Author Topic: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?  (Read 2000 times)

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Offline Jenny Gavin-Wear

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What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« on: June 14, 2015, 02:58:54 PM »
What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?

Offline Darren Cassese

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2015, 03:41:12 PM »
I was approached by a bridal magazine to allow one of my photos to be used on the cover but I refused to pay for advertising.  They actually published the photo (with permission) without requiring an ad placement.

I then advertised, of course, and found that if you're on the cover and you are advertising, your business goes through the roof.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I had the cash to blow on it.
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Offline Todd Muskopf

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 06:30:08 AM »
I was approached by a bridal magazine to allow one of my photos to be used on the cover but I refused to pay for advertising.  They actually published the photo (with permission) without requiring an ad placement.

I then advertised, of course, and found that if you're on the cover and you are advertising, your business goes through the roof.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I had the cash to blow on it.

How did the cover come about?

Offline Mike Nykoruk

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 08:41:54 AM »
I believe that doing some youtube videos disseminating valuable information to your potentials, is the best way to create in their minds that you are the "Expert" in the field.  Stuff like "The 10 most important things to ask a photographer before desiding whom to work with..." 

One can see the results in the media "stars" that are newbe hacks that come off like they are experienced professionals. They get booked because," I saw them on YouTube and they really know what they are doing."

Etc, etc, etc.




Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 09:57:06 AM »
The best thing I did was early on, and came from mentor Marty Rickard.  I did portraits of key people in my community - police chief, beloved teacher, head of municipal services, religious leaders, mayor.  These were created about a month apart.  I then wrote an article based upon an interview with each.  The article, accompanied by a black and white portrait was then published as front page stuff by the local paper with a final blurb stating that a 16x20 framed color print of each could be seen in the main town bank (my bank) effective the date of publication.  I then left the collection in place and growing throughout the series.  Townspeople began to regard it as a "happening" each month. The bank was thrilled with additional foot traffic coming in to see, the people were honored, news circulation increased and my portrait business took off.  At the end of it all, the subjects were given the 16x20 as my thank you.

Offline Donna Underwood

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 10:20:25 AM »
The best thing I did was early on, and came from mentor Marty Rickard.  I did portraits of key people in my community - police chief, beloved teacher, head of municipal services, religious leaders, mayor.  These were created about a month apart.  I then wrote an article based upon an interview with each.  The article, accompanied by a black and white portrait was then published as front page stuff by the local paper with a final blurb stating that a 16x20 framed color print of each could be seen in the main town bank (my bank) effective the date of publication.  I then left the collection in place and growing throughout the series.  Townspeople began to regard it as a "happening" each month. The bank was thrilled with additional foot traffic coming in to see, the people were honored, news circulation increased and my portrait business took off.  At the end of it all, the subjects were given the 16x20 as my thank you.
So you did this as a personal/business growth project with no cost to bank or subjects? At least that is how I read your post. Great advertising that made a huge difference it sounds like.

Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2015, 12:30:44 PM »
So you did this as a personal/business growth project with no cost to bank or subjects?

Yep, all costs on me.  Worked great. 

Offline Jenny Gavin-Wear

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2015, 05:02:27 PM »
I was approached by a bridal magazine to allow one of my photos to be used on the cover but I refused to pay for advertising.  They actually published the photo (with permission) without requiring an ad placement.

I then advertised, of course, and found that if you're on the cover and you are advertising, your business goes through the roof.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I had the cash to blow on it.

That's awesome, Darren.  I've done advertising with editorial along side before which has worked well, but awesome to get the front page :)

Offline Jenny Gavin-Wear

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2015, 05:04:14 PM »
I believe that doing some youtube videos disseminating valuable information to your potentials, is the best way to create in their minds that you are the "Expert" in the field.  Stuff like "The 10 most important things to ask a photographer before desiding whom to work with..." 

One can see the results in the media "stars" that are newbe hacks that come off like they are experienced professionals. They get booked because," I saw them on YouTube and they really know what they are doing."

Etc, etc, etc.


