So in my work as a business man and attempting to get my business name out there, I hear a lot of people trying to tell me to offer something for free. As any businessman can tell you, this is not only foolish but dangerous for the long term practice of your business as well. Once people in a community start to see you as the “discount man” or even worse the “free man” it is extremely difficult to change that perception of your business.
With all of that being said, for photographers this can be even worse. People so rarely see photography as a legitimate business and even when they do need a photographer they still don’t want to take us serious. They want us to do this for free or do that for a discounted rate, yet every time I ask a mechanic, dentist, AC repairman, or any one else for a free job or discounted job they look at me like I’m the idiot. So this puts offering anything for free upfront as a photographer as VERY dangerous to your future business.
One has to understand who it is that they are marketing towards, and has to be careful of the wording in things. Take me for an example, I need to put together a “headshot portfolio” really fast. So I look at a market that I am not going after and offer “One Time Chance For Free Headshots.” I purposely put the “one time” part in there. I know that I am playing a dangerous game here, but I’m hoping that people will understand and remember the “One Time” part.
April 1st, between 8:00am and 8:00pm I will be doing free headshots. This will include 3 digital images.