A Brilliant Little Inexpensive Marketing Idea


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

I just returned from a nice relaxing beach vacation. I can’t say enough about the quaint boutique hotel we enjoyed. Quiet, friendly, clean, and upscale. Yet as you probably know, I look for a marketing lesson in every experience. Here’s a marketing idea I picked up that is inexpensive and attainable for every small business owner.

I noticed upon check-in that the slick marketing materials typical of a chic boutique hotel were missing. Yet there were several things the hotel did right that any small business owner should do to enhance your clients’ experience and generate big time referrals. I’ll cover a few of others in the next few days here, but here’s a quick and easy marketing idea for your small business that will have a nice return.

1) Seize opportunities and make the most of them

When your business is small and you’re competing with players who have big brands and bigger marketing budgets you need to look for small things you can do that will have a big impact. In this case, my hotel was located in a tourist destination. You know many of your clients will send postcards during their stay. Maybe they send the postcard to let their loved ones know they are thinking of them, but more likely it’s to brag about what a great time they are having.

The resort we visited provided postcards free of charge with a pleasing image of the property (see image above). On the backside of the postcard they included their phone number and web address. What a great idea to encourage referrals for your business – and at a very low cost. If you need a high-quality yet affordable vendor for press-printed cards, check out White House Custom Colour.

Whether you’re in the service business or sell beautiful products, unexpectedly gift your best clients with beautiful note cards or postcards they can use to correspond with family and friends. Just a small package of 5 with a beautiful ribbon tied around them can expose your business to new clients.

The imagery on these note cards should demonstrate your exquisite taste as a boutique business owner.

  • Florists can hire a professional photographer to create artful images of your unique arrangements in home settings, not the run-of-the-mill stock photography Teleflora uses.
  • Interior designers can work with a photographer to create interesting images of design elements you’ve used in client’s homes such as a beautiful vase, throw or rug pattern.
  • Architects can feature images of interesting angles and design elements you’ve incorporated into recent projects.
  • Retail store owners can imitate beauiful magazine layouts with close up images of various textures, fabrics, make up colors and more.
  • Photographers can choose a selection of 5 to 10 of your favorite images from this year and print several notecards. Then gift these in small quantities to clients for them to use when sending notes to friends and family.

As a consumer, I buy artfully designed thank you cards at Target, museums, Hallmark and stationery stores so why wouldn’t I use cards that are well-designed, high-quality and feature beautiful imagery that makes me smile? An extra special touch guaranteed to generate referrals for your business is to personalize the gift with images specifically from that client’s session, home or project. Just be sure to include a small credit to your business on the back including your logo, business telephone and web address.

Have you tried something similar in your small business? Share your story here of how it worked or didn’t work for you!




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