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By Lisa Sharer
Last year, several industry leaders came together to discuss the future of photography and the art of printing. Over the years we have seen a decline in the amount of printed works, and we've seen the effect it has on homes around the world. Every day someone loses all their cherished memories due to a lost phone, a digital collapse, or worse. The partners that instigated the initiative behind the PRINT movement came together to make a change.
The PRINT Movement was born to help educate photographers on how to position themselves as print artists. This includes how to sell printed products, the importance of printed works of arts, and what they can tell their clients to sell more printed photographic work. Several educational resources and tools to help sell prints have already been developed and are being shared with photographers, for free, by the PRINT Movement. Just this past week, more plans to develop more tools were created as the partners behind the initiative came together at the PPA office, in Atlanta, GA.As we work to come up with more resources and tools for photographers everywhere, the PRINT Movement is growing stronger every day. 1600 photographers have already joined the movement, pledging their commitment to printing as artists and learning how to do so and market it in an efficient and empowering way.
So far you've learned the basics of Marketing and figured out how to recognize your target audience. Now, what do you do with this information? You can't just willy-nilly start throwing ads out there or hitting social media without a plan! So, the next step is to get organized and create that plan. Just follow these easy steps, and you'll be ready to start marketing your photography business!
Step 1: Situation Analysis
It's as simple as, what is your current situation? Where are you and where do you want to be? Start with a SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Strengths and Weaknesses are qualities that currently exist within your business. Is your photography great, but your bookkeeping could use work? Do you work really hard, but for too many hours? Are you strong with event photography, but need more practice in the portrait discipline? If you take a little time to reflect on your work, you will know where you excel and where you could use a little help. If you have outside mentors, friends, or even members of your business that you trust and respect, you can ask for their help in identifying some of these areas with you.
Opportunities and Threats are forces that are working outside of your business. Is there an opportunity to expand your market, but there's more competition in those markets? Can you include different types of photography, but maybe you aren't fully educated in that area? Think about what you want to accomplish as a business owner. What conditions in the market are favorable or will help you reach those goals? Opportunities are everywhere. They can be relationships you're building with influencers in your area, a new photographic niche that's becoming popular or even technology advancements. Finally, identify those outside forces that could hinder you. Threats could be an economic downturn, discontinued product items and again, changes in technology.
Once you've done that, think about what makes your photography unique. How can you set yourself apart from your competition? Maybe you specialize in print photography. Maybe you're the only high school senior photographer in your area. You know what makes your work special, so just pause and identify what sets you apart from the rest.
Step 2: Describe Your Target Market
Lucky for you, you've probably already created an outline for this. If not, take some time to create your buyer persona. Once you've done that, you can write a short paragraph about your target market. Make sure to detail where (geographically) your audience resides, their age, gender, etc. Make sure to identify their wants and the challenges associated with providing solutions for said wants. Make it clear for yourself, and anyone else that might not be fully invested in your business (for example, a freelance marketing assistant).
Step 3: Identify Your Marketing Goals
When thinking about your marketing goals, remember that they need to fit into your overall business goals. Also, don't forget to create S.M.A.R.T. goals.
So, what are your studio's goals? To increase your bottom dollar? To expand the reach of your business? To tell clients about new products or services? Make a list of your goals, from most important to least important, and attack each goal individually. Make sure you are clear about each goal, so you have a clear path on how to effectively reach it.
Step 4: Decide on the Marketing Strategies You'll Use
Your buyer persona will again help you in this area. Many of these strategies will be based solely off of age. Does your audience relate to Facebook, or are they more Snapchat savvy? Would your target audience pick up a magazine, or would they be more likely to see a sign at the local coffee shop? By knowing the likes and recreation habits of your target audience, you can decide the best and most effective outlets for your message.
The most effective strategies will be multilevel. What do you mean MULTILEVEL?! Multilevel refers to engaging your potential client at every moment of their buying journey. You have probably made a decision about a big purchase before. Did you dive in and buy, let's say, the first car you came across? No, you probably did your research, picked your favorite kind, and then shopped your options. That's exactly what your potential clients are doing.
For example, maybe a potential client does a Google search for photographers in their area. There's your first outreach opportunity. Maybe that potential client then checks out your website, but then leaves to run an errand and forgets about their family portrait. Maybe the next thing they do is surf Facebook. Boom! There's your next opportunity to reach out. Maybe later that night your client goes to the local coffee shop to get a late night mochaccino. Did you remember to hang up a flyer there?
Think about all the paths that your buyer persona might take during their buying journey and plan accordingly.
Step 5: Set a Budget
It's time to set some money aside. If you run the finances, make sure that you are putting the appropriate amount aside to achieve your marketing goals. Also, make sure you aren't setting too much aside in order to protect your profits. If you're a little nervous about creating a budget, the PPA Business Challenge and the Square One tool are great resources to get you on the confident budgeting track.
If you're the creative, and you have a partner or a financial advisor, they may be a huge help in this area. Talk over your plan with that person, and let them know your intent and your ideas on how much you might need for running a marketing campaign.
If you're just starting out, this may mean that you'll need to incur some costs up front. In this case, you should monitor your spending and still try to keep to a budget. If you see that some things are proving to be expensive with not much return on your investment (ROI), that's when you start adjusting your plan. Don't worry about keeping a hard line on the original plan; it should always be flexible and serve your business needs. As our marketing director at PPA always says: "Test, Test, Test!"Once you've followed these steps you should have a clear outline of your next steps. If you're looking for additional marketing tools, check out the See The Difference© campaign and PRINT. The Movement campaign. If these intrigue you, find out more about becoming a PPA member today!
- The brochure template is tri-fold and customizable for your studio. Simply download the brochure, and add your photos, your studio information, and prices.
- The outreach content expounds on the movement and provides clients with credible information about the importance of the movement, and why they should be willing to pay more for printed work.
- The Print videos are a great way to promote the movement in your studio. All you have to do is download or stream the videos in the lobby of your studio.
- There are also logos for you to put on your official print materials. There are a variety of styles and colors, so choose the one that best fits your business!
By Tristin Vaccaro
Did you know that an alarming 53% of consumers haven't printed a photo in more than 12 months, 70% don't have photo albums, and 42% no longer print photos at all? Forgotten photos often sit on various digital devices, rarely to be looked at again. These same devices are sure to be outdated and replaced in just a few short years, meaning those photos could be lost forever.
Let's change that!
PRINT. The Movement was created to bring consumers and professional photographers together in an effort to get photos off of digital devices and into homes and hands where they belong. By getting involved in the PRINT movement, professional photographers have the opportunity to learn how to advance their business through the sale of high quality prints. PRINT. The Movement will provide you with marketing tools and sales techniques so you can convey to your clients the importance of having their photos professionally printed.
This year at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio attendees and vendors alike were all abuzz about PRINT. The word has gotten out and it is clear that this year is going to be a banner year for printed products. PRINT. The Movement champions the idea that photos weren't meant to just sit on a computer or smartphone. They're meant to be looked at, remembered, and cherished.
Those who visited the PRINT For Success Theater at this year's Imaging USA left filled with tons of inspiration, ready to take the message home and spread it among their clients. Theater attendees were treated to 30-minute sessions featuring top photographers sharing their sales tips for printed products. The PRINT For Success Theater was a highlight for many and proved to be one of the most popular installations at the convention. There were always eager participants in the theater, soaking up the info and sales technique tips from respected leaders in the industry.
If you want to get involved, check out PRINT. The Movement at printmovement.org.