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Promo Piece: A Simple 36-Page Photo Magazine

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Self promotion has been one of the most difficult things for me to overcome as a photographer. I constantly ask myself “Who cares?”, “Is this relevant?”, and “Do I sound like a douche bag?”. I’ve decided to get over myself this year and just put the work out there and let the chips fall as they may.

To that end, I started this year with a new promotional piece that focuses exclusively on my sports and fitness work. Here is a look at my simple new promotional material.

First and most importantly we have the actual magazine. I printed it through Blurb designing it via InDesign with the use of one of their templates. The nerdy details are: it’s 8.5 x 11 inches printed on 80# matte paper, the cover is semi-gloss and it’s 36 pages long.

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I’ve printed things before through Blurb and their quality has just gotten better and better over the years. I’m able to order as many or as few as I want at a go and it usually takes about two weeks to receive the pieces. I get a price break over 10 units and there is usually a coupon code floating around on internet that I can use.

That isn’t to say these promos are cheap, because they aren’t. They cost just shy of $9 a pop, and that’s before I package and mail them. This is probably a good time to mention I’m not sending out hundreds of these. I’m sending these out in a very targeted fashion based on responses to email campaigns and past clients.

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Each promo is hand addressed (by my wife, as I have terrible handwriting), hand wrapped (by my wife, as she’s just better at it than me), and tied with twine (I did that!). Then they are stamped with my fresh hottness of a logo and ready to be stamped with $2.47 postage and put in the mail. You read that right — $2.47. Like I said these aren’t cheap.

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Of course it would be nice if the job was done once they were in the mail. Now comes the follow up. I dropped the first batch in the mail just shy of a week ago and I know they are already hitting desks. Next comes the follow up where I get to do this:

The inside of the book is very straightforward: it has lots of pictures. You’ll get to see it in just a minute. But there is one page that I wanted to take a little extra time to talk about. The last page of the magazine includes a map of the United States and where Tulsa, Oklahoma is in relation to other near by major cities.

There’s really no easy way to say this, but nobody knows where the hell Tulsa, Oklahoma is. I said it and I stand by it. I’ve had SO many conversations with clients about where I am and how long will it take me to get to X. I thought I would help simplify the process. Of course in the bio below I do remind the recipient that I know the way to the airport too.

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I took some time and made a quick video showing the promo piece inside and out. I think I broke a camera in the process of doing this.

Hopefully this inspires some of you to create your own promotional mailers this year as well.


About the author: Kenneth M. Ruggiano is a photographer, husband, and Eagle Scout based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Visit his website here. This article originally appeared here.

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