- Behind the scenes: Editing images, clients getting ready, some (appropriate) office jokes, new props or backdrops, anything that would make you (and your company) stand apart from the other guys in town.
- Sneak peeks: The images don't need to be perfect, but once a first round of edits have been done, post your favorite images from past sessions and tag your clients! This can be done on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (or Instagram it and share it on Twitter and Facebook for even larger reach).
- Community involvement: If you do charity work or teach classes, share why you do it and what you get out of it. And of course, snap some quick pictures to share!
- Staff highlights: If you have other photographers, interns or anyone else that's around, do some quick interviews to help your public get to know everyone better (this includes yourself)! People like to do business with people they like and are familiar with. Social media is an easy way to earn interest and more love from your audience.
- Session tips: Give pointers on what to wear (or better yet, what not to wear), makeup and hair tips, smiling pointers and anything else that you think would make your clients feel more comfortable in front of your camera.
PPA Today: Marketing Archives
Recently in Marketing Category
Getting stuck in the middle of a client's family strife? Check out how your fellow photographers navigate the muddy waters of family relations, threatened blackmail and bad press.
2. Marketing: FB Likes
If you're a newbie to Facebook, or just frustrated with a lack of likes and engagement, this thread is for you! See how your peers find their clients, increase their fan base and stay connected. We bet you'll "like" it!
3. PPA Members: Flaming Balls
Unfortunately, this one isn't nearly as inappropriate as you might think, but if you're a sports photographer, you might be interested in lighting your client's sporting equipment (i.e. balls) on fire. Debate the pros and cons of rubber cement, gelatinized fuel and more options to set your images apart!
4. PPA Members: What's the next big investment in your business?
Whether you've been in business for a month, a year or a decade, you're always looking to invest in your future. Join this thread to see where others are putting their resources for their next great move!
5. Post-Capture: Thoughts on editing services
What are your thoughts on getting away from the computer and spending more time behind the camera, doing what you love? Outsourcing your editing can be a touchy subject--weigh in with your opinions here!
- Branding: General company/brand recognition is huge, especially for photographers. You don't want to be "that guy over on Main Street...you know...what's his name?"--You want to be you! You want (and need) to build a brand identity to get word-of-mouth recognition going.
- Attract new clients: Utilizing social media to drive traffic to your pages or website/blog will help attract new clients and customers. Also, by listening closely (we covered that week one) - you can see who is in the market for your work and seek them out. By handling social media in a professional manner, it will allow your personality and your work to shine.
- Build a following: By creating dynamic content, you'll be giving your customers a reason to talk (positively) about your brand! They will share your content and voila! Their friends become your fans and followers and you become a likeable, recommendable, in-demand photographer.
- Understand your target market's point of view and activities: Think of your target demographics--age, gender, income, location, as well as interests and priorities. When you post on Facebook, you can segment by many of these demographics and really hone in on who your post reaches.
- Consider influencers, buyers and end users: This is key--especially with senior portraits! You have the senior (end user), buyers (parents) and influencers (senior's friends/social circles) to contend with!
- Consider your audience's social media behavior: Do they lurk? Do they share? Do they create? Each type of social media user can be engaged in a different way. Know your market to see how you can best leverage your reach.
- Create an editorial calendar: We'll go into this more next week, but know you should have a place to create content in bulk so it's less work on the fly.
- Brainstorm ideas: Using these themes, bring in your most creative thinkers and collaborate how you can best utilize these themes in fun, interactive ways!
- Offer a variety of content formats: Text posts are not nearly as popular as images. You're a photographer -use your work! Also consider utilizing your Instagram images on Facebook/Twitter or creating a YouTube video to share "behind-the-scenes" action.
- Facebook: 1.11 billion
- YouTube: 1 billion
- Twitter: 550 million
- Google+: 343 million
- LinkedIn: 225 million
- Instagram: 130 million
One important part to add to your business' digital marketing strategy is mobile marketing. "Mobile marketing" is quite a buzz word these days, so you may have heard about it before (for those that haven't, mobile marketing is any marketing that leverages mobile devices, such as a smart phone or a tablet, as an additional means of communication with your target audience).
