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Marketing Your Photography Business

Lesson 5 of 24

Blogging and Social Media

Sal Cincotta

Marketing Your Photography Business

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

5. Blogging and Social Media

Lesson Info

Blogging and Social Media

I want to start off you know danny, you had a good questions I want to take your questions cause I think that's on the mind of everyone out there based on what we just did um my question is about branding pretty much me I just have myself my experience I don't have a logo I don't have colors I don'thave packaging um I understand that those that costs money and I want to spend money on branding because that's you know, going to be my business but I don't have that money right now and I don't want to go forward without branding a tte this point in time my goal was to do it at the end of the summer season when I had more money but it's like I said I don't want to go for I think the longer you wait the worse it is and I agree with you by the way right? Brandon can be it's obviously a cost it's not something that you're going to go all by creating this new logo I made you know, one hundred thousand dollars mohr or ten thousand dollars more you you won't be able to draw that correlation but ...

you also won't be able to get to the places you want to be with a brand that looks right inferior all right? So here's what you need to understand a new logo you khun get for five hundred bucks, six hundred bucks, someplace is cheaper, but it might look cheaper, right? That's, seeing as your website, your jacket, your dvds or whatever you're selling, everything is going to have that logo. I would say the logo was probably one of the single most important elements you can invest in moving forward. So there's no reason for five hundred bucks, there's no reason, right? You don't have to go by the new flash, the new plug ins all these things that you don't really need for your business, they're just toys get that logo, because that logo is not a toy. It's your identity it's the identity of your business, you need it, you have to get it and something's cost, you know, more or less than others, not everything has to be expensive. You know, I wanna give you guys a perfect example when it comes to brandy. And maybe this seems like insignificant thing, right? A jacket with our our logo on it. But it's, not when we show up at a wedding. Everyone on my team is wearing a branded jacket that becomes very, very important to me because I want everybody to know that we're together, right, we're not going to be dressed in the obligatory black pants, black shirt fanny pack like you know that's not who we are is our brand right? So I'm not gonna force my team to all wear like faded black t shirts I cannot stand the way that looks doesn't look professional doesn't look exclusive but it is nice when we're all wearing the same jackets everybody kind of knows we belong together this doesn't have to be expensive. This is under eighty bucks. Okay, so in the spirit of that the same company that creates these jackets for us okay, all of you, you didn't know this, but as a gift to you, all of you are getting a brand new black jacket, not with my logo on it with your logo on it although I should start putting my logo on it and you guys could be out there, uh, branding me, but no, we're gonna take your logo my gift to you on you're all going to get a brand new jacket with your logo on it and that is courtesy of b your brand. Okay, so any everybody out there, if you want, um ten percent off any order, no setup fee. So if you order by may fifteenth, no setup fee for your logos on then, of course used this code and it'll be on the site and go toby your brand inc dot com and just kind of check out what they've got t shirts. So every year for my team, we get t shirts, there's, just something it's, this little chats, keys that you could give your team members, and that just builds brand awareness. Brand identity. Maybe for your seniors. Imagine getting t shirts made for your seniors. If you're in the baby's, imagine getting t shirts made for your pregnant moms. How cool would that be? Okay, so we can start getting really creative. You know, much of a brain? A t shirt cost ten bucks. Eleven bucks. That's. Not expensive. You have to go out and buy two hundred t shirts. Go by ten. All right, go by five. And so these are the kind of things that you can do that start getting your brand out there. Let's, talk about these boxes. This has been a big question. These boxes also don't have to be expensive. These boxes come from a company called photo flash drive. Dot com go check him out. They're geared towards photographers. This is the kind of stuff they produced for photography. I saw this box. I fell in love with him. Like I have to have that for my client's, ok, and so uh the top of the box is etched with our logo I want to see if I can show you guys that you can have an appreciation for it so it's etched with our logo in it and then of course when you open it up it's just real plush uh and you can put your thumb drive in there okay, so these boxes twenty five percent off your first order no minimum orders so I can actually buy one box at a time that is cool ah lot of these manufacturers out that's what I'm telling you these guys are geared towards photographer who wants to buy we were looking at other companies they want me to buy a minimum of one hundred boxes that's not practical I don't need one hundred boxes because chances are in the next six months I'll change my mind and I'll come up with something else that is more high end than this rights I'm constantly looking to innovate so this these guys they're great to work with now you can buy one box at a time in a box like this is twenty bucks that's my cost okay, so somewhere now you don't have to get something this high end they have other boxes that are maybe five dollars and so they're totally worth it go give him a try and in the spirit of this and I apologize for all the fingerprints yeah I should have been using the white glove the thumb drive here this is a crystal thumb drive it's not even really available yet it's a metal cap so you guys at home you can't really have an appreciation for this but it's not flimsy it's very very heavy on that's what I want quality right because when you put in your client's hands it feels heavy and then our our logos laser ached inside there okay and then it glows red when you plug it in and so we wanted to do something cool again for our clients this came from b your brand okay but also photo flash drives they make flash drives a cz well so all these companies have very economical products for you that you could be looking for the ad for your clients but dana right to your point doesn't have to be expensive don't think branding has to be expensive it's usually to put your logo on something only a couple of bucks extra and now these companies are offering you a great opportunity where they're not charging any setup fees that's where they start getting you right you buy one box and it's a seventy five dollar setup fee that doesn't that's not real economical all right let's keep going so twitter let's talk about twitter let's get into social media right now first of all I am not a fan of twitter it is my arch nemesis I cannot stand it I don't I just don't understand it uh doesn't really do much for me my clients are not on twitter right? My bridegrooms are not out there looking for a photographer it's words there's no images right? So we're photographers we showcase images twitter is not the medium necessarily for that I understand you can post links and post links the images but really my clients are out on facebook twitter serves a purpose depending on the type of business you're in right? Because people are going to go out there and they usually complain on twitter right there like you know hashtag crappy service right or whatever whatever they're doing out on twitter. So what happens? Our businesses start monitoring twitter looking for customer service complaints and I'm talking about the big companies out there. They're spending hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring a team dedicated to social media where all they're doing is looking and searching for their brand their logo showing up right or hashtag I should say showing up here so that they can address customer service issues you guys with me on that so that's not really where I want to be with our business, a lot of our clients, right? I'm not american airlines or one of these big monster companies that are getting a lot of complaints on twitter my client base isn't out there uh so you've gotta ask yourself are your clients out there fundamentally for me not for the most part they're just not they're especially high school seniors they're not out there when you get to college they're there but it's