I hope that you’ve had a chance to read the first two installments of marketing with auctions.  If you didn’t, go ahead and read about choosing the right auction for your photography donation and deciding what to donate.  It’s fine, this page will wait right here for you.

If you’ve been to a silent auction before you know half of the fun is to walk around and look at the incredibly crowded tables packed with all of the fun stuff that you can buy.  In order to gain brand visibility and have your donation stand out to potential bidders, you MUST have a dynamic display.  A little 8×10 on an easel isn’t going to cut it.  Please don’t feel badly if that’s what you do.  That is actually what I did at my first auction too, but it certainly wasn’t helping promote my brand to qualified buyers.   I’ve included a picture of my current auction display below.

Silent auction displays for photographers

**Please don’t judge me for this image as I am NOT a product photographer by any means….if it’s not moving I don’t know how to photograph it.  😉

I use a metal mural with 9 different images, which is an idea that was given to me by the “Goddess of Marketing” Sarah Petty.  Yes, I have declared that she is the official “Goddess of Marketing”.  I may have to dedicate another post to her in the future but I certainly recommend checking out her website the Joy of Marketing.  This whole display is about 18×18 inches and only a few inches deep so it’s easy for the people setting up the auction to display it.  It’s also nice and sturdy and looks good as new even after many auctions.  Things do tend to get moved around a bit so your display should be pretty sturdy.  I do attach my price list to the display as I don’t want there to be any sticker shock to the person that purchases the item.  One could reason that a 16×20 canvas and session fee retailing for almost $700 means that a session with me is a investment, but I would rather that information be out there for the person bidding on my item.  I feel that is also reinforces that I am indeed a legitimate business with a unique display and beautiful press printed marketing materials.

There are lots of ways to showcase your images in your auction display to I encourage you to be unique.  Give it some thought and find something that compliments your brand.  I know that some people have used digital frames to showcase more of their work.  One large single framed image or canvas is also impactful.   A multi-opening frame on a beautiful easel is a great way to showcase a handful of your images and attract qualified buyers.  Think outside of the box but just make sure that it is beautiful, large, compliments your brand, and showcases your work.  In addition to the actual auction display, I also include a lovely certificate printed on thick linen paper outlining the donation.  That certificate is placed in a thick artisan folder that I would deliver a print in.  All of these little details start planting the seed of luxury item to the purchaser.

Please come back tomorrow for a few certificate legalities and a final word about customer service in our final installment of the series.