What’s The Best Way To Promote Your Photography Business – With A Pinterest or Facebook Contest?

The only way to succeed with social media is to have a following. And the more time you spend building your following, the more results you will see.

And people love free stuff. They are completely attracted to coupons, deals of the day, and anything “fun” that will allow them to get a hold of a great product at a great price. Which is why many smart businesses have turned to social media contests.

Dig Deeper: How To Start Up A Pinterest Contest

Dig Deeper: The Guide To Growing Your Facebook Page With A Contest

However, the social media platforms and the rules to follow are always changing. What worked a few short months ago may be “illegal” by today’s terms. If a contest is in your future, it’s important to evaluate your options regularly and choose the right platform to grow – the right platform to attract quality prospects to your studio. [Read more...]

How Many Photos Is Too Many To Post

You just finished a great portrait and are excited to share your images with the world.

You created around 100 images during the portrait session. When you look through and edit them all, you have around 25 that are extraordinary – they really are your best work to date.

Two days after the portrait, you place 25 images on Facebook to showcase your newest work. Your client is super excited – she LOVES them. She starts tagging them, sharing them and talking about them with all of her friends.

Then comes ordering day – the day she is supposed to come in to order her prints. She calls in the night before and cancels – something has come up.

You finally get her on the phone three weeks later and set up a new date. That too comes and goes with no client orders.

And so on. And so on.

What happened?

They were your best work yet? You really thought this client would be different and want the images you created. They were your best work to date. And you’ve booked several other new clients just by showing off these images. They were great! So why no orders?

Let’s step back and analyze the situation.

When is a client most excited for their images?

At the time you take the images.

She’s worked hard to get the portrait sitting on the books. She’s shopped for the perfect clothes. She’s motivated her family (if it’s a family portrait) to be looking and feeling great. Everyone is at the top of his or her game that day.

If they walk away from the sitting without seeing their images, life settles in. Things happen and they move onto new thoughts and ideas. The water heater breaks. The car needs new tires. Registration opens up for the kids for school – books and uniforms and signups for sports. The money flows to different areas.

And when they log onto Facebook two days later and see 25 of the best images. Wow! They get to see the best of the best … for free! What could be better than that? And what they really wanted was wallpaper for their computer, a few images for their iPhone and iPad, and a way to blast the latest portrait around to family members around the world. You accomplished that for them – they simply shoot a message to their family and friends to check out Facebook.

Now you’ve eliminated the two things that motivated them to buy – excitement for seeing the images, and timing to spend their allotted budget on images.

How do you get around this? Put the two motivation items back into your selling routine.

First, learn to sell ten minutes after you shoot. If you’re out on location, sell through your laptop in a coffee shop or back at the clients home. If you’re in your studio, have them wait in your sales room while you do a quick edit and put a presentation together. Either way, this is when they are most excited about their images. This is when they will buy the most. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

Second, never, never put images on Facebook before the order takes place. Use Facebook to entice them to buy – never to release the excitement ahead of time. If you really want to entice them, one image with a “wait till you see the rest…” is more than enough. Make your Facebook (or blog, or SmugMug, or whatever you use) a part of your package – you get the online images after your order has been placed. To do it before hand is sales-suicide.

Social media hasn’t killed the photographer; not knowing how to sell has killed today’s photographer.

Take back the way you sell and you’ll quickly find your business thriving.

Photographers – 8 Ways To Find Out What Other People Are Saying About You

Okay, its time for a test. You have to answer one simple question.

What is being said about you in the online world?

Don’t know?

Now is the time to find out.

Instead of ignoring it and just doing business the way you’ve always done it, finding out what your reputation is like online can actually help you grow your business. It takes only a few bad comments, posts or blogs to ruin a reputation you’ve spent years growing.

Fortunately there are easy ways to go about this that won’t take all of your time … or your money. They aren’t tools you’ll find readily available or talked about. And there are many “copycat” companies that attempt to bring you in and scam you for both money and information. But when you find a reliable tool, its wise to keep it in your bookmarked area and refer to them again and again. Schedule using them to ensure you always know what’s happening around you.

1. Whos Talkin

Whos Talkin is a simple search tool that lets you know what social sites are saying about your name or brand. Simply type in your name or brand and it quickly begins to pull results. It doesn’t help you manage the results, but it will give you a quick look at what is being said about your key word anywhere on the web. This is good to use in addition to Google as it pulls only social results, so your results won’t be buried inside a lot of other results.

[Read more...]

5 Pinboards Every Portrait Photographer Should Have On Pinterest

If you have a Pinterest account, chances are you’ve created a lot of boards for your photography. Babies, kids, families, engagement, weddings. The more active you are on Pinterest, the more boards you probably have.

Yet showcasing your images is only half of what makes Pinterest such a great place for photographers. The other half is about inspiring your prospects and clients to want to come to you for a session, and what to expect when they get there.

Using a Pinboard, you can convey any message you desire. A handful of pinboards isn’t enough. The more the better. And with more you can teach your clients along the way.

