If you are a small business, then you are probably being asked to spend your money quite often. And since there are so many ways that you can spend your money as a business, it can be hard to estimate just how profitable it is to invest business money in advertising. I think that risks are necessary in growing business, but I also think that you should make calculated decision based on what has worked in the past and where you want to go in the future.
I would suggest that you familiarize yourself with the risks of the specific form of advertising and that you don’t take very many risks at a time. Different businesses will be able to take on a different number of risks based on how stable their business is so you have to know your business inside and out and do your best to make objective decisions. For instance, it may be a huge honor to be a member of a blog’s Vendor Book, but you have to weigh the advantages to your business. Not your ego. Your ego will burn you, so never make business decisions by letting your ego guide you.
In my business, word of mouth marketing is the most effective and wildly growing kind of marketing that I have. It spreads like fire: it takes a while to get going, but once it’s in full blaze it takes intervention to make it stop. This is the kind of marketing that I want to spend my time on in my business. So I invest my business time and money in areas that will create word of mouth marketing!
1) CUSTOMER SERVICE - This area covers a number of things: all client interactions (email, in-person meetings, engagement session, senior session, wedding day, etc.,), client gifts and the product of the service provided. I want to do customer service well. When people feel valued because of how I have served them in photography/videography, they value my business. They then trust my business more than they thought they could and they start telling everyone they know about Jordan Brittley.
2) SOCIAL MEDIA - This free marketing is something that I try to utilize daily. Sure, facebook has changed their algorithm for news feeds and it make it a little more difficult to reach my audience, but this just forces me to get creative. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Bloglovin’ and Instagram (my favorite) are all great ways to get the word out about what you are doing behind the scenes and let people think/talk about what you’re doing!
3) THE WEBSITE - The website is probably the most valuable type of marketing that I do. I keep the website updated with current work (updated monthly) and receive 99% of my inquiries from the contact page on my website. Make sure that your website is consistent with your branding and that it truly expresses the core of your business. When all of this happens, rapport is established and your business soars.
4) THE BLOG - By blogging client’s weddings & engagements, the blog goes crazy. And so do my brides. It’s fun for them to have a pretty space where their photos are featured so family and friends can comment! In addition to client work, I recently started blogging about photography, videography and business because I want to host larger workshops at some point. I also want to write books and create other resources to help business owners flourish. This blog is where it is starting and I am so glad that you are joining the adventure!
5) PUBLICATIONS - When you are serving your clients well (which means constantly growing as an artist and giving them what they didn’t know they wanted), then you should look at submitting your work to magazines and blogs. Being published builds rapport with clients and creates chatter about you in the industry. This means that you can reach even more brides!!
I hope this is helpful as you work diligently in your business to make great financial decisions! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!