Thursday, August 27, 2009

Business Day Thursday: The Bunny Rabbit Approach To Marketing

Good Evening Everybody,

Wow, what a day we had yesterday in the Rockies. We headed over to Maroon Bells, made the 3 ½ mile hike, and got some great shots like the one above. I can't wait to sort through all the rest of the images I shot. Today we head home and then things blast off for the weekend.

I'm photographing my cousin's daughter's wedding this weekend and we have the Kelby Training Team, Jason and Adam, coming up to videotape me photographing a wedding. They arrive tomorrow about 3:00 p.m. It will be a first for Kelby Training and I can't wait to see how it comes out! It should be a “kick in the pants” video.

I've got a few more projects to complete over the weekend, but I'm keeping them under wraps for now – stay tuned;~) Let’s get on with today's late post.

The Bunny Rabbit Approach To Marketing

group of bunnies I started this post in the car on the way from Aspen, Colorado to the Denver airport.

Bright skies and twisting roads made it a bit more of a challenge than I had anticipated. I thought we might be on one of the new Wi-Fi equipped Delta jets, but that was not the case either. Hence the very late, but always penitent Business Day Thursday post.

Anyway, here we go...

How would you feel if everywhere your clients looked, they would see the name of your business? That would be cool wouldn't it? Well, let me tell you how you can make that happen.

Most of us are operating small businesses and always looking for new ways to get our name and our brand in front of our customers' eyes. Most of us don't work with big ad agencies and have the luxury of a huge advertising budget. Fortunately, there have been some great books published – one of my favorites - Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson – have offered wonderfully simple ideas for smaller entrepreneurs to spread the word about their businesses.

Today I want to share with you an experience I had years ago that shows just how simply one company used Bunny Rabbit Marketing to get their name in front of every one of their contacts and clients every single day of the week. Their marketing plan was utterly simple, inexpensive to implement, and wonderfully effective in producing the desired result.

Hit the “Read More...” link below for the rest of the story.

Here is the story. My friend Denis Reggie and I were scheduled to present a series of seminars around the United States in 1990. Our program was entitled, “Engaged In Excellence”. It was sponsored by Eastman Kodak and Hasselblads USA just to name a few of the sponsors. It turned out to be the most successful wedding photography seminar series of the year.

Anyway, putting a major lecture series together takes a lot of time and resources to pull it off. The script had to be written, the show had to be produced, and the presentation to be rehearsed.

We were working with a company in Rochester New York – Visual In Sietz. They were creating all the visual support for the program.

Pens - 478 I can still remember getting my first letter from Bob Sietz, the owner of the company. I opened the envelope and four ball point pens fell onto my desk. Each pen was a different color and shape and I thought, “These would be handy to have around the studio.” Heck, they were free and we can always use some extra pens.

I forwarded Bob what he needed for the presentation and it wasn't 10 days later when I received a second request from Visual In Sietz. Once again I remember opening the envelope and having three or four more pens drop out of the envelope. Each pen was inscribed with the company name, Visual In Sietz, and their phone number. I thought, “Great, more pens.”

Well, the project took about 8 weeks to complete and Denis and I had received many communications from Visual In Sietz. Needless to say, we had “Visual In Sietz” pens everywhere. They were multiplying like rabbits!!

I remember by the time the project was nearing completion we had around 100 Visual In Sietz pens in every size and shape all over my home, my office, my studio, next to every telephone, on my staff's desks….. Where ever you looked you saw one of Bob's company pens.

To this day, 19 years later, I still remember the name of the company and it's owner. The phone number is a faded memory but Bob's simple marketing idea was never forgotten. How can we use Bob Sietz' bunny rabbit marketing idea to keep our name in front of our contacts and customers?

Why couldn't each of us use Bob's “pen attack” in our own businesses? It's simple, easy, and cost effect. There are plenty of places online that sell personalized pens from $.10 each up to a couple of dollars each. I suggest finding a vendor to offer a fairly wide variety of pen choices in a fairly reasonable $.10-$.25 per pen category. Now order 1000 of them.

Every time a client or potential client contacts you, follow up that contact with a short note and a few pens with your studio name and phone number on them. Send notes and pens for inquiry calls, confirmation notes, thank you notes – send pens with every written communication with every customer – no exceptions.

In no time your client too will become the victim of your own “pen attack.”  Your studio's name and phone number will be on their kitchen tables, on their work desks, next to the computers, and in their jacket pockets and purses.

You know, we always think it's a nice idea to sign our work, give our client a little gift for doing business with us, and sending thank you cards, etc. but the “pen attack” puts a whole different slant on keeping your name in front of your customer.

A pen is something we all use every single day. If those pens have your studio name and phone number on them, the client can't help to not remember you. Now every time your client reaches for a pen, and you have been diligent about getting those pens to rapidly multiply like bunny rabbits so they are everywhere, you create another mental impression of your studio with your client every time they just see your pens in a desk drawer or a pen jar.

Who else is your contact and customer going to think of first when they need a photography project completed. They have an easy  reminder of your name and phone number with your pens everywhere.

The good news is that this idea doesn't break the bank, it can be fun, and quite effective.

I still giggle today about all those pens we collected from Visual In Sietz – and that was almost 20 years ago!

Hey gang, that's it for me today. It's 8:00 p.m. And we just got off the plane and back home. It’s time for an adult beverage and some dinner. See everybody tomorrow for Inspiration Friday. Adios, -David


  1. I really believe this is a GREAT idea, and do it all the time myself. Each of our clients wind up with ink pens and cards. I always have a stash to give out.

  2. David you are a STAR! And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

    Man I have been trying to bootstrap my company and I tell you what, getting your name out there among all the others is just as difficult as taking candy from my youngest son...not gonna happen without some creative thinking.

    I know I will use this tip the next time I get paid...
    Thanks so much.

    Oh yeah, just to let you know, I just transferred over to The Art Institute Online majoring in Photography and I am having a blast! I am getting to really know my camera and at the same time I am learning from pros out there working it.

    Thank you for all your generosity.

  3. Thanks for sharing. Great idea:)

  4. Really useful articles and inspiring. thanks