Home Forums Main YANAP Discussion Forum How much do you pay for advertising?

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    I’m considering PAID advertising for my photography services to my market of special needs kids in NYC.

    Many folks say to use FB / Pinterest / Twitter / Blog posts but I don’t have time to keep fresh written material coming daily. Photography is not my main job BUT I’d like to get my message out there to more parents who need my services. I hear from parents time to time “I never knew you do this” and that bothers me inasmuch as always think my ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing is helping me, but apparently not as often as I’d like.

    Does anyone here pay to advertise or do you rely solely on footwork / networking?


    We did a paid newspaper ad at one point for my horse riding business. I think we garnered a whole 3 customers from it. One of them ended up referring a few people to us and the others were duds, so we never renewed the spot. We were also in the yellow pages at one point which was also not worth it.

    You know what has paid itself off time and time again? A website. Not FB, not pinterest, not twitter, not a blog but a plain old website. Plus it only needs updating periodically so you don’t need to muck with it every day. We’ve gotten referrals through FB but they are all through existing clients already.


    Many support groups will post some kind of news letter, try to get advertising in that as it will be a lot more focused than a random ad in the newspaper. It will also help the organisation getting some revenue to support their newsletter. You are doing niche work and need niche advertising.


    Our local church has a news letter.  I imaging others are similar.  The last page is all advertising.

    What about bulletin boards at the local hospitals?


    I think cameraclicker might be on to something for you eyedoc.

    At the hospital my husband works at, they don’t have a community bulletin board but they do have employee bulletin boards where the employees can post things they are selling, events, etc going on.


    thanks for the great ideas, truly.

    Some I had not even considered including the church bulletins (we have many in our area). The hospital community boards are not the best for me because as nesgram pointed out, my service is aimed at satisfying specific market needs and the communities are so saturated with services for sale, my notice would get lost.

    Do any of you do FB paid advertising? Or Google Adwords? It’s interesting that I’m asking about HOW to advertise my services when I use 2 very effective addons to Firefox called DoNotTrackMe & AdBlock Plus, both of which essentially eliminates 100% ads, popups, tracking cookies, and click-jacking scripts. So here I am saying NO ADS BUT MINE.  🙂



    If I have been following, you live in a very populous geographic area and want to help families of “special needs” children.  Or, perhaps even a subset of those children?

    FB and Adwords seem like a shotgun approach to a job requiring a sniper.    Admittedly, all parents probably shop at the same supermarkets, travel the same roads, use the same trains, and visit the same parks.  The job of advertising is to reach the target audience when they are receptive to the idea of purchasing the advertised item.  Much of the advertising in our life is spraying media and hoping a percentage will remember the ad when they are in the store.  Listening to music on YouTube, I click on the end ad button with regularity and during the last day or two, their ads have been so frequent I may be driven back to listening to CD’s again.  I could not tell you what any of those ads wanted me to know about.  When driving, I sometimes comment to my wife about the last ad on the car radio.  She has no idea what the ad was about.  We have learned to tune out a lot of the noise we don’t care about.  Having software tools that block ads is not even necessary, unless the ad is doing undesirable things like opening new windows or playing sound without permission.

    A few of our churches have people that drive miles to attend.  Many draw their entire congregation from within a few blocks of the church.  Having church-goers, within some radius of you, being aware of your service may be worthwhile because of networking.  You may reach a few families directly, but you really reach the local community who know someone in the area who may be interested.

    Here, if I were offering the same service, I would be trying to get notices into The Sick Children’s Hospital and Wellesley Hospital, because they run programs that cater to children with medical problems.  I might also try to get a notice into Ronald MacDonald House, since that is where out of town parents stay when their child is in one of the city’s hospitals.  Having a notice on a bulletin board may have the desired effect over time.  Having the staff talking about your services would be nice too.

    If there are specific illnesses or conditions the children have, then the FB page for that condition may be a place to add a comment.  Targeting other specific web pages may be helpful.  If you connected with a page like this:  http://www.addrc.org/  You could argue that your service supports families with a member suffering from ADHD by providing a better level of photography because of your experience with those patients.    Someone looking at a page like that may be specifically looking for treatment options, but may be open to improved quality of life services as well.


    I think you’d be better off investing the time you’d have worked to pay for FB ads, etc into some good business cards and going to businesses. Leave a card (or flier) with receptionists at community centers, centers specializing in counseling/ psychotherapy, occupational therapists, physical therapists specializing in children are just a few I can think of off the top of my head. There are many LMFTs that are specializing in families that have children with special needs now, especially with further awareness of SPD and ASD. Pediatric offices sometimes have bulletin boards that you can post business cards on.

    AND, I think an even more effective way to use FB instead of paid advertising (and this part is completely free but does require a little more FB legwork from you but does NOT require updating a page with new material) is find your local B/S/T pages, join the group and then post a link to your portfolio and site with a quick blurb about what you do. You’ll get a lot of immediate contact from that one post.


    EyeDoc, you never stated whether you are charging for these services or not.

    I think CC & Cassie are right on track, church groups and community service centers like YMCA may be a big help. I would keep it as grassroots as possible, it will go over better as parents of special needs kids are always on guard and very protective.

    – I have tried the Google Adwords but it was mainly to drive traffic to my website, not a full fledged method for getting customers for pay services, so I wouldn’t recommend that for your needs.

    Facebook is good if you already have some photos that you can share and maybe encourage some of your photo clients to share them with special needs group pages and sites, but most will usually get looked over.
    If you are using FB for your prime advertising, try using the hashtags to better spread the word of your services. Don’t expect a major wave of traffic, but it may help slowly.
    Pintrest is great for sharing photos, but again, not great for drawing in customers.

    Believe it or not, Yelp may be a good alternative for you as you can add a specialty for your services. The good thing is that it’s free and you can add specials if you are charging a fee.
    I don’t use Yelp for myself, but I have a friend that has a service business and 90% of his business comes from Yelp. Once you get a few positive reviews, then the”word” just gets out all by itself.

    Good Luck!


    A website. Not FB, not pinterest, not twitter, not a blog but a plain old website. Plus it only needs updating periodically so you don’t need to muck with it every day. We’ve gotten referrals through FB but they are all through existing clients already.



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