Cause Marketing for Photographers – 10 Ways to use Photography for Good

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and cause marketing - blog header


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Cause Marketing for Photographers

Cause Marketing for Photographers: an amazing way to serve our communities and reach new clients.

Cause marketing – which I call charitable marketing – has always been an important part of my mission as a business owner.

It is my responsibility as a local business owner to lift up those in need in my community.

At Sarah Petty Photography, I’ve worked with a variety of causes that are close to my heart, from the Animal Protective League, to Ronald McDonald House, the NICU at St. John’s Hospital where my twins were born and the Mini Obierne Crisis Nursery.

When I look back on my 17 years as a photography business owner, how I’ve helped my community is what I’m most proud of.

An added benefit from my efforts is that my business sees a boost each time I get involved.

Here are a few ways your business can benefit from cause marketing (charitable marketing):

  • HUGE Exposure – New to your marketing or think nobody knows about your business? Give them a reason to want to know about you. When you do something amazing for a worthy cause, your name and reputation in the community take on a well-deserved positive light.
  • FREE Marketing – You’re not only a great photographer, you are a champion of great causes. You are newsworthy and this gives the media a reason to cover your business. It’s called publicity and it’s like free marketing….only better.

  • Your Values Attract Better ClientsWhen you get exposure through your hard work raising funds for people in need, you are attracting clients because of your values, not because of your price. They are choosing to work with you because you are giving back to the community so you are attracting a better client.
  •  Doors Open for LeadersParticipating in fundraisers and cause marketing events positions you as a leader. A giver, not a taker. Our communities need more leaders. Leaders open doors for other leaders.
  • Little Commitment. Big ResultsCause marketing allows people a chance to try out your services on a small scale without huge commitment, investment or risk. Once they work with you they will see how great YOU are.

Now, are you ready for some ideas to get involved in cause marketing in your community?

As a woman, breast cancer is something close to my heart. It has impacted members of my team and families that are near and dear to me.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Cause Marketing for Photographers - 10 Ways to use Photography for Good

So this month, I’m highlighting ways you can use your camera and your skills, skills that are vital to the battle against breast cancer, to raise money to beat this disease.

Take these ideas and use them to raise funds for any charity that is close to your heart.

You and your camera can raise funds, raise awareness and even reach new potential clients.

Some of these ideas will be super easy.

Some require more work.

Some will cost a little money.

If you have more time than money to invest right now, spending a day or two on one of these ideas can have a huge impact on your business.

Choose the ideas that work best for you, depending on how much time you have and what your marketing budget looks like.

Here are 10 Ways to reach new clients and raise money for a cause you love:

1. Create An Inspirational Survivor Calendar

Create beautiful, inventive images of breast cancer survivors. Use your camera and your creativity to honor those survivors in ways that make them feel strong and look beautiful!

Reach out to a local cancer center, oncology doctors, Susan G. Komen Center, etc., to find survivors and promote your calendar. Susan G. Komen has 120 local affiliates. If you don’t have a local affiliate, your area hospital or oncology center is a great place to start.

Pull those images into a calendar template. Then give a calendar to each of the survivors you photographed, and send an email out to your existing friends and clients, making the calendars available for sale. 

After you factor in the costs of printing, you can donate a percentage of proceeds to the charity of your choice!

2Survivor Photo Booth / Mini-Session at Local Events

Near my local market there is a large fashion show and gala that will be raising funds for cancer charities as a part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I approached the organizers and they LOVED the idea of me taking survivor photographs during the fashion show.

Here’s what you could do:

Reach out to the organizers of an existing fundraiser and introduce yourself as a local photographer with a passion for their cause. Offer to set up a photo booth or mini-session at their event! They already have people coming, so you get the added benefit of not needing to market to get people to show up.

In exchange for a $50 donation to the charity, you can quickly create a low res image for them of the face of a survivor.

Make the images consistent with your photography style. Or, you can use cute props like a pink super hero cape and pink boa. The end result is more donations for the cause, a great experience for you, and a chance to meet a ton of new people!

Free Marketing Training

Want to learn more about how to make marketing work for your business?

