The Coffee Date

10 Affordable Ways to Promote Your Photography Business

BusinessDiana TrinhComment
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Having a photography business that you can be proud of is what all of us aspiring creatives dream about, so how do you do it? Well, you need to find affordable ways to market your business so that you can start reaching for the stars.


To give you plenty of food for thought, take a look at these 10 ways to bring your business to the masses without breaking the bank. All you have to do is work your way through this 4-minute read, and then put everything into action. Enjoy!

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  1. Lend your skills to a worthy cause

    Giving back is what life is all about, and as well as making you feel great, it will associate your brand with something people care about. It’s these types of associations that can really take your profile to new heights, so why not get out there and find something?

    You want to make it a cause that’s close to your heart so that you always find the time to get the project done. Don’t take on so much that you have no time for paid work, but pick a project that’s mainstream enough to send plenty of eyes your way. It’s an experience that will stay with you for years to come!

    Action Step: Take a sheet of paper and write down all projects you have been thinking about in recent years. Choose one project and build a strategic plan on how to bring it to the action. Schedule your week in a brand new way: decide when and where you will work on your project. Probably, you just need to start waking up one hour earlier to have enough time to complete your ongoing tasks.

2. Blog to share your knowledge

People don’t just want to see what you create. They want to get a feel for how you do it in the first place. Blogging is a great way to share your creative journey, so why not start your own blog today?

When you don’t know where to start, the easiest way to do is Googling 5 different well-established blogs. Should they be on any niche? It would be better that these blogs are from niches related to yours. On top of that, you should make sure that 2 of them are exactly from your niche. This is an excellent method to get exposed and show your audience your expertise.

Action Step: Once you have identified these blogs, analyze them carefully to get to see what they are talking about and what their audience wants. Once you have an idea on what would work on these blogs, you can brainstorm 10 titles and end your work for the day. Start the next day full of energy and write 500 words about your top favorite titles from the list you created.

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3. Offer classes and demonstrations

When you want to get people interested in your exploits, the best way to do it is to show them they can follow in your creative footsteps. Create a weekly or monthly drop-in session at your studio and do as many demos in the city center as you can.

Action Step: When you developed your creative business, you know what needs of your target audience you are going to satisfy with your services. Thus, you can start promoting yourself by observing what is missing from the local offer in your area. You may then create flyers presenting your creative services, launch a digital ad campaign, send out emails etc.

4. Enter competitions that showcase your skills

Promoting your business isn’t just about teaching beginners — sometimes you’re going to want to show off your skills to the experts! If you enter a competition every couple of months, it’ll get you to fall in love with your art form all over again. Reminding yourself why you started out in the first place is the best way to ensure that any stress you experience from all your new orders doesn’t get the better of you.

Action Step: Surf the web to find information about online challenges, international contests, and national competitions. Participate in one or two competitions, which attract you the most. Also, make a point of publicizing your submissions in the local press, your shop window, and online. It’s the best advertising you’ll ever get!

5. Join a local meet-up or group for small businesses

If you want to promote your business, you’re going to need to start networking. It might sound like a dive into the world of corporate meetings and video conferencing, but it really doesn’t have to be like that!

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It’s all about getting out there and introducing yourself to other local businesses. The chances are they will need your services at some point, or they’ll be able to send a few new clients your way. If you return the favor, you’ll quickly be able to build a connection and branch out. Sounds like just what you need!

Action Step: Once you have identified local businesses you want to cooperate with, you should contact their owners. You can reach them out via email, social networking sites, or by phone. In the digital age, you need just a few minutes to find contact details of local businesses online.

6. Maintain your social networks

Kickstarting your social media doesn’t have to be all that complicated. You just need to start posting relevant content that reflects who you are. Simple right?

Okay, so there is a little bit more to it than that, but not much more! It’s all about letting your personality shine through, and not being afraid to be different. By all means, look for inspiration online, but create your own message templates and clouds of hashtags. That way you’ll stand out from the crowd and catch the eye.

