Showing posts with label social marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social marketing. Show all posts

Sunday, February 19, 2012

How to Move Your Business to a New Market

I've received a lot of questions about this topic, probably because I've started my small business in three different locations over the last 6 years. As most people know, it takes two years to really build a business, so what do you do if you have bills to pay and need to relocate?  You need to find work as soon as you can, so you can keep paying the bills after your savings has helped you make the transition.  From my experience, there are lots of ways to do this, but many require you to stretch yourself in new ways and change a few habits that come from getting comfortable in one place.  In this interview with Dane Sanders, I share some of the ways that I've made it possible to move my business three times and now live in Australia and travel the world for 8 months.  If you know someone who needs some advice on moving their business, please share this with them!  Also, make sure you check out the Fast Track Coaching archives, which are chocked full of interviews like this one!!

Click play on the video below to watch (the video is about 45 minutes long- feel free to leave any questions in the blog comments and I'll be sure to respond)...




Was there a key piece of advice that was meaningful to you?  
Do you have any other suggestions for people re-establishing their business in a new place?  
Do you have questions we didn't answer?  
Please leave a comment and let me know!

 



Anne Ruthmann is a lifestyle & wedding photographer from Boston, MA. She spent 10 successful years in marketing & management for corporate and non-profit businesses before pursuing her passion for photography as an independent small business.  She loves helping others find creative and low-cost solutions to business problems.  Follow her on Twitter to see her daily adventures and thoughts.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Respecting Images of Our Clients

The debate over offering unwatermarked images to bloggers has continued in many different places online. Some are furious that bloggers are making money off of unwatermarked work, while others could care less about where their work ends up and how much credit they receive for it. Regardless of where you stand as a blogger or as a photographer, this post is for the consideration of the clients who hired you, for the guests who attended the private event, and for the other hired creatives that produced original work at that private event.

Since moving to the Northeast, I've had many more clients seeking a higher level of privacy with their wedding images. By watermarking my images (putting my logo or copyright statement directly on the image itself) and refusing to provide unwatermarked work to bloggers for content use, I reduce the chance that someone is going to take that photo and use it elsewhere online without permission, while also increasing the chance that brand management tools will be able to find it for me on the web so that I can resolve any improper or unapproved image use. Notice I did not say PREVENT, just reduce. Obviously, ignorant people and those who mean to do harm will do whatever they want and when we find them we will kick their ass ask them to cease and desist. I usually have to send at least two emails each year to some company whose website designer grabbed my work, cropped my logo out, and plastered it on their commercial site without my permission. Because my watermark was there- the web designer KNOWINGLY did something wrong. If the image has no mark, it's easier to assume it's free content that can easily be used to populate someone else's website.

So, even if you do not care about receiving credit for your own work- at least consider respecting your clients' likeness and the likeness of the original work created by the other event professionals, which can be grabbed easily and used elsewhere without permission when there are no deterrents in place, such as a watermark.

See also:
Why You Need to Watermark Your Work

Anne Ruthmann is a lifestyle & wedding photographer from Boston, MA. She spent 10 years practicing marketing & management in corporate and non-profit businesses before pursuing her passion for photography as an independent small business. She loves helping others find creative and low-cost solutions to business problems. Follow her on Twitter to see her daily adventures and thoughts.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why You Need to Watermark Online Images

You would think this is common sense.

However, there are still people out there giving away their work and their rights to anyone who knows how to right click or screen capture. Some of it has stemmed from blogs who love publishing work from photographers, but insist on only publishing your images if you're willing to submit them without any logo, branding, or even copyright info on them. They promise crediting your work in the text and with a link, but that doesn't protect your work once it leaves the blog with the click of a reader who loved the photo and wants to store it elsewhere.

Please don't screw yourself over.

You deserve credit for your work! Anytime it appears online in an easy to grab format (flickr, smugmug, blogs, etc.) it really needs, at the very minimum, a reference name for the original creator somewhere on the image. If people go out of their way to crop your info out without your permission, than you have the ability to take action and charge them for the use of your work (especially if you've uploaded and linked to your image on flickr where it states the permission for use as a creative commons or copyright license.) However, if you never attach your name to a photo, than you are unintentionally giving up your online rights to claim that work. You could still take action against someone, however, it would be much more difficult for them to claim they KNOWINGLY did anything wrong if they didn't have a way to get in touch with you to credit the work properly.

