You know the importance of your business having a presence on the internet. You may have heard or read about the buzz surrounding the new local search initiatives on the part of Google and other major search engines. Maybe you already know that 73% of all searches are somehow related to local searches and that 51% of people who search for product information characterize themselves as ‘shop online purchase offline.’
There’s a huge hungry crowd of customers out there. But you just don’t have the time or resources to put up an efficient, effective website. You’re too busy doing what you do best, running your business.
Maybe you’ve done a few things like signing up with some directories. Maybe your industry has a directory service as well. You get your name and contact info out there along with millions of others. But have you ever received a lead or a sale from those efforts? Would you even know if you did?
Marketing is a vital part of any business. You can have the best bicycle shop, or be the best tax accountant in town but if nobody knows you exist it just doesn’t matter does it? That’s why you spend money on the yellow pages and local advertising.
But websites are different in your mind aren’t they. With the yellow pages you call your account representative, work out an ad, pay the bill and it’s done. You don’t need special skills. But a website? A website takes technical skills and knowledge of search engine optimizationso it can be found. Specifically local search engine optimization so it can be found by local people who are potential customers or clients.
You simply don’t have the time for that which means you’d have to pay big bucks to outsource the job right?
Actually the answer to that question is ‘not necessarily.’ There is a remarkably functional, flexible and user friendly free website software called WordPress. It is an open source platform available to everyone and millions have used it for their blogs and small businesses. The only costs associated with it are the purchase of a domain name ($10) and a hosting service ($10 a month).
WordPress websites are loved by Google because they are structured in a way that makes it easy for the Google spiders to crawl. It’s loaded with automatic features that even let the search engines know immediately when you update the site with new content.
But the design and the structure of a blog is not ideal for either the professional look of your business or, more importantly, local search.
There is a solution though that is effective both in terms of ranking in the search engines and low maintenance. The SmallBiz WordPress Theme provides a professional business theme and design that can quickly get you in front of local customers and do it with a minimum amount of time required by you. You can have an effective presence on the web without digging into the time you need to run the business. That of course does not count the time you spend responding to customer requests that are generated by the site.
If you want to take advantage of the enormous marketing power of local search, visit check it out today and at least investigate the possibilities of a search optimized website for your business.
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Video is currently the most popular format on the internet. This is a great time for photographers, in my opinion. The tools that are available to us allow us to show our work with 85% of the world’s population (that is the percentage of the world’s population that has access to the internet). Online videos are not only easy to produce, they’re one of the best methods of preventing the theft of the work of photographers. Many photographers are reluctant to display their work online due to threat of it being stolen. And, unfortunately, they have every reason to be reluctant.
Video, however, makes it almost impossible to steal your work, while at the same time allowing you to display your work to the world.
One of the easiest video producing tools is Animoto. The video below is a review of how easy it is to use Animoto in “real time.” In less than six and one half minutes I produce a professional looking videos. In that same amount of time I will also post and upload the video that I made in the demo to Facebook!
Note: in being transparent, I am using the Pro version of Animoto. They also offer a free version and different price ranges.
This demo video was actually done in “real time” – continuous shooting with not edited breaks – mistakes and all. But, you will clearly see the power of Animoto to make videos that can go viral and put your work in front of larger audiences.
Photography marketing with video is one of my staple marketing strategies. I’ve done hundreds of them. Often, I make them and give them to clients as part of their package. Many that I give to them do not have my photography business information anywhere on them. Model clients like that because they can then put their own brand on them.
This is an example of a video I made to market my headshot niche. As you can see, it really isn’t very fancy. It’s just a little different. I had it made on Fiverr. (in case you never heard of Fiverr.com, it is a website where people will ‘do things’ for $5.)
What do you think?
Once you get the passion for photography, it is just a matter of time before you wonder how to start a photography business. While all of us that wonder don’t take any action to start a photography business, many of us do.
I’ve found that there are many different methods of starting a photography business. More and more photography hobbyists and amateur photographers want to make money with their photography just to pay for their photography “habit.”
There is stock photography, which is the selling (actually it is the ‘leasing’ the right to use) photos that we’ve taken already. There are many stock photography websites catering to photographers of all types. This is a photography niche that has truly felt the digital photography “revolution.” Not only have prices dramatically dropped, the entire pricing structure of the niche is undergoing constant changes.
