It’s never too late to bang out a marketing plan. Yes, it would be great to have a constantly evolving 5 year plan, but realistically, it just doesn’t always happen that way. You are probably looking at the end of the year numbers and shaking your head — many photographers were thrown a few curves in ’09. Surprisingly, my dog portrait business is 20% ahead of last year – and even though there are many people who would argue that dog portraits are a luxury – it is still a very profitable niche market.
Set goals for 2010 that involve new displays in high traffic locations, new partnerships with non-profit organizations and most importantly, education for yourself. It’s critical that YOU continue to grow your skills and nurture that creative streak. Don’t get stale! One of the best investments I made last year was a DVD on RAW processing from Software Cinema. Ironically called ACR: Unleashed with Jack Davis, it made a huge difference in the amount of time I spend processing my RAW images, which increased my profits. Sometimes education allows you to offer new products and increase your target market – like adding dog photography. Be sure you’re ‘brand consistent’ and you’ll love the results. For many of our attendees, dog portraits are an addition to an existing business, but for some, it’s their one and only. Either way, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you map out your marketing strategy on paper and work your plan. The people who invest in themselves have a much better product to sell!