ZenBlog: Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ZenBlog (ZenBlog) Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:34:00 GMT Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:34:00 GMT How to Market Your Photography Business & Build Your Brand http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/how-to-market-your-photography-business-build-your-brand download_asset-2download_asset-2

By Jeff Cable

 

Being good at business is important for anyone who is self-employed, but it is a necessity for photographers. First and foremost, as photographers, we need to be able to capture amazing photos for our clients. After all, this is what we are being hired to do. But, even if you are the best photographer in the world, skill alone will not guarantee success. We also need to be able to market our business, find new customers, and maintain our brand. Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

 

Marketing Your Business

Whether you are just starting your photo business, or you have been in business for a while, you need to market yourself to let people know you are out there. In this digital age, there are countless places for you to market yourself. You can promote yourself for very little money by using social media, such as Instagram and Facebook. Be proud of your work and show it off to the world. You can write a blog to let people know what you are photographing, and promote work this way.  

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Finding New Customers

You have many options for advertising and have the big challenge of determining the best place to spend your hard-earned money. I find that purchasing Google AdWords is an inexpensive and effective way to drive people to my website. I don’t spend more than $75 a month for Adwords, but I am booked for most of the next three years, so I have throttled that back. I would highly recommend that any photographer starting out use Adwords to reach their potential clients. When I started my photo business many years ago, I relied heavily on this. I found this to be much more effective than advertising in local publications. With the small amount I was spending per month, I figured that getting one client would pay for the ad cost for the next four years. And I knew that acquiring that one new customer could lead to many more, from word of mouth. So effectively, that $75 a month could turn into tens of thousands of dollars of business.

 

Of course, the best advertising is word-of-mouth, and I believe that this ultimately is what makes or breaks a photography business. If your customers are happy with you and your product, they will tell other people about you. Notice that I said happy with you and your product. You are an essential piece of the equation. Every minute of every day, you are representing your business. Treat your customers like gold all the time, and make sure that they are happy.

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You are Your Brand

When you think of brands, you probably think of big company brands like Coca Cola, Apple, and McDonald’s. But as a photographer, you are your own brand, and you need to build and maintain that brand. Determine what your brand is, and how you are going to portray that brand to potential clients.

 

Ask yourself these questions to see if you are on the right track:

  1. Does my website reflect who I am and the brand I want to portray?
  2. What is my style of photography, and how do I portray that to my customers and potential customers?
  3. Who is my target market, and will my brand match their desires?
  4. Is everything I am doing aligned to my brand (social media, email and phone communications; logo; blogging style; photo retouching; etc.)?

  

One of the best ways to show your brand is through your website; this is why I use Zenfolio. Simply put, they make me look good. Zenfolio has many design options, allowing me to pick the one that best fits my brand. And the site looks professional and clean. When people ask me what I consider my most important selling tool, I always refer to my website. For photographers, there is no better way to show off our photos than on our website!

 

My website reflects my brand. I am an informal person who likes to photograph all types of subjects. My site shows images of mitzvahs, weddings, sports, and so much more. And the text is written in my style: not too corporate, but also not too informal as to appear unprofessional.

 

Follow the Right Path

It is helpful for both aspiring and pro photographers to have a marketing plan. Zenfolio has a handy Photographer’s Guide to Creating a Marketing Plan to get you on the right path. Even better, the guide is free!

 

As a seasoned professional photographer, I have seen many people come and go in this business. Some of the people who didn’t make it took outstanding photos, but it was not enough. They failed to think about the other pieces that are so critical. When considering what it takes to thrive as a photographer, remember that the images you are capturing are not the only thing that will make you successful. You also need to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to promote yourself.

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(ZenBlog) Jeff Cable Zenfolio branding marketing professional photographer http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/how-to-market-your-photography-business-build-your-brand Wed, 28 Jun 2017 22:34:49 GMT
In Search of Bears: Behind the Lens with Will Nicholls http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/in-search-of-bears-with-will-nicholls A huge male brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos), known as 'Brutus', captured with a wide-angle lens. Photographed in Finland.

 

The first time I ever saw a bear in the wild was when I was walking through a swamp in the ancient Taiga forest bordering Finland and Russia. About 200 metres away, a huge male bear swaggered through the meadow. I could hear his feet splashing in the marsh; his eyes were fixed on me.

 

I was in Finland for the bears. My journey through the swamp was actually on the way to a hide where I would be spending the next two weeks, for 15 hours a day, waiting for these bears. I was definitely not expecting to see one so soon!

 

A huge male brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos), known as 'Brutus', captured with a wide-angle lens. Photographed in Finland.

 

Waiting in the hide required constant concentration. The sun doesn’t set in Finland during the summer, so there is light throughout the night. I’d arrive at the hide at 5 p.m. and leave around 9 a.m. the next morning. In this time, I would see a bear for maybe 30 seconds. Some nights there was nothing.

 

I had envisaged a handful of images I wanted to capture, but the first week spent in the hide wasn’t very fruitful. The bears were not around, and when I had seen them, they had been far away. I changed hides occasionally, spending time in both a forest hide and one out in the swamp. The advantage of the swamp was that the sky was visible, making opportunities for interesting lighting possible. However, the forest hide offered exciting chances to use my remote camera trap for some wide-angle images of the bears.

 

There was a brilliant sunset one evening, with a very low sun and some immense golden light cast across the swamp. Luckily I’d chosen the swamp hide. But now, I needed a bear.

 

A huge male brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos), known as 'Brutus', captured with a wide-angle lens. Photographed in Finland.

 

I kept glancing at the forest perimeter, waiting for a bear to emerge. The chances of it choosing this precise moment to show up were slim; I knew that. To my great surprise, I heard the splash of a huge bear’s paw about 50 metres in front of me. It was coming toward me! This was Brutus, once known as the biggest bear in Finland, and a fearsome male. He swaggered over toward my hide...

 

Normally he would walk straight past, not stopping and heading back into the forest behind me. But this time he crossed straight in front of the hide. Now he was only 3 metres away and heading to the position between myself and the sun. This was my chance to achieve the backlit image I’d been dreaming of!

 

A huge male brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos), known as 'Brutus', captured with a wide-angle lens. Photographed in Finland.

 

The sun was so low now, and I couldn’t see through the viewfinder. I did my best to track the bear, and fired off a number of frames as he moved past. I had to be careful not to scare him with the shutter, as once they know you’re there they will run. I reviewed the images after he left. I had it! The backlit bear of my dreams, complete with a puff of breath and mosquitos lit up by the evening light. Mission accomplished.

 

A huge male brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos), known as 'Brutus', captured with a wide-angle lens. Photographed in Finland.

 


 

Will Nicholls is an award-winning wildlife photographer, Zenfolio Ambassador, and founder of the popular nature photography blog Nature TTL.

Enjoy more of Will's incredible images at www.willnicholls.co.uk

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(ZenBlog) Brutus Finland Nature TTL Will Nicholls Zenfolio Zenfolio Ambassador bears hideout nature photography professional photographer professional photography search sunset website wildlife http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/in-search-of-bears-with-will-nicholls Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:30:00 GMT
Top Marketing Tips from Pro Photographers http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/top-marketing-tips-from-pro-photographers mktg headermktg header

By Rachel Brill

 

Achieving professional success in the increasingly competitive photography industry takes more than talent. It also requires a good dose of marketing savvy. We asked the Zenfolio Ambassadors to share their tips for marketing themselves and staying ahead of the competition. Having an amazing website, using social media effectively, and making your clients feel special top the list.

   

Get a Professional Website

 

Fashion and glamour photographer Lou Freeman says presenting her work in an impressive way on her website gives her a professional edge. “My website allows me to show the complexities of the style of work we create quickly and easily. It has become my storefront, my office and my assistant all rolled up into a nice tight package,” she said.

 

Having a mobile-optimized website that is accessible from multiple device types is also important. “It doesn’t matter if I am at a meeting, at dinner, or in an editorial office, I can easily access my site to deliver images, order prints or create a sale. I have streamlined my workflow process, which means I am more profitable and have the opportunity to meet more clients and gain new sales,” Lou said.

 

A professional website is also essential for sports and nature photographer David Liam Kyle. “Credibility, marketing and confidence are a few of the most important secrets to selling yourself to a potential client. A client must trust that you can handle the assignment before they will risk their reputation and money to hire you. A professional website that represents your talents and abilities is the first step to establishing that trust,” he said.

 

Use Social Media the Right Way

 

Being mindful of the tone, frequency, and length of social media communications is also important, according to wedding photographer Kevin Mullins. “I get a lot of my business through Instagram and other social channels, but I want each of my social media activities to be personal and speak directly as I would. To that end, I don’t use hundreds of hashtags (just three or four), and I get the impression my potential clients like that. I think in this day and age where everybody uses social media to market, it’s too easy to ‘spam’ your audience,” he said.

