I got the first email promo above just before Labor Day and the second promo just ten days later. The first issue is their need to update their mailing list. I haven't lived in Ohio in almost three years, but second, why hit the promo button again in just ten days?
I've seen so many photographers who, whether real or perceived, believe they're stuck in the promotion riptide and can't sell any of their services without a special offer. Nothing is impossible to change. In fact, Henry Ford once said,
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”
Even bloggers, mostly wedding and portrait photographers, think they're stuck when they can't break the trend of showing images from weekend shoots of their clients. Posting images of clients becomes a popularity contest and I've heard comments about people who were actually hurt, because all of their images weren't shared on their photographer's blog.
So, let's come up with some ideas to help you break the promotional riptide you might be caught in...
- When it comes to blogging, you don't need to show every image from every shoot. This is a classic less is more scenario. Just show one great image from the shoot. In addition, use that image to make a point that's educational. For example, talk about great clothes to wear for a portrait, depth of field, lighting, the pose, the location....give your readers a helpful hint to becoming better photographers themselves.
- On your promotions, look for added value rather than discounting. I've written about this before, but years ago, Cliff Mautner didn't want to drop his prices, so instead he added more coverage time. In terms of other added value programs call your lab and your album company and just ask one simple question, 'What's new?" Most companies today have so many different products, all of which most consumers know very little about.
- Look for partnerships to cross-promote with other vendors. You don't have to promote alone. Build relationships with florists, caterers, venues, salons, wedding planners, limo companies, tux shops, bridal shops etc. Within every photographic specialty there are other companies with the same target audience.
- Don't forget other photographers and working together to promote your services. I've written about this at least a half dozen times, but Bruce Berg in Portland talks about it even more. Each year he's part of the Lane County Children's Portrait Content - it's gone on for over thirty years with three competing studios being the core of the contest. Bruce couldn't be more honest in the information he's shared about revenue during the first quarter of each year, the slowest, and what it's done for his business.
There's nothing wrong with promoting your business, but you need to pay attention to your timing, the frequency and always make sure you never compromise on the quality of your work. Show only your very best and build a reputation based on customer service and uncompromising quality.