One hears a great deal of argument to the effect that it doesn't pay to advertise in a small town - a town of five or six or seven thousand because everyone knows the photographer. You would almost think the photographer was personally acquainted with that number of people - but even if he is, he cannot solicit business - cannot tell each one of those people they should have photographs made unless he does it by advertising.

No matter how well you may be known, how popular you are socially, you must keep hammering away at your advertising of photographs - must keep telling people they should be photographed and why they should be photographed, if you are going to make business.

The doctor profits most when there is an epidemic. He can't do anything to start one, but you can do a lot of things to start a real epidemic of photography. It is quite ethical in your business, and the desire to have portraits made can be created if you are a good advertiser and your advertising is of a nature to shape the mind of the public in your particular community.

I have seen localities where it was a hard matter to find someone who could direct you to the local photographer and I have seen other places where the photographer seemed to be about the most important person in the community. In the latter case, the man advertised.

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By Clarence Stearns Rochester, Minn.

I have one case in mind where a man opened a tent studio in a small town ten years ago, with a $20.00 gold piece for his capital. Two years ago he built a $15,-000.00 studio, and it is a paying investment. This is the Bisbee Studio of Twin Falls, Idaho, a town with a population of about 6,000.

The question always asked about small town advertising is, "How should I advertise and how much money should I spend?" And it is almost as hard to answer such questions as it would be for a doctor to treat a sick man without an opportunity to diagnose his case.

A business that is not advertised must be sick, or at least is not as healthy as it might be. If you had been sick all your life you wouldn't know just how it felt to be well, and it's the same with a good many businesses. You don't know how much better your business will be with the right kind of advertising, and if you have advertised without satisfactory results it is a certainty that the advertising was not of the right sort.

The studio mentioned above is spending $50.00 a month for 1916 publicity. That may seem a little strong for the average studio in a town of 6,000, but if it brings proportionate results, the larger the better. Mr. Bisbee says: "We are very enthusiastic about our advertising. The people like our ads and they bring us fine returns."

A great many people look at advertising as an expense. Some of it is, no doubt, but good advertising can only be looked upon as an investment. If you buy a small studio for a couple of thousand dollars, it is an investment and must return you interest in the form of a net profit which determines whether or not it is a good investment. And if you can invest a certain amount of money in advertising and increase the business the studio has been doing, the advertising is a good investment so long as the increase in profit is greater than the cost of the advertising.

Even good advertising, however, will not bring you big results the day after it appears in your paper. You must give it time to soak in, and keep it up until it starts business your way and then advertise some more to keep it coming, once it has started.It is good advertising to get people into your studio. It reminds them of pictures and may lead to a sale. But don't invite a lady to come into your studio for a drink of cold water and then try to sell her photographs. The following text which appeared with a good white margin around it, is a good example of indirect advertising:

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By Clarence Stearns Rochester, Minn.

"No matter how jolly the Fourth of July celebration, the babies are likely to be fretful before it is over. Even grown people are tired and thirsty when the dust is thick and the day is hot.

So we'll have water - it's filtered - on ice all day and you may be sure the drinking glasses are thoroughly washed after each using.

Or if you just want a quiet corner and magazine - or if you want to wait for your friends -

Or perhaps you want to heat milk for the baby. We have an electric plate and can do it so quickly for you. It's no trouble at all.

Our dressing room, fully appointed, was built for the public. Every day some one finds it convenient. So many people have said of it: 'How immaculate!' It's not just that, perhaps, but it is as clean as hands can make and keep it in Idaho. It's for you."

The Bisbee Studio

Such an advertisement in a small town paper creates interest in a studio, excites the curiosity of those who have never visited it and indirectly creates a desire for photographs. And if the reader should find occasion to take advantage of any of the courtesies extended in that advertisement and finds they are real - that the offer is made in good faith - and is kindly treated and not importuned to buy, that person will go to that studio when a photograph is wanted.