“I am a freelance photographer and I have a ton of experience but I’m not a marketer. What kinds of techniques can you recommend for someone like me who has some budget but needs more work before you can justify spending more?”
Great question. Sarah, what do you think? So, I guess. I mean, there’s a lot of things you can do with this. You, in short, you do want to create demand, so having your… okay, what’s the word I’m looking for? How am I looking to describe this? Because, there’s, so this is such a big question.
I guess, well, there could be a mix, right? Because, you know, with your marketing mix and this, I see there’s a couple different problems. One: There’s probably, you’re wanting to differentiate, but against all the other photographers out there who are all competing for potentially a smaller chunk of business, right?
I mean, that’s right off the bat. That’s like, if you see any of those, those nature videos of, like, national geographic or something, you like, you know the pools of water in the Serengeti and they’re evaporating. There’s all these fish hop around I mean that seems kind of like crazy, you know, to compare to this, but I think that’s, you know, in some respects, that’s what some industries and markets are experiencing.
There’s less people wanting to, so you’re competing more, but also the same time some folks are holding off from doing photography like, “Oh, you know maybe I can’t do it right now” or whatnot, but that’s not, that’s probably not the case.
They probably should still be doing their professional photography to help their business and maybe there’s, you know, what you’re probably thinking of is that demand generation is helping realize here’s why you should keep doing it, here’s how it can be done right?
Yeah, and in that same respect, it is advisable that you do understand that not everyone needs every type of photographer, also. So, if you are a photographer, odds are, more than likely, most likely, probably in every case, you do different types.
And so, you do want to segment that into different services and have different ads focusing on those different services, but then target those ads specifically to different audiences so if you I mean, if you’re doing wedding photography, you’re going to have a much much different audience than if you’re doing office personnel photography or if you’re doing photography of people’s family photos or Christmas photos or things like that. So knowing how to properly segment your services into more niche services or specific services and then properly displaying those services in a way. And obviously use photos and images and use your best quality images and also
I guess kind of an offshoot with it use images that are a little more universal. If it’s a very very specific type of family photography, maybe use something a little more general that’s going to appeal to a larger group of people and if you are using something that’s a little more specific and a little more odd, use it in a fun way where it gets people’s attention. And that’s kind of again going off on a little bit of a tangent, but targeting your services to the correct audience is your best way to go with that because. I mean yeah.
I got a little overwhelmed with that question because it’s such a big answer, but… I have a couple thoughts. My gut is that Christmas, it has a certain number of people that are crunching to also do their marketing, that photography plays a role in that,
so there are potentially, more than likely, certain community people that are already searching for these services and to me that feels like an opportunity for paid advertising, Google Ads or pay-per-click advertising, and I think you made a great point, Sarah, about how you would segment it and in my heart, I believe that you would probably identify what you know the best approach would be to identify what is the lowest hanging fruit either the easiest to acquire or the most profit potential across that breadth of services and focus on those.
You know, given that he’s talking about a limited budget and then wanting to get some results out of it before the holidays and before the new year, that seems like it would make the most sense that you could really crunch throw some budget at it get some leads and if the ads are well targeted toward that niche, that is yours, you know really telling that story. You know, showing some fantastic,
you know some fantastic imagery that goes with it. If we’re talking about a display ad, which I guess is another possibility, that seems like the best avenue and then I think the secondary area the focus would be preparing for the new year and being ready for whatever, you know,
the types of photography that tend to be more corporate and non-holiday related and that probably would be a secondary campaign I think the immediate focus would probably be if it were me it would be to investigate whether there are opportunities leading into the holidays. Yeah. That was a great point about the potentials for partnering with companies in their own campaigns that they’re doing, right?
And one of the things I see a lot and I’ve been there myself is, you know, the whole DIY approach, the do-it-yourself approach. You know, it was like “Oh, you know you got the Iphone 10. It’s got like three cameras on it and there’s so much you can do with that. I mean, are people gonna even need photographers?”
