What Are Local Citations? How To Gain Reviews For Local Citations

Local citations is a term used to describe signals on local listings showing that a business is legitimate and trustworthy.

local-citations

As you can see in the screenshot, the local results when searching for a photographer in Dallas, Texas brings shows the following three photographers. first.  The first of which contains no reviews, but is linked to a Google Plus Local business page.  The second photographer has three reviews and the third has seven reviews and five stars.

The star rating and the review count are considered local citations.

When a potential customer sees reviews he/she will be more likely to click on the search result and visit the photographer’s website.

So how do you get more citations?

If you ever received an email from a customer that contains a nice testimonial, reply with a request for the person to copy/paste that testimonial in a review at your local listings.  Provide the customer with full instructions on how to do it.

I know it is time consuming to write up a tutorial for each site, but it’s worth the effort.

If you can clearly guide your customers through the review process then you’re more likely to get the reviews posted.  Include text, screenshots and even a video tutorial if you think it will help your customers.

Where do you need citations?

There are many places where you can have your business listed and gather reviews.  Here are a few of them that I highly recommend focusing on.

  • Google Plus Local
  • Facebook Business Page
  • Yelp
  • Foursquare
  • Bing Local Listing

Where else?

Once you have those local listings set up and citations posted then start thinking about the smaller local listings like niche websites that get less search traffic than others.  If you’re a wedding photographer then wedding sites are great for getting listed.  Not all allow for reviews, but getting features on a wedding

Thanks for reading and good luck,

Scott

Learn More About Your Twitter Followers

Twitter Analytics is now available to everyone.  With it you can learn more about how you’re tweets are doing.  You can also learn about your followers.

That’s want to share with you today.

The screenshot below is from the Followers tab in my Twitter Analytics for @scottwyden.

twitter-follower-analytics
Here you can see that the bulk of my followers from the United States, which makes sense since that’s where I am located.  You will also see the top interests of my followers is 82% photography with the rest mixed between technology, other creative niches and more.

Identifying what your followers are interested in can help you reach further followers in addition to connect deeper with current followers.  For example, I know that 26% of my followers are interested in music. So if I tweet about music then I am more likely to engage with my followers than I would be if I tweeted about a topic that my followers are not interested in.

The last piece to the Follower analytics from Twitter is the list of other people that your followers are following.  You can see that people who follow me are also following a vareity of other photographers and even a photography store and photography news website.  The percentage is between 31% and 40% which shows that my tweets are very similar to theirs.

Head over to your Twitter Analytics and learn more about your followers today.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

What Photographers Should Know About gTLDs, Habits and SEO

gTLDs, Habits and SEO

I received an email from a very popular website hosting company asking for more feedback on gTLDs for photographers. For example, the new .photography, .gallery and .camera gTLDs.

Unfortunately the hosting company wanted me to lie about the value of the gTLDs to make them sell more. Of course I refused. So I decided to take their questions and use them here instead.

So in the Q&A below, you will see questions from one of the most popular website hosting companies, and the point of view from SEO, branding, etc for photographers.

Do you have any thoughts on the new gTLDs that have become available?

I definitely do.  The new domain styles are valuable for photographers to have for their protection.  For example, if I own johndoephotography.com I should also own johndoe.photography.  Otherwise a competitor could purchase the domain and use it to redirect potential leads to their own site.

However, search engines are cracking down big time on exact match domains, so having a domain like that does nothing for SEO.

In addition, the majority of website users enter .com for all domains even if the actual domain is a .net.  So why risk losing potential leads with a fancier domain for your actual business?

It makes sense to purchase the fancy domain for protection and have it forward to the actual official site.  But with the lack of SEO value and the risk of someone not entering it correctly in a browser, why take the chance of losing business by having .photography as the official domain?

A while back I wrote more on this and recorded a video rant on top level domains for photographers.  Please check it out.

Do you think you’d be recommending people to register them for their own blogs or businesses?

Yes, for protection and forwarding only.  Not for the money making part of the business.

I love finding out what people are expecting from them going forward.

I expect to see a lot of photographers purchasing them for protection and the .gallery TLDs for off-site portfolios or client proofing galleries.

It wouldn’t surprise me if some photographers also put their equipment list on a .camera or .equipment domain rather than on their main site.

Is this something you’d be willing to talk with me about?

Not if you want me to lie :-)

I am getting mixed responses from the community at large and am not really sure people even know about the availability of these domains yet – not just from REDACTED, but just in general.

