Why You Need A Website or Blog – Don’t Screw This Up!

I wanted to share a simple outline of how a website/blog can help you receive potential clients and paying customers. Most photography businesses don’t utilize the tools that are currently available. The days of thumbing through the Yellow Pages are over and you now you need to be online so people can find you.

Most people (including myself) go straight to Google and search for a local business or service. The internet allows us to create an online space where we can direct people to view our work and see more information and have our website/blog be found in a Google search.

There’s more I’ll cover on that in future lessons, but right now you need to understand the importance of how this all works and how important to have a website/blog.

UPDATE: Since writing this blog post I created a video series that shows how to install and setup a website/blog.

Watch this short video were I outline a simple framework of how your website/blog should work.

What’s NEXT?

In the next video I’ll be showing how to create a website/blog in less than 10 minutes. I’ll be sharing resources I use for all my websites and blogs. So…don’t worry if you are technically challenged or have never set up a website/blog in the past. I’m going to create lessons to walk you through each and every step.

[box type=”info”] For those of you that prefer reading…see the transcript from the video below.[/box]

Transcript From Video Lesson

Well hey everyone! It’s Scott with New Portrait Biz and what I want to do today is kind of go through why you really do need a website or a blog in any business whether it’s photography business or gardening business, alright? A website nowadays is kind of like an extension of your business.

And, let’s face it, an online business could be only a website. But, if you have physical products or services like we do in the photography business, a website is a great place or a blog is a great place to have all of your products and services there, a lot of details about your business, you could have yourself on there as well.

There’s so many benefits to it and that’s probably one of the first things that I would do if I was to start up again fresh. The first thing I would do is get my business name and then number two I would go ahead and try to secure that domain name.

I will go into each step of this process in future videos as I move forward. But, I really just kind of wanted to outline the framework here for you and to show you kind of a mind map.

I want to show you exactly how this can benefit you and how this is going to be your central hub to your business in your portfolios and all of your information that you’re going to put on there. All your communications, everything should go back to your website or blog. And I call it a website or blog because really it’s a blog. I look at it as a blog and what I’m going to be showing you, in future videos, is how to actually to set this up.

But it looks like a website. It is a website. A website is basically static web pages, a blog you can actually comment on it’s actually a huge difference because we want to be able to comment just like Facebook and all of these other things. Because we want to show a social proof element and we’ll get into what that is and how this can help you in future videos as well.

So…let’s first talk about online traffic. A lot of people don’t think of online as a place where they’re going to get business. I know that Groupons and all that stuff is a big thing right now. But, honestly, they’re targeting local businesses, right? So, there’s a way that you can get in front of people that are in your local area by using online traffic, alright?

I just want you to see that there’s a ton of places here. Google is the biggest out there for search engines. But people think, how are people going to find me in Google? Well, there’s a lot of different ways. And one way is people are going to search for their local area for a photographer for instance.

So, if I was going to go look for a wedding photographer, I’m not just going to type in wedding photographer in Google. I’m going to type in wedding photographer in Albany, New York or in Rotterdam, New York or wherever your home town is or your city.

That’s what people are usually going to do, it’s normal. But there’s a ton of different ways to find out what people are searching for in your area and then you can target that and then create your blog around that keyword. Now, I’m kind of getting ahead of myself here but I just wanted to outline that Google is a huge source of traffic for local businesses.

Actually…the Yellow Pages are always trying to get businesses to provide local search traffic in Google.. It’s called SEO which is Search Engine Optimization. This is so you come up in the search results and you pay them a monthly fee to have them do this for you. I’m going to show you how you can do it yourself and you can stay there and not have to pay a monthly fee.

The first thing I’m going to talk about is Online Traffic and how you can tap into this thing called…the Internet :-)

Google Local Search

Google search is huge and something that we’re definitely going to be looking at. There’s also Yahoo, MSN and Bing. They’re the other 3 top dogs for search engines. Again, they have a lot of traffic, not as much as Google, but they have a ton of traffic and you’ll, again, be able to target your website or your blog so your photography business can come up in the search results when people are searching locally.

Youtube Local Search

YouTube local search, again, the same principle if you have a YouTube video that you put out on the internet. Now, a lot of people think YouTube video has to be you on camera…which it can be.