 

Documentary photographer and photojournalist Ginny Dixon schedules time for her social media posts. “Facebook has some interesting new knowledge in their blueprint series for being successful on their platform. It’s a must to put some time into social media every week. I find blocking off time in my calendar works as a structure to make sure I post a few times a week,” she said.

 

Ginny also recommends being mindful of how you communicate with your existing clients. “Social media certainly helps, but I find that most of my business comes from the fact that I have been at this for quite a while now so I have a solid base of clients. Since I shoot for magazines often, I try to keep my mailing list clean. Editors for magazines seem to change positions every four or five years, so keeping up with where they go is a must. Every six months I give them all a call to check in. I think this is important for keeping your name fresh in their heads and making sure all your info is right,” she said.

 

Show Off Your Unique Photography

 

Wedding photographer Steve Bridgwood says honing in on what sets your work apart from other pros is key. "I think the most important thing for a wedding photographer is identifying where you stand out in your work and keep pushing the boundaries."

 

Educate Clients on What Makes You a Pro

 

Senior portrait photographer Erica Peerenboom tries to educate clients about what is involved in professional portrait photography. “It's not just about taking a picture. It's professional equipment, posing and lighting. It’s also post production mixed with experience of how to compose a shot and handle any lighting challenge.” she said.

 

Stand Out and Overdeliver

 

Sports and event photographer Jeff Cable stays ahead of the competition by overdelivering to his clients. “I want to wow them every step of the way. Not only do I want to take great photos for them, but I also do the following to stand out: Build a same-day slideshow; print, matte and frame an image for them on their event day (if possible); post their gallery of images the next day before 3 p.m.; and send them retouched images to share on social media (same day or next day). I also make sure to have fun when I am shooting. I want people to see that I love what I do. This helps me to get referrals,” he said.

 

For more advice on how to market yourself effectively, download the free Zenfolio guide A Photographer’s Guide to Creating a Marketing Plan.

 

Rachel About 7_2013Rachel About 7_2013

 

Rachel Brill is a marketing editor at Zenfolio. She has been editing for 13 years and writing for six years. She has a BA in journalism and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

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(ZenBlog) Rachel Brill Zenfolio marketing photography professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/top-marketing-tips-from-pro-photographers Mon, 19 Jun 2017 20:22:45 GMT
Pro Tips for Starting a Photography Business—Part 3: Create a Business Plan http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/pro-tips-for-starting-a-photography-business-part-3-create-a-business-plan Business Plan (Header)Business Plan (Header)

By Rachel Brill
 

Making the leap from photography as a hobby to a business is a rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. We're here to help, so we asked some of the top pros in the industry “What is the one thing every photographer needs to know when starting a photography business?” and divided their answers into three themes. Part 1 focuses on the importance of standing out: what makes you unique will make you successful. In Part 2, we offered key business strategies from the pros. Now, in Part 3, we share why you need a business plan.

 

Whenever you are going somewhere you’ve never been before, it’s a good idea to have a map. A business plan maps out your ideas and goals, and strategies for achieving them. But as an artist, you may not be wondering if all of this planning is really necessary. Here, eight pros discuss why having a business plan is a must.

 

Have a Game Plan

Every photographer should have a game plan before starting a business, according to sports and nature photographer David Liam Kyle. “It should be based upon knowing the type of photography you want to do, combined with business savvy. Coupled with this should be good communication skills in order to convey your intentions to your clients and the people who are helping with your creative process,” he said.

 

Adventure travel photographer Andrew Peacock discusses the need for a marketing strategy. "Know what your target market is, and have a clear understanding of how you will reach out to those who can use your services. That may mean a clear ongoing social media strategy and/or a more traditional advertising approach," he said.

 

Get the Right Skills and Training

Wedding and commercial photographer John Baikie recommends taking classes or studying online about developing and running a business before trying to go pro. “Get the right training in place first. I see far too many people start a business with no training or experience, and just feeling their way around, hoping it’ll come together. Having a business plan and understanding the financial side of things will take a lot of the pressure off and allow you to focus on photography, without constantly worrying,” he said.

 

Sports and event photographer Jeff Cable also emphasizes the need to be have a solid understanding of business and marketing in place. "Even if you can take amazing photos, do not start a photo business until your business and marketing skills match your photography skills. I see too many photographers who take great photos and think that this is enough to build a business. It isn’t! In order to be successful, you need to think of your photography as business. You will need to be savvy about marketing, advertising, accounting, social media, and so much more," he said.  

 

Don't Try to Do It All

Wedding and portait photographer Caroline Tran says it’s counterproductive to try to do it all. “Trying to do everything and please everyone will spread you too thin. Identify your style and target audience, then focus on that and do it well. Same goes for your workflow—do what you do best, then streamline/outsource the things that you don't enjoy. This way, you'll use your energy where it matters most, and keep enjoying what you do rather than being weighted down by less enjoyable task, she said.

 

Focus on the Numbers

When senior portrait photographer Erica Peerenboom was first starting out, she met with a small business advisor and put together her business plan. “They were able to guide me in all aspects of starting a business in my state and meeting all the requirements. Check with your state and find out how to register your business and pay your taxes. That is one of the most important steps. You also need to be able to effectively market and sell your products to actually make a profit. Figure out your cost of doing business and charge accordingly. Otherwise you are working for nothing, and no one loves photography that much. That's a quick way to burn out!” she said.

 

Music and portrait photographer Martin Hobby echoes the importance of crunching the numbers. “Before you start your business as a photographer, know exactly how much you need to earn each month to stay in business. I've seen too many great photographers go back to working for someone else, because they underestimate how important the business side of running a business is. It's not glamorous, but knowing how to write a simple business plan, cash flow forecast, and the basics about taxes will give you a fighting chance of being successful,” he said.

 

Pet photographer Amiee Stubbs wants photographers to know that even when you are building you portfolio, your time is valuable. “We love making our art, but this is also our livelihood. Be sure to charge your clients enough to cover your business expenses, and make some profit, as well. Don’t sell yourself short!” she said.

 

As the pros mentioned, having a marketing plan is an important component of a business plan. That’s why Zenfolio created A Photographer’s Guide to Creating a Marketing Plan! Download the free guide to learn how to create an effective marketing plan.

 

When putting together your business plan, consider it a work in progress that you update as needed based on what you learn along the way, and as your business grows and changes.


Rachel About 7_2013Rachel About 7_2013

 

Rachel Brill is a marketing editor at Zenfolio. She has been editing for 13 years and writing for six years. She has a BA in journalism and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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(ZenBlog) Rachel Brill Zenfolio business plan photography photography business professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/pro-tips-for-starting-a-photography-business-part-3-create-a-business-plan Thu, 01 Jun 2017 16:00:00 GMT
6 Fashion Photography Pro Tips http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/6-fashion-photography-pro-tips Fashion (Header)Fashion (Header)

Zenfolio Ambassador Lou Freeman specializes in highly stylized conceptual fashion and glamour photography. She has practiced and shaped the art of fashion, glamour, fine interior, and lifestyle photography for more than three decades. Lou’s work has been featured in hundreds of editorial fashion magazines and fashion catalogs, and she is also renowned in publishing and advertising. Here, she shares her top six fashion photography tips.

 

  1. Stay on trend. Style trends are always changing, and in the world of fashion you need to stay current. Learn the trends ahead of each season, and stay on point with the current trends. You’ll also want to learn about the fashion designers and their preferred style of photography.

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  1. Relationships are everything. Get to know all of the stylists for clothing, sets, and hair and makeup. Forming great relationships with all of these people will help your business grow and your reputation to soar.

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  1. Learn all about light. Photographers must thoroughly understand seasonal fashion light and how to create it at the drop of a hat as the season changes. Learn all the styles of light and how to manipulate it well. Be able to balance it to ambient light to make the biggest impact and get the most out of the sources available. I highly suggest buying a great kit of lights that allows you to go on location and shoot with the same impact as in the studio. This will bring comfort and versatility to your work, and it will allow you to create almost anything you wish in terms of concept on any location.

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  1. Update your portfolio regularly. Shoot often, and update your portfolio with new images regularly. Keep your website design clean to allow your work to shine. My work is updated 3-5 months ahead of each season change so that my clients are looking at my most current work. We are never more excited about our own work as we are when we first create it. So this is the time to show it.

Lou 2Lou 2

  1. Focus on marketing. Ensure the maximum amount of people know about your work. Be sure to send out a newsletter, keep an up-to-date blog, and be active on social media to ensure your name is on the tip of the tongues of potential clients. Don’t hesitate to reach out to share the knowledge of the work and jobs you are creating.

