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Meet your customers online - PPA Today

Meet your customers online


Dear PPA Member,

Technology has forever changed the way we capture and keep images…and customers, too. With Web sites and e-mail, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch. But have you considered expanding your online reach with social networking sites?

To find new clients, you need to go looking where they hang out. Facebook, Myspace and other social networking sites aren’t just for high school seniors. In fact, with 20 million business profiles on LinkedIn, almost 100 million Facebook members, and over 115 million MySpace visitors, it’s guaranteed that you’ll reach someone who doesn’t know you…yet.

Think of social networks as a non-stop giant party: An acquaintance introduces you to someone; you hit it off; that person introduces you to a whole new group; and so on. You’ve just widened your circle of friends. Substitute the word “friends” for “clients,” and that’s the power of social networking in business terms.

By using social networking sites, you can:

  • Connect with new clients and prospects.
  • Use a new, unobtrusive marketing option (if handled correctly).
  • Share images, specials, offers, and reviews with people who might not have found you through traditional means.
  • Gain business exposure.
  • Strengthen your reputation each time someone recommends you on LinkedIn or connects with you on Facebook or MySpace, etc.
  • Use just a profile (although it’s still important to have a Web site).

Sounds good…but how do you get started? Take a look at three well-known networks—Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace—in this article, “Know Your Social Networks.” In addition, here are some tips for better social network use:

  • Know your target market before you join a social networking site.
    • Wedding or portrait photographers might see Facebook as perfect, for it was established initially for college students…and many of these people are getting married and having families!
    • Commercial, architecture, and stock photographers can find new clients through LinkedIn.
    • Senior photographers will find that MySpace and Facebook are all perfect to promote services and referrals.
  • Establish your profile.
    • Remember that you are doing this for business purposes: keep your personal life out of this particular profile.
    • Keep it clean, uncluttered, and to the point.
    • Invite interactivity through offers and Q & A portions of your profile.
    • Make sure that you have your contact information displayed. A potential client may find you on the site, but they need to take the next step—make it easy.
  • Realize that your connections and reputation on the sites won’t happen overnight, just like establishing relationships with customers the normal way.
  • Don’t put anything on your profile that you wouldn’t want everyone to know. These are online networks…anyone can find you (which is a good thing).
  • Watermark your images, and ensure that the items you display are copyrighted.
    • Share images and you are well on your way to increasing your reputation and referrals (just take precautions).
    • Consider creating special social network files for your existing customers to put on their own profiles. Just make sure that all of your images have a way for people to know who took that image!

As more and more people become involved in social networks, the more they are a valuable source of future clients and deeper connections with your current customers. And PPA wants to help you make that connection. After all, finding clients, building your business, and getting through tough times is easer with somebody on your side.

You are serious about photography; we are serious about helping you succeed.


Al Hopper
Director of Membership, Copyright & Government Affairs

P.S. Want to find out how other professional photographers are using social networks (or any other form of marketing and reputation-building)? Talk about it on, the free photographer forum.

You also might want to check out this blog link: Scroll to find the link to the “Super List of 50 Social Media Links,” which will take you to information about what to do and not do on social networks.

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This page contains a single entry by published on May 15, 2008 2:56 PM.

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