Last spring, I was contacted by a local family photographer who was interested in setting up a little marketing trade with my studio. I had never done such a thing with another small business, so I jumped on the opportunity.
The photographer’s proposal was that she would include my brochures and business cards in her clients’ packages, and in turn, she would provide me with canvases of her photography to display in my studio’s waiting room.
So far, this marketing swap has worked out marvelously! I have received many new student inquiries as a result of the cards she has distributed, and her work has gained lots of exposure and garnered her several new clients.
This small business swap has been successful because of several key factors, all of which you should look for if you are considering doing something similar.
- Both businesses serve similar clientele. We both work with families who have children of all ages. If the photographer did wedding portraits only, then it wouldn’t make much sense to partner up.
- Both businesses share a similar work ethic. I already knew of this photographer and was familiar with her work. It’s important to know that we are on the same page as far as how we do business and treat our clients.
- Both businesses have a good reputation. I have spoken with many families who have been clients of hers in the past, and they have nothing but wonderful things to say about her photography and professionalism.
- Both businesses are willing to make an even swap. If the swap is benefiting one business over the other, then it probably won’t work out in the long run.
There are so many different types of businesses that would be good fits for swaps — photography studios, restaurants, Etsy shops — it’s just a matter of reaching out! Have you ever set up a marketing swap with another small business?