That's been recommended to me, Mike, on my headshots.  Wish I didn't hate being in front of a lens so much!  I'd ideally like to embed some videos into a blog series I'm planning.  Hey ho.

Offline Jenny Gavin-Wear

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2015, 05:08:38 PM »
The best thing I did was early on, and came from mentor Marty Rickard.  I did portraits of key people in my community - police chief, beloved teacher, head of municipal services, religious leaders, mayor.  These were created about a month apart.  I then wrote an article based upon an interview with each.  The article, accompanied by a black and white portrait was then published as front page stuff by the local paper with a final blurb stating that a 16x20 framed color print of each could be seen in the main town bank (my bank) effective the date of publication.  I then left the collection in place and growing throughout the series.  Townspeople began to regard it as a "happening" each month. The bank was thrilled with additional foot traffic coming in to see, the people were honored, news circulation increased and my portrait business took off.  At the end of it all, the subjects were given the 16x20 as my thank you.

Nice going, Jeff.  I've been doing a similar thing with local actors.  Identifying the key players and getting them in for shots.  That's working quite well for me.  Just today I booked in a Miss London Grand Finalist, who also happens to be an actress - free shots, but with the understanding she does all she can to publicise me.  I've also started listing famous actors/actresses from my region with a view to creating a collection.

Offline Jenny Gavin-Wear

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2015, 05:10:14 PM »
What is interesting is that no one so far has mentioned FB or Google Adwords and the only paid advertising done was with something more to support it.

Offline Darren Cassese

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2015, 07:25:39 PM »
How did the cover come about?

I think either the bride or a family member or friend had shared it with the magazine. 

That's a good question to ask because the key to getting on the cover is to submit to the magazines along with the story line about the couple as well as all the vendor information.

Any time you have a pretty bride and lots of good vendors, you should go for a magazine cover.  You're likely to get it if you have lots of potential advertisers for them to target from the cover.
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Offline Darren Cassese

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2015, 07:28:58 PM »
The best thing I did was early on, and came from mentor Marty Rickard.  I did portraits of key people in my community - police chief, beloved teacher, head of municipal services, religious leaders, mayor.  These were created about a month apart.  I then wrote an article based upon an interview with each.  The article, accompanied by a black and white portrait was then published as front page stuff by the local paper with a final blurb stating that a 16x20 framed color print of each could be seen in the main town bank (my bank) effective the date of publication.  I then left the collection in place and growing throughout the series.  Townspeople began to regard it as a "happening" each month. The bank was thrilled with additional foot traffic coming in to see, the people were honored, news circulation increased and my portrait business took off.  At the end of it all, the subjects were given the 16x20 as my thank you.

Brilliant.

What is interesting is that no one so far has mentioned FB or Google Adwords

I've not had any success there...just wasted dollars.  I think it can work but there seems to be a lot of variables about it I don't understand.  For instance, there was a member here for some time who did Boudoir offers via Facebook and had a ton of success.  I did the same thing and had a lot of the offers snagged but no follow-through at all.
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Offline hayward

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2015, 05:53:44 AM »
What is interesting is that no one so far has mentioned FB or Google Adwords and the only paid advertising done was with something more to support it.

I've found that both paid FB and Google Adwords are the 21st century phone book; i.e. its just how you will be found and is sort of a necessary expense that potential clients sort of expect?  Having them available when someone is searching for what you do is probably the optimum, but of course, bound by budget. (As the yellow pages always was)
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Offline Nanette Reid

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2015, 09:35:38 AM »
I've found that both paid FB and Google Adwords are the 21st century phone book; i.e. its just how you will be found and is sort of a necessary expense that potential clients sort of expect?  Having them available when someone is searching for what you do is probably the optimum, but of course, bound by budget. (As the yellow pages always was)

I *never* had any success with YP (price shopping people, from totally non-specialist areas!), so if Google &FB are the 21C equivalent, I'll pass thanks.

I'd prefer to spend my hard earned $$$ on a targeted approach, not a shotgun method hoping somebody sees me and hires me to shoot what I specialise in.

