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This is the fourth article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your photography business. Your marketing materials won't do any good if they're sitting on a shelf collecting dust - in order to successfully market your photography business, you have to get the word out. The following details potential distribution strategies for your photographer marketing campaigns.
Simply put, direct mail is one of the best ways to get your message out to a highly targeted, likely-to-respond audience. When you focus on printing excellent direct-mail marketing materials and couple those with a high-quality mailing list, you're practically guaranteed success. Repetition is key, and the more you can get your brand name out there the more likely customers will come to you when they need your services. Moreover, repetition also makes it that much more likely that your direct mailers will be sent to just the right customers at just the right times, such as just after an engagement.
Week one: Send a postcard that unveils a special offer in your niche industry (weddings, for example). Week six: Send a greeting card congratulating recently engaged couples (watch the newspapers for engagement announcements) along with a coupon for a discount or special VIP package upgrade. Week 12: Send a calendar that showcases your awesome work every month. Week 18:Send a wedding planning booklet that will help brides-to-be plan the perfect day. Make sure your ads and special offers are included throughout. Week 24: Send a sales letter on company letterhead - complete with matching envelopes - to introduce yourself and your credentials on a more personal level. Week 30: Send another postcard with another special offer to grab those who didn't bite the first time around but have by now heard enough about you that they should.
Advertise with flyers and posters on bulletin boards, billboards, walls, under windshield wipers, and as inserts in newspapers, magazines and other publications. Take out ads in radio, television, print and online programs. Also, host or sponsor an event or publicity stunt to get free PR.
Test, track and tweak: These three Ts will help you develop winning photographer print marketing campaigns. Always test different variations of your marketing materials on small portions of your mailing list before launching the full campaign. Sometimes a single word change can make a big difference in your return on investment. Keep a database of your customers, and evaluate recognizable trends so you can customize your pitch, which will allow you to make intelligent marketing decisions based on honest, proven statistics. Remember that photography is a business, and if you treat it as such you'll vastly increase your chances of building a sustainable customer base that opens many doors for profitability as you grow.