I sincerely still can’t believe we are in 2020. After all, I graduated in the year 2000, which had the crazy Y2K scare. We don’t need to get into that, but we can agree that marketing for photographers is vital. The industry feels overly saturated, and you may be tearing your hair out, trying to figure out algorithms and SEO. Well, how about some 2020 marketing ideas to help you grow your photography business. Here are some of my favorite marketing hacks for photographers in 2020.

Photo by Fiddle Leaf Photography

Google My Business

One untapped area that photographers are seriously missing out is Google My Business. I feel like a broken record every time I talk about it, but if you want local SEO, you can’t ignore Google My Business. So do yourself a favor: Optimize your listing. Get new reviews and please add some new photos on your dashboard.

Google Post

Google posts are magical. Why? Because many small businesses are still not using it, and I have a feeling that Google is pushing those who are using their new tool upwards. This is a free post like feature in your Google My Business. You can post offers, events, news, and products. So try it out. It does expire in 7 days, so you do have to add one a week.

Google post tips for photographers

Pinterest 

As a photographer, you may be using Pinterest marketing but not in a local way. It is important to add local type boards and text to your account. If you are a wedding photographer, definitely have boards dedicated to specific wedding venues. Remember, your pins and boards can show up in Google results, so get found for the brides wanting to get married at such venues. Win-win.

Get out of the house 

I don’t know about you, but I do love working from my bed at times and, yes, braless. But I realize it also gets super lonely and you are not on an island. To succeed, you do need people. You need community, you need support, and you need friends. Plus, it would help if you had new clients, so getting out of the house can help with all of these things. Invite someone for coffee, attend a local networking group, or lead a small photo meet up.

Host an Event or Co-host an event 

 Hosting events can be so great for SEO that I am surprised that more local businesses don’t do it. Events in general, rank very well in Google results, so I recommend you host your own event twice a year and co-sponsor another 2 events in your community. This can give you a backlink opportunity and help you both cross-promote your businesses. Think about local vendors that are parallel to your photo business that you can partner up with. You can host a customer appreciation evening or a launch party.

15 photography business lessons and advice

Local Type Blogging

Photographers, it is 2020. STOP BLOGGING ALL OF YOUR SESSIONS. Unless you are super disciplined, and this is part of your brand strategy, then please continue. You need to start implementing local content in your blog posts. First, think about your ideal audience, then think about what they need help with? If it’s a bride, well she will need help planning her wedding in X town. If it’s a mom, then she is always looking for things to do with her children in X town. Be a tourist in your city, and start creating some resourceful content. Need more post ideas? Join my private FB group and tag me.

Find Local hashtags

General and broad hashtags are excellent and all, but they can be way too competitive. When it comes to Instagram, landing on a top 9 for a hashtag can be golden. It is almost like landing on the first page of Google results for your desired keywords. Therefore start researching hashtags with less than 10k posts so you can get gritty nitty. Look up local hashtags other local businesses are you using and also check related hashtags when you search for the higher volume hashtags too. Always add a geotag of your city and use your city as a hashtag as well. One tip is to save a list so you can reuse it over and over again. I use Tailwind for my Instagram Scheduling now, and it’s fantastic because it recommends less competitive hashtags I can use. If you want to try it, I have an affiliate link where you can try it for free for a whole month. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing seems like an untapped territory for photographers. I see more than half of photographers not use email marketing at all, and it is a disservice if you are not using it. I recommend you use Mad Mimi to start as it is super user-friendly. You can always create a different set of lists, for example, brides, family sessions, past clients, vendors, etc. They also have a free account, and they are pretty cheap. You can even embed their forms on your website. 

Remind clients about your promos and events. People are so busy nowadays that they forget, so they appreciate reminders. They may have been in the middle of booking you and get a call from their kids’ school. You never know. Get in the habit of emailing your clients.

Coincidentally my friend Cindy, from Magazine Mama just did an FB live with email marketing tips for photographers so embedding her video below. 

Blog Commenting

Blog commenting was a hot topic in the SEO world some years ago, but Neil Patel is claiming that it is making a comeback. Well, it’s always been important. So in 2020, I am taking 10 minutes a week and leaving a few comments on some relevant blogs. You can leave some comments in fellow photographers blog, in mine here and in other local businesses. This can generate visits back to your website, and who knows, maybe even a backlink.

So go ahead and once a week take 10 minutes to leave blog comments instead of scrolling through IG stories for 20 minutes :-).

