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If photography is how you make a living, as a business owner you face a whole new set of challenges. How do you get your name and business information out there? What is the best way to approach marketing for your photography business? Where are the most effective places to advertise in order to create the buzz about your business? 

All of these questions can be tricky to answer and can be answered a number of ways. Here are some basic ways to boost the impact of your photography business, so you can get the most out of your marketing efforts. 
 
Alphabet Soup - SEO, CTA, and CTR's

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These days, one of the largest advertising tools is the internet. With websites, social media, online reviews and such, it is an avenue too large for any business owner not to take advantage of. The first step when it comes to marketing on the web is understanding the meaning behind the acronyms. There are plenty of blogs about how to effectively market online, and many of them use the same language, or in this case, letters.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of getting as much 'organic' (non-paid) traffic to your website. With the use of keywords, tags, metadata, and many other factors, you can generate traffic to your website for free, just from simple search engine searches. You can track what works and what doesn't, and tweak all the meaningful data required to put your site on the top of the search page.

Calls To Action (CTA) are those little buttons placed all through a blog, or website. They are on the top, in the middle, on the bottom, and sometimes they pop out at you, but all of them have one purpose... to call you to action! They are strategically placed clickable links to your website, asking customers to go to your page and check out your stuff. And if you have any control over the placement, there is some scientific research as to where is the best place to put them. Don't be shy about your Calls To Actions: Book Today / Request a Quote / Meet the Photographer / etc. Almost every page of your website should have a call to action!

Click Through Rate (CTR) is another group of letters you will see, and this is something that anyone who uses the internet to market and sell should be aware of. It is the rate at which your Calls To Actions and search engine searches generate clicks through to your website. Using SEO data points to increase your CTR is crucial, as once you know what sections of your website or what pieces of content generate more clicks, then you'll have the key to  generate more website traffic,  more qualified leads, and more business!

Know Your Demographic

Often times, people think that to catch a lot of fish, you need to cast a wide net. This is true, but it is also true that this approach does not always bring the best prospective clients. This is why there is something to be said about professional photographers fishing in very specific pools. For example, if your specialty is weddings, you're probably not going to generate a lot of business advertising on auto supply websites. Find out where your clients spend their time, what social media outlets they are most drawn to, what groups they belong to and trust,and focus on marketing on those sites. Target the right audience to get more meaningful and productive prospects.

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Become An Exhibitionist

No, we don't mean run around in public naked (!), although that will probably attract attention as well. We mean exhibit your art. Get the word out there by putting on a show in a small local gallery, cafés or even local restaurants and bars. Not only will it get your work out there for the public to see, and possibly generate some print sales, but it is a feather in the cap of any photographer to say that they had a showing or an exhibition. Additionally, clients always get pride in knowing that their photographer is getting well known. This gives them the prime insider's feeling and elevates your brand and value in their eye. So advertise about your showing, and invite friends and customers, as well as critics and reviewers.

The Magic of Social Media

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Thanks to sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, getting your pictures out there to be seen, is as easy as clicking a share button. These avenues can't be ignored for photographers to market themselves. Create an artist page, put links to your website where your contact information is in your bio's and start sharing yourself. Connect with your followers on a personal level, by responding to questions or comments on your work. Create buzz by posting about showings and exhibitions, or contests you've won along with other accomplishments. Share, and share again. Also keep in mind that these sites have options for paid advertisements, which can be affordable even if you don't have a huge marketing budget.

Word of Mouth

This has been, and will always be an effective marketing tool. People tend to choose a business more often if someone they trust recommends it, or if there are a lot of people who have good things to say about you or your work. Allowing for reviews on your social media page is one way to create feedback. Also creating a testimonial page on your business website, and asking people to review their experience and your work is an excellent way to get your word of mouth machine running.

Create a Connection

When we say create a connection, we don't just mean choosing to showcase your most emotion-provoking work. We mean connect with your clients, and other photographers, on a personal level. Put a personal bio on your website and social media pages, respond to questions and comments personally and in a friendly manner. Using emotional trigger words can be an effective marketing tool, can help to create relationships with clients, and can also generate more positive word of mouth action. Networking with other professional photographers through PPA.com can also be invaluable. Getting advice, or referrals from other professionals is something that every business owner needs. Because in the end, people always do business with people they like. This is valid for clients to do repeat business with you, for them to refer you, or for other vendors to refer you. Connections will help your business soar on its own.

