I am compulsive about washing my hands so I always carry around a little bottle of hand sanitizer. My family lovingly teases me about my need to squirt the alcohol-based gel into my palms after shaking hands, touching door knobs or using the keypad on a debit card swipe machine.
Recently, my in-laws gave me some hand sanitizer as a gag gift: a two-ounce bottle of Blue Q’s Bitch Slap Those Germs. It is a real antiseptic that contains aloe vera and 62% ethyl alcohol but it’s brilliantly packaged with a unique label that separates it from the dozens of other hand sanitizers on the shelf. Blue Q’s label made me think about my personal business marketing campaign.
As a freelance commercial photographer, I am always trying to think of different ways to market myself. Any promotion that gets people to notice me or remember my name is good marketing.
Blue Q’s product description on their website is as imaginative as their label: “Take that, germ bitches! Some would say knowledge is power and knowing that we can kill the germs on our hands with a simple dab of Bitch Slap Those Germs! Hand Sanitizer is priceless information. Keep it in the car, your office, or your purse but let those germs know that you aren’t goin’ nowhere, but they are! Be sure to kick those germs next time you go bowling or to that lunch buffet!”
Another pharmaceutical company describes their hand sanitizer as “made of ethyl alcohol which claims to kill “99.99%” of most common germs that may cause illness in as little as 15 seconds.” While both companies advertise the same thing, Blue Q’s product description is more clever.
So, inspired by Blue Q’s genius, I am going to retool my own marketing campaign in the next few months. I will copyedit my website to eliminate boring buzzwords and avoid overused marketing rhetoric to describe myself as “dynamic”, “innovative”, “effective”, “motivated” and “experienced.”
The next time that I meet with an art director, I will speak inventively about how my personal vision and skills can communicate the client’s message. I will separate myself from the dozens of other photographers on the shelf. But first, I will use my hand sanitizer after shaking his hand.