Extreme business makeover: Giving photographer a new image

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Sally Bjornsen switched to a career in commercial photography 9 years ago after working for more than 2 decades in corporate marketing and advertising. But the marketplace has changed in the past decade. Now there’s more-sophisticated competition, fewer ad dollars and ever-younger clients, and Sally wonders how her small business, which employs eight photographers, can better compete.

Thom Scott of Extreme Business Strategies advises Sally to develop her presence on hip social and business networking sites. He says she should set up a YouTube channel and create a 1-to-2-minute insider-tip video each week to post on Facebook, announce on LinkedIn and Twitter, and embed in her blog.

In addition, Sally should post on her website’s “About” page another 2-minute video that tells potential clients why her business is better than that of her competitors.

Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg, who is a small-business marketer, suggests that Sally participate in LinkedIn groups that might have potential clients, and she should add a fan page on Facebook to publicize her business.

Sally also should ask her most impressive clients, such as Nike, for testimonial letters that she could post, Ginzberg says, and she should throw a “10th anniversary celebration” and invite a local celebrity client to attract publicity.

Susan Wilson Solovic, who is the co-founder of Small Business Television, says Sally should keep up with changes in the industry and in technology through webinars and seminars. Solovic says Sally also should hire a tech-savvy college intern from whom she can learn “the latest trends in social media to create buzz for her brand.” And, because image is brand, Solovic says, Sally should consider updating her hairstyle and adding a few trendy pieces to her wardrobe.