Marketing idea - a contest

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by msf, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Ive been trying to think of ways to market my services, and get my name out there.

    One idea Ive had is to have a contest, where the grand prize winner would win a free portrait session, and a free 11x14 print. Runners up would win something as well, a coupon for something, with the purchase of a package. Im still working out the details.

    I know some here shudder at the idea of giving away prints, but I think this would be a good way to get my name out there, and I would be able to collect contact information for future advertising.

    So my main question would be: Is there anything I should be aware of? Especially legally. The main thing I am thinking of, do I need to have the drawing in a public area with witnesses, so no one thinks I chose a friend. I probably wont let any family participate, just to be safe, that or do a 2nd drawing if a family member wins.

    Have anyone here tried anything like this?
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What kind of contest are you talking about? A photo contest?

    What if the winner's work was better than yours?
    (I don't know how much of a risk that would be for you (not familiar with your work), but it sure would be embarrassing...)
     
  3. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps contest isnt the right word, more a drawing.

    Have people submit thier names and contact info, and on a certain date *enough time to do the family portrait and get the prints back in time for mothers day* draw a name and they win a portrait by me. its not a photographer photo contest.
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ah, OK. I get what you mean now. Like a raffle expect they don't pay for the tickets.

    That makes a lot more sense...lol!

    EDIT
    I see business doing this all the time, I don't really see why it wouldn't work for you.
     
  5. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    im just concerned the drawing would have to be in a public place or something. I dont really have anywhere to do that, since I do photography on location. :)
     
  6. Tolyk

    Tolyk TPF Noob!

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    Try and rent a cheap studio for the promotion? Or get permission to set up in a local park, etc.
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    you could also try running it as part of a local fair or event - maybe book a small space for yourself and a setup and shoot portrate shots (for cost) over the day but also have a raffle along side with the prize being a free session (don't end it right at the end of the day though most people have left and you will want to go home too - early afternoon is about best - enough time for people to sign up and enough time for you to shoot comfortably - plus most people have not left yet)
    You could adapt similar even if its just you shooting ina park or something.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If properly done, it could fill that studio quite nicely.

    A few conditions:
    - any winner has to be present at the drawing to accept the prizes
    - they have to leave full contact info
    - a previous winner cannot win again for a period of 12 months

    I get all kinds of marketing ideas. Imagine having 30-50 people in a rented studio... before the drawing have a 15 min presentation about who you are and what you do. Maybe have a couple models and setups ready to demo your skills and show the results. After the demo... do the drawing and take a few pics of the winners!

    Now do one every 3-4 months.

    I did something like this about 20 years ago but I was showcasing my networking and teaching skills at a computer trade show. I picked up 20 new clients in 30 min of my time... but I was well prepared and had a VERY polished routine down by then.

    To do this:
    - you'd better be a good photographer.
    - you'd better be a good presenter and public speaker.
    - you'd better be ready, preparation is 99% of the game.

    Like I often say... the business of photography has VERY little to do with pressing the shutter button.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  9. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Well I consider myself a pretty good photographer. Everyone seems to like my portraits, however I do see a lot of areas that I can improve, but time and practice will hopefully solve that.

    Im not the best public speaker. I do tend to speak fast, and I have an accent to the people here, since I moved down here from up north.

    I was thinking about doing a 2nd one of these after mothers day, and team up with a local library. Have them collect tickets for something like $1, $3 or maybe $5 per ticket. That money would go to a fund raiser for something, dont know yet. And get the library to hold one of my portraits and my information as well. I figure I can get alot of public awareness from this. They already do similiar fund raising, but not for photography that I have seen.

    I was hoping to do that after mothers day, but perhaps I should forget doing the first one on my own and do just the library one.

    I realized I should ad some stipulations to the ad, for starters state where the portrait will be taken. Otherwise they could ask me to drive hours away to take it. :)
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Unless they are within a few miles, they come to you... matter of fact, they should always come to you. That is where having a "home base" or access to a professional level studio on a rent per session basis is important.

    Watch that public speaking, it can make or break the event. Can you demo in front of a room full of people?

    Some of the world's finest photographers cannot not speak publically well enough to give away their services for free. That is why I said the business of photography has very little to do with pressing a shutter... it is about selling.
     
  11. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup:
     
  12. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    I really dont like to use a studio. You do get more control over the lighting, but I like to have the client interact with the surrounding environment outdoors. I will probably get a studio eventually for the winter months and bad weather days.
     

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