Welcome back to Fast Food Friday. Just like a New Jersey diner we've got a special every week.
I started this series to remind you of things you need to stay focused on when a camera isn't in your hands! It's summertime and the busy season is back and in full swing. But, while business is good, that doesn't mean you can kick back and ignore marketing.
This weeks special is all about your blog! You've got two outstanding marketing tools at your fingertips, your website, and your blog, but there's a big difference between the two. Your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what's in your heart.
An excellent blog is your opportunity to be helpful and share why you're a photographer. It's like publicity giving credibility to advertising. By sharing your heart, you're giving credibility to your website, which has the same position today as a bricks and mortar storefront before the Internet.
"But Skip, there's nothing going on to write about!
Over and again people tell me nothing is going on in their community to write about. Well, there's always something to write about. Here's a list of topics to get you started.
Tips on how to be a better photographer: Nobody is going to steal your business. Give your readership tips on how they can upgrade the quality of their family images. Talk about posing, lighting, composition - all things you deal with every day. Even tips on better holiday pictures will remind your readership you're the expert on photography. And, it doesn't matter what they're using to capture the images - even a mother doing grab shots of the family needs to be reminded to move in closer, how to use fill flash, etc.
Great places in the community to photograph: You know the area, share some of those "secret" locations along with the best time of day, etc.
Events coming up in your community: Whether it's a gallery opening, an exhibit, a workshop or a charity drive, make yourself the expert on keeping people in your community up to date.
New products in photography: Talk about some of your favorites. Help consumers in your community understand they don't need a lot of megapixels to get great images. Every time I hear about an average consumer trading up to get the latest and greatest in pixel count, it reminds of the muscle cars of my generation when I was a kid. Don't get me wrong, I had one, but all it did was cost me gas money! LOL
Things you can do with your images: Have some fun with this and talk to your lab. Here's an opportunity to talk about great gift ideas you can provide that are out of the norm.
Profiles: Whether people in the community or even pets, doing profile stories, one each week, are a great way to show your skill set and at the same time remind people what you do for a living. Plus, everybody you feature in a post becomes an ambassador for you. Take a look at all the businesses in your community you frequently use, including your favorite restaurants. A post with an good environmental portrait of somebody at your favorite pizza place, for example, shows your ability and at the same times turns them into a fan because of a great image and a paragraph or two about the restaurant.
Client shoots: Many of you have trapped yourself in what I call "riptide marketing." You started out posting images from every shoot, especially engagement shoots and now you can't break the trend. You're caught in the riptide! There's nothing wrong in showing images of clients, but use a select few to make a point about the technique used, lighting, the location, maybe the composition...you don't need to show every image of every client...just show a couple of the very best.
Websites and blogs to visit: Pay attention to the demographics of your clients and offer them helpful URLs to visit which are aligned with their interests.
Workshops and conventions you attend: Don't be afraid to toot your own horn when you've attended a great program to raise the bar on your skill set. Here's an opportunity to remind your clients why you love photography and new techniques you're bringing into the business.
Tips on hiring a photographer: Help your readers with solid tips about checking out a photographer BEFORE they're hired. Obviously, make sure you have a positive answer for your own business on each tip.
There you have it, ten topics all on one "plate." It's enough of a list to keep you in blog content for a year or more!
Remember, you don't have to post something that's in almost real time. You can build a stash of posts in advance and then draw from them whenever you're short on time. Also, remember the most important rule...be consistent! My suggestion for photographers is always to post at least twice a week on the same days each time!
Now go start writing! And if you're stuck and have a question, you know where to find me.
Missed any of the past Fast Food Friday posts?
There are now sixteen in the series and they're all just a click away. Each one identifies another aspect of business to help you make 2018 an outstanding year. There are so many different things you can be doing to build a stronger business, and most of them take so little time to add to your strategy!
And, if there's an area we haven't talked about yet, just leave me a comment and we'll start the research for a future post.
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.