Image courtesy: Moo.
Moo cards have become easy but creative ways for photographers to grow their businesses.
For photographers, winning bookings depends on referrals and connections, on personality and on reliability. But mostly it depends on the pictures. Produce great images and you won’t have to do much more than show them to prospects to convert many of them into clients. Moo has been making that easier for photographers to do since 2004. The UK-based print company that specializes in producing small products now prints “millions of cards” each month. They’re sold to hundreds of thousands of customers in more than 180 countries around the world.
The products themselves don’t sound very original. The company didn’t invent business cards or stickers and it certainly didn’t invent the postcard and the greeting card. But it did offer a way for photographers to print their images on a small scale, and at an affordable price that allows them to give them away to leads and win new business.
It’s an approach that’s not been lost on Moo itself. The company’s latest product is Facebook cards which use a customer’s main Timeline image as the graphic, and add text on the back. At the moment, Moo is giving them away for free, not including postage, as a way of reaching new potential buyers who might order more traditional business cards, and in order to benefit from Facebook’s viral posts. Each time someone’s Facebook page tells their friends that they’ve got Moo cards, the company spreads its name a little further.
Where Moo really stands out though is in its “Printfinity” technology that allows photographers to print a different image on each card in a pack of 50. Instead of trying to choose one photo to represent a photographer’s complete portfolio and range of talents, photographers can pick 50 different photos and show clients just how flexible they can be at a shoot. It’s no surprise then that the most popular use for Moo cards, even among photographers, is as business cards that show off their images as well as tell clients where they can be found.
Give Them Away at Weddings
It’s also no surprise though that creative photographers have managed to stretch the use of the cards so that they act as more than reminders for leads they failed to convert. Moo’s greeting cards become “thank you cards.” Its sticker books become free gifts as treasured, used and as effective as day calendars were before apps made paper diaries outdated.
A number of wedding photographers, for example, include a free engagement shoot in their wedding packages. By printing some of those images on Moo cards, photographers are able to use them not just as reminders but as gift cards. That’s a strategy employed by British photographer Mark Dolby who used the firm’s highest quality “Luxe” cards to create his Moo-based gift cards..
In addition though, Dolby also prints the engagement images on mini cards that he distributes at the wedding itself. The cards offer congratulations to the couple and include both a URL and an access code that allows guests to see the wedding photos as soon as they go up. Instead of relying on word of mouth to encourage guests to look at his photos, his Moo cards tell them where to go. New York wedding photographer Melissa Lynn, goes even further and does so with even less text. The mini Moo cards of her engagement shoots simply include the words “in two weeks you can see what I see @ beimagedblog.com,” telling guests not just where they can see the pictures — a collection that presumably will include photos of the card’s readers — but when they can see them.
“I always commit myself to posting a sneak peek collection of your wedding photographs within two weeks of your big day so these cards provide some direction to your friends + family who just can’t wait to see the photos and to relive the day,” she says on her blog.
Skip the Fax Number
The effectiveness of that approach relies not just on the image but on the content of the text on the back of the card. According to Rebeka Fluet, Moo’s Marketing Manager, some information traditionally found on business cards is becoming much less important than it used to be, leaving space for contact details with greater relevancy.
“Be sure to only include the most relevant information,” she recommends. “For instance, fax numbers are becoming less and less important, as are physical mailing addresses. Social media accounts are now the norm. Be sure to include company URL and email, as well as any of your business social media accounts.”
The text then can be very simple. And when you can include as many as 50 different images in each pack of cards, choosing the photos to spread at the wedding or offer to potential clients should be simple too; just about any image that looks good can go in the mix. If there is any complexity in using Moo it’s a challenge that every photographer faces as they prepare to print their images: ensuring that what they see on the screen is what they see on paper — that the colors are sharp, bright and accurate.
Rebeka Fluet recommends that professional photographers who have already enhanced their images turn off Moo’s own dynamic photo enhancement when they place their order and suggests that black and white or greyscale images be converted to RGB or CMYK color spaces. Moo uses Coated GRACoL 2006.
Most photographers though seem pretty happy with their colors and the print quality of the cards they get back from the company. Photographers’ blogs are as filled with images of packages from Moo being opened as geeks’ blogs contain unboxing images of Apple products. But perhaps the biggest advantage that Moo offers to photographers isn’t the quality of the printing or even the number of images you can squeeze into a single 50-card box. It’s what you can do with them to spread your name and your pictures — and win new business.