In addition to developing a simple and useful marketing plan – here are a few of my favorite tips:
Bonus Tip! Hire a marketing professional to help!
Successful businesses have a marketing plan. Time and money are tough resources for business. A marketing plan helps allocate both of these. A marketing plan is based on business goals and there are many ways to achieve a goal. It's much easier if you have a well thought out plan, a custom plan for your business. It's doesn't have to be extensive – it's more important to develop a plan that your company will implement. That's why I've found creative marketing plans to be so valuable. They are visual, actionable and less likely to sit on the shelf!
Probably! Most businesses need a few foundation pieces: logo, business card, stationary, a rack card or marketing brochure. This differs by business. It can be beneficial to assemble a basic toolkit that you can use as needed and easily adapt. A media kit and an artist toolkit can be used in so many ways. They include materials like a press release, a bio, a fact sheet, a price sheet. These are economical tools to produce although they do take time if you develop them in house. A website and a simple social media plan is also a must for most businesses and very important for visual businesses. When I work with a client, I begin with a marketing audit. Most are surprised by the marketing materials already on hand. Often these resources can be used in new ways. Brochures, images, presentations, articles, blog posts are a rich archive of materials.
FOCUS is the marketing approach I use with my clients. It helps streamline the marketing process, is easy to follow and is fun. I developed this approach to complement my business "focused marketing for photographers". Photographers and artisans are sometimes reluctant to promote their work. Many are more interested in working at their craft rather than marketing. The Focus approach can be a great tool for reluctant marketers. Here are the five steps:
There are many free marketing resources. A little research on the web and you can find how to develop a marketing plan, how to create a press release, how to plan a social media campaign and on and on. I recommend targeted research and find a few favorite resources that you can return to for reference. Your local Chamber of Commerce can be a terrific source for business information and ideas. Although there's generally an annual fee; there are seminars, networking and other opportunities to help your business grow. Many of the seminars, on all types of business topics, are free or are offered for a small fee. Look for free or low cost marketing seminars and events in your market. Review the content and be sure it's a great use of your time. One example – I attended WordCamp Asheville 2015. It was a wealth of information over a weekend with excellent speakers and an economical registration fee. I challenge businesses to look outside their field for marketing ideas and inspiration. It's educational and fun to see how other others use marketing to build their business.
Research. Research. Research. Research will help you find what's right for your photography, art or other creative business. Here are some examples – here in Western North Carolina the Asheville Airport has had an art program for several years. It's a wonderful opportunity for area artists to submit their work for consideration. I've known artists who have participated and sold images. There may be similar opportunities in your area. Develop a list of galleries that are a good match with your work. Contact them in a professional manner (not just stopping by with your work!) and provide sample work, bio, price sheet, etc. Two publications that are published annually are Photographer's Market: How and Where to Sell Your Photography and Artist's and Graphic Designer's Market. These are great resources if you are looking to submit images for editorial publication, approach galleries or sell your work for commercial use. In addition to the listings there are several specific and helpful articles in each issue. Locally and regionally look for opportunities to exhibit your work and collaborate with other artists.
I work to make it as easy as possible and results oriented for my clients. My office serves Western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina conveniently. Otherwise I work with clients via the phone. I'll provide an estimate of marketing services. Once that's approved, the client is provided with a welcome packet that outlines how we'll work together including timelines and payment options.
An estimate is provided to potential clients. I often develop custom marketing packages depending on client needs. Pricing is market competitive and is accompanied by excellent customer service.
Use the contact form on the site, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828-553-7515. My office is conveniently located in downtown Brevard, NC for those in the area. Otherwise meeting by phone works well. Many of my clients live in other areas of North Carolina and other states. Once I receive your request, I'll contact you promptly. Look forward to hearing from you!