just it's a it's a lane form of communication I don't particularly care for it most businesses used twitter to drive traffic to their websites right? So if you subscribe to any big businesses I'm not talking about news like cnn or something like that that's great that's kind of cool to get twitter feeds about breaking news stories things like that but other otherwise if you're subscribing they're trying to drive you to their website because that's the best way to get messaging out to you it's very difficult to get complete messaging out via twitter right it's just it's a very abbreviated medium and of course to monitor customers sat issues so as a result we don't tweet all that much in fact we link our facebook site to twitter so that when we make a post on our facebook site it shows up on twitter and there's a lot of plug ins for that so in this world of not enough time this is not where I want to see you spending your time on twitter first of all to all of you have twitter accounts you interact with it a little bit not too much so anybody else doing anything with twitter here yeah and I would suspect out there most people just aren't using twitter all that much although photography great using twitter for communication with each other following their favorite photographers and things like that that's amazing but as far as dealing with like brides and baby clients twitter is just not there so I don't want to spend a whole lot of time that's my opinion on how we run our business but your blogged this is where we start getting into a little more data okay, so you're blogged we're gonna drive traffic from facebook you can't get rid your block now my personal opinion is facebook is kind of replacing our block but facebook is not going to help you with search engine optimization okay, so your facebook page is not going to come up in the google searches that's not what you're looking for when people go out there looking for a wedding photographer so our blocks cannot die and the biggest pet peeve right? If I go out to your blog's and I'm guilty of this sometimes too it becomes very, very stale you're not updating it there's nothing to put out there you say right? I well I haven't shot in four months, right? So for me from december like march april we're dead man there's not much going on our season kicks in in april may and goes through kind of early november that's our season and every business is seasonal that's our our season for business so our block tends to die during those months and I think that's normal for everyone. But when you are in season, you have got to get out there and start posting a ton of stuff out there. So we want to add social media tags. We'll talk about that. We won't include your vendors so that you're getting links back. Linc backs links into your sight. Right? That's the ultimate goal is to get links into your side from other sites. That's going to help with search engine optimization. So the question is who's going to link to your site? Well, if I just photographed at, um you know, a great hotel or great conference centre in st louis or in illinois, why not get them to link back to this wedding? Okay, so, yeah, we can send them. The image is but how about we just tell him we how about we make him wait two months for the images? We say, hey, well, you know, why don't you link back to our site and start getting some traffic coming back to your site or seymour information? Go backto our our sight, then you're going to start mohr links coming into sight that's better for search engine optimization we'll talk about how we use light room with our block and then of course how blog's gonna help us with seo so this is a very, very important segment start taking a lot of notes because this is a place a lot of you struggle and all I want to do is break it down and make it simple some con some concepts we're gonna talk about her a little more advanced and I want to make them super simple for everyone so that you don't have to have a programmer to go do some of this stuff so facebook is great, okay? I love facebook that is a primary method of communication force with our clients, but I still want to drive traffic to my side. I want to allow people to see and experience the brand that's the one weakness on facebook, right? It is not our brand out there as much as we try and customize it it's not our brand bottom line it's the facebook brand and we're just trying to fit in within it. Now if you come back to my site, not only do you see my entire brand, my logo, the colors, the experience but you get to see images maybe maybe you're ah you're coming in looking at a wedding, okay on my blogged and you realize, oh, we just high school seniors too my daughter's a senior this year, we should look him up. I can't tell you how many times that happens. Oh, he does babies. Oh, he does glamour, right? So we want to drive traffic back to the main site so that, uh, they can see the rest of our body of work. This is not possible with facebook alone video. We just started video, so we offers right, salvador, some kind of films we've been doing video for a couple of years now. I want people to get to our side to even see those videos, maybe it's not our core business, obviously wedding for tyre fees, our core business, but I still want people to know that we do video and our videos have been growing just because people goto our sight to look at one thing and then see, we're doing wedding videos, so that becomes very, very powerful. Um, and then we leak one or two images on facebook to drive all other traffic back to the block. That's the ultimate goal. I want to keep driving traffic back to block, and I'll show you how we do that in a second. So as we go, here we go look at our, uh, salvador cincotti photography page carry on facebook, you can see in the link earl there right? So all I'm doing is going to make a status update and just by copying the girl from my side south and co dot com lynch wedding photography by copying that and pacing it into the status it automatically goes out there and grabs some of the copy and grabs the image I have to do anything I just dropped in that link now hit write a hit enter that status update goes out on my facebook page but now anybody wanting to seymour images has to go out to my block very very easy to do this is not overly complicated okay? So I'm driving traffic back to my block and maybe later on you want to post some single images out to facebook and create a facebook album that's totally fine, but I want to drive traffic back to my side so that they get the branded experienced all about the brand social media tags some of you may be doing this I'm gonna ask you a couple of seconds if you are just because they're not on your facebook site doesn't mean they can't have that social media engagement by social media engagement I'm talking about pinterest ah facebook, twitter right liking it sharing it there's no reason why they can't have that same experience on your block right? They have plug ins for that so we use a plug in called share this s h a r e th I s it's a free wordpress plugging no reason you're not doing this right now. So guys out there, follow along because we're gonna start drilling into a lot of this stuff. Open up your browser's, get on your block if you have one and look up new plug in so all you do is go to the plug ins tab, look it up and just search share this it's a free plug in and what it's going to do is put this on the bottom of every post it's simple. So now from my block, I don't have to go back to facebook to share this. I don't have to go back to facebook toe like this on your block, and I can still have that social media engagement right on my block. You don't have to be a programmer, you just go right into your plug ins and say, add this plug in and hear the options you have. This is the plug in, so what I'm doing here is if you follow along, it says include facebook like google plus one and pinterest, I just hit those check boxes and immediately those are going to start showing after every post and I can control all this. Right from that interface no programming I don't have to be a programmer I don't have to be a wordpress wizard I'm immediately doing this how many of you guys are doing this right now on your blocks two of you three of you okay so you three we've got to get that out right so it's easy to do go home starting adding that right teo your block there's no reason not to it's free what about vendors? What about adding a list of vendors toe every post easy to do write work with them and trying to get linked backs if you're promoting them there's no reason they don't want to link back to your side right uh ceremony right high it um or ceremony you know st patrick's cathedral reception you know the waldorf historia make up susie right who did the flowers who did the limo who did everything add them to your list it's great for search