Darren's approach suited him perfectly and his standing firm garnered a cover - what a great way to advertise to the specific market. Jeff's excellent idea garnered a united feeling in the town - his name would be continuously uttered whenever a new series was released. It was talked about and seems to have held a place of pride amongst those who were featured.

I think targeted marketing is the way to go, but taking a bit of a left turn to give something different that helps you to be remembered by both your current clients and future ones too.

I'm still trying to come up with a suitable marketing piece that will stand me in good stead as well as having clients from both camps call me back to shoot their latest project/s.

Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2015, 10:06:25 AM »
I'll just throw out there that the viability of FB as a marketing tool is highly dependent upon what we photograph.  High school seniors, families and weddings?  Absolutely.  Architecture, aerials, large or small product?  NO.  At this time a year ago, and as a commercial photographer, I was paying $200/month for Facebook ads targeting prospective buyers within a 50 mile radius of Frederick.  That takes in Baltimore, Washington DC and norther VA, as well as western MD and southeastern PA.  I got lots more likes and no more business.  After 4 months I dropped it.  In defense of the service provider, they were then and are still, my SEO service for my blog/website, and are good at it.  Perhaps if I were shooting for the retail markets, that paid approach would have worked.

Offline hayward

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2015, 02:47:21 PM »

I *never* had any success with YP (price shopping people, from totally non-specialist areas!), so if Google &FB are the 21C equivalent, I'll pass thanks.

I didn't have my portrait studio in the YP heyday, but I had other businesses and agree that I never found a good ROI.  I don't think its the 'exact' equivalent, but for my studio, it tends to be the typical way anyone who isn't a referral finds their way to us.  What else is there really?

Having said that, the difference between these and YP is that they inherently have some targeting and 'self selection' for want of a better term.  Your website/FB page typically only gets seen if it fits some kind of search criteria.  Same thing with ad-words - you have to pick search terms to at least get in front of who MAY want what you have.

I also agree with these not working for every type of photography. 

To tell the truth, the best approach for my studio has been to do multiple things - i.e. magazine covers, with an ad inside plus some targeted ad-words and a little targeted FB.  I've had more than one client tell us they 'see us everywhere'.  If ONLY that turned into a high conversion rate!!!  LOL



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Offline Nanette Reid

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2015, 04:51:30 AM »
I'll just throw out there that the viability of FB as a marketing tool is highly dependent upon what we photograph.  High school seniors, families and weddings?  Absolutely.  Architecture, aerials, large or small product?  NO.

Perhaps if I were shooting for the retail markets, that paid approach would have worked.

Think this hits FB & GAW right on the head; they are more skewed towards the retail market, rather than the commercial one. As Hayward said, they are today's YP advertising.

I too look to do multiple types of promotion, rather than just relying on the one option. I'm currently in the process of having some mailouts designed, just to send to a select group of architects and interior designers in the region, and to some further afield who have some projects happening here in Asia.

Was toying with the idea of a small notebook, POD style, that had room for notes interspersed with selected images; still working out how to get the best bang for my buck, but thought it might be a good way to have images seen on a repeat basis, rather than just once off, or every 3 months.

Branded to match my website and business cards, hopefully it will pay off - it's on the list of Marketing Ideas for the next Financial Year, so only a few weeks to choose which ideas for the year will pan out.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 04:58:34 AM by Nanette Reid »

Offline otto

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Re: What was the best marketing idea you ever had and why?
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2015, 08:02:40 AM »
The best thing I did was early on, and came from mentor Marty Rickard.  I did portraits of key people in my community - police chief, beloved teacher, head of municipal services, religious leaders, mayor.  These were created about a month apart.  I then wrote an article based upon an interview with each.  The article, accompanied by a black and white portrait was then published as front page stuff by the local paper with a final blurb stating that a 16x20 framed color print of each could be seen in the main town bank (my bank) effective the date of publication.  I then left the collection in place and growing throughout the series.  Townspeople began to regard it as a "happening" each month. The bank was thrilled with additional foot traffic coming in to see, the people were honored, news circulation increased and my portrait business took off.  At the end of it all, the subjects were given the 16x20 as my thank you.

This was a very smart move!