Over the last few years, more and more professional photographers have come to realize that marketing is essential to the survival of their business. This is indeed true, and marketing know-how is more important than ever, but if we take a big step back for a moment to get an overview of what’s happening, it looks like complete chaos – almost like one of those mad days on the floor of the stock exchange with everyone yelling at once!
So Much Noise
The landscape of the world in which we work has changed dramatically in recent times and has become almost a battleground of marketing necessities. It used to be that print ads and direct mail were the main weapons in our marketing arsenal. Then along came the Internet, with web sites, email and blogs, and things started to get a little crazy, but still manageable.
But then a monster rose up out of the smoke and changed the game forever…
Social Media And Global Domination
Like some fiendish James Bond villain hell-bent on taking over the world, social media exploded onto the scene and we suddenly found ourselves faced with a whole new unexplored universe of marketing possibilities that we need to learn fast if we’re ever to keep up…
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a myriad other social platforms have sprung up, all demanding that we “like”, “follow” or “connect” with everyone on the planet.
It’s All Too Much
Do you find that this is all a little too much for one person or even a small business with more than one person to handle very effectively?
Our marketing responsibilities have literally ballooned almost out of control. These are just some of the tasks we have on our plates at the moment:
- Answer the phone and reply to emails
- Write newsletters
- Compose blog posts
- Keep our Facebook page updated
- Send out tweets
- Update LinkedIn
- Uploading slideshows and videos to YouTube
- Keep the web site up to date
- Design marketing campaigns
- Produce marketing materials
- Mail out cards and sales letters
- Manage referral programs
- … and so on
Keeping It All Under Control
Fortunately, we have tools we can use to integrate many of the new social media outlets together to make things a little easier. For example:
- Link your blog RSS feed to your Facebook fan page
- Use an automated plug-in to feed your blog posts to Twitter
- LinkedIn can also link to Facebook, Twitter and your blog
- Use a scheduler such as HootSuite or Social Oomph to manage updates
We also need to manage our own time and how much of it we spend on social media. Facebook and Twitter both have the insidious ability to suck up as much time as we have available, so it’s a good idea to limit how long you actually spend on there. No one needs to be on Facebook or Twitter 24 hours a day.
One important thing I’ve learned is that when it comes to social media, it’s not about just adding random people as friends or followers, it’s all about the quality of those friends and fans and how targeted they are. I would rather have a handful of fans that truly value what I do than several thousand random people who aren’t emotionally invested in my photography.
One of the best things we can do to keep our marketing under control is to get organized and have a properly laid out marketing plan. This not only keeps us on track and ensures we don’t forget anything important, it also makes sure we stay accountable to ourselves and that our marketing gets done on time and within budget.
Don’t Forget Offline Marketing
In this new digital world of social media it’s easy to forget about many of the offline marketing tactics we can use, but we do so at our peril. These are still important to our success and we shouldn’t forget that face-to-face marketing is much more effective at garnering trust than anything we can do online.
Remember, too, that offline marketing is not just about “getting your name” out there – it’s about getting people enthused about what you do on an emotional level, so choose your marketing strategies with care.
Learn More – Read The eBook
If you are serious about marketing your photography business in 2011 and would like some great ideas on tactics to use that are simply being ignored by much of your competition, check out my eBook “Marketing Tactics For Photography Success in 2011”. There are some great ideas in there, from developing a marketing plan to offline marketing strategies and online tactics too.
Thanks for reading, and all I ask is that you share this blog with your friends or through social bookmarking. Let’s all work together to help make 2011 a great year for professional photographers everywhere.