This is going to be my last Marketing Monday post for 2014 and I can't think of a better topic than "UnMarketing"! The term is thanks to an outstanding author, Scott Stratten. Every one of you should pick up his book, UnMarketing.
Bryan Caporicci introduced me to the book earlier this year and it's outstanding reading. There's one paragraph on the back cover that says it all...
"If you're ready to stop marketing and start engaging, then welcome to UnMarketing. The landscape of business-customer relationships is changing, and UnMarketing gives you innovative ways out of the old, "Push and Pray" rut. Instead, draw the right customers to you through listening and engagement, enabling you to build trust and position yourself as their logical choice when they need you."
All year long, I've written about some aspect of marketing. In fact, there are dozens of posts all talking about the importance of building relationships. From "owning your own zipcode" and meeting all the businesses within a few miles of your location to the importance of engagement shoots, and everything in between. For example, an engagement shoot isn't about another revenue stream to expand your services, but building trust and establishing a relationship between you and your clients.
The importance of attending conventions is another aspect of building relationships. It's about expanding your network with other photographers and the staff at the vendors whose products and services you use the most. Over and over again, it's your relationships that are critical to building your business and brand. Even being involved in your community is another key to building a strong business and brings into play relationship building.
I did a podcast a few years ago with one of the industry's best family portrait photographers, Angela Carson. In the podcast Angela talked about her relationships with her clients. Close to 70% of her business each year is from past clients. She stays in contact with them all year long, paying attention to special events in their lives and essentially being an honorary member of their families.
All of things I've written about this year are important ingredients to building brand awareness, including publicity, advertising, promotions and your blog, just to name a few, but NOTHING tops Scott Stratten's message in UnMarketing. As he wrote in the introduction...
If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business!
Interested in learning more about Scott? Just click on the banner below and sit back and listen to a great conversation on SproutingPhotographer.com.
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.