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Building a New Foundation in 2020 – Part II: Your Blog

The pandemic has changed everything in the way you do business. As a result, your Internet real estate is more valuable than ever before. Great images are essential to pulling in new clients, but they’re interested in who you are. Social distancing is limiting their contact, but not in cyberspace.

While your website is about your business and what you sell, your blog is about what’s in your heart. But there are a couple of fundamental ingredients for it all to work, starting with what you share.

Years ago, in a meeting at Polaroid, a motivational speaker by the name of Ed Foreman joined us. That’s at least 40 years ago, but I never forgot what he said:

“If I can see the world through my client’s eyes, then I can sell my client what my client buys!”

I’ve shared this before, but there’s always one person who thinks it’s the same as “put yourself in their shoes.” It’s not – it’s about understanding what’s relevant to your target audience. It’s about seeing the world the way they do and understanding their fears, what makes them happy, and what they want and need. Well, substitute the word “client” above and put in “reader.”

So, we’ll start with content for your blog:

  • Relevant Topics: You’ve got to be consistent and good content is king. Stay in tune with what your target audience wants to read. Remember to see the world through their eyes. Right now, you’re involved with the same fears they are – so be helpful, empathize, but stay on track with the importance of family and capturing memories.
  • Consistency: If you’re only going to blog on random days when you feel like it, then shut your blog down NOW. It’s actually hurting you more than it’s helping. You need consistency, and my suggestion is to post a minimum of twice a week.
  • Building a Stash: Your shouldn’t be real-time images you just captured of a client last weekend. Build a stash of relevant posts, keeping in mind your target audience. And stop thinking that just showing images of past shoots is content – it’s not. It’s just an extension of your galleries, unless you use images to make a particular point. For example, talk about what to wear for a portrait session and use an example from a past shoot.
  • Be helpful: How about a series of picture-taking tips? All of you have enough experience to write a dozen posts on how to get a decent shot of your family, kids, and events. For most of you Mom is your target…so think about what she’s feeling these days and then share content that helps her identify with your style.
  • But What is There to Write About? I’ve shared so many ideas, both here and on my own blog, but here are a few again:
    • What about a list of great places to shoot in your community? Locations you love to photograph and why are perfect for helping your clients. And as parks start to open up again, this might be a fun thing to share as people start to get out.
    • How about a series of profiles of businesses in your community? It’s a series of short posts with an environmental portrait of establishments you support and can include everything from your favorite bank teller to a pizza chef. The pandemic has changed how and where we go out – so do a profile of a restaurant you enjoy that’s now doing carry-out.
    • In every community, events are going on of interest to your audience. Start a calendar of events. Here in Sarasota, and completely safe, since it was all done online – the Senior Friendship Centers just participated in the Giving Challenge and raised over $170,000 to help senior citizens and help fund support programs like meals on wheels and in-home support.
    • Guest posts are perfect for building traffic to your blog. Invite other photographers and business owners with the same target audience to write a guest post. It gives your readers a chance to read something slightly different while still staying on point with what interests them. For example, a few guest posts from a florist that include images of their flower arrangements taken by you give you an added opportunity to show off your skillset.
  • Blog Length: General opinions from the experts pretty much support 200-400 words for a post. ALWAYS include at least one image.
  • Hate to Write? If you can’t write or hate it, then find yourself somebody to either write for you. Call the local high school and talk to one of the English teachers. You’re looking for an “A” student. You might even find interest from the English teacher in doing a little moonlighting.

I’m going back to the beginning – everything in our lives has changed, except for our love for family, friends, and capturing memories. From porch-traits to online meet-ups, the world is adapting to a new normal. That means your cyberspace holdings have even more value, and they appreciate more every day!