Hi Ana! First of all, thank you so much! I still need to find out more regarding website makeover with Geoff. We supposedly should have a quick chat on last Friday but it didn’t happen so I need to reconnect and see if we could touch base this week.
This is what I have been doing marketing wise:
1. Social Media:
– I have a Facebook VIP group and a Facebook page. I post frequently in my VIP group, go-live, BTS, giveaway, polls, etc. My Facebook page is usually just a re-share of my Instagram post. Most people don’t see what I post on my Facebook page anyways thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. Once in a while I pay for a post boost for impression and drive traffic to my website. According to statistics it works well. My rates per engagement is low and I do drive significant traffic to my website but haven’t been successful in converting them into booking. (back to the website topic)
– Since I work full time I outsource my Instagram and Pinterest management to 3rd parties. Their main task is help me to gain exposure. I think of the strategy and provide them with direction, they do the targeting and following/unfollowing. But I still manage the contents.
– I try to make video slideshows when possible and I post them onto my YouTube.
– I have presence in Yelp! and Google+ but not active. I generated leads through both before but not recently. Don’t feel like paying for Yelp! Ads or Google Adwords.
– I have a Mailchimp account with about 300 subscribers. I send out newsletter once in a while but not frequently. Usually is to announce some significant blog release or mini sessions.
3. Local events
– I try to donate to a few charity in the past. The result is usually well and I get to know a few very good clients that way. But I stopped because many local photographers are copying what I do and I lost my spot to some high end ones who donate pacakge worth thousands. Last silent auction event no one bid mine but everyone bid on a high end studio. I can rethink my strategy here.
– I try to partner with premium brand local venues for events. The result is slow but could potentially lead to high pay clients. A recent collaboration with a local premium Chinese fashion store resulted in the owner wanting to hire me for her own family portraits and commercials shots for her marketing needs. Still under contract negotiation. But collaboration with places like music and dance school, gymnastic teams are usually not so great. People already poured their money there so don’t want to invest with me. And I am not interested in becoming a team photographer.
I hired a graphic designer to redesign my logo and social media kits, so I could appear consistent and premium across all platforms. I filed with NJ state of revue for DBA. My other brand name would be “MuSen Photos by Karen Kwong”, more personal and easy for people to remember.
5. Girl Scout
I am a Girl Scout leader and approve vendor of my Council. I host Junior and Ambassador photographer badge workshops across central and southern NJ, once a month. It is easy work not really for money but more like something I believe in doing. It helps with imaging but not booking other than private workshops for troops.
6. Committee member position at local photographic group
Photographic Society of New Jersey (formed by a group of Chinese and most members are Chinese) asked me to be one of their publication director this year and I agreed. The workload is close to nothing there but sounds great for brand imaging. I get some good Chinese clients that way but it also means I am competing with other Chinese photographers in the same group.
My booking now is pretty full till May. It ranges from newborn, family reunion, girls night out, children birthday portraits, family portraits, college senior, to First Communion. Really all over the places.
I am able to get booking but I want to touch premium market. Take less session but earn more per session. I don’t do much IPS and not sure how I could do it if just part time. But some took place naturally and I do see the power of IPS. Once in a while I meet my ideal clients who value my work and happy to pay for print products though that is rare. Most clients negotiate with me on pennies and dimes and I am tired of it. I analyze my ideal client’s profile they are mostly middle-upper class: doctor, lawyer, corporate manager…and they don’t spend much time on social media although they do check my profile to make sure I am reputable. So I am not sure how I could meet more of them.