Lenzy Ruffin Photography Blog

Lenzy Ruffin is a family portrait photographer in Washington, DC. 

Billboard 2.0

This billboard is much larger than the first one. It goes from the top of my head to my waist. It's also much more professional and has a highly targeted message on it. I'm not trying to get everyone on the street. I just want to reach the people in charge of hiring photographers for their organization. I chose a message that speaks to both the person in charge of finding a photographer, as well as the people who might end up with official photos of themselves that they don't like because they don't like the style of the photographer their company normally uses.

"If you like what you see here, make sure your company hires me when it's time for headshots." That's the idea that those two simple questions on the billboard plant in the mind of the viewer. And it's not like I'm selling snake oil. If your staff photos are jacked up, I can definitely fix that.

A big lesson I learned on day one of this was to bring my monopod on day two and let it hold the sign instead of me. I pretty much chill, hanging out behind my sign. And people who are interested do come around the sign and engage me...another benefit of a highly-targeted message displayed in a prime location. I don't have to actively solicit people. The ones who need my solution walk right up and ask for more info.

The view from behind my billboard at Farragut Square.

The view from behind my billboard at Farragut Square.

I'm so glad I just threw together a sign on impulse and went out with it that first day. I'm really pleased with the early results of my billboard marketing campaign. I've picked up two legitimate inquiries, so far, including one request for quote. What I love most about this billboard strategy is that it delivers high-quality leads and it delivers them FAST! I'm going to the places where my target clients are and presenting my solution to their problem in a way that they cannot overlook it. This is as direct as direct marketing can get.

I also learned on the first day that standing at the Metro exit during the morning rush isn't optimal. Everybody is scrambling to get to work and people who otherwise might stop, won't, because they don't want to be late. Lunchtime is much better. None of the urgency of the morning rush is there. And the food trucks make it so easy. They draw the crowd and I just stand there with my sign and the people who I'm targeting with my message will come take a card.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. Panhandlers make a fortune on the street. If you’ve ever talked to one, you’d be shocked at how much money you can make in a day from panhandling. If street-level marketing works for them and they’re just taking, it will definitely work for me as a solution provider. Who doesn't want an incredible picture of themselves, especially if they can get their job to pay for it?

Turning self interest into mutual interest, one headshot at a time.


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