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.
Small bakeries are wonderful for the personal touch they often add to each cake or sweet they offer. Anyone who can bake and decorate pastries could start a bakery, but that’s the easy part. Providing quality products, an exceptional experience, managing cash flow, and of course building a customer base is the migraine-inducing side of the business. Hanging up your “Open” sign is rarely going to be enough to grow your sales. As a bakery owner, you’ll want advertising specific to your business if you want to succeed. Look beyond the typical advertising methods used by most businesses to find opportunities for spreading the word about your yummy treats.
Use your mom connections if you have kids. If you don’t have kids, contact your friends or family members who do have kids. Go to sports games, concerts and other events with the child to hand out flyers. There are plenty of moms who are looking for alternatives to the everyday, streamlined treats for kids’ birthday parties. If you cater to food allergies, that’s even better. Many moms, even those who have children without food allergies, are looking for someone to help them put less additives in their children’s food.
Churches and Non Profits
Volunteer everywhere you can. Church dinners are always in need of desserts, and some churches offer coffee with cakes for an after-service fellowship. Ask if you can leave business cards next to the cake or treats you make for these functions. If you make a dessert for your church, ask if you can post a flyer on the church community board. Let the organizer of the dinner or fellowship meeting know that you are interested in selling treats. It is highly likely that they will tell other church members about you. Offer to create something for a non profit group for free, especially if you do not have a church affiliation. A number of non-profit groups have yearly fundraising dinners, so it’s easy to find out who might need a free dessert. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you can leave a stack of business cards on the dessert table.
Consignment is a great idea for smaller bakeries. You can consign whatever you want, and you can help a fellow business generate customers. You can pair up with the clothing store down the street, for example, and reserve a spot for a few items of clothing in your store. You’ll pull in two customer demographics for both businesses. You can consign your treats out to other businesses and share in the profit. A great place to consign treats are smaller diners and local restaurants. Encourage your partner business to leave flyers or business cards with you, and vice versa.
Approach small businesses with your services. Send them a postcard in the mail that they can refer to for their next business lunch. Perhaps they offer their employees or guests a small lunch once a month. Offer to be their primary dessert maker. The small business angle is the only angle on this list that will pay you full price, but don’t make that a reason to ignore the others on the list. After you’ve sent the flyer, stop by with a free sample for the whole office. Get them hooked so they think of you next time they need a special treat for any aspect of their lives.
If you need help printing marketing materials for your bakery, visit www.unitedreprographics.com. You can order online or tell us more about your project and we’ll provide you with a custom quote.
Want to succeed in real estate? Then you need to maximize exposure for your properties and your personal brand. The best way to get that exposure is to use a mixture of online and real world marketing tactics. Here are 10 tips that any real estate agent can use to market their business and find clients.
#1 LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn has over 277 million users and it is estimated that 40% of these check their LinkedIn account on a daily basis. LinkedIn users also tend towards professionals and business owners. They are also more affluent on average than other social network users. This makes them a perfect demographic to market to for real estate listings. You can target LinkedIn users using LinkedIn advertising. It’s a self serve advertising platform which allows you to target by geographic location, job title, company, and more.
#2 Yarn Signs
Real estate yard signs are a low-cost way to get exposure for your real estate business and to market specific properties. To get the most from your yards signs use a bold clear font and an easily recognizable logo or professional photo. The information on the yard sign needs to be readable for people passing in a vehicle. Be sure to use colors that match the branding on your brochure and flyers too. Incorporate at least two colors other than white on your real estate sign in order to give it more impact. Get a quote online at United Reprographics.com for your yard signs.
#3 Join Networking Groups
Join a networking group or organization such as your local chamber of commerce or Business Network International. Use Meetup.com to discover other networking opportunities in your local area.
#4 Real Estate Videos
Real estate videos can be excellent way of showing off the interior a product properties. With the popularity of video sharing sites it’s a good way of getting quick exposure for a property. These real estate videos can also be featured on your other social media sites such as Facebook pages and LinkedIn company pages as well as on your blog.
