Silent Marketing Tips for Photographers - Digital Photography School

Silent Marketing Tips for Photographers

silent-marketing.jpgA Guest post by Agnese Aljena

We all know that word of mouth is the best form of marketing, but for creative industries it is even more important. The world has a perception – “artists don’t like to post advertisments around, they love to create art. And if somebody is hanging posters about himself, it means he is not good enough.” The truth is that good artists really don’t need marketing, everybody finds them anyway.

We as artists can quietly help the word to spread around – I call it “silent marketing”. Here are a few tips, tested by myself and other creative people. I will not talk about internet and social networks – if you read this then most probably you know how powerful they are. This time I will be giving very practical, down to earth tips – they are very simple and very effective. The main goal is to get people talking about you.

Business Cards

Many artists have really nice business cards, but there are thousands and thousands that don’t even have one. I have printed a few pictures from my portfolio on my business cards and every time it turns out to be a long ceremony of business card exchange. There are a few really good things about it – people see my portfolio one more time (and I have an extra possibility to talk about this or that picture, thus turning the conversation into more emotional mode).

It attracts the attention of other people and usually more people get my cards. People can’t choose one picture, so they take two or more. Having a nice card that is chosen by taker, will add an extra possibility that the person will not throw it away. If the card is excellent, it might happen, that it will be shown to others. And if the card is exceptional – if somebody got several, then it might be passed to somebody else.

Final Product

We live in a digital era and more and more photographers use digital tools to present their final work. These tools are very useful and they help to spread the word around, but don’t underestimate the world of tangible materials. If your customers are companies or high tech guys, then this might not be for you. I work with families with small children and I know that moms are too busy with their little ones. They don’t have time to share pictures on social networks and they don’t have time to print them.

Not all of them have iPads or time to upload pictures on their cell phones. A very good solution for spreading my name is good old prints that I am giving along with CD. I know that moms of my models will meet other moms. They will talk about babies and kids. And there is a bigger chance that they will take the prints and show them to others. And they do – this is how I get more than 90% of new customers.

Packaging

silent-marketing-1.jpg
When I give the final product to my customers, I usually get the first compliments about the result and they are about packaging. People know, they will get a CD. In most cases they think that it will be just a CD in an envelope or plastic box and most probably there will be something written with a permanent pen on the disk – just like the CDs we have at home. You can turn this moment into a positive and unexpected experience. Packaging is not that time and money consuming, but it gives you a chance to say without words that you care about your customer, she or he is special to you, and you invested more than it is expected from you. I have seen that my packaging is still alive after years! People wrap and unwrap it.

Delivery time and place

Think about time and place, where your customer will be or where he might open and see your work for the first time (in any of the form, files, CD, prints). If he or she is in the office, then all colleagues will hear about you. If there is planned a party, then all guests will see pictures and will talk about you. You know your customers better – find time and place that could help to whisper your name.

Gift cards or vouchers

There used to be several months when I spent more time printing and packaging gift cards than taking pictures. The key is to get gift receiver cry or close to it. I am a children photographer and in most cases my contacts are young women – moms of little models. They are emotional and accessing their hearts is not very hard, but some of them really cry when opening gift card. In most cases it happens in parties, and it is hard to skip tears. Everybody will know why and your name will fly in the air for some time. I make my cards as personal as possible. I include the name of the gift receiver, I ask the gift giver to choose from several quotations – all of them are touchy, and I write the text using tiny emotional details that I ask from gift givers. All together with the nice packaging it explodes into emotions that are above average. People love to give presents that make gift receiver really happy.

And don’t forget to put several business cards into envelope of gift card or final product packaging!

Agnese Aljena is children and family photographer and lifestyle business blog owner.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like...

Guest Contributor This post was written by a guest contributor to DPS. Please see their details in the post above.

Become a Contributor: Check out Write for DPS page for details about how YOU can share your photography tips with the DPS community.

  • http://bit.ly/oufr4c gnslngr45

    Packaging is a great idea that I haven’t thought about. I’m the one delivering a clear case with a CD that has sharpie writing on it.

    Referrals have definitely been my primary source of new clients.

    Flickr:

    http://bit.ly/oufr4c

  • David

    Good tips not convinced about the photo business cards

  • http://www.savetheartist.net Heather Clemons

    These are great tips! I love the personal approach you take to gift cards – and I’ve been considering the packaging idea as a way to make my photos different and fun. It helps to know that someone else can vouch for these methods.

    A photographer isn’t going to make it unless people are talking about them.

  • raghavendra

    Good list,
    you can also add photo mugs, posters

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/

  • liza

    could you give examples of gift cards or the packaging of the CDs? where to go get them. I love the butcher type of paper wrapping.

