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Make Money Selling Stock Photos

easy tips on selling micro stock photography

Stock Photography Community

Selling to Your Niche, Part 6 - Contacting Your Leads Database

Saturday, April 11, 2009

How did your leads database turn out? You should have at least 10 to 20 possible contacts to start with. A normal success rate when you are cold calling leads is between 1 to 3 percent. So you need to have enough of a database in order to make your marketing approach successful. Of course as your stock photography business grows, so will your data base of leads.

Now that you know the importance of gathering leads, possibilities will jump out at you throughout the day. Here's a trick I use to always capture a contact when I stumble upon one - place a shortcut for your spreadsheet folder on your desktop. Whenever I find a good lead, I immediately stop what I'm doing, click on my spreadsheet (from my desktop) and enter the info. Easy! Before you know it, your data base will fill up quickly.

What do you do now that you have leads? This is probably the most difficult part of the process, but it can also be the most fun if you enjoy networking! As a marketing professional (that's my job in the real world!) I have two philosophies:
1. the best presentation always wins
2. allow the lead to "discover" you

This means: make your marketing approach look good and let the lead come to you. Whatever technique you use to contact your lead, it needs to be professional and polished. No misspelled words, incorrect grammar, or sloppy appearance. Plus it's always better not to spam your lead, but give them the opportunity to find you. Are you confused? It's pretty simple - figure out some way to present your photography so you're leads can find you on their own - and do it well.

Here are some of my suggestions for allowing leads to "discover" you:
- Twitter: I love this form of social media. Set up a nice looking Twitter page than search for your leads on Twitter. If you find a few, "follow" them. Chances are they will reciprocate the "follow". Then all you have to do is tweet about your latest images to let them know what you're doing. Soon other leads will locate you on their own through searching Twitter. Before you know it, you'll have a growing network. I just began Twitter about 10 days ago and have made several good connections. (Follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/LaRoach).

- Facebook: I have not used this approach yet, but I'm suggesting it here as Facebook is extremely popular and you have a good chance of connecting with leads.

- Linkedin: I do use Linkedin for my day job and find it's a great place to make business connections and communicate with other professionals.

- MySpace: I also use MySpace for marketing in the corporate world. It's easy to create a professional profile and find leads that you then invite to be "friends". As with Twitter, MySpace is the perfect social media vehicle for people to find you through their own searches. This offers the opportunity to broaden your exposure simply by being present and participating on a social network.

- Personal Blog: Build a strong blog that represents your photography and use the URL in your email signature. If you email a lead, chances are very good that they will click on your signature links because they are curious. Why a blog? Unlike a website (onless you are very good at webdesign and persistant at updating) you can constantly add your latest images and appeal to specific niches through ongoing blog entries.

- Personal Email: never ever spam a lead or send an email to multiple addresses! Spamming is an unsolicited email trying to sell goods or services. This can get you in big trouble. But there's nothing wrong with visiting a site or blog owned by a lead and writing them a friendly email commenting on their service or asking a professional question. Of course, always include a link to either your website, blog or stock agency page in your signature so they can "discover" you. Another interesting approach might be to write a free white paper on how to purchase and use microstock photography in business. Post this to your website and add the link to your signature. You must be clever when sending personal emails to leads. If you are too pushy it can have a negative effect and drive leads away.

- Old Fashioned Snail Mail: yes, some people still use snail mail and this may be the best way to connect with your leads. You can create and print a simple postcard featuring your microstock photography for pennies. There are numerous online printing services that are very easy and efficient to use. I suggest UPrinting.com where you can get 500 full color 4x6 postcards for only $53! That's a pretty cheap marketing investment.

I've presented just a few techniques that you can employ when developing a leads network for selling microstock images. Let me know if you have other suggestions.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

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posted by La Roach, 5:18 PM AddThis Social Bookmark Button AddThis Feed Button


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