I began my photography career, over twenty-five years ago, at a local weekly newspaper. What the team at this newspaper did for me actually kicked off my marketing career.
The position I held at the newspaper was a part-time staff darkroom tech and photographer. I only worked a few days a week. This gave me time for school and freelance opportunities. So, one day I asked what it would cost to place an ad in the classified section of the newspaper. The manager said you’re apart of the team. Just let us know what you want, no charge.
This free ad gave me the opportunity to experiment. I tried all types of advertising ideas. The first ad contained a long list of photography jobs I was willing to do, such as weddings, portraits and family events. Some ads explained my philosophy or made bold statements about my prices. Once, I placed an ad for portraits at $1000 each. It didn’t go anywhere.
Eventually, I decided to create a very simple ad. It was my name, photographer and phone number. It’s the ad you see above. You can tell it was a long time ago because there is no area code next to the phone number. The production team put my name in lights and emphasized the word photographer. It worked like a charm.
I kept the ad running for years. My phone rang almost every week with new opportunities.
That ad was my first real world lesson in marketing. I have continued my experiments in marketing and media through the years. I still experiment daily with new advertising and marketing concepts. Yet, after all these years, I regularly come to the same conclusion.
Keep it simple.