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

This article is reproduced with the kind permission of Cormac O’Kelly & Social Media Management

 

“Digital Darwinism” is a phrase that has been appearing more and more. This simple idea basically links digital marketing with natural selection. Simply put, “Those who evolve will survive”.

Whether you like it or not digital media is here to stay and has taken over. Everything has gone digital; radio has gone digital, TV has gone digital and even print has gone digital. What this says to those who have yet to engage or those who have resisted change is that there really is no choice but to engage via these channels. Once the media channels you used to use  move to a new platform, you no longer have the choice or are able to resist. Any business, whether it’s business2business or business2consumer, needs to reach their customers and potential customers.

Why you don’t have a choice:

  • Your customers are nto paying attention to where you currently are
  • Your customers cannot find you where they are looking
  • Your competitors are using these new(er) digital tools to sell there products and services more efficiently and in turn steal your customers.

You are probably saying, “Not in my industry”! If you are, you are wrong! Every single industry out there is being disrupted by new technologies. This applies to the way the industry works and functions and to the way they reach their customers.

What should you be doing? Here are some steps you should be taking.

Digital Presence

If you don’t have any real estate online you’re in BIG trouble. Your website has the ability to be one of the most powerful sales tools in your arsenal. The bad news… Just being online isn’t enough. Your website from 5 years ago isn’t going to live up to the modern expectations of your customers and is most likely going to make them angry. You need to consider everything from the user experience to the functionality and especially the design.

SEO/Local SEO

Phonebooks are now commonplace holding open doors and propping up ‘wobbly’ tables and stuff. When people need something, they Google it. If they don’t Google, they use Bing or Yahoo!. If you haven’t put much work into optimizing your digital presence for the search engines of the world, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. If you’re business covers a wide geographic space, you’re going to have some more intense competition. If you’re covering a small local area you have a big opportunity, but it won’t last. Simply put … The sad truth is that if you don’t show up in the first page of the search results your customers will move on.

Customer Retention Plan

This needs to be a well thought-out process involving multiple forms of media. Everybody has a shorter attention span than ever before and are a lot less patient. This means that when we need something we need it NOWand that we might easily forget about the things we like or want. There are a million options out there and the perfect plan for your company will depend on how your business operates, who your customer is, and what they need from you. A few of the options would include

  • Ongoing and creative newsletters or email campaigns
  • Digital customer service
  • Customer rewards program

… but there is lots more besides.

Content Strategy

Most of the time the content on your website is static, meaning it doesn’t get updated often (if at all). This is bad for many reasons. One being that you aren’t giving your customers a reason to come back to the site. Twobeing that the search engines tend to favor the sites that are updated often. Another trend online right now is that brands are creating and sponsoring content that their customers will enjoy and hopefully find valuable. Instead of an advertisement trying to persuade the consumer to buy, they’re providing entertainmentinsight or value through content creation. This is being done through editorial format as well as through audio, video and images. You can build a loyal following of brand followers with the right content strategy… alternatively you can waste your time with the wrong one.

There’s a lot of adapting and “evolving” for businesses to take on right now but the list above should get you started. If you have any questions or need any help, contact me.

· ·

Burning Man Project

Peter Gordon IPPA Photographer of the Year 2013

This is a recent interview with Peter Gordon, the 2013 IPPA Photographer of the Year. Peter was kind enough to give up some time to go on camera to be asked a few questions about his photography career to date and what future projects are ahead.

I hope you enjoy it and please forgive some of the (natural) lighting issues we had to contend with. Just click on the video below…

 

· · · · · · · ·

  1. The most important order you ever get from any customer is the second order.
  2. Understanding and adapting to consumer motivation is not an option. It is an absolute necessity for competitive survival.
  3. Know the power of repetition. Your message must be consistent.
  4. The two most common mistakes companies make when using the phone is failing to track results and tracking the wrong thing.
  5. Marketing activities should be designed to increase profits, not just sales.
  6. It costs five times as much to sell a new customer as an existing customer. Get out that customer list!
  7. Selling what your customers need, instead of what you think they want, will lead to failure.
  8. Don’t think that product superiority, technology, innovation or company size will sell itself.
  9. Don’t neglect or ignore your current customers while pursuing new ones.
  10. People don’t buy products, they buy the benefits and solutions they believe the products provide.
  11. The average business never hears from 96% of its dissatisfied customers.
  12. 50% of those customers who complain would do business with the company again if their complaints were handledsatisfactorily.
  13. It is estimated that customers are twice as likely to talk about their bad experiences as their good ones.
  14. Exaggerated claims produce inflated expectations that the product or service cannot live up to, thereby resulting in dissatisfiedcustomers.
  15. Get to know your prime customers—the 20% of product/service users who account for 80% of the total consumption of that product class.

Hope it helps.

· · · ·

….. Peter Gordon.

The other category and image winners for 2013 were as follows:

The various images of those who won in various categories.

Click on the image to be taken to the gallery of winners for 2013

 

2013 Best Architecture Portfolio – Enda Cavanagh

2013 Best Architecture Image – No Award Given

2013 Best Commercial / Advertising Award – Cormac Byrne

2013 Best Fashion & The Human Form Portfolio – Michael Hayes

2013 Best Fashion & The Human Form Image – Edel Kelly

2013 Best Landscape Portfolio – Peter Gordon

2013 Best Landscape Image – Peter Gordon

2013 Best Open Art & Creativity Portfolio – Michael McLoughlin

2013 Best Open Art & Creativity Image – Michael McLoughlin

2013 Best Children & Family Portraiture Portfolio – Corin Bishop

2013 Best Children & Family Portraiture Images – Corin Bishop

2013 Best Classical Portrait Portfolio – Claire Durkin

2013 Best Classical Portrait Image – Claire Durkin

2013 Best Contemporary Portrait Portfolio – Claire Dunne

2013 Best Contemporary Portrait Image – Maria Dunphy

2013 Best Press & P.R. Portfolio – No Award Given

2013 Best Press & P.R. Image – Michael McLaughlin

2013 Best Pictorial, Travel & Fine Art Portfolio – Peter Gordon

2013 Best Pictorial, Travel & Fine Art Image – Peter Gordon

2013 Best Wedding Classical Portfolio – Paddy Clarke

2013 Best Wedding Classical Image – Paddy Clarke

2013 Best Contemporary Wedding Portfolio – Peter Gordon (Merit Award also awarded to Dermot Culhane)

2013 Best Contemporary Wedding Image – Dermot Culhane

2013 Best Wildlife Portfolio – Sheena Jolley

2013 Best Wildlife Image – Phil Pound

A special mention to Raimonda Milasiene who took home the 2013 Student of the Year IPPA Award.

Many congratulations to all those who, not only won awards this year but to those who entered and participated in the process. Many thanks to Mick Quinn and the other judges who gave their time throughout the year the judging sessions and finally to those on counsel responsible for the organisation of the awards ceremony. Well done all!

More on the 2013 awards and the winners over the coming days and weeks.

· · · ·

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.

 

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