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PPA Today: Photography Marketing Archives

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By Autumn Rice

At PPA we want to create a unified community of professional photographers, so we construct outlets to connect you to other professional photographers all around the world. From IPC, to Imaging USA, to theLoop, there are countless ways to Be More Connected. And we all know that connections are part of the key to success. 

The Find-A-Photographer database on PPA.com is a resource that allows professional photographers to display information about themselves and their business in front of a captive audience of prospective clients. 

Every PPA member is listed in the Find-A-Photographer database, but not all listings are created equal! Did you know that?  You can indeed make your profile pop and be much more convincing by updating it. It's completely free to upgrade your profile; you just have to do it! 

To upgrade your Find-a-Photographer profile (again, it's free!) follow these simple steps:

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1. Log in to PPA.com/My-PPA 
2. Once logged in, click on My PPA

Then simply scroll down to FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER. Click the "Update Your Find-a-Photographer Profile" link. Then you can:
Add additional information to your profile page
Create up to 4 photo albums
Upload up to 8 images to each album
Upload a headshot or logo
Preview your listing

3. Once you make your changes, be sure to enable your listing. It's a super-simple step, but if you don't do it, your updated profile won't be visible to the public (you'll only have a standard listing in the Find-a-Photographer search.)

There are other simple tools to make your business more visible and recognizable. Hop to the See The Difference Resource section on PPA.com to find what works for your business. PPA is here to help you Be More Proactive.

Become a member to be a part of the Find-A-Photographer database and Be More Visible today!


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By Autumn Rice


In 2010, PPA launched a multi-million dollar marketing campaign called See The Difference to help consumers "see the difference" when evaluating photographers and see that hiring a pro is a worthwhile investment. PPA is also helping photographers spread the word to their clients and prospects by giving its members free access to marketing resources like shareable videos, shareable quizzes, logos, custom brochures, dedicated landing pages, consumer tips & FAQs and other marketing materials. 

One of these videos, #PhotoFail, recently aired on Public Broadcast Television (PBS)  stations nationwide. #PhotoFail is a wedding video featuring real brides sharing real life horror stories about wedding day photo fails.  So far, #PhotoFail has aired 891 times in 51% of U.S. households reaching more than 4.5 million viewers. The video has reached viewers in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Alabama, New York, Georgia, and Florida. 

If you're a PPA member, you can upload this video to your website, share it with your clients and prospects on your social media pages. Better yet, play it on a monitor in your waiting room! It's easy to do, watch these instructional videos and see for yourself.

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by James Yates
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Your client's four-legged best friend has a personality and style of their own. They know it by heart, but can they articulate it to others ... say, you, the photographer who will be shooting lasting pictures of their pet? PPA's See The Difference® resources include a fun, shareable quiz, "How is Your Pet's Personality Captured in Photos?" that can help steer them in that direction!

See The Difference is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign that aims to help consumers see the difference when evaluating photographers. It was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers and those who are PPA members get access to these FREE marketing tools including shareable videos, customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips/FAQs.
 
With the Pet Quiz, your clients can find out, for instance, if their dog is a "Diva" or "Down-to-Earth" and just looks that way. But "pet personality" isn't the only See The Difference® quiz for consumers to try out! You can share quizzes based on Family ("What's Your Family's Style?"), Wedding ("What's Your Bridal Style?"), and High School Seniors ("Will Your Senior Photo Capture the Real You?"). They're all designed to help promote PPA members' value as a professional and better serve their clients.
 
Go ahead and use these tools or share these quizzes because it is only by exposing consumers to professional grade work that they will learn to see the difference and value professional photography. For more information on how YOU can link to the See The Difference® quizzes from your website, visit PPA.com/SalesTools.



By Megan Mitchell

Marketing is an essential key to success for any business. You want to get those clients in the door and requesting your photography services! But marketing can be hard. It might not be your favorite thing and it even might be something you were never trained for, but it is something you must do if you want to keep your business afloat! It takes strategy, but how can you create a plan that's right for your studio?

