by Skip Cohen
Now is the time to start thinking about your holiday cards for next December. Yes, I know it's only May, but all I want to do is plant the seed for the idea. Plus, you should be using your own images for your stationery as well.
There are few things worse than a photographer buying a box of Hallmark cards at holiday time! There is no better way to show your work than on your own cards and stationery. I've written a lot about this in blog posts and magazine articles and even included it in various workshops over the years.
The bottom line is that it's not too early to start thinking about how your holiday card can impact your business. Think about it for a second. What better way to demonstrate your abilities and market your work than to use one of your own images on a card? It’s easy, it’s a soft sell and your logo and business information on the back of the card tells people a lot more than a CVS bar code. Plus, it shows you have pride in your work!
Bleu Cotton and Allison Pierce have set the standard for great holiday cards and the entire family is included in the process. They've made their sense of humor an art form, some day to be declared national treasures! LOL In past years they've been featured in their card with Bleu as Santa, Allison as an elf and their son, Fisher, now upstages both of them! If Fisher plays his cards right and listens to everything Mom and Dad teach him about life and laughter, we'll see him doing standup on late night television in twenty years!
Helping to reinforce your brand is one side of holiday cards, but let's look at another, one that contributes to your bottom line. Holiday cards, thank you notes and stationery are amazing products for your clients. It's the ideal extension of your product line and you've not only got the images, but the ability, with a few clicks of your mouse, to create their card or stationery. Again, it's the same old question - why would you want to send them to CVS for their holiday cards, when you've got the support from companies like SmugMug and the skill set?
So there’s one point here: It's May and you’ve got six months to get your act together and create an image for your own cards. Ongoing, there's a whole set of products here to incorporate with every client and plant the seed for holiday cards and stationery.
Whether the economy is tough or not, the issue is always the same - it takes a constant effort to keep your name out there with the public. Most of you are sitting on a gold mine of your own images and barely take advantage of the real asset they could be as marketing tools! Then comes the access you've got to images of your clients.
Show your confidence in your own work and when people turn the card over to look for the Hallmark label, how terrific it would it be if they saw your name instead?
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.