Marketing Tips for 2011
|Date :17 Jan 2011|
5 Ways to Improve Your Marketing in 2011
If your New Years resolutions for this year involve building up your business, then working on a solid marketing plan is a great place to start. The problem is- when we get busy doing other things, the marketing side of the business is usually the first thing to get neglected. Here are a few tips to keep you and your marketing plan on track this year.
1. Have a plan. It sounds obvious, but the vast majority of people don’t do it. Think about it - if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Set a goal of where you’d like to be in 2012 and then list out the things you need to accomplish in 2011 to reach that goal. If you need help getting started with this, here is a blog entry on Goal Setting.
2. Set aside time for Marketing Mondays. Every Monday, schedule at least two hours to do some sort of marketing for your business. Go ahead -right now- and put it on the calendar for the whole year. You will be a MUCH more likely to do it if you actually have it appear on the calendar every Monday. Remember, you don’t have to put this massive plan into action every week.... just take one small step toward the goal.
3. Explore your market. If you are a wedding photographer - for example- then take some time to look at other people’s wedding work. If you see something you like, be sure to leave a comment on their blog and let them know! Don’t limit yourself to photographers in your area -but look for people who are in different parts of the country... or even other parts of the world. Not only will you be exposed to some new artistic styles, you will also spread your business’ name across the industry and build your own brand.
4. Share your knowledge. Use sites like this EzineArticles or Squidoo to share you knowledge with your audience. It is a great way to not only get your name out there, but also help out a little.
5. Perhaps the biggest thing you can do is market to your existing clients. An email newsletter is something that is easy to use and provides a simple way to stay in touch with your clients. It doesn’t have to be this huge production each month - just a quick paragraph or two about what you’ve been up to. You can throw in a recipe, a couple of recent images and maybe mention a special you have that month. Simple as that - you have a newsletter! Personally, I use Constant Contact and have been thrilled with their product, but there are lots of other options out there if you want to shop around.
So there is your To-Do list! If you put this simple plan into action, I think you will be surprised at how quickly it starts to pay off.
Increase Word Of Mouth Marketing For Your Busine
|Date :10 Oct 2010|
Increase Word Of Mouth Marketing For Your Business
The marketing world has certainly changed over the past few years. The good news is we have so many more options for reaching out to our clients. The bad news is - everyone else has the same options and the client is overwhelmed with information. While Twitter and Facebook should certainly be a part of every business’ marketing program, I’ve had the most success with email newsletters.
Everyone will generally agree on three things:
I used to be one of these people who intended to do a monthly newsletter, then changed it to quarterly. From there, it usually ended up being an annual newsletter. A couple of years ago, a friend introduced me to Constant Contact and it was a game changer for me!
Doing your newsletter via email has several advantages- the obvious ones being no printing cost and no mailing cost. If you have a large mailing list, that is huge! Using a website like Constant Contact, I can do unlimited newsletters for only $15 a month. At that price, if it only generates a client every other month, its a now brainer - isn’t it? Most will even offer a free trial period, so you really have absolutely nothing to lose.
Another big advantage is the information and feedback it provides. After you send out an email, you can track the number of people who open it, if they forward it to friends, which links they are following, etc. It is a valuable insight into what your clients are interested in and what they are not. Your account will also be setup to integrate smoothly with Facebook and Twitter - so you can spread the message across all your social media venues.
I speak at photography conventions all over the U.S. and have noticed a very obvious trend - fewer than 5% of all photographers are making the effort to do a regular newsletter. However, they all agree that doing one would help their business. To try and encourage other business owners to add this to their marketing mix, I created an email tutorial DVD with video tutorials and even sample content. If you are wanting to jump in, but don’t know where to start, I think this will get you off to a great start.
