Digital photography has helped both professional and aspiring photographers immeasurably. Normal folks who would have shied away from the complexities of film and darkroom printing can easily pick up a fully-fledged pro DSLR and start clicking away. In today’s world, studios may find it difficult to attract customers when most amateurs think they can pass themselves off as the next Ansel Adams or Annie Liebowitz.
Here are a few tips on improving the marketing reach of your photo studio and positioning yourself above the weekend photographer:
Conduct workshops at schools, colleges, and photo clubs
One thing amateur photographers have is enthusiasm. Not only are they not your real competition, but they can actually be a profit center for you! Host a workshop for half a day, or even just one or two hours. Print flyers and posters and post them at cafes, local colleges and community centers to attract more students.
Reach out to high profile authors who need headshots for dust jackets
Romance novel authors require different portraits compared to history writers. You can pitch your services for free, as word of mouth goes a long way. You might even be able to get a string of jobs from the publisher. Soliciting large companies for headshot work can also be lucrative as more companies are trying to humanize their organization by featuring photos of staff members on their websites and marketing materials.
Host photo shoots for a cause
Non-profits and charity organizations always need new publicity shots for new projects. Try to contact these groups and offer your services for their brochures, posters, calendars and websites. Not only will you be helping yourself, but also those in need.
Cover community events like Special Olympics, local races, and fairs
Participants and organizers of these events would really rather have a pro snapping away to highlight memorable moments. You can also use the opportunity to advertise your business by having a booth or table display setup near the registration area.
Organize contests on social media for free photo sessions
The power of social media is undeniable, but the draw of free stuff is even more potent. You can promote your studio by holding online competitions for free photo sessions every few months. You can simply ask your fans and followers to share your posts or invite their friends to follow your page to rev up word of mouth for your studio.
Any combination of these marketing techniques can help a photography studio immensely. Just remember that not everything is confined to the digital realm. Even though film cameras may be gathering dust, good old printed marketing collateral like flyers and brochures, combined with a lot of goodwill, still have a place in every industry.
Its not a secret that the restaurant industry is highly competitive. Attracting new customers in an often crowded field can be very challenging. But it is possible to stand out and promote your restaurant without having to spend a fortune on marketing. Here are seven effective, but relatively low cost, ways to get more customers for your restaurant.
Improve Your Yelp Listings
According to a recent study 90% of people say that a positive review impacts whether they buy or not. Furthermore, 72% of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation. With statistics like these it easy to see why it is worth investing time in improving your Yelp listings. The easiest way to improve your yelp rating is to check that positive reviews haven’t become filtered out. Yelp uses an automatic algorithm to determine whether they think a review is authentic or not. Reviews that have been filtered out can be found at the bottom of the page. If a review has been filtered out contact the person who left the review and say how much you appreciate their feedback. Then ask if they will update the review. This will often get it out of the filter. Another approach is to follow the yelp user. This is sometimes enough to add credibility to their profile so that the review is allowed. Even getting a few reviews out of the filter can help to lift your overall rating.
SMS marketing is one of the most effective promotional tactics that a restaurant can engage in. According to a study conducted by consultancy Frost and Sullivan 98% of text messages are read. This compares to only 22% of emails and 12% of Facebook posts. One effective way for restaurants to use SMS marketing is to send their customers vouchers and deals. For example, the restaurant could send a text up to their existing customers with the code D1SC0UNT and ask them to bring in the code to receive a 15% discount off their next meal. One of the great things about using a discount code is that you can measure how effective your SMS marketing is.
Create A Recipe Blog
Restaurants have a unique opportunity to use content marketing to promote their business by creating a recipe blog. A good example of this is Williams-Sonoma with their “Taste” blog. This lifestyle / recipe blog provides advice to help people can use their products to make beautiful and delicious meals. Restaurants can use the same concept by creating blog posts around the cuisine that they offer. For example, a Mexican restaurant could offer recipes and cooking tips for authentic Mexican dishes.
