Making your brand a success
So you have successfully created a brand for yourself. Now what? Contrary to what many people think, creating a successful business online is not an easy task. It is not like opening a shop on the high street, where once the doors are open, the flashy neon signs will attract the crowds in. Starting a new business website is more like opening a shoe shop in the middle of a secluded forest. No signs, no adverts, and no scores of shoppers.
Once the final tweaks have been made to your website, the hard work begins. It is time to take the brand image that you worked so hard to create and share it with the world. And with everyone spending so much time on social media, it is only obvious that visual business (such as photography) should take advantage of it.
When it comes to the real world, it is important to remember that there are other real life businesses that have already long established themselves. Getting to know them and partnering together might be the single most important decision you will make when trying to build a name for yourself.
In this article we will tell you exactly how to go about doing that. After all, how else would you get those visitors to the middle of that forest?
Taking your brand to the next level
The first thing you need to do before starting any marketing campaign is to make sure that you and your business are ready for it. Go through your portfolio and check that only the best work is there. If you share mediocre work, people will not take you as a serious professional.
Then, study the current trends. This step is crucial for a successful online marketing campaign. There is nothing worse than seeing someone trying to market outdated content that people simply don’t care about anymore. You need to be fresh and popular. Styles change often and fast, so you must be on the lookout at all times.
And no matter what you do, make sure your content doesn’t look like regular spam. If it does, people will start blocking you and your marketing campaign might do you more harm than good. To avoid such things, create not only interesting but also useful content. There is no better deal than getting something for free, even if it’s just some useful information.
Creating Facebook marketing campaigns
Now, the fun part begins - time to create some serious buzz about yourself. You want people to associate your name with everything to do with photography. To do that, they need to constantly be reminded of your existence. Sure, this is harder to do than it sounds, but if you create enough buzz, people will see you as the big professional in town, even if your business is relatively new.
Using Facebook is a great start, and the fact that they have bought Instagram should be an indication that those are best used together. However, we have already discussed the ways and means of getting followers on Instagram and monetizing it, so for the sake of saving everyone's time we should stick to Facebook in this post.
There’s a few good ways to market your business on Facebook:
- Create a Facebook business page
On facebook, a good start is creating a business page. It’s an excellent place to share news, blog updates, new Instagram pictures and what ever else you think will generate interest with your audience. Share quality content on your page and remember not to spam your audience. Here quality is just as important as quantity.
- Create interactive Facebook posts
Most people think that the more likes you have on your Facebook post, the better. And while it is true to an extent, post interactions are far more important. You want people to engage with you not only by liking your posts but also commenting and sharing them. The more people press the share button, the more people will get to see it. And best of all, it will be absolutely free of charge for you.
- Join relevant Facebook groups
Another great strategy to gain facebook followers is joining and participating in as many groups as you can manage. These groups already have an audience, and if you learn to utilize that audience, you will soon be sending thousands of visitors to your website every day.
Remember that anyone who liked your post can be invited to like your Facebook page.
Marketing your business in the real world
Having a successful social media campaign is great. It can attract a whole lot of people to your website each day, and that traffic can be monetized. But let’s remember why you started your photography business in the first place. It was not to run a blog and be stuck at your computer writing. Your started your business so you could be out with camera in hand taking pictures and making money.
To do that, you need to make good connections not only online but also in the real world. Go outside and meet people. Most importantly, meet other professionals. Go to local events where professionals mingle - gallery openings, conferences about photography, and other places with which your business can relate to. What better way to surround yourself with event organizers than by attending a local conference for event managers?
People are quick to forget that email that you sent them which explains how great it would be for the two of you to work together. They have probably received hundreds of emails like that. However, they have not met those people. And that’s where you some in.
By meeting them in person you ensure to make a more lasting impression. Next time they will think that they might need photography services, your face will automatically pop into their mind. The science here is simple - people like faces better than social media accounts.
Build relationships with other brands
Working with other professionals is not only great for your personal development, but it can do wonders for your business. Just imagine what would happen when you tap into their long established social media networks...
This idea is in no way original, and you can see this method used all the time by Nike, Apple and pretty much every other big and successful brand. These brands didn’t become successful alone, they managed to ride the train of success right through every other company.
When you open a sports magazines and every picture has a Nike logo on it, it sticks in your head. Next time you make a New Year’s resolution to lose the Christmas pouch, you will run to the shop and buy some Nikes, so that you too could work out as a world class athlete.
Big companies use this method because it works. So every time you work with another professional, make sure that they share your work on their social channels with a proper accreditation to you. Soon, you will build up enough momentum that whenever people will think of photography services in Atlanta, they will automatically reach for your number. And that, my friend, is already called success.
Make friends, not enemies
You have probably noticed that the most successful people in any industry are usually friends. And this is no coincidence. These people didn’t start their businesses together, but as their business grew, they reached out to each other and shared ideas. No single brand can grow into greatness alone. Everybody needs friends, and in this case, they need to be successful professionals.
At the start of your new career, everything seems scary and can easily overwhelm you. Doubtful thoughts like “why would someone so successful would ever want to deal with me” might be clouding your mind. But with a simple phone call, a well worded email, (or best of all) a pleasant meeting, a door of opportunity might open for you that you never knew existed.
So don’t be shy, put on your good shoes and go make some new friends. After all, what is the point in creating something great if you have no one to share it with?