Five Tips On Promoting And Marketing Your Portrait Photography Website

The portrait photography business is a competitive industry filled with a wide variety of portrait photographers with skill levels of all ranges. Unfortunately, being a quality portrait photographer doesn’t always mean that your business will be booming. There are hundreds if not thousands of talented professional portrait photographers in the United States who are not getting the results they want or the business they need to meet their financial goals.

Please consider the following marketing and promotional tips for your portrait photography website. The fact of the matter is that marketing is the most important aspect of having a successful portrait photography business. If you want to make succeed as a portrait photographer, the following tips should be very helpful.

Tip #1: Website!

Since the dawn of the Internet age, websites have become the most powerful and effective strategy for photographers to showcase their respective portfolios. If you don’t have a website by now then you might as well forget about increasing your business. Even for the photographers who have been in business for 30 plus years, a website is an essential thing to have. Not having one is akin to not having a telephone number: it’s that important!

Tip #2: Your website must be impressive!

Your website is you. That is, your website is a virtual you. When potential clients visit your website, they are looking at something that is an extension of who you are. It is imperative that they are impressed with the look and feel of your website as well as the presentation of your images and content. It never ceases to amaze me at how many portrait photographers have websites that look sloppy, unprofessional and downright ugly! If you want to gain business as a result of your presence on the Internet, you absolutely must have a professionally designed, easily navigable and aesthetically pleasing website. If your website is missing any of these elements, I would advise you to remove it from the Internet. It’s better to leave no impression at all rather than a poor impression!

Tip #3: Finding a qualified web designer

Be sure to do your homework before plunking down thousands of dollars for your new website. Be sure to carefully review your prospective web designer’s portfolio. Find out whether the website they will build for you is a custom, one of a kind website or a template website. Although custom websites cost more, they are usually worth the money as they will set you apart from the competition. It’s never a good thing for a photographer to have an identical website as another photographer in the industry.

Be sure to find out exactly what is included in the price they quote you for the new website and review the contract carefully to ensure there are no surprises.

Tip #4: Marketing your website

Just having a good looking website isn’t enough these days. Getting found on the search engines for high value keywords is one of the most effective ways in increasing your portrait inquiries. A well-known portrait photographer in Denver, Colorado – Julie Harris–estimates that 80 – 90% of her portrait inquiries can be directly attributed to her high search engine rankings on Google, Yahoo and MSN. “Without the traffic to my website, I don’t know where my business would be,” says Ms. Harris.

The effectiveness Search Engine Optimization and Search Marketing cannot be overstated. The Internet is full of free articles that will help you figure out how to go about implementing a successful website marketing and promotion campaign. You may also want to consider hiring a professional SEO consultant to help you with your website marketing strategies.

Tip #5: Maintaining and updating your website

Keeping your website up do date and fresh is extremely important. Try to get into the habit of uploading new work to your portfolio on a monthly or bimonthly basis. If you have a great portrait session, replace some of your older stuff with the new images. This will ensure that you’re always showing off your best work and it will encourage people to keep visiting your website to see your new work.

Internet Marketing Tips: Promotional Strategies To Achieve Success

If you have something to promote on the internet, you are going to need a strategy. This is just as important whether you are selling a product or service, trying to get gigs for your band, looking for more readers for your blog, or just trying to raise your brand’s profile. Here are some internet marketing tips to help you reach the most people you can, and make a great impact when you do.

Understand how people use the internet

The way that the modern, Web 2.0 internet is used is very different from the more “one way” internet of the past. People used to look at sites written by experts for information, and to buy things, whereas now a lot more content is interactive or user generated. This means that internet marketing is much more a two way street now, with people being very comfortable giving feedback on almost everything they see or use online. One of the most important internet marketing tips is therefore to engage with your customers and open a dialogue, rather than talking “at” them.

Don’t ignore Google

Google is the king of search engines, used by everybody to search for everything. If you rank well in Google searches relating to your niche, you will get a lot of visitors to your site who are essentially already qualified leads – they were looking for what you offer. The techniques to improve your internet search rankings are called SEO (search engine optimization), and learning how SEO works, especially with Google, is one of the best internet marketing tips there is.

Use social media

Social media is the key to really touching your audience. If you can gather up people who are interested in what you do as Twitter followers and Facebook friends then you have an audience there that you can communicate with at any time, with new offers, calls to action, questions, in fact, whatever you like. You also have the benefit of being able to see what people are saying about your industry and your own brand. Getting involved in social media is one of the most powerful internet marketing tips in terms of return on investment too, as it costs so little.

