My Marketing Experience: What Does Not Work

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Previously I had indicated that my next post would be about this past weekend’s wedding I covered with the very talented Kim Salem.  I have to squeeze another post in before I get to that.  Unfortunately this is not a happy post for me.  For the past several months I have invested a lot of energy and money into paying a company for photography leads.  Today I have officially canceled my account with this business.  The business is called Service Magic Pros.  I am not here to slam their business but instead let others know how my experience didn’t really work out for me.

Back in March I signed up with the company to generate more clients for my business.  I began receiving leads and became real excited when I’d get a phone call, text and email all at the same time indicating I just received a potential client.  The lead fees were $30 for customer matches and $45 for exact matches.  The exact matches were the customers specifically requesting my information and wanted to make contact.  I only recieved 4 of these exact matches but not one gave me any ROI.  Two ended up booking a photographer not through Service Magic.  One decided they only wanted a videographer and not a photographer without allowing me a chance to change their mind.  One only had a photography budget of $350 and do I really have to plead my case as to why I did not pursue this client further?  I have received lots of customer matches and now have racked up a total investment of $590 and the final result is that I never booked a wedding through any of the leads.  I can really only speculate as to why very rarely I actually spoke with a potential client even with my persistence of calling them at least once a week.  I never once received a returned phone call.  I can really only speculate as to why out of 16 potential clients I only ever received 1 email back.  (some clients I have emailed once a month and it’s going into the 4th month with no contact).

Just this rainy afternoon the straw that broke the camels back was a phone call I made to a potential client about a wedding taking place next year.  I very politely ask for his time and he strongly stated he was not interested and hung up on me.  Really?  Can I speculate that he may have been inundated with calls from lots of other photographers?  I think there is a good chance considering his tone and how he treated me.  Or just caught him on a bad day?  But this was my 5th attempt to make phone contact with him and he finally picked up the phone to tell me no and finish me off with a round house kick to the face that is hanging up on me?  At the very least I got a final word from him and I don’t have to waste my time calling him every week as I had been.

I won’t drone on about about many more unsuccessful attempts with potential clients as you have to catch my drift at this point.

So point here is:  If you are going to consider going with an agency such as Service Magic ask yourself one question:  Would my client use this kind of service?  Or would they be using a wedding coordinator to do the work for them?

If anyone else has had experiences such as these please don’t keep them bottled up inside and wish no one to know of your failure.  To be honest all the incredibly inspiring stories from the days of an infant photography business getting off the ground are great to pick up your spirits.  I find I learn just as much from hearing of the things that did not work within a business so please share your failures as much as your successes so to teach others.

I end with a quote:

“We now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb” – Thomas Edison

Photograph courtesy of http://www.treehugger.com

We all know how this story ended…there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Thanks for reading!

-DV-

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~ by DanielleVennard on June 9, 2010.

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