This Thursday, June 11, watch and learn from Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, as she teaches about the creation of a successful marketing strategy during the FREE webinar, "Studio Makeover: Creating Sustainable and Successful Marketing Strategies for Any Studio." Mary understands the value of a focused marketing strategy and she's going to make sure that you do too!

This educational opportunity is FREE for all (PPA members and non-members alike) so you can learn from the comfort of your home. All skill levels are welcome, so follow along and create your first marketing strategy ever, or fine-tune the one you've had for years. 

You'll also be able to see this process in progress at two different studios! Have you been following PPA's Studio Makeovers? Well, during this webinar, you'll get an update on their progress, specifically their developing marketing plans. If you want to see more updates from this series, check out Wes' and Krista's updates.

Create a marketing strategy that's right for your studio and attracts your ideal clients with Mary for free on June 11 at 2 PM (ET). Register now and Be More In-Demand!

If you want to watch this webinar at a later date and time, you need to be a PPA member - PPA members have hours upon hours of educational video content through both PPAedu and PhotoVision, so join today!

Megan Mitchell is an intern at PPA. Though she attends college in New York, she is originally from Georgia - most everyone she meets up north is shocked and disappointed by her lack of a southern accent. She finds great joy and comfort in copy editing and reading. She loves nothing more than words, but her family and friends take a close second. 

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By Sarah Ackerman 

As a member of PPA, you know how important it is to educate your clients on seeing the difference between the value of a professional photographer and Uncle Bob with a camera. To help, we've created a few nifty tabs (and its corresponding content, of course) that you'll be able to install on your company's Facebook page. It's meant to help you convey why hiring a professional photographer (specifically: you!) makes all the difference in the world! 

There are a few options for these "See the Difference" Facebook tabs. There are tabs for wedding photographers, portrait photographers, senior photographers and even a general photography tab (not specialty-specific) if you fit all (or none) of those categories. 

We created this content and will update it periodically, but we can't install it for you. So how do you go about installing this bad boy Facebook tab? There are quite a few ways!

It costs a little bit of money, ($30/month for most everyone, but if you have more than a few thousand fans, prices increase) yet it is the easiest way to go about installation. What's the phrase? "You can have two of the three out of: good, cheap and fast". This is good and fast, it isn't expensive, but isn't super cheap. To make it as easy as possible without actually doing it for you, Shortstack walks you through the installation process screen shot by screen shot (them doing it for you isn't an option: consider it a learning opportunity). 

It is a cheaper version at $15 for up to 1,000 fans (or only a buck for up to 100 fans). It won't walk you through the installation process in as detailed of a way as Shortstack, but it'll be still pretty easy to get it up and running if you indeed do it step by step. If you can handle $15/month, this is a great way to get this information out on your page and in your fans' feeds. 

Sounds redundant, right? Use Facebook to put something on Facebook? We list it third because it's a wee bit complicated, but... FREE! First you'll have to sign up for an App Developers Account (pretty simple - just click here and you'll be all set). The next part is where it gets tricky - the best way is to watch some great YouTube videos. Make sure the videos are recent as Facebook has being giving the apps some facelifts as of late. Here's one that might work for you!

It might take a few minutes, but once you've installed the tab, share it on your timeline to show clients why it's important for them to see the difference hiring a professional photographer makes. If you run into any issues, contact the Facebook App hosting service directly, they are the experts in this case.

You can download the tab graphics and html code here! 
If you want to make edits to the tab graphic itself, always remember the image needs to be 111 x 74 pixels and you'll have to pack a punch in that little space.)

Here you go! These are just three ways to install the tab - if you simply Google "Facebook App Installation" you'll discover a world of options, these are just the ones we are pretty familiar with. If you find another option you enjoy, please let us know! Email Sarah at sackerman (at) ppa (dot) com.

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs with Witless Protection around the Atlanta area and at Dad's Garage Theatre Company. When she's not tweeting/instagramming/facebooking all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.