  • Yacko

    “Not all of them have iPads or time to upload pictures on their cell phones.”

    But many do. Make sure there is a free app for that. There are probably several pre-programmed slide show shells you can license. It’s the perfect way to show others your work in a cut down limited way without a watermark and yet limit how much “use” the devious can make of your images.

  • dallas

    Very Interesting!!
    I’d love more info on packaging options….

  • http://kerstenbeckphotoart.wordpress.com/ ErikKerstenbeck

    Great Tips!

    How about Pro-Bono work? A while back we helped to create a Calendar to raise funds for Insurance Women of San Diego. Naturally, to market this, we took pictures of Insurance Men. It was an 18 month Calendar and they sold around 400 of them – on each page is credit to the Photographer. That’s a lot of reminders and every month is a new surprise!

    Something to consider.

    http://kerstenbeckphotoart.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/cowboy-up/

  • ccting

    Ya, it is hard to become a real photographer. Too many photographers around, some good some bad. I never plan to become a photographer, i wish to become a part-time photographer ASSISTANT, helping photographers carrying equipments and lighting equipments ;D

  • Average Joe

    Fantastic advice. I’m a little unclear on some of the little peices in here, but overall it’s a great lesson, thank you tons!

  • Gino

    You have just revolutionised my packaging…just one word…thank you!

  • http://www.whitepetal.co.uk PaulB

    Some very valid points here, always pays to go beyond the clients expectations!

  • http://rppix.smugmug.com Russell Pankratz

    Good advice here.

    I’ve seen the power of packaging in other endeavors I’m involved in. A lot of photographers use Epson printers, and many of their photo-quality inkjets can print directly on CD/DVD blanks if you buy the media with the printable face. The printers come with simple, yet effective software to design your own labels, including photography and text, that can be quite attractive and professional as in the lead image in the article.

    If you haven’t tried it, you should, and then watch the reaction you get upon delivery.

  • http://www.cygilbertphotography.com Cy

    Thanks for the great tips! I’d also be very interested in where you source your butcher paper wrapping services.

  • Esther

    So what about being able to print photos from your cd. Is their a copyright release involved. Will they be able to take cd to a printing company

  • julie

    Some decent points. Not too sure about the statement that if a photographer has to put up advertisements means he isn’t good enough. I like to say the cocky photographers that make silly statements like that are the ones that have confidence issues. I do boudoir photography for women and I create mini flyers that look elegant and sleek, and I’ve found that to be a decent way to advertise, and many women have responded to it. It’s all about where and how you advertise as well. Ladies night at an upscale club is a great way to pass around a few flyers for a fun boudoir party. And I absolutely love what I do and feel I am plenty good enough. :)

  • http://www.blueskyphotography.net.au Benn

    Some good tips here. Everything you do as a professional is being judged and good packaging is the “polish” that can make you stand out. However, there is lots of competition out there and there are many very successful photographers out there that use advertising and marketing. In fact I don’t know anyone that doesn’t as it is not much good having a well packaged product that no one gets to see. Marketing and advertising in some degree are an essential part of any business and the packaging, as I said, is the polish.

  • http://www.christigphoto.com Christi G Photo

    Thanks for the advice. I’m just starting out and I love the Gift Card information about making it more personalized. Love that.

  • http://www.SuccessWithPhotography.com Julian

    Great tips on the packaging. It’s SO important to give as much as possible to each client. Also check out some direct response marketing. It WILL double your income if you apply some of it.

    Google marketing, sales copy, and direct mail can be extremely effective for photographers. Go get that money!

  • http://www.Shutterscene.com James

    Love the post. You should definitly make sure to put just as much effort into the packaging as you do into the photos themselves. This way shows a consistently great product! Will keep clients coming back!

  • http://pinterest.com/choosethegift/ Linda

    Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out much. I’m hoping to offer something again and aid others like you helped me.

Some older comments

  • Linda

    May 1, 2013 04:15 am

    Heya i'm for the primary time here. I found this board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out much. I'm hoping to offer something again and aid others like you helped me.

  • James

    February 26, 2013 11:54 am

    Love the post. You should definitly make sure to put just as much effort into the packaging as you do into the photos themselves. This way shows a consistently great product! Will keep clients coming back!

  • Julian

    February 1, 2013 11:04 am

    Great tips on the packaging. It's SO important to give as much as possible to each client. Also check out some direct response marketing. It WILL double your income if you apply some of it.

    Google marketing, sales copy, and direct mail can be extremely effective for photographers. Go get that money!

  • Christi G Photo

    January 31, 2013 07:57 am

    Thanks for the advice. I'm just starting out and I love the Gift Card information about making it more personalized. Love that.

