4 Tips for Networking

Always have more than a business card on you. You never know when you’ll have the ability to sell yourself more effectively with a brochure.

Network with your favorite charity to raise awareness and money for them.

Get involved in your community to meet the movers and shakers.

Network with other business who are after the same customer profile you are targeting.

Treat Your Clients

“Thanks” seems really insufficient when you are trying to show your best clients how much their business means to you. Here are some great ideas to build brand loyalty with your best clients!

  • Pay Attention to anniversaries and birthdays consider sending a handwritten not of congratulations and warm wishes
  • Send out a small thank you gift to a customer who recent made a large purchase. A small brag book that fits in a purse is wonderful as they are likely to show it around.
  • Host an open house everyone loves a party plus it generates awareness and interest.

Bonuses and Promotions

Increase resonse in your promotion by including a bonus with a deadline. For example “Save an additional $50 off you session fee when you book before Thursday, November 20th.”

Also give bonuses instead of discounts. It prevents erosion of profits.

MAP Stories – Heather Lussier

For a laidback California girl, who centers her life via daily yoga sessions, Heather Lussier didn’t waste any time getting serious about building a photography business . . . once she clarified her vision. Although she had studied photography over 20 years ago and had created a fan base with her lifestyle photography among friends and family, it took a visit to PPA’s 2008 Imaging USA convention and a program by Vicki Taufer to inspire her with a new direction for her life, which was at an important turning point. Recently divorced and raising her son, Max, Heather began to visualize life as a photography studio owner: “Almost immediately I was struck by how right the vibe would be to have a studio on Main Street Los Altos,” she recalls.

Although she had no intention of opening a photography studio immediately, Heather decided to take a drive down Main Street, where she found herself in front of the only downtown store for rent. It was perfect! Once she was able to negotiate the rent down to a level that seemed doable, she signed a lease. “In one week, I went from not considering a retail space to going for it,” she says.

“It was amazing how everything fell into place,” Heather recalls. Everything, that is, except for clients!

“Like most new business owners, I thought that if I put up my sign, people would come.”

Fortunately, Heather had attended enough educational events to recognize that nothing would change unless she did some serious photography marketing.

“I’m not proficient in design, and I knew I couldn’t do it by myself. After attending Marathon’s Make Money Now Workshop in Orange County, the photography Marketing Advantage Program made perfect sense.”

It didn’t take long until she had some branding materials and a coordinating website in place, a baby plan developed, and customers coming through the door.



By 2010 Heather was ready to launch Posh Pet Portraits as a “business within a business.” Because she wanted to make a big statement about this new enterprise, she had Marathon create a separate website for the pet photography business, and she began developing pet photography marketing pieces through the MAP Program. Her first 25 pet photography clients came via her version of Vicki Taufer’s “Dog Days of Summer” promotion. When a newly built animal hospital invited Heather to decorate their spa-like interior with large pets canvasses that embraced and enhanced the color palette of the public rooms, Heather’s Posh Pooch brand gained a tremendous boost. This year, a Groupon promotion helped to create community buzz and introduce her business to new clients, whom Heather was able to easily upsell from the promotional offer.

Even though business is booming, Heather still sees room for expansion and is considering the addition of a boudoir brand. In the face of this growth, she is pleased that being a photography studio owner still leaves her with plenty of time to be a mom.

“The best part of this business is that it’s given me a flexibility with my personal life that I could never have if I were working a regular job.”

Web and SEO Maintanence

Update your website regularly to keep it fresh and interesting to repeat customers and boost your SEO.

  • Blogging regularly and reliably.
  • Posting Videos to increase viewing duration.
  • Create compelling and relevant content that your viewers will actually read.

8 Steps to Plan a Marketing Campaign

We are all gearing up for the holiday season and planning cozy winter vacations with loved ones. Although our thoughts are focused on pumpkin spice lattes, we need to remember that our marketing campaigns should never take a holiday break.

Proper marketing campaigns take time to plan and the lack of planning is usually why studios fail with their marketing. A successful marketing campaign isn’t possible if you’ve procrastinated. By the time you’ve scrambled to come up with a strategy you’ve probably missed your opportunity to implement anything. Sound familiar? If, so let’s take control by using the following steps.

Lets start by beginning no later than 8 weeks before the start of your campaign. Ask yourself these following questions:

  1. What is the goal of your campaign? What would you like to accomplish? Is it to generate more sessions? Generate awareness?
  2. Are we targeting new clients or existing clients?
  3. What’s your budget?
  4. What’s the potential? How many names? How well known are you and how strong is the competition?
  5. Which media will you use? Direct mail, social media, community displays, networking with other businesses, referrals, e-mail blasts, ect?
  6. Is this the right time? (Fish when the fish are hungry)
  7. Frequency. How many times do people need to be exposed to your message before they take action?
  8. Check with your overall picture. Budget for year round and look at your long term marketing goals.

Once you have completed this exercise, you can begin implementing your strategy.

Helpful Hint – In the age of technology, computers and other helpful electronic apps, I still hear having an oversized wall calendar to post not only your campaign strategies but reminders of when you need to start planning them is a big help.

Thanks for Reading,
Mark Weber