Category Archives: Running a Photography Business

Help Creating Content for Your Business or Blog

Mike Turner Photography: content creation
Mike Turner Photography: content creation

Why is content important?

Being listed on search results

Content is king, or so the saying goes. But in the current internet landscape, content marketing is the BUZZWORD. The way search engines are configured today is designed to boost websites with highly valuable content. Content that is high quality, highly targeted, relevant, engaging and useful. That means the if you want to get your website listed at the top of Google search, you’re going to have to put in the effort of creating content.

Adding value

By providing value via relevant help, advice, information and background knowledge for your prospective customers and website visitors, you are allowing them to get to know more about you, your competency and expertise as well as giving them an opportunity to get to know, like and trust you.

You will be able to interact with your audience, ask them questions about their wants and needs, give them the opportunity to ask you for information, and advice, and build up a relationship with them. Doing so builds trust (transparent and authentic), allows you to prove you know what you’re talking about by demonstrating your competency and expertise. Don’t pretend to be some kind of guru if you’re not, be honest and open with them at all times. It also allows you to know what your customers want and expect from you, remember valuable content answers reader’s questions and is unique to you.

If you’re going to sell anything you have to be known, liked and trusted and creating content is one of the most effective ways to do this over the long term. However you’re not going to see results overnight. It’s a long term strategy that goes on in the background of your overall marketing strategy.

A helping hand from us

Some businesses and bloggers have difficulty producing content particularly, photography and video, but If you’re interested in using our facilities and equipment for your photography, video content creation, get in touch to discuss. We can provide somewhere for you to come and get creative, away from the distractions of your daily environment. We hire the studio out hourly, half and full days to clients.

Types of content

Figure out what’s the best medium to tell your stories on, either video, audio (podcasts), written (blog), graphics, or photography (Instagram). Here are some ideas for content..

List pages

  • Check lists
  • Resource lists
  • Lists of lists
  • News lists
  • Demonstration
  • Series

Infographics

  • How-to guides
  • Researched statistics
  • Timelines
  • Did you know
  • Flow charts

Whitepapers

  • Research
  • Trends
  • Topical guides
  • Beginner overviews
  • Downloadable guides

Live Blogging

  • Event coverage
  • Covering fast changing situations
  • Live Q&A’s

Round  ups

  • News round-ups
  • From around the web
  • Summing up events

Q&A’s

  • Q&A for interviews
  • Q&A FAQ
  • Informal Q&A

Opinion pieces

  • Controversial posts
  • High level breakdown
  • Forecasting trends
  • Deep dive
  • New angle

Interviews

  • Industry leaders
  • Innovative companies
  • Topical expert

Content formats

  • How to’s
  • Content curation
  • Case studies
  • Charts/graphs
  • Ebooks
  • Email Newsletters/Autoresponders
  • Cartoons/illustrations
  • Book Summaries
  • Tool Reviews
  • Giveaways
  • FAQ’s
  • Q&A session
  • Webinar
  • Guides
  • Dictionary
  • “Day in the life of” Post
  • Infographics
  • Interview
  • Lists
  • Mind Maps
  • Meme
  • Online Game
  • Helpful Application/Tool
  • Opinion Post
  • White Papers
  • Vlog
  • Videos – screencasts, talking heads, illustrations, graphics, film roll
  • Podcasts
  • Templates
  • Surveys
  • Slideshares
  • Resources
  • Quotes
  • Polls
  • Podcasts
  • Pinboards
  • Photo Collage
  • Original Research
  • Press releases
  • Photos
  • Predictions
  • User Generated Content
  • Company News
  • Announcements
  • Timelines

Making content interesting

Whatever medium you decide to use, and you shouldn’t just stick to one, make your content interesting, something you are passionate about, excited to learn more about (this is a must for longevity). If it’s not interesting it’s because it’s …

  • The wrong topic,
  • The wrong medium,
  • Pitching to the wrong audience,
  • Or all of the above

Make your content:

  • Informative
  • Inspirational
  • Interactive

Content should be made up of a combination of:

  • Opinion
  • Expertise
  • Information
  • Insight
  • Access
  • Passion

6 tips for content marketing

  • Fulfil a need
  • Consistency
  • Talk like a human being
  • Cannot be vanilla – take a point of view
  • Your goal – to be the best in your niche

More tips

  • Your content is your sales person but the close should happen all by itself
  • Story ideas – get as many as possible to make them interesting
  • 10 different pieces of content form one story via each of your marketing channels, Planning upfront will make it easier

How to know if your content is hitting the mark?

