Review of Sandy Puc's Photography Marketing Magic Presentation
Post by TWiP Contributor: Chris Krieger
Sandy Puc has been a photographer all her adult life. Her initial focus was on baby photography in the early days. It's refreshing to hear a presentation that is composed by a person that has not had any career focus save for being a photographer. The presentation is quite long at a two hour running time. It is well worth the time invested depending where you are with your own photography business.
Here's a brief look at some of what was shared.
Marketing is a big part of what we all do whether we're in business for ourselves or not. There's a huge emphasis on the “Know Me, Like Me, Pay Me” mantra on many levels throughout the marketing and self-promotion world.
When you're shooting for a client, you're capturing moments in time that have varying value depending on who's looking at the photo. Pricing is important and I'll share my view of take-aways later, but what's more important is that time only moves forward as far as we know. We have to find ways to recognize that regardless of the situation, people moments in time much more than you could ever image.
Now that you have a small sliver on an idea of what you're doing. You can begin to think about having a system of how you're going to walk through the sales process with your clients. Having a timeline of the important moments in a child's life gave me the impression that you can count on building around moments and selling a “baby program” is awesome!
Below are example of how to build around one of the largest moments in an adults life.
The brief rundown of the “baby program” is that you would have a few packages for the parents to choose from. You would also have the intent of enrolling them into the program where you would meet with the new parents and their child within the first few weeks after birth, 3 mos., 6 mos., and at one year. This way, once you've landed your client, you can lean towards knowing that you're not only going to have a client, but a very good chance to build a relationship with new parents at a time where they are very unlikely to forget you. This can give you immense authority in your space.
As a budding photographer, I grapple the most with what to charge and what packages to offer. This is an area that wasn't focused on from a dollar amount perspective, but more from a planning and execution perspective. Having packages and having programs that are geared to your target audience will allow you to be a more effective sales person as a whole. This may seem elementary, however when your focused on getting a high after a great shot, you may not be focused on closing the sale.
You want to be where your clients are. Period. For profit or not, if you don't go where your subjects hang out, you may not have much to do as a photographer. This is multiplied immensely if you're trying to work to pay the bills.
Get your work in front of the people your going o sell to. If you're into portraiture, then attempt to get your work in forums that people hang out. It can be in movie theaters and coffee shops. In Sandy's case, she was primarily a baby photographer, so hospitals were vital for making marketing impressions. This is where you just have to not worry about what the answer will be from your potential target area. Just ask.
Plan ahead when it comes to your marketing. Not at all creative types are universally creative people. You may have to reach out for help with web design, but this factor should not keep you from having a schedule. Sandy shared an example of how her team plans out 3 to 4 months in advance for marketing and works towards being to move on the target date and not a day later.
As a loner you may not not need as much time, however you may not feel the crunch if you know in June that you're going to offer a Halloween Costume promotion this fall. You now know that you may have to create materials in July & August and move to create buzz throughout Sept to mid October. This is all hypothetical of course.
Being aware of where you are in your marketing process is key, and without a schedule you're going to have lots of fun cramming!
Social media is a area that Sandy touched and I believe that she leverages extremely effective for her brand. If you are a people person, than to have social parties coordinated through Facebook will create wins. The trick is to invite your list, and have your list invite their friends. In Sandy's case she shared that she had parties for Ladies. the ladies bring a few friends. They may get to hang out at the studio and have a picture taken. You can see that if they have a great experience I won't be difficult to ask for them to come to another event!
One piece of advice that I found very helpful was to not offer free photo, but offer credits toward packages. I'm sure that there are many ways of looking at this, but I can see the benefit. You can get your potential client to buy into your service without to provide an “at cost” freebie with a low conversion rate.
I'm seeing this example on sites like Living Social and Groupon. Examine this option for yourself and choose which ever pricing option works for you.
This presentation has much more in its entirety and is an extremely useful piece of media for pros and armatures alike.
It's well worth the investment of time. Let us know what you think of the presentation after you watch it.
Sandy Puc Photography – The information mentioned above can be found through this link.
About the author:
Chris Krieger is a freelancer with a focus on photography, graphic design, and writing. He runs the Krieger Imaging & Multimedia which can be found on the web at www.kriegerimaging.com. Feel free to tweet him @kriegerimaging. You can also snoop on Chris Here…
If you would like to reach him you can send an email him as well.