How To Advertise At An Event For Free By Turning A Negative Opportunity Into A Positive One

Have you ever been asked to shoot an event for free because it would be good networking/marketing for you?

The other day a woman from a local event asked this question of me.

She wanted to know if I would shoot their event for free, “for good exposure.”

In her email she never once highlighted how it would benefit me other then “good exposure.” ….oh and that I could sell the images to the attendees (right, because people want photos of them wandering around an event.)

She didn’t say I would get a booth in exchange, a mention in their advertising, or anything.

In the past stuff like this, to put it frankly, used to piss. me. off.

Now I just find ways to turn it around and make it work for my business.

So after I read her email I called her and explained that not only do I not do event photography but that even if I was offered a free booth in exchange, a $150 “booth table” did not equal the value of me shooting for 3 hours. I said this politely, was just explaining to her why it wasn’t worth my time but that I really appreciated her thinking of me.

I also told her that her event seemed amazing and that I’d like to take part in it!

I told her that I could supply the first 20 woman (with tickets) to the event a special gift bag from my studio.

She agreed and thought it was a great idea!

I now was advertising my studio without having to pay for a booth, give up my time, shoot the event, or even attend the event.

In exchange she is getting prizes for the first 20 girls. Which not only makes her attendees happy, but also promotes them to be the first to arrive.

The key is to figure out HOW you could turn the situation around to work in your favor.

Next time somebody emails you with an idea that won’t work for you, instead of being pissed, or taking an hour to talk about it with your friends, take that time to turn it around and make it WORK for your business!

For more on that idea of gift bags at events, check out my blog post Gain New Clients With Gift Bags And Never Pay For An Expo Again (if you don’t want to).

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Molly Keyser

Boudoir photographer and business coach, I am dedicated to changing the world with the power of a camera. Originally from Wisconsin, I'm now in Texas, but I help photographers around the world learn how to go full-time with boudoir photography.