Action Step: Schedule your posts using programs like Buffer and HootSuite. Once you get up and running, start targeting relevant hashtags, find a filter style that connects with your brand. Follow influencers in your niche to learn how to write engaging captions and create catchy posts.

7. Overhaul your online portfolio to put your skills in the spotlight

You need to have a portfolio if you want to show the world what you can do, it’s as simple as that! Go back through your DropBox and pick out your 10 most recent projects. Think about how you can display each of them in a visually appealing way that will intrigue the reader. If you need more inspiration, browse your competition and see how they are attracting their audience. Once you have decided which are the best projects which talk about your skills and what your business can do for your target audience, you have two options. 

Action Step: You can either print them out and offer them to your potential clients. On the other hand, you can display them online in a portfolio and promote it via email. Either way you do it, it is very important to start today and use all your creativity to stand out from the competition.

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8. Form strategic partnerships

As you connect with more and more businesses in the local community, there will be natural opportunities to create partnerships. If you find someone who can benefit your business as much as you can benefit theirs, then you’re really onto something. Agree your terms, be open and honest about what you can and can’t do, and they’ll be sure to do the same. Keep an open mind, and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that present themselves when you’re least expecting it. 

Action Step: Analyze the needs of your prospective partner. Craft your value proposition – clearly state what you can offer to satisfy your partner’s needs. Set the requirement – explain what you expect to get from your partner.

 9. Ask for testimonials

Asking for reviews and testimonials is a great way to get your name out there, and it’s not something that you should be afraid of doing. Some people will always leave a review, some people never will, and there are a lot of people in the middle. It’s this middle group that you want to target, and often all it takes is a gentle little nudge to get them to share their amazing experience with the world.

Don’t message people over and over again because all that will do is get you a reputation as a spammer. Be polite and friendly, and let your personality shine through. If you do that, it will make a bigger difference than you think. You’ve already done the hard work, so why not turn your customers into an incredible marketing team?

Action Step: If your customers don’t like to write reviews, try to motivate them. For instance, you may offer them to give feedback and receive 10% off their next purchase.

10. Turn your shop window into your business card

In the age of online shopping, there’s still a lot to be said for a stunning shop window. If you have physical premises, then make sure it acts like your business card night and day. Dress the window with your creative exploits so that the whole local community knows who you are, and what you have to offer.

Start by standing across the street and seeing if your business stands out. Next, make your display minimalist and intriguing so that it has that wow factor you need. And lastly, make sure your phone number and email address are clearly visible. That way people can contact you whenever they want. That’s how you turn your shop window into a business card!

Action Step: Decorate your shop window for holidays to help your community to get into the holiday spirit. It will allow you to attract more visitors and boost your sales. Keep your window shop design up to date. Replace decorative elements every six months to grab the attention of locals.


Author: Kristin Savage


Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She is practicing regularly while reviewing new translation services at Pick Writers and constantly contributing to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Easy Tweaks to Make Your Content Upgrade Stand Out!

Diana TrinhComment
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One of the most valuable tools that I use to grow my business and email list are content upgrades. By utilizing content upgrades, I’ve been able to grow my list to almost 5K subscribers and have been able to book clients using my email list. Content upgrades can work in almost any niche, they’re valuable to your readers and most of all, will keep readers coming back!

What are content upgrades and how can they help you gain more traffic, increase your sales and build a loyal email list? Content upgrades are post specific and is normally something that you offer your readers in exchange for an email.

Great content upgrades are the next logical step for your audience, ex. If you write a post on how to check a home for any problems before purchasing, a content upgrade would be providing them with a specific checklist that they can use. The content upgrade is logical, makes sense, and valuable!

