The Coffee Date


10 Affordable Ways to Promote Your Photography Business

BusinessDiana TrinhComment
ten affordable ways to promote your photography business.png

Having a photography business that you can be proud of is what all of us aspiring creatives dream about, so how do you do it? Well, you need to find affordable ways to market your business so that you can start reaching for the stars.

To give you plenty of food for thought, take a look at these 10 ways to bring your business to the masses without breaking the bank. All you have to do is work your way through this 4-minute read, and then put everything into action. Enjoy!

  1. Lend your skills to a worthy cause

    Giving back is what life is all about, and as well as making you feel great, it will associate your brand with something people care about. It’s these types of associations that can really take your profile to new heights, so why not get out there and find something?

    You want to make it a cause that’s close to your heart so that you always find the time to get the project done. Don’t take on so much that you have no time for paid work, but pick a project that’s mainstream enough to send plenty of eyes your way. It’s an experience that will stay with you for years to come!

    Action Step: Take a sheet of paper and write down all projects you have been thinking about in recent years. Choose one project and build a strategic plan on how to bring it to the action. Schedule your week in a brand new way: decide when and where you will work on your project. Probably, you just need to start waking up one hour earlier to have enough time to complete your ongoing tasks.

2. Blog to share your knowledge

People don’t just want to see what you create. They want to get a feel for how you do it in the first place. Blogging is a great way to share your creative journey, so why not start your own blog today?

When you don’t know where to start, the easiest way to do is Googling 5 different well-established blogs. Should they be on any niche? It would be better that these blogs are from niches related to yours. On top of that, you should make sure that 2 of them are exactly from your niche. This is an excellent method to get exposed and show your audience your expertise.

Action Step: Once you have identified these blogs, analyze them carefully to get to see what they are talking about and what their audience wants. Once you have an idea on what would work on these blogs, you can brainstorm 10 titles and end your work for the day. Start the next day full of energy and write 500 words about your top favorite titles from the list you created.


3. Offer classes and demonstrations

When you want to get people interested in your exploits, the best way to do it is to show them they can follow in your creative footsteps. Create a weekly or monthly drop-in session at your studio and do as many demos in the city center as you can.

Action Step: When you developed your creative business, you know what needs of your target audience you are going to satisfy with your services. Thus, you can start promoting yourself by observing what is missing from the local offer in your area. You may then create flyers presenting your creative services, launch a digital ad campaign, send out emails etc.

4. Enter competitions that showcase your skills

Promoting your business isn’t just about teaching beginners — sometimes you’re going to want to show off your skills to the experts! If you enter a competition every couple of months, it’ll get you to fall in love with your art form all over again. Reminding yourself why you started out in the first place is the best way to ensure that any stress you experience from all your new orders doesn’t get the better of you.

Action Step: Surf the web to find information about online challenges, international contests, and national competitions. Participate in one or two competitions, which attract you the most. Also, make a point of publicizing your submissions in the local press, your shop window, and online. It’s the best advertising you’ll ever get!

5. Join a local meet-up or group for small businesses

If you want to promote your business, you’re going to need to start networking. It might sound like a dive into the world of corporate meetings and video conferencing, but it really doesn’t have to be like that!


It’s all about getting out there and introducing yourself to other local businesses. The chances are they will need your services at some point, or they’ll be able to send a few new clients your way. If you return the favor, you’ll quickly be able to build a connection and branch out. Sounds like just what you need!

Action Step: Once you have identified local businesses you want to cooperate with, you should contact their owners. You can reach them out via email, social networking sites, or by phone. In the digital age, you need just a few minutes to find contact details of local businesses online.

6. Maintain your social networks

Kickstarting your social media doesn’t have to be all that complicated. You just need to start posting relevant content that reflects who you are. Simple right?

Okay, so there is a little bit more to it than that, but not much more! It’s all about letting your personality shine through, and not being afraid to be different. By all means, look for inspiration online, but create your own message templates and clouds of hashtags. That way you’ll stand out from the crowd and catch the eye.