Lou 3Lou 3

  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Do an assessment, and be honest with yourself about what you are great at and what isn’t your strong suit. If possible, hire someone else to do the tasks that you don’t excel at so you can focus your time on what you do best. Doing this will free up your time and improve the quality of your work.

Lou 5Lou 5
 

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(ZenBlog) Lou Freeman Zenfolio fashion photography glamour photography photographer photography professional photographer professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/6-fashion-photography-pro-tips Mon, 15 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT
New Product Details Page: Shopping Simplified http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/new-product-details-page-shopping-simplified Product Details (Header)Product Details (Header)

Over the past several months our product team has been releasing features and improvements designed to make shopping on Zenfolio effortless for both you and your clients. We are pleased to announce the final major release of the New Shopping Experience with the introduction of the new Product Details Page.

 

When selecting a product to purchase, your client will now see all the information about that item on a single page. Previously, different product features—like size, price, and description— were shown in multiple pop-ups. This sometimes caused shoppers to get lost during the ever-important buying process, which increased the risk for lost sales. That risk is reduced with the new product page.  

 

You’ll also see product information organized in a modern, clean design that mirrors your site’s theme. Clients can still adjust the image crop from this page, and so much more. The photo your client has chosen is featured within the product they want to purchase. For example, if a client is buying a 20” x 30” Standout Display, the details page will show their photo in that product, with additional images showing other product views; in this case, an image showing the available colors and width of the trim.

 

Product DeetsProduct Deets

 

The Product Details Page is rich with useful information:

 

  • For items larger than 5” x 7,” the Product Details Page includes a sizing chart that gives a scaled representation of how large an item appears when shown next to a human silhouette.

 

  • A drop-down tab on the item allows shoppers to see additional product information,or choose another item within the product subcategory without being sent to another page.

 

  • The Product Details Page is shareable, allowing clients to send a link to another person for review before making the final purchase.


 

The only way for you and your clients to see the new Product Details Page during checkout is to turn on the New Shopping Experience. On June 22, the New Shopping Experience will be enabled for all accounts that have a price list assigned to a photo or gallery. On this date, the option to turn off the NSE will no longer be available, so we encourage you to turn it on today to familiarize yourself with the new features and functionality. You can enable the New Shopping Experience by logging in to your Zenfolio account: from the Dashboard, click Turn On in the Zenbar located at the top of your screen.
 

Learn More in the New Shopping Experience FAQ.

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(ZenBlog) Product Details Page Zenfolio new shopping experience photo products professional photography selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/new-product-details-page-shopping-simplified Fri, 12 May 2017 16:00:00 GMT
50 Shades of SEO: The Secrets of Social Media http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/50-shades-of-seo-the-secrets-of-social-media  

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50 Shades of SEO – Part 4

The Secrets of Social Media

By Eugen Feygin

*This article was originally published in 2016. The content has been so helpful for Zenfolio users that we republished it!

SEO may not be the sexiest topic, but it’s crucial for a photographer today to know all about it. Why? Having SEO implemented will drive more traffic to your site so you can gain more clients and sell more. In the fourth installment of our SEO series, we talk about using social media to improve your business and website SEO.

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 1: Link Your Way to the Top

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 2: How Blogging Can Boost Your Business.

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 3: Keywords are Your Best Friend

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Which social media platform should I use?

There are many social media platforms to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to utilize more than one at a time, but that’s the world we live in. For photographers, the most impactful networks are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I highly recommend Instagram and Pinterest since those channels focus mainly on photographs. However, Facebook and Twitter are the largest social media networks, so you can’t disregard them. For some that is too many social media accounts to manage, but you can automate some of the tasks—make sure you have a consistent custom URL for each (for example, facebook.com/feyginfoto).

When you post to Instagram (make sure your accounts are connected in Instagram) you can automatically post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time, so now all you have to do is figure out Pinterest and you’re set! Or you can go an alternative route and just post to Facebook and automate it to autopost to Twitter.

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Why do I need so many social media channels?

By utilizing all the major social media channels that relate to your industry you are increasing your chance of being found by potential customers. You also want to make sure you are active and respond to people; don’t just post things and ignore your followers.

Why is no one liking or sharing my photo?

I had this dilemma and spoke to several social media experts about it. The answer was that I was posting content to show what I can do, but I was not engaging. An engaging conversation on a topic they care about is much more effective. 

Experiment with asking your followers questions—find ways to get them to react or engage with a post. For example, consider making a small video collage of some of the funniest wedding photos you have taken in the past month, and ask people about the funniest moment they have experienced.

I recommend sitting down and writing out all the ideas you have and questions you could ask, and scheduling everything. You may also want to do some Facebook advertising to get the ball rolling. If the post is doing well naturally it’s not be a bad idea to advertise it to get the ball rolling even faster!

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How often should I post?

I recommend posting at least three times a week to ensure that you’re engaging with your audience. With Facebook, if you do not post enough over a certain period of time—and then decide to finally post—your existing followers might not even see what you posted. Even if you have 5K followers, if you don’t post for, say, a month or longer and then start to post, you will notice a huge drop in the amount of likes you will get. If you are in this situation, there are a couple of solutions.

Consider doing Facebook advertising and only target your followers to ensure that you get the engagement metrics back, and then branch out a little bit by targeting their friends. Just make sure you set budgets and specify exactly where and who you want to target. Facebook advertising can add up very quickly—do not expect a return based on the amount you invest into this. This is more about branding and engaging with your followers.

Consider doing email-marketing campaigns to target new followers, and retarget existing ones by offering a promotion, or try to converse about certain topics in your industry.

Try to be consistent with your marketing efforts. Make sure you have a predefined target market and try to understand that market as much as possible before you engage with them.

Tools:

Latergramme: Schedule Instagram posts from mobile (Free option available)

Hootsuite: Schedule posts from a desktop computer to publish later (Free option available)

MailChimp: Email marketing software (Free option available)

How do social media channels affect my Google ranking?

This question has been evaluated a lot by the search community. It may not be a large signal in the overall metric over your rankings, but it does play a role in the decision.

Google AI

Google continues to invest a lot of time and money into AI research. It correlates with the fact that they are trying to index the world as much and as quickly as possible. They also want to better understand their customer and provide the best answer to any question. Because we post and interact on so many channels across the web, it would be reckless for them to disregard these channels as attributes that define who we are.

Google tracks users through the following free products that they insist you stay logged into to use (There are a lot more).

  • Gmail: Scans all your emails to understand context and saves all that information and provides a lot of capacity to ensure that you refrain from deleting data that can be utilized to identify you
  • YouTube: Tracks all videos you watch, how you interact with them, and what you upload and contribute to the platform
  • Google Maps: Tracks all your movements and keeps address search history
  • Google Search: Records time spent on a page when searched for a specific phrase, monitors what you click and if you like the result, and changes the results based on your previous behavior combined with the search algorithm
  • Google Chrome: A browser that tracks all your history and insists that you stay logged in to use it
  • Google Calendar: Provides you with notifications across all your platforms and saves all of them as well as all the information added

Google creates free products for people to use in order to gain access into our lives. If you consider that so many people now use social media, it would be reckless for them to disregard that information as another piece of data in learning your online behavior. They can use this information to draw a rough picture of who you are as a person, how big your following is, who you influence, and even shopping behavior.

Not all social media channels choose to share their data with search engines, but Google still finds ways to get to any public pages.

Recap

By ignoring social media channels for your photography business you are giving your competition an advantage over you. They may have a large following that they have developed over the years, and that following can be leveraged to expand their business even further. Once you get the ball rolling it is much easier to push it just a little, but that initial jump into the game does take time. Also keep in mind that Google can actually understand sentiment behind a brand and if a brand is perceived in a positive light based on reviews, followers, comments and so fourth, which can give catapult you to the top. 

*   *   *

EugeneFeyginEugeneFeygin Eugene Feygin is a Chicago-based SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience helping local photographers and small businesses around the country strategically utilize online marketing. He is also a fashion and corporate event photographer who produces high caliber work for event and production companies around the country. Check out his photography website as well as his SEO consulting website

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(ZenBlog) 50 shades of seo Eugene Feygin Zenfolio business marketing facebook instagram pinterest seo social media social media marketing twitter http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/50-shades-of-seo-the-secrets-of-social-media Fri, 12 May 2017 16:00:00 GMT
50 Shades of SEO: Keywords are Your Best Friend http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/50-shades-of-seo-keywords-are-your-best-friend  

338928584256034.ki27U6SgzGIl0kYFsCZF_height640338928584256034.ki27U6SgzGIl0kYFsCZF_height640

50 Shades of SEO – Part 3

Keywords are Your Best Friend

By Eugen Feygin

*This article was originally published in 2015. It has been so helpful for Zenfolio users that we have republished it!