Have A Mobile Optimized Site
One half of all local searches are now performed on a mobile device. Therefore, if a restaurant does not have a mobile optimised website it is virtually invisible to half of all customers looking online for somewhere to eat. A mobile optimised website will have a menu that is clear and easy to read on a small screen, the ability to call with a single tap of the phone and mobile optimised restaurant booking.
Enlist Local Food Bloggers
Local food bloggers can be some of your best advocates for your restaurant. Local food bloggers love discovering little-known restaurants and undiscovered gems. Often these local food bloggers are highly influential with the “foodie” community. Also having a review on a local food blog is another way for people to find your restaurant when they search on Google. You can even consider becoming an advertiser for their blog to increase your reach with their readers.
Create An E-mail Newsletter
E-mail has some of the highest return on investment of any form of marketing. According to The Power of Direct report, by the Direct Marketing Association every one dollar spent on email marketing provides a return of $41. Creating an email newsletter is a great way to get repeat business and build loyalty with your customers. You can keep customers up-to-date with changes on the menu, specials that you’re running and reward them with a special birthday meal. Run a loyalty program to get people to provide you with their email address.
Distribute Your Menu
Menu or flyer distribution is one of the most popular promotional tactics for restaurants for one simple reason – it works. Distributing menus with promotional offers allows you to target customers living in your local area, people who are most likely to visit your restaurant repeatedly if they have a good experience. This is low cost marketing tactic that can produce big results. Target a specific geographical areas and use limited time offers to get people to act quickly. The key to effective menu or flyer distribution is to focus on specials and deals that will be compelling to new customers. United Reprographics offers affordable ways to print flyers and menus. Visit our online print shop for an instant quote.
Using multiple promotional channels to market your restaurant will allow you to reach the widest possible audience. The key to success with marketing your restaurant is to worker smarter not harder. Make the most of every opportunity to attract new customers and to keep bringing back your existing patrons.
A garden that goes unattended will eventually grow weeds and the crops will be lost. In the same way a landscaping business that neglects its marketing will find that sooner or later (usually sooner) the business will whither and die. Marketing is essential to maintaining a steady stream of leads and ensuring that the business grows. Here are five marketing tactics that landscapers can use to build their customer base:
Classifieds are a fast, easy and relatively inexpensive way to market your landscaping business. Many of the popular classified sites below allow you to post on them for free. Some of tips for marketing on classified ad sites include:
Hook them with the title – The title is one of the most important elements of your classified ad. You want to come up with something a little unique so that it stands out from the other ads. You can also capitalize the title and add icons such as *** on either side of the text.
Post Frequently – In order to achieve the best results with classified advertising you need to be posting frequently. Preferably twice a day. This can be a little time consuming but once you have written your ads it is not really that difficult. Try writing different style ads and vary the headlines. This will allow you to test what is working most effectively.
Research your competition – Pay attention to what your competition is posting. This will provide you with useful insights into what you should be including in your own ad.
Some of the best classified ad websites to market your landscaping business on include:
When people are looking for landscaping services one of the first places they will usually look is Google. In fact according to Google’s own statistics 97% of consumers search online for local businesses. One of the easiest ways to get your landscaping business in front of those customers is using Googles advertising platform known as Google Adwords. Google Adwords is composed of two parts – Search and Content Network. Search are the ads that appear to the right and above a search result. For example if someone types in the search term “Landscaping services Miami” then ads for landscapers in Miami will appear above and to the right of the search results. The other part of Google Adwords is the content network. These are the ads that appear on third party websites that have partnered with Google. This can also be a useful way to target customers. For example you can create an ad which will appear on Mommy or Gardening blogs.
Door hangers are an old school marketing technique that is inexpensive and works. One effective way to use door hangers is to canvas an area while you are working there or just after you finish a job. People in the area will have likely seen you working. If they are impressed with the work that you have been doing there is a good chance that they will follow up once they have your contact details. Provide a special or limited time offer on your door hanger such as a “Summer Sale” on landscaping work in order to get prospective customers to take action. You can have high quality door hangers designed and printed at United Reprographics.
