One of the mantras of web business is the money is in the list. It’s a simple idea. You have a list of customers that you can contact at any time, and let them know about what you’re up to. This ability to stay at the forefront of your clients’ minds is what will sustain and grow your business.
You might be thinking “Sounds nice, but what does this have to do with me? I don’t have a web business. I have a photography business.”
Well, do you have a website? A blog? Facebook fan page? Do you communicate with your clients via email?
Then your photography business is, at least in part, web based.
Consider the fact that people are spending more and more time on the internet than ever before. They are doing more online shopping. And they are looking for their photographers on the web.
It’s time to start applying web marketing principles to your photography business!
So, your list. You really should have one. As in, if you don’t have one, you should make one right now.
Don’t worry. It’s really easy to do. There are a ton of free services for newsletter lists that take care of all the tough stuff for you.
I’ve only used a couple, but recently started using MailChimp and am pretty happy with it. I’ll share my thoughts with ya.
MailChimp is a really great option for photographers. It’s easy to use, free for up to 2,000 subscribers, you can share it with your Twitter and Facebook accounts, you can control subscribers from a handy iPhone app, and they have a ton of really fantastic resources for people just getting into newsletter marketing.
They also have a pretty nice interface for designing custom templates. It takes a little bit of time to get used to how it works, so you’ll want to read the guide, but once you do it’s not too shabby. This is important, since you’ll want your newsletters to match your branding!
Best of all, it’s really easy to see how well your list and campaigns are performing.
A very big concept in web marketing is measuring. So when you send out your newsletter, take a peek at the reports. Is it getting opened? Are you getting responses? MailChimp has a ton of great features to help you measure, which is a big reason I really dig it.
Using Your List
So, now that you’re all set up, and ready to start building your list, what next?
Well, first you need some names. But don’t just add people willy nilly. You need to make sure they want to hear from you.
Get in touch with all your clients, past and present. Let them know you’re starting a newsletter, and send them to the signup page.
Here’s a tip. Make it worth their while to join. Maybe a free print at their next session, or a discount. Show them you appreciate their trust in giving you their email address.
Put a signup box on your website or blog, with the same idea. Tell people why they should care about joining your newlsetter.
And then, most of all, make it worthwhile. Don’t just spam people with endless emails that aren’t helpful. Nothing is more annoying than that.
Try to communicate with your clients through your newsletter. Give them information that is useful to them. Give them special discounts. Treat them really really well.
That’s the way to make money from your list — by caring about the people on it and understanding how critical they are to the success of your business.
So, start building a list for your photography business. Right now. And think up all the ways to spoil the people on it. It’s fun!!
Do you use a newsletter list for your photography business? Share your experiences and tips in the comments!