SEO may not be the sexiest topic, but it’s crucial for a photographer today to know all about it. Why? Having SEO implemented will drive more traffic to your site so you can gain more clients and sell more. In the third installment of our SEO series, we talk about keywords and how to implement them on your website.

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 1: Link Your Way to the Top.
Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 2: How Blogging Can Boost Your Business.
Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 4: The Secrets of Social Media

How do I select and use keywords?

Keywords are select words or phrases that people type into search engines when they want to achieve a certain result. Keep in mind that there are thousands of new phrases being typed into searches that no one can plan for, but if you are strategic you can make sure you have your bases covered on every front.

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How do I know what keywords my customers are using?

Since Google is one of the largest search engines in North America, it has a lot of data that it is constantly collecting to better understand what people are searching. Google provides this data to its advertisers through Google AdWords. In Google AdWords there is a tool called the Keyword Planner that you can experiment with to understand what people search for. In addition to looking at the keywords you also need to consider the intent behind every keyword—for example, when someone is searching for event photography versus an event photographer. Both phrases get a lot of traffic, but the intent is different with each one. Should you target one or both?

The Strategy

Let’s say I would like to rank in first position when a person enters the phrase “Chicago wedding photographer.” Before I do my research in the keyword planner, I first need to assess my competitors and see what keywords/phrases they are using and how. You can simply look at their website titles as well as the text on the page. You can then use services such as SEO Moz to do a more in-depth search to see what phrases they tend to rank. An alternative solution is to hire an SEO expert, as they often have access to a lot more of these in-depth, fairly expensive tools and have a different understanding as to how to utilize them more effectively.

Once you have this information, go into the keyword planner and put in as many combinations as you can think of. You will then get a list of phrases and data that shows you how much traffic the phrases get per month, what the cost per click is, and some additional ideas for phrases you may have not even considered. Let’s say you currently rank number 21 for “Chicago wedding photographer” and you see that phrase is searched a lot and there is way too much competition for you to ever really get to the top—that’s when you need to revisit the strategy.  

One idea is to go after customers in the social media arena, or you might discover that a lot of people search for a certain wedding venue in Chicago. In that case, you can create an amazing page on your site dedicated to that venue and weddings hosted that year. This tactic is basically going after long-tail keywords, which are phrases that are searched a lot less but might convert better. An interesting element to examine when you look at keywords is to consider how much people are paying for a certain keyword and ask yourself: why are they paying four to five times more for a certain phrase when it’s so long and has so little traffic? Maybe they discovered a trend and you just uncovered their secret!

11 How do I know what people are searching when they get to my site?

This used to be a fairly simply question to answer but unfortunately has become very difficult to determine. In the past you could log in to Google Analytics and the data was available, but Google has taken a large portion of that data away from us.

Google Webmaster Tools still tracks some of the keywords that result in traffic to your site. You can also go into Google Analytics and see what page a user lands on when they first interact with your site—and you can then assess the intent of their search.

Why did Google take away that information?

Manipulation is primarily the reason, I believe. When you can see that phrase X brought in so much traffic, you might only focus on that phrase and ignore the rest. Google doesn’t want you to just look at keywords and phrases but rather expand your content to focus on topics and ideas, as that is more natural.

Think about the last time you searched for something. Did you search “Chicago wedding photographer” or did you search “Chicago wedding photographers available in my area”? Which of the two is more natural for you? From a user perspective, Google would like for us to naturally interact with its search flagship instead of trying to figure out what phrases to search to get our intended result. Google even has Ok Google, a voice search option in its Chrome browser and Google mobile application. Because of this concept, it is trying to get online marketers to move away from keywords but not ignore them entirely. If you are targeting Chicago wedding photographer, you are still going to mention “Chicago,” “wedding” and “photographer” throughout your article, post or any of your content, and Google understands that. Its algorithm is learning intent slowly, and when the person who may not use the exact phrase “Chicago wedding photographer” it might rank higher than one that does because that first site is doing it naturally and the second one is trying to manipulate the outcome (of course, there are other metrics involved).

Recap

The goal is to provide as much variety as possible to cover your bases: yes, use the keyword(s) but also vary the phrases, talk about topics relating to the keyword, get links from other sites with similar ideas or topics that relate to the keyword and go from there. You need to make sure that there is enough variety so that you can infer what the page is about to help boost your rankings without being so direct. You could even join discussion threads across multiple wedding forums and jump in and assist with any questions and mention your site as a resource (do not use your targeted keyword to link back to your site!). 

Next, be sure to read part four of this series, The Secrets of Social Media

*   *   *

EugeneFeyginEugeneFeygin Eugene Feygin is a Chicago-based SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience helping local photographers and small businesses around the country strategically utilize online marketing. He is also a fashion and corporate event photographer who produces high caliber work for event and production companies around the country. Check out his photography website as well as his SEO consulting website

 

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(ZenBlog) 50 shades 50 shades of seo Zenfolio eugene feygin keywords seo http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/50-shades-of-seo-keywords-are-your-best-friend Fri, 12 May 2017 16:00:00 GMT
50 Shades of SEO: How Blogging Can Boost Your Business http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/50-shades-of-seo-how-blogging-can-boost-your-business 338928584256034.ki27U6SgzGIl0kYFsCZF_height640338928584256034.ki27U6SgzGIl0kYFsCZF_height640   image-01image-01 Fifty Shades of SEO – Part II

How Blogging Can Boost Your Business

By Eugene Feygin

*This article was originally published in 2015. The content has been so helpful to Zenfolio users that we have republished it!

SEO may not be the sexiest topic, but it’s crucial for a photographer today to know all about it. Why? Having SEO implemented will drive more traffic to your site so you can gain more clients and sell more. In the second installment of our SEO series, we talk about blogging and how it can benefit photographers. Read our Part 1 post on linking here

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 1: Link Your Way to the Top.

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 3: Keywords are Your Best Friend

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 4: The Secrets of Social Media.

Why do I need to blog?

Many photographers I speak to dislike writing. However, they do not fully comprehend the potential that a blog has in their online marketing strategy. Blogging is the most common online marketing tool. A blog is used to create engaging content that your potential and existing customers may relate back to your photography. It’s also an easy way to add content to your site to help boost your search rankings.

What is engaging content?

This can be just about anything. Some common blog topics include: a written article, a video, amazing pictures that tell a story, etc. Keep in mind that the point of the blog is engagement. Engagement is defined as time spent by the visitor on the blog page, the number of clicks through the information, the number of likes the shared post gets on social media, whether the visitor scrolled down the page, etc. This type of engagement is measured by search engines and is used to determine your search engine rankings. In short, engaging content can directly benefit your search ranking. pull-quotepull-quote

How will a blog post help my rankings?

A blog post is a great way to show your current and new followers how your business is progressing and what you’re working on.

A typical example of a blog post with engaging content might be posting a photograph you shot during a recent wedding at a historical venue. Your post can include text about the day, photos, and even a video (hint: For an added SEO boost, provide a transcript for your video to help with adding additional text to the post). The blog post can then be leveraged as promotional marketing material for your business. The blog post will also be indexed by search engines, making your blog accessible to someone searching for photos of that historical venue for their own upcoming wedding. You can also share the post on social media where it may get likes and additional shares. This may result in new customers seeing the blog post and lead to greater brand awareness, which will more than likely translate to more bookings.

What guidelines should I keep in mind?

Ideally you should be writing at least 800-1500 words plus three to 10 original photos. You should also think about the keywords you utilize throughout the post and consider linking back to your site categories.

For example, if you have a portrait photography category on your site and your post is about photographing an artistic portrait, then consider linking some of the relevant phrases in the post back to a portrait photography gallery—this will add signals to search engines that the page is about portrait photography. This will also give your users an easy way to get to the relevant category on your site.

One big side note is to avoid using the same phrases over and over again as it can hurt the post’s SEO. Another tip is to sometimes link long phrases to create some variety in your search relevance. In essence, you are trying to tell Google that certain search phrases should return your website in the search results.

image-02image-02 How often should I post?

This really depends on how much quality content you can produce. Ideally you should have posts scheduled on a consistent basis. It is much better to produce one to two articles a month that are engaging and insightful, rather than producing four to eight articles a month that simply showcase what you do with little to no engagement.

The point of a blog is not to show your work—that is what your website portfolio is for. The point of a blog is to engage with your target market and keep them engaged for as long as possible. This engagement will keep your business at the front of your followers’ minds. That way, you’re the first business they think of, whether they need your service now, a year down the line or if they need a service to refer to their friends. 

