Every week since mid-February the SCU Diner has shared a "blue-plate special," just like those great diners in New Jersey I used to enjoy in my Hasselblad days.
The whole idea behind Fast Food Friday is to give you a taste of things you should be doing to build a stronger business. And, while I know this is your busiest time of year, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be looking ahead and building a stronger foundation for establishing better brand awareness!
Today's special hits on a favorite challenge for every business - finding new customers. There are too many of you who thought just by opening your business and hanging a sign; customers would flock to your door.
Well, it doesn't work that way. Think about how much noise is in our lives. You've got to find ways to get through that noise and utilize your very best marketing tool - building relationships.
The Hunt for Opportunities
"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door!"
To figure out today's Fast Food Friday menu I started looking for motivational quotes, and I ran across one of my favorites above.
It really hit home for me personally and fits for so many of you. Whether you've recently just started as a professional photographer or you're a seasoned pro trying to jump-start an established business, you've got to look for new opportunities.
Every business, no matter what line of work you're in, has the same challenge, finding customers and keeping them. You've got to find that sweet spot that makes you different from what everybody else is doing.
Own your zip code: When was the last time you got out and literally knocked on doors to introduce yourself to every business in the community?
When I was a kid, I remember moving to a new neighborhood and a woman from "Welcome Wagon" came by the house to introduce us to the vendors in the community. She left a basket of goodies, coupons, and information. You need to do the same thing, with or without a goodie basket.
And, it's holiday time! This is the perfect time of year to be meeting every business owner in your community. You don't have to sell them anything, just wish them "Happy Holidays," and remind them as a photographer and artist, you're there to help with any help they need in imaging.
All of your past clients: Everybody is busy looking for new clients, but they forget about building relationships with their existing base. These are people who already know you and have other photographic needs or friends who do, but you've got to stay in touch. Holiday cards, email, phone calls and even a personal visit here and there are all perfect to keep in touch. Remember, a great business is built on a foundation of relationship building!
Partnerships: Other businesses, including photographers, are the perfect partners to create excitement in the community. New alliances can be just what you need to "build some new doors." It can be as simple as sharing the cost of a mailing to actual cross-promotions of each other's products/services. Again, it's holiday time, and you're going to be meeting so many different people at community events as the year comes to a close. Think about those people you meet who might be terrific partners in the future.
Social Media: Each day you've got an opportunity many of you miss to expand your presence in social media. Without question, for photographers, those new doors are through a well-done blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest when it comes to reaching new potential clients. However, you've got to pay attention to your presentation, the quality of your images and being helpful in what you're sharing.
You know how to focus your camera, but what about your business? Opportunities are everywhere, but you're the only one who can go out and find them!
Fast Food Friday is brought to you by:
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.