If you only have a handful of pinboards, take a look at these 5 ideas to get you going on creating some truly inspirational pinboards.

Inspiration

If you could do any photo shoot in the world, what would it be? What gives you inspiration? What do you wish you could get your clients to do? If you can find an example out there, use it to showcase what your ideas are. Your clients will never have a solid idea when they come into your studio – unless they see it first. Clients always come in with pictures ripped out of magazines or printed from a website, requesting they “look like this”. Create your own inspiration board and direct them in the direction you’ve always wanted to go.

[Read more...]

How You Can Grow Your Pinterest Following By Writing

Pinterest – isn’t that all about images? How can you grow it with writing?

In every presence you have online, its always about the copy. Words play an integral part of how well you do within the site, how much traction you gain through your followers, and how well you rank in the search engines.

With Pinterest, its easy to forget that. After all, you probably spend the majority of your time looking at photographs. Copy – really? There’s copy there?

Yes. Each board has its own name and description. And by using descriptive works from your industry for both the names and descriptions, it will help people find you when they perform searches both on Pinterest and on Google. And because both Twitter and Facebook have a built-in share feature, your keywords matter in those sites as well.

Keywords on Pinterest

Keywords are extremely important when building up your Pinterest profile. You can use words to categorize your boards and to create your posts.

When a viewer heads to Pinterest and decides to look for something, they use the search function in a similar manner to search engines.

When they receive their results, Pinterest pulls based on keywords and relevancy. It pays to know what your prospects are thinking and what to post to make sure they find it.

Test Your Stuff

While building your boards, nothing says you can only post an item once. If you have multiple photographs on your blog showcasing a recent boudoir shoot for a bride to be, use several of the images – and change up the boards and the keywords you use to describe them.

Just like with every other marketing tool and campaign you’ve created, things change. What works today may not work tomorrow. Headlines may attract attention written in certain ways, while other copy may have zero impact. Remember, Pinterest is one big test market. Find what works and try it again.

Work Your Comments

Comments are almost as important as pin descriptions.

Even if you don’t repin and add your own content, adding descriptive words in the comment sections can bring in traffic, increase followers and add more likes and shares to your count. In the social world, interaction is everything.

The Length Of The Post

With Pinterest, its easy to add a word or two and send it on its way. Yet if you take the time to write up a long and meaningful post, it can get noticed. The eye instantly moves to something that stands out from the ordinary. We have to read it.

And when you read it, you’re more than likely to pass it along.

5 Ways To Tell If Twitter Is Working For Your Photography Business

Social media sites come and go. And if you are like most photographers, you probably have your social favorites. Do you favor YouTube or Facebook? Pinterest or Twitter?

While Twitter is now one of the “old timers”, it can still be an effective tool to get the word out about your business. Here is how you can tell.

Crowdbooster

Crowdbooster is a social media analytics tool that offers suggestions and resources to help you improve your online presence. It provides you with a plan of action to show you how you can reach out to the influencers in your sphere, create content that resonates with your audience, and when to send content to be most effective. It can help you track long term engagement and how best to interact with your audience. And if you have multiple accounts, that’s okay. Crowdbooster can bring all of your Twitter accounts together with your Facebook Pages accounts, and give you one stop views of how your marketing is working.

TweetCharts

TweetCharts allow you to generate a customized report for anything you can search for on Twitter. Use words, phrases, usernames, URLs, or hashtags to check out everything related to your niche. This is a great tool to use as you are tracking your campaigns and marketing programs. Track to see how many times your Tweet is mentioned, or how many times it was retweeted. You can also track if your followers and retweeters are more male or more female – perfect for understanding who your audience is and who you should be promoting your business too.

[Read more...]

How To Get More People To Your Facebook Page

The only way to get more people to your Facebook Page is to tell more people it exists.

It may be easy to send people to it by providing a link in your email, or including a Facebook Badge on your blog, but what do you do if you are out networking face to face?

Why not try a Facebook Business Card?

I’ve always loved Moo – you can find a variety of posts on here talking about how to use Moo products in your marketing materials.

Now they are helping you market your Facebook page as well.

Earlier this year, they launched Facebook Timeline cards – which was great for getting people to your individual profile. Now they are offering the same for Facebook Pages. And the best part is you can try it out … for free.

Each business can now login to Moo and get one pack of 50 cards for free. And even when your first 50 are gone, additional packs run $15 a pack. Very reasonable for a great marketing tool.

Making your Moo Facebook Cards is easy. When you sign in, make sure you click the “yes” when they ask for your data. This allows them to connect up with your Facebook account to pull the data automatically in.

Once your card is set up with your Timeline photo, personalize it. Make sure all your data is correct and its easy for people to connect up with you. You can add a favorite quote or phrase to the back of the card as well.

Tip: I love quotes and used one on the back of my first free pack. But you don’t have to stick with quotes. Think about what you do on Facebook. Do you provide tips? Do you share photos? Are you running a contest? Use that info on the back of your cards. It’s a great way to drive traffic if you’re offering an ongoing promotion.