Action Step: Schedule your posts using programs like Buffer and HootSuite. Once you get up and running, start targeting relevant hashtags, find a filter style that connects with your brand. Follow influencers in your niche to learn how to write engaging captions and create catchy posts.

7. Overhaul your online portfolio to put your skills in the spotlight

You need to have a portfolio if you want to show the world what you can do, it’s as simple as that! Go back through your DropBox and pick out your 10 most recent projects. Think about how you can display each of them in a visually appealing way that will intrigue the reader. If you need more inspiration, browse your competition and see how they are attracting their audience. Once you have decided which are the best projects which talk about your skills and what your business can do for your target audience, you have two options. 

Action Step: You can either print them out and offer them to your potential clients. On the other hand, you can display them online in a portfolio and promote it via email. Either way you do it, it is very important to start today and use all your creativity to stand out from the competition.


8. Form strategic partnerships

As you connect with more and more businesses in the local community, there will be natural opportunities to create partnerships. If you find someone who can benefit your business as much as you can benefit theirs, then you’re really onto something. Agree your terms, be open and honest about what you can and can’t do, and they’ll be sure to do the same. Keep an open mind, and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that present themselves when you’re least expecting it. 

Action Step: Analyze the needs of your prospective partner. Craft your value proposition – clearly state what you can offer to satisfy your partner’s needs. Set the requirement – explain what you expect to get from your partner.

 9. Ask for testimonials

Asking for reviews and testimonials is a great way to get your name out there, and it’s not something that you should be afraid of doing. Some people will always leave a review, some people never will, and there are a lot of people in the middle. It’s this middle group that you want to target, and often all it takes is a gentle little nudge to get them to share their amazing experience with the world.

Don’t message people over and over again because all that will do is get you a reputation as a spammer. Be polite and friendly, and let your personality shine through. If you do that, it will make a bigger difference than you think. You’ve already done the hard work, so why not turn your customers into an incredible marketing team?

Action Step: If your customers don’t like to write reviews, try to motivate them. For instance, you may offer them to give feedback and receive 10% off their next purchase.

10. Turn your shop window into your business card

In the age of online shopping, there’s still a lot to be said for a stunning shop window. If you have physical premises, then make sure it acts like your business card night and day. Dress the window with your creative exploits so that the whole local community knows who you are, and what you have to offer.

Start by standing across the street and seeing if your business stands out. Next, make your display minimalist and intriguing so that it has that wow factor you need. And lastly, make sure your phone number and email address are clearly visible. That way people can contact you whenever they want. That’s how you turn your shop window into a business card!

Action Step: Decorate your shop window for holidays to help your community to get into the holiday spirit. It will allow you to attract more visitors and boost your sales. Keep your window shop design up to date. Replace decorative elements every six months to grab the attention of locals.

Author: Kristin Savage

Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She is practicing regularly while reviewing new translation services at Pick Writers and constantly contributing to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

3 Questions Which Will Help You Form Or Strengthen Your Brand Identity

BusinessDiana TrinhComment

Imagine your business is a machine. The nuts and bolts and screws are your daily tasks, the bits you and your employees need to do to keep the machine moving. The nuts and bolts are rarely seen, but without them your business is going to fail because quite simple there wouldn’t be a business.

What IS seen is the outer casing.  The beautiful or quirky casing that covers the nuts and bolts of your business operation. This casing is your branding. But how do you decide what it should look like? Are you going for modern or chic, or stripped down and industrial?  

There are a gazillion materials to choose from and even more shapes and colours.

This analogy clearly depicts the issues many business owners have when defining their brand identity. There’s so much choice.

Branding in today’s business world is so important, just think of Google & Apple, the worlds most valuable brands. We are visual beings and marketing is heading heavily towards a design intensive route.

