SELF PROMOTION IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS

I am always amazed when seemingly intelligent photographers make comments that shows how little they really understand about business.  Once in a while I have photographers tell me the only reason I write these blogs posts is to sell my books, DVD’s and Workshops.  While it does my heart good to help photographers improve their photography and their business, money has to be made to enable me to spend the time to do this.  WOW WHAT A CONCEPT!  How many weddings have you done for free because the bride and groom are a cute couple?  What a minute, some photographers might respond “Many”.

These are the same photographers that complain about the ads on Facebook…..really?  You don’t pay for a service you use constantly and complain when they have ads for revenue.  This type of thinking might be OK for employees that don’t always think or concern themselves about the way businesses must function, but from professional photographers, who hopefully understand what it take to run a business and the concept of being paid for your time.

Your photography business must make a profit to actually be a business.  This means you must promote yourself.  You must look for every opportunity to get your business name before the people who are your target market.  As a small business person, you must look to unique marketing opportunities, because ads, direct mail and radio/Tv spots have a low return (and often a negative return) on the money you must spend.

Our studio has a Viper, did I buy so all my high school seniors would love take photos with it?  Yes that was a part of the reason, but the majority of the reasons are,  first it was a right off, which allowed me to use pre-tax dollars to buy it.  Second, it was a great marketing tool to set our studio apart and third, it stands out when I drive it around with custom plates.  The Viper might be fun, but it was purchased for the benefits to my business.  The same thing can be done with a really unique or even ugly car and a car wrap.  When I opened my restaurant, I bought a tiny delivery car, in an Alien Green color and covered it with a car wrap and even though I have many cars to drive, I drove that all over the place.  Everywhere  I went I had people commenting or asking about the restaurant.  These are things you must do to promote yourself.

Now before some whiny dude starts sending me emails about ethics, promotion is a like an advertisement, it is subtle.  Websites that offer information and make you pay to subscribe to get the information are not honest, ads about products or services when people are receiving free services or information are to be expected.  Self-Promotion also doesn’t mean you become one of those annoying people who tell everyone you meet you are a photographer and hand them a business card, however always having business cards and learning to lead conversations into your professions are a good idea!

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on July 9, 2012.

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