Ask For The Sale!

In the midst of all these marketing strategies, networking tips, and promotion tactics, one thing we can't forget is to ask for the sale! It can be one of the hardest things to do for salesmen. They can talk to people, create rapport, and build a solid relationship with their customers all day long, but when push comes to shove, they are unable to simply ask for the sale. Sometimes that can mean the difference between creating an income and watching customers walk away.

All in all, marketing for professional photographers is similar to marketing many other types of services. Just track the results of your efforts, and be willing to change and acclimate to do what brings in the amount of business you want to see for yourself.

For more information and help to take your photography business to the next level, check out PPA's See The Difference® campaign. Not currently a member of PPA? Then, use the nonprofit that helps photographers be more profitable with a vast array of benefits and join today!


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By David Eun

Clients are the lifeblood of any business, and the same applies to you and your photography studio. Convincing them to do business with you, though, isn't as simple as it sounds. Whether you are veteran in the game or a brand-new photographer who just opened up a studio, everyone can use help in bringing new faces through their doors.

So, here are 7 ways to garner more clients:

1) Referrals
• This is the oldest/most practical method in the book. Referrals from loyal customers are cost-efficient ways to gain more clients fairly quickly. Offer incentives, such as punch cards or discounts, to encourage more referrals!

2) Customer Service
• The client experience needs to be top-notch. Not only will that further incentivize current clients to refer you to others positively, but it will also ensure they don't hate you. Even one nasty review on Yelp can tarnish your image.

3) Networking
• With the exception of direct competitors, networking with other photographers and vendors greatly increases your reach in regards to finding prospective clients. Shoot out some emails or leave business cards in person. Network! You can get started on theLoop, PPA's members-only social network.

4) SEO
• Search Engine Optimization plays a significant role in the amount of exposure businesses obtain in the digital realm, which virtually everyone uses. Take a quick - and cheap - SEO course online (there are several great PPAedu videos on the subject you can watch) or hire a professional. It helps a lot.

5) Live Feeds
• Social Media, such as Instagram and Facebook, allows you to host live videos with your followers. You can show your audience behind the scenes work in your next photo shoot or hold a Q&A session. People love connection!

6) Social Media Advertising
• You can run a business without social media presence, but doing so is ill-advised. The world is becoming more and more digital every year, so having a few advertisements on social media platforms gets your name out there immensely.

7) Magazine Advertising
• If you're going to advertise, investing in more traditional methods still works. Make sure to advertise in magazines that are related to your client's interests. Also, double check to see a lead list is also included!

PPA takes pride in seeing its photographers succeed in their business endeavors. People will come up with crazy, unorthodox marketing schemes, which do have their place. But, we believe by following at least these 7 tips, your path to a profitable profession looks clear and straight. Looking for additional ways to help get your name out there and increase business? Check out your FREE See The Difference resources. Not currently a PPA member? Find out more about all the benefits offered to PPA members and how you can join today!

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By Lisa Sharer

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Snail mail is dying. When it comes to marketing efforts, our world is moving towards the digital age. One very important marketing platform is email. While this should not be your only form of reaching your audience, it is a crucial part of any marketing plan.

It would be nice to just send a personal email from Gmail, but you may want to look into something that says "Professional Photographer." In this case, it's best to find an email-marketing platform that will help you navigate the world of email design, structure, and deployment.

"So, where do I start?" you make ask. Luckily, Professional Photographer magazine has already done some of the legwork for you. Here are 8 Email Marketing Options for Your Business. As is mentioned, you will want to pick the best service for your needs. So take advantage of free trial options, and decide what works for your business needs.

Looking for other ways to help get your name out there and increase business? Check out your FREE See The Difference resources. Not currently a PPA member? Find out more about all the benefits offered to PPA members and how you can join today!

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By Lisa Sharer

In 30 or 40 years, how will you remember the most important moments of your life? It's a question that the print industry is asking during this technological age. According to a nationwide survey conducted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA), consumers are printing significantly less than the generations before them.

In some homes, photo albums do not exist. For some people, printing photos is not even on their radar. People are leaving everything in the cloud, and assuming their coveted images will be safe forever there. But if there's anything we know, it's that technology has the potential to crash, delete images and possibly even wipe files off the face of the earth.