engine optimization and it's a great reason for them to link back it's free publicity for them right I'm saying hey dude if you give me some free publicity I'll post some of your pictures to our block will drive traffic back and forth you don't think they're gonna link back to your site and the more links you're getting back to your site the better it is for search engine optimization again I can't encourage you enough to understand everything I'm teaching right now is free it's free and easy we don't have to have a big budget there's no reason not to be doing this ask the bride she is more than willing to share this data with you and that's what we do we send our bride's a form and we asked them to tell us their story that's actually really cool because now it gives your your ceo write a better ranking because text is good visually on our sites we want more pictures but I don't want to just write every time there's copy on my page right text I wanted to be like all that seo related right, salvador cicada that rv is based in o'fallon, illinois st louis metro area and he's a wedding photographer wedding photographer wedding photographer right? I don't want to just be bombard it with seo normal read it. But if I get my bride and groom to tell me their story that's something I can post there I don't know about you guys in the beginning I was always inspired by a bunch of these west coast photographer, so if we we rewind like four, five years ago when I was starting out, I was inspired by these west coast photographers and it was had these amazing sunset weddings and they would always write these amazing words in their post right like susie just looks so elegant and she was glowing and oh my god, I'm horrible. I don't speak that way and I could never type up. How many different ways can you describe the wedding? How many different ways can you describe a pair of shoes or a bracelet or a moment? I don't know, I'm horrible at it. I don't want to do it so instead I sent ah form to my bride and groom and I have, like ten questions for them. So when they're done getting married on all, you guys will get that stuff too. But we can send it to him during their engagement session or you know when they come in, then send them. Hajime, tell us about the proposal, right? I'm going off the top of my head right now. Tell us how you met what was what did you think when you first kissed? What was what was your first thought? Right? Tell us about the proposal and then you can ask these questions from both perspectives. Right? Does think about the proposal. He's got one set of thoughts in his mind. She's got another that's. Really cool. Copy. That's going to force people to stay on your site that's going to force gets what? Her to drive traffic to your sight him the drive traffic to the site because their stories on ly there the story's not on facebook, the stories on our block, so that becomes more of a reason for them to not just swipe your pictures and put him on facebook that becomes more of a reason for them to drive traffic to your block and it's super easy to do because it's in their words not me, is a guy trying to be all mushy, right? Especially when it's not me or you trying to say something that's just not even them let them speak in their own words, so I'm just going off the time ahead, but we'll get get this everybody how'd you first meet? Um where'd you go on your first day, tell us what your thoughts were when you first saw each other that's always an interesting question, right? Would you first think when you met each other? Because it's pretty interesting if you think about your spouse or your girlfriend or what your first thought verse where you are today or completely different, so don't ask me that question, and I'm not asking taylor that question either yes, ah, really quick questions, south people who aren't doing this just breathe, please expand a little more about the value of doing something it seems inherently simple, but people aren't doing it doesn't create personalization what? What does it was do yeah the goal which you don't want to have happen on your website is for they're just to be a bunch of pictures there because because your website becomes very cold, very sterile ah and not very I would say interactive so by putting copy there or descriptions, they're not only good for search engine optimization it's good for your brand right? It creates that level of personalization between you and the client even though it's all in their words and that's the important part is it's simple to do like you, said antonio it's very easy to do, but for some reason we don't do it and I think take this template we're sending you I don't care if you change a single sentence and use it as is because even if you're copying exactly what we're doing it's their story it's not my story, so I think it's perfect and for those people who think that all that my customer they're not going to share that publicly people love to share their story don't they love it love it people absolutely love now doesn't mean everybody is going to do it of course not we're not going to force him to do it if they don't want to, but we sent it to him we asked him to do it and guess what more than not, we live in the celebrity world today today clients want to be many superstars, right? Many rock stars and let's help them be there let's help them rock out on their wedding day let's put all that stuff on our website let them drive traffic let them be excited about who they are at least my clients want that jules yeah, I think it's a great idea and we started doing it it's part of their homework packet so they get the timeline I want to know all the vendors are who the people are in their family so I can call them by their names and then their love story too, because when you go to write that block post, you don't have to think about it they've done the work for you, all you have to do is upload it that's right? It's kind and pace at that point that's great, yeah so you're using it today and it's working awesome. So, uh, any questions about that from you guys? Yeah could question about leaking the story on are the feathers on facebook now for like high school seniors? Don't you post the photos that they purchase like how does that work? We do so typically as a rule, we're on ly posting to facebook what they've purchased right because what's starting to happen with our client base is facebook is becoming more important than the actual print so we're trying to do is kind of circumvent that and say no no no we still because that's where you're making your money man you can only charge so much for a facebook post but product you can obviously charge a premium for so we will post images that they order from their session that being said right every rule is meant to be broken on so what I'll do is I'll take one or two pictures and leak them out to the site to drive traffic back, especially on a wedding on a wedding I might post ten images from a wedding driving traffic back to the site and just follow up the the leaking too that is leaking the photos is that before they actually see the preview and purchase session or is that after that is before because I want to build excitement for it like so let's goto the case of a senior from a senior I might actually take pictures from the shoot and post during the shoot okay? Just to build excitement from our friends and everything like that from a wedding I'm starting to do the same thing and I got a little treat for you I will show you how we actually accomplish this on the wedding day where we're leaking pictures during the actual day and then of course, on a wedding I do something called a slide show, so I'm showing them ah slide shows like a hundred pictures that night, so they've already kind of seen some pictures all I'm looking to do now is just keep that momentum going till they come in to formally see their pictures in our studio does that make sense? That makes sense awesome all right let's keep going so this is very, very important we're going to give you that form s so that it makes sense for you no reason not to do it and here's just you know, I took a screenshot from our sight this is what it looks like so lynch wedding photography and then you can look at this and you can see we're using keywords there notice it says salvador's st louis wedding photography salvador cincotti photography st louis wedding video salvador sim card if it's harvey so we're actually by posting the list of vendors were actually building that keyword and search engine optimization because make you guys should know this we're number one when you search st louis wedding photographer or photography we come back number one on google not page one, not page five number one ahead of the not so that means our search engine tips and tricks works okay, so this is fundamental stuff it's time not cost everything I'm showing you will cost you