Tips and Tricks

Don’t Keep Your Great Ideas Boxed Up!

by Skip Cohen

During a business crisis, we all do things differently. Often, the things we do are things that should have been done all along, but business was so good. Who cared if the expenses were out of line, you were overstaffed, etc. Well, the pandemic, business-wise, is behind us. The potential for 2023 to be a strong year is looking good for most photographers. So what would happen if you made some of those reactionary things you did a few years ago part of your standard operating procedures?

Whether you’ve got an active blog or just a Facebook page where you’re sharing ideas – see if this list makes sense:

  • ​Coloring Books for Kids: Convert your images to line art and send them to your clients for their kids to use as coloring book pages. Think about the last family portrait you did – how cool would it be for a kid to have a customized coloring book of their own family?
  • Build a Community Calendar: Be a clearing house for non-profit activities in your community. Remember that each event you share also puts you in the spotlight for that organization.
  • Share the Joy! This one came from Anne Geddes years ago. She started requesting images from people that meant JOY. You can do the same in your community and on your blog, Instagram page, and Facebook.
  • Photo Tips: There are things you do daily that can help Mom and Dad become better photographers. Share a different idea in each post about exposure, composition, posing, fill-flash, etc.
  • Great Places to Photograph: Share places you like to photograph in your community. 
  • Gift Ideas: You might be tired of canvas prints, but your clients aren’t. Call your lab and ask, “What’s new?” I love Bay Photo’s Performance EXT Metal prints. 
  • Technology Updates: Be a resource to your readers. What’s new they might enjoy hearing about that relates to capturing their own memories. With the quality of the cameras in today’s cell phones, everyone can capture great images – and don’t worry about them stealing business from you. 
  • Your Favorite Charity: Highlight an upcoming event. And attend the event as a journalist and share the images with your readers and the non-profit organization as well.
  • Important Camera Gear: This is a little more for the advanced reader, but you’re the expert again.
  • Profiles In Your Community: Share stories about people in your community.
  • Pets of the Community: Pets are always a strong subject, and people love sharing and talking about them.
  • Photo Tips for Kids: Give kids ideas on things to photograph. You might even want to set up a photo contest. 
  • Holiday Cards and Stationery: It’s early, but is it really? Now’s a good time to get Mom thinking about images for her family cards this holiday season, but don’t stop there. How about helping with pictures to use for thank-you notes and stationery?
  • How to Be a Storyteller: Share ideas on how to tell a story with images.
  • Slideshows: Pick a topic that’s current now – it could be something as simple as cooking a family dinner with the first barbecue of Spring! (Okay, I live in Florida, and my grill is ready to go all year long, but I haven’t forgotten my days of winter in Ohio!) 
  • Throwback Thursday: I love Throwback images. They’re a great way to remind Mom it’s time for an updated family portrait. Easter, Mother’s Day, graduation, and Father’s Day are all around the corner. It’s up to you to plant the seed!

This list is hardly all-inclusive, but each idea has the potential to blossom into other aspects of the business. They all center around your expertise as an artist in the community. Successful marketing is all about building relationships. Nothing builds relationships faster than being helpful to your readers!

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