Search your local area for professional photography services and you can guarantee there will be plenty of competition. A broader search can turn up millions of results.
Your online visitors are extremely quick in making judgements. They are less quick in making a decision as to which photographer they hire. Grabbing attention should be the bread and butter of any photographer, but when browsing their websites it is obvious that many don’t rein the full potential of detailed customer information. No matter how great your work, visitors all too quickly click on that dreaded upper right-hand cross.
Too many talented, creative minds avoid the distraction of digital marketing. They see it as an administrative or sales task. Larger enterprises might pull in the services of marketing agencies. But what about startups and unsuccessful photography businesses? Is there anything they can do that doesn’t cost the earth?
What Your Public Wants
You first need to know what first-time visitors base their initial short-list on. While we all want to believe we are chosen for our talent, digital photography has turned millions into quasi-professionals. Graphic design software, top smartphone cameras, snazzy filters, the opportunity to turn photos into canvas prints, mug embellishments and even T-shirt designs – all of these severely dilute your public.
It used to be easy. The late-19th century travelling photographer was a novelty. After a little training, the expense of the equipment, and a wagon he (nearly always a he) would travel the country offering a special service most people had no access to. The Internet is an incredible invention but drives up the competition a million-fold; it increases client expectations by the same degree.
A visitor looking for a professional photography service expects to access the following information:
- Prices (including shipping/relocation charges)
- Basic services
- Other people’s feedback
- Contact information
- Aftercare services
- Up to date work examples
It is immediately clear why an artistic portfolio of your work with a simple contact form tagged on the end is not enough.
A first-time visitor also does not want to waste time navigating through your website. Although high resolution is expected, no-one waits for an image to appear centimetre by centimetre. Error 404 pages are an immediate turn-off, as are broken links, ugly website design, server downtime and last decade’s date in the footer. Once your website is up, you can’t leave it to fend for itself.
Locating Your Website
Very few artists take time off to follow a course in SEO (search engine optimization). Yet this is the most effective strategy to bring new visitors to your site. Countless free and paid software can take the brunt of SEO from your hands. To make things easier, learn the basics about tags, alt text and other metadata; whenever someone searches for the search terms and words in your metadata (98% of the time via Google), your URL has a better chance of appearing early in search results.
However, SEO is notoriously slow. It can be expensive, too. The blog business? That’s SEO. By answering potential client questions using their search terms in regular articles (writing costs can add up), a website rises up the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Faster SEO methods include paying to display ads on other sites, linking social media accounts to your website (a great opportunity to show off your latest pieces and gather followers), asking influencers to talk about you, hosting webinars and how-to’s, and buying visitors. Startups and less successful businesses are advised to pay for website visitors (paid website traffic) as this is a cost-efficient way to rapidly boost visitor numbers before their SEO strategies kick in. While only a low percentage of paid visitors make an order (in sales talk, ‘convert’), no other method brings tens to hundreds of thousands of people to your chosen landing page in so short a time.
In combination with the marketing techniques listed here, affordable quality cheap visitors make a difference. They tell Google your site is popular, which also boosts your SERP ranking. Whether you search for website traffic for sale, traffic kaufen, traffic kopen or comprare traffic, always ensure you are guaranteed 100% human visitors from targeted groups living in your service area.
Expand Your Services
We have already mentioned how any image can be printed onto other media. While your customers can use third parties to do this, giving them the option to get everything done from a single address is worth the hassle.
Adding your work to global art marketplaces can do the hard work for you but misses out on a huge opportunity – partnering with a local printing service and sharing advertising costs. After all, most of your photoshoot customers live (relatively) close. Tick the ‘support local businesses’ box and make your clients feel they are doing something for the community. You can still sell your work on global platforms; however, shopping local means so much during and after this pandemic – more than it ever did before.
Knowledge is Power – For the Consumer
Most photographers don’t get the opportunity to show their photographs in national galleries, even though the quality of their work deserves it. The next best place to show off your talent is online – on your website.
But sadly, a picture no longer tells enough words. These you’ll have to add. By adding the fine print and other details on an easy-to-find, separate page, you give your consumers power. They can see your talent via your portfolio, but they also know (roughly) how much this talent will cost, how quickly this talent can arrive, how recommended this talent is, and – extremely important – how transparent this talent is with his or her information.
Your images grab attention. Your online information keeps it.