There are all sorts of awesome resources for photographers in the Kansas City area and one of our favorites is our SMUG group. We are a group of photographers that meet up monthly for meetings to network and share with other photogs in the area. It’s named that based on the online photography hosting site, Smug Mug, where photographers can show and share their work with clients online. While it’s called Kansas City SMUG, not everyone who comes actually uses that site to host images, it’s just a great way to meet with other photogs!
Each meeting has a new speaker and topic that is shared and last night Kevin (Kevin Keith of Kevin Keith Photography :)) spoke to the group about creative ways to effectively market your photography business. He did an awesome job sharing some great ideas and things to avoid to build up your business!
* Don’t spend big bucks on print advertising. Very rarely will you see a return on your investment with this marketing strategy no matter how much advertisers promise it will grow your business!
* Write a blog and share your work. Be consistent in writing blog posts; people need to know there is something to return to when they visit your blog!
* Send e-mail newsletters to your clients and contacts you meet. Be sure to not only share about your business, but also give readers some resources and information they can gain from so they will continue to open and read your newsletters!
* Create strong vendor relationships. What better way to get referrals than from awesome vendors you work with?!! Send vendors who are a part of your photo session watermarked photos after the session for them to use on their website and to advertise with. It is a great and easy way to build relationships and grow your word of mouth referrals!
* Send hand-written ‘Thank You’ notes to your clients. Snail mail is not obsolite and means so much more than a quick email! Taking the time to write ‘Thank You’ notes shows your care and dedication because you took the time to write it by hand and mail it!
* Be cautious and smart about doing daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social! Don’t give everything away or you will easily get burnt out and have no time for paying clients. If you decide to use a deal site, be sure you have a plan for being able to up-sell the client after they have purchased the deal and also think about how you are going to schedule everyone.
* Only showcase what you want to photograph on your website.
* Connect with clients and visitors on your website by having a photo of yourself and a little bio that they can read! They need to know you are someone they can relate to!
* If you don’t ask, it won’t happen. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to market yourself and vendors at the same time! For example, Kevin Keith Photography hosted a photography workshop and all of the vendors involved donated their products for them to use in return for photographs of those products that were used during the workshop (location for the workshop and photo shoot, borrowed wedding dresses from a bridal shop for the models to wear, hair and makeup for the models, etc.). After the workshop each vendor received a beautiful album of photos of their products that they set out in their stores with the photography information included on the album. A great and inexpensive form of advertising for the vendor and your business!
Here are some of the photos from this awesome meeting! More great things are to come, so stay tuned!!
PS… Thanks to Kevin Gibson and Tina Kramer for hosting and leading this great group and thanks to White House Custom Color and Smug Mug for all the great giveaways that we are able to give out every meeting! We sure are lucky to have such awesome things to go with an awesome photo get-together!