Photography business advice:

Three ways to help your company partner with local small businesses.

Have you ever walked into a shop and noticed that other companies had left their promotional items behind? Or have you seen that little stand in the hotel lobby with a thousand pamphlets of what to do in the area? Other companies have found a way to market their business, and guess what? You should be doing this too! 

Working with local small businesses is a great way to market you and your photography business! No, you can’t just drop products off. The shop, the hotel, or the business needs to approve these materials. How do we get there? Here are three ways to seal the deal when working with local small businesses!

1. In-Person Meetings

I know what you’re thinking… Can’t I just send an email?! Absolutely not. If you want to truly connect with the small businesses in your community, you need to actually connect with a small business in your community. While you can initially reach out and set the meeting via email, the meeting itself needs to be in person. The relationships that you want to establish are created during those in-person meetings. This is also the time to gain an understanding of their needs, better yet, their client's needs. Having an understanding of these needs helps both parties to plan more efficiently. Has anyone else sworn they have returned that email, just to find out that they hadn’t? Take the meeting in person and establish the connection, gain an understanding, and make a plan together. Trust me on this one.

2. Leave Something Behind

Once you have your meeting set, you can begin to prepare your materials. I suggest bringing a few items. First, a thank you for meeting with me gift goes a long way. This could be flowers, cookies for the staff, or a note that simply says this is the highlight of my day with a highlighter bouquet attached. It may seem like an extra step, but it goes a long way to acknowledge that they have taken time out of their day to speak with you. Secondly, bring your postcards. One for the contact person to directly get in contact with you and the rest to leave for your potential customers. These postcards will show your work and include how you prefer to be reached. Add your website, your social media, and any other information you want them to have. Leaving something behind is a great way for someone to find you!

Need help designing your postcard? I got you! Click below for my template.

3. Offer a Service

Another great way to ensure that this meeting will be a helpful connection is to offer a service in return. A few examples; updating the headshots for the employees, offering coverage for an event that they have coming up, donating a session for a raffle, or creating a mini session just for their clients. This connection needs to be a two-way street. They are going to promote you, and you, in turn, will provide a service for them as well.

These connections can be incredibly valuable. Creating a plan to benefit both parties is a wonderful way to support local businesses. Even after your meeting is over, check in via email or drop by to make sure the materials you left behind (postcards or business cards) are fully stocked! There you have it! Three great ways to seal the deal with local small businesses.