There are many types of content upgrades that you can use:

  1. Training video

  2. Infographics

  3. Ebooks

  4. Printables

  5. Challenges

  6. Transcripts

  7. Cheatsheets

The possibilities are endless! Content upgrades can be anything that will resonate with your audience and help them achieve something- it’s anything that can be valuable.

Here are some things to consider when creating your content upgrade:

  1. Your content upgrade has to MAKE SENSE to the reader

If I read an article about meal prepping and at the bottom of the post, there’s an opt-in to get your ebook on “10 ways to be a better blogger” I wouldn’t opt in. Why would I? I’m here to learn about meal prepping, I’m not interested in learning how to be a better blogger. Before creating your content upgrade, think about the next steps that your reader would take to achieve their goal. Let’s say they’re learning how to use social media to gain traffic, they would first read your blog post, then what?

Make it easy for your reader to achieve their goals or get to where they want to be:

Step 1: They read your blog post, “Social Media 101”

Step 2: They see your content upgrade: “Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheets” or “Social Media Content Calendar Template”

Step 3: They opt-in to receive your template or cheatsheet.

From there, you’ll know that they are interested in social media strategy and can properly market your services to them, whether it’s an advanced template, social media course, or even social media design services.

Action steps:

  1. Think about what the next step the reader can take to put your blog post into action

  2. Would a checklist help them? Or, if your blog post is more techy, can you offer them a recorded tutorial instead?

Example: heleneinbetween has a blog post titled, “ HOW AND WHY TO CREATE FOUNDATIONAL CONTENT (GROW YOUR BLOG SERIES)” and offers a 7 page workbook that shows readers how to create their own content.

2. Make downloading the content upgrade easy and obvious. 

Ah, I made this mistake when I created my first content upgrade ever. My content upgrade had all the right things going for it, I made sure that it was on topic, had a wonderful checklist created, and made sure to promote the blog post. The blog post got over 1,000 shares and is one of my most popular blog posts to date, but yet I only had 2 subscribers.

So, what happened? I didn’t design the graphic with my audience in mind.

my old post)

my old post)

This was my old graphic, it just said, “Download the guide” I thought it was pretty straightforward and my readers would simply know to click on the graphic and grab the freebie… WRONG.

Some of my readers were brand new bloggers who weren’t techy and didn’t realize that the one graphic I posted was a clickable link. They saw the image, but never clicked on it. When designing your content upgrade, make sure to include words like, “click here to download” or “download here!”

 

Your content has to stand out! A great way is to make sure it contrasts with the page, or has a great looking CTA (Call To Action) Button!

This opt-in by Megan Minns is the perfect example of how contrast plays a major role in grabbing a reader’s attention.

Here’s another great example from one of the biggest bloggers out there (and one of my favorites!) Melyssa Griffin. See how her graphics has a great CTA and let’s her readers know that they can click on the image to download her 30 Days to 100 Subs Roadmap!

Here’s a last example of a wonderfully designed opt-in by Sarah from Wonderland.

3. Give your readers more than one way to opt-in:

Another important thing to remember is that you need to share your content upgrade in different ways. This means that you should include a graphic, and also include some text links as well. Once I began to add in text links AND a graphic to my blog post, I had a huge increase in email subscribers!

Remember, the easier you make it for your reader to get what they need/want, the better. You don’t want them to have to spend more than a few seconds to find your opt-in or

4. Remind them throughout the blog post

You can add the different text links and graphics throughout your blog post, but do not make it cluttered. You have to strategically place them in a way that makes sense and makes the user want to click. I normally like to have one main graphic but you can definitely be a bit more generous with your text links as they don’t take too much space and can be scattered throughout the blog post.

        Best place to put the content upgrades would be at the very top, the middle and the very bottom. I like to start off my blog post by saying something like, PSSST, download the worksheet HERE so you can fill it out as you read the blog post.

Towards the end of the blog post is when you can go all out (in a tasteful way, of course!). I like to put the graphic at the end and say, “Loved this post? Download the free guide here!” If someone has taken the time to read the WHOLE blog post, then most of the time they will opt-in.  

