Sunday, 11 September 2011

How to turn someone into a lifelong mascot

I just went on a half day SLR photography course that came free with my Nikon camera.  Of the many things I picked up (which I will share in subsequent posts), the one that stood out was the way the course instructor marketed his photography school to those in attendance.  You see he runs his own photography school but has also been contracted (and obviously paid) by Nikon to teach new Nikon owners the ins and outs of their purchase.  

There was one thing in particular about this photography school that struck me as both simple and genius: At the end of a very informative course, Mr Instructor displayed a slide with all the other courses he provides in his personal capacity that are not related to Nikon.  Things like sports photography, model shoots and photojournalism feature on this list.  The prices range from $285 to $2500.  Then he proclaimed: "If you take any one of my courses, you have me as a lifelong consultant.  You can call me at any time of the year with any problem or query you may have and for as long as I live I will assist you.  You can come over at any time you like and I will help you personally if you are willing to make the drive."

Besides the obvious added incentive to take another course from him and the loyalty he builds among his students, he is in effect turning each person that comes under his wing into a mascot for his school.  With such a powerful offer there's little chance any student who enters his doors will recommend another instructor to their friends.  A lifelong teacher for a once-off fee - now that's value for money and a way to get people talking.

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