This is not the first time I scored free advertising in bigger media outlets in our city. I’ve acquired full page ads in magazines, newspapers and most recently a full page 8.5″ x11″ ad in a local real estate mag. This ads are typically very expensive, sometimes running into thousands of dollars for a full page version.
I did get lucky, but I’ll take it. I believe in getting out in the community and giving. A lot. As much as you can. I find many photogs get pigheaded over this one.
What happened for me recently is a guy started a ballroom dance event. You know, chacha, waltz, foxtrot and such. (For the record, my wife and I are dance school dropouts.)
This even was a fund raiser, for kids with cancer. I think it was more a showcase for the dancers, which it was. It appears dancers are very passionate, and love dancing. Especially when in a crowd.
So Len, the guy who started it, contacted me to see if I wanted to set up a drop, lights etc and shoot on spec. I thought about it, and came back with a better idea. “Why not give me an area to display at, feed me and my wife, and I’ll shoot all the dancers in action, and give everyone the files.”
Done. It was huge success. Why didn’t I go with his suggestion? Think about it. There were 16 dancers. I’ll go in, bring all my lights, a huge drop, and see if anyone wants to pay me for pics. Ugh. I’d rather go back to dance school.
My ultimate suggestion was, in my oh so humble yet accurate opinion, was a much better solution. Win win all the way, and we got a great meal out of it. Not to mention all that publicity.
I love helping out in our community too. Meeting so many people, getting face time, and displaying my work. That, and Len was so grateful, he gave me a full page ad in his real estate magazine. (yes, that’s his full time, day time job and business.)
You can see some of the images I shot from this event. And the actual ad I ran….
I spoke in greater detail on this subject in the December Mastermind presentation…. replay available HERE for members.
Next year will be even better…..just watch.
Yours in success and in photography,
Patti Marsh says
I have followed your advice since 2006. The first booklet I received was `How to get a million dollars worth of advertising for free.“So that was my challenge and it worked well for me. I purchased a business and wanted just a little blurb in the small business section to inform of our new location. The small business writer stopped at the shop and had a visit with me about how my life was changing from moving off our ranch and moving to the city to start a new life. She then sent a photographer. To my shock and horror, I was blessed with a 3/4 page full colour story. The headline was 5 inches high across the page, with a full colour 8×10 photo of myself and my product.and accompanied by a detailed interview. They told me that would have been valued at $2500. Did I say it was on the front cover the major paper in our city? This was attractive to them as agriculture was going thru major changes in many lives at that moment; we were current news. I never thought about how far reaching the article would be or how many people would remember it, but a year later I had people mention it.
My next inspiration was to grab the local ad man from the local paper and have him grab his photographer while I called the hospital. We met to document my shop donating candy baskets to the children’s ward after Halloween. It took 5 minutes, shake hands done! $500 ad for free.
My radio ads were the smallest quantity per month. People were saying “I wake up your voice first thing every morning (?????) I was on after the 7am news and I voiced my own ads. An old friend had been watching all of this from 100 miles away and thought I was pretty sharp! I use Rob’s advice daily! Go Rob!!
Robert Provencher says
Publicity is powerful….worth ten times the effort put into it…..many fail to see this sadly, but for those who do what an opportunity. Great story Patti! Thanks Rob