Some photographers know about, less general public know about it.  It has been how many years now since domains have existed and people still don’t use .info, .biz and other long time TLDs in the masses?  Why would someone think the new TLDs would be any different? Why try convincing people to enter .photography when it’s second nature for someone to type .com?

Why try changing people’s habits instead of benefiting from their habits?

gTLDs, Habits & SEO

I care way too much about the people I educate than to lie about the usefulness of the gTLDs.  Now, of course what I wrote as responses is an answer to the general photography community.  There will be some cases where gTLDs will be more powerful and useful than others. There will be photographers who believe that having the .lighting or .gallery domain is more important than .com.  It will happen and that is perfectly fine.  If it’s working for you.  If it’s making you money.  If people are typing it in their browsers.  Great.

If they’re not.  Please rethink your strategy.

A great example of a gTLD working in favor of a website is Productive Photography.  It’s a new site from Aaron Hockley, and as the site grows in the photography community, people are becoming more aware of .photography.  The idea of having a website dedicated to making photographers more productive, without having to type .com is a play on words of sorts.  So there the gTLD made sense. Oh, and be sure to subscribe to the site because the emails contain awesome productivity advice.

If you have questions about gTLDs please comment.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

Should You Tweet Content More Than Once?

A really interesting discussion was going on at Twitter. Rand of Moz was saying that he wanted to convince his wife Geraldine to tweet content more than once.

That one tweet stirred up a conversation that you can read on Twitter.

Here is a quick screenshot of part of the conversation.

Should You Tweet Content More Than Once

As you can see, Rand is an advocate for tweeting content more than once because it’s unlikely that all of your followers will see your content the first time.

I agree with Rand completely. In fact, here is my method of tweeting.

I use Buffer to schedule my tweets, and FollowerWonk to determine the best time to tweet.

I then use two WordPress plugins to automate sharing. WP to Buffer is used to add new content to my Buffer queue at specific intervals.

Then Buffer my Posts is used to schedule older content to reshare at a specific interval.

At the same time I mix in fresh content from other websites that I curate and feel my followers would enjoy. That way it’s a good mix of old, new and other people’s content.

This has worked for me, and I constantly adjust the timing and intervals to make it more optimal. That’s the key… try, fail, adjust, try.

I hope you found this helpful in your journey towards Twitter mastery.

Thanks for reading,
Scott

What have you done for your photography business lately?

photography-business-lately

What have you done for your photography business lately?

I’ll ask again. What have you done for your photography business lately?

This has been a friendly reminder to take time here and there and find ways to improve your photography business.

Thanks for reading,
Scott

Improve Your About Page With Your Story

your story your about page

Marketing and storytelling are one in the same. The photographer’s about page is often overlooked when writing great content. So today I want to share some simple things to do for improving your about page.

It all starts with a list, which can then be transformed into paragraph and bulleted based content.

Start with your story. How you got into photography. Why you are a photographer. Then create a list of what you bring to the table and how you plan on making your customer’s experience the best possible.

At the end of the day your about page should tell your story, but relate it to your clients.

I was in the process of reworking my about page, and included 10 facts about myself. Two of those included being color blind and dyslexic. No more than an hour after hitting the update button I received an email from a lead. She was an eye doctor opening her own practice. She specializes in color blind people, which apparently relates to dyslexia. So when she read my about page there was an instant connection. So she contacted me.  See the email here.

That is one small bit of proof that sharing your story works.

I’ve now shared a snippet of advice for your about page, and short story of my own experience. But there are so many other photographers utilizing their about pages in such great ways. Below are some of those, so please be sure to check them out.

To keep this discussion going I want to mention two other things.

When reworking my about page I found myself writing too much.  So I eventually cut it down so it’s straight to the point, but still sharing my story.  If you find yourself in that same situation, I recommend rewording your story and submitting it as a Photo Profile at Seven By Five Magazine.  I say that because you then have “press” to include on your website, and it continues your story for anyone interested in reading more.

If you have written an awesome story for your about page, or included a beautiful video then please comment with a link so the community can take a look at what you’ve done.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

 

Per Image Pricing

The a very long time I have been offering package and day rate pricing to clients. However, after my friend Rosh Sillars published an article on per image pricing I decided to rethink my strategy.

That’s not to say that package pricing is a bad method. In fact, for wedding photography package pricing is ideal. You can learn all about that methodology at Salesographer.

But if you want to learn about per image pricing and how useful it is for some photography styles like commercial work, then view the conversation I had with Rosh.

Basically per image pricing is the idea where you are charging one price for each image, and that includes all of your time shooting, editing and delivering the product.

