Marketing Made Simple | Essential Marketing Advice, Tricks And Best Practices For The Busy Photographer
Marketing Made Simple | Long gone are the days when you could invest in an ad in local newspapers and wait for the phone to start ringing off the hook. We live in 2016, after all, and if you don’t bring your A game, you risk falling behind the competitors and losing even your existing clients. However, unlike what many marketing agencies would have you believe, marketing your photography business in this day and age doesn’t have to be expensive or overwhelming.
Marketing should never be confused for advertising; it’s a lasting effort to build brand awareness and get the word out there about your business and the services you’re providing. It’s the sum total of tools, platforms and tactics you use to engage your target audience, both online and off. If you’re just starting a photography business, or you’re looking for ways to spice up your marketing efforts this year, we’ve gathered some of the hottest marketing tips for photographers that will help you not only survive in 2016, but thrive!
Revisit Your Website | Marketing Made Simple
Having an effective photography website is vitally important for every photographer. However, keep in mind that not all websites are equal – much like fashion, the industry of web design keeps changing and evolving, and you need to make sure your website is current and up to date with the latest technology. If you had a website designed for you a few years ago, it might be a good idea to tweak a few things to hide the telltale signs of age and check whether your website is using Flash. Flash is pretty much outdated, and it will do more damage that you might think – not only does it take forever to load, but it’s not supported by many devices, so if your website is based on Flash, it’s definitely the time for a redesign.
Start Thinking About Search Engine Optimization | Marketing Made Simple
Building an online presence takes a lot more than simply having a professionally designed website for your business. At the end of the day, even the most appealing website won’t do you much good unless people actually visit it. And one of the best ways to drive traffic your way is to optimize each and every page of your website for search engines. Using your target keywords in page titles, descriptions and meta data, as well as the ALT tags of each image you upload to your website will help your potential clients find your website a lot easier.
Another great way to boost your website’s search engine rankings and have fun doing it is to set up a blog on your website. This way, you’ll be able to create fun and interesting, yet unique content you can share with your followers and friends on social media. This will also provide you with an organic way of using your target keywords on a regular basis on your website. After all, search engines index only text, almost completely ignoring the pictures, and the photography websites are notorious for the lack of text, which makes blog an incredibly powerful marketing tool with practically unlimited benefits.
Get Out Of Your Pajamas | Marketing Made Simple
No one will ever represent your business better than you would, so you need to get yourself out there and start introducing yourself to potential clients and business partners. You’d be surprised how loyal business owners can be to each other if they really hit it off! Attend networking events, conferences and hand out professionally designed business cards. Look for other business owners targeting similar audience but that are providing non-competing services. For example, you can approach hairstylists and makeup artists and build a referral network. This is a win-win situation – you can send your clients their way, and they’ll make sure to return the favor!
People Love Free Stuff | Marketing Made Simple
There’s no denying that many satisfied clients will be more than happy to recommend you to their friends and family, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to boost word of mouth advertising. To get your clients raving about the services you’re providing, you should consider offering a referral bonus – a reward that has high perceived value but doesn’t cost you too much, like a free print for each new client they bring in, or a discount on their next purchase.
What many business owners oftentimes overlook is the fact that potential and existing clients aren’t the only ones that appreciate a referral gift – other business owners also appreciate it. If you’re in the wedding photography industry, for example, consider sending a few professional shots of the flower arrangements to the florist, or some pictures of the cake to the cake decorator. This won’t cost you much, and you might end up building a powerful referral network of non-competing business owners.
Testimonials Can Boost Your Reputation | Marketing Made Simple
We live in an age of social validation: whether you’re browsing Amazon, or using Yelp to find the best restaurant in your area, all of our decisions are affected by the opinion of others. As an entrepreneur, you’d miss an incredibly important business opportunity if you didn’t use it to your advantage. Consider asking a few of your satisfied clients to write down a quick testimonial, talking about the experience they had working with you. In order to maximize the results, consider offering a reward if they share their testimonial from your website with their friends and followers. This will boost your exposure, and drive more people to your website!