All in all, only a small proportion of photographers have started looking into mobile marketing for their business. Opportunities are immense and it's not that complicated. Plus, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, yet it greatly helps to set you apart.
Why is mobile marketing so important? Consider these stats:
- The Mobile Marketing Association says that there are 7 billion people on Earth. 5.1 billion own a cell phone. 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. That's right, more people are connecting through their cell phones than using toothbrushes!
- According to Morgan Stanley, 91% of all smart phone users have their phone within arm's reach 24/7.
- What's more (no shame here, it's a factoid): three-fourths of the participants of an 11Mark study admitted to using their smartphones in the bathroom. That number reaches 91% for the Generation Y, confirming Morgan Stanley's survey.
From those stats alone, it's easy to see that a lot of us are missing out on a huge audience if we are not leveraging mobile marketing tools. Imagine the business you could create if even a tiny fraction of those smartphone owners found you using a mobile device.
Now that you understand the importance of mobile marketing, it's also worth keeping in mind that a client searching for you on a mobile device behaves very differently than one that found you on a traditional website. How so?
Here's some surprising behavior of users that find you on a mobile search:
- Mobile Marketer says that 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour. 70% of online searches result in action in one month. Meanwhile, mobile coupons get 10 times the redemption rate of traditional coupons.
- According to Search Engine Land, 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase.
- Google points out that 61% of local searches on a mobile phone result in a phone call.
- There are more than 2.7 billion internet users on the planet, including close to 1+ billion Facebook.
These statistics show the trend that mobile searchers often make quicker decisions than potential clients using a traditional web search. By establishing a mobile presence, you'll be able to have users find your photography business and convert them to clients faster than you could just by being found on non-mobile web searches.
So, how can you get started? It's not nearly as difficult as you might think.
A great place to begin your mobile marketing efforts is by building a site with an adaptive design. Adaptive design allows the display of your site to automatically fit any screen a potential client might view your site on. So, whether your site is being viewed on a desktop computer, a smart phone or a tablet a visitor will see information optimized for their current viewing screen.
Not only does this prevent a visitor from getting frustrated by having to re-size your site to fit their mobile screen (less scrolling and tapping around means a better customer experience), it also makes managing your website much easier as you won't have to worry about updating a separate mobile site in parallel.
Social from your mobile
When you consider the level of social media interaction occurring via mobile devices, it becomes blatant evidence that interacting socially with clients and prospects who are on their mobile devices is part of the way of doing business (and you might even be responding to them on the go from your phone). Facebook recently announced that close to 44% of their users access through a mobile device. These users are also twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile visitors.
These active users are the folks you'll really want to connect with, as they're more likely to share the content you've posted to social media outlets. However, if a blog post that you've shared does not adapt its display for mobile; you might miss out on some great opportunities for gaining web traffic. After all, if it can't be easily read by a user on a mobile device, it won't be shared.
Mobile compatible comments
It's also important to make sure that the comments feature on your blog will also work with a mobile device. This will allow you to consistently connect with mobile visitors to your site and respond to any of their questions or concerns.
Offers or contests
Along with using an adaptive design, another quick way to get involved with mobile marketing is by offering an exclusive offer or contest designed specifically for mobile devices. There are many companies that can help you set-up a contest that potential clients can enter via text message. It can be as simple as having a mobile user text you a keyword that enters them in the contest or gives them a special discount.
Perhaps the best part of a contest like this is it offers the opportunity for potential clients to share their contact information with you when entering, giving you a database to focus your future marketing efforts on! Just remember to keep the entry process as simple as possible so you'll receive a good amount of submissions.
Customer Service on the go
Another potential benefit of getting involved with mobile marketing can be the ability to provide better customer service to your clients by using mobile devices. For instance, say that you've been shooting on location and would like the ability to take orders while on location. There are many apps out there that will not only allow you to take and process the order using your own smart phone or tablet, but also generate an invoice that will go directly to your customers' mobile device. Some of these apps will even connect with your own book keeping software, making it easier on you to keep up with your sales.
