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Top Five Promotion Strategies

Lesson 23 from: Find Your Niche and Build Your Family Photography Business

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

23. Top Five Promotion Strategies

Lesson Info

Top Five Promotion Strategies

Top five strategies for promoting. Let's talk about those. For me, over the past ten years, it's been displays at local businesses, mom and family info events, okay? Some kind of charity even that we've put on. A big one is gift card promotions other local businesses who target my same clientele. We're going to go over each one of these in depth. So. Content marketing, which most photographers have never heard of. And a resource site for my business. For the target customer that I'm attacking here. For us, it's a baby site. It can be a family or parenting site, as well. I'll talk about that in a few minutes, and kind of give you the run down. So, first lets go into displays. Art displays. Okay. Art displays, getting your work up in another business or location, charity, office, hospital. Whatever it may be. Doctor's office. Is truly. Has been very valuable to me. I have a display of about 75 canvases at local hospitals. They're 40 inch canvases in our local hospital that I donated to t...

he hospital. Okay? It's very expensive, but I probably spent $10,000 on the display, and it's probably made me over the last five years, close to just under $1 million dollars in revenue. Okay. So, to me, spending $10,000 to pull out $1 million. I'll do that all day long. Okay? So, you have to attack and say to yourself, yes I'm putting a lot of money in, but what's the return on investment? What's the ROI? Facebook ads are very similar to that. I can put a dollar in, and get ten out. When I do Facebook marketing for my students. Okay? When I promoting classes and things like that. Same if I'm not as great as a return on investment have to use, advertise for many sessions or something like that, I'm obviously just booking them any sessions, but. There are some things that have incredibly high ROI. And you need to consider that when you're doing a marketing project. How much money am I putting in? Versus how much am I going to get out? Okay? The impact of. Of being at their location really is unmistakable. When you have beautiful, charming images in a doctor's office, or in a vendor, and they see that. Especially if that business is helping to tout you, and you have a good relationship with them. It really provides not only that impact of seeing your work, but also of that third party vendor referral. A business that they trust is referring you. That's huge. Trust trust trust trust. Let the work reflect the business you're displayed at. So at the hospital, we displayed images of babies. Some of the new moms walking down the hospital, could see these charming baby portraits, and feel good about the fact that they're about to be that same mom and have a baby. You know. It's happy. I'm not going to put kid's portraits on maternity ward. You see what I'm saying? Make it reflect the business. A good display can literally, emotionally draw parents into the process, and get them to at least want to inquire and call you. Or look at your website. Make sure if you do display, that you are allowed to put your brochures up. That you get exclusivity for five years or more. Okay? So that no other photographer can come in. Especially if you're going to donate the work. I donated $70,000 worth of art to the hospital, you're darn sure I'm not going to let somebody else go to get in there before my time is up. Right? It's me. I'm giving you all this money. Essentially. Granted, I didn't have to pay that. It only cost me $10,000 to do. But it's worth $70,000. If they bought it from me, it would be a $70-80,000 display. Okay? So that's the value of it, that I'm donating to you. So I'm going to expect exclusivity. And for it to be up for a while. You can't just take it down. You know what I mean? So then, I also insist that brochures be up, so people have information. That our logo and website are on each canvas. So that people can contact us or look at us, while they're there. Okay? Acquiring art displays can be a challenge. It means building a relationship with the business owner. Okay? You must do something for them. More than once. Okay? You have to understand and think of how you can help them improve their businesses. Can you give them more clients? Can you help them with graphic design? Can you help them with imagery for their website? Website design? Anything like that. We are all experts in photoshop and things like this. We know how to do this stuff. So pimp your services out. To get what you want. Okay? You can help them in more ways than one. Do they need an ad design? Do they need imagery for the ad? All kinds of ways you could help them. Go in it with a plan for them, so they don't have to lift a finger. Often times, it's really hard. Like the hospital, I had to do everything. I needed to make sure that they did not have to lift a finger to do that. Because it would have never gotten done. Too much red tape. I'd just go in and take it over. Present a beautiful vendor marketing package, so that you look professional. Outline the gifts you'll provide to the customers, so we would give away. One display, we would give away gift card to customers as well. Tout the benefits of the display to the business. At the hospital, I was like, you know, this warms up the space, and they