by Skip Cohen
If only there were a button on your keyboard to just click and immediately generate all your products, services, and marketing messages to adjust for the seasonality in photography! I missed posting this yesterday for Marketing Monday, but that changes nothing, and with the challenges of the pandemic, EVERY day needs to be focused a little on marketing.
There isn't a better time than right now for you to be thinking about the seasonality of the fourth quarter. And while it comes at the same time every year - this year is so different. Together with your clients, everybody has been hunkered down for the last eight months. Memory-making moments over the summer have been few and far between due to the restrictions of the pandemic. Still, at the same time, there's a renewed sense of family around the world, and everything under the imaging umbrella has the potential to become a service/product this holiday season.
Here a few of my favorites, which I've shared before, but a lot of you still don't get it!
Facetime Portraits: J.P. Elario's full-time business was wedding and event photography. So, when the pandemic hit, he went to work on alternatives. Just watch the short clip from the Albany news channel - the idea is self-explanatory.
Marathon's BOGO on Holiday Cards: This idea has three significant parts. First is the potential to increase revenue because of the outstanding savings of a BOGO offer. Second is the benefit of holiday cards in your lineup as an offer for your clients. Third is the benefit to you as an artist and business owner. There isn't an easier or better marketing tool than your own holiday card to remind your audience what you do for a living! Click on the banner below for more information.
Outdoor Prints: I've written about BayPhoto's Performance EXT Metal numerous times, but the pandemic has opened some new revenue streams for everyone. First, everybody has been stuck at home looking at the same artwork on their walls, and outside there's nothing!
Second, the pandemic forced restaurants to open outdoor seating, and many of them have nothing outside except tables and chairs. Here's a chance for some new clients and your opportunity to decorate the outside of your favorite restaurant. As winter approaches, your potential is obviously limited to the climate you live in. If that's the case, then consider moving indoors!
Indoor Commercial Opportunities: My good buddy Bob Coates started photographing musicians in an entertainment restaurant in Sedona seven years ago. That led to an expanded theme in the restaurant's decor, portraits of the musicians, and even a CD cover or two.
The restaurant now boasts their own Hall of Fame of musicians, all thanks to Bob's creativity. Click on either image to read the full story on the Photofocus.com blog.
Now think of all the restaurants in your area. If you're like places around here, so many of them could use a makeover. Again, there are two important parts of the concept.
First, this is about finding new B2B clients and helping them elevate their walls. Second, it's a great way to get your name out there in the community. For example, Bob's work is being seen by everybody who frequents the restaurant. You couldn't ask for better advertising!
Working With Other Vendors in Your Community: Now is the time for partnerships with other vendors in your community. Cross-promote with a florist for example. Doing a direct mail piece with two other partners reduces your cost to a third if you were going solo.
And here's a great idea from Norma Grieve in the UK: My business partner and daughter designed a page specifically to help eloping couples. It includes profiles of a number of other vendors. She contacted all the vendors to check on them and ask what services they would be offering as some restrictions ease. She had a phenomenal and heartwarming response from everyone with an unanticipated, reciprocally positive reaction to our business.
The result was top-of-mind awareness with other vendors in the area and a newfound appreciation for Norma and her daughter's business.
Video Holiday Cards: Suzette Allen has shared her hybrid cards repeatedly on her blog. Well, you've got opportunities with so many clients this holiday season for creating a video combining still images, video, and great music for your clients. It's not a new idea, but it will be for most of your target audience.
I pulled an old one from Suzette's archives because it's one of my favorites, the Nylin Grandkids. Think about the emotional value of a client being able to send something you've created like this to family and friends they haven't been able to be with through the pandemic.
With the real strength of seasonality right around the corner, consider all the opportunities. Due to the pandemic, this year will NOT be a year where thousands of people crash the doors for Walmart's midnight madness sale - but they will be shopping online.
Now's the time to beef up what you're offering through the holiday season, and use your blog to start planting seeds of ideas NOW! Think about how the pandemic has reinforced family values and memory-making. I'm not sure there's ever been a time when photography gifts have the potential to be this significant.
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.