This is how
We didn’t have the World Wide Web, digital cameras and social media when I started my photography career. However, I did face the same big issue photographers still have today. How do I attract clients big enough to pay my bills. When I started in the photo industry, you set up meetings, sent out direct mail and networked your butt off. Today we play the game different and it’s helped me attract my biggest clients.
It’s amazing how many people tell me, in 2016, their customers don’t search online for what they do. For some reason they think their business is the only one people don’t use search engines to find. Yes they do.
It is common for me to hear from artists and business owners who don’t believe in the value of the Internet; because they have never received business from it. There is a reason for that; people can’t find their business online and they don’t try . Often, it’s as simple as people can’t find what they are looking for on the website.
Most of my largest clients come from a website that ranks well in the search engines. The strategy is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Each page is focused and offers information and images people look for when searching for a specific type of photographer or marketing. When someone is looking for a Detroit Photographer, my site ranks well. My SEO helps the search engines send the right visitors to the proper webpage. People looking for a Detroit photographer will see photographs of corporate people and Detroit personalities from a photographer located in Metro Detroit — not the ten other things I do.
I must concede that it takes a lot of work and all of my websites and pages are not as cool as some photographers. Yet, I have a portfolio that win clients. I’m always experimenting and trying new ideas. I test new concepts all the time. You need to do the same to stay on top.
Your opinion costs you money. What you think looks good doesn’t always convert into new business. Your favorite photograph is not necessarily the one that encourages prospects to contact you.
Speaking of contact, a good question to ask when you look at your website is can people contact you? Check every page. Is it easy to connect with you? If you think they will figure it out, your wrong. If it’s not obvious, they will leave within seconds.
Is SEO worth the effort?
I can directly attribute many thousands of dollars worth of new business to people finding me online in 2015. This does not include work from established clients and people who found me online in years past. In 2014, I earned my biggest account ever. A major ad agency hired me to photograph regularly for an international client and they still hire me today.
You might think that a large agency would have all the photographers they need at their door step. Such a company doesn’t need Google to find new talent, yet, they did. Big companies, small businesses, art directors, marketing directors, CEO’s and their assistants look online everyday to find the talent they need.
SEO is not dead. It is dead when people stop using Google. Until then, you need to make sure Google clearly knows what your website is about by using the best SEO practices and being active in the online world (social media).
How did you earn your biggest client?