So you just learned that building a beautiful website does absolutely nothing for your business if no one ever comes to your website! Now you are thinking of ideas to get some traffic... Of course, your best bet for quick traction is paid ads, but what if it's not in the budget just yet? The good news is that there is quite a bit you can accomplish for FREE!!!
Yep, its FREE!
Click here to get your Google business listing set up.
When you use Google to search and include a location in your search phrase, such as “Miami Wedding Photographer,” Google is now placing their Google Business listings BEFORE the organic listings on the result pages. These listings are free, which means you should get one asap!
Make sure you complete your profile and start getting reviews if you want to show up in the local listings. In addition, you should upload some photos as well, they often show up in the search results next to your listing. It’s the easiest way to increase your chances of being found on Google's first page when people are searching for a wedding photographer.
Social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others are a very useful tool in promoting your business. Despite the fact that both Facebook and Instagram artificially limit the percentage of your following that will see your message, these posts can become very effective if just one or two of your followers end up reposting your post.
In addition, potential couples may visit your page on Facebook or Instagram to check you out before they decide to contact you. Having a page that looks active and up to date can determine if they decide to contact you or not.
With this in mind, just remember that all these social media platforms can suck you in and before you know it, it has been 3 hours and you have watched 352 cat videos and participated in 12 different quizzes that tell you what kind of cheese would you be if you were a cheese.
This can be a huge time waster.... believe me, the struggle is real!
To avoid going to these platforms and wasting time, use a service like IFTTT or Zapier to automate your posts. You can post in one place and then have it automatically post that same stuff on other platforms. Consistency is key here!
One of the best ways to improve your ranking on Google is to let Google know that your website is still active. And the best way to show them you are active is to keep generating content. It also shows your customers that you are busy and your business is bustling.
When I visit a website of a small business and it looks like it has not been updated in a while, it makes me wonder if they are on top of their game. Will I be dealing with a business that is slow to respond? Is this business no longer in business?
Of course, the weddings you shoot are a great way to start blogging! Its excellent material and you already have it anyways. But don't just settle on placing a bunch of images on a page and calling it a blog post... Take the time to write some narrative, something the couples will enjoy reading.
In addition to blogging the weddings you shoot, you should blog content that would be helpful to your ideal couples. For example, if you are an elopement photographer, don't just write about weddings in general, write helpful content about elopements specifically. Better yet, write specifically about the topics that would be helpful to your brides.
Pro tip: Call your 3 past brides and ask them what was their biggest challenge while planning the wedding, then write blogs to help with those challenges.
Called all your brides and still out of ideas? Check out the site www.answerthepublic.com
The more I learn about email marketing, the more I realize that I should have started an email list right when I started my website. Don't just go buying a list from somebody, this only works well if the people joined your list out of their own choice because then they will be much more likely to actually open and read your emails.
What makes the email list so powerful is that the people on it are all warm leads, they all know who you are and they opted into your list, which means they want to hear from you (or at least they found something you had to offer valuable or else they would not have opted in)
Want to do a day of mini-sessions to boost income? Send out an email to your list, and even if your list is as tiny as 250-300 people, you will still most likely book the whole day.
You can use MailChimp for free to maintain a list that is quite large. At the time of this writing, according to MailChimp's website you could have as many as 2,000 people in your list and send as many as 12,000 emails per month with the free account.
Getting featured on the blog means that their following (or at least a portion of it) will get exposed to your brand. This is free advertising, which should be enough to want to take advantage of this opportunity.
However, that is not the only benefit to getting featured on a wedding blog! Normally, when they post your work, they will include a link to your website. These links are known as "backlinks" and they are very helpful in moving you up on Google's results page.
Well, it's always good to over-deliver on your promises, so here is one more for good luck :-)
Credit other vendors in your blog (with links) when you post a wedding, then call them and tell them that you have published a blog about them and would love to share the photos with them so that they can publish in their blog as well.
Explain to them how the fact that you are providing a link to their website on your website is helping their SEO (search engine optimization) and see if they would return the favor... almost always they are excited to reciprocate.