nothing it's just going to take time to do it but you can see we have everything deejay dress designer the dress salon anything she wants to give us we're gonna post here and then this is a fairly recent wedding so it's gonna take us a little bit of time to get those vendors tolling backto us hopefully so that they can showcase this wedding and I think there's ten or fifteen pictures if you scroll down through this post from her wedding day so the workflow for the block don't reinvent the wheel ok make it tough and make it tough to post doesn't have to be difficult to posters absolutely no reason for it to be tough to post in fact most of our work role is right out of light room we have a tool in light room I think it's like a ten dollar tool so again what's your time worth it it's not worth ten dollars we got bigger problems all right uh there's a site called photographers dash toolbox dot com and I'll come back to the slide out of light room I can hit export out of light room and this tool will pop up and you guys here are probably having a tough time seeing it but what this is going to do is it will log directly into my blawg from like room aiken sits put the post title all the copy all the description all the images from the from light room okay, I can then control the name of the file right? So I don't want to post the file eyes underscore you know m one two, four nine v dot j p g that's not gonna help me with search engine optimization so I can actually right here before it ever leaves renamed the file to what st louis underscore wedding underscore photographer one dot j p g to dodge a pg that's going to help me with search engine optimization because now all the files are seo enabled. Okay, also notice here I can say it says image sizing I can control the size why? Because my block pictures have to be a certain size for me they're nine hundred forty pixels on the long edge I can also add my watermark all here from light room guys so this takes me literally five minutes to post from when I get home after a wedding rikers remember I do a same day slideshow so the images have already been imported into light room from the event now I get home and I go great I want to get this up so I can have this up in twenty four to forty eight hours after an event because everything's already here I don't have toe what's been our workflow in the past export adit them go into photo shop at our logo, right? Resize them. I wantto poke my eyes out, right? So this makes it a lot easier to do. There's no reason. This tool I'm telling you about is, like, ten bucks, and it'll plug right into your blawg so that you can now upload them. So I'll go back here so you can see it again. It's at the photographer's dash toolbox. Dot com a ton of tools out there. Four photographers. Just making an easy right time is money, man. And so, if any, if something like this will save me fifteen minutes, fifteen minutes across fifty weddings is a lot of time. And I guarantee for most of you, you probably spend more than fifteen minutes trying to set up your block. So where does the copy come from? Copy comes from the client. The client already sent me the e mail telling me their story. So now I copy and paste that I add my images all from light room. And within fifteen, twenty minutes, max, these things are posted directly. My blogged one step process, right. So for our portfolio on our site, we have a slideshow embedded we use a tool called slideshow pro, and so this is what that looks like for the interface and so it's a very, very it's an easy tool it's easy to embed you can add music you can update it easily you just drag and drop images into this interface and I want to say it's like twenty nine or fifty bucks a year for access to this it's something ridiculously inexpensive it's not expensive it also again can't keep saying that time is money I want quick, easy, efficient right how many of us we get all gung ho with our website we upload everything and then like a year and a half goes by and we don't update it anymore why? Because every time we go to sit down updated or like a it's gonna take forever okay this this way it doesn't make it easy don't reinvent the wheel is this making sense questions on this quick question here and you mentioned something earlier I just tweeted out it's time not cost all these tools you providing are great but can you talk a little bit earlier we talked about about the before the break about having systems in place south doesn't wake up and just randomly do things I mean there's organization and systems that are in place to make this a streamlined as possible no, that is correct yeah, I mean I can't emphasize that enough I actually have a workflow document, so if we're updating you know look, I own behind the shutter shutter magazine evolve at its right that's our postproduction company I own an album company guys I could wake up in the morning not even know what world I'm living in ok so to keep everything straight I have a workflow document if I haven't gone back to editing my portfolio and let's say six months I try to look at it every six months and update my portfolio six months ago are you really going to remember what this process was? Toe log in what size your images were again you're gonna waste twenty minutes just trying to figure all this stuff out right? And so what I do is I have a workflow document that I've created and then in each section of that there's a section for s c p dot com right oh you want update your portfolio log in to this site here's your user name and password how many times have we forgotten our user name and password and reset it a million times so logged into this site user name and password go to this tab images you need to be size this size and even if I know it by heart if I ever forget I just opened up that workflow document and it's right there and these work clothes that we have have just been refined overtime when I started out we didn't have all these processes in place and we just we're committed to efficiency again time is money you need to be efficient in your business and anything that can save you time in my opinion is a worthwhile investment and better yet as your business grows, if you bring on some freelance staff or something like that, you don't explain everything you say here is a document take a look yeah that's a reason why people don't like outsourcing because they're like college it's easier if I do it myself and there's some truth to that sometimes it is just easier if you do it yourself because you haven't done a good job documenting the process. So how do you hand it off to somebody to help you even if it's part time right? We're all busy during certain parts of the year, right? More more than less I mean you've been at this a while course seasons the middle of the year it's like all hell's breaking loose, right? I always say inmates are running the asylum when that starts going on, so I need to be able to cause I've got staff my staff will come up to me and I'll say, what can I do to help you? Okay, I need you to get these images up to our our facebook site how do I do it? Boom he's the workflow document and it makes it super easy for my team to help me right on alright tons of questions air coming in from the internet but going back to posting your blog's uh photos mindy lee from chicago asked while you are in season how many blogged post should you be doing per week if I have no new sessions to post should I just keep it fresh by posting photography related subjects? Yeah so that's a great question right how much is too much where do you go where you stop how do you how do you keep doing it ultimately what I think you have to be able to do is post often right especially from a search engine optimization perspective new content is going to rank higher than old content right? Because it's just it's stale it's static and the search engine algorithms all know that so when you are in season post fast and furious get it up as often as you can as things start to slow down maybe do something like the best off right here in my top ten favorite wedding images this year here on my top ten engage favorite engagement images this year break it into two parts here's my top five here's my top ten part one right here's my top ten part two and start doing things like that so now you're dripping information out there on keeping the search engines engaged and of course keeping your clients engage as well and then we're gonna talk later about how about running a contest about running a contest for vote for the image of the month and so now people are engaged in both your sight and facebook and things like that but that's when we get ahead of myself because we're gonna all get excited those air marketing tips were gonna cover but that's a good question more I'll take more all right kind of a follow up question but you might have just answered that nico joanna photo asked