Remember the power of samples? The holidays are the perfect time to put that into action. As in, right now, today.
This is the time of year when people start to stress. They need gifts for grandparents who already have everything. They need to send something more meaningful than a potholder to Aunt LaRue. They need stocking stuffers. They need them NOW.
What is more meaningful than beautiful images of loved ones? What could be more perfect than a small, mail-able, stocking-stuffable accordion album that contains said images? And what could be better than having someone else take care of all the work? Ummm….nothing.
Meet my holiday mini session campaign:
Anatomy of this campaign:
- I’m relatively new in the area, and many people haven’t gotten to know me yet. Because of this, I don’t have people lining out the door like laptop-buyers on Black Friday, waiting to shell out the cash. They need to get to know me first. They need a small experience at a bite-size price – a sample - before they’ll be ready to become regular clients. No it’s not free, but it’s a fraction of the cost of a full session and products, so it’s a manageable sample of my business.
- This is a time-limited offer with a specific number of spots. Those two things give potential clients a sense of urgency.
- The offer fills a direct and poignant need – something tangible and meaningful to give as a gift, which won’t require much of their time.
- I targeted this campaign to a time when people need exactly what I have to offer (i.e. not in January where no one cares about an urgent photo offer).
- 30 minutes is more manageable than a 2-hour session for people who are stressed with holiday plans.
- It’s cost-effective for me. I know I can produce ten beautiful images to fill an accordion album in a 30-min session. Because I have to edit the images for the mini-albums, it’s no skin off my nose to give them the images on disc. This makes the products they receive highly valued (because they get both giveable gifts and images to keep), and I’m giving them two products for the work of one.
- This campaign is more about introducing me to new clients than it is about making money, but it’s a tidy way to boost the business bank account before we head into a dry season.
Marketing is like a toothbrush – don’t use someone else’s. Ew.
You may have different needs. Maybe you’re a wedding photographer. How about emailing former brides with a special accordion album offer out of the images you’ve already created for them? Mothers-of-brides who shelled out a lot to pay for your wedding services would LOVE purse-sized evidence of all the work they put into their daughters’ weddings. And buying for mom is always hard. Email all your former brides and offer to create accordion albums out of a few select wedding images. You’ve already edited them, so no extra work for you on that front. You can ask them to trust you to select the images to eliminate back-and-forth of “oh no can I have this image instead?” Or just say “You tell me what your three favorite images are, and I’ll select the other 7 that will create a beautiful album.”
The same technique can be applied to former portrait clients, which will remind them – hey – you spent all this money to create these images, let’s use them to make your life easier this holiday season! Your clients will love you for being thoughtful and bailing them out of a stressful situation.
Brass tacks of a last-minute holiday campaign.
- What do you have to offer that is easy and highly giftable? Write it down.
- How much does it cost to produce? Write it down.
- How much time will it take to produce? Write it down.
- Use those three bits of information to arrive at a price point. Cost of what you’re selling + your hourly rate for the time it’ll take to produce (session time and product creation time) = cost of your mini session.
- How long does the product take to manufacture and ship? That determines your deadline. Accordion albums take ~3 days for WHCC to manufacture, and it takes 2 days to reach my house. I have to get them to my clients at least five days before Christmas for them to mail. So, the deadline is December 15th.
- How many can you fit in without missing any deadlines? That’s how many spots you have. (Be conservative. No way do you wanna mess with making someone else’s Christmas gift late.)
- Spread the word. I emailed a handful of people with friends in the area and asked them to share the flyer on Facebook. I put it on my own Facebook page and at the end of every blog post that I put up.
I probably won’t fill all my spots. Maybe you won’t either. But who cares? It gives people a time-pressed reason to quickly evaluate you and your services. It puts you on their radar screen. Those who do hire you will share your work with their friends. If you give them a fabulous experience (and a great sample of your work), they will want to hire you again for non-seasonal images. It gives you a chance to get back in touch with former clients and offer them some help with holiday shopping. You’ll win them over with thoughtfulness, if nothing else.
Beginning to end, this will take you under an hour. And I bet you can do a better job than me! Close Facebook and open Photoshop. Go and do!
P.S. People who have already signed up for inbox high-fives will get the PSD file I used to create my promotion flyer, as well as the lowdown on where to get some cool Photoshop brushes, right in their inbox. Don’t miss out in the future! Sign up for inbox high-fives like this – top right, under the pointing finger. It’s free.