Looking for the RIGHT customers
After many many years of working in graphic/web design companies, I`ve returned to my roots and am pursuing photography. At first I was getting some good photo shoots along with some contract work in design. However, the last couple of months have been less than stellar.My business plan was to find small to medium sized companies ($100,000 to $750,000 in sales) with needs in staff photos, product photography, locations to shoot - building, etc. However, I`ve not been getting the work. While most people I`ve talked to agree that those companies need the photography I do, very few business people seem to value good photography. I created a couple of cards demonstrating the difference between standard (or snapshot) photography that anyone with a camera can do, and what I do. You can see them here . Most people looking at the cards would say "wow, you really can see a difference."And, I`ve gotten great comments from my recent customers about my photography; they are very happy. And even though some have been evangelizing for me (great feeling), I haven`t gotten the clients.My current marketing has included; SEO (I`m pretty well rated on google for my specific key words), a couple of networking groups where I meet people who should be in my target market, Chamber of Commerce meetings, and post cards to past clients and many new clients.I did a trade show recently where several people were very interested in my work - and I`ve done follow up for both that event and with people whom I`ve met through other functions. My follow up so far has been an email saying "hi" and a quick reminder of my services. If there was something specific I`d talked to them about regarding their company or other events, I`d personalize the email with that as well.So, would you think my business plan flawed? Should I go after big corporate accounts where there is money (and a lot more competition - there`s a ton of photographers in this town.) Sould I go after ad agencies? (I`ve done that in the past and local design agencies seem to be cliquish - I didn`t go to their school. This is a comment I`ve heard from other photographers as well. However, agencies from out of town who hire me to shoot local facilities/staff/products have been very happy.)If I continue going after smaller companies, is there somewhere I haven`t looked they would be hanging out in? Is there an approach I should take to make them aware of the value of better photography? If you own a small business, what makes you decide to either hire a photographer, or not to hire a photographer?I pretty much have no money for marketing any more. So, any ideas would be greatly appreciated.If you want to see my photography, check out SpeersPhoto.com
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