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Actionable PR and Content Marketing Tips for Photographers

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My 2020 Review and 2021 Priorities

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Doing an annual review of your business is something I highly recommend as so many useful insights can be gained from this process! (more…)

Content planning tips for photographers

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In this article, I’m sharing my top content planning tips for photographers. (more…)

How to promote your photography blog

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Blogging is a great way to promote your photography business. But in itself, it’s not enough to attract swathes of your perfect clients.

As well as creating the content, you need to be ‘marketing’ that content, regularly! (It’s called ‘content marketing’ after all!)

Many photographers spend hours creating content but then fail to make the most of it once it’s published. These are the photographers who then write-off blogging, claiming it doesn’t work!

If you’ve tried blogging in the past and not achieved much from it, then read on. Here, I’m sharing tips on how to promote your photography blog and reach more people.

Related reading: How to start a photography blog

Allocate sufficient time to promote your photography blog content

Promoting your photography blog content is essential because you can’t rely on people just stumbling across your website and finding it.

While you’ve hopefully optimised your website for search engines, this won’t drive immediate traffic to your site. You’ll need to be doing far more than this!

After you’ve hit publish, I hate to break it to you but this is when the work begins!

Content promotion should actually be allocated double the amount of time that you spent creating your blog content in the first place!

Say you spent three hours to create a blog, the images to go with it, any multi-media to be included etc.  Then, you would ideally spend a further six hours getting the blog out and in front of your ideal photography clients!

How to promote your blog

You really need to continually be promoting your content to keep yourself visible and to ensure your blog gets seen. The online space is incredibly noisy.

More than 4 million blogs are published every day now, and yours needs a helping hand to have a chance of reaching your target audience and making the impact you want it to.

So, a question for you, are you promoting your content enough?

In marketing, ‘The Rule of 7’ states that people must be exposed to a brand and it’s message at least seven times before people take notice. It takes time for people with no previous experience of you to come to know, like and trust you.

So, if you’re reading this and it’s already dawning on you that you’re probably not promoting your content enough, stick around as here’s a list that I hope will help.

The truth is that you can increase the visibility of your content in so many ways, and here I’ll introduce to how you can promote your photography blog using email marketing, social media and more.

Don’t miss the free downloadable checklist that accompanies this blog – available in the freebie library. Sign up here or click on the image below to gain access. 

Join the PR-Savvy Photographers Facebook group

How to promote your photography blog post

1) Promote your photography blog on social media

Post on social media to get visibility in the newsfeed & in relevant groups

This is likely to be the first thing you think to do and is perhaps something you are already doing pretty well. After all, your target audience likely hangs out on social media every single day. So you know that you can attract people to your website by sharing it on the various social platforms you use.

You can either share the link to your blog content (where sharing links is possible) or direct people to your blog by mentioning it in social media graphics, live videos and ‘Stories’.

On Facebook, share a link to your photography blog on your Facebook business page (although the visibility of Facebook page posts is pretty dire unless you are advertising). There are also Facebook groups (only share where appropriate and where posting links is allowed). You may also have your own Facebook group and this is a good place to share your latest content. Facebook advertising is another way to promote your blog post and reach more people.

Promote your blog post on Facebook

On Instagram, you can include a link to your blog page or latest article in your Instagram bio (although the down-side of this is that you’ll need to update this regularly). A commonly used alternative is to use a tool like Linktr.ee which creates multiple links – one of which could direct Instagram users to your blog article. Or, you can create your own customised web page on your own site, as I have done with mine.

Instagram provides a full suite of promotional tools so do use as many of these as you can. There are grid posts, IGTV, Stories, Instagram ‘Guides’ and Reels.

Plus, there are obviously other platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Which platforms you choose to share your content on will depend on your photography business and your audience. LinkedIn would be a great one though if you are targeting the B2B community – perhaps you’re a commercial or corporate headshot photographer, for example.

Finally, while this isn’t strictly social media, don’t forget that you can also add updates to your Google My Business listing. Posting my blog posts on my own Google My Business profile leads to thousands of impressions per month! In this video I show you how:

Schedule promotional posts on social media in advance

There are a wide variety of social media scheduling tools now – some free, some paid. With just a little bit of time spent on forward-planning, you can easily create a number of different social media posts that link back to a blog article you’ve created.

Schedule these to be published over the coming days, weeks or months, as relevant.

It’s well worth batching your social media content as it means you won’t have to be constantly on social media and your blog is being published on autopilot! Tools such as Planoly, Buffer and Tailwind are great for social media scheduling.

Related reading: Recommended (and mostly free) digital marketing tools I use

Schedule social media posts to promote your blog post

Pin posts to the top of your social media profiles

Also, this is a small thing but can really help to boost the visibility of your latest blog content; pin a post to the top of your Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Simply make and publish a post mentioning your latest blog, as normal, then select the option to ‘pin’ the post to the top of the page to fix it there until you change the pinned post at a later date.

I’d recommend that you use this feature every time you publish something new.

When people visit your profile or business page, the first post they’ll then see will be your pinned post; a post that they otherwise may have missed had they not gone on to scroll through your page feed.

Change your social media header images regularly

Another thing you can do on social media that can be really effective is to make an update to your page cover images. Include an image that’s relevant to your new content and add to that copy that entices them to find out more.

You can also add a specific URL in your Facebook banner image description. So, why not use this feature and set the banner image to click through to your latest piece of content? Then simply update each time you have a new piece of content to share.

2) Share your blog content with your email list

Something you perhaps don’t do so consistently but is well worth the effort…sending a link to your blog out by email to your email subscribers.  They want your free resources, tips and advice. They’ve opted in, so send it to them!

Don’t have an email list? Start one today – MailChimp and Mailerlite are free and simple to use, so are likely to be great options for you if you’re just getting started. Then, once you have a list – no matter how small – keep the list engaged by sending them regular updates and encouraging them to click through to your website.

Remember, people who’ve signed up to your email marketing list want to hear from you, so don’t be shy about keeping them informed if you have valuable new content to share with them. Chances are if you’ve created a piece of content that you know they’d find useful, they’ll be grateful you sent it over!

