Blogging is a great way to establish a rapport with your potential customers as part of your overall business networking. It also allows you to subtly establish a sense that you’re an expert at what you do, but also approachable.
There are many places you can blog & I’m not going to into that here, since that’s not my area of expertise, but what I will do here is help you understand the benefits of blogging and how to & how not to blog.
A blog is simply an ongoing way to send information to an audience. If you use it to try to sell to them, you will quickly turn them off. Rather, I suggest you use it to inform them. By doing this, you’ll establish a level of expertise in their minds while at the same time becoming a real human being to them. People buy from those they know, like, and trust (& who they think will do good work & perhaps who have a particular style they enjoy or relate to).
So what do you talk about in your blog? Well, you’re a photographer, so make sure you include some awesome pictures. I like the concept of relating success stories that tell what customer problem you solved & how you solved it. Sharing your process accomplishes a lot of things. One is to let people know that there is a lot more to taking great pictures than pointing your camera in the right place. Each of you who blogs this way will contribute your part to the industry by helping dispel the notion that all a photographer does is what the customer sees him do.
One way I like to do this is to show a problem, the wrong solution, and a right solution (there can be more than one). You can see some samples of what I mean here:
The idea is to pick a problem your customer had that others might also have, and show how you solved it and the final result. If you blog this way, you will not only establish your credibility as an expert, but also tremendously help your search engine optimization. Search engines love fresh content. By the way, if you can drop a reference to your blog in other places (like I just did above) search engines will like you even more. Not to mention that more people will see your blog.
David Coblitz – The St. Louis Artographer
Great advice and a logical yet seldom used technique for reaching potential customers. Thank you #davidcoblitz for your contribution. Upon deeper reading I have a question. Your article is about blogging but your main link is to your facebook page. Could it be another make eating scam or a way to drive people to your facebook page without telling them, or was it adjust an oversight? Why not snip the piece and put it into a blog post and send us to it?
Seems like a pretty big deal if you consider your guest blog was about blogging yet you sent us to facebook. Please explain. Thank you again for your insight, however strange the redirect was to facebook, the content and message of the post was worth reading. Sincerely, Tony Bynum
Tony, Thanks for the kind words. You’re right that I should have indicated that the link in the middle of the article takes you to my Facebook Page. I tend to think of that as just another one of my blogs because that’s how I use it and because it’s so easy to update. You made a good point that I should have included links to my blogs as well, which I’ve corrected and I changed the link title to clarify that it goes to my Facebook page where I feel the particular status update linked to is a good example of a blog post where I’m letting them see my process. However better blog posts are those that either provide them with helpful information or ask them questions to make them a part of the process & get them engaged with you in a practical way.
Sorry about the typo, (auto correct), I meant to say, “marketing scam.” Again, please accept my apologies. Sincerely, Tony Bynum
I can sympathize with your typo. Some times our equipment thinks it knows what we mean better than we do & substitutes words we didn’t type or intend. That’s why I try to make it a policy to read over everything I type before hitting send, a difficult habbit to establish & I don’t always succeed. I know that feeling particularly earlier on Facebook where you couldn’t go back & correct it, though now I believe you can.
Well said, David…
In many cases, photographers who run a blog talk too much about themselves, especially about any awards or press features and not a lot about their target customers.
In essence, they like to pad their own ego and those who “Like” their work rarely buys from them anyway.
A blog shouldn’t be a 1-way conversation, even if it’s instructional. Stirring up interest and making sure that the reader’s attention to the post will be rewarded with something valuable in return should be the priority to every blog post entry.
David Tong, Well said. A great way to get blog readers involved is to ask them questions that are intended to help you. They will enjoy being part of your process. An artist friend of mine does a great job of this with good response by asking for title suggestions for her new work.
Thank you for directing me to your blog! I enjoyed the article and found the information regarding blog content to be especially helpful. The advice helped me gain a better understanding as to what does and what doesn’t work when targeting both prospective clients/ customers and the general public.
I’ve never blogged before. This info will help me when I attempt to do so in the future!
So glad you found the article helpful Stephanie – good luck!