Marketing Your Photography On a Budget

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Sometimes the old ways to promote your photography are the best ways. One of the oldest axioms in photo marketing is that it takes 28 impressions before you can make a sale with a new client. Each point of contact for these potential clients can be a direct mail piece, website, blog, tweet, Instagram post or the most overlooked of all marketing tools—the business card.

I strongly believe the business card is the best face-to-face marketing tool available. Yet many times photographers hand me cards that don’t have photos on them and where they’ve scratched out a phone number or e-mail address. Here’s a fact of business life: While people easily toss out even the most elegant business card, they won’t toss out a photograph, especially one with a picture of a person. I once had a client hang onto a mailer that featured a portrait for more than a year before she dug it out of her desk drawer and called for an assignment.

One of the coolest promotional material I’ve found is  Moo.com‘s “pocket portfolio” that consists of 50 photographic business cards with 50 different images and is available at affordable prices. To top it off, Moo often runs sales, so that’s when I stock up. I also use their MiniCards; it’s the same price as their standard business cards but for the same money includes 100 cards.

To extend the concept, I’ve produced different series of cards: The first (below) uses the traditional horizontal orientation and was aimed at automobile photography highlighting my car photography website. The front side has a photograph of me along with relevant contact information, while the back has a series of different images of cars that I’ve photographed. The next time, Moo ran a sale, I ordered another set of cards, this time aimed at portraiture. It (above) uses a vertical orientation and the back side had different portraits I’ve created over the years.

Moo accepts JPEG, PNG, GIF or PDF files and the cards are available in Classic, upscale Luxe or Green (100% recycled and biodegradable) versions that cost a few bucks more. Image quality is very good although you should have a color correct monitor and make sure that the image density is perfect. You give the Moo’s a great file; they’ll give you great looking cards.

When discussing your work with a potential client in a social situation, the use of customized business cards is the perfect answer to the question of “what do you shoot?” You can hand them a photo card and answer their question in the best possible way, all the while knowing that the flip side is a traditional business card with all your contact information. I also never leave the house with a business card holder filled with both kinds of cards, because you never know who you might bump into at Starbucks.

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If you like to play with images in either color, monochrome or a mixture of the two, Please pick up a copy of my book Creative Digital Monochrome Special Effects that’s available used for $4.00—it’s almost free—at Amazon.com.