Category: Marketing

A Photographers Guide to Surviving January

December is a crazy month for photographers.  Squeezing in last minute shoots for clients and processing the biggest orders of the year sees many photographers burning the candle at both ends.  You are so busy in December that planning for January can often take a back seat.  Once the mad Christmas photography rush is over, you realise that January is going to be bleak in terms of income.  So here we give you, The Photographers Guide to Surviving January!

Save

Tempting though it is to spend your December income, you should keep some back to help you survive January.  If you sell gift vouchers at this time of year, it makes sense to put that income to one side and take it when the voucher is actually used. We have a really useful article all about selling gift vouchers that you might also want to read.

 

Plan

It’s possible to not just survive January as a photographer, but to thrive through it if you plan properly.  Looking ahead to your January bookings will allow you to make a plan.  You will be able to see where there are gaps you need to fill.  You can then decide on the best way to market to fill those gaps.  Think about the things people are interested in during January.  Not many people who have over-indulged in the festivities will want portrait sessions!  However, babies are born year round and cameras are a popular Christmas gift for hobbyists.  Think about how you can meet the needs of these markets.  If you want some help planning your perfect year, go take a look at our friends over at Get Local Famous

 

Pricing

It’s business suicide to put your prices up in January.  We totally understand that the new year brings a feeling that this is the year you are going to make positive changes.  You also might be setting targets that include increasing your profit.  However, raising your prices while everyone else is slashing theirs in the January sales will make you look even more expensive!  Instead employ some clever pricing strategies.  Offer sessions that include less (time or products), or offer lower deposits for bookings make in January for sessions to be taken in the following months.

 

Get Support

We’ve been coaching small photography businesses for many years and we have built a wonderful community.  Our members are fabulous at supporting each other – they’re all in the same boat.  We provide detailed simple steps you can take to move your business forward each month.  January’s marketing bundle is EPIC.  We’ve even included some marketing strategies or offers you can use to generate ’emergency income’ if you know January is going to be a struggle. Take a look below at what’s included.

Photographers guide to surviving january

 

Get Access

To get your hands on our EPIC January Marketing Bundle and get 2020 off to a flying start, you can subscribe to our network for just $12.99 per month.  You’re not tied in and can cancel in just two clicks with no fuss.

 

We hope you’ve found our Photographers Guide to Surviving January really useful  If you also have left your tax return until January then you’ll find this article really useful.  Then come and join the conversation in our free facebook group for newborn and baby photographers to discuss your January strategies.  Follow us on Instagram for photography business tips… Read the rest

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Featured Photographers

We love nothing more than celebrating our members.  It’s the main reason we’ve introduced dedicated social media channels to showcase your images and services.  (Not using this feature of your membership? Get more traffic to your website and social media by looking out for the special posts in our members only group HERE)

Our monthly image contest is another way we can shout about how fantastic our members are.  We are always looking for ways we can improve everything we offer and we’ve been thinking about our monthly contest for a while now.

We love the fact our members choose the winners – we think that’s pretty awesome as you guys are at the chalkface, you’re better placed than anyone to decide our deserving winners.  We also love our sponsors, [C41s, Yellow Sprout and LSP] who make first second and third place even more exciting (is that even possible!?) with the fantastic prizes they sponsor the competition with.

But we got to thinking about all of the photographers who enter, and just narrowly miss out.  Or perhaps they have plucked up the courage to enter for the first time, and don’t get placed.  We also want to show appreciation to you guys.

And that’s when we came up with our Featured Photographers.

Every month, we’re going to choose, at random, from the monthly image contest entries, a further 10 images to feature across our social media.  We’ll always link back to your website or social media – giving you more traffic, more exposure and more eyes on your work.  

The featured photographers will be chosen completely at random, being chosen is not a reflection of the quality of the images and there’ll be no reference to the image contest.  It’s just another way to make your network membership work hard for you.

To enter the image contest you need to make sure you have an active listing on Find The Best Photographer and then simply click HERE to submit up to three images. (If you need any help with setting up your listing or entering, voting, please visit the Tutorial section in the Member’s Hub HERE ) You will notice we’ve changed the terms of entry slightly to allow us to use the images across social media if you are chosen as one of our featured photographers.

So if you’ve ever wavered about entering, now you have an incentive!  Good luck!Read the rest

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To Black Friday or Not to Black Friday

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US and is regarded as the first day of the Christmas shopping season – traditionally it’s a time when American retailers give huge discounts or run special offers.  Over the last few years ‘Black Friday’ has made its way over the pond and it’s now a term we are familiar with in the UK with many retailers here also offering big discounts.