 

 

Love these two different designs from Regina that advertise her Business Lock-In, she offers two different ways to opt-in. One of them being a text link and the other is an eye catching graphic on her sidebar.

Different examples of content upgrades for different niches:

-> Food Blogger: Maybe you’ve written about how important it is to use a grocery shopping list while shopping so that shoppers can save money and stay focused. Why not offer a content upgrade of food shopping list?

-> Health Blogger: Maybe you’ve written a post on the importance of meal prepping and the benefits of it. You can include a content upgrade on a meal prep worksheet or even an infographic.

-> Entrepreneur: Your number one post is, “How to set up a social media strategy that will gain you tons of followers in 5 days”. Add in a content upgrade of a template or something editable that your audience can use.

-> Real Estate: Let’s say you wrote about the importance of checking your potential house thoroughly to make sure that everything works fine. Include a checklist of the most important things they should check, people are then able to print it out and bring it along upon their house inspection.

See, the possibilities are endless!

How To Use Content on Different Social Channels

Social MediaLynn MayolaComment

Social media is great for establishing your brand and getting in front of more people but let’s be honest, it can be a lot to manage. There seems to be a new feature, algorithm change or platform appearing every day. How do we keep up? When you’re running an online business or blog you have to worry about emails, deadlines, branding, products, services, ads, the law, creating content and then marketing that content to make sure it’s seen, it can be exhausting.

People often say you can't use the same content for different social channels. False you can, you just can't use carbon copies it's important customize the content to the platform but that doesn't mean creating 4 or 5 totally different social media posts. Understanding the different social media channels is key in creating the perfect content for that platform.

Twitter

Twitter is all about capturing a viewer's attention as quickly as possible and with a limited amount of time. This means your tweets have to be clear, engaging and specific.

Optimized Graphics

Tweets with graphics have a much higher engagement rate than tweets without pictures so it is always a best practice to use a image in your tweets. Not only do pictures make tweets more visible but they can allow you more text. Because of the 140 character limit twitter has you might feel limited on what you can say, creating the perfect witty and engaging copy will still giving readers a clear call to action can be tricky. Using graphics that have the name of your post title or ask a question to the reader can save up space in your text while still painting a clear picture.

I create my images in Canva, for Twitter I go with two different size options to make sure the full graphic is seen and none of the text is cut off. 1024px X 512px or 800px X 800px are the options I tend to select depending on the purpose of the post.

Shorten Links

When twitter announced that it had officially stopped counting photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets as part of your 140 character limit, we all rejoiced but there has been very little news of twitter giving us free space of links. If you use a program like Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social or another social media scheduler then it may automatically shorten links for you but if not use a link shortener like bit.ly. Not only does this keep you under your limit but if we are being  totally honest, it just looks better.

Get Your Hashtag On

Even if you have killer graphics and shortened links you still are only going to seen by those who follow you or those who follow anyone who retweets you. Adding hashtags to tweets is a great way to extend your reach. Use relevant hashtags to help you reach the right people, if your post is about search engine optimization tips don’t use the hashtag #EmailTips. Remember not to over do it, hashtags do count against your character limits and you don’t want to waste any space or confuse your audience.

See the following example:

Adding hashtags to post

Facebook

Facebook is both an amazing thing and unpredictable thing in the blogging world. If you can get in front of your audience you can get great engagement but that’s a big if. If you have a smaller following and aren’t in a position to purchase ads you might be relying on a measly 2% of your followers seeing your posts. If you have 200 Facebook page likes and only 4 of those people see your post you want to make sure it’s engaging, clear and share worthy!

Graphics

Just like on Twitter, graphics are key for getting people’s attention on Facebook. When setting up your image for Facebook in Canva use the 800px x 800px or 940px x 788px option. Try to center text on images in case any part of the image is cut off.

