How can I best market an 'on the go' business?
My photography business is based out of an RV with no fixed address. Using web-based and mobile marketing, what would be the best way to build an effective client base and an outstanding reputation?
Reviews are everything for online businesses and "on the go" as you put it. Reach out to past customers to write you reviews and be specific on what you want them to write. Most customers are happy to help.
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I think your lifestyle is a strong brand, blog about your journeys, do photo diaries of the places you visit, contribute with some free content to projects and resource hubs like unsplash.com. From your short paragraph about your business I was immediatly drawn to your lifestyle, I think you can build on that. I remember reading Araki refering to life/time/lifestyle as "a photo a day", that really got me at the time, I can sense something similar about your brand(you).
PS - A virtual office can be a good way to handle your mail, but consider the distance from your usual location as a factor, as you will need to pick your mail, you might want to ask a friend/family to help you out with redirection. Hit me back if you need a website or any help with SEO/Branding, maybe we can collaborate.
First thing. Look into company like Signarama to create wrapper ad for your RV. There technology allows them to create a decal aid to overlay your RV. Can be done in there store. Second go to www.apptopia.com to purchase possible apps for your business and hire a good software friend to tweak it for you. Next look at the top 10 eCommerice tools and pick one! You can set it up or they can or your software friend can. Good luck. But the world has the tools to meet your needs.
As far as the marketing and check receipt issues, I agree with everyone else. If you must have an actual address (for legal and other official business), ask a friend or family member if they will let you use their address or have them manage a near-them PO box on your behalf. Things like jury duty notices, subpoenas, tax notices, etc. are not usually sent in any other way than snail mail.
Otherwise, I suggest using something like MyFax, which sends faxes to email. Let (potential) customers know that faxes and emails (and phone calls?) are the best ways to reach you, due to the nature of your business.
Best of luck!
Client testimonials are always good for reputation building, but I would also reccomend some visible form of consistant communiction. Consider a simple weekly update to discuss where you are and any exciting projects you have lined up; this can help you appear more 'reachable'. Also, be sure to create some form of mailing list to help build your potential client base. If you are always on the go, you can incentivise people to by offering a monthly or even bi-monthly update of your location. There are many free list building tools out there; I often recomend MailChimp to small businesses that are starting their list. Hope that info helps!
Happy marketing- Rebecca
If possible for your business model, consider including a "locals discount" in your email for people who are near your current location. An offer like that for a business on-the-go can help give people the incentive they need to sign up sooner rather than later. ( Be careful not to use that too often - you don't want to be the "boy-who-cried-coupon"! )
You would need to classify by the general area that you serve and then geotag them by city.
Reviews are everything and you will need a good strategy for posting images you have taken.
I have never put my home address on anything and generally work onsite with clients so do not have a regular home office. I have found my website and facebook page handy for marketing.
You've gotten a bunch of great suggestions. I'd add that when you put your web address anywhere that isn't already electronic, that you include a QR code of the url. Then people can get to your web page by using their phone camera. I'd include a QR code sticker on the vehicle for instance.
I would make sure you get a lot of testimonials to go with your photos. Happy clients will be a way to separate yourself. Remember that you are marketing you then your talent.
Hi Robert. In my experience, most people have little or no interest in a physical address for people who operate both internet or mobile business. However, I do think it is helpful to have a "trail" that people can follow to gain some level of comfort in your credibility.
Having a vlog or blog for example can be a great way for you to share your information while you are on the go and use that as a "reference" for people who want to know more about how you are able to deliver a solution for their photographic needs. It is also a great way to show your work to people.
Given that you are on the go, short videos featuring your photo shoots posted to a YT channel for example could trigger some interest and let people know when you are in their area. I bet you probably could create some awesome content since you likely find yourself in some very interesting places!
Off course using social media, Facebook Ads in particular, lets you do some laser targeting with web and mobile based marketing, based on where you are at any given moment.
