Who printed it?
Smartpress in Minnesota.
Who designed it?
Lindsay Thomson at Wonderful Machine. I worked closely with Lindsay over about two months to design the booklet. After discussing overall look, number of images/spreads and sample treatments, she went to work on three potential directions. Once I decided on the final look we moved forward with the cover-to-cover design.
Tell me about the images?
I worked with photo consultant, Stephanie Menuez, in Spring of 2020 to select the images for the booklet. She had just finished a total re-edit of my website so we already had a pretty good idea what images would be considered. We decided to focus on my education work since it’s the biggest part of my client base. The images are a mix of student lifestyle, campus beauty, classroom and portraits shot for brick and mortar and online education clients across the country. I also wanted the promo to appeal to people outside of the education marketing world so we were careful to use images that spoke to a broader audience.
How many did you make?
We printed 100. The goal was to focus on a small select group of existing and “dream” clients. I only sent about 25 to existing education clients in the Fall of 2020. Since many people are working from home during the pandemic, I made sure to contact them before mailing to make sure they reached the intended recipients. The plan is to send another batch in February/March and keep the remainder for leave behinds.
How many times a year do you send out promos?
I usually try to send printed promos around four times per year. I supplement those with email promos that go out every two or three months. Since many people were working from home in 2020, this booklet was the only printed promo that made it out the door.
Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I continue to have faith in printed promos. Their short term effectiveness is difficult to gauge but hopefully people put them on their wall or file them for future reference increasing the potential for a longterm pay-off. I like to do a combination of single postcards and at least one more engaging multi-image piece throughout the year. The more involved promos provide an opportunity for me to give clients a better idea of who I am as a photographer and creative thinker. Delivering printed promos is a challenge these days but I think people will appreciate the effort and are in need of something more tactile in this age of COVID Zoom meetings.
About a year ago I was contacted by an agency that still had a promo booklet I sent out over 15 years ago! It didn’t result in a job but, who knows, maybe they’ll reach out in another 15 years or tomorrow. Either way, It still opened a door that wasn’t there before.
Original article: Featured Promo – John Davis.