At one point or another in your business, you may feel like you’ve reached out to just about e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e you know… and that if you contact them again about photography, they are likely to be like, “enough already!” This is probably not really how it is, but our minds can certainly take our perspective there. So let’s talk about an easy way to expand your reach, get in front of new people, and develop new relationships along the way.
Step 1: Make a “My dream clients hang out ________” list
I want you to think really, really big here and be very specific at the same time. Think about blogs in your city/state that your clients may follow. Think about the press in your area – who is the reporter that covers the Lifestyle section of the newspaper? Are there parenting groups (we have several Moms groups in my area on Facebook). Think about businesses your dream client is likely a customer of. What other Facebook Pages do they follow?
These are excellent starting points to try to land a guest blogging spot, network through making friends & being helpful (groups), or start using Facebook’s robust targeting for Ads.
Step 2: Write a Meaningful Story or Educational Blog Post on Your Website
What does meaningful mean?
You first have to think about the type of client you want to work with for your next session. Think about WHY they would deem a session with you as a must-have. What moments or memories would make them absolutely melt over if they had them in their possession as printed art? Now, this blog post is NOT about selling. This blog post is about storytelling and painting a clear picture in their mind with a mix of your images + words.
You want them to be able to imagine the incredible emotions they will feel upon completing the experience with you. And obviously, you end it with a strong call to action that relates to the type of session you are looking to book — a link to learn more by downloading your client guide, a freebie you’ve created for them, to join a private FB group, etc. You do not need to have the freebie created today, but just something to think about once you’ve completed the blog post to move readers to your email list (where you can continue the connection).
So you want to draw in a maternity client?
Write about the maternity photos you wish you had highlighting some of your most memorable maternity moments. Your call to action could be something like: If you’re expecting and want to learn how to approach maternity pictures from a candid, storytelling approach, let’s have a free 20 minute brainstorm session about what your session could be like. If your interested, great. If not, no pressure. Click here to connect with me.
So you want a family with little ones?
Write about the how it wasn’t that long ago that your daughter said “hot cow” instead of holy cow. Write about all of the fleeting details and memories that drive you behind the lens. Showcase some of those favorite moments and then ask your reader questions to get their mind thinking about how your words relate to their life. (Re-read that last sentence, because one of the problems I see with photographers that blog is that they talk about their lives and the writing doesn’t feel like a conversation. You want the reader to feel like you are engaging with them).
Your call to action could be something like: Click here and let me send you my client guide and photo session ideas (once you have them on your email list, then you are able to contact them. That is a huge win!)
What does educational mean?
Think about the #1 questions you get from potential clients. Think about the pieces of information you wish they knew, but most often do not. What does your typical potential dream client need to know, be aware of, or believe in in order to say yes to the session? These are things you should know as a business owner that sometimes feels challenging when we are creatives at heart.
Here are 3 prompt ideas for you (of course, make these headlines your own or choose something totally different tailored specifically to YOUR audience):
- 5 Locations for Your Next Family Photo Session This Fall (show off activity driven sessions inside– even better if these are specific to your shooting zone, because hello keywords)
- The Photo Session Most Clients Cry Over (you will showcase your most emotion-packed images from your sessions & describe how the session works)
- # Moments You’ll Want to Preserve as a Mom
Tip: You’ve now written a post that it totally re-share worthy. It’s become an asset and can continue to bring you web traffic! Pin it and share it every so often on repeat!
Step 3: Now it’s time to combine steps 1 & 2
Before you hit Publish and run to Facebook to share your latest post, let’s amp it up. You can do this in a couple of ways:
1. Infuse your blog with share-bait (talk positively about a local venue or business that makes that business or venue want to share with their own audience).
2. Decide on some places/people that would best be interested in your blog post and ask them to share since their audience would likely appreciate this post (because it’s engaging, inspirational, and educational all in one).
First, look at your “My dream clients hang out _______” list and highlight the places that hold the MOST influence. Meaning, a great local audience that’s likely filled with a high amount of your dream client. For example, think of the Huffington Post. You could get published on the Huff Post and be shown to a bazillion people. You could get published on one of the categories Huff Post Parenting blog categories and though it is less people, there is a higher volume of people interested in all things parenting. Make sense? And look at the positioning you can acquire from being published somewhere super reputable!
Sure, you’re not going to get published somewhere today, but if you do want to try to get this piece published somewhere else – get the writing portion + your proposal done today.
