Chain-Reaction Marketing for Photographers with Ben Hartley

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Do you find yourself constantly trying to stay up with the latest marketing trends in hopes that it will help skyrocket your business? Always searching for the latest tactic that will bring in more clients? We’ve all been there and done that. Today, Ben Hartley talks to us about chain reaction marketing and why sound, sustainable practices to running a business long term might be more beneficial than those short term tactics. 

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What is "Chain Reaction Marketing"?

Have you been posting on social media, digging into SEO, blogging, networking and doing every other marketing tactic under the sun, but not seeing the results you hoped for?

Well… the good news is, you probably have all the right pieces in place. All you need to do is figure out how to link those pieces together into a cohesive, intentional way. 

And that’s where “Chain Reaction Marketing” comes in.

Wondering what that means? Keep reading…

“Your blogging could, at the same time, build your social media which could also build your local networking which should also build your SEO, which could also build your vendor word of mouth…” [3:10]

Ben tells us about his first bridal show where he thought he would be booking handfuls of clients from the show, when in reality it was crickets afterward. Years later he was gifted a booth at a bridal show and he was determined to think about it differently this time. Instead of going in and selling his photography services, he thought about how he could make connections with other vendors and how he could collect emails so that those potential clients would then go through his nurture email sequence. 

“I just had all the florist’s florals [at his booth]. And I had the stager’s couch and their fancy stuff. And I handed out their material any time somebody complimented it. At their booths, they had photographs of my pictures of their artwork represented.

After that show, we brought in over $70,000 in sales, just from that show.

And I asked myself, what was the difference? The difference was in the linking, it was in the chain reaction marketing that was going on.”

Are You Building a Business, or a Job?

Ben walks us through key questions that you need to be asking yourself so you don’t get stuck living this life that becomes a prison cell for the life you say you want. 

“I’ve seen all too often. Photographers build a business that becomes a prison wall for the life that they say they want. Like a wall, keeping them out of the life that they say they want. Right. Because we’re just on the hamster wheel and we’re building, we’re building, we’re putting out fires and eventually we get this thing going and it’s cooking. We got clients out the door and we have money coming in, but we look at our life and we’re trapped thinking, ‘but this isn’t what I said I wanted.’” [16:48]

Key Takeaways

Questions to Consider:

  1. How can this marketing effort move my business closer to the vision that I have for myself?
  2. What is the business that you want?
  3. How could you begin to introduce this new offering or this new service into your business? 
  4. Who can you partner with? Think about those relationships!

Ben and Chris discuss how important relationships are and how the opportunities that you want the most are only a relationship away. 

Take blogging for example. If you are a wedding photographer, you could interview a florist and get their take on some of the top trends for weddings this year. In the blog post you could show photos of their products. Transform that interview into a reel and ask them if they would like to be a collaborator on it. If they are a collaborator it will post to their page as well and then whatever views their video gets, yours gets the same and vice versa. 

Think about how you can build that relationship. Add that company to your preferred vendor list. Reels and posts are great but they have a shelf life. Creating long term relationships will have much more of an impact on your business. 

A few quick actionable steps:

  1. Create a preferred vendor list
  2. Share posts from other local companies that you want to build relationships with
  3. Tag other companies in your posts to spread the word about their business 
  4. Start reaching out and building those relationships!

This episode at a glance:

  •  [ 2:34 ] Ben gives us a visual of what chain reaction marketing is and 
  •  [ 8:46 ] How Ben brought in $70,000 in sales from a bridal show using chain reaction marketing
  • [16:29] Ben goes over questions to ask yourself 
  • [ 26:05 ] Ben and Chris discuss how important it is to establish relationships with other businesses. 

Don't let the learning stop here...

Want to hear more from Ben and continue learning about his marketing strategies? Check out the Ben Hartley Mastermind group on Facebook!

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