what non shoot related block post can we include during shooting down times? God man, you just open a can of worms listen, you may disagree with me everybody out there everybody in here may disagree with me no one cares about what you ate for breakfast I don't care I don't care what kind of toasty eat I don't care what color your pants are I don't care about some new cool flower you found ultimately at the end of the day I know what you're trying to do you're trying to make yourself more personal, more approachable but at the end of the day people are coming to my sight not for photography tips not to know what I did last week for dinner or my favorite restaurant is they want to see pictures and so you may disagree with me on that fundamentally just do me a favor let's go to corporate america and show me where in corporate america I see what the ceo of starbucks did for dinner. I don't, and so I just don't think that's a good idea. Yes, so especially for newer people. How often should you be posting? I'm not sure I understand the question, lisa, right? When you're saying for newer people, I don't care if you new or old you should post as often you don't have as much like that's a better question. No, I'm with you now, so you're saying, hey, if we don't have content, what the hell are we even posting? You've got so if you're new, here is what I'm going to try and put myself in your shoes. If you're new, tell me why you're not out there shooting every day. I don't care if you're shooting for free. I don't care if you're shooting landscape photography get out there, get your cameron your hand so that you get experience right that's the biggest challenge for you guys is you're starting out. You don't have the experience under your belt, man. If I airlifted you into one of my weddings in a dark church and I said go for it, what would you do? Would you panic? What if the battery stop working on your camera in the middle of ah right of taking family pictures would you panic would you be able to deal with it well the more you practice the more experience you get under your belt you start handling that stuff you like no big deal right? You're not panicking you just you're calm about it it's not experience that kicks in so when I was starting out I shot anything and everything just to get experience it was funny this is a true story I'm shooting a wedding I just did their engagement pictures and I forgot I met her four and a half years ago and she's just sitting there live you know when you talked to somebody there talking like they know you and I'm like doing do we know each other have we met before like I had to ask her that sex al you don't remember we met a dog party four years ago yeah four years ago I shot anything and everything I was hired to shoot a puppy one year party listen kat is rolling in shooting puppies rolling on the ground in dirty whistling doggie treats in my pocket what I would never do that with my brand today but that's what I was doing because I was shooting anything and everything just to get my experience find my niche find where I belong is that seem like something that's achievable to you right? And so to answer your question directly if you get out there and start doing that, it doesn't nobody knows the difference when you're do you have friends who have kids shoot him for free, right? Get out there and do it right and I know everybody out there is like whoa, did he just say free yeah, you have no experience get out there and do it for free get cut your teeth learn how to do it but now I think it's not really free is it? You're building your portfolio that's the gift get so now you go out there you're going teo and you tell them okay, I'm gonna do this for free and building my portfolio I'm testing out new lighting I'm testing out a new reflector I want to try this new location but I need you to sign this model release so that I can use your image is on my website that's a fair trade so then in sense it's not really free right? You're getting something out of it they're getting some out of it with me all achievable good question because that's a lot that's a big question a lot of people have one more one more question this is the basic question but one that some beginner's may need to know a d creative asks how can you explain exactly what a link back iss yes ah link back we're going to talk about this in a second eso hang onto that thought I'm going to talk about what that link back is and how it should look basically in a nutshell until I dig deeper into it it is another sight linking to your side right? So if I shot a wedding at the hyatt hotel in st louis I would want a link back to my side so somewhere on the hyatt website it links back to for more photography by salis and kata click here and it takes him to south and co dot com google now looks at that as an endorsement if the hyatt which is this high and company is willing to send it back to south and caught a dotcom south psychotic dot com gets better ranking that makes sense so in the spirit of that let's keep going search engine optimization so facebook again does not improve your ceo we already know right right from the beginning this morning that our clients are going out on google search or being teo find us where are you in this equation? Okay, where are you when they go out to google and they search right? You guys your seattle right? If I search seattle wedding photographer you're gonna come up on page one, page two no, most of you I would guess what about you just made a face all right we gotta we gotta work on that it's bad it's like ten twenty I have no idea right that's why we're rebuilding our website right now and that's where we were right so you rewind about a year ago we weren't even we were like on page eight or nine which is honestly you might as well not exist no one's going out to page eight or nine looking for photographers not with ten results per page okay so you look today here we are saying louis wedding photographer number one right we're coming back south san kata dot com and right above the knot yes right screw them not I could be ahead of them so any bride who's going who's there we're gonna have that conversation how'd you find us on the not already know they found me the same way I can come back ahead of that search and that's important to come back ahead of that search I don't want you think that was overnight it wasn't overnight it was hard work okay but no cost it was just doing all these things I'm telling you you have to do to get there so it's definitely free it's just your time you have to invest your time to do it um question about the link backs on facebook versus asio so I understand a link back on a vendor's web site to you but what if they don't do that what if they don't have their vendors online with links but they do on facebook they linked to your block post or anything like that in a different business your way but it's not gonna help your search engine optimization so it's good if they do it but ultimately you wanted on this site now in the case of a hyatt you're absolutely right high it's a global organization the chances of me getting a link back from them are slim to none but it doesn't hurt to try but there are smaller properties in each of our local markets that are you know, smaller own businesses not these you know corporate conglomerate entities where you're not going to get anything done where you can possibly get that link back so it doesn't mean I give up take what you can get but as far as it pertains to ceo that particular one won't help you all right so again flash sites absolutely sock for ceo bottom line I don't care what hosting cos tell you anything different they suck for seo and so the top sides are typically not flash based sites so we just gotta move past it understand it accepted especially if you're using these templates sides nothing wrong with the template sites by the way that's how we started when I first started out we had a template based site and there's a ton of companies out there doing that anywhere from twenty five dollars a month to a flat fee but in the spirit of that and we'll talk a little bit more about this later not all templates are created equally jule site that would be a that is a wordpress based site that new template I showed you guys that is a wordpress based site however just like south and kata dotcom that is a wordpress based site but once you get there okay you're seeing copy at the bottom you're seeing updated block post showing up on the main page that's what's important for ceo that's very very important for asio so it's not a matter of just going out and buying a twenty five dollars or fifty dollars wordpress template it's about understanding what you're trying to accomplish its not just about looking good it's about being search engine friendly and so of course we need to define our key words how do you want to be found what we