Promote your blog post with email marketing

Re-send your email to the people who didn’t open it first time round

Don’t forget, your open rate on your emails is probably 25% or less. Emails get diverted to spam or they simply get ignored, deleted or are missed.

The great thing with email marketing software is that it informs you of the open and click-through rates of your emails, and you have the option to quickly and easily re-send the email to those who didn’t open it the first time around.

This gives you a second chance to hit their inbox and for them to potentially view your email containing your helpful content. And it works!

I’ve found that a decent proportion of the people who missed mine or my client’s emails the first time do open it up on the second sending, so it’s definitely worth a shot. Best practice is to send the email to those who didn’t open it first time round within 24 hours of the first campaign having been sent.

Use your email signature to promote new blog content

Another great place to share your latest content is in your email signature.

Chances are you send tens of emails every day – many to prospects and people who might want to know more about what you do. So, why not include a link to your latest blog article (along with any other useful links or resources) in the email signature?

Include a link to a specific blog article, or include a link to your blog page where people can discover all of your articles in one place.

Promote your blog post in your email signature

3) Secure media publicity on the topic

Another way to promote your blog content is to source editorial opportunities in the media to talk around your specialist subject or the specific topic your blog covers.

Pitch yourself by dropping journalists a brief email summarising how you could contribute. Outline the expertise you could offer or suggest a specific point of view or a personal story that’s either topical and newsworthy, or relevant in some way to their audience.

If you secure an interview or are featured in the press, you may get a chance to mention your business and any free blog content and resources. Always ask if this is a possibility at the interview stage and don’t wait for them to ask you.

Related reading: Using the media to promote your photography business

4) Guest blogging

Offering to write on other blogs is also a great way to share your blog content and expertise.

A useful technique is to write a blog post on your own site and then offer similar, but different, content on an external site, and then link back to your own blog post.

For example, you might create an article containing posing tips for brides and grooms and then write a guest post on mistakes couples make on their wedding day in relation to photography. I hope you can see that these topics are aligned (and could feasibly be interlinked), but are different.

Be careful to the websites you choose to blog for carefully. You won’t want to select websites with a lower domain authority than your own site. Ideally, guest blog on site which has a higher domain authority than yours and who have an established and relevant audience to your photography business.

5) Repurpose your blog content

Be creative and repurpose your content into different formats

What I love about content marketing is that there are so many ways that you can potentially repurpose a single blog post. From just the one original article, you can create an infinite number of other content pieces and, by doing so, you can get promote your blog and reach more people!

For example, you could:

  • Write and publish a blog post on your website, then promote that blog by repurposing it into a Facebook Live (which would reach some of your Facebook followers – new audience no.1), then you could download that video from Facebook and add that to your YouTube channel (new audience no.2) – a group of people who may never have otherwise discovered your written version of the blog.

You Tube video app on mobile phone

If you’re more comfortable creating video initially, simply reverse the process.

  • Create the video – go live or share it on Facebook once its created, publish it on your YouTube channel, then have the video transcribed and use that to create a blog post for your website.

Create a content upgrade to provide further value

Once you’ve written your article, could you also create a ‘content upgrade’ such as a checklist (like the one available in this blog – sign up for it here), workbook or template? This is a great way of adding further value to the reader of your article, and also gives you something else to promote.

You could create social media graphics (I use Canva) to specifically promote that content upgrade and add that into the mix of promotional posts you are sharing on social media.

If the blog alone isn’t attracting readers, perhaps the freebie will help. Valuable free resources that help your audience to digest information quickly, learn something or which saves them time, is usually a winner!

Having your photography blog article available in multiple formats like this is a great way to increase potential views and engagement too. If you take this approach, it’ll help you ensure that your blog post reaches more people and gets many more views than it would otherwise.

So, how could you repurpose your latest piece of content for other platforms? Has this got you thinking?

6) Don’t forget to promote your blog content in high-traffic areas of your website and in other blog posts

Do you know which are the most visited pages on your website? Check your Google Analytics and you’ll probably find that it’s the home page and the about page.

Therefore, these are great places to promote your latest content. Don’t just put it on the blog page! I share links to my blogs on my About page and have seen views significantly increase for those articles.

Also, consider whether your website has a sidebar or a footer where you could list recent blogs (or include eye-catching graphics relating to your latest blog articles).

Internal links are very important too and help Google to understand how your site is structured, so you should interlink one related blog post to another. This has the benefit of also helping website visitors discover more of your useful content. Plus, if the internal links are followed, this increases the amount of time that a person spends on your site overall – another positive signal to Google.

How to promote your blog content

7) Ask for the share!

A further thing you can do is get help from your followers, fans and community. Simply, ask for the share!

You can potentially get your blog post seen by more people if you include a strong call-to-action directing readers on what you want to them do next. For example, adding a call-to-action such as “share with someone who needs to read this today” will greatly increase the likelihood that the reader will do exactly that.

Related reading: How to write an effective call to action

Use social share buttons

Make sharing your blog article as easy as possible for them too. Use a plugin so that there are visible social share buttons throughout, or at the bottom, of your blog posts. Tools like Sumo make social sharing really easy. Another one I use is Click to Tweet.

If you make sharing quick and easy for your blog readers, they’ve enjoyed your content and feel motivated to share it, hopefully, they will!

Promote your photography blog and reach more people

You want to get more eyeballs on your lovingly-crafted blogs, of course, you do! So, make content promotion part of your workflow and dedicate enough time to it to do a good job of getting it out there.

This list is by no means exhaustive in terms of what you can do to promote your photography blog, but I hope you’ll try out some of them and see what impact it has.

Keep an eye on your Google Analytics to see what difference it makes to your web traffic. I think you’ll find that if you spend more time promoting your blog content and inspire more shares, this will lead to more traffic which could mean more enquiries to your photography business.

Let me know in the comments below which of the techniques above seem to work best for you at driving traffic to your blog. I’d love to hear what’s working for you.

Don’t miss my free blogging promotion checklist – available in the freebie library. Sign up here or click the image below to get immediate access.

Opt-in Freebie

What is public relations and how can it help your photography business?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Have you heard of ‘PR’ but are confused about how it could complement the marketing you’re already doing?