So give it a try and let me know how it works for you. I bet when your client list starts growing you will be asking yourself, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
Larry Lourcey operates Lourcey Photography in Plano, Texas. He has earned the designation of Master Photographer Craftsman from the Professional Photographers of America and is a sought-after lecturer at conventions across the United States. Follow him on Twitter at @larryphoto
SEO Tips for Photographers
|Date :23 Sep 2010|
5 SEO Tips For Photographers
Make no mistake about it - the web is not only the way of the present, but will continue to be the way of the future. By now, we all have websites - but we need to take things to the next level. To avoid getting lost in the sea of millions of websites you need to start doing things to set your site apart.
When I started putting together my photo education website, I started researching some of the things that help you get your site on the search engine map. My own sites are still very much works in progress - but I have noticed some trends during my research. Here are a few of the things I’ve found so far:
Nobody knows anything about SEO for sure -especially about Google. Everyone has theories about what helps and what hurts your search status, but the information isn’t exactly published anywhere - so its kind of a guessing game. Therefore, whatever you do, be sure to spread out your efforts among various strategies - since you don’t know for sure which ones will work.
Decide what you want. If you don’t know where you want to go, its tough to know when you’ve arrived. You need to start by figuring out what keyword terms you want to be associated with your site. If you specialize in weddings and like to travel, you might want to try and optimize for the terms “destination weddings” or something like that. Basically, what words do you want people to type into Google when they are trying to find the type of service you offer?
Once you decide on your target keywords, you need to be sure your site actually contains those keywords - in the headings, titles, text, atl tag, wherever. You need to have the words appear in your site if you want Google to give you credit for them.
Use social media to promote your site. Build up your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter followings and then let your audience know about your site. The nice thing about social media is that it generally attracts like-minded people. If someone is your friend on Facebook, they will likely be interested in your website.
Build links with articles. Share you knowledge with the rest of the world and the search engines will reward you. Find something you are good at and write an article about it - then distribute the article to the various publishing sites on the internet, like ezinearticles.com. If your content is interesting, blogs all over the world will pick up the article and print or link to it. If the article contains your website info, these blogs will be spreading your site all over the internet. You can’t beat that kind of publicity.
Preparing a child for a portrait session
|Date :19 Aug 2010|
After putting it off for months and months, you’ve finally scheduled your child for a portrait session with a local photographer. What now? Believe it or not, the things you do BEFORE the session can have a huge impact on the results of the session itself.
As a professional portrait photographer for over 14 years, I’ve seen it all - from very well-behaved kids to wild, crazy, out-of-control kids (www.lourceyphoto.com). The biggest problems, however, were usually caused by things that had nothing to do with the kid.
Whatever you do, resist the urge to coach your child before the session. Working with them on their smile is just about the worst thing you can do. Chances are, your child already knows how to smile. By trying to teach them how to do it on command, you are increasing your odds of getting a really fake expression in the portrait. A good photographer knows how to get expressions out of kids - by interacting with them and making them laugh. If the child says “CHEEEEEEZE” every time I step behind the camera, I know I’m in for a long session.
Another popular strategy is to take your child in for a new hair cut right the morning of the session. This is never a good idea, because they often end up with that “new haircut” look. Schedule any haircuts for 3 or 4 days in advance, so the hair has a chance to settle back in and look natural.
During the Session
When you arrive at the portrait session, do your best to be completely quiet. In fact, its better if you wait in the next room. By sitting off to the side and encouraging your child, you will cause them to look over at you constantly. As a result, you will view the final images and say, “Wow- that would have been a great one, but he’s not looking at the camera.” I know it is difficult and it probably will drive you crazy - but you must be strong. Trust me on this one!
If you will follow these simple strategies, you will make the photographers job a whole lot easier and increase your chances of getting those “perfect” images. All you have to do is..... do nothing. How much easier can it get?
Sources of Inspiration
|Date :14 Aug 2010|
Last year, I undertook a self-assignment to stretch my creativity. I assembled all of the images- along with several out-takes - into a book.
If you would like to get a copy to spark your creativity, you can find it here: