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Author Topic: Website hits and facebook  (Read 5730 times)

Offline jinky

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Website hits and facebook
« on: June 06, 2011, 09:27:56 AM »
OK - having got myself healthwise to the stage where I think I could do a full day shoot for a wedding I need to increas my web presence and work out how to advertise effectively. I need low cost t attarct a semi-pro level of existence I seek.
I have only just discovered the part of my website where I can add window titles,meta descriptions and meta keywords which seem to be to be repititious and have not upped my daily views in the first weeks of implementation at all. I came up on page 7 of a google search for "affordable wedding photographers in Leeds" when I looked me up lately which is clearly no good. Is it best / good parctice to list loads of major towns in yorksire rather than just Leeds and Yorjkshire if I am willing to shoot there? Is it right that because  have other pages offerign portraits / commercial stuff I am unlikely to get wedding hits as 80% of your site need to be wedding focused? Told that I should be running other websites for other work.
Re: facebook - I now have a work page in addition to my onw persona page. When I select to be on facebook as my business page do my existing friends see me or just people who have liked me. I don`t know many that do facebok so have only 55 friends and only 20 or so people have liked my work page so far. What`s the best way to get more out there - any quick tips?
I have managed to do a wedding portfolio shoot and a couple of venues are now recommending me and I have cards/ leaflets with all the wedding dress shops in Leeds - though most seem overwhelmed with photographer cards / leaflets. I asked about advertising in a popular north Leeds advertising booklet but half a page covering their 30,000 population coverage was goign to cost £500 a month.After a chat and showing them my portfolio I have now agreed to supply some local images for inclusion and the odd front page on request in return for credits / links to website and depending how things go on first few they may give me a free advert for a month to try.testing them out this mont to see how straight the are.

Anyone else got any grea starter up tips - my free Yell listing onl resulted in getting dozens of calls from advertisers wanting more money! :(



Offline Beaux Reflets

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 09:54:01 AM »
Hi Paul,
As many folk use Google, a Google blog (which is free) with links to your site will help keep you high up on the search engines. Other than that, I think it is a case of target marketing in the areas and localities you are in. Word of mouth is always the best promotion and if you can get the local hairdresser boutiques to display a bridal shot or two of work they have been involved in, it advertises both parties.

Discount on a couples engagement shot may lead to work on their big day  ;)

Best of luck. 
:beer: Andy

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The choices we make are rooted in reflection.

http://beauxreflets.blogspot.com/

Offline Carlj

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 10:24:52 AM »
Don't forget word of mouth too. Many couples will have friends getting wed soon and will point you out to them. Once you've shot a wedding, see if the couple would agree to allowing you use of a couple of shots for a portfolio/online presence.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 10:38:08 AM »
I have managed to do a wedding portfolio shoot and a couple of venues are now recommending me and I have cards/ leaflets with all the wedding dress shops in Leeds - though most seem overwhelmed with photographer cards / leaflets.

Mmm-hmm.......  (actually, I'm slightly alarmed that venues are recommending you if they haven't seen real work from you)

Your question looks pretty much like "how do I advertise my business"?  And if that were something I could answer in a forum post I'd spin it into a day's course and charge £30K for it (srsly - I know people who have spent far more than that to find out what doesn't work).

Anyway some starter tips:

1. Build an engaging website.  Have a site that people want to visit and tell their friends about.  Shooting underwater bridal hasn't (so far) booked me a single wedding but it raised my profile a lot - and web linking and traffic went up which leads to higher Google ranking.

2. Tell everyone about it.

3. Teach yourself SEO - it will save you more money and help fend off more con artists than most things you can learn.  This site http://www.seomoz.org/blog talks more sense than most (note that they are using an interesting article feed to build traffic and sell their software.  There's a lesson there...)

4. Network.  Really.

5. Build business relationships.  I could drop cards in every wedding shop round here and watch them get left for the recycling.  Or I can drop in to a very places who know me occasionally for a coffee and a chat and see the gorgeous albums they show all their customers.  Guess which gets me more work ;)

6. Repeat.  This isn't a one off thing.  This is a process.  For example, my site is updated at LEAST once a week.  Google likes new stuff.  So do people.
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Offline jinky

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011, 11:33:42 AM »
Cheers all. Yes sorry  it was a bit of "down in the dumps help" mood inflicted  stuff. It was just quick tips that I was looking for that might be new to me.The couple of venues recommending me have seen me work - one in an actual wedding shoot and the other in a staged shoot with models / venue set out to promote their own place. I found it hard to engage in all but one of the weddign shop venue as some (especially high end) had a real "we are not sales people" approach that made it clear they resented callers wanting to talk about joint promotion, free product shoots etc but I`ll keep at it as one or two did atleast want to see my stuff and talk.
The SEO self training route looks good - though not sure what I can do wit stuff in my website that is based on a clikpic type template approach through luxipics. I have been thinking of a blog but the website people I have established with don`t have the automatic blog type button to use / create so will experiment with that.
I am offering discounts including engagement / lifestyle shoots with bookings and have made contacts with local jewellers re: one of your previous suggestions Andy - awaiting formal response.