Galleries & apps
Last but not least, many photographers also have created mobile apps for their business to share their work via smartphone or tablet. You can tell your clients to download the app and share it with their friends looking for a photographer, creating your own mobile referral network! There are many app providers out there, but if you're a PPA member check out your member benefit with StickyAlbums for a custom built app for your business.
Mobile marketing is truly the next frontier, so don't delay. Get started on your own mobile marketing plan today.
Already have a mobile marketing plan in place? We'd love to hear about it! Share your comments with us below or on theLoop.
INFOGRAPHIC © 11MARK
This is post one of two of the Mobile Marketing for Photographers series. Use the link below to read the other post in the series.
Mobile Marketing for Photographers: Email Optimization
Not a member? Rectify that right now--join PPA and then you can learn all we've got to share!
Know What Works Best Where
When using more than one social media platform, it's tempting to link all the accounts you can and auto-update. While it may feel like saving time, it might not the most effective use of those spaces. Selective posting may be a better bet, as both John Pyle of Georgia and Jordan Brian of New Jersey have found. Here are a few pointers of what they post where:
- Blogs--Both Brian and Pyle post longer, educational pieces on their blogs. Brian and his staff create articles for brides in-house (or share what vendors send) on topics like how to time the hair and makeup sessions.
- Facebook--"It's all about engaging with your clients," says Brian. So instead of giving online images to the clients, he asks them to tag themselves on his Facebook page, even in the behind-the-scenes images and video slideshows. Pyle treats Facebook more as a traffic feed for his blog. He'll post teaser images from a session (linking to the blog), make announcements or even share the accomplishments of his senior clients, such as when one signed with a college baseball team.
- Instagram--Pyle's favorite social media platform, Instagram, allows him to share behind-the-scenes images on Twitter, Facebook or email without having to log in to a separate site. He likes to show the client just arriving, picking out the wardrobe or trying to get in position for the shot. "With Instagram, it's easy to build excitement around what we're doing now," he explains. "I am able to keep everyone updated on my destination shoots, and I get comments back instantly with seniors saying, 'Can't wait until my session!'"
- Twitter--Because his senior clients check this site often, Pyle also uses it to keep his name top of mind. He shares music he likes and cool products he sees--anything to put himself in the "cool crowd," as he says.
- Pinterest--Gathering and sharing visual ideas is where Pinterest shines. Brian shares tips and suggestions for wedding photographs, along with detail ideas from weddings he's covered. Pyle even created a Pinterest Style Guide to ideas of what to wear to sessions.
Whatever social media you use, don't forget to keep your images as safe as possible. Any online use of an image means your rights as the creator could be infringed. Help protect your images in these ways:
- Register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office at copyright.gov
- Add a visible watermark or a caption.
- Embed metadata into the file properties of your images.
- Link images back to your website.
- Indicate that your images are "all rights reserved" (if the social media platform offers that option like Flickr does).
Read the full article.
IMAGE Â© JOHNSTONE STUDIOS
In fact, PPA members Lori Nordstrom, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, and Kalen Henderson, M.Photog.MEI.Cr., CPP, API, have shared some of their seasonal promotions that coincide with different holidays to boost client awareness and keep business coming through the door.
Members can read the article with three of their promotional ideas. These ideas can help you make your slow season a thing of the past!
IMAGE Â© LORI NORDSTROM STUDIO
When it comes to holiday promotions, response is often contingent upon getting clients in the spirit well in advance of the holidays. Key to generating holiday enthusiasm in, say, July is good imagery. After all, you are running a photography business, and the images should ultimately speak for themselves.
The first thing you should consider is the color scheme. Beth Forester, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, of Forester Photography in Madison, WV, says that she's experimented with different color combinations, but nothing sells quite like red and green. "When I'm putting together my card designs to show clients, I experiment with different colors, but I always have a red and green option," she says.
Read the full article
Image Â©Forester Photography