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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 14 Mar 2012 (Wednesday) 08:29
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Taurance
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Location: Tampa, Fl
     
Mar 14, 2012 08:29 |  #1

I have a business called Simply Taurance Photography. I have a website (www.simplytaurance.com (external link)) I feel my website is not the best it could be but it is good enough that if someone landed there they wouldn't be completely turned away from hiring me. I am working with 3 AB800's and a 4ft octa box. I have a 50 1.4, 27-50 2.8 and a 50-200 lenses. I have come into about $1000 and I want to invest it in advertising to get my company's name out in my local area. I feel I have the tools and skill to make great pictures just I do not have the paying clients. I have volunteered with a local church to photograph an event and I am working on getting my name out more with word of mouth. I also have business cards. I have looked into ValPak which cost about $400 for a single area of 10k homes. As well I was thinking of doing some kind of AdWords with Google. I have also thought about putting an ad in a local paper to also get my name out there and possibly a few paying clients. I have ideas and I am unsure where I would get the most ROI. Please let me know what advice you may have.


http://SimplyTaurance.​com (external link)
Setup: Nikon D90 - Nikon 55-200 - Tamron 17-55 2.8 - Nikon 50mmG f1.4 - (3x) AB800 w/ Beauty Dish and Vagabond II - Westcott 5' Octa Box

  
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PhotosGuy
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Mar 14, 2012 11:04 |  #2

I have volunteered with a local church to photograph an event and I am working on getting my name out more with word of mouth. I also have business cards.

IMO, that's one of the best advertising methods there is. When you shoot an event, do you have a table there with some big prints & your cards on it?

Your site took a long time to load this AM. Then I clicked on Portfolio > Boys, & the first image that came up was of a girl. Most of the images I saw looked good, but could have been cropped tighter.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Mar 14, 2012 11:39 |  #3

PhotosGuy wrote in post #14084929 (external link)
Your site took a long time to load this AM.

I got bored as it was taking so long... so didn't bother waiting


Peter

  
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Daship
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765 posts
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Mar 14, 2012 12:47 |  #4

Get a new website, your current one sucks.




  
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Taurance
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112 posts
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Location: Tampa, Fl
     
Mar 14, 2012 13:59 |  #5

Thank you for your feed back on my website but the purpose of this post was not to get critiqued there. It is a website. I will work on it's loading issues. But the 2 last comments are not helpful to my original request.

PhotosGuy,

I am working on building more word of mouth advertising but are there any tips on using a little cash backing to help that method along?


http://SimplyTaurance.​com (external link)
Setup: Nikon D90 - Nikon 55-200 - Tamron 17-55 2.8 - Nikon 50mmG f1.4 - (3x) AB800 w/ Beauty Dish and Vagabond II - Westcott 5' Octa Box

  
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tstevely
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Location: Virginia
     
Mar 14, 2012 14:30 as a reply to  @ Taurance's post |  #6

Taurance,
I took a look at your site and just wanted to offer up my opinions. I am not an expert at marketing, but I have read A LOT on marketing photography businesses and think some of what I can share may help or offer some insight.

So first things, first. I took a look at your website and I have to say, I disagree with what you stated. While there are some nice shots, I was really bored. Everything (except one image) on your website is on a white background – which I think really takes away from some of the cute poses the kids are doing. I’m not saying get rid of the white background/studio look, but I am saying mix it up. Show some diversity in where you are shooting. Now…maybe that’s all you want to do, shoot in studio on a white background – somehow you have to warm your website up and make it a little more inviting…to me it actually feels kind of sterile. You know that one image of the little boy sitting on the steps outside? LOVE IT! It has a unique personality and makes me wonder “How did you find this location, could you do this for me?”

