This post is Day 13 of 30 Ways In 30 Days To Redesign Your Life With Photography. This series seeks to provide you with practical steps to get you from wherever you are today, to exactly where you want to be – this year! If your goal has always been to take your photography to a whole new level, hang on and start enjoying a new lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.
In Day 12 of this series, we talked about finding different types of promotions to use during the year to promote your photography. Special promotions allow you to find new clientele in a out of the ordinary way. But special promotions are designed to be above and beyond your normal marketing. They are designed to work in conjunction with your normal marketing routine.
On Wikipedia, one of the definitions for marketing is:
the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising
I like that definition because it stresses two things.
1. The word action. Marketing isn’t about creating a few marketing materials and expecting clients to flow through your door. It’s about taking action. As long as you are in business, it takes work – action – to continually bring in new prospects, and convert them to paying customers.
2. It separates out the concepts of market research and advertising. In order to market your products and services, you have to know who your market is. It’s not “every female between the ages of 18 and 80”. The more you define it, the better you will be at marketing. And only when you know whom your market is can you reach out with various types of advertising – free or fee based – and reach them effectively.
Once you have these two pieces down, then its time to create a plan.
Start With A Plan
Think of your marketing plan as your guide to success. It’s what will guide you along month after month, dictating what should be done, and more importantly, what shouldn’t.
With a plan in place, you’ll have the foundation laid down for what you want to accomplish. You’ll quickly know if something fits into your plan and what doesn’t.
You already have a budget in place from Day 9. So you know how much funding you have to work with each month.
You already have your special events lined up from Day 12. How can you accomplish tasks every month that fit within your budget, and help you accomplish your special event goals?
And now you need to know how to market your business overall day after day, month after month, to bring in a steady flow of customers that meet your basic requirements. These aren’t the people that will find you through your special events. These are the people that love what you do, and hire you based on your standard packages and offerings.
The key to any good marketing plan is continuity. Just because you are tired or bored with something doesn’t mean your clients and prospects are. They may just be recognizing you, just have you on their radar, and if you pull your marketing, you’ll disappear forever.
If you are just starting out in a photography business, choose a few forms of marketing, then dedicate the time to stick with it.
Grow on Facebook
- Post twice per day
- Add two friends per day
- Build one connection to my page per day
Grow with a Blog
- Blog once per day
- Comment on one other blog per day
- Grow with a Networking Group
- Attend every weekly meeting
- Join a committee
- Do one 1 to 1 every week
That’s your base plan. Take your calendar, and add these tasks to your work schedule.
Then add in your special events that you planned from Day 12. If you have three events, circle the three dates in red on your calendar. Then work backwards with tasks to complete before the big day. Add dates for meetings, planning sessions, design days for brochures or other marketing materials, and days for shopping for props or other necessities.
And there you have it – a complete 12 month marketing plan, ready to put to work to help you grow your business.
Marketing tools and advertising methods can take on any shape or form. I have a list here on this site – 25 Ways To Get Clients – to provide you with some out of the box ideas. Or read through the hundreds of posts I have on this site, and you’ll undoubtedly pick up many more ideas. Or head to Google and do a quick search. You’ll quickly receive hundreds of different methods to advertise your business.
Don’t be overwhelmed by ideas. You don’t have to try everything you read about. Instead, choose your favorite strategies, strategies that you can do over and over again, can easily afford, and can dedicate to your monthly marketing plan.
It isn’t what you choose; it’s how you put it into action. Even a bad plan acted upon day in and day out can achieve great results because it has follow through.
While I’ve listed out a few methods here, its important that you select ideas you can personally commit to and are willing to do every day, week and month from here on out. Don’t be sidetracked by the “latest and greatest” idea. Stick with your personal choices, and make them work for you.
Rinse and Repeat
At the end of the year, sit down with your calendar and decide what worked and what didn’t.
If a special event didn’t work, change it out and try something else. It may not be the event itself – maybe it’s the way you promoted it. Take what you learned from the year, and build a new plan around it.
Never stop your daily marketing methods cold. Instead, phase in an additional task, and fade out an old one.