Zero Marketing is when a business generates all of its sales from “word of mouth” and little effort is needed to sustain a successful business.
Sounds like a dream, huh?! My friends are always giving me a hard time because I am always trying to find new ways to bless my clients. My friends call it “marketing”, but I simply think of it as giving them something to let them know I care about them and I am thinking of them. My rule is- “If I think of my client, I email/txt/call them immediately”. I truly care for my clients and I know that my relationship with them is way more than just a chaotic wedding day. It is a relationship…and relationships take work! That is my favorite kind of work :) I am very blessed to be running a business that I love and that continues to grow. Growing your business is like waiting on a plant to grow. It has to be watered, put in the sunshine and cared for. Your business is the same way.
Imagine if you never had to pay for marketing!! Here are some things that have really helped our business and can help yours too.
- BE PASSIONATE– What is it about your business that drives you? My passion is preservation and people. I absolutely love to bless people and validate that they are amazing and beautiful. And I love to freeze things in time for generations to enjoy. Dig deep and figure out what makes you tick. Being passionate about SOMETHING (even if its not your business) gives you a sense of “something greater”. When you’re leading a deeper life you will be the best version of YOU!
- SERVE YOUR CLIENTS– You are in the service industry. People are coming to you so that you can give them a service. Don’t get distracted and only focus on products. At the end of the day they will talk about YOU and the experience you gave them. This service starts the minute they hear about you or find you online. It is important that my clients know from the minute they begin their experience with me, that I will always make them a priority. I enjoy going out of my way, sending small gifts, sending friendly text messages or helping them make decisions for their wedding day. I’m always prepared on photo shoots and wedding days, too! Serving can be as simple as having an extra snack in my bag. I want my clients to feel like they are the only client I have. You should be working your little heinie off! Serve with a smile. When your work and passion cross paths- you tend to smile more! Give everyone something to talk about.
- MAKE PEOPLE RAVE– Change your mind set right now. You are in a very saturated market. Everyone has a camera. Everyone can take a photo. What makes you different? I truly believe people are looking to hire a person to give them an amazing, out of this world service. Therefore, YOU are what they are hiring. Not your camera or software. How can you make the experience with your client one worth RAVING about? When I say “RAVE”, I mean “Oh my gosh, this was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Leaha will shoot my photos for the rest of eternity”. :) HAHA You want to leave your clients talking about you and sharing their experience with everyone they meet. They are a walking billboard for your business. And guess what! That doesn’t cost you a penny. Give them amazing service, mind blowing images and a relationship that is worth raving about! In order for this to happen, I believe you have to go a lot deeper than just being a photographer or business owner. What are you doing that makes them want to shout to the world how amazing you are? The best and most trusted form of marketing is word of mouth. You want your clients to echo your praises for years to come…
How many commercials do you see for fast food? TONS. It’s the high end restaurants that are discovered through friends or big reviews. The food is so amazing that people tell everyone they know to go eat there. Before you know it- there is a reservation only sign and a line around the building. They put all of their efforts into their service and product- not marketing schemes. Quality, Quality, Quality!
- LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA– Everyone is on social media and therefore, you should be too! Talk about great FREE marketing! A business page can be a great asset to your business. It is a great way to showcase a balance of photographs, updates and showing off your budding personality :) I would suggest promoting your PAGE and not posts. Remember, you want to drive people to your work and to get followers. Promoting a photo only suggests you want more “likes” on your photo. Beef up your Facebook page with amazing work. You may need to do some house cleaning and get your page looking more updated! Some things to keep in mind about social media:
- Post AMAZING photos
- Educate and Share Helpful Information
- Don’t post like an advertising agency (annoying)
- Balance content : Personal, Business & Photography
- Invest in OTHERS and their pages!
- CONNECT WITH COMMUNITY– This is one of the most important parts of being a photographer. Often times photographers get intimidated by others in the community or sit behind a computer and compare, compare, compare. Believe it or not, there are tons of amazing communities of photographers that are kind, encouraging and supportive of you! You probably do not go into an office every day and often times get stuck in your home for days on end. It is imperative that you connect with others online and in person so that you can further your business! Get connected with people who are going to encourage and challenge you! When I moved across the country I immediately set up 5 meet and greets with local photographers. I wanted to invest in them and let them know I was there to support them as a person and business. In return, our friendship would eventually reap new clients, new opportunities and my business flourished. I really believe this is because I focused on what I could GIVE rather than what I could GET. Here are some advantages to being part of a community:
- Socializing and sharing experiences (you’re not the only one!)
- Sharing ideas
- Teaming up on projects
- Sharing contacts
- Referral System
- Opportunities to serve
- A place to rave, rant & seek counsel
- BE REMARKABLE!– If everyone is doing THIS, you should be doing THAT. What is going to seperate you from every other photographer? It is easy to fall into copying or imitating what everyone else is doing. A great book to read “The Purple Cow” by Seth Godin. Go buy it now. You can read it in an hour! I love this quote from his book.
“The opposite of remarkable is ‘very good.’ Are you making ‘very good’ stuff? If so, how fast can you stop!”
At the end of the day you have to be YOU. You have to deliver a service people can’t stop talking about. You have to be unique. You have to continually grow and get better and better at your craft. You have to be rememberable. I hope this gets your juices flowing and your clock ticking! Get out there and GIVE and I promise you will receive everything you put in and more. Thank you to Scott Robert Lim for the inspiration of this post!
Love these quotes!!
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations. – Steve Jobs
Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes. – Bill Gates
People share, read and generally engage more with any type of content when its surfaced through friends and people they know and trust. – Malorie Luclich (Facebook)
Make the customer the hero of your story. – Ann Handley
Money follows passion. Not the other way around. -David Siteman
What we really need is a shift in mindset that will make us relevant to today’s consumers, a mindset shift from “Telling & Selling” to building relationships. -Jim Stengel
You can’t do today’s work with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow. -George W. Bush
Services that are worth talking about get talked about.-Seth Godin
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