I’m a photographer based in Houston, TX that specializes in sophisticated wedding and high school senior photography.
Yep… I said it. As If learning your way around a camera and posing your clients wasn’t hard enough already, there’s that whole elephant in the room of “how do I ask people to actually PAY ME MONEY to do this?”
Sometimes, it even makes us want to quit.
When Reed asked me to be a part of his Summer Education Series, picking a message was EASY: Despite the many challenges we face with our photography businesses, THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU, PHOTOGRAPHER! I fully believe it’s possible to get to a place where you understand the value of your work, talk about pricing with clients confidently, and even have them respond with an enthusiastic “YES! WE’RE IN!”
I believe giveaways can be a strategic piece of the puzzle. Whether you’re just starting out on your photography journey, or looking to grow your business to new heights, a strategically run giveaway can help you expand your audience, reaffirm the value of your work, and even bring in hundreds and thousands of dollars in revenue for your business.
If you’ve been living under a social media rock, and are not familiar with what a giveaway is in the social media age, it’s an invitation to your audience to engage with your business (often via liking a post, tagging a few friends, and following your photography account), with a random entrant being selected at the end of the giveaway period.
The problem is, most giveaways are executed so poorly, and even lazily, that a lot of them are total flops, and precious few ever translate into increased revenue in your business, leading many photographers to write them off as useless after a failed attempt or two.
Let me remind you, friend: THERE’S HOPE FOR YOU! I’ve cracked the code on running Profitable Giveaways, and that’s why I believe they’re the hidden gem most photographers are overlooking in your photography business! Here are three reasons why:
I’m not talking about picking up a few random new followers that will never engage with you on social… I’m talking about reaching the kind of people you want to work with! Do you want to photograph more families? Seniors? Friend Groups? A strategically executed giveaway will increase your reach into your preferred new audience. One year ago, as I was about to release The Flash Course (my first attempt at online education), I ran into a problem: very few of my Instagram followers were photographers. They were all the college students who book us for their college senior photos! I needed to reach a new audience – photographers – so I ran a giveaway for a seat in the course. Since that time, my overall Instagram following has grown by 50%, with over 80% of those new followers being photographers!
If you’ve ever struggled to talk about your pricing, because you’re afraid the whole world will run away, screaming “TOO! MUCH! MONEY!” then this benefit of giveaways will rock your world! A great question to ask, when evaluating your giveaway, is “will the people entering walk away with a better understanding of what my services are worth?” When I run profitable giveaways, I have multiple contact points that allow our audience to understand the value of what I’m giving away… and what I’m not giving away. Both are important, and the more I’m constantly putting out my pricing and establishing my value through giveaways, the more people grow in awareness of what it takes to shoot with me. Talking out loud (verbally, or on social media) about your pricing can help to normalize the value of your work in the eyes of your audience.
Wait… what? Isn’t a giveaway supposed to be FREE? Is it even LEGAL to make money on a giveaway? YES, a giveaway IS free. And NO, it’s NOT legal to make people pay to ENTER your giveaway (that makes it a lottery, and will get you in trouble quick!) So what the heck do I mean when I say that giveaways can generate money? Simple: Giveaways create two things: connections and opportunities. When you prepare your giveaway strategically, it will lead to strategic connections to a new audience. What are you doing with those connections you’re making? Each of them are opportunities to think beyond the scope of the giveaway itself, and build lasting client relationships with people who value your work enough to pay for it!
When I was first starting out, the girl that won our first giveaway, unbeknownst to me, was in a huge sorority at her school. She wanted to do a shoot with her 5 best friends with the session time she’d won with me. Afterward, they bought $800 worth of photos, and went back to their next chapter meeting and told their entire sorority to follow me because they had so much fun! I can track nearly $100,000 back to that one giveaway, and the opportunities I leveraged with the connections I made!
Giveaways are a powerful, hidden gem for photography businesses. They can strategically expand your audience, establish the value of your photography services, and generate money for your business!
How are you leveraging giveaways in YOUR business?
If the answer is anything less than “I have a strategic plan in place that helps me accomplish these goals, I’d love to invite you to check out my brand new Profitable Giveaways Mini Course. Inside, I’ll give you the step-by-step Playbook I use to generate $100s, and even $1000s of dollars on every giveaway in my business! We’re running a Launch Week special of more than 50% off the course through July 6… And, as one of Reed’s faithful readers, you can use promo code REEDROCKS to an ADDITIONAL 10% OFF THE LAUNCH PRICE! (Because let’s be real… Reed Gallagher DOES in fact rock for loading you guys up with an entire summer of free education on his blog!)
Thanks for letting me share a few of my lessons learned about profitable giveaways with you today! If you’d like to learn more, here’s a few ways to stay in touch:
Get My Free Giveaway Checklist: www.square8studio.com/checklist
Square 8 Studio Education: www.square8studio.com/education
Let’s Be Friends on Instagram: www.instagram.com/square8studio
Reed Gallagher is a Houston photographer for the elegant bride + chic senior, an educator for the driven photographer, and queso obsessed biz owner.