Are you actually wondering what is public relations and how it can help your photography business?

If so, then you’re in luck. Here I explain what you need to know about public relations and how you can use it to promote your photography business.

As you’ll also discover, there are many benefits to using PR strategies within your photography marketing.

If you aren’t yet seeking PR opportunities, you’re definitely missing a trick! PR can help you to build awareness of your work, your business and your photography services, as well as attract a wider audience, establish you as an expert and much more. Keep reading to find out how!

A definition: What is Public Relations (PR)?

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations says,

Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.”

To put it another way, public relations is a form of marketing that aims to encourage those who are important to your business (such as your clients and prospective clients) to form a positive opinion of you. 

It’s about putting your best foot forward, portraying a positive image and demonstrating your expertise – something you are probably already doing every day in your business.

Why should you use PR strategies in your photography marketing?

As a business owner, you naturally want people to regard you and your photography services in a positive light. Reputation is everything in business.

The great thing is that you can use PR strategies to get visible and to build a positive impression in the minds of potential customers.

Since people generally buy from those who they know, like and trust over and above complete strangers or unknown companies/brands, PR can play an important part in the sales process.

Yep. PR can help convert potential photography clients and buyers into customers. So, has that got you interested? I hope so!

How does PR help you to attract more photography clients?

So, digging a little deeper now, let’s talk about how PR helps to generate new leads for your photography business.

Over time, the positive reputation you build through PR can help you to attract clients and buyers as well as influence their purchasing decisions.

It comes down to the fact that PR can help build ‘know, like and trust’.

1. KNOW

Ultimately, the first step is that you need to get visible; to get on your potential client’s radar. The more they are aware of your photography – your services, products, art – the more likely they are to recall you when they are in the market for your services.

2. LIKE

Then, you need to manage your business and how you market and communicate in a way that forms a positive impression over time.

3. TRUST

If you’ve given them reasons to regard you positively, then the more likely they are to trust you. This will influence whether their decision to work with you or buy from you.

So, you see, a positive reputation that you build over time can prove incredibly valuable to your photography business, and PR is all about building this positive reputation.

Related reading: Five ways to become a go-to photographer in your niche

Woman reading magazine

Other benefits of using PR to promote your photography business

As well as helping you to build awareness, likeability and trust, PR can help you also:

1. Educate or inform

Through PR, you can educate or inform others. You can share opinion articles, information and survey results to tell a story around a particular cause or issue that you are passionate about.

2. Position yourself

You can build up your reputation as a thought leader or expert within your niche through PR. For example, by securing numerous press mentions on a particular subject, you can position yourself as an authority.

3. Build credibility

By being featured by the media, for example, you are effectively being endorsed by the publication or media outlet. Since these are established and likely have a sizable following, and positive reputation of their own, this boosts your perceived credibility.

4. Attract people to you

PR can help you to attract new customers, prospects and fans. You could see a boost in your social media follower numbers, your email subscribers and online engagement with your content after being featured in the media.

Also, one piece of publicity can also lead to another. So, PR can help you to attract further media attention.

5. Create opportunities

Media coverage about your photography business can also potentially lead to exciting new opportunities. Simply as a result of being seen at the right place, at the right time, you could get noticed by potential business contacts and sponsors.

6. Boost your SEO

If you get featured on high authority domains such as news or industry websites, this can help boost your search rankings in Google. This alone is a huge benefit of PR.

7. Make more money!

Finally, I believe that PR will also help you sell more. It shouldn’t be relied upon to drive revenue, but in my experience, I know that an upsurge in sales for a product or service can be the result if it has benefited from the oxygen of publicity.

Newsjacking is a great way to get featured in the press

Is PR just media publicity?

No, media publicity is just one aspect of public relations.

There is so much more to PR than publicity, but publicity is likely to be the most relevant aspect of PR to you as a small business owner.

By getting featured in the media, you can secure valuable exposure that allows you to potentially reach a large number of people at once, and it’s completely free!

The audience you reach naturally depends on which media publications or programmes that you target. Whether you want to reach a large, international audience or have a very targeted, niche audience, there will be media outlets that can help you to reach the people who are important to your business.

How can you get started with public relations?

In my opinion, PR is a vastly underused form of marketing. I think that’s because many photographers don’t fully understand what it is, how it can help them, and how they can use PR to promote themselves.

Is this true for you? Do you stick to other marketing such as social media marketing, online advertising and content marketing rather than PR and media publicity?

It is certainly feasible for you to do your own PR and many small business owners do. My website has many PR blogs which I hope you’ll find helpful. You can also join my Facebook group ‘PR-Savvy Photographers’ to get tips, inspiration and PR opportunities, and subscribe to my freebie library which has PR templates and downloadable resources.

PR support for photographers

You can also choose to outsource PR activities to someone with expertise and experience.

All my clients are professional photographers. Typically, they enjoy the creative aspects of their business but don’t enjoy or have the time to manage all the promotional aspects.

If you’d like to know more about how I can help you get visible in the media and create marketing content that attracts your ideal clients, take a look at my publicity and content marketing services and then contact me if you’d like to know more. 

I’ve 17 years of PR experience and have been working exclusively with professional photographers since 2015. I would be delighted to find out more about you and your photography and to see if we could be a good fit.

You can pin this article to read later or share using the buttons below. Thanks! Every single share is appreciated. 

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Wondering what is public relations?
What is public relations? Why photographers should use PR
A definition of public relations

A free PR tool that could help you secure publicity for your photography business

Reading Time: 7 minutesDid you know that there are free ways to secure publicity for your photography business?

(more…)

How to find journalists’ contact details

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If you want to use the power of PR to promote your photography business, then you need to start building relationships with journalists. In this article, I’ll be sharing how to find journalists’ contact details so that you can be reaching out to them with your news, stories and photography.

(more…)

How to get publicity for your photography business during times of crisis

Reading Time: 8 minutes

During times of crisis, marketing your photography business remains important. In fact, it’s arguably even more important than ever.

The Coronavirus pandemic, which we are currently in the midst of as I write this in early April 2020, has all-but closed most photography businesses for the short term. Yet, marketing-savvy photographers know that just because trading is temporarily on hold, marketing activities can and should continue. I take this view too.