Then purchase your cards. They are now shipping all over the world, so know matter where you live, you will probably be able to add this to your list of marketing tools.

Once you have your cards in place, use them in addition to your business cards. Yes, its okay to hand out two cards if they are both sending you to different places. When you are talking with someone, what would you like them to see? If you really want to feed them info from your Facebook account, hand over that card. If you want them to see your site for more information, hoping to convert them to a client, hand over your business card. And if you can tell they aren’t quite ready to convert to a client, or they are a great referral source, hand over both. The key is to let them follow you in the manner most convenient to them.

8 Things To Help You Grow Your Photography Business On Pinterest

Pinterest has hit another milestone – over 100 million visits per month with nearly 12 million  of them being unique visitors.

If you haven’t joined Pinterest yet, now is the time. Pinterest is used primarily by women, and because of the visual aspect of pin boards, they spend a lot of time on the site.

Currently you can use Pinterest by signing up through either your Facebook account or your Twitter account, giving you double the traction for half the work.  If you connect through Facebook, keep in mind that currently it connects with your personal profile, not your page. So if you want to keep it business related, sign up for a special Twitter account to connect it to.

Then let the pinning begin.

1. Pinterest will start you out with five pre-determined pin boards. You can delete these and create your own. Plan out your boards with your business in mind. So instead of “photography” be specific towards your niche market. Also break it down to give your potential customers ideas as they are searching through your boards: what to wear for a portrait, posing ideas, location ideas. Be specific and use them to direct people to what they like the most. However, don’t just fill it with stuff from your site -  be a resource as well. Its okay to post fresh ideas from other sites and resources online. Be an industry expert and share your talents and knowledge freely.

Dig Deeper: The Code For Blocking Pinterest … And 12 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use It

2. Google recognizes Pinterest profiles, so they can appear on the first pages of search results. Because of how Pinterest interacts with Google, be sure to create boards using your key terms so its recognizable and will deliver you results within the most popular key searches.

3. Currently you can rearrange your pinboards to have them showcased on your profile in any order you choose. Yet the pins within each pinboard are shown in order of when you pinned each item. If you have a closed board concept – meaning you are creating a board with a select number of pins and you know ahead of time what they will be – lay out the order first so they will appear in the order you desire. [Read more...]

Can You Make Money With Your Photography and Chime.In

What are your favorite pieces of each of the social networks you use? If you could build another social network to use for your photography, what would it look like?

Back in October 2011, a new site debuted … Chime.In. Think of Chime.In as a way to share short thoughts like Twitter, a way to get more in depth with each thought like you would with a blog, and voting capabilities like you get on Reddit.

Instead of focusing on information, Chime.In describes itself as an “interest network.” It has a newsfeed, profile pages and a system for following others – all like you are used to with other social sites. Instead of updating your status, you “chime”, which is a cross between an update and a post.

A Chime displays a headline, the first few sentences of the Chime, graphics (photo, video), your profile photo, interest tags, and options for liking, commenting or sharing. Your Chime can be up to 4,000 characters in length, giving you a lot more freedom to write exactly what you want to say. And once your Chime is up, people use a voting system to surface the best comments to the top of Chime.

While Chime may seem like just another player in the already busy social media field, it does have one unique difference. When you design your profile, you have full control over it, including the advertising and sponsors that run on your page. You can include your own ads on the page and keep 100 percent of the revenue. Or allow UberMedia to control the ads and split the revenue 50/50.

Chime.In is built with mobile in mind. You can access it via a similar look and feel as the web edition from one of its mobile apps, including iPhone, BlackBerry or Android.

Once you have your profile built, you can stay active in several ways. Type in your interest – photography – and you’ll be able to search through Chime by interests, communities or people. Then build up your followers list and start communicating.

Chime is simply another social site. Will it be popular enough to bring in a following that will help grow your business? It depends on your business and how you approach it. Yet it may be worth setting up a Chime to cover your basis and have one just in case. Remember, the key isn’t having one or two sites you rely on all the time. Its about spreading yourself out and being where potential followers may be. It doesn’t mean you have to be active all the time – just make sure you have a presence and watch it. If it becomes a big hit in your business world, by all means keep using it.

A Guide To The New Facebook Pages Timeline

You knew it was bound to happen. In January when Facebook changed Profiles to Timeline, you knew Pages would soon follow in its footsteps. And sure enough, they’ve just announced the launch of Facebook Timeline for Pages. But what does it mean for your business? How will it help you attract more business? A variety of new features are now available to help you out – here is how they work and how to use them to benefit your business.

Step One Activate Your Timeline

When you open up your Facebook Page, you will find a Preview button located at the top of your Page. Or you can visit the Timeline for Pages manager and select the Page you wish to add Timeline too.

One you enter your Page Preview, you can tour the new features, redesign your Page until you are happy with it, and Publish it once you are set. You can Publish it at any time. But be aware that on March 30, 2012, your Timeline will automatically take affect, so be sure to play around with it between now and then. [Read more...]