I also took a look at your blog (where I saw another adorable picture, not on the white background) and a couple things stood out to me right away. First, there are only three blog entries – blogging once a month is not effective and actually, if you don’t feel like blogging is your thing, don’t do it. It’s ok NOT to blog, I’ve fallen in love with photographers who don’t but if you aren’t keeping up some kind of consistency (more than once a month) it can be a deterrent. Second, blog to your clients. I think you can offer a unique voice as a father. Talk about fatherhood and the ups and downs of it. Talk about kids and what different things your boys are doing. What I would recommend staying away from, is talking about the newborn shoot you want to do, but are finding difficult to work into your schedule. Again, to a potential client, who doesn’t know you, it comes across as not really having the necessary time for the service you are offering.

OK, I realize you didn’t ask about your website or blog BUT the reason I am bringing them up is that you can pay for marketing, push for word of mouth BUT if you website doesn’t scream awesomeness, it doesn’t matter what kind of money you put into getting your business name out there, you will lose potential clients. You internet/online presence really does mean a lot. ALSO, if you are not utilizing facebook, YOU SHOULD! It’s a great way to have clients PUBLICLY become fans of your work and get your business more visibility!

As far as marketing that may cost you a little money, have you thought about finding local businesses that cater to families and children and asking them to display your business card somewhere? What about offering some kind of freebie or percentage off to every client who brings in a coupon that you have given to a certain business to pass out? What about teaming up with a local ice cream shop and co-hosting some kind of event where kids can eat ice cream and get a photo taken? There are so many ideas out there, and I know with a little bit of searching on the internet you can find more!

Anyways, I hope you don’t take any of what I’ve written the wrong way, just trying to offer my insights!

Best of luck!


Canon 5DIII; Canon 5D; Canon 7D
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J ­ Michael
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Mar 14, 2012 14:41 |  #7

Most advertising only works if it's seen repeatedly, as in an ad in a weekly paper every week for a few months. Re ValPak, who reads those? They might distribute 10k but only have 1k open them, if that. I've used AdSense and picked up a loyal long time customer for less than the $25 or so I spent, so I think the ROI can be there if you can target searches that are in your locale. Limit the max you'll pay per hit and stretch that portion of your ad budget over a few months. Put up flyers in coffee shops and the like. They work and they are about the cheapest advertising you can get. Repeat visitors to the shop see your flyer often and it fits your target market. And of course once you fix your site work on SEO to get better local search results. BTW, your prices are too low to be considered an investment, why don't you make that link say "Prices", and don't hit the prospect with a list of rules when they read them, you can state your terms when you are actually entering into an agreement. Hope that helps. Good luck with sales.




  
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Taurance
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
112 posts
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Location: Tampa, Fl
     
Mar 14, 2012 14:42 |  #8

Thanks for the info. I am slowly working in more variety into my portfolio. I love to shoot on seemless but I was told in the past that there needs to be more variety for my work. I have a few things lined up to add variety. I do have a facebook fan page that is being used and I have promoted a little on that. Blogging isn't my thing but I am trying to do it more often. I know I am lacking there and finding things to blog about is a little hard. I need to work on that.

I understand the concept of a website screaming awesome but putting more money behind that from what I have read still will not let the world know I even exist. Tonight I will be tuning my website a little so it works faster. The initial images were multiple megs large and I need to resize the images to speed the loading. I will also go through and add some additional pictures that should help add some diversity.

I really like the idea of a local ice cream/picture shoot. I will look into that today. Thank you for your insight.


http://SimplyTaurance.​com (external link)
Setup: Nikon D90 - Nikon 55-200 - Tamron 17-55 2.8 - Nikon 50mmG f1.4 - (3x) AB800 w/ Beauty Dish and Vagabond II - Westcott 5' Octa Box

  
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coglis
Mostly Lurking
15 posts
Joined Nov 2010
     
Mar 14, 2012 14:52 |  #9

Taurance,

I am actually kinda interested in why your site is underperforming in server responses. Have you tried a different plugin other than nextgen in the wp? also, it may help if you do fewer images per page. I don't see really anything too interesting regarding your web host provider, bluehost.

What I would recommend is that you stick to static web pages for your splash screen and then to have your clients look at the photos, use the wordpress addon from there. The static pages will load much faster than wordpress, and your clients will be willing to wait for your host to deliver pictures of their kids imo.

