There's so much great content in the Marathon Press blog. It's loaded with article after article, each designed to help you with some aspect of building and running a stronger business. And, the contributors are some of the most diverse artists and educators in the industry. Check out the team in the group above. Each author brings a different level of expertise to the industry, but they all share the same passion for helping other photographers.
I found the post below in Marathon's archives. While the post is from last year, the message it timeless. Marketing isn't something you ramp up once a year to build stronger seasonality - it's something you have to do all year long.
I love this quote from the post: "Marketing creates the conditions under which sales can be made!"
Ironically when you don't market your business you struggle. The weight of working so hard to build a strong skill set, but a minimal number of clients starts to weigh you down. Without a continuous stream of marketing efforts, if you're not careful, the only flame will be yours as you crash and burn!
One truly important thing to remember - you don't have to be in this alone! Marathon's MAP is designed to help you build a stronger business and give you a marketing department of your own. And, if for whatever reason you don't get involved with MAP, Marathon's blog, along with the support of everyone above, are here to help you lay out a game plan. Plus, wander into their booth at any trade show, or even better, call them for help with brochures, post cards, your website, promotional flyers etc. The list goes on and on, including their new Bella Art Prints and albums.
What good is working to create the finest images of your life, if nobody knows who you are and people aren't hiring you for their weddings, family and children's portraits and other imaging needs?
In order for a flame to continue to stay lit it needs three things; fuel, oxygen and a spark. If you take one of those things away the flame goes out. Marketing creates the conditions under which sales can be made. Without the spark, the fuel, and the oxygen that marketing brings to your business, your sales will burn out.In order for your marketing to work as it should to keep your business burning bright there is a step-by-step process you must follow.
• Awareness: Clients will deal with you only if they know you exist. In order to achieve awareness, your marketing must spell out as clearly as possible and without any confusion as to who you are and what you do.
• Comprehension: Prospective clients must also comprehend what you do. If you advertise that you make the finest Giclée prints in town, you probably won’t sell many portraits to those who don’t comprehend what a Giclée print is all about. So your marketing effort must convey a message that is easy to comprehend, such as: “This is a photography studio that does romantic wedding photography and they are located in the next town over.”
• Conviction: This is a critical step in convincing prospects to use your services. They will experience conviction only if they believe that what you offer might have some relevance for them. Conviction is built in many ways, including word-of-mouth-advertising. Clients who receive top-notch products and services from your studio will tell their friends about you. This facilitates conviction better than any advertisement can. So don’t overlook the power of testimonials, whether they are delivered in person or presented as part of your marketing.
• Trial: Once conviction is established, your next task is to induce prospective clients to try your services. Trial is greatly facilitated by an appealing offer or compelling marketing message, coupled with a “risk reducer” (such as a satisfaction guarantee) and a “payment facilitator” (such as a payment plan or acceptance of credit cards).
• Loyalty: The trial stage allows the photographer to do what he or she does best. When all goes well—when the product, the pricing, the promotion and the place meet or exceed the expectations of the client—then it is possible for that client to develop loyalty: the ultimate achievement in the client-studio relationship.
Once these steps are complete, you will have a much easier time keeping the flame of your business burning bright. For more marketing tips contact our marketing representatives at Marathon Press at (800) 228.0629.