- If putting your name into the "I'm feeling lucky" search on Google turns up your website on the first try, than you can totally get away with just your name on your images
- If you have a commmon name, use your website instead, for example © anneruthmann.com
- If you have a common website or business name, use your logo/branding to avoid confusion with other brands or similar website names

There are ways to include copyrights and logos without interrupting a visual aesthetic- it's really not that difficult to find a solution that works for the blogger and for the photographer. It's also GREAT marketing if people love your images so much that they are downloading them to their hard drives or using them on other websites! I'm all about making it easy to share my work, as long as I get credit for the work I've created!! After-all, it's some of the best free marketing available! So, fly free pretty photos, but make sure people have a way to find your creator no matter where you end up.

Anne Ruthmann is a lifestyle & wedding photographer from Boston, MA. She spent 10 years practicing marketing & management in corporate and non-profit businesses before pursuing her passion for photography as an independent small business. She loves helping others find creative and low-cost solutions to business problems. Follow her on Twitter to see her daily adventures and thoughts.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Social Media - It Isn't Just a Fad



Want to know where your clients are at? Just look to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Especially Facebook. They are there - are you? Facebook gets more traffic daily then Google. YouTube is the #2 Search Engine for people in the world.

What are you doing about it? How are you creating experiences that will allow your clients to find you? To connect? To help them spread the word about how fabulous you are?

Everyone's decision is personal because you have to do what is right for you & your style. What is it that fits your brand? For me, I've been on Twitter since 2006. I've had my Twitter account and Facebook account linked for years. I give clients a web-ready sized DVD of watermarked images with permission to post them online anywhere they want. I ask them to please link to my site or at least add a note on the photos that I took them.

I sometimes create my sneak peeks on Facebook and tag them in the images so that all of their family & friends will see the photos. I prefer to leave this in their hands though because people are more likely to look at them and comment on them.

I want my images to be seen - if they are hidden away under lock and key, my next client might not ever discover me. If I set them free in web-ready format, they are passing them along and sharing them. Most importantly - they are talking about me & my work, and the experience of working with me.

It is what works for me & my brand. What works for you?

[Thanks to Liene of Think Splendid for the link to the YouTube video above!]

Christine Tremoulet is a Houston, Texas Hot Mama Boudoir photographer and wants you to have a Business of Awesome. She also runs Wholly Matrimony, a destination wedding blog. She is a creative geek, having blogged since 2000 at BigPinkCookie. When she isn't taking photos or knitting, she is busy devouring all the info related to Marketing & Social Media and its powers that she can find online. Follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

5 Essential Facebook Tips for Photographers

We received a great guest article from Nikole Bordato Photography , sharing her essential facebook tips for photographers!  Check out her quick & easy tips:


1)      Get a fan page instead of a group. Fan pages (now known simply as "Pages") are a place to share your latest news, events and promotions. Fan pages also publish new fans and content to news feeds. But the biggest benefit over a Facebook group is that fan pages are fully indexed by Google. You can never have too much search engine optimization opportunities.

2)      Secure your unique username for your fan page. Once you have your first 25 fans, you’ll be able to register your unique username which will allow you to personalize your Facebook URL. To register your username visit www.facebook.com/usernames.

3)      Insert keyword-rich text throughout your fan page. Because fan pages are fully indexed by Google, there is an opportunity to increase your search engine optimization. Make sure you have you taken advantage of all the places to enter text – write your bio, fill out the information sections and put tons of keywords in that little box under your profile picture. Also make sure that you are updating your page regularly to keep the content rich.

4)      Create a profile picture that will utilize your available space. As photographers, our profile pictures will be an important contributor to positive first impressions. To help create a profile picture that stands out utilize the entire space. The ideal size for a Facebook profile picture is 200 pixels by 600 pixels. Your Facebook avatar will be a teeny tiny subsection, so you may need to play with the picture to get a photo that works as a profile picture and your page avatar.
  
5)      Import your blogs posts. Use the Notes application to pull in your blog feed. This will help automate posting new content to your page and will be published in your fans new feed. Notes will also allow your fans to read and comment on your blog posts without actually checking your site out. This is handy because people who log on to Facebook every day, may not be checking your blog daily (the horror!).

*Please note: Facebook is CONSTANTLY changing, so please check with facebook FAQ for the latest information.

About Nikole Bordato: "I am a reformed program manager who loves to wrangle light and help people understand how photogenic they really are. If I have spare time, I spend it thinking about trips, books, more photography and Halloween"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Importance of a Good, Consistent, Easy to Recognize Avatar

So often, I see people use avatars (those little icons that represent you on social media sites) that are anything but an easy to recognize photo of themselves. Maybe they use their logo, their favorite signature photo of a client, a photograph of something pretty like a flower, or even a photo of themselves -- with a camera in front of their face.