The best way to check how effective your content is, is by measuring engagement, such as the number of comments on your articles (if you allow comments), the number of emails asking questions, how many times your content is shared, and how long people stay on your site.

Ask people to comment on posts. Encourage comments by asking questions or asking for further comment, the original article should be considered the start of a discussion

Personally reply to comments and emails to encourage interaction and discussion, and try to respond to everyone

Put link on Facebook saying ‘ check out how many comments my latest post has got, great discussion going on here’

Illicit feedback open loops at the end of blogposts, and include surveys

Create – unique content of your own

Provide unique material about a topic, niche, industry, that isn’t being provided anywhere else. Write good content to build relationships and tell a story and make it unique. People like stories. Give it your voice, your perspective, using video, podcasts, infographics, photography and the written word.

Be different to your competitors, use your USP. Be personable, transparent, share the wealth of personal experience, and provide it in a convenient medium, such as a podcast for people on the go.

It’s okay to be controversial – give it your viewpoint and don’t be scared to express your unique opinion, as long as you don’t come over to the audience as a jerk. If you highlight a problem, provide a constructive alternative.

Document – your journey

When writing content put yourself in the shoes of someone just behind you and write what you have just learned

Chart your own progress

  • Your journey to build your business – moving your business online
  • Your progress in a new job
  • Learning a new skill – learning SEO, PPC
  • Put sale techniques into practice
  • Sell something different every day testing your sales skills
  • Be as YOU as you can be, and be unapologetic about it

Facilitate

Provide access, curate, provide insight about current niche trends

  • Current trends/techniques within your niche or industry
  • Software trends, that are relevant to your niche
  • Explore the topic more freely and in-depth
  • Content curation and content aggregation, where you filter good quality content for your readers, this adds value for them and saves them having to troll through low quality content
  • Do interviews with influential people in your field
  • See what others in your niche are doing, and make a decided effort to do something different
  • Write for your peers so that your content will be shared, talk about your struggles and solutions

Cover local issues

  • Real estate – local amenities, history of area – reasons why it’s good living here
  • Local relevant events

Getting creative – coming up with ideas

Write your ideas down when you have them, good ideas often come when you least expect them, so be prepared.

Find a balance between what you are interested in and what can make money. Take inventory of your personal goals and see where that overlaps commercial potential

Check PPC and popular searches to workout the latest article topics, also look at industry specific magazines, books, Facebook groups, discussing boards and see what are HOT topics.

Looking after your audience

Treat your audience as customers, make sure you provide value to them, and look after them. Don’t do it with the express goal of making them into customers, trust that doing the right thing will have positive consequences later down the line.

  •  Always reply to comments or messages
  • Say thanks
  • Use names and tag people
  • Share things – if you come across something you like share it
  • Make navigation around the site easy for your audience, people have little patience to stick around a difficult-to-navigate website
  • Decrease page load times w3 total cache and CDN content delivery network
  • Get rid of annoyances on site such as pop-ups and distracting ads
  • Surprise audience – give something for free
  • Include transcript with podcasts or video speechpad.com
  • Use high quality audio and video
    • Heil PR40 microphone
    • DSLR camera
    • We provide studio and equipment hire, so drop me an email for more information 🙂
  • Invite participation – reader challenge, ask for opinion, calls to action – get people involved
  • Get personal – infuse your personality and life to get deeper connection
  • Provide unique content such as provide case studios, experiments, income reports etc
  • Proof read content before you post it (do as I say, not as I do).
  • Remember who you are and who you’re serving
  • Always over deliver

Summary

So there it is, content is so important for any business, big or small, in the modern day  internet. Start creating, and producing content that helps your audience get to know, like and trust you. Build relationships that start remotely and progress to lasting value exchanges. Build your Brand in your prospects mind, by engaging over and over with them. Without this interaction, you’re nothing but a commodity with no discernible value that can’t be taken from any of your competitors.

Drop me an email if you would like find out more information about our studio, equipment hire. Ideal for businesses, and bloggers alike. We have lighting, high quality DSLR camera equipment for photography and video, backgrounds and studio space. Ideal to fuel your creative juices. Please share this article with anyone you think will benefit from it.

