hi otw. do you have a public library? I would go to the library and find the sic code of the business photography. Then look up the demographics and what the age group is that you want to target and find out all from there what the age group is that you want to target. You need to know everything you possibly can about the median income of this demographic and how they shop.
there's a book called guerilla marketing tactics. That's a good start too. Also don't get conned into advertising in the yellow pages or even the white pages at this stage of the game. Trust me been there done that and they have an order to how it is listed and you have to keep spending more an dmore to be up front. Your business is highly competitive like mine. With that being said though you want to carve out a niche that you can be exclusive in. Not do it all but like you have babies, children to what age? families (up to what age with kids?) and maternity. YaY on the maternity! there are a lot of bucks that people will spend on family photos and then there are a lot of people who can't afford a photo. That's why the demographics and median income is so important. Find the sic code of your business and do some research.
e commerce is huge! but best be careful because you (don't know if this is correct or not? ) probably don't get repeat business only referrals. You can give a special something that ties the referral b ack to you! like money off a sitting or ??? What's big that families like to engage in with lil ones where you live? what have you taken advantage of?
Group on stuff (which is e commerce) is HUGE! SO IS the internet. Get a website that is well optimized as soon as you can. Again if you can be NO> 1 for the search engines just in your specific niche then you;ll do really well.
you might even hit churches up to do a free photo of their choir and get your name out. Preschools when it starts again. walk the sidewalks of where the shopping is done (any kind of shopping and see whats out there!) talk to to other business owners that go to the customer and offer services like we do.
COUPONS ARE HUGE THESE DAYS.
read about marketing and advertising. they are not one and the same. You hit my spot of information because I've done so much of this kinda thing in my business. WOO HOO
also a good place for you to belong is the chamber of commerce the better business bureau. two great networking places for you to get your name out in. NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK.. its free and the leads generated oftern are very worthwhile.
well I gotta go. See what more other members here can come up with.
I have a friend who does photography- she works with a wedding photographer on occasion and that has helped her business move through families and friends. she also started by doing friends and families with added perks or dicounts i think, and it has grown steadily from that. she like the flexibility with her young daughter.
a website, business cards and brochures are always a must! leave you card everywhere and with people you meet! i do face painting on the side - mostly for fun- but you would be suprised by the calls I get and where they came from...sometimes i forget!
also, the old facebook helps too. people like quick and easy access to your work and your information. sending successful vibes your way!
Wow, thank yall so much for the help! Everyone has such great ideas and SB that is all such helpful advice. SB, I will probably have questions for you in the future if you don't mind.
So I wasn't planning to return to work until my girls started school full time but I literally have people begging me to take their pictures and are willing to pay me for it. So..... I'm considering starting to work very part-time. I just keep putting it off though for a few reasons..... I can't start making money until I'm officially a business and willing to pay taxes on what I earn, I have very little free time since I take care of my girls full time, and I my social anxiety is kicking in full force as well.
And I'm struggling right now so that's not helping either.
Then I would use those who are asking as practice shoots, see how you like shooting non-family. For "payment" all you have to ask for is their permission to use any of there pictures in your portfolio.
win win for both. you get some experience, and can work though logistical issues (how much time a shoot will run/ how much time does editing and making a disk take, how many shoots do you need to capture your subject etc.)
Developing your business will not be an over night thing, you are doing it right by slowly cultivating it. Right now your prepping your soil for later when you plant seeds.
and the anxiety...tell it pppbbbt! once I get behind my camera I go invisible, I hope you will find your camera has the same magical properties.
(((((((((((((((((( OTW )))))))))))))))))))
I'm not really a psychopath, I just play one on the internet.
How about Vista Print.com for 200 free business cards?
Do you have Windows Microsoft Office on your computer? If so, you can make flyers. When you go out, you can place flyers in various places and also on peoples windshields in parking lots you encounter.
I like SB's idea of the library. I do not know about where you live but here in VT we have artist guilds, the hospital, mental health agencies, coffee houses, etc that encourage "artists" in all fields to hang their art in their establishments as a way to support the local artists.
Do you have a local newspaper that could do a feature on you as an up and coming person of interest?
Best wishes to you OTW, not that you will need wishes...
Hey there again. One thing about handbilling parking lots... In my state its against the law and you can be fined. Better check into that first before you do it.
You can always go door to door too with your girls in a wagon. I did. I went to the houses we did 77 of them and so they had familiarity. Whatcha can do is ask the people whom you shoot to take five of your handbills and put them on the doors of their neighbors. Usually I've found here that peeps will do that. Or you can do it also. As you grow you can always hire high school kids to help do stuff! or even college kids who are interested in your field. Let them do menial stuff and take them on a shoot once in a while.
Very good suggestions that are here. Vista print is great as I have used them for several post cards that I've had done. You can also print your own cards on card stock that's made for cards on your computer. I think if I remember right that Vista Print charges for set up (I don't know of any co. that doesn't.) but you do the whole design and up load any logos etc to the site. You're excellent with the computer so you will do great things.
ALSO.... If you don't have softward to keep a data base of all your clients you need to get some. If for now you can't afford it make sure you set up a good system with names address and email addresses to eventually email a newsletter to them. This keeps your name in front of your clients all the time. I only do mine once a month BUT its great free advertising and since its considered a blog its huge on the search engines to pick you up. The more content you have that is relavent the more they will pick you up.. Ha ha pick you up.... hee hee
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
The opinions expressed in WebMD Communities are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Communities are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.