Make good pics and put them on the web ,that is the best strategy
Hi Robert, first of all, it really doesn't matter what your based out of, whether it's an RV or your garage. The question is, Are you mobile or do you travel around the country in your RV or just in your area? Why I ask this? What kind of clients do you want to attract? So if you want to attract high end clients instead of just "no offense" photos of family, then social media would be the way to go, because you can attract people from around the country/globe that way. Now if you are "mobile" or just traveling local then marketing/promotional products to brand your company by placing your logo on different items so that people can start recognizing you by your logo and what you stand for. Kind of like Nike, Apple, etc. Please visit my website: ioshouston.com
I'm don't consider myself an expert on this, but this is just my thoughts. Good luck!
In your business, testimonials and examples are going to be your most effective tools for building interest.
Fortunately, you probably work with clients who use digital media themselves - and who are happy to share the beautiful pictures you've taken. These folks are your ground zero for effective, inexpensive marketing: encourage them to share their photos in social media by uploading a selection of their best shots to an online album and providing them with a share link. You'll want to keep this album within your own website, so that anyone who clicks, say, from your client's Facebook post to their album will in fact be visiting your website, and hopefully then checking you out!
You should also think about offering an incentive for people to recommend their friends to you. Incentives work best when both the recommendER and the recommendEE get something out of it. E.g., if I recommend you to a friend using XX promo code, I'll get 2 free digital images from our recent photo session, and my friend will get 10% off their shoot. Encourage your clients to share these promotions via their social accounts as well.
Interesting challenge. Obviously social media such as instagram and pinterest can be helpful, but having a portfolio you can show target clients on your website an in person could also help. One concern you might face is the concern of whether or not you will be around when they need you for future projects...how do you address that concern?
I Robert, I'm new on mosaicHUB,
Nice question your one, ...watching web-mobile+app trends, it seems people are still adopting the same "hunting" tactics of 10.000 yrs ago, only with different tools :-), ...we can choose among million of tools, but probably the most effective and correct way continues to be perseverance, don't you?
Make sure you develop a mission statement, vision statement with an easy tagline...And always a way to reach you personally...
I didn't read any of the responses, so I apologize if someone suggested this already.
I think something fun would be to use a Where's Waldo type of theme on Social Media. Instead of Waldo- "Where's Robert"? Take pictures of the places you are at (or going to be) and have people guess where you are (or going to be). It'd be a fun way to announce your location without sounding spammy: like "I'm over here - come visit me!".
I think you'll also get some pretty good interaction this way.
I think someone already mentioned using your social, but I would recommend when you're not doing a job, take pics of the awesome things that represent the city you're currently in. Create a Facebook album of each city and promote the album via your other social channels. Maybe write a blog about each city. This is all really good content that will get picked up by search engines as well as people that might want to live vicariously through your travels.
While on the go, take time to meet random people and shoot pics of them. Include these in your albums. Always give out business cards that tell the people where they can see their photos. Watermark the photos. What will happen is people will start using them as their social profile pics and people will see your watermark. You get enough people doing that, then people recognize your brand. That's branding 101.
Also put a subset of these photos on your website and push people to the full album on Facebook. It's important to keep the full album on FB so you get the social interaction.
Another thing you can do to create a base-line revenue stream is submit your photos to stock sites such as iStock. I don't think you make a ton of money from it, but it's a way to monetize some of the photos you shoot while not on a job.
Also, don't be afraid to create a YouTube channel and do small videos of the places you are and maybe include a photography tip in each one. Or perhaps talk about shooting a specific scenario you came across in a particular city and/or job. You want to help as many people as possible.
And I love the vehicle wrap idea someone mentioned already. Good suggestion.
Hope some of these ideas help you out!
Think other people had added some valuable information but they haven't quite answered your question.
First have a facebook page, google plus page and forusquare page/locations.
As you go city to city you can tag the city and location you are in. This can be powerful especially using fourquared.
In addition to that if you have an advertising budget to can target people based of the location you are in, and get more cliets that.
e.g. For this week only get 20% a photo package. offer expires once you leave that city or town. (this ad is only shown to people in specfic city or town)
If you need a more infromation on how to set this up just meaage me and we can talk.