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Marketing Practices That A New Photography Business Should Follow To Be Successful

The excitement of starting up your own photography business can be short lived if you don’t have a marketing plan in place. You probably are asking yourself why do photographers need a marketing plan. Don’t photographers just take pretty pictures and ask people to say cheese. Most photographers start their own business because they love what they do. The problem is they are great at taking pictures, but don’t know the first thing about running a business. Let alone growing and creating a successful business. A successful photographer is one who can balance all the tasks need to keep a business running and most importantly profitable. The biggest issue with photography businesses that fail seems to be that the photographer didn’t put the business side first.

You should first determine what type of photography you want to focus on. If you focus is too broad then you’ll have a harder time marketing to your target audience. A wedding photographer for example isn’t going to target hospitals and pediatricians like a newborn photographer would. A boudoir photographer isn’t going to target the boys and girls club for family portraits.

Narrowing down your target audience is critical to being successful. This also allows you to put all of your marketing dollars in the area that are trying to target. A newborn photographer could be wasting marketing dollars if they were to put an ad in a wedding magazine. I know married couples have babies and like to have pictures of their newborns taken. However, you may only book a session or two after spending a few thousand dollars on an ad in a magazine. It would be best to target a newborn themed magazine in this case to get the best return on your investment.

Now that you’ve determined your target market it’s time to figure out the best way to reach them. There are several ways you can deliver your product to the target market. There are methods that are free as well as those that are available for a price. It’s best for a new business to use as much free marketing as possible. In most cases you have probably a considerable amount of money tied up in getting your business up and running. So, I’ve come up with a few free options that can help you get you in front of potential clients with little to no cost at all.

Facebook is a great way to promote your business for free. Starting up a business page is relatively easy process. The advantage to using Facebook is that you can connect to friends and share your work. Your friends can share your work with their friends. This is a great way to grow your client base and all you have to spend is your time and a little effort. There are a few photographers in the wedding industry that only market their business through Facebook. It’s a very powerful and free tool to use.

Search engines are another great way to get your business in front of potential clients for free. Most people who use the internet today use search engines. The search engines allow people to search for specific information they are looking for. The popular search engines are Google, Bing, and Yahoo. There are many different ways to put your site together in a way to improve your rankings in search engines. Your ranking determines what page you show up when someone does a search through one of these search engines. This can be a very daunting task for some business owners who don’t have the time or knowledge on how to do this. In cases where you don’t have time or the knowledge you should consider paying someone to help improve your rankings. Make sure you use a company that is reputable and make sure you set a budget.

E-mail marketing isn’t as popular as it was a few years ago. The main reason for the decline is the increased amount of spam e-mail that most people receive. It is however another tool you can use that won’t cost that much. There are a few companies out there that allow you to send out mass e-mails for only a few pennies for a each e-mail. Putting together a list e-mail addresses for companies or organizations that you want to target will take some time. Once you put this together you can send out specials you may run from time to time. It’s another great way to get your name and your product out in from of your potential clients.

Fliers are also not as popular these days in the electronic age, but could be use for coupon purposes and special deals. The problem with using fliers for a photography business is picture quality. If you want to have a real nice flier with glossy print it’s going to be very expensive. This might not be the best way to get a good return on your investment.

Trade shows are a great way to meet other vendors in your industry. It’s the perfect opportunity to network with wedding planners if you are a wedding photographer. If you are a newborn photographer going to a trade show you have the opportunity to show your work to a very large audience. The cost can be a draw back as there are fees for the space you rent. There are also costs for the material you print and any items you decide to hand out at the show. I do find these to provide a great return on investment.

The last type of marketing and the most expensive in terms of allocating your marketing dollars toward would be print advertising. You should always know the circulation of any print media you looking into placing an ad with. If their circulation numbers are low then you should never pay full list price on their ads. Find out how they distribute their material. They may not put their product in places that will help you expand your client base. Find out how many other photographers advertise. You may find that there are too many like photographers in your field that are using the same media to advertise This is where being selective will help you determine which print media will help you grow your business.