want to be found okay bye st louis wedding photographer st louis wedding photography if you're out there no matter what you're doing again cupcakes um bacon where whatever the hell you're doing drinking whatever you want to be found by uh for the lounge people I thought we'd have some fun with that keep those guys on their toes but no matter what you're doing you've got to figure out what your key words are right so pick up your mikes um what do you keywords dunder wedding photography denver wedding photography okay, I'm really not sure babies are doing seniors it's like my location because I mean chicago's the biggest major city but I we're south so it's kind of let's focus on you for a second date I like that right? Because if you're in a bigger city it's easier to figure out how you should how you should market this or what your key where it should be so what you've got to figure out is start pulling your client's right? How'd you hear about us I heard about your uh well they're not going to say google right but say ask them as you you've got to get to a point where you can trust asking questions don't be ashamed ask questions look it's not like your clients don't know you're starting out they do right so if that's the case but hey you know I want to work on my online web presence this goes for everybody out there I want to work on my online web presence if you were searching online how would you search for a photographer? Leave it open ended don't say how would you search for a st louis wedding photographer? How would you search for a photographer? What would you type it's not like we're dealing with a client base that is search ignorant? They understand how search works so let's see what they say and that'll give you some guidance on what your key words should be said makes sense how I want to be found yeah washington anything related with photo photography washington anything I mean I come from a small town gig harbor but where's your core our customer base uh anywhere from the harbor to seattle so okay what's this about forty five minute drive but so let's think about me I'm about uh I don't know let's say thirty minutes away from downtown st louis I'm not o'fallon wedding photographer because nobody searching there the main city for me in st louis and that's how people are searching so I made a conscious decision I don't want to go after some tiny little market I want to go after the bigger market so for wedding photography I want to say ninety five percent of my clients ninety percent of my clients are actually st louis based clients coming to me and o'fallon or letting me shoot their wedding obviously over in st louis so start thinking that way right I'm just trying to get your heads and start getting you thinking orange county high school senior photography are so you so I love this you're under the impression that somebody's going to sit there and type orange county high school senior photography six words never happened this is good so I'm picking on you but it's good so we need to get that down to three uh three words maybe forwards maybe you start getting into these monster keywords you're not going you're not going to hit it does that make sense so let's talk off line and start thinking about how we how people are searching for senior photography in your area all right, so good let's keep going so here's their here's something about inbound links or link backs this is what we're talking about one I want you to modify your perma links guys write this stuff down if you're out there watching right it down you're not going to remember this there's a lot of information about to come your way modify your permit leaks I'm gonna drill into that keywords in post title right? So what is your post title? Is it just I love love dot dot dot for your post title that's not gonna help you from search engine optimization perspective right? Your key words have to be in your title and this is a chicken and egg thing how are you going to get you gotta have your logo before you get your website up. How are you going to start making post if you don't even know what your key word should be? So you've got to end this today knowing what key words you want to go after so that we can start making these changes get a wordpress plugin have talked about this in the past called joost y o a s t I'm gonna drill into this morning a second not all wordpress themes are equal so back to jule slide we've got to be able to see that and the copy has to be there on that main page it cannot just be pictures search engines don't respond well to just pictures you were going to have something this could be a little bit more complex something called a robot's dot text file okay, so in that robot text file in there will be, uh, exclusions. So did you know that you may unknowingly your developer may have unknowingly blocked google from searching certain parts of your sight unknowingly so this robots don't text file it's gonna be in your ftp directory? This may be a little bit more advanced if you're not used to going in there, you've got to get somebody to get you that tax file and see if you were in fact excluding any of your pages, there are reasons where it makes sense to not have google crawl your sight and crawl certain areas of your sight. You may be doing this unknowingly we've got to check that file you know in jewels in your situation where your sight's not showing up at all I wonder if there's something up with that text file or it's like on page ten so we've got to make sure it's a flash site it's a flash side, charles that's why I'm rebuilding it so we're going for breasts. So, uh, I want you to rename image files with seo in mind. Remember I showed you with that plug in that's ten bucks you can write from light room rename your files for just your post you don't have to rename them for everything just is your posting. What do your keywords rename that file with those words? So st louis wedding photography. Okay, the one dot j p g that's going to help me with the keyword search. Because now, when those robots come to my site, they're not just seeing some random image there, seeing right the name of the keywords. So now they're starting some what's called keyword density on our site where it's they're showing st louis wedding photography over and over again, and now that helps them to turn well. This must be very important as it relates to st louis wedding photography, tax tax and mohr text. So we have to have text on our post and main page flash based sites don't have that we need that text that copy, as they call it, to drive traffic there. Okay, drive the robots, they're so to speak now, here's, where this becomes very, very important. This is something all of you do all of us to accidentally. We just don't even understand the impact it has. For more information, visit wherever you're posting this, by the way, it doesn't matter doesn't matter where you're posting it doesn't matter if it's a link back. If you're posting it somewhere for more information, visit dub dub, dub south and kata dot com and not becomes the hot link right that's pretty standard for the way we post from an s e old perspective. This is brutal. This is doing nothing for you. There is no key words there instead, the second link is the way it has to be everywhere you post click here if you are looking for st louis wedding photographer so my key words are in the hot link. Does that make sense? Is it easy to do simple to do? But you never thought about it? This becomes very powerful. Now again, don't focus on the copy that's before it. It doesn't matter the copy that's before it is a relevant bottom line is I hate to see more of this satan to seymour of this st louis wedding or form or on the st louis wedding photography, click here. Right or let that be the hot link that becomes very, very important how you word this so work the copy however you can the big priority is that that hot link has your keywords in it. I hope that makes sense to everybody now permit links I set up here we're going to modify our perma links guys, if you're at home if you're here you can do it if you're at home there's no reason for you to do not to do it open up your blog's this is what a perm elin kids if I go to your website and here's some examples you're perma link is how your link is going to show up in your girl, right? And so a lot of you have right south and kata dot com twenty thirteen zero for um eighteen sample dash post so you have just set up this post five layers deep into your sight you're telling google it's not important anything that's five layers deep is not important you wanted to be as close to the main directory is possible and so what you want to do is turn it like this south and cottage dot com slash post name is this making sense this is in your permit links tab so you go into your wordpress blogged right now if you're a home can go to your settings, click on perma