agreed the minute the display went in, they were like, oh my gosh. Morale in the place is up. We love this, blah blah blah. So, put together a nice kit, or something that they could show, that you know your stuff. That you might actually be a better marketer than they are. And they'll know it by looking at your stuff. Okay? We show, you know, of course where we have other displays. Which gives us that clout. Okay? We have our display agreements and contracts. That we provide, so that it's we get exclusivity on things. We show how much it's going to cost. But they're getting it for free. All that kind of stuff. If you want to see more about this kind of thing, you can go to, and we have information on there. To see more of this. Okay? So family events. You know, moms are always looking for a place they can take their kids. I am constantly, especially in a place where there's a harsh winter. And your kids need to play. Any place I could take my kid to play, hallelujah! I will go there, especially if I can eat/drink. I have a cocktail where they're doing it. Awesome! Okay? So, any place you could display like that, oh! Fantastic. Or put on a family even that provides that kind of engagement for children. Especially for families. That's amazing. Try to hook up with a charity. Is there a children's charity in your town that people love to support? You know, or even just an animal charity. I mean, kids and animals. They go together. Right? You could totally do some kind of Humane Society event. Families are always looking to adopts pets and dogs. Especially if you want to start a pet business. I mean, hallelujah, how great is that? Okay? When you partner with a charity for added buzz, of course, the media latches on to this like crazy. The news. They're like, oh. Money's being raise for the Humane Society. I mean, when I put up the display at the Humane Society and wanted to initially invest. You know, do the pet thing. The media were all over it, okay. So then, team up with another vendor to promote it. Bring in other mommy parent focused vendors. We did a. We do an event every year called the mommy mingle. And it's at a baby store. So it works for babies, newborns, like toddler age. Supplies, and stuff for them. And there's Belinda and I with our display there. Okay? We served wine, and then cider for the pregnant mommies. And we offered a promo. If you booked a newborn session at this event, we'd get complimentary entrance to the baby planner. And we booked it. This is more pictures of the events. We have like 50-80 moms lined up at the door. Waiting for the goodie bag, where they'd get a free goodie bag if they're one of the first 50 people to walk in. All kinds of coupons and gifts from all these vendors. We had a huge raffle for like cribs and toys and bob strollers and all this fantastic stuff. Moms came to it like crazy. And it made us known in the environment. And in the market place. And that leads me to vendor relationships. This is the single most profitable thing I could tell you to do. It really is one of the best ways to grow clients. Okay? When a third party vendor refers you, to their customers, the customers already trust that business. They've patronized them already. When they, when the vendor says to that customer, oh you should use this. That is an incredible stamp of trust and approval. Okay? To have that little feather in your cap is enormous. And really does wonders for bringing in clients. It creates connection with other businesses. It's that tit for tat relationship. Where you do something good for me, I'll do something good for you. You know, make a baby plan. We make a baby plan basket that has other vendors' cards in it. Give it to our clients. We're doing something for them. We're promoting them. We're building their client base as well. We give gift cards at the baby store. We give a gift card to any mom that registers their shower. The baby shower. At the store. And they get a gift card for a free session, and credit towards an order. Okay? Not much. But it's enough to get them interested. Let me tell you. Not everyone's the ideal client. But that's what we do on the back end. Is we weed them out. We prequalify them. Let me tell you. There are times when Belinda hangs up the phone, and she's been on the phone with a new potential client, and she sounds kind of gruff and short and I'm like, what is your problem, Belinda? She goes, it was not our client. And you know, she's like, she's not gruff and rude. I'm exaggerating there. But she knows when someone. She can hear it now. Uh. No. We don't want them. We turn them down. We refer them to someone else. Because they're not our client. Turn away the people who aren't going to be your soulmate. Only partner with vendors who share your target client. Okay? If you put your images on the walls of Starbucks, and it's only millennials who have no kids going in there, what are you thinking? Don't do it. As tempting as it is to get a display, don't do it. You must assess who that business is targeting. And make sure it's the same as you. For families, gosh, pediatrician's office. Orthodontia offices are brilliant. Okay? Oh my god, as these kids are getting braces like eight, nine years old now. It's brilliant. It's perfect. Put your work up there. Give gift cards to the kids who get their braces off. I mean hello! That's brilliant right there. Go for it. That's going to bring people in your door, and a partnership with a vendor in your area who's trusted. They're working