Social Media Is Killing Your Photography Business
Your Photography Marketing Plan Might Suck
Your website is the most important piece of your photography marketing plan. It may not seem like it, but it is your greatest asset.
When your website is set up correctly, it can help automate your business, grow your web-presence, enhance SEO, and safeguard your photography business from big changes in social media.
You may be among the group of photographers who stopped updating their website regularly. Your blog is probably outdated and you rarely update your work. You may not label your images with intent and you may not check or know your website speed. Do you even know what your customers are searching for to find you?
These are all things that are hurting your business.
Instagram Isn't A Sustainable Photography Marketing Plan
You probably love posting to Instagram as your digital photography marketing strategy. It’s fast, easy, and gives you instant gratification. You get a dopamine hit when you get like, share, or comment on your image. This is the short term strategy that is hurting your business.
We all saw what happened when Facebook decided to change the algorithm. The infamous change affected everyone using the free site. After these changes followers didn't see new images, engagement went down, and photographers were angry. All of the time invested in this marketing strategy was gone forever.
This isn’t a good strategy and you should stop doing it on Instagram. For example, our Instagram Account has 72,000 Followers @proedututorials. We post 1-2 images every day in our feed and on our stories. According to The Phlanx Engagement Calculator, we have a 1.23% engagement rate. That is absolutely terrible.
Check out your instagram engagement and see for yourself if you are above or below the industry average.
According to Social Media Today's article on "New Report Finds Instagram Engagement Rates are In Decline" we can see a drastic decline in the last months of Instagram and there doesn't seem to be any hope for improving.
Moving Away From Social Media As Your Main Portfolio
The primary goal of Instagram is to get you to pay for advertising. They don't want you to grow your photography business for free. It may have started as a free service but now it’s something you have to pay to use.
If you rely on Instagram as your main portfolio, what happens when they decide to make another big change? I even see many photographers who don’t have a website at all because they only use Instagram.
This is the worst possible strategy you could implement. The photography industry is getting very crowded. It’s become easy to create and post a great photo but the real opportunity is building a solid SEO strategy for your photography website.
It’s important that photographers develop a marketing strategy to work alongside social media. The answer isn’t a new technology. It isn’t a new type of social media.
The solution is your website. It is the most sustainable tool for getting new clients and building a profitable photography business. It just needs a little SEO love from you.
How To Properly Build A Photography Website
There are two main ways to get views online: paid & organic. Social media was a great way to get organic views until they turned that feature off. They turned this off because they acquired enough users and built the most powerful advertising platform in the world.
In 2018 “user data” became more valuable than oil. This data is currently the most valuable commodity in the world. This is a big indicator that shows how serious Instagram is in wanting to get advertising money from you.
The quickest, but most expensive, way to get people to visit your website is through paid traffic. This normally consists of purchasing ads through Google Ads or other sources to display your site information and a link to your website. Google Ads will display your link at the top of the page when a relevant search term, or keyword, is requested, but you may have to spend a lot of money to make your photography website appear for competitive keywords.
Facebook Ads is another marketing platform that can be well suited for a photography business that already has a strong Facebook presence. With the targeting tools of Facebook and its massive user base, a well-planned Facebook ad campaign can be quite successful.
The price of most paid ads is based on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) model, where you will pay every time someone clicks on your ad. Rates increase as competition increases, so it is important that you have someone like a digital marketing specialist keeping tabs on your ad spend.
While paid traffic can convert when used correctly, it should not be the cornerstone of your photography marketing plan. The average conversion rate for AdWords in 2018 was 2.7% on the search network for all indiustries and 0.89% on the Google Display Network. With conversions this low, it's important to limit your digital ad spend and focus on organic traffic.
The most sustainable method to get free views is organic traffic from search engines like Google. Remember that Instagram and Facebook are platforms where content doesn't show up in Google Search results. The platforms are autonomous and do not play by the same rules as Google SEO.
Consider your website as your own personal “hub” that you have complete control over. Everything else like Instagram is just a “spoke” to bring your audience to your main hub.
Search engines crawl your website and grade your URL, photos, descriptions, tags, words, videos, links, titles, and the frequency at which you update new content. They give your website a “ranking” based on your relevance, speed, authority, blog posts, and content. This ultimately determines which page you show up on when people search for photography businesses like yours.
Have you done a Google search of your name or business to see what the search result is and where you appear? Do you even know what a potential client would search to find your business? If you don’t apply this type of photography SEO to your plan, no one will be able to find you because search volumes of businesses that offer your service are probably already beating you.
