What does it take to build a successful business – a business pulling in more than $250,000 per year – in under two years?
If you talk with any successful business owner, they can probably pinpoint one precise moment, one technique or tool that catapulted them forward.
For us, that one technique was actually very simple, and yet it changed our business forever.
We knew the key to success was building relationships with the RIGHT people in the right venues and industries. So we thought about all the ways we could connect with those RIGHT people.
And when you think about it, that’s all marketing really is. It’s finding the perfect way to reach out to your prospects, clients and referral sources, and give them all the information to become clients and refer clients for life.
So we looked for something that would be familiar and easy to produce; yet be different enough to set us apart from our competition. And we found it simply by “going shopping.”
Is It A Magazine?
Whatever field you are in, you need to stay up to date by looking at everything that affects your target market within that field.
So if you are a baby photographer, you should be getting baby and parenting magazines, and visiting baby websites.
If you are a senior photographer, you should be getting magazines that appeal to teenagers, and visiting the most influential sites for teens.
And if you are a wedding photographer, you should be getting wedding magazines, and visiting the top wedding sites.
So that’s what we did.
Two of my favorites have always been Town & Country, and Martha Stewart Weddings. It’s the photographs. It’s the stories. It’s the layouts.
So we took inspiration from those two magazines, and created our own quarterly newsletter that we mailed out to prospects, clients and referral sources.
It wasn’t just a newsletter like you get from everyone else, set up in generic format, with mini stories on “what we’re doing” and “studio news”. This was a very detailed, multi page newsletter that was almost like a magazine, that showcased each and every client we had, just like they did in the magazines.
Was it successful? I guess a $250K+ business in under two years says it all.
But I Already Have A Newsletter
Yep, I’ve heard that from a lot of photographers over the years. “I already send one out quarterly” or “I’ve tried that; it doesn’t work”.
My response is “Did you make your newsletter magical, or is it just like everyone else’s?”
If you repeat someone else’s marketing, you’ll end up with the same results they have.
If you use generic marketing offered by a printing company, and you simply tweak your name and logo, you’ll end up with generic results.
But if you put your mind to it, and come up with something extraordinary – something totally out of the box that they’ve never seen before, you’ll see extraordinary results.