If your brand could do with a little bit of sprucing or you are building it from the ground up, here are 3 questions which will help you.

1. Who are you serving and how are you serving them?

Wherever you put your energy it grows.  You’ve probably heard this saying before.  Well, if you start off in one direction you had better make sure it’s a direction you want to head in before you do.  Course correcting and changing half way through is one of the most common reasons for new business failure other than running out of money.

So getting clear on WHO you want to serve is the first step.  Who are your ideal customers? Who do you want to speak to on a weekly basis? Once you have a clear idea the next step is to define HOW you will serve them.  Find their biggest pain point which your product or service can solve.

When I founded Bluchic, I knew that I wanted to work with Girl Boss’s and Female Entrepreneurs who were business savy and creative.  I also identified that many of them were very creative but didn’t have the technical skills to develop their own website.

As a web designer, this is what I wanted to help them with.  To make it super, super easy for them to get a beautiful feminine website and take away the pain of needing to spend a huge amount of money hiring a web designer.

Get as specific as possible.  You want to paint a very clear picture of how your product or service is going to serve your ideal customer and take away their pain.

2. What is your single-minded proposition (SMP) and how can you convey this uniqueness to your customers?

A Single-Minded Proposition (SMP) is about defining your proposition in house so that you have a very clear picture of how you intend to serve your customers.  It doesn’t need to be a statement you go out with but something which sets the tone for all communication.

Ideally, your SMP highlights the one aspect which separates you from your potential competitors

Here are 3 steps to take to help you write your SMP:

1. Identify your product's most important features.
2. When you identify the important features, figure out each feature's benefits.
3. One of those feature/benefits will be the compelling reason to make a purchase.

Now form this all into one compelling statement.  Take a step back and be honest with yourself.  If you were to find your ideal customer in a cafe, walk up to them and give them your Single Minded Proposition would they want to work with you?

Once you have your SMP check back to this statement every time you put out a large piece of communication, does it align?

3. Is your tag-line results focused?

Your tag-line is a single sentence which you use to market your business and paint a vision of what your product or service can do for your customer.  

For example; Apple’s tagline is “Think Different”.  Absolutely nothing to do with the technology they produce. They focus on what the result of buying their products will do, and in the process they capture a market who are early adopters and rule breakers which is the reason they have people literally queuing round the corner when they release a new product.

Usually companies focus on the What they are delivering not on the results.

Let's take a look at some examples of each to help illustrate the difference.

Take your dining room to the next level with our ergonomically designed chairs.

See how our proprietary software can redefine the ways that your company conducts business.

Both of these statements are focused on what is being delivered. These are great SMPs, but they don’t tell the user how the product will improve their life or solve their pain.

Take a look at these two examples:

Changing your digital life one web page at a time.

Trust, growth and reliability: turning your house into a home.

In both of these statements, we can see much more of a "vision" than a proposition. The reason that these approaches can be so effective is that they cause the client (or potential client) to imagine the role of your product serving them in their life and then they wonder how they have ever done without it.

Guest Post : Kathie of Bluchic

Kathie is the founder of Bluchic and designs beautifully crafted feminine wordpress templates for creative entrepreneurs and business women.  For more information about branding and how to launch a website see Bluchic’s in depth guide. Follow on Twitter l Instagram l Facebook l Pinterest


The Perfect 4-Step Email Funnel to Sell Your Product

BusinessDiana TrinhComment

Very early on in the digital entrepreneur industry, it’s drilled into our heads, “build an email list.” In fact, many thought leaders in the entrepreneur space have built their empires off a successful email list.

So, it’s safe to say that you’ve probably got an email list if you’re reading this. It’s also safe to say that you might feel like you’re in a rut when it comes to connecting with that audience within your email list.

As a copywriter who specializes in email funnels and website content, it’s one of the more common conversations I have with my clients – how to write a good email funnel for your product.