One strategy is to prepare five blog posts and space them out when scheduling them to go live. You can schedule the posts to go live at different times of the day and days of the week. This helps to measure the level of interaction so you can select the best one for your audience’s engagement.

How do I get more readers to my blog?

Promoting your blog posts on strategic social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is crucial for getting the most out of every post you create. If you write an insightful post that can really impact your community, but you do not promote it, the chance that someone will engage with it is slim to none. You need to consider promoting these posts on all the marketing channels, and don’t forget about good old fashion email marketing!

Consider putting your first photo further down on the page so that when a viewer lands on that page they can still see the photo but it forces them to scroll down to see the rest. This engagement gets the readers’ attention and can be used to hook them as well as serve as a metric that you can utilize to increase your rankings (more engagement = higher rankings).

Think about the types of posts on social media you tend to click on the most and the types of titles they have. Use that information when writing your blog post titles as well as the excerpt information.

Don’t forget to also reach out to industry experts in your field and let them know about the post. Their followers may be interested in the content and their recommendation or Retweet could help with your rankings as well as bring in new customers.

Use your blog as a marketing tool that engages with your existing and potential customers on a consistent basis. Content that is relevant to your market audience will drive more engaged traffic to your site which will in turn boost your overall SEO and search ranking.

*   *   *

EugeneFeyginEugeneFeygin

Eugene Feygin is a Chicago-based SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience helping local photographers and small businesses around the country strategically utilize online marketing. He is also a fashion and corporate event photographer who produces high caliber work for event and production companies around the country. Check out his photography website as well as his SEO consulting website

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio authoritative figure eugene feygin fifty shades of SEO links marketing seo seo links seo marketing http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/50-shades-of-seo-how-blogging-can-boost-your-business Fri, 12 May 2017 16:00:00 GMT
50 Shades of SEO: Link Your Way to the Top http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/50-shades-of-seo-how-to-link-your-way-to-the-top 338928584256034.ki27U6SgzGIl0kYFsCZF_height640338928584256034.ki27U6SgzGIl0kYFsCZF_height640

blog-seo-googleblog-seo-google 50 Shades of SEO - Part 1

Link Your Way to the Top

By Eugene Feygin

*This article was first published in 2015. The content has been so helpful to Zenfolio users that we republished it!

SEO: it may not be the sexiest topic, but it’s crucial for a photographer today to know all about it. Why? Having SEO implemented will drive more traffic to your site so you can gain more clients and sell more. In the first installment of our SEO series, we talk about link building, a crucial element in gaining traction to your website.

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 2: How Blogging Can Boost Your Business.

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 3: Keywords are Your Best Friend

Read 50 Shades of SEO Part 4: The Secrets of Social Media.

Why are links such a dominant part of SEO?

The point of getting a link from another website is that search engines use this as one of the leading metrics in deciding who ranks at the top of the page.

Imagine that you are an expert at photographing corporate events, and your friend works at an industry-leading corporate company and tells his friends that you’re the best. Linking is basically the same concept, but when a site links to your site they are publicly endorsing you (kind of like LinkedIn). When they use certain phrases such as “best corporate photographer” to link back to your site from their corporate site, search engines see that as a signal that a website may be relevant to a user’s search for the best corporate photographer. If they are authoritative enough, that endorsement alone can boost you toward the top of search results.

You might read this and say, “Well then I am going to try to get a lot of links from all of my friends linking back to me with the phrase or keyword I am targeting.” Due to manipulation over the years, that is a bad idea.

Search engines have spotted this technique and have caught on that their algorithm simply needs to get better at sifting through those types of strategies. Regardless of this advancement, links are still a huge aspect of your rank or position on Google.

How do you get more links?

Here is where it gets a little dicey. Search engines do not want you to ask for links, and yet they are still important.

Since links are a critical piece to the game, asking for links needs to be a strategic process. For starters, it’s important to consider the text that makes up your link—not the destination link but the actual text that is clicked that links a visitors to your page. Sometime it’s a graphic that links to your page, but ideally it would be text so that a bit more information is provided when the site is indexed regarding what the link is directing to. This text that links to your page is called anchor text. Your best bet is not to specify the keyword(s) you want the website to use when linking back to you. This will ensure there is enough variety, and even if they just link back to you with your website address it is still a signal to search engines that an authoritative figure is linking back to your site as a qualitative resource (even if it’s a nofollow link).

What is a nofollow link?

When a site links to another site they are in essence saying that this is a great site and we are backing it 100 percent. A similar idea would be this: You work at a large company and your best friend wants a job. You go to HR and you put his/her resume on the table and tell them that you vouch for them. You are in essence increasing their chances of getting the job simply because you already have authority/importance at the company. In link building, this would be associated with a dofollow link (a typical link). In that same workplace example, if your best friend wants the job but you simply tell them where to apply, you are helping them get the job but you are not vouching for them in any way. We would call this a nofollow tag.

Typically, if you’re linking to any website outside of your own, you need to be careful who you link to. Otherwise, simply use a nofollow tag to not associate with the website. Most people use this tag if they are promoting a product or are being paid for advertising, or they simply want to provide a resource to their readers but not pass their authority onto the resource. By default most links are dofollow links. middle-graphicmiddle-graphic

What is an authoritative figure?

In the past, marketing experts relied on the page rank of a site to determine authority on the web, but that metric is slowly being phased out. Instead, think of authority in a different fashion. Some experts have mentioned that this metric may be removed completely as it has not been updated in more than a year. However, until that happens we are still stuck with this as our online yardstick.

Often an authoritative individual or company in an area will have a strong presence in the community as well as on the web. In the end, it depends on who you assess is your target market and where you can intersect that market utilizing the authority of several key players in your area. Don’t think of finding a person just to get a link to your site or a retweet. Think about how they can help your business as a whole. Maybe you can partner with other companies in your field to create a stronger brand that can offer multiple services and at the same time support one another. Photographer Central is a great example of a specific referring site with authority in the photography industry. In the end, it all boils down to your marketing strategy.

How do I get a recommendation from this authoritative figure?

Strategies vary greatly. You can guest author on blogs since blogs need content and will provide an attribution link at the bottom of the post. Another option would be to simply provide some kind of service that can benefit the followers in their industry. You need to understand that, as an industry leader, the industry looks at that individual or company constantly for insight and direction. If that leader is absent or not being proactive then they are downgraded from their status. Ideally the goal is to become an industry leader, but to become one is tougher than to stay one.

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Additional link-building opportunities:

  • Sign up for authoritative directories in your industry such as PhotographerCentral.com.
  • Create content or information that will be useful to your industry and promote it heavily. For example, tips on proper lighting techniques, types of lenses to use for different applications, or how to properly price prints as well as your service. People will link to this information (also known as link bait) and in return provide you with authority from their site.
  • Provide photography service for a charity or an event that could potentially link back to you when they post the photos with your credit link. Make sure to not specify the keyword for them to use.
  • Examine authoritative sites that already link to your competitors within your area as well as beyond and see if any of their links are broken (go to nonexistent pages). Then ask if they would be interested in linking to your company instead.
  • Examine what links your competitors have pointing to them and find out how you can be included.
  • Reach out to local universities and schools where your knowledge could benefit their students’ education—from teaching a class on lighting to showing the latest Photoshop editing techniques.
  • Try to get in the news by releasing case studies or controversial information (perhaps you have an opinion you would like to voice).
  • Sponsor a local organization or club.
  • Get on review sites, such as: Yelp, Google+, Facebook, Angie’s List, etc… This is crucial for brand perception and most photographers ignore these channels!

Not all links are created equal

Consider the relationship. If Annie Leibovitz recommended you to her friends for a photo gig versus your friend next door (who knows nothing about photography), think of the impact that recommendation or link can have on your business. If a link comes from a site that is not related to your field it may have less influence on your position in search—even more so if that link comes from an individual who has very little authority in the field.

Giving helps you grow

It’s important to examine how you can help other people and/or organizations in your community. This will help you establish your company in the offline and online world as an industry leader. Think about the last conference you went to and how many speakers presented on a variety of topics? These individuals/companies are not only educating but also promoting their business, and most likely the event has a website that will list links for each speaker and more information about them. Think about how you can help your community with your skill set and just maybe they will help you in return. Whether it’s a link or simply a recommendation, either one grows your business.

Want more? Read our Part 2 post on blogging here

*   *   *

EugeneFeyginEugeneFeygin

Eugene Feygin is a Chicago-based SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience helping local photographers and small businesses around the country strategically utilize online marketing. He is also a fashion and corporate event photographer who produces high caliber work for event and production companies around the country. Check out his photography website as well as his SEO consulting website

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio authoritative figure eugene feygin fifty shades of SEO links marketing seo seo links seo marketing http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/50-shades-of-seo-how-to-link-your-way-to-the-top Fri, 12 May 2017 16:00:00 GMT
Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year 2017 winners announced http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/pink-lady-food-photographer-of-the-year-2017-winners-announced

 

Now in its sixth year, the Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year awards have become firmly established as the world’s leading photography contest celebrating the art of food photography and film. Since its inception, more than 40,000 entries have been submitted from all around the world, with this year's awards seeing an impressive 8,400 images entered from more than 60 different countries. 

