Ways to Creatively Market Your Business With Custom Magazines (And Make Money, Too)
How many pieces of marketing collateral do you have sitting in your office? As a business owner, I’m betting you have everything from business cards to sell sheets to folders full of marketing information. Do you sometimes feel as if the piles of paper are closing in on you? In efforts to save money, one month you may skip re-printing sell sheets or see how long you can go without business cards. Talk about a time-suck! Marketing collateral is supposed to help you manage your business effectively – so how come it feels like you spend more time managing your collateral than it does strategizing your next big move?
What would you say if I told you to add a magazine to that list? No! It’s not something to add to your piles of marketing collateral. It’s better. A magazine can replace them all! It may sound expensive and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Printing in small batches is affordable for small business owners. A couple of years ago, a minimum print quantity would have been 500 and discounts didn’t start until your orders reached 2,500 pieces. Today, companies like Mckenna Lab offer low print quantities at affordable prices. They even offer different paper types such as glossy, laminate and pearl.
Ways to Market Your Business With A Printed Brochure/Magazine
1. Client meetings.
Prepare printed magazines to suit each type of client. Each type of client you market to should have their own printed marketing collateral. For example, Seniors, Weddings, Newborns, etc…
In each magazine, create content for client education. Talk about what to expect, how to prepare and what to wear. Wedding photographers can create a countdown booklet/planner for the bride to use featuring your photos. Content should be helpful and should instill confidence in your client/potential client; magazines feature your knowledge and showcase you as the expert. Create one for engagement, family, dog or senior photo sessions.
Wedding photographers who work in specific zip codes may meet with brides who are constantly getting married at the same five venues. Create a wedding brochure to feature those particular venues. The trick is to keep the about your business text, how-to articles and what to expect information the same. Just change the photographs to reflect the type of bride or venue. Since brochures are affordable and you can print lower minimum quantities, you might want to create a few different versions to reflect the major venues in your target market.
Photographers can also update brochures to feature brides according to their age demographic or theme. Brides getting married for the 2nd time will appreciate looking at photographs of brides in their demographic. Similarly, brides planning a rustic wedding want to see barns and baby’s breath, while ballroom brides want grand staircases and diamond accents.
Having these on hand during client meetings will help close the deal without a lot of selling on your part. Don’t worry if you need brochures in a rush. Many of the labs, may be able to accommodate rush orders and expedited shipping.
2.Trade Show Handouts
Customized welcome guides are perfect for capturing leads at trade shows. Stand out in the crowd by using the custom brochures you created for the top venues in the area. Imagine you’re a bride and you have stopped by three photographers all with gorgeous photos and similar prices, but one has specific examples of your venue in your style in a take-away brochure. Who are you going to remember and follow up with? Brides will be impressed, you will be remembered. Selling yourself just became easier than ever!
3.Upsell, Upsell, Upsell
Create a magazine as an add-on to a photography packages.
For seniors: This magazine is all about seniors. Position the magazine as a special once in a lifetime momento capturing a child before they go off to college. Offer magazines in packs of five; one for parents and a couple copies for seniors to pass out to friends.
Start a photo contest. The winning senior gets their senior portrait on the cover of your studio magazine! Feature a spread of all of your senior representatives and be sure to use a variety of students to appeal to a larger audience (ex: soccer player, cheerleader, trombone player…etc). Include information about your student representatives so potential clients see themselves in the photos too.
For brides: A magazine that couples can use as a wedding program (Order a smaller size for this, ex: 5.5” x 8.5”). Brides will love the unique addition to their wedding day; they are always looking for something different. Then you can showcase your work and advertise to everyone at the wedding (potential clients).
Another idea for brides-to-be is to offer a magazine as a save the date. Feature photos from their engagement shoot, directions to the venue, info on hotel accommodations, their registry and the wedding website. Think about adding content reminders about turning their cameras off during the ceremony or reminding them not to step in the aisle or interfere with the paid photographer. Just be sure to show the bride a sample of all the content ahead of time.
4. Network With Other Vendors
If you’re a wedding vendor, I’m sure styled shoots come up often. What better way to showcase your work (and share the printing costs) than to show it off in a magazine. Distribute the finished brochure at each business. Include an “about” page for each vendor. Include contact information, a bio and a professional headshot.
Think about creating a referral plan. For example, book two or more vendors from the brochure and the client gets 10% off or a special gift. The possibilities are endless.
5. Provide Information to a Specific Market
Are you a newborn or maternity photographer? Your target market (moms-to-be) spend a lot of time waiting in an OBGYN office. Use a magazine to showcase newborn, maternity or birth photography. Include tips for new moms and ideas for capturing every month of their baby’s life. Add a label on the front saying “Free. Take one.” Create the cover to mimic a parenting magazine and then have your own ads and photographs inside.
6. Preferred Partnerships With Vendors
Do specific venues, wedding planners or florists recommend you as a preferred partner? They add your name / logo / ad into all of their marketing material, but that’s usually as far as it goes. A bride still has to choose you from a short list. Skip the short list and create a magazine to include all the weddings you’ve photographed at a venue, with a florist or featuring a cake vendor. Give the vendors copies for their bride’s welcome packages or to leave in the lobby. You could even include a testimonial about why you love shooting there and working with that vendor. Make the vendor look good. This is a lot less expensive than printing sample albums, plus every bride walking in the door gets one. If you did your job well, they may even ask for more copies to pass out at bridal shows.
As you can see, magazines/printed brochures can be an invaluable piece of marketing collateral for your business. Before you design and print your first magazine, keep in mind that if you anticipate the pricing changing frequently, you may want to list prices as “starting at.”
If you plan on creating the magazine yourself, use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. However, if prefer to save time, check out http://www.magazinemama.com for plenty of pre-made templates. Use code slr20 to get 20% off your purchase.
About the Guest Contributor
Cindy Reeves (a.k.a. Magazine Mama) combines over 10 years experience in photography and her background in publishing to help photographers grow their business with beautifully designed marketing templates. Her sister site Shutter Teachers offers curriculums for photographers to teach basic photography to kids. Use code slr20 to get 20% off your order.