As 2012 draws to a close, I hope it’s been a successful and productive one for you in your photography business and that you achieved the business success you were hoping for.
This is the time of year when we typically look at where we are, and compare today’s picture to where we thought we’d be this time last year.
I hope the comparison is a positive one for you!
But, is it just me, or did 2012 fly by for you too?
With 2013 only just around the corner, I’m sure you’re busy planning out the next year to chart out where your business is going and the great milestones and goals you want to achieve by this time next year.
The picture for the next year looks very exciting here, and I’m looking forward to serving some awesome photographers with my business coaching, formulating new training programs, and excited about helping more photographers take their business to the next level.
What Should Be On Your Radar?
A big help in formulating your photography business plan and your future marketing efforts is to know where some of the trends have been going, and what should be on your radar. That way, you can plan ahead and focus your photography marketing in those places where they have the best chance of producing the best fruit.
The biggest areas of change that I can see are:
- Mobile web usage
- Tablet computing
- Decline of Facebook
- The evolution of SEO
Mobile Web Usage
Mobile usage on the web is increasing at an incredible rate, as more and more smartphones fall into the hands of the general consumer.
It’s now easier than ever to browse the web on a mobile phone from almost anywhere, so it’s important to ensure that your website and blog are fully compatible with mobile browsers, and that they’re mobile responsive.
Being “mobile responsive” simply means that the website display is adjusted automatically to fit the device being used to view it. This is done through advanced CSS styling in the website’s layout or theme.
Mobile responsive themes for WordPress, for example, are becoming more common, some better than others, and I recommend you start with those that run on the Genesis framework, available from StudioPress, much like the theme on this website.
Seriously, if you don’t have a mobile-responsive website and blog in 2013, you could miss out on a lot of visitors, see reduced engagement, and book less clients.
Tablets used to be something we’d take for a headache, but are now essentially a special form of mobile device, and their use is looking to expand dramatically.
As with smartphones, the displays on these devices are sufficiently different to a regular computer monitor that they require a responsive theme or styling to accommodate them properly.
There’s no doubt that tablet computing is going to be a bigger factor in the next year, so don’t lose clients simply because they couldn’t view your website properly or read your blog comfortably!
Decline Of Facebook
No, Facebook isn’t going away anytime soon, but it is becoming less useful as a marketing platform, especially given the changes that Facebook have made in recent months to the way information from fan pages is shown to fans.
It seems that Facebook is more interested in compelling brands to pay to promote posts to its fans than anything else, a proposition that may not be attractive to many small business owners.
On top of that, it appears that many brands are starting to move away from Facebook as a primary marketing source, and any small business that treats Facebook as their main source of clients could be in trouble pretty soon.
Which brings me to the next big thing…
The Evolution Of SEO
Control is paramount, especially when it comes to our Internet assets and outposts, and our website is no exception.
If we center our marketing efforts around a central hub that we have full control over, then we’re going to be in much better shape if another marketing channel (such as Facebook) suddenly changes the rules without asking anyone first.
Think how many times in the last year Facebook have made some sweeping change that’s affected you in at least some negative way, and you get the idea!
The good news is that localized SEO, which is the form most photography business owners would engage in, is thriving and projected to evolve dramatically over the next year or so.
If I were a professional photographer just starting out in the business (or even someone who’s been at it a while, actually) I would be focusing a lot of my efforts in making sure that my website, blog, and other online assets all worked together to create a good local search profile within Google.
SEO is going to be more important than ever in 2013 – are YOU ready to meet the challenge, or are you one of the many photographers to ignore SEO for some reason?
Where Are YOU Headed In 2013?
Obviously, this short article is by no means comprehensive, and I know a lot of other things will be happening in 2013, many of which are unforeseen as of now.
If you have other ideas on your radar then by all means share those in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!
One thing is certain, though.
2013 should be the BEST year you’ve had so far in your photography business! You deserve to make it the most profitable and fun year you can, and I wish you all the very best with it.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some ideas on improving your local search engine rankings in preparation for the new year ahead, so stay tuned for those.