with their clients for years. Those kids are going in and out of there every few weeks for two, three, four years sometimes. A lot of trust being built there. If your image is on their walls, and they're changing them out every year, and all these clients see these new fresh stuff. They get to know. There's a relationship built there. Okay? Valuable stuff. Give more than you get. It will come back ten fold to you. And of course, using gift cards. You could spend a dollar or two on some beautifully presented gift cards, and make thousands of dollars in return from that client. If I send out, if I spend $100 on 50 gift cards, and give them to my orthodontist, she gives all 50 out, okay? I spent $100. And two come back to me. What's my ROI? And each one of those has spent $2000. So I made $4000 spending $100. I will do that til the cows come home. Okay? That is profitability, right there. Okay? Talk about low marketing expense. Do it! It's a great way to bring in clients, and get a really high ROI. What's most important though is the vendor loves you and trusts you. That's what's going to make the relationship work. So make their success your first priority. So here's just a look at some of the gift cards we provide to our clients. To our vendors. Just simple. Just make it pretty. And really. Okay, finally, two more. We're getting through it. We're going to go fast. Content marketing. What is it? Most photographers do not know what it is. But it's a new strategy that is out there that is working. It's using and giving away valuable information or content in exchange for an email address. You've probably been subject to it multiple times with photographers. Because photographers who educate, are actually getting wind of this. Oh, if you go sign up for the RSVP for this class, you are going to get content marketed. By me. Okay? By entering your email address, you're going to get something cool and free from me. Very valuable content over $600. But I got your email! Okay? Now I'm not going to use and abuse it, by any means, and there are companies out there that do. But you can use that email address to create a trusted relationship with a potential client. So let's apply that, in other words, it's list building. Okay? With potential target client leads. Let's apply that to the family photography business. Okay? If you go to, you're going to get hit with this content marketing. Okay? It says download our free eGuide Nursery Wall Display Planning Guide. Moms who are looking for newborn photographers do so generally between four months and nine months pregnancy. When they are nesting. And what do they want to do when they are nesting? They want to decorate that nursery. Right? So when they're searching for a photographer, they're like, Oh I want to do pictures on my nursery wall. How cute is that? I'll download the free eGuide. So, what happens? Here's what happens. They opt in. Okay? Then, they get immediately this wall display guide. It's free gift from me. Highly valuable content. That teaches them how to do a wall display in their own nursery. Then, three days later, they also keep in mind, put in their due date. There is hole here for them to put in their due date. Okay? So then, three days later, they get access to our resource site, which we'll talk about as number five. In the next few emails. "Hi hi! Welcome, here's a resource to find out all "about baby and pregnancy in Central Oregon." Great! Then, four weeks before birth, they get our next free eGuide which is Ten Shots Not To Miss With Your Iphone At The Hospital. Then, two weeks before birth, we give them an offer to book a newborn session with us. It's all based on their due date. This is content marketing, and there are services out there called a customer relationship management software that will allow you to do this based on date. Okay? So I am hitting these moms weeks before the other guys. I am swooping under the competition and going, oh yeah, I got first. Okay, I'm being silly and facetious. But, it is somewhat true. The services out there that do this, we use ActiveCampaign, InfusionSoft, Drip. These are all amazing email management services that hone in on a client's inability to target a client with specific parameters unlike anything else. This blows MailChimp out of the water. In cost and contact. Things like that. I, and I use this for JewelEducation, too. I know if you've clicked on an email, I know what site you visited. I know what products you've purchased. I can target you based on whether you hit a webpage or not. I know everything about your activity on my site, based on my ActiveCampaign software. It's powerful stuff. So if you buy a product from our shop as a photographer, I know you've bought it. Number one. I can target you with a new funnel, and push you into a different product. Based on your activity on our site. What you bought. What you put in your shopping cart. What you didn't put in your shopping cart. This is why companies seem to be watching you. Because they are. Because they want to market to you. Okay? Facebook ads are the same way. Facebook ads have something called the Pixel, which you can install on your site. Ever been on Amazon, looking at a mixer, and all of a sudden that mixer shows up on your Facebook feed? Yeah, that's called Pixel marketing. Okay? Whole nother topic. I could do a whole class on that. Okay? But giving away valuable information builds that sense of trust. Makes you an authority in your marketplace. It hits all these buying