In the end it’s best to use trial and error when determining your marketing plan. You may find that in some areas one marketing avenue works better than it does in other areas. Network with other photographers and ask questions and associate yourself with photographers that are willing to help. Share their knowledge with you instead of worrying if you are going to take their business. This is the best advice I was given when I started my business. It helped me shape the marketing plan that I have in place today. You may make a few expensive mistakes, but keep working on your marketing plan. Change in ways to meet your needs and budget to help your photography business become a success story.

An Open Call to Network Marketers: It’s Time To Raise the Bar On Our Business Building Efforts

Recently, a major network marketing company folded due to the scrutiny of the attorney general’s office in the state in which they operated, as well as heat coming from the SEC. While I don’t believe the founders of the company set out to intentionally scam people, they were unable to handle the explosive growth they experienced in a short period of time, and they were no longer able to operate within the strict rules and regulations of a legal network marketing company.

It is still a gray area where they went wrong and what kind of tactics were used to get the company to close. So much so, in fact, that legal representatives are investigating the matter further to see if there is a case to re-open the company.

Who knows what will really happen, and if it does re-open, it could take years. I’m sure it will be a very different company with a different compensation plan at that point.

That being said, I must state that what I observed in the aftermath was almost as tragic as the initial travesty of the closing of the company, and it really angered me to see the predatory behavior of my fellow network marketers. Let me paint the picture for you.

When this company shut down, many people lost a lot of money, and thousands more lost their dream of getting to a place of financial comfort and abundance. These people were hurting. They were vulnerable. They were wounded financially, mentally and spiritually.

First, the mud-slinging began. While the company was still open, people were just waiting for them to fail. Network marketers from many companies publicly maligned this particular operation. Was it envy? Was it hoping to tear people away from there and bring them into their own company? Was it waiting to prey on the fallen? Regardless of their reason, they were waiting for and predicting that moment to come.

When that moment DID arrive, how the naysayers rejoiced! I find this so terribly sad. As a blogger on the topic of network marketing, I write to help other network marketers become successful, regardless of the company they are in. If they choose to join me in my businesses, that’s great. However, I am here to help the masses no matter what network marketing company they are in.

Regardless of whichever company we choose to align ourselves with and build our dream business, aren’t we all working to achieve the same thing? Shouldn’t we stick together and support each other? Unfortunately, this did NOT happen. Once this company DID fold, the “I TOLD YOU SO” rhetoric began, and it was thick, heavy, and hurtful. People used this event to say, “This won’t happen to us, OUR company is solid, OUR company has the best products, OUR company has the best compensation plan ever seen… ” You get the picture. They used it to make themselves look better.

Beyond that were the predators, the people waiting to swim in the sea of failed network marketers. I was privy to some emails and social media posts that were sent out by other network marketers to these people who were victims of the closed opportunity. These emails were written in such a way that they put down the leaders, mentors, and business builders of the folded industry, they put down the company and its product/service, and then they went on to tell the network marketers who may very well have lost everything that THEY have a solid business opportunity with a compensation plan that compares to no other. It was disgusting to read, and the posts/emails were too numerous to count.

Isn’t it time we raised the bar? Isn’t it time we run our businesses with more professionalism than that? Yes, business – whether it is a traditional or a network marketing business – can be very cut-throat and competitive. Does that mean that we have to perpetuate the model? Why can’t we create a whole new reality for network marketing?

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the negative stigma that often comes along with the network marketing industry. I want this to be a recognized and accepted business opportunity. I want more people in this country to have other options besides working 40-plus hours per week for somebody else for the majority of their adult life, only to struggle in retirement. I want people to have the option to spread their entrepreneurial wings without having to take on the massive financial risk of opening a traditional business (start-up costs of a network marketing business are minimal compared to traditional business models). I want people to be able to get out of debt and enjoy their lives while they are still young and vibrant, and with enough energy to truly do so to the fullest extent.

How can we do this?

Let’s stop the sleazy door-to-door salesman or used-car salesman-types of tactics. No offense to used car or door-to-door salesmen and women meant, but that is the perfect example of the need to shake a negative image.