It should be no surprise that February flew by. Fast. Didn't have a chance to check in on theLoop this month? We'll we've got the top five discussions right here! Check them out, chime in and see where you fall in these popular topics:

Are you contemplating switching lighting systems? It can be a challenging and mind -boggling task! Weigh in to see what the best fit is for you and your fellow photogs. 

Do business cards make a difference? What designs work well and what designs might drive potential clients away? See if your cards are helping or hurting your business here

Sometimes Google doesn't even have the right answer. Talk turkey with F-stops and DOF while using an 85mm. 

Do you work with large groups in the out of doors? Discuss how to use fill light to correct those spots where the natural light falls short here!

This is always a hot topic. What do you do when a client asks for digital files? What are some good alternatives? What's some key language to use to drive your point home? Get in on this topic that impacts almost every photographer here. 

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? It's easy: join today!
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Over the course of the last few months, we've covered the bare basics of social media. In a field that's constantly evolving, your education shouldn't stop here! What are some easy places to get your social media quick fixes as you continue on this journey? Well, we have a few recommendations to keep you on your path to enlightenment.

Mashable: Get your geek on with daily social stories. Some are fluff (like the "The 10 Most Epic Celebrity Twitter Fights"), but there's a lot of quality information at your fingertips to gain inspiration and knowledge from. Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to get your daily dose in small portions (and like their "Watercooler" for silly posts, many times involving cute cat videos). 

SmartBlog: Smart Blog is another wonderful source for a social media blog. It'll talk about great topics like "Why you should plan like your life depends on it" or "Grading retailers's social back-to-school promotions." Just because they aren't in photography, that doesn't mean you won't learn something awesome!

PhotoShelter: Photoshelter is the bombdiggity for free guides on photography specific social media. We love their free guides! Check in with them often to see their latest and greatest white paper on the topics (always good to like them on Facebook too!)

HubSpot: These guys are social media pros! They have fixes for everything, from boring cover photos to improving your social work flow or making sure your emails get opened by your clients. They also sell software to help manage social media--so there may be the occasional plug--but overall they are a really stellar source for great content.

SmartBrief: Get geeky with all of the big picture stuff on SmartBrief. These guys won't tell you how to improve your tweet-game, but they will tell you all the news about mobile marketing for the Asia-Pacific region (and other really cool topics). If you're a social media nerd--this is an excellent spot to spend some time each day. 

theLoop: Join theLoop's Marketing community to see what your fellow photographers are up to. Discuss ideas, talk about successes and learn from each other's mistakes! Remember--this is an exclusive benefit for only PPA members, so you'll have some wonderful photographers to learn from!

LinkedIn: Join some LinkedIn groups that are focused on social media/marketing! Subscribe to their daily digest and review it (yes, every day) to see if any topics pop out as something that would be interesting for your business! Just because it's not about photography doesn't mean there aren't key parallels to pull from.

So subscribe away! Join their email lists, like them on Facebook and/or follow them on Twitter! Keep up your social media education--it's evolving daily and many of these changes can alter how your posts are distributed. 

Have other social media sources you love? Leave them in the comments! 

This is post 7 of 7 in the Be More...Social series. Read the other posts in the series using the links below:

What did you do over Labor Day weekend? These faithful igers were out and about using the #ppagram to track their adventures! 
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Congratulations to @monicamcgivern, @tvphotos, @jmspitzer, @mdispenza and @nwaphoto for making it to the blog! Our next insta-adventure will be for Halloween, but in the mean time, keep those #ppagrams coming!
So far, we've covered how PPA members can activate and build a Find-a-Photographer profile to help consumers find them, as well as the resources available to help photographers show potential clients the value of hiring a professional photographer over an amateur. Today's post is going to be a bit different. We'll be providing advice for how consumers can use the Find-a-Photographer search engine the most effectively. So, if you're a PPA member listed on Find-a-Photographer, you may want to repost this to your own blog to help educate your own potential clients! 

