Each week, our company sits down and discusses new marketing ideas and products we can offer our clients. This not only helps to drive our profits; it also ensures that our studio is viewed as innovative by clients and prospective clients alike.
In 2003, Liliana and I decided to give online posting a trial period, carefully watching the return on our investment. By April 2004, after researching many companies, we decided to go with Collages.net because of their customizable, password-protected websites, the elegance of their Flash interface—image really is everything—and ease of integration into our workflow. Now, almost three years later, we couldn’t be happier with the increased profits, the strength of our referrals, and the recognition of our studio brand.
Guests Become Clients
By analyzing our online sales, we realized that our assumptions about selling images online were incorrect. The orders we received were not just for the images we expected, such as the bride and groom or the bridal party. The images that drove our sales were the random, candid shots we took of couples dancing or sitting together and small family groups.
Guests were excited about receiving images of themselves without having to schedule appointments, get dressed up, and come to an unfamiliar environment. We realized we had hit upon a new market and started brainstorming ways to capitalize upon it.
Making only minor adjustments to the way we shoot, we began to think of every wedding attendee as a potential customer. Collages.net gave us access to an entire market of event guests we had never targeted or profited from before we started posting online.
Referrals are a key part of most successful businesses. When the phone rings or an e-mail comes in, we’re looking to close new business. One great benefit of our Collages.net sites has been qualified lead generation. Callers no longer ask, “What do you charge for an 8x10?” Now our calls sound more like: “You shot my friend Sarah’s wedding. My fiancé and family saw the images online. Are you available to shoot my wedding?”
Suddenly our work is becoming a powerful marketing tool that saves us the time and money associated with more traditional advertising methods.
Reinforcing Our Brand
Building the PW Photography brand to be synonymous with photojournalistic, inventive, and high-quality photography is very important to us. Collages.net has augmented these efforts by placing our studio’s name and logo prominently on the websites and in all guest communications. As event guests look at the images, they repeatedly see our logo and have our contact information readily available.
Collages.net is always evolving to make our workflow less time-consuming. Their new client-side software, collagesDesktop, centralizes our event management and allows seamless integration with their lab collagesColor. Using one software package to handle various aspects of our workflow is a welcome change. Placing images on a website is not going to change your business, but building marketing strategies around online posting will. Collages.net empowers stu
dios with marketing tools. It’s up to us to incorporate those features into a complete marketing plan.
Don’t be so consumed by your art that you forget to focus on the marketing side of your business. To ensure that your company continues to grow and flourish: find new ways to use the tools you already have, generate new ideas and strategies to incorporate into your existing marketing plan, and partner with vendors such as Collages.net, to start making more money and saving valuable time.