When you see a site come on board that quickly makes its way to the top of the pack, has simply amazing statistics, and offers huge potential to find a few new clients, its hard to ignore. Chances are you’ve been over to YouTube at least once this week, and probably more if you’re anything like me. It’s a great place to learn something new, or to take a break and laugh for a minute of two. So the next natural question is, “How do you use YouTube to promote your photography business?”
Let’s start by considering these numbers:
- Over 20 hours of video is uploaded every single minute to YouTube
- Over 10.5 million hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every year (that’s 1,200 years worth of video)
- More video was uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, NBC and CBS had been airing new content 24/7/365 since 1948
- ABC, NBC and CBS get 10 million unique visitors every month. MySpace, YouTube and Facebook get 250 million unique visitors every month
That’s a lot of video! And hopefully you’re also seeing it as a lot of opportunity.
The great thing about YouTube videos is you don’t have to be a professional videographer to get a great video. I keep my Flip Video and Sony Bloggie close by to always have access to a video camera. Or use a program like Camtasia to capture your screen, including your web cam.
Yesterday I mentioned in my article on using Flickr that “The secret lies in thinking of Flickr as an extension of your business.” The same holds true with YouTube. When setting up your YouTube channel, brand it just like your business. Create your profile based on your company information, and use your photo or your company logo to help with the branding.
Then use your YouTube channel to help build your business – again without being salesy or 100 percent advertising. Think instead of how to attract your clients, not how to give them a sales pitch.
From my own experience, I know clients usually book for one of two reasons. They’ve either seen your work, your photography, and love what you do. Or they’ve seen you in action and love the way you work with your clients. So these are the best 2 areas to focus on with your videos.
Start by creating a two minute presentation where your images rotate to the rhythm of a song (use copyright free music). Build on the emotions, and showcase your best work based on the lyrics or the mood of the music.
Then produce a short video showcasing how you work with your clients. The sky is the limit with these videos. You can include onsite video, testimonials from your clients, interviews from vendors and people you work with, and mix it in with actual photographs from the session.
The key with both types of videos is to show your final product, not talking about why someone should buy. People can make the obvious transition. You just need them to want you over all of your competition.
Do you have questions that come up again and again from your customers? Why not put it in a video.
Let’s take a wedding photographer. Why not create a video showing how easy it is to build a final wedding album? You can showcase your process – from computer, to production, to layout – and finally the end album.
Or maybe you are a commercial photographer. Why not showcase a day on the job? Using quick action, you can show a build up and break down, plus the day of photographing a group of models for a catalog shoot. Show them the process of coming to their location, how quickly you set up and break down, and how well you work throughout the day.
The key idea isn’t to be long and drawn out. It’s about quick action. It’s to give them answers to the questions they have before they talk with you.
One of the best ways to become an expert is to share your knowledge.
- Share bits from presentations you give at local businesses.
- Create videos with valuable tips of interest to your clients.
- Conduct an interview with an expert or local authority.
- Turn your videos into a podcast series.
If you are a wedding photographer, you have more expertise than a bride will ever have. You photograph 30, 40 weddings per year, and have seen dozens of things that make a wedding better. These little tips make perfect videos.
The key is to think small. What one tip can you create a 2 to 3 minute video on that will have impact on the person watching, and prove your expertise?
Okay, are you ready? Get out there and start creating your YouTube channel. And leave a comment or two here – I’d love to see your results.