The goal should now be to adapt as best you can and continue to market and promote yourself and get publicity for your photography business, to stay visible and top of mind.

This way, you will be taking positive steps towards helping your photography business survive the pandemic and be in the best possible position once you can open up again.

Is marketing and self-promotion appropriate during a crisis?

Some may take the view that marketing and self-promotion during a crisis should be the least of our concerns. But presuming you and your loved ones are safe and well, there is no shame in wanting to do what you can to protect your photography business for the longer-term.

Halting all marketing and going off the radar now, just as your clients and ideal clients are online in greater numbers than ever, and are seeking information, inspiration and connection more so than ever before, would actually be doing them a disservice.

You have knowledge, creativity and talents that are still needed right now, so do remember that keeping yourself visible is not only benefiting yourself but also those in your community.

Sadly, there are lots of people out there trying to make business owners feel guilty for continuing to market their products and services at the moment.

But my view is that as long as you are doing marketing in a socially-sensitive way, and are coming from a place of service and are trying to add value, then it is OK to do what you can to keep your business visible online.

Related reading: What to focus on now to help your photography business survive the pandemic

Publicity can help you to stay visible during the pandemic

You might presume that journalists don’t want to hear from business owners during a crisis; that publicity opportunities don’t exist if your business has nothing to do with the Coronavirus pandemic.

But, in fact, journalists are hungrier than ever for stories and they aren’t just interested in crisis-related news.

Certainly, in the past few weeks here in the UK, media consumption has sky-rocketed. People are spending more time online. They are seeking answers to their questions, solutions to their problems, and they are turning to the media for that information.

There is more demand than ever for news and information so many publications have increased their output. Therefore, in contrast to what you might think, journalists can actually be short of stories at a time like this. Which is why now is a great time to focus on securing publicity for your photography business!

What journalists want from you now

Journalists want to hear from people and from business owners with something insightful to share. They have column inches to fill, stories to write and, as ever, they need your help. And, while the pandemic is the major story of the moment, journalists are interested in a wide variety of topics so there’s a lot of scope for getting featured.

For example, there’s a big demand for inspirational, happy and funny news stories to counteract the vast majority of negative stories. Some light relief is always welcome when times are tough!

I’ve noticed that most newspapers, are now making a point of featuring positive news and have created dedicated columns or sections for sharing uplifting stories. This is what the Telegraph is doing, for example. Similarly, the Daily Mirror currently have a ‘Coronavirus Community Corner’ – a double-page spread in the paper full of uplifting content.

These journalist requests below are also good examples of what is currently in demand and note the “desperately need…” sentiment in the first. Journalists are hungry for your news!

How to get publicity for your photography business during times of crisis

As I’ve been saying, during times of crisis there are still many opportunities for you to be featured in the media.

As ever, there are several ways to land publicity and I explain these in more detail in this article:  Three ways to secure free publicity for your photography business but to summarise, you can either:

1. Proactively pitch your news and stories

Create a press release or email pitch to summarise the key points of the story.

2. You can help journalists who are working on already-commissioned articles

Twitter is your friend here. Search the #journorequest hashtag within Twitter to find potential opportunities.

3. Or, you can use ‘newsjacking’ to make your business relevant to the current news agenda.

Related reading: How to use newsjacking to promote your photography business

Now, I’ll go into more detail about how you can make yourself relevant to the media and I’ll include examples of journalists’ requests, as shared on Twitter in recent days.

Newsjacking: Hooking onto the news agenda

News and stories related to the pandemic

If you have been affected in some way by the Coronavirus pandemic, you may have a personal or business story that could be of interest to the press.

The media are hungry for first-person accounts of how the pandemic is affecting small businesses. They also want your thoughts on the emerging situation and developments as they happen.

So, have a think about how you as an individual and as a business owner have been affected, and whether you have an interesting, unusual or, perhaps, slightly controversial story to share.

This is a technique known as ‘newsjacking’, which is a popular way to get publicity for your photography business. If selected to be featured, you could benefit from a mention in the press.

BUSINESS STORIES

For example,

  • Have you had to cancel all of your bookings for the foreseeable and are now pivoting your photography business in order to survive the pandemic? You could share what plans you have for the short-term and how you anticipate it may impact your business in the long-term.How to get publicity for your photography business - journorequest example
  • Or, in contrast, is your business thriving in the wake of the pandemic? Have you managed to pivot your business or devise a way to generate revenue despite the challenges presented by the pandemic?

How to get publicity for your photography business - journorequest example

 

  • Are you facing financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic? Or have you a story about surviving and thriving a previous crisis that could inspire others?

How to get publicity for your photography business - journorequest example

How to get publicity for your photography business - journorequest example

  • What is your perception of how the photography industry is adapting to the changes brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic? Could this potentially be a good thing for the industry in some way (this is an example of a potentially controversial view), and if so, how?

 

  • Are you the leader of a photography group or organisation? As a spokesperson for a group of photographers, what could you share with the media about how the photography industry is faring? What is your take on what support the photography industry needs at this time? What are the challenges photographers are facing and how are you actively involved in supporting them through this?

 

  • What are you doing to help your photography clients at this time of crisis? How are you supporting them and what policies have you introduced into your business to safeguard your client’s interests? For example:

How to get publicity for your photography business - journorequest example

Stories like these could interest the business media and general news media.

PERSONAL STORIES

Alternatively, you may have a personal story that might interest the press. Personal stories are a great way to get publicity for your photography business!

For example,

  • Are you a parent who is now juggling school-aged children with working from home? You could share your experience, talk about the challenges and how you are adapting to this new routine.

How to get publicity for your photography business - journorequest example

  • Have you developed new skills in lockdown?

How to get publicity for your photography business - journorequest example

  • Have you started a home-based photo project, perhaps a photo diary documenting your experience of self-distancing or home-schooling? If so, what images and personal stories could you share?

 

  • Do you have a second area of expertise that is relevant in some way to the Coronavirus? For example, relating to fitness, self-care, mental health etc. Do you have any expert tips you can share with the media at this time when people are looking for this kind of advice and information?