Run a Facebook Competition and get more customers

run a facebook comp graphic

  • Encourage more likes for your Facebook page,
  • Increase your customer base,
  • Engage with your community,
  • Create buzz and chatter about your brand

All good reasons to host a photo competition on your Facebook page.

We can do all the integration for you, while you just sit back and reap the benefits. Drop me an email for further information. £60 for 2 week competition…you can’t go wrong.

I increased my page likes by over 100 within 48 hours, 300 overall, booked in 10 sessions from the competition. You can further boost your competition by promoting it using Facebook’s ‘Promote post’ paid service and aim it at your target market or/and use Google’s Adwords to boost traffic to your page. Both these methods involve investing a little bit more capital, but can significantly boost your competitions visibility. I have used both to get more eyeballs on the competition, which hopefully sells itself once people arrive at the page. You can promote either through a daily budget or lifetime (of the competition) budget, from as little as you like. We would be happy to advise you what has worked for us in this respect.

Our aim is to help photographers by providing solutions that equate to profit, that can be easily measured for ROI. We want to build long term relationships with other photographers for the mutual benefit of the industry. Please get in touch with me if you are interested.

Below are some pointers about what is important about running your own Facebook Competition.

facebook photography competition points graphic

Using WordPress for your Photography Business

I read somewhere that the WordPress platform now makes up almost 30% of active websites on the internet today. I used to think WordPress was all about blogging, but it seems to be used more and more for static websites these days. I have now made the transition over to WordPress completely for my own business, having used it for a few years to host my blog which was on the back end the site I designed myself, knowing a little bit about html

But the internet is evolving so quickly I thought that WordPress, which does 80% of things you need for a good website straight out of the box, would be worth having primarily because of the support it gets from coders that provide plugins for every conceivable thing you could need, most of which are free.

I also like the fact that it is so easy to add these plugin, usually a matter of a few clicks and away you go.

More and more people are accessing the internet using their mobile phones these days and having a site that is mobile friendly is now essential as far as I’m concerned, I hate visiting websites where you need to scroll from side to side as well as up and down. Having to zoom in to read the text can also be a pain. Whereas if it were mobile friendly the text would be readable and would fit the width of your screen automatically, your images would  also resize to fit the viewers screen. Many of the themes you can download   and use for your WordPress website are already mobile friendly, and if they’re not you can easily download a plugin which will make it so. This beats redirecting your visitors to a separate mobile version of your site, with the extra hassle and cost that that entails.

Talking about themes, the choices are endless with WordPress, you can search hundreds of free themes and paid-for themes. Most can be customised so that you can make it personalised to your brand, allowing you to change text colours, backgrounds, layouts (one column, two or three), add your logo and tag lines, drop in your text from a word processor, it’s so easy with the CMS (content Management System) meaning WordPress does all the coding for you.

ordpress screen grab image
image of wordpress CMS back end

You simply type in the text you want to use for your content, drop in images from your online library or upload from your computer. In short if you are not very technically minded, then a CMS based website is a must for you. Designers will charge you for a custom made one, WordPress is free, it won’t cost you a penny to get from the WordPress website.

There are many other reasons to use WordPress. It’s very SEO friendly, a couple of plugins I use are ‘All in one SEO pack’, and ‘XML sitemaps’, which allow you to simply add your SEO friendly Title, Description and Keywords to each page or post

SEO plugin view in wordpress
SEO plugin view in wordpress

Your Sitemap is automatically updated and notifies Google and Bing of the changes. Which saves you a lot of time from having to do it manually, assuming you know how to do it manually.

The framework and code is clean, meaning Google will find it easier to index your pages, and rank them higher, meaning people will find your site more easily in Google searches.

You can add genuine customer reviews to your site, again with the use of free plugins, you can add opt-in forms easily, Social media sharing buttons, Galleries, you can engage more with your audience via the comments on posts.

WordPress relatively easy to install, and WordPress gives you a step by step guide to doing it. I do offer an installation and hosting service if you decide you can’t be bothered doing it yourself. Which is £100 for the installation and £10 per month for hosting or £180 for the installation and one years hosting up-front, with nothing more to pay other than the next years hosting in twelve months time. If you have your own host, then it’s just £100 for the installation and I’d be happy to install the plugins I use as part of the deal. Just drop me an email to info@miketurnerphotos.co.uk

For further reading check out Nigel Merricks article 17 Reasons For The Photographer To Build A Website Using WordPress