Share on LinkedIn 

But Fuse, I don’t do headshot work. Well, there are all kinds of people on Linkedin, and they know someone who knows someone who may need your photography services. Gary Vee is claiming that Linkedin is an untapped territory, sort of like FB was back in the day. I recommend sharing useful content and information there. I am not involved in groups per se but post and like other people’s content. I also frequently add connections. If you use a social media scheduling tool, then you can automate your posts.

Optimize for humans 

As much as I love SEO, some of your pages and blog posts make me want to. Your content needs to be for humans first and machines second. So don’t keyword stuff those blog posts or titles. Your text needs to be natural. Yes, SEO optimized but not spammy. Also, don’t create huge permalinks with towns. Last but not least, don’t overuse tags that is actually not helpful for SEO.

Optimize for humans 

As much as I love SEO, some of your pages and blog posts make me want to. Your content needs to be for humans first and machines second. So don’t keyword stuff those blog posts or titles. Your text needs to be natural. Yes, SEO optimized but not spammy. Also, don’t create huge permalinks with towns. Last but not least, don’t overuse tags that is actually not helpful for SEO.

Social Proof 

large social sharing icons, blogging tip

This is something I have had trouble with in the past or just never really thought about it much. So the idea here is that you use user-generated content and share those testimonials in more places. For example,  let’s say a client reposts your IG story or post. You then reshare that and save it to your highlights, so it stays on your profile for good. You can also grab these and even FB comments or Blog comments and share it on your reviews page. The more social proof you have, the more trustworthy your website and brand becomes.

Video Marketing

Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

Video marketing is here to stay, so be ahead of the game, or you will be left behind. The good news is that video marketing has never been easier. Before you needed more equipment and knowledge and now you only need your phone and an app. There are different types of videos to consider:

  • Video slideshow of your photos and using a great tool like Animoto
  • QA of you just interview style in camera
  • Sneak peace of photoshoots using your phone
  • Full-on bio video professionally done
  • IG stories- the easiest one of them all
  • FB & IG Live – Can be a quick live during a session, client delivery or Q&A style
  • Add smaller videos on IGTV

Add smaller videos on Pinterest 

This has to be its own hack because not many users are utilizing it. If you are a wedding photographer, then I recommend doing small videos to showcase a venue. Then you pin that video to Pinterest. Go to Pinterest now and see which videos are uploaded. I am working on this myself and hope to share more results soon.

Create & Co-shot a local contest on Instagram

I am super impressed with how the local South Florida bloggers help each other. They are a real community, and I love it when they get together to host contests. You can find your favorite restaurant, local brand, or store to do a giveaway. This creates awareness, engagement, and community. You always want to make sure that the prize is aligned with your brand. For example, I know photograph bloggers and local businesses so that I wouldn’t do anything for brides.

Categorize your Social Media Posts

So do you wake up and think about what I should post today? Or are you strategic? The best advice I have seen for Instagram content planning for photographers has been from my friend Carrie Swalls. She first showed me this before anyone was talking about business categories online. She basically breaks down the days of the week into categories, so she has plenty of content to share and posts. Break down the days by themes related to your services. 

This can be done for Facebook and even Linkedin as well.

Add geolocation to your photos

When posting on Instagram and Facebook, it is essential always to tag the location. Additionally, you can add geo-related information when you import your photos in Lightroom. You can create a metadata preset with a few keywords for every photo you import into Lightroom. 

Or you can add the geotag manually, check out this tutorial on Photography’s Life website.

Survey Clients

Getting feedback can be rough, but it can be so insightful. One great tip is to survey your ideal clients. Ask them why they hired you? Then just listen and take notes. Once you interview 4 or 5 idea clients, you will see a pattern on what they’re saying. This can help you come up with brand words that you can use on your website and for your marketing.

Join Local Directories

Google likes it when they can find your website information: Name, Address, and Phone number in more than one place. This helps confirm that your business is really what you say it is. One tip to help with this is to sign up for online directories. Local directories or business directories are those websites that you can list your business for free and sometimes paid. I recommend you use the Moz Local Tool to see where your business is currently listed at. Sometime’s the tool is off, but it can give you a good indicator and a few ideas of where else to list your business.

YouTube

youtube

YouTube is still the second largest search engine in the world, so why not repurpose your content there. Add your Animoto slideshows or Q&A videos you are creating for IGTV and use them on YouTube. Be sure to add a relevant keyword in the video title and don’t have it just be random and broad like Sue & Bill Wedding. This gives no location context or relevant keyword. Also, add a nice description with links to your website and social media. YouTube can be a great traffic generator for Instagram.

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Feuza Reis