Accessing Find-a-Photographer

So, you're looking for a particular professional photographer, or who's in your area, or a specialty pro? Well, PPA's Find-a-Photographer search engine is a great place to start. Find-a-Photographer's database combs the 26,000+ profiles of PPA members to screen the best ones according to your needs. PPA photographers are dedicated to producing the most professional images possible, delivering pro results regardless of the circumstances, and ensuring you'll receive quality products and services! 

You can access the Find-a-Photographer search engine directly from the left-hand side of PPA.com. There, you can do a basic search by zip code (simply put in your zip code, and click the green 'Search Now' button. By default, you'll see photographers located within 30 miles of your zip code).

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If you want to narrow this search radius, click the advanced search link below the 'Search Now' button. You'll be directed to a Find-a-Photographer page with greater search options. Not only will you be able to narrow the mile radius of the search, you can also search by city, state or country (PPA is an international photography association so some photographers in the database are located outside the U.S.). If you know the name of the photographer or the studio you are looking for (or even part of the name), you can search by either one of these parameters as well. 

Finally, you can choose what type of photographer you are looking for by checking-off as many of the specialties as you'd like. The Find-a-Photographer results you see will list those that have indicated that they specialize in the area of photography you are interested in. 

Once you've inserted all the different metrics you'd like to search by, be sure to click the red 'Search For Your Photographer' button at the bottom of the search page. That easy!

Browsing Photographer Profiles

Once you've done your search, you'll see a list of Find-a-Photographer profiles organized by their distance from you. You can click on any of these names and find the contact information for that photographer. Most photographers list their emails, so you'll be able to email them directly from the Find-a-Photographer search engine. You'll also be able to visit their website, and view sample images if the photographer has uploaded any. 

Keep in mind that some photographers will travel for an assignment (some for free, others for a nominal charge), so it may be worth it to check out photographers by specialty or accreditation in other states or cities! 

When screening through the final search results, you may notice that some photographers have a Certified Professional Photographer logo next to their name. This means that the photographer has completed the necessary requirements to earn the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation. Only a small percentage of photographers have earned this credential, as it represents an extensive preparation process that involves experience, a current comprehensive knowledge and skills of photography, and a control of light and photography equipment under any circumstances. This CPP designation conveys that you have identified photographers who are up to date (they have to renew their certification every three years) and who are on top of critical photography knowledge and technique, clearly separating them from inexperienced or amateur photographers. You can even set the search results to only show you CPPs to be certain to find bullet-proof photographers. Just check that CPP box in the specialty area of the Find-a-Photographer advanced search.

Now that you know how to use the system, good luck and happy searching for the photographer that meets your needs! If you run into any problems, check out the Find-a-Photographer FAQs or call 800.786.6277.
Since you're close to wrapping up your social media experience with our Be More Social series, we wanted to leave you with 10 examples where social media failed. Since the companies below made some pretty terrible missteps that you can avoid, we're turning them into some valuable learning experiences. Let's dive in!

1. Avoid making light of national tragedies. CelebBoutique (an online retailer) saw that #Aurora was trending on July 20, and posted this less than sensitive tweet. According to the company, their PR department didn't read up on why #Aurora was trending. Always do your research! If you're using a hashtag that's trending, but you don't normally associate with (like the one below), make sure you're well aware of what conversation you're getting into. 

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2. We can't say it enough - always check if you're utilizing a trending hashtag. Entenmann's Bakery posted this tweet during the Casey Anthony trial. They're tweet was "innocent" enough, but the timing was downright terrible. (Note:  At least they tweeted an apology quickly. If you find yourself in a similar situation, own it. Apologize publicly and quickly, it'll save face in the long run!)
 
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3. Even international brands aren't immune from poor PR. Check out this ill-timed tweet from fashion brand Kenneth Cole. Whether it's home or abroad, it's generally in poor taste to latch on to a trending hashtag associated with war, violence and riots. Even if you think you're clients would get the joke, take the high road.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Photography Marketing category.

Photography Legal is the previous category.

Photography Pricing is the next category.

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