I have spoken to so many small business owners lately who have been frustrated that their promotional efforts and photography marketing aren’t working for them. When I dig in and ask them for more detail, it seems like the things they are focusing on are the free and easy things. They are donating to lots of auctions and they are spending a lot of time on Facebook trying to stir things up. I want to remind everyone that the easier and less expensive it is for YOU to do, the easier and less expensive it is for everyone else to do too! I want you to spend some time this week thinking about creating something dynamic and sending it directly to your database in the next three months. Here are a few ideas to get you started TODAY:
1. Make sure you have your database up to date. You should have everyone on your database that you know and every client and prospect. You can run this electronic file through the National Change of Address file (NCOA) to make sure you have the most current addresses for everyone. Contact your local post office to find out who can do that for you.
2. No matter the size of the database, your goal should be to always increase the size with quality people. When I mail, I often prospect from different lists. Yes, you can rent lists but you will have a much better list if you create it yourself. Find local organizations, charities, neighborhoods that are in your target market. Find a way to add those people to your list for one mailing (co-marketing, etc). If you send them something with the “whoa” factor, the highest quality prospects will respond. Add them to your database.
2. Work with a graphic designer to create something that will WOW your target market. I mail to my database 2-3 times per year and it is my main marketing effort. I would rather invest my budget on fewer, extremely tactile and cool pieces than to try to spread that budget over a ton of things. This is how I attract the most amazing clients in my area!
3. Plan for the best time to mail and create your production schedule backwards. For example, I mail to my database right after labor day weekend in the fall. This means that I need to start designing it in July and have it printed in August so that it is on time and on schedule.
For some resources, here are a few of the marketing templates we have created. If you can’t do something custom, these templates could be extremely helpful for you. Make sure you customize the colors, message and images to be consistent with your brand. Be sure to check out all of the different designs for each target market.