It is important to advertise your picture framing business effectively, to let your potential customers know who you are, where you are and what you can do for them. Many customers will only require framing services on occasion and so may not have the name of a picture framer to hand. The first place that many are likely to look is online.
More and more people search for things like picture framing services online - so a website is probably essential. You could also benefit from a listing in an online directory - such as that maintained by the Fine Art Trade Guild.
You could consider taking an advert on Yell.com. Bear in mind that many of your competitors will have done the same and some firms spend a lot of money on large, eye-catching display advertisements. Try to include in your advertisements all the main points about your business and the range of frames and framing services you offer. Be sure to emphasise any things that distinguish your business from its competitors for example, '25 years experience', 'family run firm', 'while-you-wait' service and so on. Members of the Fine Art Trade Guild benefit from discounted advertising on Yell.com.
Think about adding your professional profile to LinkedIn so that potential customers are aware of your picture framing expertise and qualifications. You could use other social media to market your business and stay in touch with regular customers too.
Other ways of advertising
Think about other ways of promoting your business. You could, for example, distribute paper flyers or businesses cards to art galleries, photographers or gift shops and ask if they would pass some on to their customers. You could try contacting local art classes, photography clubs, schools, colleges and WI groups to let them know about the framing services you offer. Perhaps you could offer an introductory discount to members of these groups or even consider giving a talk or demonstration.
Your local newspapers may run a regular 'contact the experts' advertising feature. Finally, remember that a business vehicle can be an effective means of advertising if you have it sign-written and keep it clean and presentable.
Word of mouth
Word of mouth recommendations are very valuable to your business. If you do a good job, local galleries, artists and gift shops will hear about it and might recommend your services to other customers. People may trust you with old and valuable works of art so they will want to be sure that you are a careful worker and do a good job - a recommendation from a friend will help to persuade them. Membership of a trade association or the Guild Commended/Certified Framer scheme will reassure them, too. You will have to earn your reputation through good, reliable workmanship - but a friendly and polite manner can pay big dividends from the outset. Make sure that any people you employ are good ambassadors for your business too.