You Have to Give Some to Get Some…
We recently discussed what word of mouth marketing is and why it is important to you as a photographer. Now that we’re on the same page, we need to discuss how to generate buzz around your business! There are a lot of ways to generate buzz in your community. Today, we’ll discuss one of these – giving to charity.
Partnering with a charitable organization is a win all around – you get the satisfaction of giving back to the community (and hopefully generating some WOM marketing) and an organization reaps the benefits of your photography skills! There are a few things you need to think through prior to signing on to help an organization.
- What are you passionate about? Partner with an organization that means something to you – whether the local humane society, urban rescue mission or retired veteran home.
- How much time do you have? If you do not have a lot of time to dedicate, perhaps you should consider a small project, for example providing headshots for the staff and board of directors to use on their website. If you have more time, you might want to get involved with a larger event that will generate more press, like a fashion show benefit.
- What are you willing to give? Are you donating your time only, or time and prints? Are you offering a discounted print rate to others who attended the event? If they are selling fine art prints of yours, do you want to receive a percentage of each sale? All of this needs to be discussed and agreed to in writing.
- Is your gift tax-deductible? Check to see if you are able to receive receipt of an in-kind donation for the services/products you offer.
- What type of recognition would you like to receive? This obviously will vary based on the size of the project, however it should be discussed early on. If you are donating headshots, do you want photo credit on the web page and all print materials they use the images on? If you are doing a large event, do you want credit only in the printed program, or do you require a mention from on stage?
Thinking through these questions will ensure that you and the organization share the same expectations and can pull off a successful partnership. Of course, you’re also going to have to think through how you can utilize the event to generate as much word of mouth as possible. If it is a large event, consider placing a promotional flyer in each attendee’s goodie bag. If you do headshots, perhaps you could display them on your Facebook page and have fans nominate and/or vote for what organization you should donate headshots to next.
The bottom line is that you want to make sure that lots of people support the organization, and know that you support it as well. Consumers typically enjoy supporting companies that they know are doing good in their community. Next, we will be “Hitting the Pavement” with some bootstrap marketing ideas that will help you bring in new clients without spending the big bucks.
Share some of your interesting and unique ways of leveraging these type of events and charity donations!