Start A Gardening Blog
If you are running a landscaping business then you almost certainly already have expert knowledge about gardening and landscaping. Share that knowledge with an audience by creating a gardening blog and you will naturally attract readers to your website. On your blog you can include gardening tips, interviews with your employees, product recommendations and guides. Its a great way to attract attention for your business as well as establish yourself as an expert in your industry. You can feature photos of the landscaping projects you have worked on to give customers some great visuals to demonstrate your skill.
Your work vehicles are moving billboards for your landscaping business. Because of their long life and the amount of exposure they receive vehicles graphics are about the most cost effective form of advertising that you can use. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association vehicle graphics cost only $0.77 per thousand impressions. This compares to as much as $17.78 for television advertising. You can get a free estimate from United Reprographics to find out how easy it is for you to increase the value of your vehicles that spend the day driving through potential customers’ neighborhoods.
It is dangerous to rely on a single promotional channel to find all of the leads for your business. A landscaping company that only uses one source is vulnerable if that marketing channel becomes too expensive or is no longer effective. Instead use a multi-channel approach to your marketing to grow your landscaping business and start with some of the tips provided above!
Catering can be an exciting, even glamorous industry but it’s also highly competitive. Not only are you competing against other caterers, but also restaurants and venues. In order to succeed in this sometimes crowded marketplace you need a way to get prospective clients attention. Here are six actionable tips that you can use to market your catering company.
#1 Facebook Advertising
According to analysis of over sixty campaigns on Facebook, 70% had a three times or greater return on ad spend. An impressive 49% had a five times or greater return on its ad spend. Facebook advertising is simply one of the most cost effective ways to promote your catering business online. Because of the depth of information that Facebook has about its users you can laser target your advertising campaigns to reach very specific customers. For example you can target specific geographical areas, genders or interest groups. The key to a successful catering advertising campaign on Facebook is to experiment targeting different ads to different groups on Facebook to see which produces the highest return on your investment. You also need a captivating image and a headline that hooks readers and makes them want to click on your ad.
#2 Vehicle Graphics
Your catering vehicle can become much more than a way to transport equipment, food and your team. It can also become a mobile way of advertising your business. A vehicle wrap or graphic allows you to brand your vehicles with your logo, company name, contact details and any special offer that you would like to make. The key to successful vehicle wrap is to make sure that your marketing message is easy to read at a glance. As you drive your catering vehicle around each day you will be gaining the attention of thousands of eyeballs using your vehicle graphics. Take a look at the examples below of how you can brand your catering vehicle with a graphic wrap. United Reprographics can provide a free estimate to help you decide what type of vehicle graphics solution you want to use to turn your delivery vehicle into a rolling advertisement.
#3 Pinterest Marketing
Pinterest is one of the best social media sites for catering companies to use to promote their business. With a relatively affluent and mostly female user base it is perfect for attracting the right kind of customers. The key to marketing on Pinterest is the same with any social network. You need to provide value and interest to the other users of the site. Create boards that are themed around food and events as this will naturally attract the type of follower that is likely to be interested in your services. For example you could create a wedding board with inspirational pictures and ideas for a wedding. Included among the pins can be photos from weddings that you have catered in the past.
#4 YouTube Cooking Show
Cooking and food related video channels have proven very popular on YouTube. This is a great opportunity for a catering company to brand itself. On your video channel you can provide advice about how to prepare meals for large groups or how to hold successful events. This is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your industry and attract people who might be looking to catering services. Below each of your videos you can include a link back to your website where people can find more information.
#5 Wedding Trade Show Displays
Wedding trade shows can be a great place to promote your business. To ensure that your booth or table stands out make sure that you are using a professional trade show display. United Reprographics offers both booth displays and table displays to ensure the maximum exposure for your catering company.
#6 Strategic Partnerships With Other Industry Professionals
Strategic partnerships with other professionals in the event industry can be a great way to obtain leads. Examples of potential strategic partners include photographers, venues and wedding planners. You can have a formal commission structure in place for any leads that these people generate or you can have a more informal referral system. You can also reciprocate by pointing your own customers towards your strategic partners’ services.
Catering may be a competitive industry but there is also a lot of opportunity for agile and creative caterers who love to market their business. People are naturally interested in food and events, so there are plenty of interesting ways for caterers to get free exposure for their brand.