Lead the Way

When it often comes to social media you have to tell people what to do. While we all hate click- bait, we can all agree we like rewards. “Click the link to read the post and get my tips for growing your brand with twitter.” Just putting a link and telling people what it is about isn’t enough. Take it a step further and tell them what you want.

Customize Post Descriptions

When you upload a blog post link onto Facebook you are able to edit the information that automatically generates. You can keep the headline the same but try to sum up the topic of the post that makes the reader want to learn more.

 

Remember Their Short Attention Span

Grab em early! While your graphic might get them to stop scrolling long enough to examine your social media post, your words are what will make them click the link. Make it intriguing but not super gimmicky.

Leave Them Wanting More

If your post can allure that whatever you are linking to will provide value or some sort of reward to the reader’s life then you are right on track. Don’t exaggerate with text like, “Never have a hangover again! Read this: (link)” if you are just going to tell them, “Stop drinking.” That my friend is called, the bait and switch. Consider thinking of the topic of your blog post and then think of the opposite side of it. Is your post about the dangers of a certain diet, you could say, “Fad diets can have dangerous results. Here are 5 simple things you can implement into your life to lose weight in a healthier way. And they don’t involve starving.”

Check out this example from Melyssa Griffin:

 

 

Instagram

Eye Catching Photos

Instagram is all about the visual, really it is, but it’s important to make sure that your images are good ones. If you are promoting a post, the image needs to be so good that it makes people stop and look. For Instagram the 800px x 800px is a great fit. You have two options when it comes your Instagram post, sharing a plain photo or a photo with text. Just make sure to use a clear photo.

Hashtags Are a Bloggers Best Friend

Hashtags are so important for expanding your reach. When sharing your post only include one or two hashtags in the original post and then comment your other hashtags under it. Remember to only use relevant hashtags don’t use #allthingspumpkin if your blog is about yoga and you don’t mention anything pumpkin.

 

Use Your Words

Because Instagram doesn’t allow you to share links in posts, interested users have to take an extra step to check out your blog post. Write text that inspires them to go to your profile and go check out your blog. Also tell them that’s what they need to do, then make sure you have the right link in your profile. I recommend having your Instagram Bio link go to your home page assuming that your newest post is featured or at the top of the home page, to make things easier on the reader.

Pinterest

The Really Pretty Search Engine

Pinterest is one of the best ways to get new people on your blog. Pinterest is considered a social media site but it also functions as a search engine. There is a lot of information on Pinterest so if you want to be successful you really have to stand out.

Be There Vertical or Be Square

It has been said a thousand times, you should be using vertical images on Pinterest. They convert higher and frankly, look better on the Pinterest feed.

Write It Out

Remember what I said about Pinterest being a search engine? The same way you optimize your blog posts for Search Engine Optimization using keywords, you should be using them on Pinterest.

Let Your Graphic Tell Them More

While Pinterest is a image results based search engine, having text on your graphic will engage more people. A lot of people just repin images of things they find “pretty,” by adding text you are declaring, “Wait, there is more than just a picture here.” So go ahead and include some engaging text.

 

So let’s recap.

You don’t need to create a totally different graphic for each social media post to share the same blog post. The trick is understanding how each platform gets engagement and making small edits. For each blog post I only make 2 images for social media.

Typically a square one for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and a vertical one for Pinterest.

For Twitter: Remember to use your graphic to get more words in.

Facebook: Utilize the customizeable edits to the post alluring and use a image that grasps the reader’s attentions.

Instagram: It’s all about the Call to Action to get them to your bio page and pretty pictures.

Pinterest: Treat it like a search engine, optimize your posts and use vertical images.

Now go rock it!

Guest Post by : Dia Darling

 

Dia Darling is a SEO Search Specialist by day and balance blogger and time management strategist by night. Here focus is helping millennials figure out their priorities and create a schedule that works with them. You can find her tips on blogging, goal setting and time management at AllTheThingsIDo.com  

 

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