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Advertising a photography business

(16 Posts)
vsmuma Wed 09-Feb-11 19:49:10

This is quite similar to another recent post but I was wondering if anyone had any advice or tips on how to cheaply advertise / promote my very new photography business. The business aimed at families, baby, child and maternity photography. I have a website, a facebook page and a twitter account. I have add listings to websites such as yell, Thompson local & Gum tree ect but I don’t know where else or how to promote it. I’ve joined some baby groups with my kids and when I’ve had my cards printed hand them out but does anyone have any other ideas? Has anyone had any luck with handing out leaflets? I was thinking about sitting in the park across from a local school on a sunny day after school, when all the mums take their children over and hand out some leaflets and have some portfolio stuff with me but I don’t know if this is a good idea and even if I’m allowed to do something like that? I was also thinking about offering a photo shoot as a rafel prize for a local charity because I think that would benefit both or us? anyway does anyone have any advice and ideas for me please?

Notfelinefine Wed 09-Feb-11 19:55:43

Watching with interest for dh.

When we have nct sales locally they have stand in the foyer, plus I think you can pay to have your business cards put in the bags they give away. They also have a magazine you can advertise in.

What about local businesses? Our soft play, independent children's shop & cranial osteopath have business cards.

Notfelinefine Wed 09-Feb-11 19:57:58

Also at a couple of charity events I've been to recently a phographer has set up a mini studio and charged a pound for pics and then sent off sample cards to people.

vsmuma Wed 09-Feb-11 19:59:50

yeah, I thought about the NCT but I thought it was just nearly new stuff. I think I will try the soft play idea and the local shops.

vsmuma Wed 09-Feb-11 20:00:51

mini studio sounds like a good idea

Dozeyland Mon 16-May-11 15:09:45

OP i too am in the same boat!

moaningminniewhingesagain Mon 16-May-11 15:14:34

Offer freebies. When I got married I was offered a free wedding photographer, through a forum like this. They did my pics for free, I just printed my own photos and gave them some feedback about it all.

It was an experienced photographer who was moving into freelance work. As a result I recommended them widely (because they did a fab job) and paid normal price for some family portraits a couple of years later.

Good way to build up a portfolio and get some word of mouth going, IMHO.

Watersign76 Tue 17-May-11 00:29:04

A few thoughts...

Do you incentivise your customers to promote you? A photographer I used sent me a voucher to give to a friend when she sent my pics. If you are new and don't have many customers, use a bit of time now developing a good system to keep records of your customers, so that you can encourage them to use you again. I use salesforce.com as my CRM.

Do you follow up enquiries? Busy mums (as you know) might just forget to call back.

Do you collect prospect details? Maybe do a prize draw to attract names/emails.

I volunteered for our NCT we offered various ways of promoting your business, each area is different. Don't just try the most local one, looks at neighbouring ones.

What about offering a group photo shoot for mother and baby friendship groups? You could target coffee shops and hand them a voucher? Offer to lay on cakes etc - make it a social engagement.

Schools often have opportunities throught the PTA.

Talk to a local kids clothes shop or toy shop, could you do something jointly?

Yes, give away a prize to the charity but ensure you get good brand exposure and it is something to tell your clients/prospects about & try to get press attention.

Are you adding a call to action? "10 shots for the price of 5, book by xx".

You need to be ruthless with the "fly posting", others are. Go to hospitals, maternity clinics, coffee shops, libraries, children's centres, softplay centres. Most of these have a place where you can leave leaflets. And go back, don't assume your pile will be there in 6 months etc.

Good luck.

bobbityboo Tue 17-May-11 12:02:00

That is excellent advice Watersign. Would you mind if I PM you?

Dozeyland Tue 17-May-11 15:39:33

me too

Watersign76 Tue 17-May-11 18:46:29

Yes sure.

limePy Tue 31-May-11 15:28:07

You mentioned in your post you have a website but you didn't give us the address. Mind if I have a look-see?

Dozeyland Tue 07-Jun-11 16:29:33

I here also have a website. (sorry if i am interrupting your post OP blush

Dozeyland Tue 07-Jun-11 16:30:55

OP have you got another day job or solely your new business?

vsmuma Tue 21-Jun-11 21:03:33

hello eveyone, thank you for all the advice. I'm not going to give my website address because I have posted other things with this nickname that I dont want people who know me to know about blush

Dozyland this is currently my only buisness because I have two children under two and I need this to make extra money, but I am also finishing my MSc at university.

I am going to leave some flyers at the local registra's office I think and I have sorted out some packages with some local baby compaines e.g. offering to take photos for free for them as long as they give my info to their clients and link to me from their websites and facebook pages. I have also giving shoots away to local charity raffles because they will promote you and people will generally buy extra prints after the free shoot.

cheers everyone, Dozy I have PMed you too.

zipzap Wed 22-Jun-11 12:37:00

our local soft play centre seems to have a relationship with a local photographers who go in and set up a studio (and maybe take some on the softplay bits, not sure...). They seem to time it for a couple of weeks before mothers day, fathers day, easter and other times when people might want photos to send out, plus a few more sessions before xmas and then an odd one here or there when there has been a lull.

It's a soft play place that is aimed at younger kids so more likely to have mums and little ones during the week rather than just school age kids after school or weekends. Think it works quite well as if the kids are not being co-operative or would be freaked out by just going to a photographer, they relax playing and you can either get pix of them happy in the ball pool or wherever or they eventually come over to 'play' with the photographer...

Both soft play and photographers have facebook pages for their businesses which they use to promote the event and put up special offers when they are having quiet times, they also use twitter for these and send out newsletters on a regular basis.

Also talk to local schools and see if you can go in to their summer fetes etc and set up a mini studio - offer the school a percentage of the overall takings, offer reasonable price prints (is it possible to do them to take away there and then for a standard smallish size or at least take the proof away? ) Taking shots of groups of friends or families - that you don't always get the opportunity to have done normally might attract people. Depending on how busy you get make susre you don't end up spending 20 mins on one set of people who only buy one photo - limit it to 10 shots and choose the best (and join the back of the queue if they want more) or book people in for 5 min sessions, like speed dating but speed portrait sessions.

Might be worth checking out if it is worth getting crb checked so you can easily work with kids?

Also when they have plays, offer to take photos of everyone and shots of the play during the dress rehearsal that can be displayed when parents come to watch and hopefully want to buy - even think about mocking up a collage of the cast and a space for an individual that the child might want as a memory, that you can easily knock out lots of but looks a bit more special and personal to the group. Primary christmas / nativity plays where photo can also be used as a christmas greeting or being able to get a set of photo cards printed off would be nice and lucrative as every child tends to have a part...

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