Marketing can be daunting. You might feel like you don’t know where to start and you have no budget to help you out. You wouldn’t be the first small business owner to feel that way. Think about starting with some good old fashioned guerrilla marketing.
Defined as creative (maybe unconventional) marketing activities on a very low budget, guerrilla marketing is a great place for photographers with no money to start marketing. This post talks about planning and approaching your strategy including some online ideas for moving forward.
How to approach free marketing ideas
- Get a post-it pad and a pen.
- Get a friend, a colleague, your sister, your mother. Anybody. Just get someone to help you think of ideas.
- Think of a goal that you would like to achieve for your business. Maybe you want to get the word out on your new business. Get more Facebook fans. Book more children’s portrait sessions. Get more people signed up for your newsletter. Get more website visits. Book more trash the dress sessions. Even a list of blogging topics. Having a specific goal for your marketing campaign will help you focus your brainstorming and help you measure your results.
- Start brainstorming ideas on how you can reach that goal. Write every single idea you have on its own post it and stick it up someplace. Don’t throw away ideas, every single idea should be written down – even the crazy ones.
- About halfway through you will hit a wall, where you’ll feel like you couldn’t possibly have any more ideas. This is normal but don’t stop. Grab any book and call out one word. Any word. See if that word triggers any more ideas. Go through at least 40 other words.
- Pick your favourite 1 or 2 ideas from the post-its.
- Take those top picks and DO THEM. No excuses. Just do 1 or 2 things.
- Once those things are done, you now have an entire post-it wall of low-budget marketing ideas for your photography business. Pick your next post-it. Do that one.
That is the start of your own no-money marketing.
Tips for planning free marketing campaigns
- Don’t go overboard and start 10 things at once. Stick to 1 or 2 things at a time. Having the focus will help you execute more effectively.
- Pay attention to what you do. Are you getting results? Did the idea work but still needs some tweaking? Be open to learning from what you do.
- Get excited. Some of these ideas will be new. Maybe outside the box. Embrace that.
- Have fun. You are working to grow your business, spread the word. That is good work. Enjoy the good work.
Follow Zach’s low-cost marketing ideas for online
- SEO – build your reputation in Google, especially local search results via Google Places
- Facebook – start a Facebook page so you can get your images streamed and shared to potential clients multiple times per day
- Link referrals – referring links from partner sites deliver your brand to new audiences while building your search popularity. Write a photo essay for a local website or get active in community forums to spread your word
- Contest or giveaway – people love good a good deal. Offering a free product or discount can quickly grow your Facebook or email list if people have to connect with you to enter to win
- Help a non profit – good work doesn’t go unnoticed, a business in need will gladly promote you in exchange for professional photos
- Get featured in a partner’s email newsletter – call up your friends and ask what you can do to be a part of their next email. It may be an interview, guest article by you, or special discount for their audience. Quickly reach hundreds of new people through a partner.
What did you come up with? You have great ideas, now share those ideas with others by heading over to Zach’s Facebook page and leaving a few of the ideas you came up with.