This month in our Photography Business Club we are delivering resources to our members focusing on how to generate more income in the run up to Christmas so, of course, the topic of Black Friday was raised and we thought we’d open this out to our blog readers too.

Should You Offer A Black Friday Deal?

Black Friday deals are traditionally for products rather than services.  As a service business, if you offer a big discount or special offer, you run the risk of making big losses – it’s far more difficult to discount your time and still make a profit than it is to buy products in bulk and use your supplier discount to pass on to customers.

This said you can still use Black Friday to stimulate sales if you feel you need to.  Remember that this time of year is very busy for photographers in general and if you can fill your diary with full paying clients, why would you want discounted ones?

What Sort Of Black Friday Deals Should I Offer Then?

Products

Your first port of call is to check with your suppliers – if any of them are offering Black Friday deals on any products then you might want to pass some of that saving onto clients.  As well as clients you are seeing over the period spanning Black Friday, don’t forget to also offer the deal to previous clients, adding more profit in essence – as you won’t need to re-shoot these clients.

Filling Quiet Time

As we have already mentioned, this time of year can be hectic for photographers so it doesn’t make sense to try and squeeze more work in at a discount.  But maybe you could use Black Friday to fill some space in your diary for when you are likely to be very quiet – January and possibly February.

Here are some suggestions of offers you could use to generate forward bookings:

  • Buy 1 get 1 free – Pay for an all-inclusive package (session and digitals for example) to take any time during January or February and get another all-inclusive session free of charge 6 months later.
  • Free cake for every cake smash (to be booked over set dates in January/February)
  • Limited offer; eg 4 newborn sessions on dates in January in February which include £100 print credit. [disclaimer: your pricing must allow for profit when doing something like this. If you still allow clients to make small £25 orders then this won’t work for you!]

So you might be able to leverage the Black Friday hype to fill some quiet time for you but just bear in mind that people will expect BIG discounts and deals.  10% off or a free print aren’t really going to cut it. Good luck whatever you decide and we’d love to hear how Black Friday works for you – please comment below.

If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook GroupRead the rest

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How To Get More Facebook Page ‘Likes’

The Facebook landscape has changed for sure.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that you could open your Facebook page in the morning and get to your first hundred likes by lunchtime.  Not so anymore.  If you have a new Facebook Page or one that’s hovering below 100 likes, this article will show you how to get more Facebook likes.

Your Page

  • It should go without saying but make your page attractive to clients.  Consider the header image – if you offer a variety of products or services, consider a collage header that shows your best sellers.
  • Make your ‘About’ section relevant and full of search terms
  • Complete all of the information you can including a link to your website

Your Links

  • Have links from your website back to your Facebook page
  • You can use the Facebook Page plugin on your site and blog so that people can like your page without leaving your site
  • Use the link to your page in your email footer

Your Contacts

  • Chances are you already have people on your friends list who would be interested in following your page.  Rather than blanket invite everyone, go through your friends list and invite those who you think fit your client profile.
  • Have your Facebook page address on your business cards and when you are chatting to people about what you do, give them a card and ask them to follow your page.
  • Ask people who have used your business to leave you a Facebook review
  • Remember, people are using Facebook more and more to search for products and services.  Pages are more likely to appear in search results if their friends like the page too so it pays to make sure you are using the ‘pulling power’ of the people you already know.

Your Social Media

  • Use your other social media channels to drive likes.  Have promotions sending your traffic from Pinterest, Instagram (and wherever else you have a presence, to your Facebook page

Your Content

  • It’s something we repeat a lot in our training but content is King.  If you want more people to like your Facebook page you have to give them a reason to click ‘Like’
  • Video will always get more reach than static images.  Keep them short and sweet and always ask people to like your page at the end.
  • If you are unsure of the type of content that encourages people to actually like pages then start tracking your own Facebook use.  Over a few days, take note of the types of posts you interact with and what makes you go a step further and like the page itself.
  • When a user likes any of your posts make sure to invite them to also like your page.  If you click on the like icons under your post you will open a list of every body who has liked the post.  You can invite them to like your page directly from that list.
  • When users comment, be active – reply and keep the conversation going.  This really helps your posts gain momentum and helps them appear in the newsfeed of other users.

