GOIN G PRO : MONT H 3
This month Graham Parker’s been looking at ways to generate free publicity
Marketing for a new business is very important, but it can cost a fortune. Some firms set aside a marketing budget, but the majority of small ‘one-man-band’ start-ups probably don’t. I am in the latter category.
To market my new studio, I’ve been using as many free ways to get my name out there as possible. I believe that word of mouth for me is by far the best way to build my studio’s reputation. I always have business cards handy, and I attend free events, offering my time and low-res photos for free to the organisers for their websites. Even if the opportunities are limited, as long as I pick the right places the opportunities will come. I also brand myself, wearing my company on my sleeve… literally! Okay, a branded T-shirt isn’t free to most people, but for me it is as I have a relation who can help.
There are also a lot of things on the internet that you can do for no extra cost. I started with an easy one, claiming my online listings at sites such as Google My Business. One important exercise is to tag all your photos that go to the internet. This can be done very easily in-camera. Via my Nikon’s Setup menu, I have added my email, website, name and copyright to the EXIF so it appears on every shot I take. Blogging and social media also help bring you to the attention of potential customers. If you do start a blog, you need to keep going, and also comment on others’ blogs. This sounds like a lot of work, but it needn’t be: I have connected my website with Facebook and Twitter so that I only have to post in one and it automatically goes to the others.
There are many other ways to market yourself, but when you’re running a small business there comes a point where there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything. It’s better to do a few very well than a lot badly!