Because of this method, Rosh considers himself a low-risk photographer. Meaning that if the client isn’t happy with the product that Rosh reshoots it without added fees.

Check out Rosh’s per image pricing calculator.

per-image-pricing

If this interests you definitely learn more about it from Rosh!

Thanks for reading,
Scott

Can Introverted Photographers Run A Photography Business?

Can you be an introvert and a photographer and still make money?

The simplest answer is yes.  But there is more to it then that.

My friend Angela is an introvert like me.  However, she runs two successful businesses.  One is a newborn photography business and the other a creative consulting business.

Angela  talked at Canadian Imaging and during her presentation told a story being a red head, and when her life changed from the standard red head to something completely different.

I am also an introvert, but with a mild case of extroversion as well.  I consider myself more an ambivert.  Like many other photographers I do not enjoy the sales aspect of photography because it involves putting myself out there in a very different method than I like.

I do not enjoy the in-person consult or in-person sales following a session.  I much prefer communicating via email than I do in-person or over the phone.  That’s me.  That might be you.  That’s many photographers in the world.

So I take advantage of what is possible with a website, and other tools that are out there.

For example, when a lead comes in through my website I will follow up with email communication.

  • I will use plugins like Gravity Forms to survey the lead as a means of gathering all the information required for the sessions/project.
  • I will use NextGEN Pro to provide proofing of the photos before delivering the final product.
  • I will keep a Google Calendar available for leads to see my availability.

I will do everything I can to make the process smooth for the client on the Internet.  However, I will also make myself available for Google Plus Hangouts, Skype calls or meet up in person when needed.

Being an introvert and running a business sometimes means thinking outside the box. It also means having to expand outside the constraints that your brain puts on yourself.

So with all that said – my point of this article is to enourage you to think different.  Think creativly and come up with new ways to boost your business without reaching too far out of your introverted brain (when you don’t have to).  Then open up more when you do have to.

I want to hear from you now, though.  Comment and let me know what type of things you do to help your business even though you’re an introvert.

Thanks for reading,
Scott

Need some advice for selling your photography services?  Check these out:

Bonus Video from CreativeLIVE

View the course here.

Featured Member: Amanda McInerney

What kind of photography do you do?

As a web designer, I encompass product, location, and staff photography but for my personal photography site, I enjoy taking photographs of my explorations of the amazing country I live in and anything else that catches my interest in my travels around the world!

featured-member-amanda-mcinerney-01

Story behind this image: This gorgeous blue winged Kookaburra was the perfect model. He sat on the branch of a Bauhinia Tree staring at me serenely, although always keeping a watchful eye.

Broome my hometown, recently came under siege by giant mining company, Woodside and the Western Australian State Government to compulsorily acquire land of great value to the indigenous and local people of this area. It was proposed to build the world’s largest gas processing hub on top of one of the most beautiful and pristine areas, James Price Point.

Despite the presence of Dinosaur Footprints, endangered Bilbies and Turtles, endangered monsoonal vine thickets, the list goes on .. the people of Broome fought a long hard battle for over four years.

This kookaburra became used to people and the occasional hand outs, it received, (mostly scavenged) by perching in this tree, located at the information booth, run by volunteers on the dirt road leading to James Price Point, some 40 km from Broome.

PS We won the battle!!

How would you describe your style?

Broad lol! I don’t really have a “style”, I love all aspects of photography and the use of different lenses for different occasions, macros for bugs and wildflowers, wide angles for spectacular sunsets and panoramas and zoom lenses for the beautiful effects that can be achieved by fading the background of a subject.

What’s your approach to post processing?

I try to catch my photos as close to how they are in real life but I am pretty good with photoshop when the occasion calls for it.

featured-member-amanda-mcinerney-02

Story behind this image: This photo I love purely for its beautiful colours! This image was captured with the beautiful turquoise waters of Roebuck Bay, Broome as a backdrop. I remember there was some patience involved in this photo as there was a light breeze and the flower seemed to be for ever on a mission to keep moving!

What or who inspires you?

I spend as many hours as I can scouring photographic sites for inspiration and admiration.

featured-member-amanda-mcinerney-03

Story behind this image: This photo was shot at one of the local beaches in Broome during the wet season. I love this photo for its depiction of the Kimberley Wet Season storms and the lone indigenous boy on top of the rock taking it all in!

What gear do you use?

I use a Nikon D800E with a Nikkor 28-300mm Zoom, a Nikkor 17-35mm wide angle, and a Tamron 90mm for macro.

Website: http://www.kimberleyphotos.com.au/

The Photographer’s Trap

It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get