We're coming to the close of the spring event seasonality for portraiture. Mother's Day, Graduation and with Father's Day, the trifecta is over. The next big rush, will come in the fourth quarter with the November/December holidays.
Meanwhile, it's summer time and you're working to book more weddings, children's portraits, family sittings, business portraits and boudoir sessions as part of your regular business. What are you going to do to create a little excitement in your own market?
Just because these little peaks in seasonality are over, doesn't mean you have to wait until the next publicly recognized holiday. You've got a chance to show you're better than Hallmark and create a few events of your own.
Vicki Taufer, the Queen of Promotional Events, has over the years created more programs for her clients than Hallmark ever thought of. That's her promotional calendar going back at least ten years ago on the left.
Vicki gave me permission to share it years ago in my marketing program. What's interesting is that great promotions have no date stamp - there is no spoilage. A promotion that connects with your community can, if you do it right, be timeless. (Vicki's got a lot of her marketing material on line. It's worth checking out, including her videos.)
Here's a quick check off list to help you come up with some of your own events:
- Look for themes that make sense in your community. What's NOT being done? Are there community events with themes you could piggy-back with? County Fairs, fund-raising events, walkathons, special summer programs, concerts, rodeos, baseball tournaments, summer sports, recreational events, etc.?
- Whatever you're doing, make it fun! Use a few adjectives to describe the event. It's sad that I have to remind people to put a little spice into their vocabulary, but it will help so much. Give it a fun name. Work to create appeal. Make you and your program habit-forming.
- Look for partners. Vicki's original "Dog Days of Summer" done many years ago, became a classic in the industry and launched her business as a pet photographer. It was the perfect promotion with multiple partners and focused on one of the top three reasons people hire a professional photographer, pets!
- When designing your material choose an image or images that will draw people to the event. The image Vicki used above was a classic. Picture this promotional piece plastered all over her community. The result was 120 sessions and 40 people on the waiting list! The program was so well received that Vicki had to extend the program and shot over a couple of days.
Here's the point - regardless of your specialty, you're the only one who can create the excitement around photography in your community. Make yourself a leader and remember, nobody knows if a program is a success or failure except you. The truth is, you learn something with every project.
The first Hasselblad University program we did many years ago was a complete failure. So bad, that even after a major investment in print advertising, we were forced to cancel it, but the logo and the concept won awards. It became the foundation for an entire education resource for the company and the reason Tony Corbell came to work at Hasselblad. He was the first "Dean" of Hasselblad University. Not every program you do will be a record breaker, but think of them as building blocks for something bigger.
And, if you're stuck for ideas or just don't know if you're on the right track, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), include a phone number to get back to you and I'll try to help...I've made the offer before - so here it is again. Let's make 2014 one of the best years you've ever had for your business!