Everyone needs marketing, especially photographers who are generally strapped for cash and have a world of competition to deal with. After all, you can’t make sales if people don’t know who you are, that you happen to be a photographer and where to see your work. Now,, there are a lot of ways to market. Some cost lots of money (ads, email campaigns, etc), others like “Gorilla Marketing” and “Social Network Marketing” are effective (and should be done as well) but they take a lot of your time and energy. One option is free and takes zero effort…
That would be your email signatures. Most people fire off hundreds of emails every single week. And while many of those go to friends, many also go to colleagues in your field, and to complete strangers. So how do you advertise to this large market of people without being “spammy”. You simply include an informative signature into your emails.
You may think, “nobody I send to wants to purchase my work” or “they already know I do photography”… but you would be wrong. Let’s take a look at each type of recipient of your emails:
Friends: Yes, most of your friends are already going to know what you do for a living, and they probably know where you’re site is, but honestly, do you think that passes their mind every day? even once a week? even once a month? In most cases the answer would be no (Do you know what every friend and acquaintance does for a living? and if so, how often do you actually think about that?). However if you have a big informative signature at the bottom of every emails that is sent out to your friends and family, they will be reminded weekly, daily, even hourly (depending how much you email people). Now not only will they be much more likely to come see your work, but more importantly it solidifies your business in their heads so that they can recommend you anytime they happen into someone needing a photographer.
Colleagues: This group includes not just people you might work with, but anyone and everyone who deals in your working realm. Think about how many emails you’ve sent out into the world for information requests, blogs and forums, purchases, memberships, support and much more. Each time you do this the person on the other end should be reminded of your Business name, Website URL, your logo and contact information. Remember these people are “in the business” and therefore can be useful contacts. You simply never know when one of those people will decide to check out your work and make a sale. But more importantly, you just want your business to stick in their heads in case they (or their friends, or their partners) should ever need the kind of services you offer.
Strangers: Basically the above scenario applies here as well, only now we are talking about strangers whom have nothing to do with your industry. It might be the lady at the gym or the tax worker or the restaurant owner… the point is people send out hundreds of emails to people all the time they don’t even know just doing their day to day business and when they are seeking information from other businesses.
Most email providers allow you to create an html signature. So be sure to check into it. If you use an email service that does not allow this, you can look into a browser based plugin called Wise Stamp (http://www.wisestamp.com/) which will append signatures to many email providers.
Be sure your signature includes a logo, you name, your profession, any specialties, phone, email and website url. You can see my own email signature below (note that I also include links to my twitter and facebook pages as well).
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