The days are flying by! Ever feel like you're trapped in an old movie, with the hands of the clock spinning? Knowing that time is your most valuable commodity, what are you doing to make the most of fourth quarter seasonality, especially in marketing opportunities?
Let's start with my favorite - your own holiday card! I've written at least a half dozen posts on the subject over the last few years, usually starting right now, as the summer comes to a close.
As a professional photographer, it's one of your very best opportunities to promote your work, holiday spirit and brand. NO PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER SHOULD EVER SEND OUT A STORE-BOUGHT HOLIDAY CARD! Yeah, I'm yelling, but only because too many of you still don't get it.
You're artists. Why would you show somebody else's work?
Start thinking about your image for this year's card and once you have the image, it's so easy. Your image is on the front, a holiday themed message on the inside and on the back, right where the "Hallmark" label would be, is the name of your business or your name, your email address and a phone number. That's it - nothing more to do except work on your mailing list and get them sent out on time.
The images below are last year''s holiday card from Bleu, Ali and Fisher at Bleu Cotton Photography in Costa Mesa. I've shared every card of their's in posts for at least the last five years. The fun of their card series is they put themselves in the performance. Whether you want to have some fun and create an image that's unique of your family, just do a family portrait or share a stunning image you've taken of something holiday related...it doesn't matter.
The value of the card really isn't in the image used, but the marketing strength on the back. This is where you get to remind everybody what you do for a living. It's the perfect marketing message during the holiday season.
Over the years I've featured cards from so many different photographers. The challenge for you is to stop procrastinating and think about December 2014...What are you going to be sending out?
Other cards from past years...
My main focus in this post is about holiday cards, because it's the next big opportunity coming up on the calendar, but in all honesty, the same thing applies to your stationery. Use your own images in your thank you notes.
We live in the printed world - we post, tweet, email - all typed communication. Don't under-estimate the value of a hand-written note, guaranteed to get through the noise and create a memorable moment. Here are two more examples and they also show a different way to brand the back of the card.
Our good friend Kaylene Fister, used a stunning image she took during SCU's summer program in Chicago last year. Using a panoramic image gave her the ability to also make the shape of her card unique at 4" x 8".
Good buddy, Everardo Keeme uses one of his images with a stronger commercial look and ties in a small logo on the front of his card and more information on the back.
I've only got one simple point in this post...
You're an artist and you're working hard to build brand awareness for your skill set. Don't miss the opportunities to share your work and remind people why you're their number one choice when it comes to all of their photographic needs!
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.