Can doing little and often really work when marketing your business?
The theory (Metaphor) goes…
…that the gentle flap of a Butterfly’s wings on one side of the planet could greatly affect the weather conditions on the other side.
This is caused by the romantic thought that the small disturbance in the air pressure would, over time and coupled with the chaotic nature of the atmosphere, grow and become amplified to become something so huge it could prevent a tornado.
There has even been a film made relating to this (A Sound of Thunder – 2005) whereby a group of time travellers go back to hunt dinosaurs.
One person steps on and kills a Butterfly which dramatically alters evolution over millions of years causing untold havoc to the human race in the present.
Note: The flap of a butterfly’s wings cannot start a tornado anywhere on earth, this is a metaphor for the principle. Here is a great video by Thoughty2 explaining more on this:
Think about this in terms of a simple word or answer
How would saying “no” to something change your or someone’s life over time as opposed to saying “yes”.
- Will you marry me? Yes…your child may become president. No…someone else becomes president.
- Shall we move abroad?
- Will you drive tonight?
- Are you coming to the beach with us?
Think about the how effect of doing or not doing something could affect many lives.
Have you ever refused to go out for the day with your family for example and done something else where perhaps you met someone who offered you a job or something else happened that slightly altered the way you think or live your life?
That opportunity would never have happened if you had gone out for the day…what repercussions could that have? Even a simple smile to someone can have a huge affect on them!
Think about this in marketing terms
Successful marketing is the result of many of these seemingly “trivial” events in action.
Let’s say you place an ad in the local paper and someone makes a note of your number but doesn’t call for 6 months. Then when someone they know gets married, they give them your number and you shoot their wedding. At their wedding is a guest that runs an ad agency that is so impressed by your work, he offers you a contract…and so on.
If you hadn’t placed that ad that seemingly didn’t work at the time…this would never have happened.
A wedding planner in Spain once asked me to meet a guy who was a bit strange but was offering local photographers the chance to go into his new brochure for brides. All he wanted was a load of high resolution photos to use for the brochure.
I nearly said no but then thought “I have nothing to lose” so I met him. I didn’t particularly like him that much and his business proposition seemed a little biased towards his sole benefit but I accepted nonetheless.
I got nothing in return from him for a long time (and nothing since) but then a bride who had been working with this guy who was also upset with him (the words “pi** up” and “brewery” were banded about), asked me if I was available in August the following year to shoot her wedding direct and not through him, I was…it was in Italy.
Not only did I spend an amazing 5 days in the Savoy Hotel and a wonderful Tuscan Villa in Florence getting paid to do what I love, but they hired a famous UK singer for their Friday night’s entertainment and for the main event on Saturday, had Girls Aloud flown out for the reception party…who also came for a drink afterwards.
The images I got from that wedding have no doubt secured me many more jobs so imagine if I had said “no” to that initial meeting way back in the beginning!
Think about the answer you give in the future…no job should be too small.
Viral Butterfly Marketing
I always, every day, do something that I know will have some effect on my business no matter how small and all due to the phenomenon of butterfly marketing.
I may make a comment on a blog and leave my signature there. I may build a new page on my website and do a blog entry for it. I may visit a local supplier. I may write a short article for a bridal magazine.
Whatever I do, I never know what long term effect that will have on my business but one thing I do know, it may have a HUGE impact somewhere down the line that would not have happened had I not done it.
A big thing I learned in sales is not to wait for a yes or no from a client
I have seen people so confident that they will get that big sale or job after a successful meeting or someone who is sure they will get the job after a promising interview that they “rest on their laurels” and wait for that positive response.
It doesn’t come and they have wasted maybe two weeks of their life!
I used to train people in property sales in Spain for a while and was pretty successful myself. I always taught the salespeople not to listen to the “be backs”, these are people that are so very interested and will “be back” to buy at some point during the week.
Forget them and move onto the next thing
For the person going for a job interview…don’t rely on one job prospect, go for 10…or 20 even because one is bound to “stick” and even if the original job you went for is yours for the taking, there may be a better offer on the table from one of the other interviews.
With your photography business, think about all the small, seemingly insignificant things you could do to promote yourself that may have a huge impact later on. You see, you don’t have to organise and pay for one massive marketing or advertising campaign to get anywhere.
Many small, regular actions that are positive and well thought out can have a much bigger effect on your business that a $1000 ad campaign:
- Write an article at one of the sites mentioned earlier or even for websites like All Things Photography
- Help others on the forums
- Visit some suppliers
- Update your website, blog or social media sites
- Create and test a new Google ad
- Think of a new promotion and promote it!
- Do some research online
- Read, study, learn new techniques and practice them
- Learn to take stock photos
- Take and upload a few stock images every day/week
- Visit some events and shoot some photos for practice
- Optimise your website some more each day, create more links in
You see, when you start to think about it, there are so many little things to do that most people put off because there are more important things to do…are they really more important now?
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