This infographic illustrates the very scary truth about consumers' relationship with printing photography products. While we would like to believe that everything will be fine on a computer or in the cloud, we can never really be sure. Even if they are safe, are consumers planning to share their family photos from a desktop? Will people walk into each other's homes and bypass blank walls to head directly to the computer?

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Tangible, visible, printed images are the only thing that can really tell the story of our most precious moments. Generally speaking, don't you see children more fascinated by the family photos throughout the home folders on a computer screen? And as adults, will they wonder why their parents aren't proudly displaying their special moments? Will that one photo make as much of an impact to the newlyweds that choose only to share via their social media?

These are all valid concerns, and they start with the photographer. As photography professionals, it is our obligation to give the full scope of a photo session, including the printed works that follow. This infographic shows the awe-inducing effects of the technological age as well as the importance of bringing home a printed image that will let the subjects beam with love and pride, and that they will be able to share with generations to come.

To learn more about The Print Movement and how printing can help reinforce the photographic industry, visit PRINTmovement.org. You'll find an array of statistics, valuable information, as well as resources to help you sell print products from your own studio. It's time to start the (re)evolution of print!

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About the author:
Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.
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By Lisa Sharer

Selling a final product is what sets professional photographers like you apart from the shoot-and-burn amateurs or the low-price-ballers. In fact, Professional Photographer magazine recently released a case study on this topic.

Case Study: In-Person Sales and Print Products Saved These Studios, by Jeff Kent. Read the story to find out how three different photographers embraced the challenge of and, in the end, the profitability of implementing in-person sales with their clients. Each case is a clear example of how any photographer that is willing to put in the effort can make a full-time and highly profitable career out of their art. It just takes a little gusto (and in some cases just a little muscle), but it pays off!

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Now, with the inspiration of this article, check out the completely customizable brochures available to all PPA members. This tool will set you up with an easy guide for your clients. It includes tips, spaces for your best images, and a helpful pricing guide where you can start to show your value.

Not yet a PPA member? Well then, check out the See The Difference® program to learn more about how PPA helps photographers with marketing, in-person sales, and lots of other resources to be more profitable.


By Lisa Sharer

With PPA's See The Difference toolbox, you'll find tools, resources, tips and examples to help photographers work on marketing, branding, and sales! These tools include everything from enlightening videos to photo-style quizzes that are fun and informative for photography consumers and prospects alike. The variety of resources you'll find is to help you show potential clients why hiring a professional photographer is smarter and more cost effective than hiring an amateur. It's all about upping the value of your offering and positioning so you can stand out from the crowd. PPA continuously adds new tools for PPA member to easily add to their marketing collateral pieces, website, social media, sales presentation, etc. This month you will find a brand new resource to further enforce that concept.

In this effort, a contest was held on theLoop (PPA's members-only social network) to find some fun images that may remind you a bit of your childhood ventures into Highlights magazine. The idea is for your potential clients to see two side-by-side photos, and see if they can pick out all the differences between a photography snapshot and a professional portrait. Studies have proven that games like this one, as simple as it may seem, help people integrate concepts in a deeper and faster way. As the saying goes, a picture (or two, in this case!) is worth a thousand words. Simply put: let them play a little and they will see the difference between a pro and an amateur shot.

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You will find one spot-the-difference postcard for each photography specialty: Wedding, Family, Newborn, Seniors, and Pets. Simply print out, and keep them in your studio or share them on your website. Your potential clients will find themselves enjoying a little puzzle, while also learning the talents that a professional has to create beautiful photos.

Use this or one of the many other See The Difference resources to help market your brand and sell your services and products. It's just one of the many ways that being a member of PPA can help you Be More. If you're not a PPA member, check out all the benefits you could be receiving and then join today!


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About the author:
Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.

By Lisa Sharer

First, let's define exactly what brand means. According to Wikipedia, "A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer." Simply put, it's the 'je ne sais quoi' that consumers perceive about you and your business and make them turn to you before your competitors.

Since that 'je ne sais quoi' is by definition, undefinable, you'll need to try out different strategies to see what will make you stand out. If you're new to the marketing game, try starting with the basics. After many tests, you'll eventually figure out how to reach your target market, and exactly what is bringing in the clients.

So why is branding beneficial to all this when you're busy trying to get more clients? Well, once you have a style, a unique customer service experience, a familiar name - you'll be the go-to photographer for your brilliant kind of images and the experience you offer. For example, you are looking for a certain home product and you want it to be mailed to you as quickly as possible, what's the first company you might go to look for that product? Did someone say Amazon? They have built their brand over many years to coincide with those exact thoughts that you might have as a consumer. Now, it's time for you to be that special photographer.

