Spend a Little and Make a Big Splash | Small Business Marketing Ideas

spend a little and make a big splash


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

This week I was surprised. In a good way.

I received two thoughtful gifts from people I have done business with in the past.

The gifts were inexpensive. One was handmade and inspirational. The other was personal – tapping into a passion of mine showing how well the gift giver knew me.

While each gift was different, their effect was the same. I was flooded with memories of the positive experience I had when I worked with each of the gift givers.

In seconds, they put the gift givers back on my radar. I immediately started thinking about what opportunities I have coming up that I could work with them again. And in the next few days, I had the opportunity to refer one of the gift givers to a new client for her because she was back on my radar.

While the gifts were each great – they weren’t what makes me want to do business with the gift givers again. The gift simply jogged my memory of how great each woman is at what she does and how much I enjoy working with each of them.

How can you transport your clients back to that experience without spending a lot of your marketing budget on elaborate gifts? It’s not by posting your images on Facebook, sending an expensive food basket or firing off an email asking what they are up to. Those methods don’t have the same effect that tapping into the positive experience they had with you when they did business with you. You want to do something that evokes an emotion but at the same time has a perceived value associated with it. Something that says you went to a special effort and were thinking of them when you put it together.

Last month, we started using a new tool to help us get referrals at Sarah Petty Photography, Sticky Albums. Not only is it very affordable, but it gives us a reason to reach back out to some of our best clients – those who visited us 6 months or more ago – who we not only want to come back in this year, but who we loved and want to send us referrals.

Rather than just send an email with a link to the album, we wanted to
amp up the perceived value of the gift in the presentation. These are our images and we want them to be cherished, even in digital format. So what did was send a handwritten note with a small box. In the box, we had a custom designed card printed telling them where to go to get their gift, the Sticky Album we made of their session.

By putting together a way for the client to share the memories (and images) of their session with their friends and family, we made it easier for them to refer us.

We put together a little album of inspirational quotes for you to see how a Sticky Album works. You can download it here and put it on your phone to flip through whenever you need a boost. It’s filled with some of our favorite sayings that lift us up. What are creative ways you are gifting your clients? What time of the year do you do it?


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