Where are you coming from?
Whether you are adding Photo Booths to an existing business or starting from scratch getting customers is one of the most important things you need to do. After all no customers equals no business. Your entire business will hinge on how well you do this task but that doesn’t mean it has to be painful, tiresome, stressful etc. In the following chapters I am going to go through some simple and proven techniques that have worked for many.
First of all if you are adding your Photo Booth to an existing business then you have a great advantage. Photographers, event planners, DJs and any other professionals catering to events can quite easily offer the Photo Booth service to their existing customers. The marketing to get those customers has already been done and you are essentially adding more value and generating more income at the same time. In contrast, if you are starting from scratch it doesn’t mean you are disadvantaged either.
Where are you going?
You know where you are so now you need to think about where you are going. How much business do you want? How much time do you have available to devote? Or how much staff and equipment resource do you have to devote? If you have enough Photo Booths to do two events in one night it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to manage those two events. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have too many events and not enough time on your hands especially if you are trying to keep a day job. On the other side of the coin you may want as much business as you can possibly get. Asking yourself this question is really very important because it will help you define how much marketing you need to do to get the amount of business you want and how much you need to break even and make profit.
Once you have decided there are a number of things you can do to start getting the business in the door. If you really want to hit the ground running you can even start doing this before you have a Photo Booth. Be careful here though; if you are buying a Photo Booth make sure you leave some room to move on your expected delivery date in case the supplier has any unforseen hold ups. Cancelling a customer’s booking is not a good look and won’t do any good for your reputation. If you are building your own make sure you are not cutting your build time short. Always allow time to solve unforseen problems as there will always be some – it’s classic Murphy’s Law and if you don’t expect problems you are asking for trouble.
I categorize marketing techniques and activities into two types. You should be familiar with the term “Online Marketing”. It involves websites and social media and any form of online communication channels to reach your customers. This leaves the more traditional things like word of mouth, repeat customers, cold calling, wedding fairs and print advertising which we can categorize as “Offline Marketing”. Online marketing can be incredibly effective if done well. It can also be expensive and complex for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience in the space. It may also take a lot of time to set up properly and it is a constant work in progress. Typically offline marketing is a great way to start getting business and involves things that can be done without spending big.
The most important point to take away is to measure each and every marketing channel you use. As every industry is different and target markets vary so much between companies, there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to marketing. The key is to always find out how your customers find you. Once you have this information and cross reference with your customers that actually buy, you can work out which forms of marketing are working best and which ones are costing too much for what they deliver.
This chapter also covers marketing via:
Social Media Marketing
Twitter, Pinterest and Others
Websites and Blogging
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Friends and Acquaintances
Charity Events and Free Gigs
Wedding Fairs and Expos
Word of Mouth – Getting and Keeping Great Customers
Targeting Events and Customers