The IPPA Blog | The Blog of The Irish Professional Photographers Association

CAT | Marketing

I have spent some time over the past few days and weeks looking at various photographers websites. Photographers who are both members and non-members of the IPPA. There are some wonderful websites that  can only act as a terrific marketing tool for the owners business. Then there are others………!

Awful, truly awful! How can one claim to be a professional if their ‘digital shop window’ is/has/looks:

(and feel free to choose all that apply)

 

  • Slow to load
  • Outdated imagery (specifically the ‘Schindlers List’ wedding picture of the red rose and remainder in black and white! Please???)
  • The sepia that is more FECAL than sepia.
  • A gmail/hotmail/yahoo email address as the main email.
  • No contact details except for a mobile number. (inspires client confidence, doesn’t it!)
  • Extraordinary Vignettes (You know what I mean!!!)
  • A domain name that is not your own business name or your name.
  • Offers that were over months ago. “Book now and get ….. Offer finishes January 31st 2013.
  • The 1980’s wallpaper background.
  • Broken Links or links to nowhere.
  • Music that plays like a Saturday night strip joint – Did you think that your clients might be looking at your site in work.
  • The ‘Specialist’ who specialises in everything from Weddings to Wildlife to Architecture and Events – “If you put it in front of me, I can shoot it” photographer. Once again inspiring confidence.
  • Those websites who makes claims on behalf of their publishers – “The very best”, “No one better”, “The best in the country”, The best in the world” – Breaking News: YOU ARE NOT!

I could go on but I won’t because each of the above is making me more cantankerous and I hate being grumpy! So for the cheap seats in the house, I’ll say it one more time.

Make your brand simple and consistent in regards to your logo, website, portfolios and promos. Ultimately your photography should speak for itself. The more consistent you are with your brand the more professional you will appear to a client, thus resulting in more business!

Before the end of this month conduct a full audit of your website and get it sorted, its your window to the world and some of you have ‘dirty windows”, get ’em cleaned!

Oh and by the way, if your a member of the Irish Professional Photographers Association and your website is crap, its a reflection on, not only you but your fellow members and the association too.

Signing off from this post. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Good night and good luck.

 

Marketing Options

Whether it was putting an ad in a newspaper, recording a jingle for the radio or shooting a commercial for television, marketing campaigns used to require a lot of cash. While those methods still exist, the Internet has opened new avenues for businesses to market their products and services for free.

Here are seven ways to promote your business without spending a dime.

 

Facebook

As the most popular social networking site, Facebook gives businesses a free outlet to reach millions of potential new customers. Similarly to how individual Facebook users can create personal pages, businesses can set up their own dedicated page on Facebook to help grow their venture, build brand awareness and develop relationships with consumers. Besides providing all the business’ vitals – including name, location, phone number and Web address – the Facebook page gives businesses a forum to speak to their customers about company news, special promotions and new products. Many businesses also use their Facebook page to run contests and free giveaways as a way to attract new shoppers.

 

www.strikingimages.ie

Twitter

The popular micro-blogging site Twitter is also a way to reach new customers without the expense. Twitter offers businesses a platform for connecting their brand with things people care about. The social networking site bills itself as a canvas for telling engaging stories, broadcasting content, connecting directly with consumers and driving transactions. The site provides businesses with a unique opportunity to see what their customers are saying, ask them questions and respond to their concerns. Businesses can also use Twitter to run special deals and promotions.

 

Local Listing Services

For many consumers, the Internet is the first place they look when searching for a business. Since local search entries are often the first choices given in a search query, businesses can easily attract new customers and clients by simply making sure they are listed on the sites. The local search listings offer businesses an easy way to highlight their location, hours and contact information. The most popular local search listing sites are Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Microsoft Bing.

 

Press release websites

Getting a little free publicity from newspapers, radio and television stations and blogs is a great way to attract new business. One way to catch the eye of the local media is to send out releases touting new products or services, as well as company news and special promotions. In today’s digital age, many journalists search through press release websites for new and interesting story ideas. A number of websites, such as Free Press Release, PR Log, 24/7 Press Release and I-Newswire, offer the opportunity to post press releases on their site for free. In addition to exposure on the site, the releases are distributed to major search engines, making their reach even greater.

 

Online video

Few things create buzz for a business more than a great viral video. While not every video will become a huge hit, they do provide a more engaging way to get information to consumers. While a normal ad won’t do the trick, businesses can use creative videos to build new interest in their company. Examples include videos of company parties for those who were unable to attend, how-to videos for consumers looking for more information on using a product or service, and video confessionals of happy customers and clients. While posting videos on YouTube remains the most popular route, small businesses also can take advantage of other sites like Viddler, Vimeo, Dailymotion and Ustream.

 

Pinterest

While it is true of all social networking sites, using Pinterest successfully requires more than just cramming products and promotions down consumer’s throats. Pinterest gives users their online pin board, where they can “pin” up links and photos to things they like and are interested in. However, businesses only posting pics of their products on the site won’t find many new customers. In order to be successful on Pinterest, businesses must think about the type of content their customers would be interested in. Instead of just sharing images and links to existing product pages, blog posts and websites, businesses should share content that other users will love sharing. A bakery, for example, might use Pinterest to post cupcake recipes, frosting tips, party ideas and other topics for followers.

 

Instagram

Similarly to Pinterest, businesses using the photo-sharing site Instagram must be more creative than just posting picture of products if they want to win customers. It requires building a following of users that want to see their point of view, whether they’re selling something or not. When posting promotional photos, they must be creative. For example, restaurants might show photos of people eating their food, while fashion retailers can post pictures of customers wearing their clothes. The site can also be used to host fun contests that involve customers posting their own photos of them using a business’ product.

