Make use of your two most important marketing tools, your camera and your customers. In the business of hunting outfitters and fishing lodges, pictures of your customers, and their trophies, are like gold, highly valuable. Pictures help tell a story about what your future customers can expect when they book their fishing or hunting trip with you, and they remind your past customers of their great times they have had. When considering pictures, make sure to take pictures of yourself, to establish you as an expert in your field. Pictures of you with that big Walleye that we want on our wall or with that trophy whitetail buck that creates hunter envy in all of us will help with establishing your credibility.

Learn to Use Your Camera To take great pictures, learn how to operate your camera. Digital cameras have different setting for action shots and still shots, for bright light conditions and low light. Take lot's of digital pictures, they're free and we all love to look at pictures as reminders of the great times we spent with our fishing and hunting buddies. Your future customers will want to see pictures of what a hunting trip or a fishing trip with you will be like. Make sure you capture pictures of yourself, with a walleye we would all be proud to have on our wall, or with a buck that will cause envy among all the hunters among us.

Learn to Use Your Pictures As your outdoors business continues to grow the number of happy customers and great pictures should grow building more opportunities to share pictures with other future customers. Pictures can used in advertising, in marketing campaigns, on your website, and in your brochures. Pictures quickly show the great attributes your location. More images give you a greater opportunity to show a specific potential customer that you have what they are looking for, through examples from the past.

Gathering Pictures from Customers Sometimes the hardest part is getting the pictures from your customers once they have left your property. They have the pictures of their hunting adventure or fishing on the memory card of their digital camera. Here are 3 easy strategies to gather some great photos.

1. Set up your own computer in an easy to access place so that before your customers leave, you can take 5 minutes to copy their photos. Make sure you have all the accessories to handle the majority of camera types, that means memory card readers and adapters as well as a variety of USB cables. Check at your local camera store or computer store for the most popular and you will be able to cover off 90% of the devices for under $ 100.

2. Give your customers your business card before they leave and write a short note asking them to email you their favorite pictures from the trip. Follow up with a phone after a week (good customer service as well) to remind them to send you the pictures.

3. Start an online photo contest with your customers. Your web designer should be able to set up a simple image submission form and photo contest on your website (if not, you have the wrong web designer). Having a contest is fun and gives your customers another way to brag about their trip and show off their trophy's. Give the winner a discount on their next trip to you, or offer them a premium service for a standard price.

Other Uses of Your Images Once you have an archive of pictures, you have a number of ways to make use of them. Add them to your brag book, a binder of your brochures and pictures of your customers. Take the book everywhere you go, keep it in your truck, bring it to tradeshows. Send a few pictures to your past customers on a frequent basis as part of your drip marketing campaign (see the article on Drip Marketing). Use the pictures to create an outfitter calendar that you can send to your customers as a Christmas gift (and a reminder to return).

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