Jul 9 2010

No Cost Promotion For Photographers


I know the value of marketing and promotion. I also know if you spend too much money marketing and don’t get the return expected bad things can happen to a small under funded business. I spent over 20 years in the jewelry manufacturing business making mostly platinum engagement rings and platinum wedding bands. This is where I learned first hand the best promotion is one that cost little or nothing.
This is a great promotion idea for a professional photographer with a lot of knowledge of portrait photography and fast re-touching. If you don’t have the talent then don’t even try this promotion. The negative feedback will hurt you more than it will help. If you feel you are qualified then jump in with both feet. I am also assuming you have proper lighting and a good printer. Both are required or would be needed to be purchased.Don’t risk trying to use only natural light as the event may run late and you will be in trouble.
This idea came from a major cosmetic company client who would hire me for 2-3 days to take photos of clients. They would give a make-over and I would take a photo, re-touch it and print it out within a few minutes. The clients went crazy over the images and many purchased the cosmetics. I was told this was one of the most successful promotions they had ever done. Of course they had a large budget and could afford my services. Another thing I learned is to have at least one assistant. You want to keep things moving fast and all appointments on time.
What you need for the promotion.

  • Printer
  • Lights
  • Laptop
  • Matte Photo Paper
  • Assistant
  • Camera
  • CD’s

Today with the recession making all retail stores cut back I wanted a way to get new clients without spending a lot of cash. I thought of a promotion that would bring in 20-25 clients and not cost me or the retail store anything. The idea is simple.
I work with the retail clothing store and we do a fashion shoot. The store calls all of there special clients to come in by appointment. The sales staff will dress them from head to toe including all accessories.The sales staff has a chance to sell the clothes and even a whole new look to the client. The shoe store next door or jewelry outlet can take part also if the store needs more merchandise to complete the look. A local hair or make-up artist in need of a portfolio will provide a quick hair style and make-up. They get to impress a lot of new clients who can afford their services and I give them a CD for web use after the shoot so they provide the service free of charge. After the client is 100% ready I take a few shots and invite them to take a look at the computer. I re-touch and print out a sample. This first sample is free for them to take home. Any additional are sold and if you have a Mother and Daughter theme they will want a lot more images. I make an appointment to show the other images and book family photo shoots or business portraits. I also hand out custom cards with their photo on them to use for referrals. Even if I sell nothing that day I still make a lot of contacts and end up with more portrait work.
The key to making this a successful promotion is providing a image that is better than any have ever seen before. Hair and make-up is a must as well as perfect lighting and photo re-touching knowledge. Some stores with quality sales staff have sold over $500.00 average per client. With this promotion everyone can make money and all the clients are happy.
I would estimate the cost to print one photo to be under $1.00 and the average sales to be between $400.00 and $900.00.

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