Okay everybody, it's my annual last call to get your holiday cards done. I write almost the same post every year at this time. Still, there are some of you who just don't get it. You'll procrastinate and miss the window and as the window closes for another year you'll promise yourself not to miss the opportunity in 2014!
Here's the point -There are very few promotional elements for your business easier to do than a holiday card. It's one of your images on the front with a short holiday message on the inside, but it's the back of the card that's really significant! On the back, centered at the bottom just like a Hallmark card, is your name or your studio name, with your URL and all your contact information.
Check out the two examples below from another in the Bleu and Allison series of holiday wishes! An outstanding image on the front and information about them on the back - don't forget the message inside as well. The inside message gives you a chance to personalize your cards with something hand-written.
- All of your past clients and there's no such thing as going too far back.
- All the vendors you might have worked with over the last year or two. As a wedding photographer that might mean wedding planners, venues, limo companies and florists. As a children's photographer it could mean local groups you've worked with, the president of the PTA, the local children's store in town etc.
- Business associates and other vendors in town. Here's where the card is a reminder you're in business and a "neighbor". Don't forget the presidents of groups like Kiwanis, Exchange Club and Rotary, just to name a few. Then there's the mayor's office, the Chamber of Commerce etc.
- Buy a list! This might be the year to test 250 or more names pulled within a zip code range for your area. Remember, when purchasing a list, you can pull by lifestyle categories. A children's photographer would want to pull from a data base of new parents, summer camp prospects, parents of elementary school kids etc. A wedding photographer would want new engagements. A commercial shooter would want to mail every business within a geographical area.
- Last but not least, don't forget your friends, neighbors and associates. There's nothing wrong with mailing your competitors. There are only so many days a year to shoot. Sooner or later you're going to be booked and need to refer business to another photographer, but you need to build those relationships.
Now, here's the tricky part...you've got to mail them! (Sorry, it's Sarcasm Friday!) Seriously, this little project won't do any good, if like so many photographers out there, me included, you procrastinate through the key time benchmarks and miss the opportunity! So, your goal is to have your cards stamped and in the mail in the next 2-3 weeks.
For those of you who buy a box of Hallmark cards at CVS a week before Christmas, Molly the Wonder Dog and I will hunt you down and you won't get a decent night's sleep until Spring!