Here's what you can expect with a great, stand-out brand:

  1. You Will Be More Visible. Your logo or your name will become familiar to the potential clients in your area. They will already know who you are before they are even looking to hire a photographer. They'll even compare others to you, and in the end, come back to you because it's your brand that attracts them.
  2. Trigger Referrals. Once you've dazzled one or two clients with your unique customer service experience, captivated them with your beautiful images, and delighted them with the quality of your products, you'll have already started your branding. Getting referrals is like going viral - except it's offline and brings in more credibility and...real cash.
  3. Be More Profitable. It goes without saying that once you have more clients, you'll make more money. But you should also note that once you are displaying amazing products, your sales will soar as well. And photographers with an established, strong brand will all tell you: the sale happens most often when people are attached to your brand and come in with a pre-existing understanding of the larger scope your artistry offers.

So, invest in developing your brand. Are you the quirky high school senior photographer? Or are you the incredibly laid-back family photographer that can make anyone feel comfortable? Wherever your brand fits, stick with it, develop it, and let your photography flag fly!

Next month we will be featuring See The Difference and the PRINT Movement as they are two very useful benefits for PPA member to grow their business. We have some very exciting things to help you build your brand and sell more products. So be on the lookout!

Not yet a PPA member? Find out about the amazing benefits PPA has to offer, and join today!


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About the author:
Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.



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By Autumn Rice

PPA photographers are a diverse group of people who begin as friends, but ultimately become family. Through connecting with one another and sharing experiences, they provide a support that contradicts the thought of being in business alone. PPA's YouTube video series, Behind The Camera, features professional photographers who share their trials and tribulations, and their relationship within the PPA community. Today, Trish Logan pitches in. 

None of these interviews are scripted or paid for. These are real photographers, members of PPA, who value and share the power of their PPA community. 

In this video Trish Logan shares the value of See The Difference resources, and how they increase the credibility of her business with her clients.


Help your photography friends and share this video. The power of being involved and deeply connected goes beyond professional development. It's a support system no one should be left without. You can also view a full playlist of the Behind The Camera Video series on PPA's YouTube channel and learn more about See The Difference here.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2016. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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So far you've learned the basics of Marketing and figured out how to recognize your target audience. Now, what do you do with this information? You can't just willy-nilly start throwing ads out there or hitting social media without a plan! So, the next step is to get organized and create that plan. Just follow these easy steps, and you'll be ready to start marketing your photography business!

Step 1: Situation Analysis

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It's as simple as, what is your current situation? Where are you and where do you want to be? Start with a SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.


Strengths and Weaknesses are qualities that currently exist within your business. Is your photography great, but your bookkeeping could use work? Do you work really hard, but for too many hours? Are you strong with event photography, but need more practice in the portrait discipline? If you take a little time to reflect on your work, you will know where you excel and where you could use a little help. If you have outside mentors, friends, or even members of your business that you trust and respect, you can ask for their help in identifying some of these areas with you.

Opportunities and Threats are forces that are working outside of your business. Is there an opportunity to expand your market, but there's more competition in those markets? Can you include different types of photography, but maybe you aren't fully educated in that area? Think about what you want to accomplish as a business owner.  What conditions in the market are favorable or will help you reach those goals?  Opportunities are everywhere.  They can be relationships you're building with influencers in your area, a new photographic niche that's becoming popular or even technology advancements.    Finally, identify those outside forces that could hinder you.  Threats could be an economic downturn, discontinued product items and again, changes in technology.

Once you've done that, think about what makes your photography unique. How can you set yourself apart from your competition? Maybe you specialize in print photography. Maybe you're the only high school senior photographer in your area. You know what makes your work special, so just pause and identify what sets you apart from the rest.

Step 2: Describe Your Target Market

Lucky for you, you've probably already created an outline for this. If not, take some time to create your buyer persona. Once you've done that, you can write a short paragraph about your target market. Make sure to detail where (geographically) your audience resides, their age, gender, etc. Make sure to identify their wants and the challenges associated with providing solutions for said wants. Make it clear for yourself, and anyone else that might not be fully invested in your business (for example, a freelance marketing assistant).

