Business cards are very valuable and necessary photography marketing tools. All business owners usually use business cards, including photographers. However, one of the downsides of business cards is that once people that receive them and then “put them in a place that they won’t forget” – they do forget! Worse yet, many people simply throw away business cards that they receive – almost out of habit!
Your business card contains the contact information that you want your target audience market to have. There are other marketing tools that do the same things as business cards that you should also include in your photography marketing strategies.
Some of the marketing tools include:
- Greeting Cards
- Post CardsPhoto CDs
- Photo Ebook
Most importantly, your marketing tool must include the contact information that you want your market to have. (As an example, for some of my marketing campaigns, I don’t include my telephone number. I will have a web site address with a ‘Contact Us’ form on the web site. That way, if someone really wants to contact me, they can. But, if my specific marketing tool will be distributed outside of my geographical business area, providing a telephone number isn’t necessarily needed. Likewise with my email addresses, I usually do not provide my email address in my marketing because of all the spam [uninvited emails] that I receive from my email address being so public. For some marketing campaigns I dedicate a specific email address and I make that a part of my marketing tool contact information.)
Greeting cards and calendars work well for me in my ongoing photography marketing campaigns. I especially like greeting cards because of the “stickiness” of them. “Stickiness” is what’s referred to that encourages customers to ‘hold-on’ to your marketing tools. I’ve found that greeting cards, for me, are kept the longest. When customers tell me how they found my information, many times they refer to the greeting cards that I produce and distribute. The cards are very easy and cost-effective to produce. Microsoft Publisher is my desktop publishing software program of choice. But, greeting cards can be made with almost any publishing program.
Post cards probably work just as well. However, I haven’t used them enough to offer a qualified opinion or comment about their use.
My research on this next point isn’t scientific, but, I continue to observe a distinct pattern: in these times of instant messaging and emails, people enjoy receiving ‘traditional’ mail, especially, I’ve found, greeting cards. Many of my greeting cards I physically handout myself. But, I also have a mailing list of people that are either prior customers or have expressed a serious interest in becoming a customer. (Usually, if they positively comment on my photography, I, somehow, get their address. I mail them a greeting card within two weeks of meeting them (and their making positive comments). I then include them in my quarterly mailings to customers and selected potential customers.
From a very basic perspective, your photography marketing tools must provide your contact info, must communicate your marketing message, and should be something that people want to ‘hold on’ to as something of value.
And, of course, photography marketing is necessary because photos don’t sell themselves.