triggers that makes the client go, wow, they really know what they're doing! I should trust them. Maybe I should inquire. The key is to make the content relevant to your ideal client. Where is she at right now? If she's family with younger children, instead of the baby, you're going to have to make content that's much different, than if you're trying to target newborns. Okay? It's going to be more about kids events, and keeping your kid occupied, and parenting. You know. That kind of thing that we're all stressed about when we have six year olds. Okay? Nurture the relationship. It's very important to keep the relationship alive, even if it's via email. Okay? A content. I know I just kind of brushed on content marketing. I literally could do an entire day on content marketing. But really search google. Content marketing. You'll learn more than you possibly want to. Okay? Finally, a resource website. This is extremely valuable as well. When you create a place for parents to go, for information about their town, that has everything to do with kids and parenting, you are setting yourself up and positioning yourself in a market. So it's, for me, I do babies mainly. Because my family work comes from my referrals. But you can do this for parenting kids, and not just newborn baby stuff. But what you're doing, you're becoming the go-to place for resources for parents in your town. What kid friendly restaurants are there? What events happen throughout the year that are kid friendly? What fall festivals occur? What is happening in the news that is related to recalls and stuff for parents? What's the best food to feed your child? I mean, we're all learning this as we're parents. There's no manual. We have to find resources that help us do this. And if you are that resource as a photographer, you can push your work. You can showcase it. You can be the go to. And then you can hand out information about this resource site to all the businesses you feature. You can have other businesses write blog posts. Credit them. Quote them. Link to their site. All of a sudden, you're creating a vendor partnership. And then you use them to give gift cards. All this integrates. Do you see it? If you think it, if you think about it. What do these people need? How can I help them? How can I help my client? How can I help other vendors? That comes back to you ten fold. Post educational articles. Feature other vendors. You want to get in with your orthodontist? Feature an article about when the best time is to go get your braces. What should you be looking for in your child's teeth to know that they are going to need braces? Quote the orthodontist. Showcase her place for free. Highlight her as a business on the website. All of a sudden, she can be your best friend. Oh my god! This girl's so nice! She featured me on her blog. Blah blah blah. And then you go, oh would you like to go to lunch? You're such a nice person. I'd love to take you to lunch. Okay, great. Oh my goodness. Your space is so nice. What if I put work of your smiling kids up on the space, and you guys gift cards? Oh my gosh. There's just this happy kismet happening! Right? She's just going to think you're the cat's meow. Think! Okay? Here's our baby brief site. I'm almost done. We basically put every single vendor in Central Oregon that has to do with pregnancy or newborn, including other photographers. I list my competition on the site. For free. People think I'm crazy. It's all strategy. Okay, so let's review. Displays. Mommy events. Vendor partners. Content marketing. And resource site. Cheap, easy ways, they do cost money. But for the most part, they take more time than anything. I mean, ActiveCampaign, if you don't have much of a list, it's going to cost you $10 a month. Super cheap. As you build your list and get more people, it's going to cost more. Okay? But I think you're going to have 1500 people on your list for $10 a month. I mean people who use ActiveCampaign heavily have like 2-300,000 people on their list. It's like $4-500 a month. It's expensive at that point. But you have to get there. Who wants to grow with your business.

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Ratings and Reviews

Courtney Ranck-Copher

I own I think all of Julia's classes. This is probably my favorite. I will say that it's because its exactly the type of photography I have been wanting to focus on. So the information was extremely valuable to me. But I do love all of Julia's classes and you can learn so much from her as a mentor regardless of the type of portraits you shoot. Thanks Julia for a wonderful class I have watched it multiple times!


As always, Julia never disappoints! It has been so awesome to watch her work with such incredible intention, from concept to session to sales. Her energy and strategy are so motivational and very, very creative! This class rocks from start to finish, and is a perfect addition to my Creative Live business arsenal! Five stars all the way!!!!!

Amy Vaughn

My favorite part was seeing how Julia's business evolved over time and transformed into what it is today. Good tips for finding inspiration to develop a niche and practical marketing advice. I'm glad I took this alongside Tamara's business class - the two photographers had very different approaches to their business and shooting family photography in many ways, but it really illustrators how there's no one way to do everything. I learned so much from both of them.

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