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  July 31, 2009

Marketing a “snap” for photographers with USB flash drive

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Even if you’re the most talented photographer in the world, you know that it is always an uphill battle to get your name out there. Sure, you get repeat business and even a referral now and again. That’s the lifeblood of most photographers.

But what if you could find a way to make every single contact with a prospect a chance to market your business?
A USB flash drive is the perfect tool. With it, you can get your name out in front of everyone you come across and here’s how to do it.
Capturing an event is an art. Sure, anyone can take a picture. But few have the knowledge, expertise and artistry to create a memory that communicates a moment in time. Whether you shoot weddings, sports events, corporate gigs, family reunions or high school portraits, these moments are meant to be shared.

That’s where the marketing kicks in. Imagine being able to share these photos with everyone that wants them, all in a neat little package that lets others enjoy your photography while leading to new opportunities for work.
By using a USB flash drive, you can put your images to work for you. First, you get promotional drives that have your logo on it, along with your contact information, whether it’s a web address, phone number, email address – whatever.

Then you load all the finished, edited images onto the drive. This can then be given away to attendees or sold as a keepsake of the day. This is particularly effective at reunions, corporate parties, awards banquets, graduations and weddings. Just be sure that you cover this option in your discussions with the client so they can give you their permission to use the photos in your marketing.

Of course, a bunch of photos on a flash drive isn’t exactly a great sales tool. You’ll want to dress it up some. If your client will let you include a folder of photos others can print out and use (say, the wedding party gets a full set of the photos the bride and groom usually get), that’s cool. There’s plenty of space on a promotional USB flash drive for the photos.
But you’ll also want to include a marketing message. This is what appears when the recipient first opens the drive. After loading, a slide show appears with all the photos. At the beginning and end is your contact information, so they will think of you when they plan their next event and need to hire a photographer.

Depending on your skill level you can also add a nice sound track, have the photos dissolve into one another, integrate a link to your website or allow recipients to order a high quality copy of the image for proper display (obviously, you want the images on the flash drive to be lower quality, since your photography is how you make money).

This is not only a great marketing tool, but can create additional revenue streams. Lots of people will want a nice print of the image on archival paper or matte or linen paper stock. Being able to order from the flash drive is a great sales tool.

The great thing about the USB flash drive is that it offers far more storage space than a CD, is extremely easy to ship since it is so small, and the recipient can use it on their end to transfer data or store important files. This makes it a win-win for both you and your clients.