What is the Big Six in Marketing?
As a photographer, you may find that no matter how talented your skillset in photography, finding clients (or getting them to find you) is getting more and more difficult with each passing year. The reason behind this is because photography is becoming increasingly more and more marketing-focused as the world embraces digital technology. In this post, I'll be covering the Big Six concepts and strategies in marketing that will get you more photography clients. I'll strip away all the "extra" bloated details, define them in a way that is relevant to you, and provide best practices for getting started with marketing in your photography company.
What is marketing?
Marketing just refers to a set of tools, strategies, and actions you can take to get your brand's website, promotions, portfolio, and content in front of people who are a good fit with your ideal client profile.
There are a million different ways to do this, and a million different resources you can use, but I'm here to break this down for photographers and what will actually help them succeed.
Why is marketing important?
Marketing is important to photographers because our industry is notorious for massive competition for a small number of clients. It doesn't take much to call yourself a "photographer" these days, and that solopreneur mindset means that "photographers near me" is a continually growing list of search results.
Understanding and utilizing marketing strategy in your business will help you get ahead of the flooded market because most photographers are missing these skillsets and technical knowledge. Even if you can master two or these concepts, you'll find that you can more easily identify your ideal customer, grab their attention, and get more contracts signed. You'll find that more and more people are visiting your website and social media accounts because you're more easily able to establish yourself as a thought leader in your region. I always say that photography follows that 80/20 rule perfectly; 80% of photographers don't know how to use marketing. Let's get you in that 20% so you can stand out.
The Big Six in Marketing
1. SEO. Stands for "Search Engine Optimization." This marketing world (and abbreviation) is thrown around a lot, and it encompasses a lot, but really boils down to how and what you program on your website to rank higher in Google search results.
There's a million ways to do it and a million more ways to make it really complicated.
2. Branding. If you've followed me for any length of time or gotten ahold of the Consultation Key, you're already in good understanding of branding.
Branding basically refers to how you use colors, words, and symbols to create a cohesive and strategic identity for your company/brand.
It also refers to being able to identify those perfect customers who need to see your brand!
3. Blog. As a verb or a noun, blogging just refers to creating written content or essays on your website. It's good for creating a good reputation as a thought leader in your specialty and can also boost SEO. It's also a great base for reusable content for social media and email. Photographers can do well to write about their experience each time they have a fun photo shoot, whenever they want to discuss a new photo product, or speak about something technical that sets their style apart from the rest of their competition. I highly recommend free blog templates at HubSpot.
4. Email. Email doesn't refer to your Gmail address here; in marketing it's used as a strategic tool using email marketing providers. You'll grow an email list of customers and people interested in your brand, and you'll send out strategic newsletters whenever you have a new photo product, a new shoot location, a new promotion, or you want to remind people to book their seasonal slot early. This is a great way to keep your brand in warm leads' (people who are already familiar with and like your brand) heads!
5. Social Media. Ah yes, we all know the power of social media. But did you know there's a whole host of tricks, tips, and pitfalls associated with it? Knowing more about social media marketing will get you ahead of the rest who are just posting without strategy in mind.
Additionally, each social platform has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these will help save you a ton of time and effort. I advise my photographers to choose one and do it well, rather than spreading out a half-hearted effort.
6. Promotions. Do you put pricing on your website? Do you know why or why not? Do you offer discounts and specials, and how do you do it? How can you use referrals to boost your income? And lastly, do you know how to tame the beast of Facebook ads?
Tips and Reminders for Marketing
You don't have to be an expert in all of these. Even delving into one or two can make a big difference to your business and income.
There's a lot of marketing noise out there. Be ready for it. If you choose to learn more, make sure you don't get overwhelmed with details. The Photog Marketing Academy has the noise already taken out just for you.
Remember, there are a million different ways to learn and implement marketing successfully. Try to learn the most efficient tactics to save you time and effort, because we all know that you'd rather be doing what you love- photography!
Remember that technical photography skills are only part of your brand. Your photography isn't going to get you new clients- your marketing of your photography will. I want to see photographers increase their visibility by choosing one or two (or all!) of these tools to increase your income and work this year.
Don't know where to start? Download my FREE Photographer's SEO Visibility Checklist for an easy head start.