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Archive for October, 2009

What is SEO and why do you need it?

Monday, October 26th, 2009

SEO = Search Engine Optimization. Why on earth do you need to know about this as a photographer? Well you h ave a website. That is your calling card. Websites are where people go to make sure that you are “real” that you are the professional they need. In order to find your website, you need good SEO.

According to Wikipedia “search engine optimization is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines” like Google or Yahoo. Good SEO means people find your website on the first page of Google, Yahoo or Bing and hopefully within the top three non paid listings on that page. Remember those first few listings on search engines are not free. People pay big money for that placement.

There are services specializing in SEO and they are available for a monthly fee. They will analyze your site and have engineers work on properly coding the right words that will be picked up and move your site up the “ladders” or lists that appear when you search for a company. These fees are often out of budget for photographers. In fact, they are often out of budget for most professionals!

Don’t panic. There are many ways to get good SEO.

Put your keywords to work. Keywords are words and phrases that are essentially short cuts to information a consumer needs.  Some of the keywords for the photography industry would be simply  “photography”, or your particular specialty, for example; “wedding photography”, “senior portraits” or “sports photography”. Make sure you use these phrases in your site, but don’ t overuse them. Overuse has a name now, “keyword stuffing”. The search engines are on to this and it can end up harming your site. Balance is everything.

Hyperlinks are another good way to make sure you get good SEO. Hyperlinks are those words and phrases that you see within the text of the copy on your website or your emailed promotion pieces, highlighted in blue. They link to an external page or website.

Cross-linking to a site with good SEO will increase yours. For instance, your photography company is a resource service for a well-known event planning company. Potential clients like to see sources on the event planner’s sites. If you work consistently with an event planner, the beauty of hyper linking phrases and cross linking sites is mutually beneficial. It’ s millennium marketing!

Blog it, Facebook it, Twitter it and Link it In!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Photography is a highly competitive industry. Marketing has changed drastically over the past few years. We’ve shifted from the traditional marketing model of sending out printed promotional pieces, buying ads in magazines and advertising on radio or television. The old promotional avenues are cost prohibitive and really no one is paying attention to them anymore.

Think about it. Today everyone has DVR, so they don’t have to view commercials. The advent of iPods has turned people away from the radio. No one has time to read the newspaper anymore so ads there are not going to bring you customers.  Traditional avenues of reaching potential clients have dried up.

What has replaced those avenues is a whole new series of marketing channels.

Every professional now has a website. That is your calling card; the place people turn to make sure you are legitimate. A website is the most vital piece of your marketing puzzle.  What else do you need?

Create a blog. A blog is essentially your voice. You can educate your clients, post new photos and include links to great information. More importantly, a blog creates an instant feeling of friendship. It draws people to you and your business. Creating content for your blog is another way to be found on the web. People will p ass your posts on to their friends cre ating a deeper and wider visibility for your company. A recent webinar on HubSpot, a web based company specializing in inbound marketing software, revealed that companies who blog have 55% more visitors to their websites. You don’t have to post every day. Post once a week, even once a month, but develop that presence. Have a look at WordPress or Blogspot and get started!

Facebook is a phenomenon. Never before has anything captured such universal, global attention. If you don’t have an account, get one. It’s important and it’s easy. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/2u5yd6 for the complete lowdown.

Social media is the new buzz term. It includes Facebook, Linked In, and a host of other outlets. One of the most influential of these is Twitter. Think about Twitter as the Readers Digest version of Facebook, without the quizzes! Short, sweet and to the point. Type in the keywords for your industry. Look at “wedding photographers in Dallas” (or your particular area) or “sports photographers in Houston”. If you are not showing up on the first page, then you need to Twitter! There is already a conversationabout your industry going on. Join that conversation.

Linked In is probably the most seriously regarded of the social media. This is definitely a business resource. There are 48 million users. Executives from all the Fortune 500 companies are on Linked In. You can find and be introduced to the professionals you need to work with to accomplish your goals. It’s a terrific avenue to drive business back to your website. Take a look at this link, which includes a step-by-step video: http://learn.linkedin.com/what-is-linkedin/

Don’t let any of these new tools overwhelm you. The best news is that they are free. Decide how much time you can devote to social network marketing each week. It shouldn’t take up more than 10% of your time. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and get started!

Are you taking advantage of our promos? You should be – this one is about ChromaLuxe and Fine Art Prints.

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

October 1 – October 31
The Pounds ChromaLuxe Sample Special will make it easy for you to make the samples you need for 2010. ChromaLuxe is truly a unique method for enlarging images – the vibrant colors of advanced dye sublimation, the high-gloss finish, and the durable, ready to hang mounting make this an outstanding product for all markets.  Set your studio apart from the competition by offering ChromaLuxe as a contemporary alternative to traditional Canvas and Gallery Wraps.

Also, don’t forget to get your Ink Jet Samples on Canvas and Watercolor.  You can order one sample of each size from 3×5 to 40×60.   If you don’t offer  this type of print to your customers, now is the time to do a studio market test.

CODE- CHIN (Use this code for either product)
CHROMALUXE Receive a 50% discount on all ChromaLuxe products. There is a limit of one sample of each product per account. There is a limit of one sample per account.
INK-JET PRINTS Receive a 15% discount on all sizes on Canvas and Watercolor from 3×5 to 40×60. There is a limit of one sample of each size per account.