Every starting photography business needs a constant flow of new customers. Friends and relatives can start of a new business and of course repeat trade is the basis of regular income. But Attrition, bad economic times and off season blues are factors that can kill a business.
A third party promotion has many advantages. Firstly, the gift supplied to your prospective customer does not come from you but from the third party. It therefore looks less like pure advertising on your part. The third party is happy with the fact that he doesn’t have to pay for the gift and it puts his new prospects in a receptive mood. Secondly, the gift can be engineered to promote additional sales in your studio. Thirdly, your new customer must visit your studio in order to collect the gift. All you have to do is print up a couple of hundred nice looking certificates and/or buy the gifts in wholesale lots. Your success will be in proportion to your enthusiasm in canvassing the local business for the promotion.
Examples of appropriate gifts are: a free portrait session and five by seven portrait, a pair of cut glass champagne glasses, an expensive looking album for their fun pictures an out door portrait session or a certificate for baby pictures in the future. These gifts are given to the new customer by the third party for taking part in their own promotion. A free portrait session should accompany every gift.
Any business that promotes their product using a home or in store demonstration is a candidate for your gift. Possible third party hosts are: stainless steel cooking sets, porcelain dinner sets, bridal gowns, tuxedo shops, banks (new accounts), jewelry stores and home appliances. Any business promoting their product or service would welcome the opportunity to present a free gift to their prospects.
A certain percentage of your free gift customers will accept the gift and not buy anything else. I recommend that no undue pressure be used to upgrade the customer, but rather depend on the excellence of your services to do the job. The prospects that do take advantage of your additional services can become good customers, recommending you to a whole new circle of friends and relatives.