This year's Overall Winner was Bangladesh-based Shoeb Faruquee, who won the Food for Celebration category before going on to scoop the overall prize for his image "Food for God." Shoeb's winning image depicts a Brahman cook preparing religious food for devotees to break their 24-hour long fast after special prayers in Bangladesh. During this prayer, followers of the Hindu Saint Baba Lokonaths burn ghee in a small clay pot. 
 

Shoeb Faruque collects the overall prize from Andy Macdonald and Jay Rayner

 

Shoeb was presented with the £5,000 overall prize by Andy Macdonald, Managing Director of Pink Lady ® in the UK, at a glittering champagne awards evening at the Mall Galleries in London on April 25th. 

Said Macdonald of Shoeb's winning image, "Shoeb’s shot stood out from the rest in its category for the way in which he made the subject matter – cooking for the breaking of a religious fast – both incredibly striking and atmospheric.” 

The evening was compered by chair of the judges, journalist and food critic, Jay Rayner, and took place in front of more than 400 people at the Champagne Taittinger reception. Many of the attendees had flown in from across the world for the occasion, from America, Australia, France and more. The panel of judges included: Vitalie Taittinger, Marketing Director, Champagne Taittinger; David Loftus, Jamie Oliver’s photographer; culinary superstar Gary Rhodes; Emily Luchetti, Chair, James Beard Foundation, NYC; Nik Powell, Director, National Film & Television School.

 

The packed Champagne Tattinger reception at the Mall Galleries, London

 

David Loftus - Jamie Oliver's photographer - was also honoured with an Outstanding Achievement Award for his extraordinary contribution to the world of food photography. Below, his wife Ange Loftus accepts the award from Sophie Conran on his behalf.

 

Ange Loftus collects the Outstanding Achievement Award on behalf of her husband David Loftus

 

Finally, a special mention for Zenfolio Ambassador Tiree Dawson, who had two images (below) selected for the finals this year: “Preparing the Wedding Cake” in the Food for Celebration category, and “Mum’s Magic Recipe Book” in the Pink Lady ® Apple a Day category.

Says Tiree: "This is the fourth year that I’ve entered this prestigious competition. Last year I was shortlisted for the first time, and this year I’m over the moon to have had two images selected for final exhibition at The Mall Galleries, London."

Reaching the finals saw Tiree's images showcased in print at the Mall Galleries alongside the other finalists, with a wave of press coverage soon to follow in her home county of Cumbria. See her finalist images below, where you can also hear the stories behind them in her interview with Radio Cumbria. Congratulations, Tiree, and even better luck for next year!

 

 


 

Entries for Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year 2018 open in July, so start brushing up on your food photography skills. Next year it could be YOU taking home the £5,000 prize and international press coverage!

To learn more about the Pink Lady ® Food Photographer of the Year awards, please visit their website.  

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(ZenBlog) 2017 award awards david loftus food food for god lady mall galleries of photographer photography pink pink lady plfpoty shoeb faruque the year" zenfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/pink-lady-food-photographer-of-the-year-2017-winners-announced Thu, 11 May 2017 16:00:00 GMT
How to Use Product Samples to Increase Your Sales http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/how-to-use-product-samples-to-increase-your-sales Samples (Header)Samples (Header)

By Cheryl Steinhoff and Amanda Burse

 

Cheryl, the Portrait Photographer

As an on-location portrait photographer, I’ve found that the best way to increase my print and product sales is to have samples of certain products available for clients to see, touch and inspect in person.

 

With a studio, it’s easy to have your prints framed on a wall and albums displayed throughout the sitting area, but what if you shoot on location? It’s just as important for on-location photographers to have sample products with you to show the client.

 

In my pre-sales consultations, usually done over the phone, I like to get an idea of what clients are looking for in a shoot. Do they have a wall they need to decorate, or is their family portrait over the mantel outdated? Do they need an album for grandma? With a bit of information, I can decide what print samples/products I want to bring with me to the shoot.

 

For most family portrait sessions, I will bring a 24x36 wrapped canvas or framed print. Not only can clients see the appropriate size of a wall portrait meant for over a mantel, a couch, or a bed, but they can also see the quality of the materials and the depth of the colors that can’t be full conveyed on a computer screen.


printoverfireplaceprintoverfireplace
30x45 print with foam core mount

 

I’ll let them take the large wall product home to see where it fits best in their space. Once they see it in their home, they are excited to get one of their family, and that’s before they have even seen their proofs.

canvasinbedoomcanvasinbedoom

24X36 2.5” Canvas Wrap


storyboard1previewstoryboard1preview 10x20 storyboard with Styrene Mount

 

If they have a young baby or a smaller place, I’ll bring something more suitable for their space. My favorites are a10x20 storyboard or an accordion album that holds lots of photos for all the funny little faces a baby makes!

 

Of course, I bring my phone everywhere I go, and my Zenfolio custom photo phone case doubles as a marketing piece. It’s adorned with a great image of my kiddos. I let clients know that they can purchase a phone case on my site or they will get one for “free” when they hit a certain dollar amount in purchases.

 

As part of my welcome package, I always give clients a visual of print sizes. Many clients consider a 8x10 a wall print, but it’s actually more of a desk print. Here is what I send to all my clients in their welcome package to get them thinking about what size prints they will want to buy after the shoot.


wallsizegallery2wallsizegallery2

It's quick and easy to order samples of your work. Zenfolio has a helpful video that shows you how.


 

Amanda, the Wedding Photographer

Since I live in a very rural area of Maine, I often find myself traveling for sessions or meetings with clients. It is not atypical for me to trek more than two hours to a shoot. A studio has not been necessary for me because people rarely want to drive this far into the Maine wilderness.

 

About two years into my business, I really wanted to move away from selling digital images and focus my attention on selling products. Digital images are just filed away, with the exception of perhaps putting the image on a Christmas card. Other than that, most clients never print them. Having an online platform like Zenfolio is great for selling easily—and being able to show my clients exactly what my products look like, and even feel like, has became a key factor to increasing my sales.

 

Many potential wedding clients are insistent on obtaining a disk or being able to download their photographs. But I bring several product samples, ranging from simple prints, image boxes, mat print folios—and most importantly, albums—to every meeting. Albums are key to sharing the story of their special day; it's a time capsule of sorts that can be looked at for years to come. When a bride feels the album in her hands and flips through the pages imagining her own day, the product sells itself. The album process has become a dream since I started using Zenfolio’s Album Design and Fulfillment Service. They handle everything from start to finish, and the product is nothing short of amazing.

QZ4A5935 copyQZ4A5935 copy

 

I found Dear Cloud Design Studio on Etsy, which sells a variety of stunning folio presentation boxes at affordable prices. I print about twenty 5 x 7 MpixPro prints for the mats. This is a perfect size to show detail and facial expressions. After clients see the presentation box, they almost always want it buy it. They go right to my Zenfolio site where I have it included in my price list as a self fulfilled item—plus it is a quick and easy checkout process!

 

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Filled with 4 x 6 prints from Mpix Pro, this image box is a perfect product to add to your wedding package for all clients. 

QZ4A7280QZ4A7280

Another great (and inexpensive) product to present to your clients is Miller’s 12-month photo calendar. It makes a perfect grandparent or parent gift that will be enjoyed all year long!

 

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So get out and show clients what you are made of and what it is you can make! The product sales are sure to follow.

 

cheryl piccheryl pic

 

Cheryl is a portrait photographer in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area and a mom of two amazing kids. She is part of the Zenfolio Customer Success Team, and her website is Cheryl Steinhoff Photography.

 

 

 

Amanda BurseAmanda Burse

Amanda is a devoted wife and mom to four children between the ages of 4 and 14. She is part of the Zenfolio Customer Support Team and has been a professional photographer for 10 years.