Network

Whatever you offer, there are bound to be other people in your industry or in complimenting industries who aren’t direct competitors and are out there on the web. Find their blogs, tweets and Facebook fan pages and comment on them, and start to get to know these people. The wider your network of people in your niche, the more opportunities there are to pick up more fans and followers. Networking is at the core of business, and the internet gives you a chance to do it with people all over the world.

Hopefully these internet marketing tips have given you some ideas to help you move forward in your own promotional work. The internet is constantly growing and changing and by letting your customers feel like you are part of that culture by using the latest tools and trends in your approach gives them a good deal of reassurance.

How to Manage Your Marketing Mix

Here’s the deal: advertisement is not marketing. It’s like saying
you want to have a garden, but you’re only willing to plant the
flowers. Forget about watering, fertilizer, good soil, weeding and
sunshine. You don’t need them, right?

Wrong. And the same goes for generating revenue. Done in a vacuum,
none of these tactics will get you what you want. For professional
services – where your relationship with your target audience develops
based on them trusting you – it’s all about layering your “market
touches” in a way that incrementally builds trust over time. Too
much, too close, too soon, and you scare people off.

Instead, you have to know what strategy to use and when, based on
clear objectives. Each strategy has a different purpose. Here’s a
quick look at how to make the right choice.

Advertisement is getting the word out about your firm through paid-
for ads or commercials in the media, including print, radio,
television and internet. You advertise to…

* establish awareness

* build interest in the market

* educate

* interrupt

* change attitudes about your brand or another’s brand

* influence perceptions

* meet a longer-term objective (like raising awareness)

Advertisement tends to be very expensive. Done well -with good
messaging, good design, and a big enough budget to be consistent over
time – it can be effective. But blowing a big piece of your overall
marketing budget on an ad or two is a HUGE waste of money.

Public Relations is getting the word out about your firm through the
press, including articles about you (not by you) and interviews with
you. These can appear in print, as a story in the media, and online.
You use Public Relations to…

* build credibility (and sometimes trust) through a third-party (the
press)

* move up a level in the eyes of your target audience and clients

* align publicly (i.e., with a cause)

* generate buzz (i.e., pre-launch)

* get “free” attention

Getting good publicity requires a knack for WIIFM-oriented messaging
(What’s In It For Me?). You have to pass the “who cares?” test every
time. If you start a press release, for example, with “ABC Company is
pleased to announce…,” you’re DEAD in the water. Good relationship-
building skills with the press are also a must. PR is often something
to crank up once you have the tools in place to “catch” the attention
you’ll garner, including a website laden with value and a decent keep-
in-touch system.

Promotion is getting the word out through articles/
columns/newsletters that you write, talks you give, networking,
sponsorships, events, committee work, referrals you give and get,
follow-up meetings, thank you notes, and calls. You promote to…

* encourage your target audience to try you (i.e., visit your
website for a valuable download, to subscribe to your free e-
newsletter)

* invite your target audience to an event (real or virtual)

* give stuff away (trials)

* introduce a new offer

* meet a shorter-term objective (like fill a workshop)

* test new ideas (i.e., run a poll)

* invite interaction (i.e., to an online discussion forum)

Promotion tends to be the most effective way for professional
service firms to build trust in the marketplace. The arsenal of
options in your promotional toolkit is both extensive and affordable.
Get a basic system of online and offline promotional tactics in place
- anchored by a value-packed website to act as your “revenue hub” –
and you’re in good shape.

You also have tactical choices to make for each strategy: online vs.
offline, print/graphic vs. audio/visual, live (in person) vs.
virtual, and so on. Here are some rules of (green) thumb to guide you:

* deploy the WIIFM factor at all times

* unless you have the backing of a big corporate marketing budget,
promotion and PR tend to be your smartest investments

* online is generally more cost-effective than print

* permission-based approach is a must for professional services

* don’t randomly try tactics. Have a plan that moves your target
audience from Stranger to Acquaintance to Friend to Lover to Loyal
Partner (see my article, “How to Earn the Right” for more on this key
success factor)

If you want awareness, interest, trusted advisor status, and
credibility, you need all three strategies – Advertisement, Public
Relations, and Promotion – in your marketing mix. For most firms,
having a solid promotional strategy in place first is the smartest
ROI. Add public relations and advertisement to the mix next, and your
garden will flourish and grow.