 

  • Are you helping others in some way, such as your neighbours, members of your local community or fellow photographers?

How to get publicity for your photography business - journorequest example

These are all potential routes into the media based on linking in with the current news agenda.

News and stories unrelated to the pandemic

News journalists are largely focused on the pandemic right now, but others are planning articles and features that are in no way related.

Which means that there are still opportunities for you to secure publicity for your photography business even if you don’t have a Coronavirus related story to share.

How to get publicity for your photography business - journorequest example

Your local radio station, newspaper and lifestyle magazine will have core features that they run regularly which are not impacted by the news agenda.

Editors still need strong stories and quality photography. They always need news, expert comment and tips, insights and anecdotes and people to interview about topics unrelated to the pandemic.

Related reading: 500+ National Awareness Days to use in your photography marketing

Similarly, bloggers are still welcoming guest posts, podcast hosts still want people to interview, online news and media sites want information unrelated to the Covid-19 crisis. The opportunities are still very much there for the taking.

A word on ‘lead times’

If you know anything about how the media work, you’ll know that the lead times for magazines can be anything from two to six months. So, features are being written now for publications which won’t be out on newsstands until the end of the year.

For example, Christmas editions of national magazines are usually compiled in July/August. Summer editions are wrapped up at the start of a new year, and ‘back-to-school in September’ related features are all done and dusted by the previous March or April.

I mention lead times because they are an important consideration when pitching the media. Don’t stop putting yourself forward for PR opportunities now in fear that it’s inappropriate during a global pandemic. The results of your hard work may not be seen until further down the line when, hopefully, this will have all blown over.

Publicity for your photography business during times of crisis

There is no shame, as a business owner, in wanting to stay visible throughout the pandemic. PR is a great way to leverage the power and reach of the media to reach new audiences and to remain top of mind, so I highly recommend that you continue to seek out publicity for your photography business.

Just be sensitive in your communications, empathise with your audience and seek to help. Serve your audience with useful content, create opportunities to connect with them and provide what they need. Come from a place of service and you’ll be on the right track.

Have you been featured in the media since the Coronavirus outbreak? I’d love to hear about it. Do get in touch via the comments below.

If you’d like more tips like this, sign up to my fortnightly ‘Content Connection’ emails and receive free access to my growing resource library which includes PR and marketing checklists, templates and worksheets exclusively for professional photographers. Sign up here or click the image below. 

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Photography marketing support: Let’s grow your photography business

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If you’re a professional photographer looking to build awareness of your work, attract more clients and grow your photography business then you’ll want to be using marketing and PR to get yourself known and visible. (more…)

What to focus on now to help your photography business survive the pandemic

Reading Time: 7 minutes

One thing is certain, normal life as we know it has changed. These are unprecedented times. Here in the UK, most of us are currently in lockdown; confined to our homes. Schools are closed, public gatherings are prohibited and non-essential businesses have been ordered to close.

As an independent photographer, you’re likely to be wondering where this leaves you and how you can help your photography business survive!

Challenging times

Up until recently, you were perhaps running a busy, thriving photography business.  But as clients postpone their weddings (again), as corporate events, fashion shoots and studio appointments are cancelled, your income is drying up overnight. So, you may well be wondering…now what?!

It’s going to be a huge challenge in the coming weeks and months to ride this wave. And, what’s worse is that the end-point remains unknown, making it even harder to understand how we may all be affected in the longer-term.

While the situation may well feel pretty hopeless, I do believe though that you can and should be taking action now. This will help you to ensure that you’re in the strongest position possible in your business once this has all blown over (and, it will).

Three things to prioritise to help your photography business survive the pandemic

1. You!

Looking after yourself is particularly important at times like these. While it’s completely natural to be fearful, worried and scared, try to reduce the amount of time you’re spending thinking about the pandemic.

By all means, take some time out. Reflect, ponder and allow yourself some time to take it all in. No doubt you’ve felt all the emotions these past few days (I know I have!). But, don’t leave it too long before you pick yourself up and dust yourself off.

Aim to reframe any negativity that pops into your head and focus on the things you can control. Be as positive as possible. Seek out opportunities rather than focus on what has been lost.

2. Your audience

Although you may not feel that you have all the answers right now, show up for your audience anyway. Be there for them. Show you care and give your time and attention as generously as you can.

Ask them what help they need and aim to provide that help. Even if you don’t know what to say sometimes or how to say it, just do it anyway! Communication is always important, but particularly in times of crisis.

Keeping in contact with others will help you to feel connected. And, you know what? You could be helping people more than you realise just by showing up with a listening ear and being there for them.

While the situation has changed dramatically in the past week or so, people who’ve opted to follow you on social media, who are in your Facebook group or who have signed up to receive your emails do still want to hear from you.

They’re feeling as confused and overwhelmed as you. But your regular presence in their newsfeed, or in their email inbox, may be just what they need to retain a sense of normality!

Related reading: Email marketing for photographers: More (or less) worthwhile than social media?

So, what I’m suggesting is, communicate. Share information, advice, resources. Reassure clients who have bookings with you. Clarify your short-term plans and keep them in the loop as things change.

3. Your (future) business

Your photography business may be quite different in the future to what it has been. Now is the time to accept this, look ahead and adapt as well as you can.

Whatever you decide to do for the sake of your business, do keep marketing.

You could:

  • Use any spare time you have to review your website. Add new images and copy
  • Write more content to add value for your audience, boost your SEO and help potential customers to find you online
  • Pitch yourself to podcasts and propose blogs that you could write for other websites where your target audience hangs out
  • Source reviews from past clients and ask them to add their kind words to your Google My Business listing and Facebook page. Seeing your glowing reviews will help future potential customers to have faith in your service
  • Create an enticing lead magnet to attract people to sign up to your email marketing. Send out regular emails
  • You can still also find PR opportunities out there. Not every journalist in the world is writing about Coronavirus, believe it or not! There is still a big demand for evergreen stories and content. Pitch stories now to magazines and, if successful, you won’t see coverage for a few months at least anyway.

Related reading: PR 101: Using the media to promote your photography business

When it comes to marketing, think long-term and act now to reap the benefits later.

