Creating a robust and well thought out marketing plan for 2018 will particularly relevant for all businesses. Especially photographers! 2018 will undoubtedly be very challenging. The number of photographers without a marketing plan is staggering. Think of yourself not as a photographer, but as a marketer of a photographic business. Everything you do should have marketing at the heart of it.

You need a marketing plan for the year ahead, and now is a good time to craft this. From your logo design, customer service, to crafting your webs site. 2018 will present a very interesting marketing challenge for all businesses in the current climate of uncertainty on political and economic fronts. We as consumers are unsure whether to stick or twist when it comes to spending money. We really don’t know what the future holds for our great country.

Think of yourself not as a photographer, but as a marketer of a photographic business.

The only real certainty is that the uncertainty will continue for now and long into next year. How do we as businesses approach this mire of indecision? We have to be many things all at once. Remain agile enough to cope with market flux. Strong enough to handle the inevitable quiet periods.

Marketing the business will, therefore, have to follow the same approach. Quick-witted and opportunistic to achieve sales. Market-savvy about your company to sustain your brand’s value and customer confidence in the long term.

Luckily for us, the digital landscape provides ample opportunity for small businesses to remain agile, reactive and be in a position to take advantage of a low cost, far-reaching model. It is not the answer to all things, but it is extremely valuable used in the right ways.

  • Market research. There is endless information available online, but the advantage this gives photographers is incredible. Being able to find out what your peers and competitors are offering, what your customers are searching for product-wise and what the trends are, in real time, is invaluable.
  • Instant pricing. If you have extra stock, or not enough, or a celebrity makes something mundane like a style of photo that is very fashionable, you can take advantage very quickly. Capturing these moments through your use of clever content and piggy-backing other marketing gives you a chance to price accordingly.
  • Trends. Keeping an eye the wider photography trends via online blogs and media gives you a broad reflection of where the market is heading. Marketing your business or taglines can reflect these trends if only subtly, to keep your business current and present in the consumer thinking.

The approach of the turn of the year provides an opportunity to assess the events the business has been involved in to promote your skills, i.e. business to business or trade fairs, and which of those to take forward into the new year’s schedule. Through this assessment one can also find new events to add in, paths not considered before which may now seem relevant.

Marketing the business at these gatherings is an important case of putting your best foot forward. It requires a clear marketing plan. Good planning and forethought. What matters most to the people that go there? And how should you approach them?

This is also the time to consider external help with marketing. The last thing you (as your business’s product) want to be doing is spending too much time away from your passion: photography. Considering a digital marketing agency. A PR firm. Or even hiring a part-timer is a big decision but one to make when making a plan for the year ahead. Having them input on your year-long marketing plans is a must if they are to have a positive effect on your business.

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