Step 3: Identify Your Marketing Goals

When thinking about your marketing goals, remember that they need to fit into your overall business goals. Also, don't forget to create S.M.A.R.T. goals.

So, what are your studio's goals? To increase your bottom dollar? To expand the reach of your business? To tell clients about new products or services? Make a list of your goals, from most important to least important, and attack each goal individually. Make sure you are clear about each goal, so you have a clear path on how to effectively reach it.

Step 4: Decide on the Marketing Strategies You'll Use

Your buyer persona will again help you in this area. Many of these strategies will be based solely off of age. Does your audience relate to Facebook, or are they more Snapchat savvy? Would your target audience pick up a magazine, or would they be more likely to see a sign at the local coffee shop? By knowing the likes and recreation habits of your target audience, you can decide the best and most effective outlets for your message.

The most effective strategies will be multilevel. What do you mean MULTILEVEL?! Multilevel refers to engaging your potential client at every moment of their buying journey. You have probably made a decision about a big purchase before. Did you dive in and buy, let's say, the first car you came across? No, you probably did your research, picked your favorite kind, and then shopped your options. That's exactly what your potential clients are doing.

For example, maybe a potential client does a Google search for photographers in their area. There's your first outreach opportunity. Maybe that potential client then checks out your website, but then leaves to run an errand and forgets about their family portrait. Maybe the next thing they do is surf Facebook. Boom! There's your next opportunity to reach out. Maybe later that night your client goes to the local coffee shop to get a late night mochaccino. Did you remember to hang up a flyer there?

Think about all the paths that your buyer persona might take during their buying journey and plan accordingly.

Step 5: Set a Budget


Piggy.jpgIt's time to set some money aside. If you run the finances, make sure that you are putting the appropriate amount aside to achieve your marketing goals. Also, make sure you aren't setting too much aside in order to protect your profits. If you're a little nervous about creating a budget, the PPA Business Challenge and the Square One tool are great resources to get you on the confident budgeting track.


If you're the creative, and you have a partner or a financial advisor, they may be a huge help in this area. Talk over your plan with that person, and let them know your intent and your ideas on how much you might need for running a marketing campaign.

If you're just starting out, this may mean that you'll need to incur some costs up front. In this case, you should monitor your spending and still try to keep to a budget. If you see that some things are proving to be expensive with not much return on your investment (ROI), that's when you start adjusting your plan. Don't worry about keeping a hard line on the original plan; it should always be flexible and serve your business needs. As our marketing director at PPA always says: "Test, Test, Test!"

Once you've followed these steps you should have a clear outline of your next steps. If you're looking for additional marketing tools, check out the See The Difference© campaign and PRINT. The Movement campaign. If these intrigue you, find out more about becoming a PPA member today!

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Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.

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As photographers, your specialty is beautiful imagery. Your time and energy is spent with your clients. Your focus is the final product. Unfortunately, none of that matters if you don't have the clients lined up in the first place. So, how do you track down the people out there who are looking for a photographer, and how do you get them to choose you? Marketing. Here's a brief rundown on the basics.

Target Audience

Are you a wedding photographer? Then you need future brides to see you. Are you a family portrait photographer? Then you need moms to see you. First thing is first, identify your target demographic. Who in your area will have the means to purchase the services you offer? Once you've determined that, create a persona of the perfect client. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal  client based off their presumed demographics, cultural identity, motivations, and behaviors. For example, meet Elizabeth. Elizabeth just got engaged, she's likely between 21 and 28 years of age, she's just out of college and starting a career, and she is completely overwhelmed by planning a wedding. Now you know who you're marketing to, and what you can offer to make her life better.

Marketing Strategy

Before you go Facebooking, or snatching up ads in your local paper, create a plan. This will help you to prepare, establish goals, and measure your success. That part is key, otherwise you won't know what works and what doesn't.

Step 1. Define your goal. Do you want more clients? Are you looking to increase your average sale per client? Will you be promoting a special product or service or perhaps working with a charity? Decide what is most important to your business at this time and then you can focus your message.

Step 2. Decide what outlets your potential clients focus on the most. This will likely take some testing. You may think it's Facebook, but maybe it's Instagram. Either way, make sure you put time into developing these platforms so that they look professional and approachable. Go with your gut, and then see how you're performing.

Step 3. Content strategy. Once you've decided where you're going to market your photography services, then you'll need to start creating content to be visible, credible, and trigger leads. Make an outline of a strategy that can help you create relevant content you need for those platforms.