All of the above strategies are completely free for you to implement, but it can still take time to build up momentum if you are just starting out.  If you want to fast track your efforts, you might want to consider a paid for campaign.  You can run a page likes campaign in Ads Manager which is focused on just that.

You might also find you have much better success in terms of interaction and generating clients by using a facebook group.  Read our article to find out how to make Facebook groups work for your business

If you’ve found this article useful why not take our business quiz next

If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook Group

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5 Top Tips for Photographers Using Instagram

As a photographer it makes total sense to use the only social media platform solely built around and dedicated to images.  And as a client you would, without doubt, expect a photographer to have an active Instagram Account.

However, there are a few drawbacks to using Instagram for your business.  It’s definitely not as easy to interact with your ‘tribe’ as using a Facebook group for example.  Facebook own Instagram and you can pay for advertising there, but it’s far more image based than Facebook’s traditional text based platform.  The demographic of the two platforms is also vastly different with Instagram having a younger audience interested in lifestyle, fashion and photography.  This article is brilliant if you want to drill down a little more on the stats for each platform

So all that being said, here are our top 5 tips on generating business from Instagram.

Interact With Other Local Businesses.

This is a great way to network online as well as being one of the best ways to expose your Instagram account to local followers.  Use the Instagram search function to find local businesses that might have a similar client base as you, without being a competitor and then begin networking with them.  Comment on their posts in a genuine manner and share the posts you think your own audience will find interesting.

Concentrate On Content

If a follower finds you from a comment or they see one image from your feed, you want them to have a look at your profile and then be compelled to follow it.  Creating great content for Instagram is key to generating a large following.  Behind the scenes and candid images are content your followers will find interesting but have a think about other topics that will interest them – perhaps snapping offers while out shopping or techniques on how to soothe their babies.

Use Video

As a photographer you have so much opportunity to capture video.  Not only does the Instagram audience welcome video, Instagram will actually show your video to more users without you doing anything different.  Think about videoing parts of your sessions, some of your prop shopping or even just talking to camera about your set ups for the day

Use hashtags

You will be used to seeing hashtags used on Instagram to help categorise and search for posts, but it can take some trial and error to find the right combination of hashtags to help your images and account be found.  Think about adding a couple of your popular hashtags to your bio and for each post add 7 to 12 image hashtags.  Think about the hashtags your clients might be using to find content.  For example #kidsstyles #fashionkids #kidsstyle #trendykids are more likely to be used by parents looking for inspirational content than #kidsphotographer so make sure you have a good mix.  If you need some help with this, BP4U have a fabulous time saving list of hashtags, covering lots of different genres which you can buy here  [Affiliate Link]

Understand The Algorithm

Understanding how and why your images are seen and by whom is key to generating an engaged and relevant following.  The Instagram Algorithm has been a closely guarded secret until recently when Instagram revealed that the following 3 factors largely determine who sees your posts:

  • Interest: How much Instagram predicts you’ll care about a post, with a higher ranking for what matters to you, determined by past behaviour on similar content.
  • Recency: How recently the post was shared, with prioritisation for timely posts over weeks old ones.
  • Relationship: How close you are to the person who shared it, with higher ranking for people you’ve interacted with a lot in the past on Instagram, such as commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos

If you want to discover more about this algorithm, this article goes into detail

If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook GroupRead the rest

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I’ve Gone Viral!……Now What???

Please note this blog contains affiliate links.

This week it’s been impossible not to notice the viral memes that photographers have been creating relating to baby weight.

 

 

This particular meme has proved insanely popular for some photographers with reach rocketing into the tens of thousands, comments in the thousands and shares in the hundreds!

Why Is This So Popular?

You might be asking why the reach is SO high from such a seemingly simple question.  So let’s look, in a bit more detail, at the secret to the success of this particular meme.

Firstly the answer to this question is definite, you don’t need to think about it, you’re actually proud to know it. Secondly, the answer is short. It takes less than 4 seconds to respond. Thirdly, having a baby is loaded with measurements. You go to the baby clinic every other week to have your baby weighed and you spend the next 2 years plotting your baby on a graph of other babies. And finally, since gender scans are SO popular now, ‘how much did he weigh?’ Has overtaken ‘what did she have?’ as the first question asked when a baby arrives.  Baby weight is a hot topic!

When you look at what makes the formula successful it’s easy to start generating more ideas of posts that have the potential to ‘go viral’.