Look at your possibilities:
Local venues, landmarks, and businesses
Go back through your blog post and see if you can add a link to a local venue or business inside of your post. Example, say you are talking about one of your favorite childhood memories being the beaches of ______. And you know that the city is a small town and they have a Facebook Page. Can you infuse your blog post with photos that showcase the beaches or town? If so, do it! Once your done with your post, you can reach out to the city’s page on Facebook and either send them a message or write directly on their timeline.
Say something like: Hey there City Beach! Growing up, I have some of my best childhood memories on your beach. I can still taste the fruity snow cones and feel the warm sand in my toes. Recently, I wrote about my beach memories and shared some of my favorite photos on my blog. I thought you would like to see and that your audience would love to see your beach from another perspective too! Enjoy.
Think about your local Facebook groups.
We have a Moms group here that has a strict no-advertising policy. Moms share articles in there all the time about parenting things like stories you see on the mega-popular blog scarymommy.com. These kinds of articles are allowed…. and this is the kind of article I am talking about you writing. Something that isn’t selling, but something that simply relates well to your reader. I’d say go for it! Of course, if you are worried, you can always reach out to the admin for permission. Remember, you are not being salesy or spammy – you are honestly educating people on an approach they likely have never even thought of! If you believe in what you’re offering, and you should, then own it.
When posting yourself, I’d say something like: Hey moms! I was was thinking about some of the maternity moments that seem like forever ago now that my daughter is 4. Do you remember feeling like pregnancy was taking for-ev-er and now it seems like forever ago? Anyway, I thought you may enjoy this little trip down memory lane. What are some of the pregnancy moments you miss? (link to the post)
Who do you know that just seems to be the most popular person in your area? I can name a few in mine. They are someone that shares frequently on social media – photos, updates on what they’re up to, their thoughts and opinions, and articles they are interested in. If you think they would appreciate your blog post, reach out to them and ask them for a share.
Cheat a little if you want and say something like: “Hey Nicole! I love seeing all of your posts pop up into my feed. I wrote an article on my blog that I thought you would be interested in. I’m in a business training right now and finding 5 people to share our latest post is part of an assignment. If you read it and love it, I would be thrilled if you could share it for me. I thought of you, because this post seems right in line with some of the things I’ve seen you post/share. Thank you in advance!”
Step 4: Start sending it out
Tip: Before you click send/share, go into your Google Analytics and note your current web traffic. I like to track my users, page views, and traffic sources. This is something you should get in the habit of doing and know which places/people refer both a lovely quantity and quality traffic to you.
Assuming you’re keeping this blog post for YOUR blog, it’s time to share that post! Share this post on your own social media outlets and to your email list. If you’re used to sharing blog things only on your business social profiles, send this one out to your personal network as well.
Say something like:
“Hey friends, who else pretty much grew up on ______ beach?! You’ll appreciate this – some of my favorite memories there. What are yours?!”
or here is a great one to blast on any of your social outlets:
“Who wants me to give away a free session?! Help me beat my own high record of web traffic. My mission is to teach others about approaching family photos in a different, meaningful way. That’s it, no pitch from me here. Help me double my traffic within 24 hours and I’ll give away a free session next week. You can help me checking this awesome post out and then sharing it.”
Connect with places/people you can as outlined above.
Step 5: Sit back and enjoy that rush in web traffic…
… but not for long. We’ve got more work to do tomorrow! Note: this web traffic is not likely going to bring in inquiries. If you set up your readers to move onto your email list or set up a Facebook Ad to re-target those readers, you’ll have a much higher success rate. However, the action in getting your meaningful post done is a major step. Don’t have time to whip up a new blog post today? Filter through old blog posts & see which ones you could beef up to:
a) Make the post value-packed for your reader
b) Add a call to action
c) Whip up a content upgrade to move your reader to your email list (notice the trend here? Email lists rock)
d) Maybe you have a super-successful post and it doesn’t need beefing, but you can integrate the post into your marketing system & run Facebook Ads to it.
They key is to remember that people are not coming to your website to book with you. They are coming to read an article. Your main goal here is to convert them into new subscribers or for them to set up a brainstorm session. You need to be able to have the ability to reconnect with them. They likely are not going to book with you from one blog post alone if they are new to your network.
Make it a goal to double your average daily visitors today alone!