 

Hope it helps!

 

Cormac

 

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So here’s the 5 Common Mistakes That Lose You Business:

1. Your clients are clueless.

Most people cannot tell a good photo from a bad photo at all and really have no idea what they want. If you’re going to be successful in your business, that is something you need to learn and accept right now. 

2. Your clients are both confused and overwhelmed.

Every single time your prospective client has to do something, whether it be as small as clicking a link or as large as meeting with you, there’s a chance that they’ll never do it and you’ll lose the sale. 

3. Your customer service is horrible.

Be honest with yourself. Are you responding to e-mails promptly? I’m talking all e-mails, not just the new client inquiries you’re getting. Are you placing orders in a timely manner, following up with them, and going above and beyond in order to make their experience with you fantastic? Are you delivering things when you say you will? 

4. You are trying to be everything to everybody.

Do you specialise in weddings, (and portraiture and commercial photography and baby photography and landscape photography and sports photography and architectural photography and fine art and aerial photography and press &PR and food photography and don’t forget wildlife, underwater and photography of outer space too!) In other words, are you faking it, until you make it?

5. You aren’t giving your clients what they want.

The key to getting sales and clients is to offer exactly what they are looking for. When is the last time you bought something you really didn’t want (and didn’t HAVE to buy)?

AGREE?   /   DISAGREE?   / DON’T CARE?

Have a think about it over the weekend and we’ll ‘flesh‘ the above topics out next week……

Have a good weekend everyone!

Cormac

 

No tags

….edgy, cool, fun, funny, attractive, innovative, uplifting, inspiring, modern? So is your marketing WORKING?Dollar Shave Club,Marketing, IPPA,

 

Have a look at how Dollar Shave Club are doing it. It’s probably not the most exciting product or industry in the world. If you are involved in sales and the pitching process of your photography business, you will understand how difficult it is to win new clients. that is before you consider the cost of advertising and marketing that goes behind all your efforts. So if you have not got the time to go to shows, networking meetings and other events, maybe there is an easier way!

If you are a small business there is no way to compete for your share with all the marketing ‘noise’ that is out there, so maybe you could try YouTube or Vimeo.

Here is how Dollar Shave Club have done it.

What Dollar Shave Club have done is taken an average product and made it ‘remarkable’. How? by creating a funny viral video, using the fact that it is an average product as the key selling point. This video provided Dollar Shave Club with 12,000 customers in the first two days of opening its e-doors.

As of this writing, nearly 6 million people have watched this video. The average CPC for a group of “shave” related keywords is currently around €0.80. Its unlikely you have almost €5 million to spend on marketing though, right? What Dollar Shave Club have done is get in front of as many people without the associated and traditional marketing expense. They currently rank number 3 on Google.com for the keyword ‘shave’.

For something a little closer to home (and a little lower on the production values) One Pound Fish has racked up over 2 million views on You Tube of the market stall trader at Queens Market Upton Park in London.

 

Be creative,  it’s worth it!

If you can stand out by creating great content like this and essentially pitch to potentially millions of potential customers with a single online video, surely that’s far more efficient than any other sales activity is likely to be.

And the long-term value is huge – especially in this case where you can generate sales from day one of the campaign and then incrementally build upon it. It’s definitely one of the best integrated social/content campaigns I’ve seen in a long-time.

 

 

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to studio shoot and have clients look at those pictures regardless of where you are. No need for a Wi-Fi network. Just seamlessly being able to transfer your pictures from your camera directly to your iPad, in the hands of clients across the room, across the car park, in fact on any location. Seconds after you have click the shutter, the image appears in your iPad or even better, their iPad!

I had read about this idea recently but it did involve the ‘jail breaking’ of your iPad and that was something that I was not really keen on doing. Now though it can be done without the jailbreak.

What do you need? Well an iPad (obviously) and a camera with an SD slot. Then the final purchase is either a Pro Eye-Fi card or the cheaper version, the Connect X2 Card. which you can get from Amazon.

This video from the guys at Fstoppers takes you through the process.

Eye-Fi released an update to their iPad app which includes some pretty helpful updates.
New features:
– Landscape mode support in the gallery view
– “Add network” button to automatically add the Wi-Fi network to the iOS device even when the Direct Mode network is not broadcasting
– Directly transfer from iOS device to computer when they are on the same Wi-Fi network (requires the user to set the computer destination for the iOS device in Eye-Fi Center again to enable this feature)
– Email up to 5 photos through the native mail app

User Interface:
– Show icons for items pending transfer and actively transferring
– Icon in the tray to indicate when connected to a Direct Mode network
– Added Spanish and Italian languages
– Double tap to zoom into a photo (only on iPhone4 and iPads)
– Smoother transitions when swiping through photos
– Single tap to dismiss the navigation elements in single photo view
– Provide feedback when card is not paired to device on a Direct Mode network

Other:
– Stability improvements
– Turn off video transfers from the Eye-Fi Card to the iOS device if the video type is not supported by iOS
– Screenshots are now automatically uploaded

If you had a little extra money, you could buy the ShutterSnitch iPad app as it has many more professional features and the new version is extremely stable.

All of this information is from a great website that you probably already know about, Fstoppers.com. I’m sold and have the card on order.

So now if you don’t have an iPad, at least you can justify getting one!

Hope this post was useful.

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