And in the short-term, think about how you can assure the longevity of your photography business. Can you be taking aspects of it online? Can you offer photography training courses to other professionals or aspiring amateurs? Can you pivot in a way that makes your business viable in these uncertain times? Can you secure revenue now by pre-selling shoots for later in the year?

If you need help and ideas, reach out to other photographers in online communities including my own group, PR-Savvy Photographers. In there, you can ask questions or seek the advice and support of me and fellow group members.

 

What to focus on now to help your photography business survive the pandemic

How to show up in your photography business during the Coronavirus pandemic

As I’ve already said above, showing up for your audience should be a major priority. By that I mean your photography clients and prospective clients, other businesses you work with (wedding venues etc.), and your online audiences.

  • Offer help

Build relationships. Be there to listen, to offer advice and be of service.

Don’t just add to the ‘noise’ but consider how you could help, whether that’s through providing information/resources, discounted or free services, a forum for people to get together, perhaps even just humour to lighten their day!

If you don’t know what to say, start with ‘How can I help you?’ / ‘What do you need from me?’ / ‘What resources can I create that would benefit you?’ / ‘What’s your biggest challenge right now?’

Listening to the responses, and acting on them, will ensure that you are helping them in a way that matters at this time. This will build trust.

What your audience tells you they need from you may well be different to what you’d planned to be doing this year, but you’re not alone in facing these unchartered waters. We’re all having to adapt and pivot to survive!

Make offering value a key focus, in whatever shape or form that comes in for your audience.

  • Provide regular updates

Don’t go quiet on your audience now. Keep them informed about the practical implications of all this.

For example, tell them how bookings are being handled within your business – whether there is anything they need to do in regards to their booked session with you. Customers and clients are bound to have lots of questions about how their bookings with you are affected by the current crisis.

Be proactive in sharing details of your postponement and cancellation policies. Tell them of any changes you’re making in the business in the short-term and how they can still get in contact with you, not forgetting to also share how people can book you in the future! Selling vouchers now for future sessions is one way to keep money coming into your photography business.

  • Be human

Also, share how you are feeling. Be prepared to be vulnerable. Talk as you would to them in person, and don’t be afraid to admit you don’t have all the answers.

We’re are all in this together and we are all just as nervous and concerned as each other. Trying to show otherwise will do you no favours. Now is the time to show your human side. Be real, be relatable and you’ll be loved all the more for it.

Keep a dialogue going. This will not only help you to build your visibility but also the know-like-and-trust factor. This will stand you in great stead for the future, as people remember how you make them feel, particularly in difficult times. Those people who show up and demonstrate that they genuinely care will be the ones who are remembered most vividly.

Practical ways to look after yourself and your mental health

I also wanted to share some practical tips for how you can look after yourself and your mental health. If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, it’s especially important to do the following:

  • Snooze social media

Be selective about the pages, groups and the people you are following on social media. Unfollow or snooze those who are sharing content that you’re not finding helpful.

  • Stick to following credible news sources

Speculation is rife on the internet, so stick to credible news sources, and don’t get involved in conversations online that are based on hearsay rather than fact.

  • Minimise distractions

Still trying to work? Check the news and social media only a few times a day, and unsubscribe from emails that aren’t providing you with any value.

Everyone is providing a ton of free content right now. While this is incredibly generous of those concerned, it can get overwhelming. So, pick just a handful of resources you want to refer to and ignore the rest.

  • Stay connected

Use online video conferencing tool such as Zoom to have face-to-face conversations with friends and family, colleagues and customers. Voice messaging tools like Voxer are also useful for sending voice messages.

Thankfully, in this day and age, despite the social distancing restrictions, we can still remain connected with others

Related reading: Recommended (and mostly free) digital marketing tools I use

  • Schedule your day

Plan out your days and spend focused time on tasks that will move your business forward, making sure to have regular breaks. You’ll feel more productive and in control if you are intentional about what you do. I recommend planning a maximum of three tasks per day. Anything more is a bonus!

Related reading:  Eight habits to boost your productivity

  • Make time for exercise

Although you might be stuck at home for the foreseeable, do get out in the fresh air every day if possible. Try to get some quality sleep too. Make the most of not having to get up and out of the house!

  • Prioritise doing things you love

It’s really important to not just think about work but to also find time for pleasure. Whether that’s starting a personal photography project, knitting, crafting or any other creative hobby, make the most of having some more time than usual at home.

  • Meditate

If meditation works for you, do that. New to meditation? Try apps like Calm and Headspace if you’re in need of some inner peace. Keeping your mental health and physical health a priority will help you to navigate these tricky times.

  • Journal

If you find it helpful, keep a written or video diary. Use it to keep track of your thoughts and emotions, and acknowledge the things you are grateful for.

Use these tips to help your photography business survive

I hope this has helped you in some way?

While no-one can predict the future, I do believe that if you make the effort to help your photography business you’ll be in a stronger position once this is all over.

Feel free to get in touch via the comments or join the PR-Savvy Photographers group for more tips, PR and content marketing advice and support.

Email marketing for photographers: More (or less) worthwhile than social media?

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Let me ask you, is most of your marketing centred around social media?

I’m seeing so many photographers devoting hours of every day to posting on Instagram. But, I’m concerned that many of them are focusing on social media without giving enough thought to their wider strategy and on how they are going to convert their social media fans into customers.

Yes, Instagram is the perfect platform for photographers.

It attracts people who also appreciate beautiful images and some of these may be considering investing in professional photography services, like yours. So, it absolutely makes sense to have a presence on there.

But, while getting visible online is important, I don’t believe that social media is where you should be focusing the majority of your marketing efforts.

Instead, one of the things I’d urge you to prioritise over social media is building an email list.

Prefer to listen instead of read? Click the audio file below.

Email marketing for photographers: Should it be more of a priority in your business?

In this article, I’ll be encouraging you to consider email marketing as a key focus in your photography business. I’ll also be debunking some common email marketing myths.

So, if you’re a photographer who invests a lot of time into social media but you only have either a small or inactive email list, or you don’t have an email list at all, then keep reading.

