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Tag : Marketing

Draft Publication – The Marketing

While the final portfolio is being fine-tuned I’m looking at the marketing that I need to do before the exhibition. As I mentioned in Section 2, I’m looking at fliers, business cards and adverts. All of this is a bit intimidating, not in the sense of getting them done since that’s the easy part, it’s the idea of publicising my work, something that I’m still not comfortable with despite some excellent comments from reviewers. I still have trouble believing that anybody would want to see a body of work created by me so to ask people to come and visit seems a bit hypocritical. Anyway, hopefully I’ll be over this before the exhibition!

As far as the fliers were concerned I had no idea what I wanted to begin with so, neither in terms of the artwork nor the size or materials. In the end I remembered that I’d used Vistaprint some years ago and went to have a look at their site. There was some excellent advice on their website as well as on other sites on the web. l also went along to our local Tourist Information Office and looked at some of the fliers that were there to advertise other events. Then I did what I should have done at the beginning and went to The Old Court where my exhibition will be held to look at fliers advertising other events to be held there.

After pulling together a number of thoughts or ideas it was time to try my hand at design using Vistaprint’s online tool. After a few aborted attempts I came up with this design in A6.

I was quite pleased with it though I’m sure that a professional marketeer will b able to pick holes in it. I deliberately didn’t put any contact details on it, not even my website, as I wanted that information to come out at the exhibition. Also, I didn’t want to use the exhibition images, at least not all of them since I didn’t want people to see them before arriving at the venue. I did however want to give a feel for the theme so people would understand the aims of the portfolio before arriving.

So far I’ve left these fliers in dentist and doctor’s surgeries, local coffee shops who have a notice board, the venue itself and the Tourist Information office. I’ll be adding other sites if and when I think of them but, in the meantime, it feels strange going past a notice board so see my exhibition being advertised.

I want some business cards as well, both to hand out or leave at the exhibition and to hand out to people when I talk about the event. Following a near-identical process to the fliers I came out with these.

Again, I didn’t want to use the exhibition images but wanted to demonstrate a wide range of genres on the cards.

Finally the advertising. I wanted to advertise in the local paper and on the local borough’s website, both of which allow free advertising for such events.

The above advert is from the local paper but the borough website has a similar one in place. I’m curious how effective these will be, and the fliers for that matter, but I’m not sure how I’ll be able to quantify their effectiveness beyond anecdotal comments from visitors …. assuming that I get any of course!

Anyway, that’s the marketing that I’m doing at the moment. As and when other ideas come to me I’ll be adding those in as well.

Marketing

The main reason that I’m taking my time about these early tasks is that I want to get my website ready before sending out my request for feedback to various people. The PDF that I send will have links back to the images on the website for the reviewers to see the images in a larger format on the web.

This issue of the website is doubly important since I cornered a marketing consultant friend and asked (more precisely, interrogated) her about marketing strategies for a small concern. Given that a large part of this module is about marketing, getting one’s work out to the market, becoming “known” etc. it seems to be an important element that isn’t really stressed in the module or not as far as I’ve seen to date.

She was approaching specifically from the point of view of her own company, she now runs a tour guide operation in Windsor after leaving her marketing role, but the key principles remain the same. There were only the two critical elements

  1. Get your website and social presence going, make it look professional and integrate everything
  2. Always respond to queries or contacts quickly and professionally

All very simple if you say it quickly but it is a precis of most of the information that I’ve found elsewhere.

So getting the website up was a critical early task but I’m well aware how much work needs to be done on it by the end of the module to complement my intended exhibition.

Firstly, there’s obviously a need for the images which will be in the PDF to be on the site which is simple enough. They’ll change over the next few months but that’s a start.

Next, I need to boost the SEO scores. Again, not too difficult. There are numerous online strategies for this and my background as an IT consultant comes in useful here.

Social media is a necessary evil which I’ll need to embrace if I’m to do this properly. I’ll need to resurrect my Facebook account, create an Instagram account and automatically populate the two from the website with new images as required.

A trivial but important method to publicise is the use of signatures in email so I’ve created a more professional looking one that links back to my site. There are a number of free programs that will create one for you but all of the free versions include an advert for their product or simply don’t work with Outlook.

The screenshot in this format looks like a business card – something else that I’ll need to have available at the exhibition.

In terms of the more traditional methods there’s a local newspaper which I’ll need to contact , either to pay for an advert in the What’s On section or see if I can get them to write a short article. Given the local interest and style of the paper it’s definitely a possibility.

The local council themselves ave a website with details of What’s On so I need to get into that.

Finally I need to ensure that I’m involved in the local community. My consultant friend is happy to work with the local Tourist Information Centre to offer guided walks at a much lower rate than she would normally charge, all in the name of being involved and getting further work. It’s no different for a photographer, by offering my services to the community I should raise my profile and have the opportunity for further, real, work if required.

All of this is a bit strange since I have no intention of becoming a professional photographer but do want to get my work out there so this marketing theme is feels a bit strange since there’s such an implicit commercial element to the whole process.