Many PromoSimple users run giveaways to attract new clients to their photography business. Jodi Friedman’s take on photography, however, is a bit different. Her career is actually in photo editing (MCP Actions). She does, of course, take her own pictures, but she mostly makes a living editing and helping others edit their photographs to perfection.
It all started when she began taking pictures of her baby twin girls back in the early 2000’s. She’d dress them up in adorable clothing and take pictures of them. But cute baby clothing that quickly became too small as her daughters grew started getting expensive. To save money, she would sell their clothing on eBay as they grew out of it.
Then, when children’s clothing companies started coming to her, asking for her help with editing their photographs and asking for her to take pictures as well, they would send her clothing free of charge which she could later sell on eBay. That’s when the profit started rolling in.
Around 2004, Jodi began doing some product photography to bring in even more money while she was a stay-at-home mom.
Next thing I knew, I was teaching people how to edit their photos, get pictures to look good on the web, and things like that. And it just kept evolving.
In 2006, she transitioned from doing side jobs here and there to starting her actual business – MCP Actions. And she’s been educating photographers on photography business and editing ever since.
Being Where Your Audience Is (but Not Overwhelming Them)
Jodi learned a lot about focus along the way with giveaways and contests, especially through using Facebook. When she started her Facebook page in 2009, she kept hearing that the important thing was to keep getting fans at all costs. So she did. She did a lot of freebie giveaways that brought a ton of fans to her Facebook page. But there was one major problem:
“I wish I hadn’t done so many freebies,” she said, “because most people came for those freebies, then left or became inactive.”
With contests and giveaways, Jodi believes you run the same kind of danger. When you run a giveaway and require a Facebook like, you’ll get a lot of fans and likes who are interested in winning. But they might not be valuable audience members when the contest is over.
“I now put much more priority into obtaining email addresses rather than a ‘Like,'” she said.
But that being said, Jodi expressed the importance of diversifying to grow an audience.
You want to be where they (your audience) are. You don’t want them to have to find you. If your audience is on Facebook, you need to be on Facebook. If your audience is on Instagram, then you want to be there too – even if it’s not so much a business tool as it is a personal tool. I feel like my audience gets to know me a little better if they follow me on Instagram. I’ll have snapshots of my kids or a ‘behind-the-scenes’ picture of my desk. They can kind of get to know an owner of a company.
She told us about a Photo-A-Day contest that she ran on Pinterest that was a big hit with those fans. It was a contest where anyone could participate, whether they took photos with a pricey camera or a smartphone. This tactic got many of her fans interacting with her business and each other in a very fun way that was specific to Pinterest.
Finding Focus With Entry Methods
Jodi believes there are basically two schools of thought when it comes to giveaways. You can A) ask entrants to do one major thing on your entry form, or B) use a giveaway to have people follow you in all the places. Jodi tends not to participate in the latter and is a big proponent of the former.
By picking out the most important thing to use as the required entry method for a giveaway, she feels that she doesn’t overwhelm her audience and is able to give her contests focus. So for example, if she’s doing a lens giveaway (perhaps with Tamron, one of the companies with whom she frequently partners), the required entry method, apart from inputting an email address, will be to “Like” or Follow MCP Actions and Tamron on one specific social media outlet. Then, as icing on the cake, she can utilize bonus entries.
[That’s why] I like how PromoSimple is structured. If you’re one of those people that likes to click a lot of buttons, then you can do that (with bonus entries). But it’s too overwhelming if you require people to do too much. And simply, they won’t do it. People will just leave. So if you want to get good results, I think it’s best to focus on that one important thing as your requirement.
With that being said, now that her Facebook fan based is built up nicely, she’s looking forward to focusing on growing another outlet for her next giveaway.
Getting the Word Out
Like all people familiar with giveaways, Jodi knows the importance of promoting her contests once they’re live. She’s collected a large email list over the years and sends out a weekly newsletter to those subscribers. If she’s got a big giveaway live, she’ll announce it in those newsletters to get the word out. She’ll also spread the news via every social media outlet possible – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, you name it. As she told us, it’s important to be wherever your audience is, so she reaches out to her audience via every method possible.
She also enjoys partnering with other businesses for many reasons. But a great benefit of teaming up is that there’s another business helping to get the word out to a completely difference audience.
While Jodi loves to promote her giveaways however she can, she did leave us with some great advice. She said that it’s important to host the majority of your giveaways and contests where you have complete control of them – on your own blog and in your own newsletter.
I think as a businesswoman, the advice I would give people is don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Don’t put everything into one platform. [And] make sure you’re investing in your own company most.