This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
799. A merchant selling goods is an individual who is accommodating and conveniencing the general public by-placing the goods or material which he sells within convenient and easy reach. This same merchant, through the medium of advertising, tells the buyers to just what extent he can serve and provide for them in his particular line - better than others, and, therefore, to what extent he is entitled to the patronage. If he is really better able to serve the public, and can convince the public of that fact, he will certainly get the patronage.
800. And right here is the point: Good advertising is nothing more or less than good arguments - the seller argues with the people concerning his goods, through his advertisements. If you make a strong statement in an advertisement, give a reason. Tell why it is so; then it is shown to be the truth and appeals to the reason. An unsupported statement that a thing is so is not convincing. The common sense point of an advertisement that appeals to the reason of the reader, and the showing why for good reason the thing must be so, and why the article is of real value to the buyer, is the kind of advertising that brings returns, and not the literary effort on the part of the one who constructs the advertisement.
801. It is taken for granted that the photographer knows how to make a good photograph, yet it does not follow that he knows how to make the public appreciate it, nor that he has the ability to make such photographs. Good, strong advertising will produce business, but the advertising must be backed up with the ability to produce good work, for the advertising would be short-lived if one were not able to please the customers after once secured. On the other hand, one may be ever so capable and have extraordinary ability in producing the highest class of work, but if the public does not know it and he makes no effort to get customers, he may want for subjects until his business has failed entirely. By combining strong advertising, conservative business methods, a neat appearing studio and excellent workmanship, any studio can be made a success.
802. Mr. W. I. Scandlin says: "A good business man is like a good fisherman. Both throw out attractive bait and then leave it up to the fish to bite. If you could catch one-fifth of the people of your community who haven't been in a studio for five years, you would be kept busy. A lot of them will rise to the right kind of bait." It is our aim to give you in this instruction the right kind of bait to use, and if you are doing a good living business without publicity, by following these suggestions your studio can easily be made to double its present business, which means greater profits.
803. Competition is the life of trade, and if there are other studios in your community, so much the better. All lines of business are continually placing before the public the quality of their goods, prices, etc. Each and every one is telling how good and how cheap their products are, how prompt they are in their delivery, etc. The progressive photographer has the same privilege, but photography having been recognized as one of the arts, cannot consistently make a bid as to prices. Low prices cheapen your products and cheapen your studio. Therefore, when you advertise you should only call attention to the high grade of photographs you are making, the personal attention you give your patrons, the promptness of delivery, etc. Invite them to your studio to inspect your styles of work, etc., thus giving your studio an air of refinement which the picture-loving public is ever ready to appreciate.