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(ZenBlog) amanda burse cheryl steinhoff photo samples product samples professional photographer professional photography selling zenfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/how-to-use-product-samples-to-increase-your-sales Thu, 04 May 2017 19:37:09 GMT
Get Noticed with PartySlate! Event Advertising for Pro Photographers http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/get-noticed-with-partyslate In a world where search engine optimization is king and consumers are using social platforms and photos to buy everything from the latest in fashion trends to vendors for their weddings, it’s both essential and overwhelming to stay on top of showcasing your work. PartySlate is a new digital resource to help you showcase your work with the world, while encouraging important SEO and network effects. Your credits will always be associated with your photos, and photo upload is unlimited- so you can highlight all of your best work.

featured-eventsfeatured-events

Your website and network are key, of course, and Zenfolio offers incredible opportunities to build your website and sell work to your clients. Our goal is to help drive traffic to your website, showcase and enhance your brand, strengthen your SEO and help high-end event hosts find you. 

eventsevents

Here’s how it works:

  • It’s free to register as an event pro on PartySlate
  • Upload collections of events directly to your PartySlate profile. Including a brief description of the event, your approach as their event professional and crediting your event partners will help you appear higher in the feed and find a pro!
  • We offer easy and quick ways to “write” your photos to further enhance your SEO

 

Party hosts of all kinds - brides & grooms, Mitzvah moms, gala chairs, corporate planners, and so many more are coming to PartySlate to look for inspiration and most importantly, to connect with event professionals to hire for their parties.

 

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Head to Partyslate.com to set up your Pro profile, totally free. 

 

 

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(ZenBlog) marketing partyslate zenfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/get-noticed-with-partyslate Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:20:24 GMT
Hello Europe! Phone Cases Now Available http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/phone-cases-now-available-in-europe Europe WOYC headerEurope WOYC header

Smartphone cases are now available in Europe! Your clients can personalize their mobile phone case with their favorite photo from your gallery to create a stylish accessory to carry with them always. Perfect for personal use, or to give as a gift, these easy-to-create cases are sure to become a client favorite.

 

And, they’re not just a popular photo product for your clients—they’re also a high-impact marketing tool for your photography business. With valuable advertising space right on the case, you can display your photos, add your business name and logo, and you’ve got a stylish billboard that goes where you go.

 

These cases are made in and shipped from the UK, and are produced using the highest quality materials, backed by a lifetime warranty that covers defects/product failure. These customizable cases are designed with access to ports for easy connectivity, and are created using processes that embed inks underneath the coatings so they last longer, resist scratches, and don’t fade or rub off easily. A three-step quality control process ensures a consistently great product that you—and your customers—can show off to the world.  

 

There are three different case styles for iPhone and Galaxy devices:

 

Tough Case

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Vibrant hi-res imagery blends together with a clear, protective finish to prevent scratches and fading.

An interior layer helps protect devices against mild shocks and impacts to deliver a gorgeous and tough case that reflects your client’s style and personality.

 

  • High-resolution decoration (300+ DPI print quality)

  • Dual-layer for extra durability and protection

  • 100% of outer surface is decorated

  • Made from lightweight, durable space-grade polymers and cushioned TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane)

  • Created with industry-leading 3-D decoration systems, inks, and processes

  • Rich, vibrant colors embedded deeply into the surface of the case

  • Protective finish resists scratches and prevents image from fading, rubbing off, or blurring

  • Available in both matte and gloss finishes

 

Available for

iPhone 6

iPhone 6S

iPhone 6 Plus (only available in Gloss finish)

iPhone 6S Plus

iPhone 7

iPhone 7 Plus

 

Galaxy S6

Galaxy S6 Edge

Galaxy S6 Edge Plus

Galaxy S7

Galaxy S7 Edge

 

BakPak 3 Case

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Pristine quality and vibrant hi-res imagery deliver a gorgeous case with a rear storage compartment that holds up to two items like credit cards, business cards, cash, or ID. Your clients can show off their style and personality, and travel light at the same time.

 

  • Sliding storage compartment in back allows user to carry cards, cash, and ID

  • High-resolution decoration (300+ DPI print quality)

  • Additional interior TPU liner offers added toughness

  • Created with industry-leading 3-D decoration systems and processes

  • Rich, vibrant colors embedded deeply into the surface of the case

  • Protective finish resists scratches and prevents image from fading, rubbing off, or blurring

  • Three-point quality inspection process

  • Available in gloss & matte finish

 

Available for

  • iPhone 6

  • iPhone 6S

 

Folio Case (satin finish)

 

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This gorgeous case offers an inspired way to express individuality while providing full-frontal screen protection and interior storage pockets. Decorated with high-resolution artwork that seamlessly covers both the front and back, the Folio becomes your clients’ personal art canvas. Printed artwork is not only high quality and sharp, it’s also clear-coated with a proprietary dual-layer satin finish that resists damage, scuffs, fading, and transfer of ink. A clear shell case protects the phone and attaches to the folio with an adhesive strip on the interior. This solution locks the phone in place, provides cover around the edges of the phone, and does so without leaving residue on the device.

 

  • Clear shell case included—can be detached or attached with folio

  • High-resolution decoration process on front and back preserves bright, sharp colors

  • Conveniently stores cards, cash, or ID inside interior pockets

  • Faux-leather material with textured surface

  • Three-point quality inspection process

  • Stand feature for watching media

 

Available for

  • iPhone 6

  • iPhone 6S

  • iPhone 6 Plus

  • iPhone 6S Plus

  • iPhone 7

  • iPhone 7 Plus

 

  • Galaxy S6

  • Galaxy S6 Edge

  • Galaxy S7

  • Galaxy S7 Edge

 

Add to your price lists today!

 

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(ZenBlog) Smartphone cases for European customers Zenfolio product updates cases for Android phones cases for Samsung Galaxy phones cases for Samsung phones cases for cell phone cases for iPhone cell phone cases cell phone protection mobile device cases mobile phone cases mobile phone cases in Europe product update product updates http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/phone-cases-now-available-in-europe Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:55:58 GMT
How to Use Facebook to Gain New Clients http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/how-to-use-facebook-to-gain-new-clients Use FB to Gain New Clients (Header)Use FB to Gain New Clients (Header)

By Steve Bridgwood

 

As my wedding photography business has grown over the years, I have discovered that Facebook is one of my most important marketing tools. In this article, I share how to effectively use it to drive people to your website.

 

For my business, Facebook delivers more tangible results than any other form of social media. While Instagram and Pinterest are great for showcasing my work, I’ve found that these channels tend to be used primarily by brides that want to get ideas and inspiration for their wedding photography. I find Twitter most useful for connecting with other wedding professionals, which has benefits but doesn’t necessarily provide me with enquiries. So for the purposes of this article I will concentrate on how to best utilise Facebook to grow your business.

 

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How To Grow Your Audience and Referrals Using Facebook

  • Send all of the couples that have booked you to photograph their wedding an invitation to ‘Like’ your Facebook page. This means that when you share photographs from their wedding, or link to a blog post about their big day you can tag them. Tagging people allows all their friends to see their pictures and in the case of a blog, to click directly through to your website to view the images and leave messages for the newlyweds. It’s always great when couples write a few words of thanks about their photos—there is no better form of testimonial!
  • When you tag a blog you can almost guarantee that friends, family and the couple themselves will share the post. This is crucial, as you want them to share your Facebook post rather than pictures from their own Facebook accounts. This means that your post and website is reaching a bigger audience and gaining more likes and views.
  • Also make sure that you tag the wedding venue and any key vendors. In most cases they will share your post with their followers, which again increases the post’s reach and puts you in front of a new audience. It also helps to build your relationships with wedding venues in particular. They are always keen to showcase how fantastic their venue can look when photographed professionally, which in turn helps them to gain further bookings.
  • Let the reach of your post grow organically first, before you decide whether you want to pay to boost it further through a Facebook sponsored post. It’s all about getting the biggest audience you can.
  • Where I can, I will always post a few killer shots from a wedding on the day that I photograph it, again following the important rule of tagging the couple and the venue. Friends and family will be keen to add their congratulations.
  • When I’m almost ready to deliver the full set of photographs to a client, I post a few teasers on Facebook letting the couple know that their photos are nearly ready, again tagging the couple to build the anticipation among them and their family and friends.  
  • Always include a link back to your website on any post!

 

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At every stage of photographing a wedding from the day itself, to editing and then finally in delivering the finished images, these tips will help you get your brand and style in front of a switched on and ever bigger audience.


I even encourage my couples to share their private online gallery with friends and family so they can also view their photographs via Zenfolio’s password-protected client-access area on my website. They can even directly order any prints or artwork of the photographs without any involvement from me, which is a great way to increase sales.

 

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When you consistently use Facebook to promote your work and website, your brand and reputation will get stronger among both wedding professionals and potential clients. Each year I have steadily seen more and more referrals from couples who have shared their pictures with friends and family who have viewed their wedding on my website. It’s great that I still get old clients sharing my new posts and tagging friends who are planning their wedding.  

 

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I recently promoted a blog on Facebook from an amazing wedding that I photographed in Marrakech, which generated 238 likes, 12 comments and 10 shares. It was also picked up by one of the UK’s leading wedding blogs, which will be publishing it soon. And of course when they do feature it I will be sharing their post too!

