[by Pascal Depuhl]
Getting your foot in the door
Sure, you can do what everyone else is doing. Or you could try something else. You can market in those tried and true channels, or you can rock the boat. If you’re looking to stand out in a very crowded field, here’s how you get your foot in the door.
Start on a firm footing
Before we go any further, there is one thing I want to stress: your work must be solid. Your pricing must be dead on, and your customer service must be top notch. If these things are not firmly in place, you may get that new client, but you won’t keep them. Here we’re taking about how to break through all the noise to reach new clients and that requires you to be different in your marketing.
Put your best foot forward
Who are you as a photographer? More importantly, who does your prospective client perceive you to be? With every interaction, you must put your best foot forward since you can’t make a first impression for the second time. When a client looks for a visual content creator, they are looking at more than one photographer. How do you stand out from that field? What can give you a leg up?
It’s not just your work – your client is looking at other people who can deliver similar quality.
It’s not just your price – unless you’re interested in a race to the bottom, there’s always someone willing to do it cheaper.
It’s not just your marketing – since we all are on social media, online, …
If the shoe fits…
Before a new client hires me, they almost always start looking for a generic “photographer” with a ‘cold’ google search. Once they’ve found my company, it stands out from the rest. How? By hacking the market. By doing things differently, especially by trying things other photographers say won’t work.
Step into your client’s shoes
Understand who your perfect client is. Then learn what they are looking for when they hire a photographer. If you know the answers to these two questions, then you can gear your marketing hacks to help those clients find and book you. Does this approach work? Listen to a recent client talk about her experience:
Great marketing can happen on a shoe-string budget
25 Marketing Hacks
About a year ago, I wrote “25 marketing hacks for creatives” here on the ASMP blog. Did you try some of these out? They range from the very simple act of mailing a copy of a magazine to an art director (MarketingHack #8) to flying a plane half way around the world for a movie premiere in an airplane hangar (MarketingHack #11).
One thing they all have in common is that they are unusual and are all done on a shoe-string budget. Many of these marketing hacks don’t look like your average photographer’s marketing efforts, but that’s just the point. If you’re looking for some more detail on the Marketing Hacks that have worked for me, I’ve got a blog post with all the details for each one of the 25+ hacks on my list.
Share your favorite way to hack the market in the comments.
Pascal has learned to market his company by hacking the market over the past 20 years. He works almost exclusively directly with clients that range from multi-national companies like SeaRay and Mars to local Miami startups like LIV watches and Armpocket. He writes about what he’s learned about marketing and branding on his blog.