When you use photos like this, guess what? No one will ever recognize you.

At WPPI, I had people tell me daily that they recognized me -- often followed by the question, "red wall?" Why? Because I use the same photo everywhere. Me, easy to see, with a red wall behind me. Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, OSP, Fast Track Photographer Forums, here on PhotoLoveCat. All the same photograph. I joked after the second day that I was going to figure out a way to have a piece of red poster board behind me at all times so I would be even easier to recognize.

While at a party one night, I was approached by another Twitter user who wanted to introduce herself. Because she also has an easy to recognize avatar, I remembered her right away - it was an instant visual connection. (Needed, because the party was so loud I could barely hear!) We work in a visual medium, and many of us remember things we see faster than we remember names.

This helps your clients too -- put a photo of yourself on your website so that if you are meeting them outside of a studio setting they can spot you easily. Don't cause them the stress of wandering into Panera or Starbucks and wondering which person sitting there with the laptop is the vendor they are supposed to be meeting with!

Get together with a photographer friend, shoot headshots of each other that you really like, and get them online! Make it easy for people to know who you are! Be sure to use a photo where everyone can see your whole face so we know who you are!


Christine Tremoulet is a Houston, Texas Hot Mama Boudoir photographer and wants you to have a Business of Awesome. She also runs Wholly Matrimony, a destination wedding blog. She is a creative geek, having blogged since 2000 at BigPinkCookie. When she isn't taking photos or knitting, she is busy devouring all the info related to Marketing & Social Media and its powers that she can find online. Follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why You Need a Tribe

I think everyone wants a tribe. Someone to support them. Someone to talk about them. Someone to help move them along. People will talk about you if they believe in you, and this will in turn bring you work, along with many other amazing things. (I met my husband in a way through the "tribe" theory, along with a lot of friends.)

This video is packed full of great information from Seth Godin - all about why you need a tribe. Check it out!



How can this help your business grow? What can you do to change your world? Where is your tribe? What 1000 people (or even 100 people!) do you know that believe in you so much they will spread the word about you? How can you capture that? What are you the BEST at that you should focus on?

And to those of you reading this - THANK YOU for being a part of the Photo Love Cat tribe! We work for love, and we couldn't do what we do without you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Christine Tremoulet is a Houston, Texas Hot Mama Boudoir photographer and wants you to have a Business of Awesome. She also runs Wholly Matrimony, a destination wedding blog. She is a creative geek, having blogged since 2000 at BigPinkCookie. When she isn't taking photos or knitting, she is busy devouring all the info related to Marketing & Social Media and its powers that she can find online. Follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to Plan for a Great Convention & Trade Show Experience

My first convention & tradeshow experience was overwhelming and I felt incredibly under-prepared for the experience. So, for those first-timers out there, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your first-time industry convention & trade show experience.

TRADE SHOW

This is basically a huge marketplace for all of the suppliers and services related to your industry (well.. all of the ones that were able to afford a tradeshow booth!) Their goal is to sell stuff, get their name out, and get you to sample their products or at least have an in-person experience with their company, brand, and product or service. Tradeshows are often very easy to get into and many companies give away free passes in order to get people in the door. The vendors have already paid to be there, so the price for admission into a trade show is often just to keep the general public out. With a convention badge, you're usually able to breeze in and out of the trade show floor without any problems.

The "trade show floor" as it's often referred to (which is just a big room), is typically a very noisy place with little sound proofing, lots of people walking around, and many, many, many things to look at. When it comes to fairly large conventions, you could probably spend an entire day just visiting each trade show booth. Over the years, trade shows have also become a secondary workshop experience, often with live and useful demonstrations that may or may not be directly related to the product being sold. Service companies used to have a difficult time at trade shows because they didn't have a physical product for people to play with, so now they've resorted to providing educational experiences to pique the curiosity of those just passing by, or for their already loyal clients who are looking to learn something new.

To Get The Most Out of a Trade Show Experience:
Know what you want and/or need before you hit the trade show floor- because once you get inside it's incredibly easy to get distracted- ESPECIALLY when it's your first time! Vendors design their booths to get your attention, so if you go in with a plan, you'll be less likely to be distracted. Before you hit the tradeshow floor, take a list of the things you're looking for while you have a map of the trade show floor and vendor listing in front of you. If you're in your hotel room or enjoying lunch, it will be much easier to plot your course than once you're in the middle of all the chaos. By putting on a set of "blinders" and just going to the booths you want to visit or focusing on the products you want to explore, you'll be able to get in and out much more quickly and have a lesser chance of feeling overwhelmed with information you may not need right now. Of course, this isn't to say that you shouldn't look at anything else, of course you should follow your curiosity, but be prepared to spend a lot of time if you don't have a set plan before walking in the door.