And the answer is Yes. It’s always Yes because it never fails that the technology can only do so much. It’s still not that great when people try and do it themselves. They don’t understand lighting. I mean, you know, I’m not a photographer in my day job. I dabble a little bit on the side…
but yeah, I mean trying to do it yourself it doesn’t always get great results and I feel like this is, like, on the demand gen side of marketing, I feel like there’s this component of of empathy of understanding people’s fears and pain points, you know. “I want to do it myself. I don’t have a lot of money.” But then, you know, also the education side where, you know, “Yeah I hear you you probably want to save some money and do it yourself, but look at this.”
Here’s the difference between what you’re probably gonna come up with and what it looks like when a professional does it, and would you rather have this? And what are the downsides if you don’t? You know, because when you have, I see these folks with, like, really terrible photos for, like, even for Linkedin profiles or other things.
I’m like, you know, what does that say to folks right you know if you’re getting, like, I mean does it mean you’re not successful enough to better have a professional do it for you? Or are you just lazy or you don’t understand what professional looks like?
I mean, there’s a lot of things people might come away with and I would I would say you know from a marketing standpoint as a photographer, so if like professional portraits or head shots or a thing, if it’s geared towards like business people or companies, you know, really hit them at the gut where it’s like “Look you want to do better?
You want to have more revenue coming in?” You need to show your best face, you know? If you tell that story or whatever it is. Hey we got a comment here. We do. “Using Google My Business to target audiences, and if so how, would you do that?” And this is relative to that last question? Yeah. yes. So you know, Google My Business for, you know, targeting audiences.
You know, is that something really relevant in this kind of frame of mind? What do you think? So, with Google My Business, you cannot specifically target groups with your listing itself. But Google My Business does rely almost completely on SEO. So, if you’re using the keywords for those target audiences within your description and within your specific services.
Because within the past, I think it’s the past two or three years, Google My Business does allow service-based businesses to have specific services within their Google My Business. So, when you do that, make sure that you’re using your keywords not only in the title but also the description, because Google my Business, it relies completely on SEO,
so while you can’t specifically target a group, your targeted groups are going to be Googling those different phrases and those different keywords and then your your listing is more likely to show for those keywords that people are searching. And then additionally with your reviews, make sure that…
I guess not “make sure that” but encourage your past customers to leave reviews and to talk about the types of services they received. Make sure that, or encourage them to use words like “wedding photography” or words like “family photography” and things like that because your reviews also wrap into SEO quite a bit for your listings. And then additionally, your responses to those reviews also become an SEO– A piece of SEO.
So, if you know that somebody’s leaving a reviews talking about their family photography but they don’t mention it in there, you can always use those words in your response, and then you’re more likely to show up for those keywords. That’s great stuff. Can I add a little bit briefly about pay-per-click? Yeah. Targeting with pay-per-click, which may have been it may or may not have been the question that was being asked.
Targeting with pay-per-click would tend to be based on the keywords that people you know. If we’re talking about you know about actual search, you know, search traffic aligning with keywords that are affiliated with whatever services you found to be the, you know, your highest profit potential.
But there also are another many many other ways to target pay-per-click ads and that’s that’s typically how we would recommend doing it. Yeah, yeah definitely get Google My Business in order. You know, sync that up with the website. Social pages, you know, the brand and information all in alignment and, you know,
look for opportunities, you know, reviews. That’s a very good point. Making sure, you know, if there aren’t a lot of reviews on those platforms or on the website, you know, get those up there. Ask for them, you know, sometimes people don’t necessarily post a review but, you know, you want to get the good ones. The ones that are crucial. Careful about that, David. Really, you can’t ask for reviews, I guess, but you can encourage.
Yeah, I mean, you know it’s it’s it’s going to be different for some of those different platforms. You know there’s, like, Clutch, right? You know, that website, like you literally have to ask somebody to, you know, encourage them to do it. But you can’t necessarily say “Here, say this!” Right?
But yeah, that’s a good point. But, you know, you can always ask for testimonials and you put testimonials on your website and that is effectively a review if you think about it and you have a lot of latitude in how you portray those testimonials.
It could be as simple as like just a little “Hey, this is what they said” or you could go the extra mile and actually tell a story about what their experience was, maybe a video of you working. “It’s really great to work with this photographer!” You know? “This is an awesome experience!”, you know.
That would be, you know, some additional things I think about, because, you know. Yeah let’s keep striking that. Having the visuals to strike that emotional connection, especially in that kind of competitive, you know, arena sense.