18 Reasons Why They Leave Your Site In Under 10 Seconds

3 06 2011

Have you ever entered a site and you can’t hit the back button fast enough? Something about the page is an instant turnoff, and you back out or get out of the browser window as fast as possible.

I did that this morning when I entered a new page from an email I received. And it got me to thinking about all the reasons a site doesn’t work. And by understanding what doesn’t work, you can reassess your own site, and determine what you can do to make it work – to make it more attractive to the people that are coming there for the very first time.

1. Autosound. This is what got me this morning. I entered a page and started looking around, and a voice started to talk with music in the background. The only problem was I couldn’t find where it was coming from – no audio or video button was noticeable on the page, so I had no way of turning it off. I backed out of the page as fast as I could. I work from a home office, so sound doesn’t really matter. But imagine if I would have been in a busy office. That sound – whether its voice of music – would have made me hit “delete” even faster.

2. Popups. Popups are a dying breed, but they are still around and visible on some sites. I don’t mind an occasional popup asking me to sign up for a free report – once. What really bugs me (and a lot of other people too) is when the popup appears again and again, every time I click to a new page. I get it – you want me to sign up. But that’s not a way to motivate me to the next step.

3. Slow load times. Everyone online has what I call online-ADD. If something doesn’t happen FAST, we move away. We won’t wait 15 seconds for a photograph to load – it’s either there now or I move on. If you load more than thumbnails, or have a slow server, you risk losing your best customers.

4. No purpose.
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10 Ways To Use Flickr To Market Your Photography Business

10 10 2010

1. Go Pro. If you haven’t set up a pro account, just do it. At just $24.95 per year, its one of the most economical ways of creating your portfolio online. With a Pro account, you get unlimited photo uploads at up to 20 MB per photo, unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, statistics and the ability to post to up to 60 group pools.

2. Convert to a vanity URL that matches your business. From your profile, you have the ability to edit the URL that will take people to your Flickr stream. While you may have started with something simple like “Joe’s Photo Stream”, remember this is always about your business.  Flickr.com/VirtualPhotographyStudio is a lot easier to share and sounds more professional than Flickr.com/JoesPics.

3. Thumbnails matter too. Every set or collection you create is represented by a thumbnail. Your thumbnail is the first introduction people have to your photography – make sure its engaging and has the inspiration to make someone want to click. Remember you also have the ability to select which image will be the cover of your set or collection. Don’t go with the first one loaded – be selective and choose the one that will showcase your work the best.

4. Tagging is important. For many photographers, tagging is an afterthought. But tagging is the one thing that can help you market better than your competition – if you know how to do it right. Start by tagging based on the image itself – location, description, content, people in the photos, etc. Then spend some time finding out what people are searching for, and tag using those terms as well. If you haven’t spent some time using the Flickr search function, spend some time searching yourself to learn the ins and outs of the system.

flickr search

5. Join groups. Flickr is an amazing social site if you use it right. Just like Facebook, you can build your own profile, join groups, and share with friends on a regular basis. Make sure you’re logging into your Flickr account just as often as Facebook or Twitter. The more you share, the more you’ll gain.

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7 Wealth Strategies For Photographers

1 07 2010

I talk a lot about starting and growing a photography business because I know that’s where the bulk of people reading this blog are. But what about when you achieve success? What happens when you have your first six figure year? How do you truly achieve wealth as a photographer? Take a look at these 7 steps – and use them as a guideline as you grow your business from wherever you currently are.

1. Change the structure of your business. Many photography studios are sole proprietors simply out of ease. But when you reach a certain level of business, it may make more sense to change the structure. Corporations and limited liability companies give you added protection and added benefits – check with your accountant and/or lawyer for advice.

2. Make sure you are covered by insurance policies. Do you have adequate business insurance to cover you in case of a lawsuit? Are you covered from long term liability in case you are injured? The more successful you are, the more you need to make sure you are covered from life’s unexpected moments.

3. Increasing your structure. As a single photographer, there are only two ways for you to increase your profits: add more staff to help you bring in more clients, or charge more for every client. Only you can decide what’s the best method for growth.

4. Plan for a rainy day. The one thing that sets more small business owners back is not planning for the future. Instead of spending your profits on new equipment, or taking it in the form of a paycheck, consider saving a portion every month as well. Think of long term growth, and save for big ticket items down the road.

5. Diversify. When we were earning a healthy six figure income from 25 weddings a year, we didn’t stop there. We began opening up other business ventures. We started a book publishing company and produced a couple of books. We started a marketing firm to help small business owners with their marketing. And we made personal investments along the way. The phrase “don’t put your eggs in one basket” rings true.

