a happy sound. Is everybody even those two drunk women on the back on the news caches? They didn't know what to say. The best they could come up with was they don't even know they know who. They don't know I am. But they said, Well, they put you in a party mood, that's for sure. That's a happy sound. So I connected with even them that had their hot toddies going on. I connected with those ladies and everybody was so cool to see. You know, we have the older people there that were sitting in their chairs, covered up, and then we had people that were just sitting there to catch candy like That's what everybody does it, though, Candy out and nothing says, Visit my business like a cold, hard Tootsie Pop, right? So it's funny you could see a wave to start. All of a sudden, we're coming this way down the street and you see these people and they'll stand up for a minute, and then by the time we get down there, like, Oh, yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Yeah, and they're dancing. Like even the older folks. We get up out of the chairs and they're dancing it like you're all right. Now we're gonna get occasionally those couple, they're like, cannot believe that. But they're not my target. Fine. For the most part, people love it. So I partnered with a D. J. And I said, Listen, we need to pump some music in this town. I've got a great avenue for you. You get on the bag, placing music, we're off to the races now. This is a staple. People have grown to expect me to do something similar, that we change it up every year. The theme. But we always have music. Some of the parade there at night. We have lights going and it's my brand is reflective to I am now moving on. If you're going to do any type of a show like where you go to, Ah, women show or ah, holiday show a prom show. Any types of show, a state fair county fair? Why weren't you? Don't put photography in a county fair? Well, I do, and I do a theme. I do something that's really over the top so that when those 12,000 people come to that county fair and they get their corn dogs and whatever else, don't not do something and punish the people that can't afford you. Just because it's in an area where most people you feel like won't visit, you don't put it out there because there will be people that, well like it. So don't just assume that everyone like now that's not my target market. There's gonna be people in that it will be your target market. I go to the county fair, an average citizen. You know, it's not county fair doesn't mean, you know you have to ride there on a bicycle or a skateboard. I mean, there's very well to do people that go to a county fair, But look at this image here. All right, left side image there. There are 3 27 inch I Max. There's a couch from the studio. There's my doors. I got black carpet and this image on the bottom right, because they're 30 by forties, printed on foam core that are pearl finish. Now, why on earth what I go through all that? Why would I get two booths when everybody else is just gonna get one and use the standard table with the table skirt like everybody? Why would I want to go through all this effort at a prom show? Well, because there's 13 other photographers. They're advertising their business and they all have the same set up. They have a 10 by 10 with a little black curtain, a little black skirted table, and they're standing there with their business cards out and a couple of little albums and maybe a bowl of breath. Men's. And we've taught our kids all our lives did not take take candy from strangers, so they're not gonna come up if I'm gonna be there. You best believe I'm gonna bring everything I can what we did in this event as we set the high max and we had people sign into their own Facebook account, send us a friend request and then log out of their account. So almost every one of those girls and guys that were there they were there. Now. They liked our business page, and we've got him on our business, paid we communicate with them. Was that a lot of extra effort? Absolutely. Did I have the same feeling going into this that I had seven years ago when I went to my first bridal show? Absolutely not. I was that guy that sat there at the table that they gave me, and I was like, Whoa, I ever come to this again. I'm gonna have something way better than this. So I went back to the drawing board and I said, You know what? So what? It's gonna take me two extra hours to set this up. I'm gonna do it. Do it now, this next one I'm in the process of working on. I've actually been trying to work on it for about two years now. It's gonna come to fruition this winter because I'm going to make this happen. We'll see the need for especially getting into the high school sports contracts. The dance studios, the preschools, all those things. I'm doing a diversify myself. I'm telling you, this is gonna be super popular. Check this out. Now follow me here. This is one of those that does cost a little money. It's not something that just, you know, you want to run right out and do. That's why I've been saving for this for a couple of years now. But everyone is seeing those old Airstream trailers, right? Everybody's seen those things like a big potato on wheels. All right, well, I had the idea. I saw a makeup company at a show one time, and now it was not going on makeup show, all right? It was a bridal show, but they had instead of having their booth, they had one of these things that was completely tricked out on the inside. And I said, Wait a minute. I could find themselves on Craigslist for, like, two and bugs, and I'm just going and gut the whole inside out. I can do all the work myself. I don't have a mobile marketing trailer. So when I call my high schools to to try and gain their sports contract or these dance studios. Do you know how hard it is to get a dance studio owner to leave her studio and come to you like it's just not gonna happen? It's not gonna happen, but I can call it a Listen, I'm gonna have my mobile marketing set up. My mobile marketing trailer is gonna be in your area on Wednesday, and I want to know what the chances if I could just get grabbed 10 minutes every time. If you're not 100% happy with what you're getting now Photography speaking and they say ab so lutely swing in. You got air condition running, You go in and get him. You bring him out, you've got a bar. Not that kind of bar, but a bar where you have all your workout. I've got prints hanging up. I've got a television, we have a couch, have furniture this bolted to the floor and I've got a mobile marketing trailer again. This is extreme. I get it. But I'm going from one extreme to the other and just showing you some unconventional marketing ideas. This is gonna happen for me now. Tailgating for high school football games in my area is not popular, which is even more the reason that I am gonna start tailgating when I get my Airstream trailer. I'm gonna be the 1st 1 I'll probably set it up around two o'clock. I well, that bad boy in and park it right up front. Drop the trailer. Go back to work. Well, about six. Before everybody started showing up. I'm there. Turn the generator on. Fire up the lights. I got television's going. I've got music going. Families can come into the trailer, see my work, see what's going on. And now I'm gonna be I'm going to create a tailgating scenario. I'm gonna put chairs out in front. We'll throw the owning out. I'm gonna have my high school. My little rock stars are gonna want to come and hang out with us. They're gonna market is just going to create a hang out. I'm not looking to advertise my business and hand out business cards. I'm putting my name in the community. I'm creating a safe environment for people to come and hang out, and it's out in public, so there's not a lot of liability there. Their parents were there, and I think it's gonna work out Great, I think is gonna work. Great. So all kinds of school functions And now when I go to that problem show, instead of getting there like, four hours early and setting everything up, I'm gonna be able to just back that rig right up in there, drop it down and leave. And then everybody, instead of going to those 10 by 10 they're gonna want to come right outside as you enter, and they're gonna they're gonna be really intrigued with what I've got going on. I even thought about getting the whole thing wrapped in like a vinyl graphic. And I don't know, I got to check to see how much that's gonna call. I mean, I'm just painting the thing myself. I gotta spray. I got a commercial sprayer, man. I get there one Sunday and just spray it, spray it, and every car that's around it, too.