When I participated in the stock photography niche, I submitted many photos. But, I only made any money with my shots of preschool children in preschool settings. I was able to arrange for photo releases with the parents and families of the children. I found out later that many photographers had trouble securing the releases and could not take photos. So, as a result, my photos did not have much competition.
But, to be honest, I accidently found success. Like so many photographers that want to either make money with photography or start a photography business, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know” about the business of photography. Years and years later, I learned a few things.
One of the major reasons that I built www.MarketPhotography.com, was to share marketing information, resources and resources with other photographers like myself. I like to help people anyway. I remember how frustrating it was for me when I first got bit by the photography bug and tried to make money. I made mistake after mistake after mistake. I lost money. I did not make much money, at all. Now that I “know” more, I felt that I had to share what I came to understand about the process of starting a photography business – more specifically – photography marketing for photographers.
Recently, I read an article about starting a photography business. The author wrote that to succeed, you have to:
- Pay your dues
- Get your education
- Learn from the pros
- Know your stuff
- Value your customers
My experience only allows me to agree with two of those listed: Know your stuff & Value your customers. As photographers, amateurs, hobbyists or pros, we must always continue to get better with our photography. That is how to “Know your stuff,” in my opinion. And I am currently experiencing the benefits of “Valuing customers,” which is the best marketing strategy for any business, photography or otherwise.
There are many different entries into the photography business world. Photography on a part-time basis is more practical for many photography business newbies, in my opinion.
Find out more about how to start a photography business here……
There are many parts of modern photography that I enjoy. One of them is displaying my work. Of course, I display my work online – because it is so easy to do, in my opinion.
One of the methods that I really enjoy with modern photography is making and publishing ebooks of my photography. Overall, I have produced and published almost 100 ebooks – not all of them are photography related. We might take ebooks for granted these days. But, ebooks were not around when I first developed my passion for photography.
As I was recently going through my computer hard drives and I was surprised to see how many ebooks that I’ve published. Many of them I’ve published and made money from them. Other times, they have worked well to get me new customers. And there are dozens that I’ve never distributed and they never made it off of my hard drives. I’m now submitting them to an ebook directory website that I’ve been a part of for the last couple of years. So, it isn’t like it was a waste of my time.
A few years ago I published a “how-to” tutorial on how to publish your photos in an ebook. You might be surprised at how easy it is to make your own ebook. I’m pretty sure that you will enjoy publishing your own ebook.
How’s Your Social Media Working For You?
I’ve definitely changed my mind about the effectiveness of marketing with social media. Just a few years ago in this newsletter I shared with you that I just didn’t understand what all of the fuss was about social media. Since then, there have been some effective trends and processes that have been identified that are useful for anyone that was to expand their circle and increase awareness of their presence. Even though I’ve changed my mind about the effectiveness of social media, it still requires too much of my time.
Recently, I published a social media guide to help small business owners learn how to effectively market their business with social media. What I am finding is that the business owners that I’m working with and have shared this guide with are very happy with the results that they’re getting. They think that I’m some kind of “social media guru.” Just between you and me, I’m not guru – I’m not even close! I’m pretty good at teaching small business owners how to better market their businesses. In fact, I’m very good (if I say so myself). But I am not a guru. I’m just a guy that enjoys life and enjoys helping people.
I hope that you find some of the tips that I share with you in this newsletter helpful and useful.
Thank you sincerely for being a subscriber.
Since the beginning of this year, I’ve had many discussions with long-time professional photographers about the importance of marketing photography in order to successfully sell photography to people. Some of them are resentful because they feel that photographers that are less qualified than they are as photographers are selling their photography while the long-time photographers aren’t (at least, not as much as they used to sell).
Although I try to tell them that photography marketing is what makes the difference, they still are convinced that they should be more successful at making money with their photography than less experienced photographers.
I’m going to meet with a group of photographers later today. I know that the conversation will come up again. But, I don’t intend to mention anything about marketing at this meeting. Many in the meeting do not take photography marketing seriously, in my opinion. And that is okay. It’s just hard to take sometimes, because of what I know about the effectiveness of marketing.
By the way, this week I was named the “Best Marketing Consultant” in Long Beach, California. I’m not going to bring that up at the meeting either.
About one year ago I made a video about a very effective marketing strategy that I use and that you can use. Here’s the link http://youtu.be/2eD5YHOiysI Please leave your comments and questions in the comment box. And, of course, like the video if you do like it………..