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5 Marketing Ideas That Won’t Cost You a Penny

Written by Erin Morrison

I am Erin Morrison with Erin Morrison Photography. I was born and raised in Illinois and moved to the great southern city of Knoxville, Tennessee over a decade ago.

I consider myself a walking contradiction — a Type A personality with a creative streak, a Yankee who says fixin’, and a lover of comedy who couldn’t tell a punch-line to save her soul.

I have been a Knoxville wedding photographer for eight years, but I am one of “those photographers” that still has a full-time job. Therefore, I am very interested in marketing tactics that produce results long after they are implemented. I especially love tactics that are FREE. In this blog, I am going to share with you 5 Free Marketing Tips Built for Longevity.

5 Free Marketing Tips Built for Longevity

Alright, here we go. To kick things off, we’ll start off with…

1. Be Kind

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

Being kind to another human being literally costs you nothing. And yet, this small gesture is hard to find in today’s business. This article, among many, will talk about marketing tactics in this digital age. But we tend to forget one simple thing: there are actual people on the other end of the screen. So, in the age of cutthroat digital marketing, there is still a fundamental tool that will never go out of style: kindness.

And when I talk about kindness, I mean the dictionary brand of kindness, which means being friendly, generous, and considerate. Not just to your current or future clients, but to all the human beings you deal with daily.

This means that you need to look past your business goals. Can you hold the door for someone? Do you have advice for someone in a Facebook group? Heck, maybe your friend had a rough week and just needs a glass of wine and a good cry. Why should you be kind? Other than the fact that it’s just the right thing to do, research suggests that one act of kindness has a ripple effect.

According to the research, “each additional contribution a subject makes to the public good in the first period is tripled over the course of the experiment by other subjects who are directly or indirectly influenced to contribute more as a consequence.” Basically, if you do something nice to one person, they pass that kindness on. That’s a marketing tool that everyone can get behind.

2. Post Reviews to Google

One of the most underutilized free aspects of marketing is Google My Business. But most business owners don’t utilize this service to its full potential. As business owners, we are always asking for reviews from our past clients. But have you ever thought to give a review? 

Millions of potential customers are searching for information on Google. And they can find your business without even specifically searching for you. For example, as a Knoxville wedding photographer, I work at several wedding venues. After each new venue that I shoot at, I go and leave a review. And yes, it’s a five-star review (remember to be kind).

The best part about reviews? I can leave photos of my work in the review as well. My reviews have been viewed thousands of times, and the photos almost double that! How amazing is that?

3. Post Photos to Google Locations

Another great free marketing tactic is to upload photos to specific locations. For me, this means that I can upload photos at popular locations for family photography or engagement photography. Why? Because I want to be SEEN. If people are looking at locations for engagement photos and family photos, that means that they could be in the search for a photographer. I want them to see my photos and hire me!

4. Blogging & Asking Vendors for Help

Ya’ll. I hate to blog. I really do. But I know how important it is to my business. Every time I write a blog post, it’s one more page that I can index online. This means that it is one more opportunity for me to show up in a search engine result. That organic traffic is priceless for a website. 

Last year, I started creating content that went outside of just posting weddings, and engagement and family sessions. I started creating original content that showcases me as an authority in my business. For example, I am a licensed photographer in The Great Smoky Mountains. I photograph a lot of weddings and elopements in this National Park. Recently, I created a blog post describing the difference between an intimate wedding and an elopement. In the past three months, this page has been viewed over 1,800 times. Now that I have that traffic, I have an opportunity to convert that traffic into a lead. 

Recently, I asked local wedding professionals for quotes or advice in some of the blog posts. I do this because I respect their professionalism and their talent in their craft. I also want to build relationships with them. Further, I want them to share these blog posts on their own social media. This provides more exposure for my business to an audience that may not know me yet. 

5. Contact Venues & Ask to be On Their Preferred Vendor List

Let’s be honest, most couples getting married are looking at venues first. According to Google Trends, since June 2008, there are more searches for wedding venues than there are wedding photographers.

So, how do you get on a venue’s preferred vendor list? First, you can pick up the phone and call them. Yes, that means you will have an actual conversation with the owner or event venue coordinator. Be prepared to schedule a time to go out to the venue and interview them about their facility. Also, ask if you can bring your camera to take photos of the property. 

However, does picking up the phone make you a little squeamish? If it does, there are other ways for you to connect with a wedding venue. Check to see if they have any open houses at their location. You can ask to be a vendor at their open house, or you can go as a guest and introduce yourself. 

If this is a wedding venue that you are just dying to get on your portfolio, ask if you can use their space for a styled shoot. That way, you have photos of the venue for your portfolio, and you can provide those same photos to the venue (and other vendors) as well. This can show the venue your capabilities and creativity. 

In the end, there are many free marketing solutions you could employ for your photography business. But for now, these five can surely give you a headstart — and they won’t cost a dime!

Here’s to growing your photography business!

Erin Morrison
Erin Morrison Photography

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