Class Description

Are you ready to add a new, lucrative dimension to your photography business? Join award-winning photographer Blair Phillips for an introduction to everything you need to know about taking portraits for high school seniors.

In this three-day course, you’ll learn about how to market yourself to the high school audience, no matter where you live or who you know. Blair will discuss his signature techniques for effortless, versatile posing. You’ll also learn everything you need to know about both off-camera and natural lighting, including how to create foolproof lighting setups, even if you’re working without an assistant. Blair will also cover strategies for creating a productive workflow and working confidently in a wide variety of settings.

By the end of this course, you’ll have be equipped with the core marketing techniques and one-of-a-kind photography skills needed to connect with high school seniors, give them results they’ll love, and grow your business.

Reviews

David - Muse 10
 

As an experienced photographer myself, this class was both helpful and inspirational…we're never too experienced to learn from someone. Blair is really a lot of fun to watch and listen to. He has a way of making things fun with his high energy and dry sense of humor. To be completely honest in my review of this class, the lighting and posing sections, while VERY good, have been done over and over again by lots of photographers and didn't offer much in the way of new ideas. The real value was in the customer service and marketing techniques presented here. Blair's use of video as a marketing and communication tool with his clients is very unique and sparked TONS of ideas I would like to implement in my studio. His simple pricing structure and the way he presents it to his clients is also unique and has helped me rethink some of my own methods. "That being said" (Blair should appreciate that phrase) this class is totally worth the price and will continue to be a good reference for me. Some photographers are excellent at their craft but are dry teachers; others are great teachers but their "real-life" work doesn't live up to their classroom presentations. Blair is the real deal and makes this class very exciting.

a Creativelive Student
 

Blair is great. This class is packed full of great info and is a genuine good hearted person.. Really like his approach with high school seniors. I recommend it.

a Creativelive Student
 

This has been my favorite class on Creative Live. I loved how Blair explained exactly how he landed dance and sports contracts. This class was packed full of ideas for marketing and selling products. There was just so much great information. Thanks, Blair!