I found this post in the SCU archives, and considering that Monday is almost over, at least in the US - I'm sneaking it in for Marketing Monday. Many of my posts and guest posts are all about ideas to help you build a stronger business and increase brand awareness. Well, I found a great quote that says it all:
“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”
Here's the perfect point to kick off a new week - great marketing is about building relationships. We're a service related industry of artists. None of you are mass merchandisers competing with other big companies to get people to buy a case of Coke at the best price point. (Yet you regularly launch discount promotions and risk turning your services/products into commodity items.)
As a photographer you've got to work to build relationships. You've got to be a people person and focus on your integrity, trust, keeping your promises and exceeding client expectations.
At least four years ago, my buddy Byran Caporicci sent me a copy of UnMarketing by Scott Stratten. It's an outstanding book and one I'd suggest you order now. His sub-title says it all, "Stop Marketing. Start Engaging." And in the new edition, co-authored with Alison Kramer the subtitle is, "Everything has changed and nothing is different."
That means you've got to be involved in your community. You need to build your blog on a foundation of helpful content for your readers. Answer every phone call and return calls as quickly as possible. Build a reputation on a foundation of responsiveness and being helpful.
You are your brand and nothing will help you build your business faster than establishing strong relationships with members of your target audience. Social media has given us all a level of extended reach that years ago only magazines had. Today, keeping in touch with past clients is all at your fingertips and Scott Stratten had another outstanding quote right in his introduction:
"If you believe business is build on relationships, make building them your business."
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.