Question :
Should I continue to market my photography business on the likes of facebook? It seems heartless and not really the thing to do at this time, however if i dont get engagement/customers I wont survive

Question submitted 29/03/20 @ 11:22am
Industry: Brand & Marketing
  • Hi Natalie. I think people understand that you need to keep the lights on. I just wonder whether you can deliver your services during a lockdown?

    Irrespective (assuming you’d be organising future sessions in advance), I think you could definitely advertise right now but that you need to make sure your offer is relevant to people right now and that the tonality of your messages is empathetic and understanding given what everyone’s going through.

    Hi Natalie – hope you’re doing well through this. Must be a tough time with so many weddings postponed or cancelled. I don’t think it’s heartless to be thinking about your business. How you approach it will be important. People are looking for feel good stories, good news, silver linings right now. Weddings and special events have so much joy around them – I would look to share that joy as part of your marketing (which I’m sure you’re already doing). Look at putting some packages together to be booked for later in the year. If people were able to commit a downpayment now (20%?) you could give them a discount. That way you can hopefully get bookings happening and some security while also offering your customers something in return.

    There’ll be a bit of an influx of maternity and baby shoots when we’re out of this as well so also look at getting those booked in sooner rather than later. Hope that’s helpful – Sam

    Hi Natalie,
    I think it’s a good time to get innovative. I would consider moving in to a space where you are active on social media during this time — not in a ‘hard marketing’ space – but perhaps using your skills to photograph your world during the Lockdown. For example, you could try to ‘find the beauty’ in your own isolation.
    I think consumers will remember people and brands who bring comfort and compassion during this time, and that will ultimately lead to consumer engagement when we all emerge on the other side of this.
    You could also use this time to post some of the great images you’ve taken in the past, or perhaps you could create a small online business where you help people photoshop some of their old images, or give guidance on how to create a photo wall….
    It’s a great time to think outside the square and consider how you might be able to engage with people in self-isolation. Good luck!

    Hi Natalie,
    It’s a dilemma because everybody’s inboxes and feeds are crammed with irrelevant ‘I’m still here’ content that looks pretty self-serving.
    But I totally agree with the advisors suggestions that you should define a role for yourself that adds value to the inbox/feed. As a photographer you’ll have some beautiful stories to brighten people’s days that helps to keep you visible so that when they’re ready to use your services, you’ll be top of mind.
    Showing empathy and being of service is the best way to build your reputation.

    Kia ora Natalie,

    All the above suggestions are 100% on point, I love the innovative thinking!

    What if you flipped it and created some video content teaching people how to capture your families experience whilst in lock down. How to set up there cell phone for example to get the best quality image and what apps are awesome to edit the images etc (or a camera what each setting actually means)? That way you are adding value without selling, but, also being the expert. So lets say if “John” who tuned in needs a photographer for (x) job in the future you will be on the list of people he calls…

    Just a thought, adding value and being current.

    Good luck


    That is an awesome idea! Or even did video chat tutorials (free or paid for).

    We all want feel good stories right now, not being “marketed to” but escape the current situation. You should have some great visual content and stories you could use to promote who you are, but in a soft, empathetic manner. Help people escape to where they would rather be. It’s key to stay in the frame with your target market, but in an implicit manner. You want to stay relevant and fresh, so when the time is right to re-engage in a more commercial way, you are in the choice set for your customers. Have a look at how Haka Tours is handling things on Instagram. They’ve struck a nice balance of being kept in the consumers minds, but not in an overt commercial way.

    Hi Natalie,
    Some great ideas above. One tangential thought — Would there be photos in your portfolio that could be appropriate (have required permissions) for stock imagery site? Also images of the city in lockdown on your walks could be a resource for news sites / channels, potentially.

    Also surprising some existing / old clients with a photo from their shoot, not included with their original package could bring a smile back and you could be sure they come back to you when they want pictures taken.

    Stay well,

    I think the key concepts everyone should think about when considering selling at the moment are timing and relevance of the value proposition – start with the question

    1) How can I help my existing clients and potential clients with what they are dealing with in their lives today?
    This may drives thoughts on how you can pivot your service to a new applications

    2) If I cant think of anyway I can help now – what can I do to prepare for what might be the right time to help in the future

    Hi Natalie
    Whilst you could potentially market to your past wedding clients, I think that might be difficult to achieve the balance discussed above.
    However, there’s potential with the abandoned streets at the moment to capture some incredible and unusual images of this time. You’ve done some landscapes (Dingle Dell and Portugal etc) as well as weddings and portraits so maybe focus on those? You could sell them to the media as well as general public.
    Another strange thought might be to take portraits of people online in their lockdowns (eg: using a videoconferencing app with you being the remote photographer) and then grade them so they become decent.
    Hope either of those ideas interests.

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