When creating your own memes Canva is undoubtedly the best free tool to use.  Use your own image and one that you have permission to use in advertising.  If in doubt choose a more generic image where identification is impossible, as above.  Canva makes it easy to brand the image with your own colours and in a font of your choice.  It would be sensible to add a web address to the image too.

How Can I Generate Business From This?

Great question.  Once a post is shared more than a handful of times, you really lose track of where it’s been posted and to whom.  You lose control of it and you can no longer be sure of the audience.  As a newborn photographer in Wigan someone commenting on your meme in London, won’t help you generate business….or will it?

Well, funnily enough, it can.  When Facebook identifies a popular post that has lots of comments and interaction.  The algorithm recognises that you are posting content that your audience like to see.  And Facebook want to keep audiences online longer (so they see more ads).

In short, this means the next couple of posts after your super popular post will AUTOMATICALLY BE SEEN BY MORE PEOPLE.  It won’t necessarily have the same reach as your original post but Facebook will show it to more of your page followers as it expects your content to be engaging to them.

So random people on the other side of the world will help more of your page followers see your next post.  This is where it’s important to remember if you have participated in any like ladders or similar, that you might not have a ‘genuine’ audience following you.  If you know you have other photographers liking your page, and you don’t offer a service to photographers, you might want to think about removing them from your page – more on that and how to fix it here 

Ultimately you will also generate a bigger following so your page likes will increase and many of you will find this naturally leads to more enquiries and bookings.

Your Viral Plan Tips List

  • Consider adding a web address or business name to your meme
  • Have follow up posts prepared
  • Make the very next post self-serving.  Something like a diary update post letting followers know you have limited availability for the next 6 weeks can work well.
  • Consider riding the wave for a bit longer by creating a special offer – in the example above I might comment on the post AND create a new post on my page letting people know if they have commented on the post, I will multiply the weight in KG by 10 and convert that to cash off their family or newborn session fee if booked before x date.
  • You can invite people to like your page if they have ‘reacted’ to your post by clicking on the likes and hearts which opens a list of everyone along with an ‘invite’ button.  It can be time consuming if you check their location before you invite but is also a great way to grow your likes.
  • Highlight an ‘opt in’ on your facebook page to further capture some of your new followers into your email list.  We are covering Opt Ins in the April member training if you need help creating one.

If you’d like to come and see how successful this campaign has been  for other photographers – or even come and share your success – ask to join our Business Group on Facebook (here).  No need to be a BANPAS member, just answer the three questions when you ask to join

If you want to learn more about how social media and viral marketing can help you generate more clients, this book is a brilliant read and has some excellent insights on content creation

If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook GroupRead the rest

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Your Photography Business On Facebook

Facebook is without a doubt the most widely accessed social media platform – everyone from your teenage daughter to your granny has an account.

You’d be crazy to overlook Facebook as a great place to market your business.

BUT Facebook is a business too.

They have rules, guidelines and an ever-changing algorithm that works out who is shown what, when.

For Facebook to work for its clients (everyone who has a personal account) then the people who want access to those clients (that’s you, me and everyone else with a business page) need to know how to sway the odds in their favour so that their message will be seen by as many prospects as possible.

If you have ever been down in the dumps over your dwindling ‘reach’ (that’s the number of people your marketing message is placed in front of) or if your page has more tumbleweed than fans, then there are probably some very simple fixes you can apply that will see your page performing far better than you thought possible.

Before we discuss the online tips though, you need to start offline.

You can only target your audience if you know who you are looking for.

What are the topics your ideal client is interested in, what are their ‘pain points’, how can you solve their problems and be the answer to their prayers?

Does your ideal client like to deal with businesses with big personalities or do they prefer a more formal, business like approach?
What do they talk about, discuss and debate with friends?
Do they prefer to read blog posts or flick through memes?

You can start to see how your Facebook page will always be a work in progress whilst you work all of this out.

Now for the interesting part.

If you use this nugget of information well, you will see your Facebook success soar.

Facebook will show people more posts of the type they like to see.

This means if whilst scrolling through your newsfeed you always pause to watch videos of recipes, guess what?
Yep, Facebook will start to add more videos of recipes in your newsfeed.

If you like to read long text updates from pages – much like blog posts, then Facebook will show you more of those types of posts from business pages.

In fact, Facebook is continually gathering information about its users so that it can tailor each newsfeed to be more interesting and engaging for the user.

