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Monday, November 23, 2009

Another Special Calendar

Last year one of the things I used for a business promotional tool were pocket planners. I'm not sure why they refer to them as "pocket" because they're definitely too big for most pockets, but you'll find many women carry these in purses or handbags, and men and women use them in briefcases.

You can buy fancy ones for a lot of money, but you can also buy inexpensive two-year planners in this size at most dollar shops - sometimes for as little as 2/$1.00. These make an excellent tool for low cost advertising, and make a useful gift for a bride-to-be. You can easily personalize these with an engagement photo of your couple, put your business information on the back of the calendar, and tuck a business card inside. When your couple come to pick up their engagement photos, give them one of these with their photo on the cover to use for tracking their wedding plans.

2-year planners for an engaged coupleSimple to make, and inexpensive - but these personalized calendars will provide exposure for your photography business for two years.

The work is a little "finnicky" and if you've got a large wedding photography business then you might want to consider having your own printed, but if you are a small business operator or just getting started, you can do these at home.

Buy the planners/calendars that come with a removable clear plastic cover - there is usually a photo or design printed on the cardboard cover of the calendar, but we'll be covering this up. Open the booklet part flat and measure the length and height. This is the size you'll want your photo to be printed at, with perhaps an extra 1/16" of an inch around all 4 sides for trimming.

pocket calendars with photo advertisingSelect a good photo of the couple from your engagement shots and print it to size, cropping if necessary. Remember when selecting your photo that half will be the front (the right side of the photo), and half the back (the left side of the photo). In your photo editor, create a new layer and make a selection to place your advertising text in. Fill the selection with whatever works best for your photo - I found white to be the best for most of mine. Now using the text tool, type out whatever information you want to include. The name of the couple if you like, the date and place of the photo, your copyright and business details such as the business name, address, phone number, website and/or email. Flatten the layers.

If you are printing your own at home, you must have an excellent photo printer, and good quality print paper - heavy print stock in a semi-gloss or matte finish usually works best.

Print the copy with your advertising on it. Lay the opened planner over your photo and cut around it with an exacto knife, leaving a slightly larger edge on the photo. Remember that when the book is closed it's thickness will require these extra edges in order to cover up the entire planner cover.

Try a fitting - slip your photo into the plastic cover that you removed. If it fits wedding planning calendar personalized including business cardproperly, then slide the planner's front and back cover flaps back into the plastic. Close it to ensure your photo covers all the other edges. If you need to, you can trim the edges of the planner itself.

Now slip one of your business cards under the plastic flap inside the planner and you've created an excellent advertising tool for very little cost. One that is also a useful and practical tool for the bride and groom.

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