word of mouth marketing

As a creative entrepreneur, you have a vault filled with sales tactics at your disposal. You have images to share; posts to write; ads to run and live videos to create {hint hint}. However, did you know you have a secret weapon that nearly tops all of that? In fact, you’re likely using it without even trying, you sparkly little magician. Word of mouth marketing is where it’s at.

Word of mouth marketing is something we do every day as business owners. While that’s well and good, we need to put power behind our words and actions to maximize the benefits of word of mouth marketing. It can be one of our top sales tactics if we do it right!

I teamed up with another pro tog to help you out!

My girl, Jamie Delaine Watson and I have joined forces to create you an amazing resource for word of mouth marketing. You’ll get half of the 411 in this post, and the other half in her super video at the end. When we’re through with you, you will be ready to ramp up your client wins and get more exposure than ever before. Ready? Let’s do this.

Truth bomb: how you make people feel is key.

Think about it. We do so many things in life based on an emotional response. We invest time and resources into the matters and actions that pull at our heartstrings a little. Word of mouth marketing leverages that {it’s science}. If you take care of your clients’ hearts before anything else, you’re on the right path.

This is where the know, like, and trust factor comes in.

Initially, your prospects will know of you, but they won’t know you. When those who do you know you {aka their bffs} start talking, your prospects will get to know you too. Once they know you, they will start to like you. Once they like you… that my friend is the little gem that trust is built upon. Shared experiences are everything when it comes to running a successful business. It works in every industry!

 

 

Let’s put word of mouth marketing into action:

1.  Anticipate questions & solve problems before they happen 

Ok, let’s be real. If you’ve ever had your own photo session – you know some of the common concerns. “Will I look flabby on camera?” “What if my kids act a fool?” “Crap… our wardrobe may not coordinate!” “Should wear all wear white button-downs, jeans, and black shoes? {snicker.}” If you, my friend, can predict these pain points for your customers before they ever even speak – you are #winning.

Before the session happens, be an open and inviting communicator. Address your clients’ fears and disarm them before they wig out. I am sure to let clients know – I’m a trained teacher and will handle their children as long as they get them to the session. Also? I address using the color wheel to plan the perfect photo sesh wardrobe… and so on.  You know your clients best. Think about their common areas of concern and go from there.

2.  Make your clients feel confident

This is golden. At the start of every session, I walk my clients through how to pose. I’m not talking about ye old leaning up against a barn pose. I’m talking about what matters when it comes to flattering camera angles. We go over extending the neck; working that jawline; shoulders; and posture. Then, I disarm once again, by showing and telling them the difference behind how they are “posed” and how they naturally stand.

I also show them a little sneaky peek on camera to let them know they look amazing {although maybe feeling amazingly awkward}. This tactic has played out for me by word of mouth on so many occasions!  I was once photographing a group of teachers for their annual Christmas card and one of them said “listen to this posing trick, girls!  It really works and I do it in every photo to look skinny!”

As you can imagine.  Immediately after that statement, I had everyone’s undivided attention!

Once you teach these simple techniques, your client will think of you every time he or she poses for a photo. Is that amazing or what? You want to leave a lasting impression on your clients…. keeping your name on their lips whenever a photo or camera is concerned.  

3. Host a social media contest to up the ante!

Contests are an AMAZING way to spur on word of mouth marketing in your photography business. After every session or wedding day, let your clients know if they can receive 100 shares on their blog post within the first 10 days, they’ll receive a free 16×20” mounted print of their favorite image. (Tip: If you use a WordPress blog, you can download a Facebook sharing plugin that will allow you to keep track of how many times a specific blog post has been shared.)  The reason this contest is awesome: a) your clients are receiving an amazing gift, and the goal is quite attainable. b) Your blog post and your work will be shared 100x on Facebook, which is absolutely huge marketing power for your business!

4. Collaborate with other vendors

Here’s where some brainstorming comes in and will pay off big time! Consider other entrepreneurs who you know, like, and trust AND who have the same clientele as you. Put your heads together and cross-promote services to create mega exposure for both businesses {or a network of businesses}.

Spoiler alert: Jamie and I are doing this right now!

We both teach pro photographers and want to reach a bigger market.  So.  We teamed up, delivered some major value, and introduced each other to our audiences!  I win.  She wins.  You win.

Don’t forget to check out her four tips when you’re finished here, ok?!

The key is, you need to have similar clientele {think: similar disposable income; similar interests; age bracket; needs}. You can create offers that benefit all parties and word of mouth marketing is your money-maker once again! And this doesn’t just apply to people who do the same thing do you!  I use this approach with my friend Natasha who owns a fashion-forward boutique, Zebra Girl, right next to my studio!  She holds a Mother’s Day giveaway and provides a wardrobe, my stylist Stacey does a make-over, and I take the photos.  We all promote together and everybody wins!

Implement word of mouth marketing strategies and watch your business grow!

Now that you’re getting all this fantastical exposure, you’re going to get lots of inquiries! Pick up my email template so that you know exactly what to say when someone asks ‘what are your prices?’”  

cyrissa sparkle society

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