I found this SlideShare when I was searching Google for "Marketing 101." It doesn't have all the answers, but I thought it might spark some ideas for you.
IMHO stands for "In My Humble Opinion" just in case you are wondering about it in the header. That's my way of saying that my thoughts below are just my opinion and if you don't agree, that's fine. FYI, I don't have all the answers to marketing for photographers nor do I claim to. However, I think that I have some value to add and hope you will find something useful in this post.
Most photographers have a minimum of hundreds of dollars in gear and it's easy to quickly get to thousands in gear. So why not put some effort and money into marketing? FYI, all marketing doesn't require money like the first paragraph below that is simply a business decision that effects marketing.
Publishing Your Phone Number
I know a photographer who not only doesn't have his phone number on his website but doesn't want it to show anywhere on the internet. I have not asked him why, but I do find it odd. He simply has a web form for people to fill out on his website. That seems very one sided to me. Hey, "Give me your phone number in the web form, but I'm not publishing mine for you to call me." For my business, some of my largest projects come from people calling me NOT using my web form. In addition, phone calls exceed my web form inquiries. For me, I want people to call because I can share what I do far better by phone than email. Do you publish your phone number? Why? Why Not? Do you think it really matters?
Having A Real Website, A Real Domain And A Real Email
Yes, there are numerous alternatives these days to a regular website with navigation. However, the cost of having a professional looking website that you can even do yourself with point and click and drag and drop is not a huge expense. Sure, a website can easily cost 2K to 5K plus, but there are "WEBSITE BUILDER" options online that IMHO are better than trying to use a social media site as your website. Just search the words "WEBSITE BUILDER" on Google and see what's out there.
A real domain like xyzphotography.com helps you look more stable and professional than a domain on a website builder like xyzphotography.freewebsitebuilder.com. Domain names are affordable and can even be masked and forwarding to a free website builder if you are super tight on funds. That's not the ideal way to do it, but it's better than displaying the freebie name. It's a first step in the right direction. Contact your domain registrar for help on masking and forwarding a domain name.
A real email, like a real domain, also helps you look more stable and professional. For example, what's your perception of firstname.lastname@example.org vs. email@example.com. Maybe to you, there is not difference, but at the end of the day, it's the potential client who makes the decision not you. Once you get a domain name, it's fairly simple to set up a real email. Just ask your domain name registrar for direction.
Social Media Is a Must
Most photographers are doing everything from shooting, to editing, to marketing, to everything in between which means throwing social media in the mix adds additional tasks to an already full plate. However, social media is a necessity in today's digital age. The key is finding what social media platforms to spend time on. Although there are lots of choices, I'd say Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are a solid 3 choices to get started with. TIP: A Facebook Business Page with a small amount of followers will likely not get much attention the way Facebook has it structured. You almost have to pay to be seen unless you have a lot of LIKES on your business page. Oh and what I mean by a lot of likes is thousands not hundreds. So although a Facebook Business Page is nice, you may actually get more traction on your personal Facebook efforts.
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