PPA Today: PPAedu Marketing Archives
Recently in PPAedu Marketing Category
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
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
It'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!
Are you looking for additional tools to help brand your photography business? There's a new exclusive marketing resource for PPA members. Check out the new postcards, which can be found under See The Difference©'s "Custom Brochures."
Many clients can appreciate the quality that comes from hiring a professional, but do they always see or understand it? These postcards can help to get the point across. PPA members submitted their images to give your clients an idea of the before and after when it comes to professional photography. Each specialty contains a unique postcard. Each postcard shows the contrast with professional changes in posing, location, lighting, and/or editing. These are the small changes that you as a professional might see, but it's not as obvious to the untrained eye.
Download these resources to show your current and potential clients just how important it is to hire a professional over an amateur. With these postcards, it's right in front of their eyes!If you aren't already a PPA member, visit PPA.com to find out how you can join today!
Here at PPA we realize that while you love the art of photography and the process of taking beautiful pictures, and there are probably certain aspects of your business that you do not enjoy. The selling and marketing process, the uncertainty in discovering your niche as a photographer--the list goes on. This webinar is here to tell you that everything is going to be okay! We feel that the best way to learn is by doing and the only thing we can do is confront those doubts and formulate a practical solution to our problems. Take the next step today and register for this impactful class!
Take control of your business with Lynda and improve your bottom line, for free, on September 23 at 2 PM (ET). Register Now!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key behind getting your website to rank highly in Google and other search engines, hopefully helping more people to find your photography business' site that you can convert to clients!
It's an ongoing process that involves many factors, some of which include seeding keywords into your website, building links from other sources back to your site, and some technical aspects to make sure that search engines are spotting your website.
There are companies that will promise quickly getting your page to the top of Google for a cheap fee, but be wary that these may only be short term results that won't hold up in the long term. SEO takes constant effort, but instead of thinking of it as a cost to your business, think of it as an investment to the overall health of your web marketing plan.
So, you know that SEO is important, but you're feeling a little daunted by starting the process. Where to begin?
Luckily, PPA is hosting "The Pitfalls of SEO" webinar on July 16 to help you along the path. To give you a comprehensive view of the SEO process and the details to be on the lookout for, PPAedu has brought in Brett Snyder, Director of SEO at Nebo Agency. Brett's a true SEO guru, so the webinar will be packed with great advice for photographers just starting out with it for their business, as well as some issues you may have never considered for those of you that have already started doing it!
During the class, Brett will cover how search engines find and rank pages and how you can develop a strategy that will help your website get those high-rankings. He'll discuss things like organic search, evaluating the keywords you want to rank for, on-page SEO factors (such as meta info and internal linking), and off-page SEO factors like link building and gaining authority for your site. If that all sounded like gibberish to you, don't worry, Brett's going to make it all very easy to understand.
In addition, he'll also talk about some of technical factors to be aware of (again, he'll make these easy to understand). After all, if Google can't find your site, it won't be ranked.
Finally, Brett will cover some of the penalties you can incur by trying to go the cheap and easy route that we talked about earlier.
As Brett says, "Google is smarter than you...if you try and cheat the system you will pay for it."
This will be a live webinar, which means that you will be able to watch it for free via the web as it occurs in real time, and best of all, you will have the opportunity to ask your own questions to Brett as well! This will be open to anyone (all you need to do is create a basic access account on PPA.com before registering), as it kick-starts a SEO-For-Photographers online course series by PPAedu (available for PPA members and PPAedu subscribers!)
We hope you're excited about this comprehensive webinar as we are and that you're ready to get going with SEO. You can register for "The Pitfalls of SEO" webinar now, and stay tuned to the Live Webinars section of PPAedu for a full class description coming later this week!
Not a member? Join PPA now or subscribe to PPAedu and get 24/7 access to your online learning platform and all of the PPAedu classes, both live and on-demand.