This topic has been on my mind for quite a while and since I can offer weighed perspective from both ends, I think I’m more than qualified to pick this matter apart. With that said, if you agree, disagree or want to add to the conversation, feel free to comment, write, or call me.
First, a quick background overview, just to establish credibility. I’ve been with CustomUSB since 2004. During this time, I’ve worked with every type of client imaginable (consultants [http://www.mckinsey.com], educators [http://www.purdue.edu/], accountants [http://www.ritzholman.com/], programmers [http://www.getmiro.com], marketers [http://www.mullen.com/], public speakers [http://www.slapworld.com/], managers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and musicians [http://www.ifightdragons.com/). In conjunction with rest of the talented CustomUSB team, I also developed specific market strategies and industry solutions which were successfully integrated and to this day fund our existence.
By night (and weekend), I am also a professional event photographer. Along with my partner, Slav, I use my self-taught camera skills to cover weddings, bar mitzvahs, private parties, and corporate events. Being in the industry and having outside marketing and sales experience gives me a bird's eye view of the entire event photography landscape.
Here's what I've been noticing (and this is a general observation, because if you dig deep enough, you can find a niche market for anything).
- Couples (the ones hiring the wedding photographer) no longer want printed proofs
- They want to pay less for less (no proofs / no album / just a high-res DVD)
- They want someone they can relate to (perhaps a younger and a more tech-savvy photographer)
- They are willing to pay more for "different"
- Boudoir, Vintage, and Black & White are in style again
- They demand NEW (technology included)
Now, a quick search on WPPI [http://www.wppionline.com/] reveals that there are more than 260 photographers in Illinois alone. If you’re a wedding photographer in Chicago, how do you stand out?
Let’s assume you have a couple sitting your studio right now (that’s right, stop everything you’re doing and imagine it). They’ve been looking for a wedding photographer all week and you’re the last one on their list. By now they are exhausted and overwhelmed to the point of thinking that everyone they’ve looked at that week offers the same quality of work. Now, you and I know that this is not true. You’re probably one of the best wedding photojournalists in your city, but to the client you’re just like everyone else – same albums, same photo effects, same DVD with proofs.
But wait, you don’t offer a DVD at all. You offer an 8GB flash drives, made out of recycled materials. And along with your studio logo, this drive is embellished with the couples initials, perhaps even their full names and their wedding date. Furthermore, this drive comes in a nice clamshell package with a custom insert featuring the best photos from their special day. I think we can both agree that this could make a huge difference in their hiring decision.
And on top of that, the cost to you is minimal when compared to the total value of this contract.
So here’s how this works.
First, choose a USB model. I have included some popular models below.
Then, send us your logo and we will engrave it on the top side of the drive so it’s visible when the drive is plugged in. On the metal drives, because the process of laser engraving etches the logo into the body of the drive and the resulting color is based on materials of the flash drive (usually aluminum), I suggest getting dark colored drives (black, blue, red, gray, etc). If you are thinking about buying wooden drives, the color doesn’t matter. On these drives, the logo is burned into wood, so you get enough contrast between the base material and the engraved logo.
At this point, we can send you the drives so you can use them. Or, you can go a step further and have us etch the couple’s names on the other side. In this case, we can hold on to the drives for you until you have a signed contract and know who the drive will be going to. In both instances, you’re doing something unique and unusual (for now, until the rest of the industry catches up).
By the way, here’s who we’ve already worked with. Call them for an honest testimonial. Then call us and we’ll help you plan this out – 800-447-0149