My name is Jessica Schlamp and for the next while I will be contributing articles to Canphoto.Net on business development and marketing for photographers in Canada. My five year background in marketing communications and brand development for corporations in North America has provided me with a unique perspective on this exciting industry we work in. I have chosen to apply my proven skills toward understanding, and helping you understand, the building blocks of a thriving photography business in Canada.
As photographers there are distinct marketing challenges we face and I’ve identified several which I will be addressing in upcoming posts. These include:
1. Understanding your marketplace(s) and the competitive landscape in which you operate. What identifies your target audience and who/what may be competing for your space.
2. Differentiating yourself in the sea of professionals targeting the same audience. What is your unique value and how do you assert this.
3. Building a successful and honest Brand Identity. What is a brand identity, how can you assess the effectiveness of yours and where do you begin to develop or improve it.
4. Communicating your brand identity through effective messaging and visual mediums. These include things such as copy writing, tag lines, informational content, logo development, website, portfolio image selection, colors, typography, graphics, business cards and other promotional pieces, photo albums, presentations and packaging. I will be specifically focussing upon each of these facets in articles which I write.
5. Networking with other photographers and related industry professionals. How can you combine forces to enhance your effectiveness.
6. Social media. What are your best options and how can you most productively utilize these tools.
7. Online and print advertising. Where to start and what is really worth it.
8. How to get your work seen. Promotional display, trade shows, exhibits, contests and more.
9. Search Engine Optimization. How to make your website visible in search engines, improve your page rank and keyword density, increase keyword conversions and maintain status.
10. Events and special offers. Ideas and inspiration to get you started.
11. Client resources. Suggestions to develop your own set of custom resources for wedding, engagement, newborn, maternity, family, and professional portrait clients.
12. Assessing and minimizing risk. Identifying and closing gaps from where you are to where you should be. Exercises to positively influence your business environment and increase your competitiveness.
13. Building and maintaining customer loyalty and word of mouth referrals.
14. Ongoing Business Development. Resources to strengthen your business and enhance your productivity.
My ideas have been gleaned from thousands of hours on challenging marketing projects for land developers, consultants, real estate professionals, manufacturers and self employed professionals in an array of marketplaces. They also arise from personal experience and a lot of trial and error, as I have sought to develop my own photography business over the past 2 years. I can not possibly understand everything on the above topics however, and invite your input and feedback so that together we can learn, inspire and be inspired. My posts are simply extended to you as a complimentary resource to get your gears turning and encourage discussion. I earnestly hope the upcoming articles will be an asset to you.
You can connect with me at jessicaschlampphotography.com, on twitter @jessicaschlamp, on facebook facebook.com/jessicaschlamp or LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/jessicaschlamp. Feel free to also share your suggestions in the comments below on topics that you would like me to address in the future. I hope to connect with you.
Until my next post… Happy photographing!