Julie Skarwecki's 8 Tips to Simplify Your Marketing

Julie Skarwecki's 8 Tips to Simplify Your Marketing

Julie Skarwecki's 8 Tips to Simplify Your Marketing

by The Luupe

Photo consultant Julie Skarwecki shares actionable ways to be consistent with your marketing efforts (and get organized in the process!)

Freelancers, we know it can be a bit of a juggling act to balance the creative and business sides of your work — but it’s incredibly important. If you’re wondering what you can do today to set your business up for success down the road, keep reading!
We had the privilege of connecting with photo consultant and marketing expert Julie Skarwecki to hear her tools and techniques for staying on top of marketing — from how to organize your content for self-promotion materials to how to manage and segment your contact lists.
Julie says, “Treat your business as a business. It’s not just about the images, it’s about getting in front of people and selling yourself. Once you get busy, you stop thinking about your marketing, but you need to make sure you have work six months from now, too. We want to create habits that will keep you on track. Consistency is so important in your marketing. If you send one newsletter a year, it’s not going to do anything. If you send them once a quarter, it will.”
Whether you’re just beginning your marketing journey or you’re diving back in, Julie’s expert tips are a great place to start.

01 Organize Your Content

Organizing your content is a critical step for staying on top of your marketing. Julie says, “As soon as you finish a shoot, that work should go into your archive.” You can create a simple file system on your computer (like the one shown below) so you can pull out your strongest images and videos from your shoots and add them to the appropriate folders.

02 Stay Consistent with Habit Stacking

One of the best ways to build a new habit is to pinpoint an existing daily routine and stack your new behavior onto it. Julie explains, “In the morning when you’re having your coffee, look at social media, engage with your followers, and look at what people in the industry are doing. You start with having your coffee and you add on another step that is going to be beneficial to you.” The same applies to adding your assignment files to your marketing archive!

03 Create Your Own Content Calendar

Now that you’ve got an organization system in place, it’s time to start planning how and where to share your content! “You don’t have to scramble at the last minute to figure out what you’re going to post. At the beginning of each month, sit down and put together your calendar.”

Julie recommends project management software like Asana (pictured below), Notion, and Monday for calendar creation as they make it super easy to organize everything in one place – and they have free plans. “If a tool like Asana doesn’t work for you, you can put together a spreadsheet or folder system or even consider a scheduling tool.” Everyone works differently, you should use whatever tool is going to help you stay consistent (the goal!) — if it’s not working, try something else.

04 Work Backward From Your Calendar

With your monthly calendar set up, you can now see what posts you have lined up and identify any content gaps you’ll need to fill. This is where working backward comes in! Julie recommends you always have enough content organized and ready to use for one full quarter of marketing materials. “If you notice you don’t have any content for an upcoming month’s newsletter, you now have the time to plan a test shoot or personal project to fill that calendar space.”

05 Templatize Your Newsletters

When it comes to email newsletters, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel each time you send. Save yourself some time by creating simple templates that you can drag and drop new images and text into each month. From Flodesk (one of Julie and The Luupe’s favorites) to Mailchimp, there are plenty of no-code email solutions you can use that make it easy to create and send your email marketing.

PRO TIP: Don't confuse newsletters for direct email outreach. While they have similar purposes, your direct emails should always be personalized and intentional. Julie has a direct email template you can swipe on your Instagram.
Image from Flodesk — take 50% off your first year

06 Define + Organize Your Branding Elements

Creating a consistent look and feel for your newsletter templates (and your brand presence in general) is important so that you come across as professional and can build brand recognition with potential clients. Julie recommends you work with a designer to develop your visual branding, but if you’re not ready to take that step – she has some tips to get started on your own:
1️⃣ Choose your fonts — they should be easy to read and something you’ll be consistent about using across touchpoints
2️⃣ Select a color palette to use across your site, newsletters, etc. — even if it’s shades of gray, white, and black (Coolers is a great site for pulling together color palettes that connect back to your work)
3️⃣ Save your logo as a transparent .png file
4️⃣ Save all of these branding elements in a folder on your desktop and in apps like Canva

07 Segment Your Contacts

Your contact list should be well organized. “There’s not one right way to do this – you should use whatever works best for you. I recommend using a CRM that is built for managing your contacts and client lists – the free version of Hubspot has everything you need!”
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) makes it easy for you to segment your contacts and perform advanced searches to find the right person. Plus, they often include check-in reminders and seamless note storage (Where did you meet this contact? What did you talk about?) so you never forget to follow up with a client and make a lasting impression. Alternatively, you can create a simple spreadsheet to keep track of contact information and activity sans the notifications and any built-in automation a CRM might offer.
With your contact management system of choice, you can now create your segments. Julie recommends photographers segment by client, company, and industry. For example:
1️⃣ Type of Client: editorial, commercial, etc.
2️⃣ Type of Company: publication, in-house, agency, etc.
3️⃣ Industry: food, automotive, beauty, etc.
Images from Hubspot

08 Track Client Conversions

Do you know where your clients find you? “It can be hard to remember to ask but try to get into the habit now if you can. Aside from looking at numbers, it’s an easy way to understand what’s working (and not working) with your marketing.” For example, if all of your clients are coming from word of mouth – your SEO, Instagram, or other marketing efforts may need some work.
For each of your clients, Julie recommends you track the following:
1️⃣ Who is the client?
2️⃣ How did they find you?
3️⃣ What are they looking for?
4️⃣ What was the quote?
5️⃣ Why did they not award?
Once you start tracking these elements, you’ll be able to identify patterns that have led you to winning a bid or being passed on – like which price point resonates the most, which source people are coming to you from most often, etc. With this knowledge, you can double down on what’s working or make adjustments wherever needed in order to bring in the client projects you want.

Looking for more marketing tips and insights? Apply to join The Luupe to access proven production tools and resources and build lasting connections with a vetted community of your professional peers.

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The Luupe
The Luupe is a one-stop production company that is raising the bar for professional brand imagery on a global scale. With a highly curated and diverse network of professional women and non-binary photo and video creators across 80+ countries around the world, we are reinventing how brands produce original, local, and authentic visual stories that connect with a global audience. Our mission is to champion and amplify diverse perspectives from around the world — in front of and behind the lens.
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