I am at an age qwhereit is daughters / sons of frineds that will be marrying in the next few years rather than friends and have a few saying they will be using me as they know my work but that all gets a bit awkward when you want to differentaite between peopel you would shoot for as a gift and others you`d offer mates rates. I know word of mouth is the crucia thing but it is getting started. It`s a little unfortnate that the weddings I have shot so far have been up in my old Geordie homeland rather than in Leeds though I have second shot on a few in Leeds.
I have linked up with a few local people through flickr wedding groups and shared some shoots / chat/advice so will put my positie hat on and see about gettign going properly now. Thanks  ;)
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 11:41:32 AM by jinky »

Offline Beaux Reflets

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 12:15:29 PM »
I use Blogger, on the basis that Google promote their sites first. Is there not a Blogger button like the Facebook one you have on your home page ?  :beer:
:beer: Andy

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The choices we make are rooted in reflection.

http://beauxreflets.blogspot.com/

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011, 01:19:52 PM »
>> The SEO self training route looks good - though not sure what I can do wit stuff in my website that is based on a clikpic type template approach through luxipics.

Then change your hosts.  Seriously, if you can't do your own SEO your host is going to cost you money either in workarounds or (more likely) lost business.

>> I found it hard to engage in all but one of the weddign shop venue as some (especially high end) had a real "we are not sales people" approach that made it clear they resented callers wanting to talk about joint promotion, free product shoots etc

Pick your time carefully - these shops are busy on weekends, lunchtimes and Friday afternoons.  Go in then and you'll be lucky even to get acknowledged.  Mondays are quiet but they are often closed or using junior staff.  Basically do your homework before you visit them.  Do you know your Benjamin Roberts from your Amanda Wyatt?  Maybe think about an unconventional approach - if 20 photographers pitch up at your shop wanting free advertising then you may find drawn to the one who brings cupcakes.....

>> I have linked up with a few local people through flickr wedding groups and shared some shoots / chat/advice

It's nice to network with other photographers and you can generate a nice support network like that.  But they are (almost) never going to bring you work.  Network with people who can help you or buy from you.

BTW I'm literally hours from exploding into a rant over all these Flickr "wedding portfolio" shoots..........
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Offline jinky

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2011, 03:25:57 PM »

BTW I'm literally hours from exploding into a rant over all these Flickr "wedding portfolio" shoots..........

Did the one for a venue that had requested help in shooting and it was a nice shared experience with wedding shop, make up artist, models and venue but agree not rooted in real world wedding shoot. Not likely to do another but they have their place I think in developing links and wish that had been in Leeds and not Northumberland.

I created that Facebook link Andy and can no doubt do the same again with blogger so will have a look at that. Trouble with facebook / blogger/ twitter and the like is that I have spent so long taking the p*** out of people sharing the banale that I feel guilty launching into it  :)

Offline ABERS

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2011, 04:31:27 PM »
Seeing the problems faced by today's wedding photographers, and how to seek business in what would appear, according to the ONS staistics, a rapidly shrinking business this may be of interest,

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/mar0311.pdf

It points out the movement from religious ceremonies to civil ones following the change in the law and registration of civil sites.

I think it's what one would call a tough competitive industry.
I Googled Wedding Photography Yorkshire and I got 1.8 million results and a Google map peppered with red spots indicating their locations. :o

Offline jinky

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2011, 05:49:47 PM »
Seeing the problems faced by today's wedding photographers, and how to seek business in what would appear, according to the ONS staistics, a rapidly shrinking business this may be of interest,

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/mar0311.pdf

It points out the movement from religious ceremonies to civil ones following the change in the law and registration of civil sites.

I think it's what one would call a tough competitive industry.
I Googled Wedding Photography Yorkshire and I got 1.8 million results and a Google map peppered with red spots indicating their locations. :o

I don`t care if it is religious or civil as long as it is in a nice place :)
I reckon 1.6 million of those are in Leeds. There are people shooting them for free, for less than £200. I guess I just need to get a few more under my belt for word of mouth to get around. I`m telling my commercial clients that I am expanding out into weddings via the contacts I have there so we will see. One thing for certain I`m not shooting for free to get known - I`v done enough of that now.

Offline ABERS

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2011, 06:21:25 PM »
Just a thought! Do you know any florist, established or otherwise that wants to get into weddings. Perhaps a joint venture offering a special deal for pictures and posies might get you both some business.
Could make a story in the local press.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2011, 06:27:58 PM »
231,490 marriages.  I only want 30.  40 a year is very tough.

As for civil vs religious......well, so far this season I've been told off by one registrar and 2 clergy so the more civil ones the better for me :D

Wedding photographer Kent gives 39.6 million results.  Which is greater than the number of people of wedding photography age in the entire UK.  I'm page 1 (depending how you count it I'm either 2nd or 9th) which is good enough for me.
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Offline Cathus

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2011, 06:51:08 PM »
Identifying your keywords & using them wisely helps, not just on the front page, in your metadata, opening paragraph, sub pages.

It helps if your keyword forms a part of your domain name and your page titles.

Getting other people to link to you helps a great deal. part of Google's engine rates sites higher the more links they have, though this can be an art in itself as well as not using dark practices to  get yourself penalised.

I'm no expert in ranking but one of my websites ranks usually between 2nd & 10th for a single keyword which lists over 39 million hits & has done for over 10 years. It helps that I own a top level domain which is that keyword. (breastfeeding, if you're interested)

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2011, 07:21:17 PM »
Interesting stuff, although it does sound a bit depressing...
What's this Google every one keeps talking about?
It almost sounds like if you're not into Google, you've got no chance in business...  :-[ :uglystupid2:

Offline Beaux Reflets

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Re: Website hits and facebook
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2011, 08:18:49 PM »
Interesting stuff, although it does sound a bit depressing...
What's this Google every one keeps talking about?
It almost sounds like if you're not into Google, you've got no chance in business...  :-[ :uglystupid2:

Google it  :2funny:
:beer: Andy

"Light anchors things in place and gives perspective meaning."

The choices we make are rooted in reflection.

http://beauxreflets.blogspot.com/

 

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