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NYIP offers three distance education multi-media courses for photographers looking to improve their skills while working from home at their own pace.

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Entries in SEO (2)

Thursday
Jun092011

Photo Marketing 101: Get Social!

Are you a photographer, or are you a marketer? If you’re familiar with my Photo Marketing 101 blog series, you’ll know that I want you to tell me that you’re both. In today’s world, everyone is a marketer. It’s up to you to market yourself, and the internet makes that easier to do than ever before.

In Part 3 of this series, we discussed different ways to ensure that your website gets the attention that it deserves. One tool that is perfect for driving traffic to your website, and reaching a wider audience online, is social media.

Social media has created a whole new side of the internet that marketers all over are struggling to understand.  Here is what we know:

  • Social media is exciting
  • Social media is open
  • Social media creates new opportunities for communication, networking, purchasing, sharing, and – of course – marketing

It’s time you get involved. If you already have active social media accounts, congratulations. But your job is not done, so stick with me.

First, it’s important that you have a strategy. How are you going to use social media to drive visitors to your website, interest in your services, and new business?

Linking is vital. Use lots of them.  Link to things you find interesting, link to other people in your area, and link to your own website as often as possible.  These links will bring new visitors to your site, and will tell search engines that there is interest in your website.

Don’t dominate the conversation, join it. Share things that you think people will enjoy. Answer questions, and create a dialogue with people you follow and people who follow you. The more active you are, and not just posting links to your site, the more respected you will be in the online community.

Facebook and Twitter are two places to start. They are the most popular social networks, and will open your brand up to the largest populations. But for photographers, there are other social media sites worth checking out. Flickr is the most popular photo sharing service outside of Facebook, and YouTube is a great place to hang out if you produce video slideshows of your work. Take some time to check out multiple networks, but don’t spread yourself too thin.  Pick 3 or 4 of them, and visit them often so as not to look stale.

It’s important to keep your message consistent across all platforms. As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, you should think of yourself as a brand. Whatever that brand is should be clear in each one of your social media profiles.

And of course, just as you should link to your website from your social media accounts, you should include links on your website to your social media accounts. If a new visitor to your site likes what they see but don’t purchase right away, an easy option to follow you on twitter might lead to new business further down the line.

Next time we’re together, I will take a deeper dive into social media, and offer ideas on specific promotions you can try to create interest in your photography.

Homework: This week’s assignment is simple. If you’ve got a Twitter account, share your username below. If not, create one at http://www.twitter.com/ and share your username in the comments below.

I’ll start: @nyip & @zheller

Friday
May202011

Photo Marketing 101: Make Your Website Great!

The third time’s the charm. And hopefully for me, this entire series of photo marketing blog posts have been charming enough to get you thinking about all the things you can do to stand out from the competition.

In the last edition of Photo Marketing 101, we covered an introduction to creating a website, why it’s important, and how easy it can be to get started. To follow up on that topic, I wanted to use this post to discuss how you can make your website stand out from the millions of photography websites on the web.

Lesson 3: Optimizing your website

Having a website is one thing, and a very important first step as it already puts you ahead of the curve.  But nowadays, there are tried and true methods of improving your website so that it gets the attention of potential clients and customers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of making your website more visible in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Since a large majority of new visitors will find you via search, it is important to rise to the top of the rankings when someone is looking for a photographer with your skills.

Know the terms that people will use when searching for you. Broad terms like ‘photographer’ will be tough to gain ground in because there is a lot of competition, so be specific. ‘Portrait photography in Philadelphia’ or ‘New York wedding photographer’ are terms that give you a chance to really move the needle. The more specific you get, the fewer people will be searching on that term, but the more likely you’ll be to jump up to page 1 in the rankings.  And page 1 is an important goal in SEO, because it puts you front and center when someone is looking for you.

Once you have a set of 10-20 keywords you’d like to target, the next step is to work them into your website.  Use them in text, in photo captions, in links to other pages on your site, as page titles, etc. The more they show up, the better.  This is basically a simple way of telling search engines, “Here is what my site is about”.

Other things to keep in mind, that will also help you improve your search engine rankings, are site speed and inbound links.  Make sure your photos are loading quickly; otherwise the entire website will get a slow page loading time.  Upload files that are large enough to display clearly, but small enough to load quickly and easily.

Inbound links, meaning links coming to your website from other places, are another important factor in SEO.  The more links coming to you, the more it tells search engines that your site is important.  In part 4 of my Photo Marketing series, we will discuss how you can use Social Media to help increase your inbound links.  See you then…

Homework: Your assignment, whether or not you choose to accept it, is to put some thought into your keywords.  Choose up to 5 keywords for which you think your website can rank on page #1 in Google, and share them with us in the comments below!