links it's right there for you and turn this off because we do not want our post toe look like this sorry jules so jules, if we look a jules website hopefully at home you're you're seeing this if I wanted to get to one of your block post and I'ma google crawler what'd you say your key words where by the way denver wedding photography denver wedding photography ok, so I would go to jeff and jules dot wordpress dot com twenty thirty I'm gonna read this that's how painful it is so she's your force life zero eight slash downtown dash denver dash creative dash engagement dash photo dash you dash molina seven dash me stash p wow okay that is not how it should be because those aren't even your key words in the earl correct right? Because nobody is searching that way but you didn't know what you know now here's how it should be south and co dot com slash st louis wedding photography stuart that's the couple's name okay, because I can't have every link be st louis wedding photography right? I'd only be able get one post that way so I'm adding their their their name to customize that post do you see the difference? The second one is also right off the root directory it's just south and caught a dotcom page where in jewels it's like four layers deep so you're telling the search robots it's not important in their search guys, these little tips and tricks will change your world for your ephraim and seo perspective okay, so go back to the perma links itt's a oneclick change you just didn't know it was their most people do not know it's there. So if you're your girls are looking like jules was that's why it's just a simple change so all you gotta do is go home, change that link. I'll do it tonight. This changes overnight. All right, joost, we talked about that yost plug in. This is also a free plug in for your wordpress site. What I want you to do is go download this plug in. So go do your work. Press blogged right now if you're at home, follow along, go to plug ins, there's a search feature and typing yost and install it. And then what will happen is on every one of your post you'll see these options. Okay, that are basically green lighting this. And if you see here on the top right hand side of your screen, you see the ceo check and it's a green light. That green light means I have done everything correctly so that this is picked up by google and indexed correctly by google, according to the key words I've said so what you have to do is you know, for this particular one I wanted the key words to be photography lighting tutorial right? So this was for behind the shutter I want people to find it if they're they're typing in photography lighting tutorial it's then looking at what's my focus keyword is the article heading correct is the page title correct? Is the earl correct right the way I just showed you with the perma wings and it's it's check listing all this stuff and it's a simple as red light green light if your post is not going to be indexed by google it will red light it for you if it is, it'll green light it for you and if it's red light it'll tell you what you're doing wrong so that you can easily fix it no programming right it's just simple stuff that you can do tomorrow to start making changes in your business I am going to use this as a pause for some questions and because I know we got to go to break I have to admit that antonio and I are sitting here checking out our wordpress back in its right now oh that's the pluck and we needed like we're seriously doing this along with you because you said to do it now so what? We did it now we're following the teacher's instructions no questions here in the studio audience right now thoughts is this easy or is this complicated? Is there anyone of you who feel like you can't walk out of here tonight tomorrow and do this on your side? This is easy stuff I do have one question what if I want to travel beyond seattle like what if I want to do weddings in new york or california yeah what would you do for ceos it's the same thing you're gonna have to on your main page and we'll cover that after the break what goes on your main page so that you're being picked up from it from your perspective but you've also got to start making post that have those keywords right so each page and will cover this after after the lunch break can only have so many different keywords that you're trying to index before so your pages can be indexed separately right so my main page could be indexed by st louis wedding photographer but I can also have sub pages on my site that are indexed for denver miami or wherever I'm looking to shoot so it's the technique is the exact scene just your pages have to be different islamic sense good question um it's kind of a question relating to seniors for st louis do you get um a lot of ah surrounding high schools because in my area I've got we've got plainfield they have three high schools we've got juliet they have two high schools naperville iq so do you get to just put st louis and you already get like the surrounding schools so for seniors absolutely do know asio whatsoever because that's not how they find me right? So it's important to understand your demographic if in my local market my seniors don't know who I am I've already failed so they know who we are we use a combination of direct mail on things like that which we will talk about but I would never do direct mail for weddings I would do direct mail for, uh, seniors and so that's the route uh you have to understand, right? So it's not understand your client how they're finding you you're you're senior clients are typically not going to find you that way they're gonna find you more on facebook and through the friend network good questions, jewels when marketing to seniors do you have to differentiate high school seniors because we have all the time people think when we say seniors though like old people yeah, yeah, exactly and and that's a funny story. So my mom and I've shared this story before my mom was because I was my first time on creative lives it was for high school seniors, you know? My mom said to me she's like, oh, you know, congratulations, you know, we don't really know much about creative live at the time and she's like what are you talking about? I'm like all senior photography and she's like is that really popular thing and like it's huge like you know, seeing retirees all over the place and she's like so is that something I should start thinking about him like no mom that that's not something you should start thinking about so depending on where you are in the country when you say seniors it means high school seniors however in parts of the country where that market isn't fully developed you're right you have to specify high school seniors but here's the challenge jules your client who doesn't know about high school seniors isn't going to search google for high school seniors right? What would they search for with a search for senior portrait would they search for glamour? Would they search for high fashion shoots? You've got to start getting a little bit more in tune with your seniors and figuring out how would you search if you're gonna look for this you might be surprised the answers that come back from your clients their wealth of information feel free to pick their brains you know all the time question from online then we'll transition here get ready for lunch but a question from terror and terrell photography this kind of goes to the point earlier about having three key words and and they asked what if you want to be found for more than one keyword makes me think about focus and that famous quote from the business author jim collins if if you have more than three priorities, then you don't have any that's right? Can you talk a little bit about focus? Yeah, you've gotta focus right guys? So when I started off, I shared the story with you I was I was shooting dog parties for crying out loud I cannot believe it. It's it's still funny to think about it this day that I was actually, you know, laying on the ground with these puppies trying to get them, but, hey, I got a wedding out of it, so I guess it all worked out for the best here's the thing you've got to pick your focus area, you've got to pick what you want, what you want to work on my primary core business, wedding photography, my secondary business, high school seniors, everything after that is just ancillary part of the business. Well, I shoot babies. Yes on ly for my wedding and senior clients. Well, I shoot families, yes on ly for my weddings and senior clients, so I'm not actively marketing for families. I'm not actively marketing for babies. I'm actively marketing for my core business, you've got to stay focused, you've gotta keep your eye on the prize because you can't be good at everything it's impossible is impossible. So be good at what you're good at. Be excellent at what you're good at, right, operate with excellence.