But, it doesn’t have to be and I’ll be discussing this more in future lessons, because I think you should have yourself or a behind the scenes tours of your photography business to share with your potential clients.

But, for this example, just taking a few minutes to do some keyword research and finding out what people are searching for in your area when looking for a photography studio. Then you create a video slideshow with that market in mind and with that keyword topic in mind, you can come up in the search engines, like Google, Yahoo and YouTube for this and it’s free traffic.

Pinterest

Pinterest, is the newest thing that’s huge right now and Google is giving them a ton of authority when they are ranking websites. So, that’s something else that you could direct people over to your blog from. Create a Pinterest account and post some of your pictures. If you label these using keywords that people are searching for…you’ll be found.

Facebook/Picture Tagging

Facebook is another great source of traffic. Picture Tagging, that’s something else I’ll go into. Just putting a picture on your website or blog and tagging it, basically adding a title to your images will help you get found. Let’s say that it’s a wedding picture, you might title it: WeddingPhotographyAlbany.Jpg, that is now searchable on the internet.

You always want to be thinking about this stuff when you’re adding these elements to your website/blog. You may not have a website or blog right now, or maybe you have one and it’s just totally not working for you or you don’t even know any of this stuff, it’s okay because I’m going to basically break it down step by step. I’m going to be posting lessons to show you exactly how this should all get put together and will work the best for you and your business.

So, these are just places that you can get traffic from just from posting on your website and blog, if done properly or just going to YouTube and Pinterest and all that stuff. But if you think about this as you’re posting…everything should have a purpose. Then you can start building out your website/blog, so this way you can get traffic from online sources without paying for it.

Offline Traffic Sources

Now, let’s move over to offline traffic. Word of mouth is obviously a great source of traffic, but what do I mean by that? Word of mouth means that people are going to say, “Hey, go over to XYZ photography business” here’s their website/blog. Then they’re going to come over to your website or blog and they’re going to see your work and services.

Remember, this is the first place that people are going to go when they find you. If people call you on the phone, the first thing you’re going to want to do is get them to go over to your website or blog because that’s going to show them your work and help sell you and your business so they book and appointment.

It’s going to show them your business and it’s the first impression that they’re going to see of you. So you really need to make sure that it’s polished and makes them say WOW!

You want to make sure you include all the information that they need, all of the questions are answered, and all of the picture ideas are there for them to see and get excited about. You can include resources, news that you have upcoming specials, all of this stuff can be there or them.

But…this all sounds good right? You just need to get them there first. Once you get them there, then the website or blog will take care of the rest and then they’ll have to call you or email you to schedule an appointment or they can enter their email address and then you can follow up with them that way. Again, I’m not going to get into all that in this lesson.

Business Cards and Watermarks

A few other ways to drive traffic to your website/blog is using business cards, watermarks on your pictures. If you watermark your pictures, I would use your URL (your website address), copyright 2012 or whatever year we’re in at the time that you’re reading this and then it would have your website and your business name obviously.

But this way here, every single picture that goes out, has your watermark on it. Another offline strategy is having your Car lettered. A lot of people don’t do this and should. You should Letter up the back of your car window. When you’re sitting at a traffic light, people are going to write down your name and website and then they’re going to go to your website.

Use Proofs As Advertising

If you’re giving out client proofs (which I think you should be), you can have a label or a watermark going across the back with your website and business information listed there.

These are several ways that you can get people over to your website/blog. But remember, we have to have a website or a blog and we need to have a domain name,(a web address) that’s going to be easy to remember.
And once we get people to visit our site, then we can get the leads and potential clients…Right?

And then the clients can start to spread the word here, they can hand out business cards, they can show people their proofs and then they’re going to come over to your website or blog and it’s just going to be a constant cycle that will continue.

But you have to get started by creating a website or blog and start letting people know about it.

So that’s it. That’s going to wrap it up. I just wanted to give you an overview of what we’re going to be covering in future lessons. But also, an overview of how this whole thing works and I hope it’s gotten you Excited! I hope you can see the power of using all of these techniques for your business and obviously creating a website or blog and how powerful it is.

UPDATE: Since writing this blog post I created a video series that shows how to install and setup a website/blog.

Do me a favor and leave me a comment below or if you have any question. I would love to hear from ya!

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