6. Create a family plan
. Depending on where you are in life, your goals change. A newly married couple has hopes of family, roots and stability. A couple with children in college may decide to spread out and enjoy new options, such as traveling. While it may be hard to look far into the future, plan along the way. If you have a two year old, what would you like them to see before they turn 12? How about the age of 22? Set your goals accordingly.

7. Grow your list of advisors. Being wealthy isn’t about doing things alone – its about getting the best advice from people you can trust. If you don’t have an accountant, find one. No lawyer? Get one. A marketing expert? A necessity. The more you can rely on to do their job, the better you can be at yours.

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How To Use Facebook To Promote Your Photography Business

5 05 2010

Let me ask you a question. Are you using Facebook for your business?

If you are like most people I speak with, you would answer like this:

“I have a profile and I have around 50 friends, mostly personal friends.”

or

“I’ve set up a page for my business, but I really don’t know what to do with it.”

Facebook only starts to work for your business if you commit to using it for business, and work to grow it. Correctly. Because of Facebook’s strong Terms and Policies, making sure you do things the right with is hugely important. The last thing you want is to build up a big following, and be shut down because you aren’t using it correctly.

facebooklogo

First, learn the difference between Facebook’s three tools: Profiles, Pages and Groups.

Facebook Profiles
When you first sign up with Facebook, you’ll start with a profile. Your profile is all about you; not your business, your product, or your service. Your profile is created by using your real first and last name. Then you fill your profile with your personal information. Add as much or as little as you like. But remember your profile is your window to the world. If someone is deciding on whether to do business with you, this helps break the ice and gives the opportunity to find something in common.

Facebook Page
A Facebook Page, also called a Fan Page, is for businesses, brands, organizations, or celebrity/public figure. Your page is all about business, and is the one place you can actively promote what Read the rest of this entry »





Photography Marketing With A Purpose

1 10 2008

postcard

Every month we receive a postcard from a photographer. It’s a simple card, with a new image on the back, his contact information and a quote on the front – and that’s about it.

How did we get on his list? I’m not sure.

What is he selling? I’m not sure.

His postcards are beautiful, and he is a great photographer. But in all the months I’ve received his information, not once has he told me what he’s selling.

Is he a commercial photographer? Is he looking for portrait work?

With any marketing campaign, there are a number of steps to ensure your success.

1. Create a ways of marketing and stick Read the rest of this entry »





25 Ways To Generate Leads For Your Photography Business Today

11 02 2008

1. Submit your stock images to one of the many online stock agencies such as IStockPhoto. Stock companies allow you to build a bio page, and list links to other sites and information. Use this to selectively promote yourself to people that enjoy your work.

2. Send a press release to your local paper submitting a story idea. Newspapers, television, and radio shows are always on the lookout for a good storyline. Provide them with a story that’s relevant to the season, and makes for good news.

3. Visit a local networking group and offer to photograph the group for the website. Many of today’s networking groups have a website to promote their services. Adding photographs provide a personal touch, and will allow you to capture attention as a photographer.

4. Send out letters to your past clients with a new promotion. Your best client is a past client. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

5. Visit a local chamber of commerce and sign up for the next networking group. Your chamber of commerce offers a variety of groups for you to network with. Choose a few groups and visit them to make a handful of new connections. For the remaining article…click photography business

Helping your photography business, how to start a digital wedding photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.





Promote your wedding photography with postcards

10 02 2008

Postcards are one of the most successful campaigns a photography studio can do. Easy to setup, inexpensive to print and yes, less expensive to mail than a first class letter. Promote your latest baby contest or show off the last wedding, remember that this is a cheap way to show off your photography skills and services. Market you photography business with postcardsMarket you photography business with postcardsVirtual Photography Studio has always been about sharing ideas and services to make running your photography business easy and efficient. With postcards campaigns, the trend continues. We have produced an easy way to get started using postcards. We have pre-made templates that you simply insert your images from the latest portrait or wedding in Photoshop and you are done. You can even adjust the colors in all of the templates that we provided to suit your needs. We even have pre-written text to start you on the copy for your photography postcard campaign.

Our photography postcard campaigns have an easy to follow tutorial that will show you how to use the templates. From adding your images to adjusting color, we cover it all. There are many templates to download and they are all free. Yes, that is correct, the postcard templates are free of charge. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Helping your photography business, how to start a photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.