Paid Marketing Materials for Your Dog Photography Business
Although you can get away without paying for marketing for your dog photography business, if you have a little money to play with, you should add a few things to your inventory. All of them can be done within any budget. Of course, if you have tons of money to invest in marketing (maybe you finally found that buried treasure), the sky’s the limit!
Business cards for your dog photography business
Business cards are pretty much must-haves. You can find websites that will make cards for you for free (aside from shipping and handling), but your design choices are slim to none. A better option is to spend some money so you can design and print nice cards.
After all, you’re an artist; you may as well use your business cards as a palette and get creative with size, color, and paper. Similar to your portfolio, because you’re a photographer, people tend to judge you based on your business card.
Brochures for your dog photography business
Brochures are nice to have but not necessary. They’re good for handing out at events such as a trade show or gala. They can be simple or complex; just make sure they’re full color. You want to show off some of your images and give enough detail about your services so people become interested enough to contact you.
Brochures are also good to have on hand when opportunities for gift bag placement come up. For example, your local doggie boutique is having a grand reopening. It will be handing out gift bags during this event, and it approaches all its preferred vendors to see whether they’d like to put something in the bags.
You can get your brochures into the hands of potentially hundreds of dog-loving people in one day.
Sample products for your dog photography business
As you decide on the specialty products you’d like to offer in your catalog, be sure to order one of each item before you offer it through your business. Doing so helps you become familiar with your subcontractor’s service and product (quality control), and then you’ll have one on hand to show people when they want to get a sense of what the product looks like in person.
A product catalog is nice, but having a canvas to actually look at helps your clients visualize how they’ll work that piece into their home. And that can help seal the deal.
Pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising for your dog photography business
Placing ads is always such a mystery because you can never really tell whether they work (that’s why so many ads encourage customers to “mention this ad and get 10 percent off!”). One of the ways to cut down on the feeling of throwing money into the dark abyss is to launch a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.
In this type of arrangement, you pay only the website host when someone actually clicks on your link when it comes up in Internet searches. If the person doesn’t click it, you don’t pay. In this model, you know there was at least enough interest for someone to actually click the ad, and you know he got to your website.
The three biggest providers of this type of advertising are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter. Facebook also offers PPC, and launching a PPC ad campaign is great for building up fans on your Facebook page. You can research these hosts individually to find out more about their rates and how they work in detail.
Traditional print advertising for your dog photography business
Everyone knows about traditional print ads; the world is inundated with them. You can’t open a magazine, newspaper, or mailbox without seeing an ad. Print ads are generally expensive with little yield on their own, so if you want to go this route, do your homework.
You have to know a little bit about your demographic first and then find publications that match it. Think about whether you want a national or local ad and what you want the readers to be like. Opportunities exist in all sizes, so make sure to keep your eyes open. See what major pet stores keep on their shelves and notice what the freebie pet newspapers are.
Most major print publications have online equivalents that are sometimes a bit more reasonably priced, so be sure to ask about those options when shopping around.