This guest post is by John Simoneau the founder of “The Directory of Specialized Photographers” at LocalPhotographyGuides.com. He says, “I am a proud husband and dad to 2 Disney Princesses and love to chat about photography.
Photographers. What if I was to tell you that search engine optimization (SEO) simply doesn't matter anymore? Don't worry about it! Stop link building, stop forcing keywords in your blog titles, don't worry about what “meta tags” are or even what Google's new “Caffeine” search index is. Just kick your feet up and relax. Use all that spare time to spend with your family or being creative as a photographer.
Well, unfortunately I'm not here to tell you that. Search engine optimization is the most practical way to gain new photography clients at this time. The reason why is that it is a “direct” marketing approach rather then a “creative” one such as print ads in magazines and coupon books. It's quite simple really. We live in a time that people use Google for anything and everything. When someone uses Google for the term “photographers,” they are looking for a photographer. When they purchase a magazine, see your vehicle graphics, or view some Google adwords, they are not looking for a photographer. Only problem with SEO is that it's so time consuming and that it's been figured out. Sometimes a couple hundred photographers in each city are all competing daily for the 1st page of 10 results that search engines provide. It's really quite stressful and something photographers shouldn't have to worry about!
Then we have Social Media. In 2009-2010 studies showed that 78% of people trust peer-to-peer recommendations rather than ads. Not only that but social media networks is a step ahead of SEO in the sense that you can actually attract new clients in BEFORE they are even looking for a photographer. They notice and remember your photography from a friend sharing on Facebook and other social networks. It's free “creative” advertising with no-telling how many thousands of impressions your branded portraits are getting. Social media sharing is also a quick way to get your photography noticed worldwide for traveling photographers. Search engines can be quite weak in some of these areas.
Coming from the photography industry myself, I really wanted to research, analyze, and embrace the very best method to combine as much of this as possible and build the very best resource on the planet for connecting photography clients with quality photographers. I wanted to create a system that could eventually take some of this unnecessary technical marketing weight off of our photographer's shoulders. The problem was that the photography industry is so riddled with websites trying to make photographers feel as though they have such a miracle solution that it was going to be a really tough sell.
Our team finally came to the realization that the strongest offering was going to be to build a photographer directory. The sound of it almost made me cringe after seeing so many others online who focus on ads, affiliates, selling links, giving links, etc. None of them seemed to be focusing on connecting clients to photographers and most of them had very poor quality of photographers listed. It was quite a mess and a scary idea to start but seemed like the only solution that could force this much needed and entirely new direct marketing approach into the photography industry. So “The Directory of Specialized Photographers” was born.
From our launch we had support from several very popular and highly talented photographers including Baby As Art, Daniela Degrassi, Ashley McNamara, Nicole Goddard and many more! We have even featured some of these photographers on our homepage in a very unique way by quoting their styles which helps in setting our theme. We've created profiles to highly complement any styles of photography that may be needed in the future. Our social media sharing buttons have brought many thousands of visitors to our website alone and has been a huge hit! We are search engine friendly and offer no ads to any vendor outside our own featured photographer banners. We have finally created a virtual photographer phonebook for clients to utilize that focuses 100% on showcasing each and every one of our featured photographer's talents!
Please join us in pioneering this new amazing photography product that is beginning to bypass photography clients from utilizing search engines entirely. Visit “The Directory of Specialized Photographers” at LocalPhotographyGuides.com (link) and request a free or featured listing anywhere in the United States! Some of our guides have just recently been released so if this is your 1st time visiting then you be sure to visit one of our more filled listing pages such as our Los Angeles Wedding Photographers or San Diego Newborn Photographers.
Some time in the future I'd love to speak a little about our brand new international community and how it integrates with our directory offering but until then please visit our forums to register and post an introduction. Your account will be upgraded to 6 Months of Pro Access FREE for the next week! I look forward to working with you!
What are you doing to be found locally? Please sound off in the comments section below.