By disproving some of the common misconceptions about email marketing, I hope to convince you that it’s a marketing tactic that’s well worth your time and attention. In fact, I believe it should actually be one of the main priorities in your business. Yes, even over and above social media!

Email marketing for photographers

Seven email marketing myths debunked: Photographers, take note!

Myth Number 1: Email marketing is dead

Email marketing is far from dead in the age of social media.

It may be less sexy than Instagram, but email marketing continues to be an extremely effective way of promoting and selling products and services.

In fact, 80% of marketers have reported an increase in email engagement over the past 12 months, according to HubSpot (2020), and 91% of people say they want to hear from companies that they do business with via email.

Email marketing is alive and kicking and is not going anywhere anytime soon.

So, while we all dip into social media several times a day, most of us also check our emails regularly. Social media has not replaced email, and it’s not anticipated that it will.

Instagram feed shown on mobile phone

Myth Number 2: You can reach more people on social than via email

The question of reach does depend on how many people you have on your email marketing list, but I still believe that there is a compelling case for email marketing whatever the size of your list.

Remember, social media platforms typically only show your posts to around 2% of your total following unless you boost them or pay to advertise. I’m no mathematician, but even I know that that means you’ll need a following of around 1000 people to have your posts seen by just 20!

Even with just a fraction of that number on your email list, say 250 people, and presuming the average open rate applies of around 20%, you could potentially get your message seen by around 50 people, which is more than double that of the reach on social with an audience four times the size!

So, I hope you can see that by taking the time to create an email and sending it out to your list, you could potentially generate far more visibility for you and your photography business than by posting on social media.

This, in turn, could help to drive more traffic to your photography website, boost enquiries and lead to more sales, making it an incredibly effective way to reach more of your ideal photography clients.

Related reading: How to attract more of your ideal photography clients

Free digital marketing tools

Myth Number 3: Your audience is overwhelmed by emails and doesn’t want to receive more from you

Even if you actively ignore a large majority of the marketing emails you receive, it doesn’t mean that your potential clients will. So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your customers and potential customers won’t want to hear from you via email.

You are not your customer!

If someone has subscribed to receive news and information from your photography business, then they have expressed an interest in hearing from you. Rather than your emails being annoying to your subscribers (and if they are, they can always unsubscribe), you’re actively doing them a disservice if you don’t keep in touch.

So, if you have any reservations about using email marketing to keep people on your email list in the loop about your photography business, remember that they want to know what you’re up to!

Myth Number 4: Social media marketing is the best place to build a community around your business

While building an online community around your business is important, social media is not the only or the best place to do this, necessarily.

Yes, it can be satisfying to see that you have hundreds, thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of followers on your social media accounts. We can tell ourselves that we are building an online community, a fan base of potential customers, which will bode well for the future of our businesses.

But, likes and follow counts on social media are simply ‘vanity’ metrics.

These numbers don’t have any bearing on how successful you are or will be. Sadly, even if you’ve accrued a large following on social media, this will not necessarily correlate with the growth of your business. You could have millions of followers on social media but, in real life, have a business that’s on its knees!

So, don’t feel threatened by the numbers of people following your competitors’ social media accounts – they may have lots of followers, but they may not be people who will ever pay for their photography services. And, don’t tell yourself that social media is the best or only place to build community. Email can be a great way to build a community and a truly engaged audience too!

Once you have subscribers to your emails, through email marketing you can take the conversation away from the noise of social media and nurture a relationship with your prospective customers over time.

By landing directly into the inboxes of your subscribers, and with the ability for them to reply to you directly, you can then start to develop a rapport with them and potentially build a strong connection – the know, like and trust factor. This will help to convert more of them from being ‘potentially interested’ into a paying customer and, perhaps, even a raving fan!

Promote your blog post with email marketing

Myth Number 5: An email list is not as valuable as a social media following  

Once you have the names and email addresses of people who have ‘opted in’ to receive your emails, that data is under your control. You effectively ‘own’ the list and it’s yours to use.

You have the right to communicate with those people via email unless they choose to opt-out, whereas, on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you are not in control of the audience. You don’t automatically gain their contact information (unless you acquire it via an opt-in), so should these platforms shut down at any point in the future, you will lose access to your hard-earned social media audience.

Another reason why emails are in fact more valuable than social media followers is that when someone gives you their email address, they’re more invested in you than if they were simply a follower of your page on social media. They are more likely to convert into a customer further down the line because by sharing their email address with you, they have indicated they are interested in what you offer and have proactively opted to find out more about what you do. They are a ‘hotter’ lead for your photography business.

For these reasons, I’d argue that an email list is actually far more valuable to you as a small business owner than even a sizeable social media following.

Myth Number 6: It takes years to grow an email list that will generate leads and sales

Yes, growing an email list can take time, which is why it’s better to start now if you’ve not done so already. But don’t worry about slow growth because there are lots of things you can do to speed up the process and get hundreds of people on your email list relatively quickly.

For example, you can create a valuable ‘lead magnet’ or freebie to entice people to subscribe. If what you are offering is perceived to be worth them exchanging their email address in order to access it, you could find that your email list grows quickly.

So, spend time considering who your ideal photography client is and how you help them. Then, craft an enticing freebie that they would find valuable and that is relevant to your products and services – ideally, give them a flavour of what you do and of your approach to excite them and make them want to find out more.

Myth Number 7: In a post-GDPR world, managing an email list is too much hassle!  

Since GDPR came into force in May 2018, you – as a ‘data controller’ and/or ‘data processor’ – need to ensure that you store and handle personal data (i.e. people’s names and email addresses) in accordance with the GDPR regulations.

For example, you can only use the data for the purposes that you obtained explicit consent for, and you must ensure the data is kept secure and not shared with others.

But, realistically, the introduction of GDPR has not made it any more difficult to manage an email marketing list.

Presuming you’re capturing email address in a GDPR-compliant way, are only sending emails to those who have subscribed to them, and giving people an opportunity to opt-out if they wish (as platforms such as MailChimp allow you to do), then email marketing is no more complicated or any more hassle than before.

Promote your blog post in your email signature

Prioritise email marketing in your photography business

So, what I hoped to have convinced you of is the fact that while social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are brilliant free tools for getting yourself visible and for spreading the word about your services and what you do, they have their limitations and should not necessarily be prioritised over and above email marketing.