Think of this ranking as “points” in the overall game we call “search engines.” Google wants to provide users great results for whatever they search for. They want to give the perfect result for their users. The biggest question is “how do you rank your business organically?”
In order to rank with search engines, they require you to have your photography website set up correctly. Your content and website have to be relevant. If this isn't set up correctly, you can get negative points, which hurt your chances. This means less money for you.
I do have good news for you. We created a detailed photography marketing tutorial for photographers. This will enable you to build a simple and effective marketing plan. You just have to take the first step.
First Step - Starting Your Strategic Photography Marketing Plan
In part one of this marketing tutorial for photographers, marketing expert Jared Bauman walks you through everything you need to get started. Getting started is often the hardest part and with this plan, you have a clear place to begin your new marketing plan.
It doesn’t matter if you do wedding photography in Spokane or portrait photography in Los Angeles, the process is the same. A wedding photographer can use the same approach as a fashion photographer or product photographer anywhere in the world.
A major focus of this tutorial is understanding keyword research and then properly injecting that into your website. It doesn’t matter if you use Squarespace, Format, Smugmug, or Wordpress. The methodology for local SEO is the same.
Chapter 1 Video 2 (26 Total Videos Included)
As Jared outlines in this video, your website is your “hub” and things like Instagram are the “spokes” that fuel your website.
It is critical for photographers to monitor, update, and audit their websites on a regular basis to ensure a high quality experience for their users. This ensures your business is in good standing and meets the requirements Google looks for. Adding these SEO efforts to your overall photography marketing plan is a great strategy for ranking higher.
Actions You Need To Take Immediately
Google has guidelines on how they rank sites. Every word, title, photo, and video are given a grade that can either hurt you or help you. You have to follow this recipe and understand exactly how SEO for photographers can be applied. Once you do, you can automate parts of it and see incredible results.
If you do not follow these rules, then you put your business at risk. To put it bluntly, it's costing you a lot of money.
Jared points out common photography website mistakes that can quickly be remedied, as well as easy SEO wins.
Your Photography Website Speed Is Critical For Success
Website speed is really important. Google is not only ranking the relevance of your content, but they also grade how quickly it loads.
They want your website to load quickly for users. They want everyone to have a good experience and fast website load times. They want users to find great content and exactly what they are looking for. Google is grading your website speed and it affects your overall search engine optimization.
In this video, Jared explains the importance of site speed and how this can affect your user’s experience.
Chapter 2 Video #7 - Marketing For Photographers Website Optimization & Strategy (26 total videos included)
Ready To Take This Photography Marketing Course?
There are 24 other detailed videos here that will allow you to craft your new marketing strategy in a very short amount of time. Are you ready to start? Are you ready to make and execute a plan that is almost guaranteed to show you results when you put in the work? Are you ready to be in complete control of your photography marketing plan? Are you ready to automate your business and understand what is and what isn't working? Preview the entire tutorial here.
How Can This Marketing Tutorial Help You?
- It will give you the ability to audit your website for SEO.
- It will show you how to build a site that will help you rank.
- It will show you how to fix common mistakes in your content.
- It will show you exactly what is important to focus on.
- It will show you how to improve your website speed.
- It will help you craft your own personal marketing plan for any photography business.
- It can help you book more clients through free organic traffic.
- Help you as a business owner focus your long term plan
- Perfect for those starting a photography business
Who Is This Photography Marketing Tutorial For?
This tutorial is MANDATORY for professional photographers looking to start or modify an existing photography marketing plan. We don't use the term "mandatory" loosely either. This course can drastically change your presence online and it is applicable to every genre of photographer. This digital marketing tutorial is designed to help you automate and strengthen your business to survive changes in social media.
No one is going to do this for you. It is up to you to manage your company. This is the perfect place to start.
What Our Customers Are Saying?
We have a 14 day satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy with the course for any reason, we will gladly exchange it for any other tutorial in our library. What do you have to lose?
Want To Watch Every Course We've Made?
The Unlimited Pro Plan gives unlimited streaming access to our entire photography, retouching, marketing, pricing, and business tutorial. Put yourself in the growth mindset and see where you can take your business when you build yourself a plan for growth.
About Jared Bauman
Jared Bauman is the Co Founder of 201 Creative, Inc, a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO, Social Media, and Marketing for small and medium businesses. With almost 20 years of experience in business management and digital marketing, he brings a rich background of both knowledge and experience in helping companies grow.