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…]

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.

How To Start Up A Pinterest Contest

What’s the true purpose of running a contest on a social site? Attention of course.

Yet the problem often lies in coming up with the details. How do you run it? What do you offer?

Let me show you an example from a company Layla Grayce.

They have a beautiful Pinterest account and are very active. One of their boards is Pin It To Win It, in which they offer contests. You can join a contest very easily.

If you follow the rules, you will create exposure for them in a variety of ways, including on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

Then after the deadline, they choose their five favorites and post them back to their blog and Facebook. Voting begins and people can vote for their favorites – more exposure as people return to see who the lucky finalists are. And of course exposure throughout the contest to possibly vote multiple times, and to see who the winners are.

And along the way, I’m sure people buy as well. When you find something you love and is perfect for the room you are creating, why wouldn’t you buy?

Finally they give 3 prizes – retail value with a maximum of $850, though I’m sure actual prices are considerably less, depending on what the winner chooses.

And again, I’m sure they experience additional sales not only from the winners, but also from the people checking back in again.

So that’s how you play the game with products. But how do you do it with photography?

How about designing the perfect shoot. Find the clothes you would wear, your dream location, and your favorite props.

How about sharing your favorite family photo from years past – and why you want it updated today?

How about creating a story through a Pinterest board – how you got engaged, your baby’s first year, etc. Best story wins.

Think about your prizes – what if someone wins who is 2000 miles away?

Then share your ideas here. Have you run Pinterest contests? Played any you love? I’d love to see them – share them here in the comments.

Easy Ways To Make Infographics For Your Social Sites

If you’ve been to Pinterest, you know one of the most popular, most shared items on there are infographics. They are fun to look at, filled with useful or amazing content, and therefore are also fun to share.

Infographics can range from the simple to the complex, filled with basic information or elaborate graphics. The key is getting your message across quickly and with style. Check out one of the recent infographics that went viral on Pinterest.

While you can use Photoshop to do just about anything, there are many online tools that also give you an easy way to get your ideas out there. [Read more…]

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.

Is Your Pinterest Traffic Worthless?

If you look at any business media source today, the focus has moved off of Facebook and on to Pinterest. And for good reason. It’s the largest growing social media site yet.

But don’t let the large numbers fool you. The millions of people that are flocking to it are doing it for their own agenda, not yours. The audience (mainly women) love looking at all of the great ideas posted by other people and sharing them with their own followers. The numbers are there. But there is one thing that may not be there … valuable traffic.

If people are viewing your work just because they love the image, what is that doing for you?

Nothing.Is Your Pinterest Traffic Worthless

Unless you do something with it.

Are you seeing the residual of people talking about and sharing your images with their followers? Or are you getting actual traffic to your site, finding people clicking over to your pages and spending the time looking around at what you have to offer?

The only way to find out is to physically track your statistics and monitor what people are doing. You must follow the traffic, where they click to once they come into your site, and most importantly, do they convert once they get there?

Dig Deeper: How Google Analytics Can Help You Grow Your Business

The key to a successful web presence isn’t traffic … it conversion. If 100 visit your site and 100 convert, you will be successful. If you have one million people visit your site with zero conversions, you will fail. [Read more…]

What Do Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter All Have In Common?

The statistics are always out of this world.

  • Total unique visitors increased – 2702.2% since May 2011
  • Gender breakdown – 68.2% female, 31.8% male
  • Over 1.36 million visitors a day

Yep, that’s the latest statistics put out by Modea and comScore on the social networking site Pinterest.

If you are trying to grow your photography business, it’s THE place to be.

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

So by all means, jump over, start up your own Pin boards and Pin away. [Read more…]