Archive for February, 2013

Yes It’s Personal

Remember the days of business cards with no picture on them?  Just straight talk about the service or product offered – a phone number and maybe even an email address along with a recognizable logo.  Flash forward to business cards that include a QR code, constant email and brochure advertisements, social media and endless websites – it can be very overwhelming for ANY business owner – large or small.  So how do we differentiate ourselves from the other thousands that may be advertising the same thing?  We must realize that the difference is our individual strengths and personality.  We must make it more personal when we reach out and when we are looked at for our services the person on the other end must see why they can have a personal connection with you and your company.

So how do we make it more personal?  Take away the black or white background from your 20-year-old business picture, the flat, boring website that you put up to just “have a website” and do some video (even if it is only for a minute) to really “talk” to your customers.  It is time to move forward!  Technology is great but we as business owners cannot sit behind our computers and expect social media or just a phone call to keep our businesses running – that will not form relationships.  It doesn’t matter if you work with outside customers or other businesses – you must build a relationship with them and the faster that happens, then the more repeat business you will receive.

People need to see who you are…now – not 20 years ago (I stress this because I see it way too often).  Have updated photos taken of you, your staff, your business, your services and /or your products.  Have a short video done (and it needs to be quality video – you can see the difference) and post it everywhere along with your updated website.  That’s just for starters – if you are a self-ran business you need to learn about SEO strategies, blogging, marketing, customer service, etc.  But you must have a good base and people have to know who they are dealing with – not just what.  Make your business’s personality come to life!

If you can hire a marketing firm to help you – that is the ideal situation.  Just be sure you check out their credentials, resources, past client return on investment, and that they understand your business.  If you can’t hire a firm, do your homework on your local web designers, graphic designers, commercial photographers and commercial videographers.  If you have a company that does it all – it may be your best bet because they may have package deals to fit your budget.  Get your brand out there and get yourself out there.

Here are photographs showing product and personal image marketing…

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All of the below videos were shot and edited by Bollinger Images!  We’ve tried to included a wide variety to help pick the type you may need for your business!

Church Guitars

Austin Farris – Opera Singer

John Rosemand – Author, Speaker, Psychologist

Keeter Ford Commercial

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Wedding Planners Rock

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Yes!  Wedding planners are a wedding photographer’s best friend (or should be).  Actually, in a wedding or any large event – a good wedding planner makes ALL the difference!  Why you say?  Let me count the ways…

Scenario One –  You’ve never planned a wedding or any event in your life.  You are a very organized person so you think “I can do this!”  You start looking for a venue, a wedding photographer that matches your style and budget, get opinions from your mother, sister, best friend, then forget to turn the oven off in the middle of talking with yet another vendor and have to make yet another phone call to the pizza delivery guy.  We are already busy people..add a huge, special event into the mix and it can be very stressful!  A wedding planner can help!

Scenario Two – A friend volunteers to plan your wedding for you for free!  Or it could be your mom, mother-in-law to be, etc – but you think wow…this is great!!  Ok, they have never planned a wedding either but it has to be easier for them than for you…right?  Hmm…sounds very nice but if they don’t know some great wedding vendors, how they price, wedding etiquette, all the little details that are easily forgotten – guess what then there are two stressed out women that are trying to navigate their way through a huge undertaking!  Not to mention, they may not be able to guide and advise you as a professional wedding planner would.  Seasoned wedding planners know the top wedding photographers, the best florist, the most beautiful venues and they know how to stick to your budget!

Scenario Three – You’ve planned your wedding without a problem and all by yourself!  Awesome!  It is now the wedding day – all your vendors – wedding photographer, wedding videographer, florist, musicians, caterer are setting up for the big day.  They haven’t met each other yet and aren’t sure about the plans for the day.  So, they come to you – the wedding planner – while you are getting ready for the wedding and thinking about one of the most important steps in your life – but hey – you have plenty of time to tell the caterer where to put the crepes…right?  The great think about wedding planners – they also offer smaller packages that just cover the weekend of your wedding.  You’ve planned it all – but on the day of your wedding – it needs to be about you – not you running around trying to coordinate in your half zipped dress!

Scenario Four – You just can’t put a planner in the budget – its ok – you have a small wedding.  However your vendors should get to know each other before the wedding.  Why?  They need to coordinate what they will be doing with your schedule.  Example your wedding starts at 5:00 pm and lasts until 5:30 pm.  The caterer starts putting out all the food at 4:30 because she didn’t know the photographer was going to need to keep you for at least 45 minutes to get all the pictures you wanted because he didn’t get to do many before the wedding.  That’s because the florist was still putting out the flowers up until 3:00 because the guests were starting to gather and the venue wouldn’t allow you to be there before 2:00.  Guests are getting very hungry at the reception waiting on the new couple – once you arrive you have to tell everyone thank you for being there.  The DJ starts to play the first dance song but realizes the videographer has taken you out to the car to get some footage of you and your new husband.  You at this point are starving.  Have I painted the picture?

What matters in the end is that you marry the love of your life.  Getting to that shouldn’t be stressful for you – or at least minimal!  If you can – hire a planner – if not make sure your vendors are savvy enough to help make sure your day stays your day.