Step 4. Set a marketing budget. Rather than throwing money at an issue, you need to carefully plan out how you'll be investing every penny. Set a budget to keep your financial contributions within an affordable range.

Step 5. Measure your success. By testing and analyzing, you can figure out what is giving you the best results. Check in on your original goal, and see how close or far you are from success.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine. So, basically getting your website as close to the top of a Google search as you can. You will attract more online visitors by making sure your SEO ranks higher than other photographers in your area. Better SEO equals more clients. So make sure your site is easy to use, looks great on mobile devices, and contains content that is relatable and engaging. Most photographers try optimizing for the highest Google results in general, but they forget that most potential client do local searches, meaning that you will get a bigger bang for your SEO bucks if you optimize for local searches.

Content Creation

You need to create content for your site and your marketing outlets. Whether it's writing, an image, or even video, you'll need to create content that is engaging and attracts your target audience. Many photographers find that including a blog on their site is a great way to engage potential clients. You have an amazing advantage over other small businesses in the sense that you have a professional camera that can take high-res videos. Even if you chose to produce a small iPhone-made video, you have a mastery of lighting that will surpass most hand-made videos, so play with it!

Having regular content can encourage more site traffic and great nuggets of info. For social posts, depending on your choice of outlets, you'll want to create a schedule so that you are regularly producing content that will catch the eye of your buyer persona.

ROI - Website Analytics

Once you've started putting yourself and your business out there, you'll want to see what's working and what's not so that you maximize your ROI (return on investment). Put that money to good use! A great free tool is Google Analytics. Here you can see where your traffic is coming from, what demographic is looking at your site, how long they spend on the site, and so much more. This is where you'll really understand which platform is working the best for you. This way, you can focus your efforts on things that are working, and spend less time focusing on things that aren't working.

Marketing is using a panoramic application of finding your potential clients and converting them to actual clients. There's so much more in-depth information out there that can help you create and manage a marketing plan. However, with this overview, you can get a good start on making that a reality.

If you need a few materials to help you, PPA offers the marketing tools for its members as part of the See The Difference campaign. These can help you easily create professional brochures, add landing pages to your site, give you shareable content, and more. Once you have your marketing plan, these tools will help you get the jump start you need.

There are plenty of tools to help you be more marketable. You can do this! Login to your account today to get started: PPA.com


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Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.


Last week we started our weekly "Be More...Social" series with a piece on just the basics of social media (need a quick refresher?). This week we'll use some of those keywords and dive into what the top platforms are to market your business. We'll cover who are the average users on such platforms and how you can start to effectively engage with them. 

Before we dive in, it's key to remember two things. First, just because a social media site exists, it doesn't mean you need to be on it. Second, if you're new to social media, start off with one or two platforms. You don't need to spread yourself too thin trying to be everywhere at once. 

So where to begin? It's helpful to start by exploring the top sites in terms of reach. Here is a list of the most popular social sites by unique monthly active users (more than 100 million users). Unique monthly active users just means it doesn't matter if a visitor came to a site once or a hundred times, they're only counted once:

  • Facebook: 1.11 billion
  • YouTube: 1 billion
  • Twitter: 550 million 
  • Google+: 343 million
  • LinkedIn: 225 million
  • Instagram: 130 million
It should come as no surprise that Facebook leads the pack, with YouTube in a close second (have you seen how many adorable cat videos there are?!).  Now, just because a site gets millions of users doesn't mean those users are who you need to be focusing your energy on. So who are the average users on the sites? Read on. It's not always who you might think it is!

Facebook
67% of internet users are on Facebook (72% of women, 62% of men). The highest percentage of users falls between 18 - 29 and 30 - 49 years old. Income, education and location don't matter much in the world of Facebook. Facebook is the most used site by the widest range of people.  People share their personal lives, follow brands they love and stay up to date with words, images and even play games (Candy Crush anyone?)

What this means for your studio: Facebook is a great jumping off point to get the word out about your business, regardless of your specialty. Business pages are completely free to set up. Note: set your business up as a page, not as a person. There are a million reasons why...mainly if you set up your business as a person, you have to actively accept people as your friends (there will be a lag between when they want to start seeing your posts and when they actually get to see your content). Plus, you can't advertise as a person, only a business. Finally, Facebook said not to (and you don't want to get on their bad side). 


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