 

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Steve Bridgwood is an award-winning wedding photographer based in Staffordshire, UK, and a proud Zenfolio Ambassador. He is considered one the UK’s top 50 wedding photographers according to GoHen and is named one of the world’s best wedding photographers by Junebug.

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(ZenBlog) Facebook Steve Bridgwood Zenfolio marketing photography professional photography referrals http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/how-to-use-facebook-to-gain-new-clients Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:00:00 GMT
How to Use Your Website to Get More Referrals http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/how-to-use-your-website-to-get-more-referrals Use Website to Gain Referals (Header)Use Website to Gain Referals (Header)

by Steve Bridgwood


When I initially launched my wedding photography business I needed to hit the ground running, so building a strong portfolio and establishing my name in a crowded marketplace became my main priorities. In the beginning, exhibiting at wedding fairs and print advertising helped me to connect with potential clients locally, but it quickly became apparent that to grow a bigger and relevant audience I needed to focus my attention on my website and social media marketing.

Now, I will only ever undertake marketing activity that sends people directly to my website; therefore social media (and in particular Facebook) is one of my most important marketing tools.

 

SteveB6SteveB6

 

Here are some website tips that will help you grow your business:

  • People have found you, and if they like what they see they will get in touch! Leads generated from your website are easier to convert to confirmed bookings.
  • Your website provides an opportunity to showcase your unique photography style, so even though it’s important to show variety in terms of the types of weddings and locations that you feature, make sure your work is consistent.
  • Include your pricing to avoid wasting time for clients who don’t have the budget for your services.
  • Make the most of Zenfolio’s blogging functionality: You can easily add fresh content that helps your SEO and Google ranking while encouraging new visitors to your site. I always direct new enquiries to both the blog section of my website and my portfolio page so that they can see examples of my most up to date work.

 

SteveB8SteveB8BRIDGWOOD WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Since Facebook is my preferred social media tool, I want to share how I use it to gain new clients. Read my article How to Use Facebook to Gain New Clients  to learn more.

 

SteveB bio imageSteveB bio image

Steve Bridgwood is an award-winning wedding photographer based in Staffordshire, UK, and a proud Zenfolio Ambassador. He is considered one the UK’s top 50 wedding photographers according to GoHen and is named one of the world’s best wedding photographers by Junebug.

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(ZenBlog) Facebook Steve Bridwood Zenfolio marketing photography professional photography referrals http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/how-to-use-your-website-to-get-more-referrals Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:00:00 GMT
Zenfolio Wins Best Photo Website Provider for 3 Years Running http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/zenfolio-wins-best-photo-website-provider-for-3-years-running

 

Zenfolio is on an award-winning roll! We were voted Best Professional Website Provider at the Societies’ awards in January, and now we are over the moon to announce that Zenfolio has just picked up Best Photo Website Provider at the Photography News Gear of the Year awards—for the third year in a row!

 

Arnaud Collin, General Manager of Zenfolio collects the award from Will Cheung, Editor of Photography News

 

Photography News is part of Bright Publishing—one of the largest publication houses in the UK—with a monthly readership of nearly 50,000 passionate UK photographers. Each year, the readership votes on their favorite products and services in the Gear of the Year awards. 

We picked up this award at this year's Photography Show (above), where we were also proud to be presenting the Super Stage (below), hosting some true legends of the photography world sharing their expertise and stories. 

 

The quiet before the rush in the 550 capacity Super Stage theatre

 

We had a blast at this year's show and are already looking forward to the next one. Hope to see you there!



The Zenfolio UK Team

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(ZenBlog) Best Photo Website Provider Gear of the Year award Photography News Zenfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/zenfolio-wins-best-photo-website-provider-for-3-years-running Thu, 13 Apr 2017 20:15:00 GMT
New Shopping Experience Update: Multi-Image Products in Quick Shop http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/new-shopping-experience-update-multi-image-products-in-quick-shop Multi Image Products (Header)Multi Image Products (Header)

The New Shopping Experience continues to roll out with valuable improvements that make it easier for your clients to buy prints and products from you.

Feature any products you want to sell in Quick Shop! Now, in addition to single-image products, you can give instant visibility to multi-image products (collages, photo books, and calendars) and packages in the Quick Shop sidebar.

 

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Add multi-image products to your Featured Products list in Price List Settings and those items will appear in the Quick Shop sidebar. This support article shows you how to add Featured Products to your price lists.


To enable the New Shopping Experience for your clients, simply log in to your Zenfolio account and from the Dashboard, click Turn On in the Zenbar located at the top of your screen.

Learn More in the New Shopping Experience FAQ.

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(ZenBlog) Multi-Image Products New Shopping Experience Packages Product Updates Quick Shop Zenfolio selling http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/new-shopping-experience-update-multi-image-products-in-quick-shop Thu, 13 Apr 2017 05:00:00 GMT
The New Yearbook Pose Tool Will Make You Smile http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/the-new-yearbook-pose-tool-will-make-you-smile Yearbook Pose (Header)Yearbook Pose (Header)

If you’re a school photographer, you want to ensure that all your clients get their favorite photo in their yearbook, and you need this process to be as smooth as possible. With our new built-in Yearbook Pose feature, available for Advanced Plan subscribers, you can now track, manage, and submit client yearbook selections with ease. That’s something to smile about, right?

 

Before you ask your clients to choose their pose, make sure you’ve enabled this feature. Here’s how:

 

  1. Log in to your account, then go to the Photos page of the Dashboard.

  2. Find the Gallery or Event in the Organizer on the left and click on the Gallery or Event to select it.

  3. In the Toolbox column on the right, scroll down to the bottom and check “Enable for gallery” or “Enable for event” in the Yearbook Pose section.

 

After you’ve enabled this helpful tool, here’s an example of the workflow that would follow:

  • You invite your clients via email to view their images and choose their preferred pose.

  • Your client creates a new account or logs in to their existing account.

  • Your client hovers their mouse over the desired photo and clicks on the graduation cap icon to select their pose. (This works the same as clicking the heart icon for Favorites.)

  • Once the pose is selected, your client will see this message: “Congrats, you have selected your yearbook pose!”  

  • The photo will be marked with a blue graduation cap icon to identify this photo as the selected yearbook pose.

  • Clients can easily change their image selection

  • You can review the Yearbook Pose selection status to easily see which clients have selected their pose and which have not.

  • You can send email reminders to clients who have not yet chosen their pose.

  • Export images and client information in a .CSV file.

We've created a web page that you can share with clients to show them how to select their Yearbook Pose photo. If you would rather not send a link to a Zenfolio support page, feel free to include copy and graphics from the article in any correspondence to your clients.

 

This support article provides step-by-step instructions to get you up and running with this new feature.

 

If you have the New Shopping Experience turned on, then your clients can select their yearbook pose from the Quick Shop page.

 

To turn on the New Shopping Experience simply log in to your Zenfolio account and from the Dashboard, click Turn On in the Zenbar located at the top of the screen.

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio school photography yearbook photo yearbook pose http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/the-new-yearbook-pose-tool-will-make-you-smile Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:53:39 GMT
FREE Client Marketing: Enroll and Watch Your Business Grow http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/free-client-marketing-enroll-and-watch-your-business-grow Header phoneHeader phone

Ready to jump-start your sales? Let Zenfolio be your FREE Marketing Team to help you increase your revenue during upcoming occasions and holidays.


Here’s how the Free Client Marketing program works:

1. You enroll in the free program.

2. Zenfolio will email your clients promotional offers on your behalf.

3. Your clients shop directly from your galleries.

 

Once you’re enrolled in a campaign, we’ll create and send promotional email offers to your clients, on your behalf, to encourage them to purchase prints and products from your galleries. We’ll also provide you with graphics and copy that you can share across your social channels to further promote the discounts.

 

The 2017 campaign lineup includes six campaigns that take advantage of key selling seasons to help you sell more prints and photo gifts throughout the year. This year, the free Client Marketing programs are available to accounts with selling plans in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. Campaign availability varies by country, so check out the chart below to see which campaigns are available in your area.  

 

 

Enroll in all of the campaigns or just the ones that interest you. Act now! The deadline to enroll for the Mother's Day campaign is April 7, 2017.

 

New to selling? No worries! Get started by adding a pre-filled price list to a client gallery.


For campaign dates and details visit the program FAQ.


Learn more about Zenfolio’s Free Client Marketing program.

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(ZenBlog) Product Updates Zenfolio client campaigns Zenfolio free marketing client campaigns client discounts client emails email marketing free marketing http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/free-client-marketing-enroll-and-watch-your-business-grow Fri, 31 Mar 2017 00:19:48 GMT