There are great ways to market your business both online and offline. Study marketing and become a master of your business. One way I recommend you do that is through information marketing. Become an expert in your field and disseminate information to the public. Once you position yourself in this way you will stop selling; instead, people will seek you out.

There are many ways to do information marketing. You can provide free reports, perform webinars, write a blog, just to name a few. Add some good technology to your marketing efforts and track your effectiveness – I have written several articles on my blog about this idea. Do a little research, and in no time you can do it yourself.

I myself follow a system that I discovered in my own research to become a more effective network marketer. In addition to it being comprehensive and multi-faceted in its approach, I found it to be ethical and easy to follow.

When speaking to people, stop pretending to “share” an “amazing opportunity” with them. You are not sharing anything. You are selling. Admit you are in sales, embrace it, and sell your product or service (as well as the business opportunity) with confidence that you are providing them with the best. If you don’t feel that is true, get out of your company and find a product or service that you can sell and still sleep at night, as well as a compensation plan that is understandable and fair. Also, make sure the business is duplicable – in other words, people can take the exact same steps to become successful as the ones who brought them in, and everyone else before that.

I beseech you, fellow network marketers, stop competing with each other! We are networking to work together as a team. Even if we are in different companies, we are still on the same team with regard to our business structure. Let’s be ethical, treat each other with kindness, and help each other out. There are enough people in this country – heck, with international companies, there are enough people worldwide – who are not yet in network marketing. Let’s bring them in, ethically and with confidence, to the best possible option available to develop a business for themselves in today’s harsh economic climate. Remember, it is in giving that we recieve! You don’t get something for nothing. When you give of yourself, that’s when wealth will flow easily to you.

Start today. Collectively, let’s raise the bar. Let’s bring network marketing into the 21st century in a positive way, for the betterment of all.

The Hidden Advantages of Collaboration Tools For Business

There are many known reasons to collaborate with another business. These reasons include increased revenue, reducing the amount of money allocated to a new venture (shared costs), and reducing the amount of work place on a business’s work force (sharing the load of work). However, there are several hidden advantages that make it worthwhile to team up with businesses that are like minded but not in direct competition with another business.

1. Optimizing the system for maximum effectiveness – borrowing ways of doing things from the other business – These businesses should not be working in same industry but have complementary products and services

Innovation usually does not come from within a certain industry. This is because most people in the industry think the same way. They are not prone to thinking outside of the box. Therefore, the thought processes within a whole industry can become very stagnant. What becomes important at this point is infusing the business with new ideas. Collaborating with another company can do just that. This company would, ideally, be in a different industry but like minded. A company that is non competing but like-minded probably has products and services that would be enhanced by the addition of products and services from the other company. This allows both parties to have a look at the processes that they both use. This is where innovation for the industry can happen. There are several marketing gurus who have used this thinking to bring totally fresh ideas into old industries. This one idea can bring thousands of dollars into a business that has been struggling to make more money.

2. Coming up with ideas from the other company – products and services

Alchemy is an important part of any business. This is why it is useful to have another companies input about a product or service. The other company has a history of developing their own products and services and that history is much different than the companies own experiences. This means that collaboration will allow both businesses to avoid pitfalls that they would not be able to avoid on their own. Having an extra set of eyes in product or service creation is always a good thing. There is no better way to have this then to have two businesses work together for a common goal.

3. An understanding how the other business works so that a business can serve their clients better

Lastly, a business different than the one that the business works in has insights into new markets. These new markets can have effects on the existing market. Therefore, borrowing customer service ideas from the business partner is a very smart thing to do. Retention rates of customers can be heightened from this practice and a business will produce a far greater amount of revenue from one client. It is widely known that it is far easier to keep a client than it is to generate a new client. A collaboration will strengthen the ability of both companies to keep their clients or customers for longer periods of time.

There are many advantages to working with another company. However, the best reasons may be the hidden ones as described in the paragraphs above. No business or person is an island and the addition of another set of eyes from another business can be very helpful. This business or business owner has a unique set of experiences and history that is different from the other business owner. The combined skills and experience of both business owners allows them to make more money than either could on their own. This is why a business should collaborate with another like minded but non-competing business.