Peace and GL




  
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tstevely
Member
133 posts
Joined Mar 2011
Location: Virginia
     
Mar 14, 2012 15:05 |  #10

I meant to share that your website wasn't slow for me, it worked just fine! I get the not wanting to put limited funds into a website, but I really feel like just a little diversity in the images you are displaying will help! Even if it's your boys you are showing off! Again, the reason I bring up your website is that as a consumer, I know when I see a flyer advertising something I might be interested in, as soon as I can I check them out online. If their website does not appeal to me, I 'm not going to spend my money. It would suck to spend good money on anything printed that is given to people, only to have them lose interest because of your website.

The other thing I forgot to add, but J Michael hit on is that it really does take repeated advertising and time to get your name out and circulating. It's not just a one shot and your done kind of thing.

An


Canon 5DIII; Canon 5D; Canon 7D
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memoriesoftomorrow
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Mar 14, 2012 18:48 |  #11

Taurance wrote in post #14084121 (external link)
I have a website (www.simplytaurance.com (external link)) I feel my website is not the best it could be but it is good enough that if someone landed there they wouldn't be completely turned away from hiring me.

Yes, the comments are useful to your original request. Read this (external link).

Your site is so slow YES someone could easily "be completely turned away from hiring you" for that fact alone. Users rarely wait any length of time for content and man your site was slow.

I'm guessing your business cards advertise your website i.e. your online portfolio? Word of mouth they look you up on the web right after hearing about you? What about Google Ads or flyers where do they send people? Oh, right... your website.

If the main place people will see your portfolio is your website and it runs like a one legged dog trying to climb a mountain it is going to hurt you in getting business. I didn't even get to the point of making any suggestions on improving it as it was taking that long to load.


Peter

  
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tim
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Mar 14, 2012 19:14 |  #12

Just about every image on your website is way overexposed. The posing's a bit boring too. The website's ok, but there aren't many images up there.

I suggest you invest in education rather than advertising, get more practice, develop your skills. Calibrate your screen with something like this (external link) - along with understanding the histogram.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
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Frugal
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Mar 15, 2012 01:44 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #13

While you're improving your skills as Tim suggests, and improving your website, it's time to start networking. Start now - it takes time.

A postcard in the mail won't help you one iota. Start volunteering your services for local non-profits, join the local chamber and attend events, volunteer for your church. Aim to become well known in your local community. Use Facebook to build and maintain the connections you make. You'll need to work hard and be willing to put in a lot of service, but folk give business to people they know or to people that friends recommend.

I'd recommend Adwords (once you've fixed your site and it's SEO-ed). You need a good online presence but you also need a lot of personal connections in the offline world (once known as the real world)


Richard
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PhotosGuy
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Mar 15, 2012 11:12 |  #14

Taurance wrote in post #14085815 (external link)
PhotosGuy,

I am working on building more word of mouth advertising but are there any tips on using a little cash backing to help that method along?

As you've seen from the comments that followed, "cash backing" is just a waste of your $s if your site isn't at work for you.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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TooManyShots
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Mar 15, 2012 11:32 |  #15
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Frugal wrote in post #14089312 (external link)
While you're improving your skills as Tim suggests, and improving your website, it's time to start networking. Start now - it takes time.

A postcard in the mail won't help you one iota. Start volunteering your services for local non-profits, join the local chamber and attend events, volunteer for your church. Aim to become well known in your local community. Use Facebook to build and maintain the connections you make. You'll need to work hard and be willing to put in a lot of service, but folk give business to people they know or to people that friends recommend.

I'd recommend Adwords (once you've fixed your site and it's SEO-ed). You need a good online presence but you also need a lot of personal connections in the offline world (once known as the real world)

Nicely put. :) People choose you to shoot because of your name brand and your reputation in the local community, whatever is your market. Very rarely your skill and website alone can gain you clients. I like the "real world" or "word of the mouth" approach...this works when you are shooting something you are very passionate about. Your passion can break down barriers and negative thoughts. You no longer get the "why are you here shooting this or that" questions from people you try to perform the service. You will become something expected.


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