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.
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.
If you’re a small business owner, you know how difficult it can be to make the most of your marketing budget. It isn’t always easy to find the best values, and some advertising investments never pay off. Here are a few ideas to help you get the most marketing bang for your buck.
Get online and get social
Social media can be a very viable—and extremely economical—means for marketing your business. Dedicate time to creating a branded Facebook page and use it often to create genuine relationships with your customers, strengthen the brand bond, and make them feel like insiders. Develop and maintain an active presence on Twitter, as well. Use social media as your central marketing hub. News, promotions, events and any other marketing endeavors should link back to these profiles and vice versa, giving your audience a comprehensive view of your organization.
Don’t limit your marketing to the digital realm. On the contrary, in our technology-centric world, tangible items can have more of an impact than ever. Flyers, brochures, business cards and postcards are still relevant and effective tools; you just have to find ways to mix up the way they’re presented. Include them with give-away items, or distribute them at networking events—or perhaps even at a branded fundraiser that you’re sponsoring.
Vehicle wraps are one of the most cost-effective ways to get your brand noticed. Did you know that a single wrapped vehicle can generate 70,000 impressions a day in a heavily populated area? This creative approach turns even a trip to the supply store into an advertising opportunity at a fraction of the cost of a billboard.
Get in their mailbox
Composing and distributing a monthly newsletter is another simple, effective way to market yourself to your customers long after the first sale is made; it will keep you on their mind for future needs. Promotional postcards with discounts and special offers will peak interest. While e-newsletters are great, in-boxes are often overwhelmed. These days, a physical mailbox is the place to be.
DIY marketing doesn’t mean sacrificing a professional image. Present yourself like a pro by designing a cohesive campaign that establishes your brand’s identity, then leave the printing to the experts. United Reprographics uses state-of-the-art methods that ensure all of your printed materials are top quality. From stationery to signage, brochures to vehicle wraps, we have a solution for your needs.
Let’s face it; business cards will always be an important part of networking. As much as interactions are shifting into the digital realm, nothing makes the same impression as an attractive, eye-catching business card delivered at just the right time. But when exactly are the right times to use business cards to market yourself and your business? Here are five instances when you can get your business card into the right hands of your prospects.
Keep them on your desk
This is one of the best ways to make use of your business cards yet so many people miss out on the opportunity. Keeping your business cards on your desk is a great way to remember to drop them in the hands of important people that you meet with and people who are interested in you and your services. Keep them in a business card tray that displays them prominently.
Include them in all of your written correspondence
Realtors have been doing this since the beginning of time and are able to generate important leads from it! If you ship products, include a card with your packages. If you send thank you notes or letters, include your business card with these as well. It’s just another great way to help people remember you.
Print business cards for your entire staff
As a business owner, the more people on your staff who have business cards with the company name and logo, the more people you have on your marketing team working to get the word out about your company. Not only will your staff be more likely to hand out their own personalized cards, it also boosts morale and makes everyone feel more like a part of the team.
Ask for other people’s cards
Instead of introducing yourself and offering a business card, which can be seen as pushy, ask people you meet for their cards. This lets them know that you are interested in talking with them and find them important. Also, they will likely ask for your card in return!
Volunteer to represent you organization at a conference
If your business attends conferences throughout the year, you can view them as a wonderful networking opportunity. Handing out business cards is common practice at conferences. Make sure that you make yours stand out by writing a personal note on the back or remembering to follow up with your prospects shortly after the conference.
Remember, business cards are like mini-billboards for your business! Try to take measures to make sure you’re getting the most of them in your networking efforts.