#5 Facebook Page
The number of businesses that state that Facebook is either critical or important to their business has grown by 75% according to a 2012 state of inbound marketing report. Every real estate agent should have their own Facebook page where they can direct clients and interact with potential buyers and sellers.
#6 YouTube Marketing
People love to consume content on video. That’s why YouTube should be part of your online real estate marketing plan. You can shoot quick one to two minute videos which show off a property. Another way to use YouTube is to provide real estate buying and selling tips to establish your expertise and attract new clients. Make sure to include a link to your website and social media properties in the first line of the description.
#7 Use Your Business Card
Your business card can be one of your most effective sales tool. Business cards can keep producing leads for many years to come but they are an incredibly low cost investment. Always have a supply of business cards with you and hand them out at any opportunity. Finally to present a professional image make sure that your business card has been proof read. United Reprographics offers a large selection of business card styles, from traditional card stock cards to silk laminated cards, plastic cards, magnets, and more. Get an instant quote online.
#8 Email Signature
Make sure that you have included a signature on your emails. Each day you are sending out emails to all sorts of people. When you have your telephone, email and name each email you send becomes a marketing opportunity.
#9 Press Releases
Press releases are a good way of getting the word out about the new property or developments that you want people to know about. Because of the Internet distributing press releases is less expensive and easier than ever before. Some of the most effective press release sites include:
#10 Using Social Media Automation
Social media can be a great way to promote properties and meet potential clients. But social media marketing can also be time consuming. One of the best ways to make the process easier is to use social media automation tools. Tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule your tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates ahead of time. This allows you to achieve great results with your social media marketing without having to spend all day in front of a computer.
Hopefully this give you some ideas about you can get more exposure for your real estate business. Create a schedule some time each day for your marketing. Consistent effort promoting your properties and brand each day can yield big dividends over time.
While some may think print marketing is a thing of the past thanks to the internet, direct mail is still delivering results that get noticed. If you are thinking of taking the direct mailing route it’s important to design your postcards well to avoid seeing your investment tossed in the trash. A great way to learn what works and what doesn’t is to analyze the direct mail in your own mailbox. We came across this basic mailer from Braum’s Fresh Market and thought it was a great chance to share some insight.
What worked for this postcard
This company did a good job of covering the basics. What is the first thing a person usually looks at on a piece of mail? The headline. Braum’s did a good job of clearly presenting their offer with few distractions – the only thing to read on the front of the mailer is the logo & the offer – $14 in coupons. The background dollar signs aren’t attractive to look at, but they don’t distract from the call to action – Save $14 by using our coupons.
On the reverse, the company does a great job of making the postcard valuable for the recipient to hang on to. They provide coupons for customers to use on multiple visits, providing an incentive to get customers to post the mailer to their refrigerator for the month or add it to their coupon basket. They also take the opportunity to use the remaining space to promote one of their own branded products – their milk. They focus on the hot button issues that people are thinking about when making milk buying decisions and successfully position their brand as a premium product. They use a bulleted (checkmarked) list with headers to present this information making it easy to see the key points.
Where this postcard misses the mark
This postcard definitely has room for improvement. The design lacks any brand distinction. There doesn’t appear to be any design strategy employed and there are no design elements included to make this postcard really stand out to recipients in the mailbox. A crisp, delicious product shot could have been a great way to make this postcard more appealing – an ice cold glass of milk with a plate of cookies to promote the milk or a shot of gorgeous fresh produce could have more successfully connected the offer with the audience’s needs.
The back of the postcard doesn’t include enough whitespace to allow recipients to easily read the information and the multitude of colors make the information jumbled and hard to focus on. These problems could be avoided with a few simple steps:
- Make sure that there is space between your graphics, text, headings and coupons.
- Choose a color scheme with no more than three colors. This postcard would have been better if they stuck to the green, red and yellow they first presented on the front of the card.
