by Mark Weber, M.Photog.Cr, M.Artist, CPP http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBlN5UEpijs Link for free MAP…
“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.”
So many of you have blogs, but waste your time making them extensions of your galleries. A great blog is about building a community, and in turn, sharing content with your readers that they’re interested in.
Here are some ideas for topics to help you break away from the day-in-day-out posts of images from last week’s engagement shoot, portrait session, wedding, etc. Use your blog to share what’s in your heart and work to build trust with your clients.
How to Hire a Photographer: I love this one because it puts you in a position of being helpful, while at the same time you’re making sure everything you suggest applies to you and your business.
Profile Your Favorite Charity: Like the old skit on Saturday Night Live, it gives you a chance to be a character like Subliminal Man. Talking about a charity, you believe in gives you the opportunity to show community involvement, while at the same time sharing a few images helps to demonstrate your skills as a photographer. And, if you’re concerned about alienating other charities in the community, then launch the feature as a series, with a new charity being profiled each week.
Photo Tips for Kids: If we’ve learned nothing else from companies like Toys R Us, the best way to get to “Mom” is through her children. Start with some easy to understand tips just for kids. In fact, if you’ve got children of your own, talk them into doing a few guest posts. Now your blog becomes a family event and helps build even more trust with your target audience.
Contests: Once you’ve built a little readership, have some fun with a couple of seasonal contests. Whether for kids or adults, tie it back to photographs they have to submit and make the prizes your services. Spice it up a little by getting another vendor involved. For example, a wedding photographer with a blog, might bring in a prize from a local florist and then also include a post on flowers, etc.
Guest Posts: Your greatest marketing tool is relationship building. Look to get the opinion leaders in your community involved in your blog and include various vendors who have appeal to your readership.
Community Interest Posts: A good buddy, Jared Burns, was interested in getting more established with the community from India in the area he lives outside Seattle. So, he did a series of posts that tied in relevant topics. For example, he did a post about henna tattoos, an important part of the culture.
My Biggest Challenges: This is a series of techniques which allow you to demonstrate your expertise. They can cover everything from posing groups, lighting, kids that won’t sit still, even sharing why as a pro you choose certain focal lengths in different situations.
Be Personal: Your target is “Mom”, and most of the time she’s pretty stressed, especially when it comes to time management. Don’t be afraid to share some of the things that come up in your life that she can relate to. Great topics would be finding the balance between business and your family; fun things you’ve done with your spouse; the importance of “date night,” etc.
Yes, you can survive without a blog, but I’m convinced a blog together with a good website will help you expand your reach and build brand awareness even faster. What good is working to build your skill set and capture stunning images if people don’t know who you are? A blog, if done right, can be a key ingredient to building trust with your target audience.