Marketing With Other Businesses
What Should I Wear To My Session?
“What should I wear?”, is one of the top questions our clients ask us. Most photographers start out with the basics. Don’t wear any bold patterns. Stick to the same color family. You get the picture. But what if you could have an answer that would help to spearhead your next marketing campaign? Have you ever thought about marketing with other businesses to grow your own business?
A New Marketing Idea
Like many photographers, I prefer to be behind the camera instead of pounding the pavement looking for the next referral source. One day, I had an epiphany. I have a beautiful 5 year old daughter who is always with me and we often go shopping together. I came up with the brilliant idea to transition that into my next campaign. Since I specialize in families and children, visiting niche boutiques that cater to them was an easy transition.
How I Made The Connections
First, I made a list of all the children’s boutiques in my area. Since I am a little further out from the city, I chose to cast a wide net and include areas surrounding the city.
One day a week, I visited children’s boutiques while my daughter was in school. I did not immediately ask for business. Instead, I tried to think of what I could do to help promote their businesses. I went in, looked around, and chatted with the owner or sales clerk.
I brought up photography in a low-key way, but did not try to sell them something. I usually bought something, but I tried to keep it small to keep my costs down. After all, the goal is to make connections and not to bankrupt yourself. If possible, I purchased items I could use in a photo shoot.
I asked for some of their cards and used them to refer my already existing clients to them. When a client asked me what to wear to a session, I could give her a store’s business card. I also staged photo shoots with my daughter and whatever little fabulous thing I bought. I posted these images on social media and tagged their stores.
Since things don’t happen overnight, I was patient and visited stores multiple times. I rotated visiting stores and visited the same ones multiple times.
The Next Step
Once I felt we had developed a rapport, I took the next step. I made some suggestions like this:
“Do you think there are any of your clients that I might be of service to?”.
“I would love to take a few of your dresses home to photograph and put some pictures up in your dressing rooms. I have done this with a few other places and their clients raved about it!”.
You get the picture.
This method is great for all parties involved. You are helping spread the word about their businesses and, because of that, they want to help you.
Give it a try, you might just be surprised at what happens!
Here are some sample images I used to help others grow their businesses:
Katherine Jackson is the photographer behind The Mirrored Image Photography. Her business is based in the Boston, MA area. She photographs children, families, newborns, and seniors. You can see her work here.
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