  • Benn

    January 25, 2012 03:04 pm

    Some good tips here. Everything you do as a professional is being judged and good packaging is the "polish" that can make you stand out. However, there is lots of competition out there and there are many very successful photographers out there that use advertising and marketing. In fact I don't know anyone that doesn't as it is not much good having a well packaged product that no one gets to see. Marketing and advertising in some degree are an essential part of any business and the packaging, as I said, is the polish.

  • julie

    January 17, 2012 02:45 pm

    Some decent points. Not too sure about the statement that if a photographer has to put up advertisements means he isn't good enough. I like to say the cocky photographers that make silly statements like that are the ones that have confidence issues. I do boudoir photography for women and I create mini flyers that look elegant and sleek, and I've found that to be a decent way to advertise, and many women have responded to it. It's all about where and how you advertise as well. Ladies night at an upscale club is a great way to pass around a few flyers for a fun boudoir party. And I absolutely love what I do and feel I am plenty good enough. :)

  • Esther

    January 17, 2012 04:52 am

    So what about being able to print photos from your cd. Is their a copyright release involved. Will they be able to take cd to a printing company

  • Cy

    January 16, 2012 03:50 am

    Thanks for the great tips! I'd also be very interested in where you source your butcher paper wrapping services.

  • Russell Pankratz

    January 15, 2012 04:33 pm

    Good advice here.

    I've seen the power of packaging in other endeavors I'm involved in. A lot of photographers use Epson printers, and many of their photo-quality inkjets can print directly on CD/DVD blanks if you buy the media with the printable face. The printers come with simple, yet effective software to design your own labels, including photography and text, that can be quite attractive and professional as in the lead image in the article.

    If you haven't tried it, you should, and then watch the reaction you get upon delivery.

  • PaulB

    January 14, 2012 06:51 am

    Some very valid points here, always pays to go beyond the clients expectations!

  • Gino

    January 13, 2012 05:52 am

    You have just revolutionised my packaging...just one word...thank you!

  • Average Joe

    January 4, 2012 05:18 pm

    Fantastic advice. I'm a little unclear on some of the little peices in here, but overall it's a great lesson, thank you tons!

  • ccting

    January 4, 2012 10:30 am

    Ya, it is hard to become a real photographer. Too many photographers around, some good some bad. I never plan to become a photographer, i wish to become a part-time photographer ASSISTANT, helping photographers carrying equipments and lighting equipments ;D

  • ErikKerstenbeck

    January 4, 2012 09:12 am

    Great Tips!

    How about Pro-Bono work? A while back we helped to create a Calendar to raise funds for Insurance Women of San Diego. Naturally, to market this, we took pictures of Insurance Men. It was an 18 month Calendar and they sold around 400 of them - on each page is credit to the Photographer. That's a lot of reminders and every month is a new surprise!

    Something to consider.

    http://kerstenbeckphotoart.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/cowboy-up/

  • dallas

    January 4, 2012 08:16 am

    Very Interesting!!
    I'd love more info on packaging options....

  • Yacko

    January 4, 2012 04:16 am

    "Not all of them have iPads or time to upload pictures on their cell phones."

    But many do. Make sure there is a free app for that. There are probably several pre-programmed slide show shells you can license. It's the perfect way to show others your work in a cut down limited way without a watermark and yet limit how much "use" the devious can make of your images.

  • liza

    January 4, 2012 04:10 am

    could you give examples of gift cards or the packaging of the CDs? where to go get them. I love the butcher type of paper wrapping.

  • raghavendra

    January 4, 2012 03:45 am

    Good list,
    you can also add photo mugs, posters

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/

  • Heather Clemons

    January 4, 2012 03:42 am

    These are great tips! I love the personal approach you take to gift cards - and I've been considering the packaging idea as a way to make my photos different and fun. It helps to know that someone else can vouch for these methods.

    A photographer isn't going to make it unless people are talking about them.

  • David

    January 4, 2012 03:23 am

    Good tips not convinced about the photo business cards

  • gnslngr45

    January 4, 2012 03:02 am

    Packaging is a great idea that I haven't thought about. I'm the one delivering a clear case with a CD that has sharpie writing on it.

    Referrals have definitely been my primary source of new clients.

    Flickr:

    http://bit.ly/oufr4c

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download
Today’s Deal: 70% off Photoshop Artistry: Fine Art Grunge Composition courseVIEW DEAL
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER

DPS offers a free weekly newsletter with: 
1. new photography tutorials and tips
2. latest photography assignments
3. photo competitions and prizes

Enter your email below to subscribe.
Email:
 
 
Get DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS feed