What Promotions Can You Offer?
To remain competitive in this industry, your rates are probably already not leaving you much wiggle room, so thinking about lowering your prices any further for a holiday sale is probably a bit terrifying. However, there are some ways you can create promotions that will end up bringing in more business, making any discount more than worth it.
Who doesn’t love getting a gift card for Christmas? This is a great way to encourage your existing clients to bring in new ones – you can even offer an incentive, like a 15 percent discount on print orders when customers purchase a gift card. These can be in specific amounts, or you can set them up as a pre-paid sitting fee, where the recipient would only need to purchase the photo package.
This is a tried and true sales tactic that can work really well in the photography industry. While you might not always offer ‘items’ for clients to buy, you can incorporate a ‘buy one get one’ deal into your print packages by giving customers, say, a free 5×7 with every 11×14, or you can expand it to include future sittings – clients who purchase a wedding package, for example, might get the engagement shoot at a discount, or free pictures of the newborn after a full maternity shoot.
While this one will take a little tweaking to fit it to your specific pricing structure and business offerings, it’s a great way to give your clients a good deal while also bringing in more of a profit for yourself. Everybody wins!
Mini-sessions can be a lot of work, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet some new clients and let your photography speak for itself. And with all the beautiful decorations this time of year, it’s pretty easy to create a gorgeous, seasonally-themed backdrop. Maybe you even have a friend who wouldn’t mind donning a red suit and a beard for a couple hours as a more professional alternative to the awkward mall Santa photos parents often end up regretting.
It’s likely too late for this year, but this is one you can plan ahead for in future years and let your customers know that this is the perfect way to get an updated, festive shot to use for their own holiday greetings.
Social Media Contests
You’ve certainly seen these before – Instagram or Facebook posts where users are asked to ‘like and share’ to be entered to win the prize. No matter what you choose to offer up for grabs, this technique will ensure your promotion and your business will be viewed by tons of potential new clients. Make sure your post is well-designed, with plenty of information and an eye-catching image (which we will discuss in more detail in the next section), so that anyone who sees the post will be tempted to visit your website to learn more about you.
This season is a time for giving, so take advantage of your customers’ generosity and give them the chance to support you while donating to a worthy cause at the same time. It might feel a little disingenuous to include this in a list of ways to promote yourself over the holidays, but it’s the perfect opportunity for you to make your participation in the heightened consumerism of the season feel a little more wholesome.
It’s a frantic, excessive time of year, and there are lots of people out there who don’t have the means to participate – so choose a charity of your choice and donate a portion of your profits to their cause. This can be a food bank, a shelter, anything that means something to you. And then let your clients know that every time they purchase an 8×10 or a gift card or any photo package (or whatever works best for you and your customer base), part of that money is going to help those in need.
How Can You Make a Lasting Impression?
People remember advertising that makes them feel something, so keep this in mind when you’re designing your holiday promotional materials. Use your photography and design knowledge to create something special that your customers will want to hang on to, so it doesn’t end up getting tossed with the rest of the holiday excess that will no doubt accumulate in the coming weeks. This could include printing your holiday greeting on a magnet or calendar card, or even just putting it in a beautiful hand-addressed envelope that receivers will be eager to open.
It also means choosing images that make an impact, too. Here are some tips to make your marketing photos stand out:
1. Make Them Feel Meaningful
Gone are the days where photo shoots were all about perfection – now, people want photos to tell a real story. Give your images a down-home touch by avoiding mass-produced decorations and going for something more artisanal. Use a set with a real (or as real-looking as possible) tree and ornaments that feel hand-crafted.