In fact, for any entrepreneur – especially ones just starting out, it’s a big question. That’s why we’re going to demystify the perfect email funnel, right here, right now. Don’t worry about taking notes, there’s going to be a link to download all the templates discussed in this post. Including optimized titles! Click here to download the freebie and get started! 


Let’s jump in.

“How long should my emails be?”

Let’s leave this question right here at the beginning of this post. I’m sick of hearing people fixate over the length of their emails.

For one thing, you should use as much words as you need to get your point across, not some prescribed length that’s passed around in social circles.

However, one trend that I can assure you of, is that shorter emails work better when your prospects are just getting warmed up to your idea, and longer ones when they’re super interested in what you’re offering them.

My email funnel strategy reflects this ideology. Plus, it’s a short funnel of only four emails – so you have all the flexibility you need to either add them to your existing one, or use it as a standalone.

Cool, right?

Email 1: A Memorable Icebreaker

This email is basically a refresher course for all those who were already on your list, and an introduction to you for those who’ve joined your list specifically for the product that you’re launching.

Here’s what you’ll need to cover in this email:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • How long you’ve been doing what you do
  • An ideal that drives your brand’s mission and is in line with why you want to launch your product

The last point is actually quite important. It makes your audience feel like they can be a part of something much bigger that just putting money in your pocket, or enhancing their own lives. It can be something as simple as creating financial security for single mothers.

Choose something with resonance that you audience can link you with. You want them to think something like, “Oh, she’s the entrepreneur who wants to help single mothers by teaching them how to build great online businesses? Let me see what she has to say…” when they see your name come up in their inbox with the next email.

Email 2: Emotional Solutions

If you aced your first email, you’ll have a pretty good audience for your second one. Your second email is going to be all about what you can do for your audience, but look at it from the emotional perspective – we don’t get into financials and dollar figures in this email.

This email is dedicated completely to the emotional benefits of taking hold of your offer. Here’s what you need to include in this email:

  • Pain points (that you’ve researched!) of your audience
  • A personal experience handling this pain-point
  • The emotional benefits of the solution that you have

An age old way to get response from your audience in the copywriting circle involves appealing to their emotions.

People are only interested in things that make them feel good. It’s your job in this email to highlight the aspects of your product that do just that.

Email 3: Social Proof

This is the email where you kick everything into high gear and bring out all the stops. You really dive into the core components of your offer and all the convincing, analytical stuff you had probably written down while brainstorming your idea.

This is where you get the chance to toot your own horn. Here’s what you need to talk about in this email:

  • Educate them about your offer
  • Bring out all the analytics like stats and figures
  • Social proof to prove that you’re the shiznayee

This email is normally the longest of the bunch. It’s at that place in the funnel where your audience will be interested in what you’re saying, so you can write a longer email than at the beginning. Include a one liner at the bottom of your email with a link to purchase.

Email 4: Wrap it up

This is the last email in the funnel, so here is where you’d include any bonuses you’re offering with your package. The key to this email is making it like a personal invitation (not a plea!) to get your audience to buy your product, or sign up for your course.

In this email, you HAVE to include:

  • A personalized message that speaks directly to your audience and connects with them
  • Any bonus offers you have included in your sale
  • A minimum of two links to purchase, artfully placed within your email

As the final email in this funnel, it’s important to end on a good note. A positive closing line with the inference of the reader purchasing your product is great, not a negative one highlighting what will happen if they don’t.

And, there you have it! A simple 4-email funnel perfect for selling your product. No more stumbling over what to write. As promised, here’s the link to download your free email funnel templates!

All set? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear your results with this funnel. I hope I’ve made your life as an entrepreneur that much simpler.

Guest post by Devonnie Garvey 

Devonnie Garvey is a copywriter for entrepreneurs at who want to attract with their ideal clients and connect with their audience in new and creative ways. She also runs a blog, The Femme Agenda, which is dedicated to helping young women start, build and sustain successful online businesses. Send her an email, or follow her on twitter.

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