Jules Bianchi & Joy Bianchi Brown – Photography Marketing

Today I am going to continue some of our WPPI speaker coverage and review a marketing talk from Jules Bianchi & Joy Bianchi Brown. The title of their program was “How to be a Rockstar in your Own Backyard” and while I really don’t like the word Rockstar in the industry (totally separate topic about keeping it real). I know that these 2 photographers are passionate about what they do and totally real so wanted to check out some of their marketing ideas. Overall it was a great talk about how to connect with people and I think we can all learn a few things here. They are also sisters and just have a super fun and funny energy, if you haven’t seen them speak before definitely check them out sometime!

First here is the WPPI presentation description:
Jules Bianchi and Joy Bianchi Brown will speak about developing win-win creative marketing events with local businesses to raise awareness in your community about who you are, and what you have to offer. They will cover marketing, sales, pre-visualization and the important stuff in-between. Learn how to effectively understand your clients’ needs and deliver products and services that your clients can’t live without. They will share some fun, innovative ways to market to clients that will translate to the bottom line of your business—new clients.

Their talk really gave some key points about marketing that is all focused on relationships and building community. Here are some of the highlights from the talk.

Connecting with your community. They really believe that connecting with your community is key. When they setup their current studio in Oakland they wanted to connect with the community and other business owners. They setup a open house party, but not just a normal party it has to have an action to get people in the door. They had prizes and also facebook profile pics taken for free. They see so many people out there with bad facebook photos they wanted to grab a quick profile photo for anyone at the party. It was a simple setup and fun and helped them connect on facebook. Even the RSVP for the party was social, it was mailed out and pointed back to their facebook page for people to register online.

The goal of the party was to get to know people in the community and connect. Building real relationships are key. They gave away prize packs that also had involvement from surrounding businesses. For example a local winery brought the wine for the evening, it was good for him to get his wine label out there in front of new people and good for them since they had the wine sponsored and didn’t need to buy wine. These types of relationships can be really good for both parties involved.

Charitable works
Another great way to get their name out. Take part in giving back to the community any way that you can!

Quality Unique Products
Another key part of marketing is to create quality products that you cant get anywhere else. To become a botuque portrait studio you have to offer unique products.
I think this is so true and have seen this a lot with my own studio. I constantly see what types of new wedding albums I can offer or things that are just totally different. It helps to set you apart from the crowd and is a great way to get known for being unique.

The deaded S word for many of you. I know many of us struggle with sales, we want to focus more on the art and not the sales but the honest fact is if you don’t learn to sell well you won’t have enough business coming in to keep you going and won’t have anything to shoot.

One quote I thought was right on was “This is the part that makes you a business and not a hobby.”
Start with a pre consultation & Start with the end in mind. We have to be upfront with our clients and also set the expectations on what the end product is going to be.
Set the scene – Set the expectations – They are coming to us for a reason to buy photography. We need to educate them from the start on what that really means and what they can get out of it.

Shoot with the end in mind. As you are talking with your clients during the first consultation make sure to take notes and incorporate things with meaning into their shoot. The more personal the shoot is the more likely they are to buy more of the work.

The sales process
Make sure all decision makers are at the meeting, it’s key to have everyone there at that time so everything can be decided upon.
Also make sure they know of any special pricing or bonuses before hand.
Keep things simple and offer incentives to upgrade, have some of those cool unique products you have available for people when they hit a certain $ target in the purchase.
Close the deal and make them sign that night. Always important to close the night of viewing the images.
Close your mouth. State the price and don’t talk them out of it. Close your mouth and let them talk.

Overall an awesome talk packed with tons of great marketing ideas and just some really great energy! Great job Jules and Joy, one day i’ll have to stop on by and check the studio out!

They are both on Twitter and pretty active, you can follow them here: Jules & Joy

What do you think about marketing through building up your community? Have any marketing questions or things you are struggling with? Ask a question in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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1 Comment

  1. Great tips here. Just to add to this article, there are so many low cost and effective marketing methods for photographers to promote themselves.

    Having a blog is a great start, especially if you can blog about local events and include your best photos. I would also include having a website and setting up your profiles on google places and yelp.

    Here’s another article that discusses low cost and effective methods of marketing your photography business.

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