Photographers with websites and blogs are generally looking for more readers who will get to know them, developing a relationship of trust and establishing expertise. In that light, I speak frequently with photographers struggling to understand what to write about online and how that writing will lead to a wider reach or increased photography sales. Let’s look at how a smart content strategy for photographers can help us reach that goal.
What is Content Strategy for Photographers
What is content strategy, and why should you care? Wikipedia defines content strategy as:
the planning, development, and management of content – written or in other media
As we look at web strategy for photographers, let’s figure out what that really means. This isn’t the Field of Dreams, the phrase If you build it, he will come isn’t in play. Folks will need a reason to visit your website. They need enticement to read your blog. By providing interesting things, your visitors will have a reason to stick around (and to come back).
What is Content?
We’ll define content as being anything we create and share online. It could be:
- a text article on your blog
- a photo gallery
- an infographic
- an ebook
- a PDF worksheet or list of tips
All of these things can provide useful information or entertainment for your website visitors. Despite what we might think sometimes, they’re not on our website because of us as photographers… they’re on our website because we have something to offer them. Interesting content will draw them in and hopefully keep them around.
Who is the Content For?
As you consider things to create for your website, it makes sense to focus closely on your intended audience. Are you:
- a wedding photographer seeking to book new brides as clients
- a fine art photographer looking to sell artwork
- a commercial shooter wanting to show examples of your imagery and how you work to meet a client’s objective
- a senior portrait photographer wanting to project that you’re fun to work with to show each client’s individuality
Your web content can help folks understand why you’re the right fit – if you present it in a format that’s helpful and useful to them.
How to be Helpful With Your Content Strategy
Your website will likely contain information about who you are and what you do, but a solid content strategy of information that’s useful and helpful to your potential clients will help establish your name and credibility in their minds. Here are some examples of content you could create that would help your clients and potential clients (depending on your niche of course):
- how to decide on the proper size for a wall print
- tips on how to prepare for a business portrait or headshot
- articles about structuring wedding day timelines for photos
Starting to get the idea? These sorts of articles, tips, and tricks are helpful to your readers and potential clients. By demonstrating your expertise, you show that you’re a go-to resource for these questions… if someone’s wondering about headshots, are they more likely to chose the photographer who simply has a portfolio, or the one who has also produced a great resource on how to prepare for a headshot?
Don’t like to write? There are other options. Record a short (one or two minute) video instead. Use a tool like Canva to create a fun infographic.
Looking for ideas on what sort of utility you can provide? A good resource is a book from Jay Baer called Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype in which he explores how to produce helpful resources that establish your brand.
I buy razors from Harry’s. They want to sell me razors. But they also do fun, seemingly-unrelated things like send the occasional interesting newsletter (called Five O’Clock) with interesting articles, that generally don’t have much to do with selling me razors… except that it builds their brand, and makes me like them. So when I need to buy razors… I buy them from a company I like.
Provide resources of interest (entertainment, education, time-savings, etc) and you’ll build likability and trust. When folks need a photographer, the likeable, trusted name will come to mind.
So… About Strategy
That covers content… but what about the strategy half of content strategy? This is the execution… this is the plan that you put in place to create, deliver, and promote your content.
Look for additional articles soon about developing that personalized strategy for your business, but I wanted to establish this baseline to get you thinking about what killer content might look like for you and your photography.
For now, your homework is this: dream up a bunch of content ideas (I’ve given you help and some links above). Coming soon: guidance on putting those pieces together into a plan.