The longer facebook can keep the user on the platform, the more likely facebook are to generate advertising revenue from that user clicking on a sponsored ad or boosted post.

If you can really understand your ideal client and the type of content they pause in scrolling their newsfeed for – you’re onto a winner!

If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook Group

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Facebook VIP Groups

Facebook is undoubtedly a powerful tool in the marketing arsenal of the small business. Your target market are highly likely to have a Facebook account – it’s the social media platform with the widest demographic from teens to grannies and spanning most social classes. However, your target market may not make their purchasing decisions on Facebook – they may use it instead to keep in touch with friends and family, and perhaps research businesses or products they are already considering.

You will also have noticed a declining organic reach on your Facebook page.Facebook favour paid for advertising and posts over general status updates and you need to be concentrating on creating engaging and interesting content these days to even consider being seen in any decent quantity.

The answer could be Facebook Groups.

A Facebook Group is basically a community of people with something in common.

In your case – they love having professional portraiture.

Groups have lots of advantages over pages but our favourite reasons include:

You Get A Better Insight To Your Ideal Client.
The conversations and interaction you see in your groups will give you a great picture of your ideal client, their likes, dislikes, the language they use and the topics they enjoy discussing. In short – gold dust for marketing.

You Get To Build Better Relationships With Your Clients.
Groups are a great place to share things you might not share on your public page. Your clients get to see more of the real you – your profile posts in groups rather than your business page. This can work really well – clients who feel like they know you are far more likely to be loyal to you and keep returning.

Better Reach.
You usually get a better, more targeted reach in groups as long as your content there is interesting and engaging.

If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook Group

 

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Removing Page Likes from Facebook

Like ladders can mean the death of your facebook reach.  If you are a newborn or baby photographer using Facebook to generate enquiries from potential clients then the last thing you want is other photographers liking your page.  If you need any more convincing, I explain in more detail why this is a really bad idea here

However, I expect you have found this page because you have previously fallen into the like ladders trap or perhaps even bought some likes for your page that aren’t genuine.

The good news is, you don’t have to be stuck with this useless sector of audience, it’s really simple to remove likes from your facebook page.

You need to be on the desktop version of facebook – you can’t do this from your mobile.

Click on your page then click on ‘Settings’ at the top right.

On the left-hand side you will see another menu appear – click on ‘People and Other Pages’.

This shows you a list of all of the people and other pages who currently like your facebook page.

You will notice that each person has a tick box to their left.

Simply select the people you would like to remove from your page likes and then click on the cog towards the top right.  You will then be given a list of options.  Choose ‘Remove from page Likes’

And it really is as simple as that!  If you have found this article useful, please don’t forget to comment or share.

If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook GroupRead the rest

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How To Set Up Business Referrals

We recently received this query in our inbox

 

My ideal client,  I believe, will take her baby swimming and to baby massage. I want to contact my local swimming pool and also people that offer baby massage. Is it best to do this in person, over the phone or email?

Also I contacted someone recently that does baby Yoga and she said she wasn’t interested as didn’t need any extra work! I offered a 25% discount on my sessions to her clients and offered to refer all my newborn clients to her by giving them her info at the session, I wasn’t asking for her to offer a discount unless she wanted to. She seemed quite funny about it so if has put me off of approaching people again over the phone! Maybe I wasn’t offering a good enough incentive?

Business referrals are a brilliant way to generate a steady stream of enquiries. If you can find a business with a similar client base to you, without being a competitor, who is committed to growing their business, you might not need any other form of advertising.  This is certainly how I built my newborn portrait business.

However, not all businesses understand or want to be involved in referrals.  After all, you have to have the utmost trust in a business that you refer because if anything goes wrong, it reflects badly on you and your business.  This is why these types of relationships are very difficult to find – but are so powerful when they are nurtured.

When it comes to approaching a business I would be looking for a business with a similar structure to mine – so in my case, no employees and the owner/manager wants to grow their business.  I also find the most effective way is to approach the owner face to face rather than over the telephone.  Email would probably be my second choice depending on the business type.

If a business isn’t interested in your proposal – move on.  If they can’t be open about the opportunity, they are not going to be great at referring your business.  You probably had a lucky escape.  I also find telephone approaches, unless carefully scripted, can be seen as a bit ‘salesy’ – some business owners can be very guarded and defensive over unsolicited calls.

Referrals are one of the MOST POWERFUL ways to grow your business and generate a steady stream of referrals.

If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook Group

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