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Archive for November, 2009

Website 101

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Why do you need a website? An amazing number of professionals still don’t have one. Seriously. What if you’ve been in business for years and you have a great client base? Your customers know you and love your work. Repeat business is a non-issue. You’re coasting, doing fine. Why rock the boat?

Here’s why. Photography is a competitive business. Whether you specialize in sports, seniors, portraits or weddings, new photographers appear in the market place daily. For every seasoned photographer who knows running a successful business is not a piece of cake, there are ten more grabbing the latest camera, printing business cards and slapping a magnetic sign on their car doors eager to take business away from you. These new photographers have websites, you can bet on that.

The web has changed the way we do business, completely and forever. When was the last time you used the yellow pages to find something? Can you really afford to be complacent?

Here are the primary reasons why you need to have a website.

•    Establish credibility
•    Increase visibility
•    Showcase talent
•    Hold the attention of a prospect long enough to turn them into a client.

What’ s in a Name ?

The first step in the process is to get a domain name. This is the name that defines your website, like poundslabs.com. Domain names are inexpensive and yours forever, as long as you pay the annual bill. Check out Register.com or GoDaddy.com.

Doesn’t a “Host” hand out the appetizers?

No, but a web host will open the door for you. Host in web world means a company that opens the door to your site and gives it a place to call home. Try DogBark, GlowHost or GoDaddy.

Build it and they will come.

How do you “build” a website? Some web site hosts provide a web site builder.   All you need to do is click on a design you want and then add text and photos. There are many websites that give tutorials on how to build your own. Companies like Adobe Dreamweaver or MacWebsite Builder, offer packages of varying prices. You can also hire a designer who specializes in web sites.

What makes a “good” website?
•    Good layout and design
•    Easy navigation
•    Great content.
•    SEO friendly

Why am I doing this again?

•    Clients have 24/7 access to you and your work.
•    You’re global. Potential clients all over the world can now “see” you.
•    Targeted Marketing. Those two words alone m ake a website completely worthwhile.
•    It’s cost effective.
•    Your competitors already have websites!

If you’ve already got a website, stay tuned for Website 101.2 to make sure it’s really working as an effective tool for marketing your studio!

Eric John Photography

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Eric John Photography specializes in fine portraiture and wedding photography. Eric John Anundi. and wife Shawna established their business in 1993 and have become one of the premier studios in Oregon. Eric has been the recipient of a Fujicolor Masterpiece Award and four Kodak Gallery Awards. He is a past president of the Professional Photographers of Oregon and has served on the board of directors of PPO for five years. The Anundis realize the importance of staying on trend both in their creative endeavors and in their approach to marketing. In January of 2009 Shawna began blogging as a key ingredient of their marketing strategy.

“I had heard over and over how important blogging was,” Shawna said. “I watched webinars through PPA and Marathon Press that talked about how to blog, what to blog and how to stay in constant contact with your customers.”  Shawna thinks it’s vital to stay in touch with existing customers, show potential clients their work and most of all to give visitors to their blog a feeling of knowing more about the Eric John family. “ So many of our customers have become our friends as well and we love to stay in contact with them.”

The Anundis had their web designer create the blog to match their website. “Consistency is key and you want everything to look the same so people recognize the “ericjohn” look,” she said. The couple use Blogspot. “It’s free and very simple to use, something you can do at home and your customers will love it.”

Shawna tries to post daily but when there’s a time crunch she has a great tip. “Do your blogging in on or two days for a long period of time and set the blog to post on different days”. The Anundis use the site to showcase their work. Although Shawna does write about specials and events they have going on they realize most people want to look at the photos.

It can be hard to measure the return on a blog but the Anundis have a counter to keep track of visitors and know that their blog gets a lot of traffic. “We also know our customers are always asking our employees when their son or daughter will be on the blog and how excited they are. It’s a great way for them to share these images with other
people and feel famous for a day!”

Blogging is an essential tool for photographers today. Staying in touch, by giving clients a sense of constant contact makes them feel special and involved.

“I don’t think you can afford to not blog or use Facebook,” Shawna said. “It’s what this generation is all about. Don’t be left behind!“