PPA Today: Photography Marketing Archives
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By Lisa Sharer
Welcome to the Shoot & Burn Era. These days more and more clients ask for digital images, and don't even think to ask about prints. That's where you come in.
One of the things that sets the professional photographer apart from the amateur is the knowledge and respect for printed images as an art form. It's the photographer's responsibility to show clients the beauty in print, and why they are necessary for their lives. Show your clients the difference hiring a professional makes by educating them on Print Art and producing amazing products for them. We live in a time filled with opportunities for those who sell printed products and here's why: People are decorating their homes with DIY décor. Photos are the single most unique way to personalize a space and photographers who help their clients see that potential are always better off.
In this video, famed photographer Allison Tyler Jones explains why and how a professional makes the difference when it comes to that perfect print for your client's home. This talk was part of Imaging USA 2016, the conference for working photographers in the U.S.
Looking for ways to help promote yourself as a Print Artist? PPA members can enjoy all the benefits of the See The Difference® marketing tools today.
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!
Are you looking for additional tools to help brand your photography business? There's a new exclusive marketing resource for PPA members. Check out the new postcards, which can be found under See The Difference©'s "Custom Brochures."
Many clients can appreciate the quality that comes from hiring a professional, but do they always see or understand it? These postcards can help to get the point across. PPA members submitted their images to give your clients an idea of the before and after when it comes to professional photography. Each specialty contains a unique postcard. Each postcard shows the contrast with professional changes in posing, location, lighting, and/or editing. These are the small changes that you as a professional might see, but it's not as obvious to the untrained eye.
Download these resources to show your current and potential clients just how important it is to hire a professional over an amateur. With these postcards, it's right in front of their eyes!If you aren't already a PPA member, visit PPA.com to find out how you can join today!
Your client's four-legged best friend has a personality and style of their own. They know it by heart, but can they articulate it to others ... say, you, the photographer who will be shooting lasting pictures of their pet? PPA's See The Difference® resources include a fun, shareable quiz, "How is Your Pet's Personality Captured in Photos?" that can help steer them in that direction!
See The Difference is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign that aims to help consumers see the difference when evaluating photographers. It was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers and those who are PPA members get access to these FREE marketing tools including shareable videos, customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips/FAQs.
With the Pet Quiz, your clients can find out, for instance, if their dog is a "Diva" or "Down-to-Earth" and just looks that way. But "pet personality" isn't the only See The Difference® quiz for consumers to try out! You can share quizzes based on Family ("What's Your Family's Style?"), Wedding ("What's Your Bridal Style?"), and High School Seniors ("Will Your Senior Photo Capture the Real You?"). They're all designed to help promote PPA members' value as a professional and better serve their clients.
Go ahead and use these tools or share these quizzes because it is only by exposing consumers to professional grade work that they will learn to see the difference and value professional photography. For more information on how YOU can link to the See The Difference® quizzes from your website, visit PPA.com/SalesTools.