When we first started SO Visual, we had no idea of the best methods for marketing our business. Our priority at first was to get our website up and running, which we did manage quite early on. In fairness, our website has been our primary source of work for the last 3+ years. A few leaflet drops later, and some cringe worthy cold calls, we were left wondering how we could get our name out there even more. First impressions are very important, especially in such a competitive trade as photography. We knew that once people got to know more about our business, (and the fact that we’re not just two lads with a camera) they’d realise how committed and professional we are. When speaking to clients, they often remark on how they thought SO Visual was more than a two man operation, and also how ideal the studio is in terms of location and flexibility. These are things that you’d struggle to get across in a cold call!
We decided to explore all avenues of marketing, and we were pointed towards referral based networking, more specifically BNI. We were a little bit dubious at first, as previous less structured networking events seemed a bit of a waste of time. We gave BNI a try, and needless to say, we enrolled on an annual membership. BNI works in such a way that the professionals that we meet with every Thursday morning, are outwardly looking for a chance to recommend us to a suitable client, and likewise, we’re looking out for them too. This means that there is no awkward cold calling, instead, a relaxed introduction to our company, from a business owner that trusts us, to a business owner that trusts them. Once the go ahead has been given from their contact, we then receive their details, to introduce ourselves properly. Sales and marketing is definitely our weak point, but BNI is the perfect work around.
Sam taking the “60 second oscar” at BNI for his 60 second speech on how SO Visual’s photography service can benefit a business.
In terms of clients, 2016 has seen us take on two more product manufacturers. Initially starting with a trial shoot to show the quality of our work, we now take pride in being their go to guys for photography, and graphic design. We’ve completed a number of on location photoshoots for them, and for other existing clients, enabling us to visit some really cool locations. When it comes to graphic design work, we are able to offer a fast turnaround of all marketing material, and we can pretty much get hold of anything that we’re asked for!
Going forward we’d love to get some more manufacturers on board, so we’ve been updating our website gallery, and trying to keep on top of our social media accounts when we get the chance. All in all though, we’re still really enjoying SO Visual, and the wide variety of projects it throws at us.