CONVENTION

Generally everything that isn't the trade show, is considered the convention. This often includes classes, workshops, live demonstrations, speakers, and maybe even industry competitions. Many conventions will have multiple speakers and classes happening simultaneously, which allows the convention to attract more people by splitting them up among various different rooms and speakers- that will attract a smaller niche of people. Sometimes conventions will schedule the same speaker to be in different places throughout the day so that if you miss them once, you might have the opportunity to see them again somewhere else.

If you know that a particular speaker is popular, and you really want to see them, than you better plan ahead! It would not be unheard of to arrive 30 minutes early for a presentation just to get a seat. Some people will "stake their claim" on a seat by leaving a brochure or coat where they want to sit and then return later, but of course you risk losing any personal items if you walk away. Most presentations will begin right on time, so definitely plan to be there at least 10 minutes in advance if you'd like to get a good seat. If you sit near the front, you're generally more likely to understand what the speaker is saying even if they move away from the microphone and you might even win some giveaways if you're within easy throwing distance! People who sit near the back generally aren't incredibly interested in the presentation, so there tends to be more chatter in the back of the room, unless it was the only spot left because so many people arrived early!

One thing that a lot of people tend to get turned off by at Conventions is when they go to hear a speaker and then the speaker closes their presentation with a sales pitch to buy one of their products or one of their sponsor's products. It's definitely not the best way to close a presentation, but it's important for the attendees to know that generally speakers at conventions aren't getting paid to present. Usually they agree to put themselves on the spot because they have something to sell or that they want to gain support for. Some people really just like to help others and one hour is just too short an amount of time to provide really valuable information, so they offer DVDs or seminars as a way to get a more in-depth experience. If they sell something, you don't have to buy it, and hopefully their presentation is rich with information even if you don't buy their product. Just know that this is very common and in some places it's expected. The fees that you paid to attend the convention were generally to pay for the space, the convention materials and goodie bags, as well as the salaries of all the people who put the show together and made it run, but not often for the presenters.

To Get the Most Out of a Convention Experience:
Just like the trade show, it's good to start with a plan before you start exploring the schedule. I have a journal that I always take with me to workshops and conferences. It helps me review what I wanted to get out of the last experience and keeps me focused on what I'd like to get out of my next experience. I find that I do best when I start with just three questions that I'd like to know more about or find answers to. These questions then help me filter information BEFORE I start looking at the program, so that I can stay focused on what I really want to accomplish. It's easy to be swayed by presenters who are popular, just to get a taste of their star qualities, but if you make your decisions based on personality and not information, you just might walk away feeling a little like you didn't learn much (although, if they're popular it's a slightly safer bet because they probably have the presentation skills down solid if they get a lot of attention.) You're best off if you bring a water bottle with you since there aren't always water coolers in the room, and even if there are, you might have to crawl over people to get to it. Use your journal to take notes, but to also ask questions during the presentation so that if you get the chance to talk to that person afterward, you'll have the question right in front of you even if it slips your mind.

FINAL THOUGHTS

What I enjoy most about trade shows and conventions is the opportunity to meet other people doing interesting things. Often times I find the most interesting people aren't even on the stage, but sitting right next to me in the chairs. Take your business cards- LOTS of business cards and make an effort to get to know more people by asking for their business cards as well. Everyone likes to feel important! If you get invited to an after-party, always say yes and go! It's a great way to get to know people informally. You never know when someone will have the perfect solution to a problem that's been bugging you for a long time! Sharing your challenges with others is a great way to meet people and find creative solutions. If you go in with a plan of what you want to come away with, your experience will be exponentially more informative and rewarding. For more WPPI specific tips, visit: http://photolovecat.blogspot.com/2009/02/wppi-what-to-pack-bring.html

PS. ALWAYS BE COURTEOUS TO OTHERS
You never know when the person sitting or standing next to you is someone you really should get to know. So, when someone is talking to you, put your phone away and give them your full attention. If you must text or talk on the phone, excuse yourself from a conversation first so that you have given the person you're with an opportunity to do something else as well, rather than feeling ignored by your interest in what's happening on your phone.


Anne Ruthmann is a lifestyle & wedding photographer from Boston, MA. She spent 10 years in the corporate & non-profit world before pursuing her passion for photography. When not behind the computer or camera, she can be found exploring the world with her husband. Follow her on Twitter.