Adding Social to Your Marketing Mix

I first met the amazing and talented team of Therese Gietler and Andy Batt (www.andybatt.com) at an ASMP meeting at their Portland (OR) based studio. Therese is the producer and co-owner of Andy Batt Studio and been part of the solution for all of the studio’s print and motion campaigns. Andy is the creative photographer and director and brings his dramatic, storytelling style to all his projects.

For the last eighteen years, their traditional marketing techniques have been the same, with different executions and results. They have used direct mail, email, phone calls, portfolio showings, leave-behinds, website, contest entry, industry events, gallery exhibitions/parties, and in the last seven years, advertising in sourcebooks.

Also seven years ago, the team started experimenting with social media. Therese, “It’s the same for every business to ask ‘how do I let people know I’m here, I’m really good at what I do, and you should hire me’? But it differs for us, because we are selling our personal vision vs. a product and we’re selling it to ultra-savvy marketers, which means that not only does the photography have to be extraordinary, but the design and writing and packaging have to be eye-catching as well.”

Their Facebook profile was soon replaced by their Facebook business page, https://www.facebook.com/andybattstudio.  Therese, “But how do we get the right people to follow the business page? I’ve seen people host contests, but it was so transparent, it didn’t appeal to me so as a solution I post there typically once or twice a week, either with news about our studio or interesting news in photography or advertising. Social media doesn’t change the game; it’s the same marketing on a different platform. You still need to build a relationship in order to be awarded the job.”

LinkedIn seemed a better fit for sales lead development and research with its deep profiles on business contacts where you could check client backgrounds and member groups so they put up a LinkedIn profile (http://www.linkedin.com/in/andybattstudio).  Traditional lead development took hours of research though trade magazines and phone calls and is now more efficiently done using social networks as research tools. Therese gives an example, “I received an email from At-Edge. They sent a promotion; an art buyer is endorsing them. I don’t recognize this name, so I type that name into LinkedIn. She’s been working in the industry for quite some time, but I also see she went to Syracuse University…I know some great creative directors that went to Syracuse. She also went to Creative Circus…I know people that went there. I’ll bet we share a lot of friends…wow; we have 68 people in common. That’s 68 possible introductions! Then as I follow the leads and research the clients, I see who works for whom and on what, and who has received awards – all this time, I’m updating my database.”

One important aspect of integrating social media with traditional marketing is to track where work comes from when new clients contact you. Not only Google Analytics but actually talking to people and asking, “How did you find us?” As an example of this, Therese traced a recent project that started with a post by art producer Jenny Barnes on her blog, http://www.jenren.com/?s=andy+batt. Jenny, “I spend about 20+ hours a week looking at different websites. When I run across something that intrigues me, I write down the artist, rep or gallery site to go back to at a later date. I have a 3″ binder full of these lists and a database w/ 45K entries to help keep track of all the materials.”  The Freelance Art Producer Hillary Frileck of http://mcgarrybowen.com saw the Andy Batt blog post on jenren.com and called in their portfolio for a photo project for Verizon. Therese, “the shoot involved shooting Indy cars on the racetrack, with Andy on a chase vehicle at 70 miles per hour. It was his fastest, most exhilarating photo shoot to date.”

Social media does not replace marketing but can get you “from zero to sixty” faster than before!

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