- Less is more. Put no more than three items on each side of your card. On the back of this postcard this company used a graphic, a set of coupons, a clip and save graphic, a call to action and a bulleted list.
The next time you receive a postcard or other marketing item, learn from it. Identify what what worked and what didn’t and use those lessons to your advantage in your own marketing.
The amount of digital spending in your marketing budget raises every year, but you’re overlooking an essential part of marketing for any business: your print marketing. We still live in the physical world, we’re not wired into the Matrix yet! Your marketing efforts need to be savvy enough to combine content marketing, social media, and print to create a triple marketing threat that pulls in new leads, clients and sales.
QR codes are your biggest ally when merging content, social media, and your print marketing efforts. QR codes are easy to work into a variety of designs since you have flexible sizing. Consumers have also been trained on how to respond to a QR code, so half of your job establishing a call to action is handled. Choose your destination site carefully depending on the goal of your marketing project. Send directly to your social networks if you need to build numbers on a particular profile, or create a targeted landing page specifically for direct mail program to improve your analytics and build your sales funnel.
Social Media Incentive
Another way to connect your print marketing with your social networks is to provide incentive for readers to follow your social profiles. You can also reverse that, and use social networks to build sign-ups for print advertising. Some incentives to get users to take the step from QR code to your network includes a discount on your services, freebies, coupons, and exclusive access to special events.
Double Dipping Content
You put a lot of effort into your content for marketing, and no one says that you’re stuck keeping it in a single channel. Take your industry articles and work them into an informative brochure, incorporate user feedback by including positive comments and tweets, and maximize your time by basing the bulk of your copy on already developed content. Save time and marketing money by adapting your content to each channel. A postcard may have a blurb about your latest product, while a brochure contains expanded information from a thought leader article you wrote recently.
Considering branding a vehicle? Great! In the ever-crowded, noisy world of marketing and advertising, branded vehicles are still pretty unique—grabbing the attention of passersbys wherever they go. However, the success of your vehicle wrap is contingent upon capturing the right brand imaging and message to not only get the attention of the outside world, but inspire them to act as well. To make the most of your wrap, consider the following 5 helpful branding tips:
1. Create messaging using the 3 second rule
Remember that your vehicle will likely be in motion for the better part of its interaction with others. Excessive text or messaging that requires reading for more than 3 seconds will get lost in translation. You need to shape your message to have an impact at three stages 1. when flying down the road at top speed (this will be largely the prominence of your logo) 2. when cruising at a moderate speed (a tagline) and 3. when stopped in traffic or at a light (the gimmick or promotion). Ideally, your design will capture all three points to communicate with others regardless of the vehicle’s moving status.
2. Place your logo or mark on every side
Ok, no, it isn’t a racecar and you can’t just slap logos on the side. But making sure to incorporate your logo on to as many sides as possible will help all eyes to register the brand.
3. Make contact information the 2nd priority
After your logo, consider what action you want viewers to take. Do you want them to visit your website? Follow you on Twitter? Call you for an appointment? Whichever your most important goal, provide that relevant contact information on your vehicle. Keep it within reason though—if your Twitter handle is impossible to read or remember, consider choosing an alternate goal for this marketing tool. Remember, your contact information is only as good as what can be remembered in passing, so keep it simple.
4. Do something remarkable
Full vehicle wraps can be pretty inventive—consider translating your brand into a “scene”. For example, if you’re a moving company, consider designing your wrap as the inside of a packed moving truck. An IT solutions provider? Depict the inside of a major server. Just make sure it is an accurate representation of your actual services—you wouldn’t want to be called for moving services if you just rented trucks.
5. Keep it the spirit of interaction
You’re going out of your way to get attention—now encourage action by getting people to do something when they see you. Consider a call to action to snap a picture of the vehicle and post it to Twitter to win a prize or text a certain number to enter a drawing. Just skip the QR code—no one can scan your moving vehicle and it makes it look half-developed.