I urge you to recognise Instagram and Facebook for what they are – social platforms from where you can direct people to your website and email list. But, they are not the be-all and end-all of marketing.

Social media is merely a channel to raise awareness of yourself and your business online.

Related reading: 33 Social Media Content Ideas for Photographers

Your end-goal with social media marketing, and in fact any other marketing, should be to attract and encourage people over to your ‘owned’ channels – the spaces you own and control, such as your website and your email marketing list.

If you are doing little other than promoting your photography business on social media then I suggest you start or develop your email marketing activities as a priority from here on in.

The truth is unless you are strategically building your email list off the back of your social media audience already, you’re missing a trick. Don’t keep putting in the hours on social if you aren’t capturing the email addresses of your followers.

Instead, I’d recommend that you devote your energies on creating a compelling lead magnet to build your email list and then keep in touch with your subscribers regularly to keep top of mind.

Don’t abandon social. Just don’t focus completely on social.

And, when you do post on social media, be sure to include a call to action that inspires your followers to visit your website / download your freebie or get in touch.  This is the marketing activity that will help to drive revenue and grow your photography business.

Do you have an active email list, or do you need to get started with email marketing? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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How to use newsjacking to promote your photography business

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In this article, I introduced you to three ways to secure publicity and to the concept of newsjacking.

Here I’m going to talk in more detail about newsjacking and about how to increase your chances of being featured in the media when using this technique.

What is newsjacking?

‘Newsjacking’ is when you use a fresh angle on a current news story as a means of getting yourself into the press. It’s a great strategy for gaining free publicity.

If you see a news item break that applies in some way to you or your photography business, then this could be a potential opportunity for you to secure valuable exposure in the media.

Whether it’s a local or national story, if you can find a way of linking yourself or your work to the breaking news, you have a chance.

And, since even a small mention in the press can potentially expose you to an audience relevant to your business, this is definitely a strategy worth adding to your PR toolkit.

Newsjacking is a great way to get featured in the press

What can you add to the story?

Being successful at newsjacking relies on being able to add to the already-topical story.

You need to be thinking, “What can I add to the story or conversation around this news that would extend and enhance the existing story?”

So, when you hear of a news story that applies to you in some way, clarify in your mind what value you can offer a journalist who is covering that story.

  • Are you an expert on this topic?

Could you provide further information, an example or further clarity on an aspect of the article that was lacking in detail?

  • What opinion do you have about the subject?

Have you a counter-opinion to the one taken in the article? Or perhaps you wholeheartedly support the sentiment of the article and have a compelling reason why?

Perhaps you could share something that either illustrates the points made or that challenges them?

  • Have you had a personal experience that is relevant to the story?

Journalists love speaking to people who have interesting or unusual experiences. And some publications will even pay people who come forward and offer their story.

A common question I get asked is whether it’s worth trying to pursue a story that has relevance to your personal experience even if it doesn’t have any relevance to your business or work.

My answer to that is yes.

Personal experiences are worth sharing, even if they’re not at all related to your business. That’s because if you are quoted in the media, even if it’s on a subject completely unrelated to your work, they may even include a mention of your business name or occupation.

Young woman reading on her ipad

Newsjacking: How to increase your potential success

Being successful at newsjacking relies on you being on the ball and fast to act.

In order to do this, you need to have routines and systems in place within your business that help you to be aware of relevant stories as they break.

  1.  Keep on top of the news agenda

Quite literally, keep an eye on the news stories of the day.

  • I’d recommend that you check the news first thing in the morning and at regular periods throughout the day.

Perhaps have the news on a TV or second device that is visible from where you work (use the subtitles function if you don’t want the distraction of the sound), or the radio on in the background while you work.

National news publishers such as the BBC are my first port of call, along with selected local news media. You may also have industry-specific news media that you’d choose to follow.

Twitter on smartphone with coffee

  • Also check Twitter, which is a great (if not the greatest) online platform for breaking news.

Check both the newsfeed and the ‘trending topics’ section to see if anything related to your business is coming up.

Also, run a search by using a specific hashtag (e.g. #photography). This will bring up recent tweets that have included this hashtag. A quick scan of the content will enable you to identify if there is a news related story mentioned across multiple tweets.

  • Set up Google Alerts for keywords and phrases related to your business.

Google Alerts are completely free and easy to set up. You will receive an email when a specified search time is identified on the web.

Review the results to see if there is a breaking story that applies to your business.

Pile of newspapers

2. Spot an opportunity? Then, act fast!

Then when you do spot an opportunity, react quickly and strike while the iron is hot!

Don’t delay in making an approach to the media. Yesterday’s news is old news.

You’ll need to get in touch with the journalist(s) or publication(s) you have in mind as soon as possible – whether by calling the newsdesk or sending an email or tweet – and clearly present the reasons why they should consider involving you.

3. But, prepare!

That said, do make your approach after you’ve carefully considered what exactly it is you are going to pitch.

Approach the media in haste and you may fluff your words or pitch something that you haven’t fully thought through.

Instead of rushing, take the time to practice your pitch out loud or write it out until you’ve got it just right before approaching a journalist – this needn’t take more than a minute.

Whether you plan to speak to them on the phone or approach them via email or Twitter, you’ll likely only get one shot at pitching to the media. A little practice may make the difference between success and failure.

4. Don’t be afraid to follow up

If the news story is only likely to be relevant that day, don’t be afraid to send a follow-up email, tweet or make another call a few hours later if you haven’t heard back.

If it’s less urgent than that, follow up in the next day or so to check that they received your pitch.

But don’t become a pest!

Journalists are often up against deadlines and overflowing inboxes. If you don’t hear back in a reasonably short time frame, chances are they don’t want to take up your offer.

Don’t take it personally. Perhaps consider reaching out to another publication which is also running the story.

Have you ever had success with newsjacking?

Keeping on top of the news is potentially the difference between getting coverage for your business and not. So, my advice is to implement the tips I have shared above and use your knowledge of what’s topical today to your advantage.

Let me know in the comments, have you ever used newsjacking to secure media publicity for your photography business?

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