Class Description

Learn actionable and affordable marketing strategies you can use to help grow your business from Sal Cincotta in Marketing Your Photography Business.

In this class, you’ll learn how to generate more site traffic and prospective customers though easy-to-implement digital marketing techniques. Sal will show you how a combination of social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs) and search engine optimization (SEO) can attract leads to your site. He also show you how to build a marketable portfolio that impresses potential clients once they arrive on your page. You’ll also learn how to determine if your marketing plan is working, and how to fix it if it's not.

This course is great for both beginning photographers and established studios. The basic strategies provide a good fundamentals refresher for established studios, and the more advanced information gives less-established photographers a roadmap for the future. There will be advice for ANY genre of photography marketing.

Class Materials

bonus material

Top 10 Objections for Sales

Bride Groom Blog Questions

Setting Client Expectations

SWOT Analysis

Facebook Template Instructions

Sal Presentation

Facebook Template Fonts

5 Facebook Templates


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I'm currently a business owner in another industry. The business is financally successful, highly respected and the envy of our competitors. In order to market the business how I visualised our brand/customer, I learned how to take a photograph! I then feel in love with photography... I can completely relate to the concepts Sal is offering. This is fantastic advise many of which I have implemented in my own business. It's amazing how this advise can easily transfer to marketing any business or product. Unless like I had done you want to find the time to read countless books on the subject of business marketing, learn from trial and error, then simply fast-track years ahead and buy this course. It's a no-brainer! If only CL had been around when I had literally fought my way through setting up my business I would have found success a lot earlier. Sal's passion, drive, creativity and determination is what he can't teach you however. You are gonna have to do it your own way! Good luck to you all and Happy New Year.

a Creativelive Student

I have been taking Workshops all over the world these past two years. Once CreativeLive was introduced to me I began trying to absorb all the free information and taking notes. You do not always review your pages of notes so it is wonderful to have a video library. Within one hour with Sal I realized he was providing so much information that I just went ahead and bought the course. Happy to have it to refer to and feel that I have a mentor who I will be checking in with. Great teacher, funny and entertaining.. Well worth $99..thank you Sal.

a Creativelive Student

All I have to say is WOW!!!!!!! Well actually there's more. My husband is USC Ulumni, business major and sat in for 45 minutes of day 2 while I was watching and couldn't get away. He was so impressed he told me to buy the course now and listen to it 3 times. He said this guy knows what he's talking about. Says a lot coming from him. Sal, you are amazing and I am so excited to learn everything from this course and I'm already sold on getting your other course as well. Thanks Sal and Creative Live!!!