I’m hosting a free livestream training where we’ll delve into how to use strategies like these to get more photography clients….And I’ll answer your questions LIVE. Go here to grab your seat.

Cause Marketing for Photographers - 10 Ways to use Photography for Good

3. Host a Head shot Day

Everybody loves a head shot! Hold an event at your studio–or a partner location with a lot of foot traffic–and invite the community to come out to participate in a great cause!

For a $50 donation, each person receives a beautiful low-res professional image for social media! Their new profile photo will show that they support breast cancer research, and they’ll look great doing it!

4. Create a Commemorative Poster of Survivors

This is similar to the breast cancer survivor calendar idea, just in a different format. Work with your local cancer center, oncology doctors, Susan G. Komen Center, etc., and find survivors to connect with.

Take their photographs in creative ways that highlight their unique stories.

Create a commemorative collage poster.

Print a limited number, and sign each (1 of 200), (2 of 200), and so on.

Leverage doctors’ offices and charities to sell posters at existing local fundraising events. Then donate the proceeds–or percentage of the proceeds–to charity.Cause Marketing for Photographers - 10 Ways to use Photography for Good

5.  Host a ‘Pamper a Survivor’ Event

There is nothing like a day of pampering! Even better, when it is for breast cancer survivors.

Contact your favorite nail salon or Jamberry representative, make up store, bakery, hair salon (and whoever else you think would be a great fit). Host or have them host a “Pamper A Survivor” event.

Survivors are invited to come out for an evening of fun and luxury. Serve pink champagne, deserts while you provide head shots for all attendees.

Charge a small fee to attend and donate the fee to charity. Or if you have a media sponsor, you may not need to charge a fee at all.

You can offer a special Survivor Family package to attendees who book that evening while at the event.

6.  Create a Limited Edition “PINK Collection” for October

Choose a charity of your choice, and donate a percentage of the proceeds from your PINK Sessions to their efforts toward breast cancer research.

Offer sessions to your existing clients who haven’t been in lately, as well as make sure the charity the session benefits promotes to their donors.

You can get fun pink frames, backgrounds and props, and offer a limited number of sessions.Cause Marketing for Photographers - 10 Ways to use Photography for Good

7.  Donate a Percentage of Sales

A simple idea is to donate a percentage of all sessions booked during breast cancer awareness month to your favorite cancer charity, or to a charity of the client’s choosing.

Let the local breast cancer charities, oncologists and cancer centers know what you’re up to. This is a great way to allow your clients to participate in giving back and you’ll be known as a community leader in the fight against breast cancer.

8.  Create an art exhibit of survivor images

If you’re really ambitious and in a larger market, I love this idea.

Partner with a local art gallery and cancer charity to create an exhibit of survivor images you have photographed.

Local businesses and private clubs are also great places to host these .

Early in my photography business, I exhibited my children / family photography at a local dining club to get exposure for my work and it got my name out HUGE.

Charge for admission for the event with admission fees going to the charity.

9.  Set up a Photo booth at a Local Sporting Event

Contact your local sports team (or high school) and offer them the opportunity to partner with you and the charity of your choice. Invite a representative of that charity to join you and provide information to the participants.

Set up a Photo Booth or offer mini-sessions at the game. Set the price as a “recommended donation.”

Photograph cancer survivors for free and donate the funds you raise to a charity. Cause Marketing for Photographers - 10 Ways to use Photography for Good

10. Create a value-added incentive

Think Toms Shoes. Through their “One for One” approach, for every pair of shoes they sell, they give another pair to a person in need.

For every session booked in October, you’ll donate a session to a survivor’s family in need.

The charity who benefits will promote this to their donors and fans. You’ll also want to let local oncology offices know, too, as they may be your best paying clients.

You can also donate a percentage of the donor’s session fee to your chosen charity.

The oncologists and charities can help choose who gets free sessions or you can generate publicity around what you’re doing to get submissions from families who need your services and qualify for the free session.

Like these ideas? Want to make them work for you?

Cause Marketing for Photographers - 10 Ways to use Photography for Good

I’m hosting a free training where you’ll learn how to use strategies like the ones presented here to get more photography clients. Go here to grab your seat.

Now it’s your turn. What ideas have you used to help raise money for your local community?



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