The Next Level | creating win-win relationship marketing
Creating a win-win strategy for your photography business or photography studio.
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Creating Win-Win Relationship Marketing

win win puzzle illustration design over a white background

Creating a wider circle of awareness of your work and your network of relationships is what relationship marketing is about.  In a nutshell, relationship marketing is providing your services to another as a tie-in to the services they offer. In doing so, they can offer your services as an incentive or a thank-you to their customers and you get the opportunity to gain life-time clients.


In creating a win-win relationship marketing arrangement you need to ask how what you do can help benefit someone else. 


As an example, consider the impact of offering a free portrait session to a real estate broker that he or she can offer to those who buy or sell a house from them.  Once a home is bought or sold the broker then gives his client the “gift” of the free portrait session as a thank-you and you gain a client who will be buying the print from the free session. By collaborating with the broker in a win-win arrangement he or she makes their client feel appreciated and you gain the chance to create a good impression with them and build a lifetime client.


Let’s look at another example on how you might use a relationship marketing plan.  Every high school has fund-raising programs in which they offer something as a way to raise funds for a band group, senior program or other event.  Go to the director of the program or event and offer them your services as an item they can sell to their donors.  Arrange a discount of your sitting fee as an incentive, then give them a portion of that discount as a donation to their project.  Because of your relationship, the school gets a donation and you get a tax deduction for it.  In addition, you now have another potential future client because of the work you have done with them.  Since all schools generally have the same program need every year you have the chance to expand your client base year after year!


Now let’s take that idea a little bit further and enhance your relationship with your partner in another way that benefits them.  After you have performed the service for the people your partner has sent you, ask them to write a short review about what they like about the person or services of the one who sent them to you.  You can then provide that review back to them which they can use in their marketing and web material.  In return, you can ask your partner to do the same for you when he/she does a follow-up contact after you provide the agreed upon service.  The reason this is so important is that reviews are one of the most important pieces of information people use when making a buying decision.


As example of some other ideas for creating win-win relationship marketing alliances:


  • Arrange with hospitals to provide a free newborn portrait sitting as going-home gifts.
  • Partner with a Formal gown store to offer a photo session for all buyers or renters of their gowns.
  • Offer to shoot new construction for a builder or architect for free in return for giving your name out to the real estate brokers that they use. Give them your cards
    AND a 
    one-page brochure that offers the brokers the service we talked about earlier.
  • Offer to shoot the food for a restaurant’s menu in return for putting a small display on their tables. For instance, create a triangular piece that uses your food
    images on 
    two sides and information about your service on the third side.



I’m sure you can think of a dozen or even more ways of tying your work in to others in your community.  As you approach others, remember that you both started a business to do what you love and to make money at it.  Think of how what you can do will help expand their business and you will already have a willing listener.





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