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Author Topic: Something Better than Cold Calling?  (Read 10145 times)
Wills
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Wills


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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2013, 03:39:19 PM »
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Consider being part of seminars that potential clients attend, if you can present to a captive audience on aspects of imagery or even retouching anything except selling your services it brings you and your skill sets to the fore front.

It's not easy but at a local level you can network with event organisers and work your way into the system through education and work on your presentations to include your work and portfolio.
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2013, 07:45:18 PM »
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Thanks for the feedback, folks.

George, maybe a cultural difference but here in North America if you were to phone someone to, ostensbily, 'chit chat' about their design style or awards they'd won, it would take about two seconds before they said something to the effect of 'what do you want, what are you trying to sell me?'   And many wouldn't be that polite.  Smiley

I live in the GTA.  And yes, calling on doors or telemarketing is now taking life into ones' hands.  Business owners really loathe cold callers, especially in Toronto and GTA where many offices will simply refuse to speak with you, and with the advent of the internet, I'm not sure its the most efficient use of your time unless you have a good closing ratio.

I think trade shows are a good option depending on the gate, and what they are offering.    
 
My only thought is to connect through other channels as others have suggested.  

Are you on Linked IN?  What about advertising in magazines specific to the clients you are trying to reach?  And hotels often have social functions, would you be able to display your work at any where the commercial clients most likely would attend?  Toronto is certainly a meca of hotels -

I think competition for the same market which may be shrinking is going to mean introductions are valuable.  

There is a periodical called `Reed Construction Data`which is printed in Ontario.  Reed has an office in North York if I recall.  The periodical provides the bids in advance for construction jobs and is specific to the industry.  They also have other media options and I believe on-line web databases which you must pay to use.  The cost to subscribe is something you would need to inquire about.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 07:47:39 AM by Bullfrog » Logged
rebadurchee
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« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2013, 11:31:36 AM »
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Lots of good ideas in the responses so far.  I think the most important thing in a marketing campaign is that it be a campaign, not a just a flurry of activity when business is slow.  The way most single person businesses work is that they do a lot of marketing, get a gig, stop marketing to do the gig, and then there's no business in the pipeline because of the hiatus in marketing.

If you're in the US look up your local Small Business Development Center.  It's a program of the Small Business Administration that offers FREE business counseling to small entrepreneurs (less than 500 employees).  They can help you develop an ongoing marketing campaign that fits your business.  Then, of course, you have to execute that. 

A plan of personal networking such as Chamber of Commerce mixers, business leads groups, social media, carefully chosen charitable groups is very important.  As you know it's all about eyeballs: the more eyeballs that see your work the more likely there will be a customer among them.

The key thing about any marketing campaign is, of course, a commitment to a continuous marketing effort, even when you have business and especially when you don't want to.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2013, 08:52:16 AM »
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I live in the GTA.  And yes, calling on doors or telemarketing is now taking life into ones' hands.  Business owners really loathe cold callers, especially in Toronto and GTA where many offices will simply refuse to speak with you, and with the advent of the internet, I'm not sure its the most efficient use of your time unless you have a good closing ratio.



Yep.  That's the think.  No one wants to talk.  

I'll look into Reed.  I have looked at some conferences and the like.  Problem there is that the companies hosting the conference have a one-size-fits-all approach to vendors.  They assume everyone is a larger corporate that can afford to drop $5k to $7k (or more) on a sponsorship package.  I haven't found any yet that have an attendee category that allows for small business operators to network with the companies' representatives/potential clients.
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2013, 12:01:14 PM »
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Reed Construction Data caters to architects, builders, construction etc.  The periodical they used to sell was a daily newspaper. The perceived benefit is they would list opportunities to BID on projects not yet decided - so you are getting in at the ground floor although in your case, maybe you would rather connect when the contract is done so you know who it is you can contact for job.

It could be expensive - but they may also have a web option which is a pay-as-you go solution and since your market is the GTA - you would pay for a region (vs the entire country of Canada) and then you access from home (easier for you than getting a paper delivered and targeted to your market region)

I did cold calling in another life, its brutal, and I found it only works if you have a packaged product or concept that you can quickly communicate into choice 1 or choice 2 (you never want to give them the choice to say no).  While I have never tried to sell photography door to door - I have done sales, and find you can find people who will chat with you (because they are bored) - but that may never buy anything.  Its therefore important (as I am sure you know) to track your calls, and your closing ratio - because otherwise its a make busy project which over time looses more money than just staying at home.

Also,  I do contract work in corporations (my paying job at present that allows me to develop my photography) and things like security have really prevented anyone from getting past the pitt bull at the front door assuming they even have a receptionist (many have silicone sally IVR and just a buzzer that allows people entry to a certain point )  

Your comment about vendor trade shows and booth costs is valid and my instinct is its too expensive for a small business which you seem to be  - but since I don't know your market I am just giving an opinion.  I did trade show booths (some years ago and it was not photography but consumer packaged goods) and the rule we used to have was the gross revenue earned should equal 10x what you paid for the booth - for what its worth.

Good luck






« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 12:12:53 PM by Bullfrog » Logged
RFPhotography
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« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2013, 04:51:24 PM »
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Pretty much every working photographer is a small business.  Thanks for the insights.
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