This is Part Four of an ongoing series, reprinted from the official NYIP Photo Blog. For mentoring or advice on marketing your business, contact me anytime.
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