What We Do When It Rains
My grandfather was born in 1905, and boy, did he see some stuff. He was a plucky six-year-old when the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic, and he listened to news updates on the radio about The Great War in his early teens. His first two children were born shortly before the start of the Great Depression, and his last three were born shortly after the end of World War II.
He was an ad man in the 1950s and ‘60s (think Mad Men, only in the northeast Texas oil patch) and despite his never-ending fascination with the automobile, which grew up right alongside him, he preferred to walk rather than to drive all his life. Like many from his generation, he knew the feeling of plenty and he knew the feeling of want. And, like many from his generation, he was a wealth of idioms and old sayings, and would dole them out generously. He would trot out one of his favorites just about every time he saw a cloudy sky, asking in his slow East Texas drawl “Why do you suppose it has to rain? [brief pause] Well, it’s so we’ll appreciate the sunshine more!” We grandkids learned the answers and the cadence early on, but we also learned to let him answer his questions for us, it made him happy.
All of us in the events industry are seeing some stormy skies just at the minute. Some have already felt the stinging rain of canceled events or missed payments, and the rest of us are waiting apprehensively, sure that a flood is headed our way. It’s in these unsure, stormy days when it’s wise to do everything we can to prepare for when there’s sunshine again.
This is when systematizing your online marketing can be absolutely crucial to both making it through the storm in one piece, and also in thriving once we’re back in the metaphorical sunny days. Every company’s marketing strategies are unique, but I’d imagine most will center around three primary outlets: Facebook/Instagram, your own blog, and Pinterest.
Conveniently positioned as “Everyone’s Favorite Quarantine Pastime”, Facebook and Instagram are a fantastic way to market your business broadly, and to encourage word-of-mouth sharing among your friends, your clients, and all their friends. Since pretty much no one is shooting right now, you may decide it’s a good idea to work through your back-catalog and highlight some favorite events or shoots from past years.
Showcasing past work has the double-benefit of:
1.) showing off your unique skill and artistry.
2.) reminding people *just* how long it’s been since they had their photo made. Planting these seeds early and semi-often can help your business pick back up when all this is over, and might even give you the opportunity to pre-sell sessions or events and keep the income flowing in the meantime.
The best part is that you can do this for free, avoiding Facebook’s frustrating and confusing advertising metrics, and keeping your cash in your pocket. Facebook’s algorithm rewards photos that are easy to share and are widely embraced. That means that if your photos are beautiful and aren’t uploaded at too large a file size, Facebook will put them in front of more people. Additionally, the more engagement your photos get, the more people Facebook will show them to. So, encourage likes, comments, and conversation, and be sure and put yourself in the middle of that to spur on further engagement.
BlogStomp can help you prepare your images for Facebook by sizing them perfectly and adding a logo/website watermark to ensure your friends’-friends’-friends can easily find where and how to get a hold of you to book their own session.
Where Facebook and Instagram have the advantage of breadth of reach, your own blog has the advantage of depth. No other place on the internet is a stronger resource for seeing the full catalog of your photography work than your blog, so making sure it looks the way you want it to, showing off the best of the best of your work, is paramount.
While you have a bit of down time, use it to go back through your blog. Publish any not-yet-blogged shoots you want to show off, revise or re-dress any older posts that need a freshening up, and thoroughly examine the look and feel of your blog, ensuring that your site visitors don’t get bogged down or confused by any elements that can be removed.
While you’re at it, give a thought to your SEO. Consider which keywords you’re including in each post, and check for readability and flow. You might even want to revise older posts, as your business direction may have shifted over the years.
BlogStomp makes it easy to maximize your SEO with custom file names, and you can include alt tags and title tags when you publish directly to your WordPress blog.
So, we know that Facebook and Instagram have their strengths in “word of mouth” marketing (tag your friends, their friends see it, they send it to their friends, etc.) and your blog has the depth of SEO pull and evergreen content. Where Pinterest shines is in what we call “Stranger Sharing”.
Pinterest doesn’t rely on personal connections to serve up your content to people. If they get to pinterest.com and search “Springtime Farm Wedding” and you’ve got images on Pinterest with the phrase “Springtime Farm Wedding” in the description, they’ll see it. They may see it and like it. They may even see it and fall in love with your photographic style. There’s even a chance they’ll want to see more of your work. Make it easy for them to find you by watermarking your images, being intentional about tags and keywords, and including your website URL in your descriptions and file names.
BlogStomp is essential in this process, too. You can create a style for Pinterest that is set to the width you want to share, then assemble unique collages sure to attract the right kind of attention to your website. Potential clients will do their part and search up the stuff they want to see, and BlogStomp will have done its part to help make sure they see your images first. And, since many current blog themes allow you to activate a “Pin It” button on your blog images, using BlogStomp to rename each image or collage in a way that points people back to your website is invaluable when others share your work on Pinterest and forget to credit you in their comments.
LET’S GET STARTED
Ugh, sheesh, all of this sounds like just a TON of work. Well, it sort of is. On the one hand, yeah, it’s a lot to get done. But on the other hand, what else have you got going on right now? : )
While it can feel like a lot to do, BlogStomp makes it easy (and, dare I say, fun?) to get it done. Let’s admit it, none of us got into photography because we wanted to spend endless hours in front of a computer working on our marketing. These days, we all have a stronger relationship with our mouse and keyboard than we do with our camera. I honestly don’t know if the biggest threat to one’s photography career is creative burnout or carpal tunnel syndrome! But, BlogStomp is your way around all of that. For over ten years BlogStomp has helped tens of thousands of photographers around the world to prepare their images and marketing pieces. It is built to execute many tasks quickly and easily, and then to get out of your way.
Don’t be stuck in a workflow that doesn’t work—give BlogStomp a try today!