It’s the art, not the photographer.

Time and time again, I tell customers to make their online presence client focused rather than self promotional. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen this online:

“…is an award winning professional photographer with a masters in fine art who’s passion is…”

This is great for an ‘about’  page on a website, but that’s where this kind of content should end. Content like this sends the message that the art is all about you, the  photographer, and not about the client. There is a simple way to establish your credibility and market your brand.

Understand your audience.

Know what need your clients want to have fulfilled and tell them how you can satisfy it. Many years ago, a mentor once told me: “People don’t buy products. They buy experiences.” More pointed – they buy the emotional connection behind the experience. He was bang on. Throughout my entire career, from marketing cars and IT services, to donations and memberships, it all comes down to this fundamental principal: Selling the experience will resonate with your audience better than a pitch about product features.

The hard-hitting truth.

When it comes to your photography, people aren’t buying you, the photographer, (or even your photos for that matter), they’re buying the benefits they get from your photos. The emotion evoked and the need satisfaction met. Keep in mind that different market segments will have different expectations, so be sure to promote your photography business accordingly. The photographer behind the work will sell itself.


About the Author
Deanna White is owner and publicist for storylinePR, representing Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers who are looking to create and perfect their work, while we stay keenly focused on the marketing side of their business.   www.storylinepr.ca

How to build the right marketing & PR plan.

To succeed, you must start with a solid marketing and PR plan. Executed well, your plan will be your road map as you grow your business. The right marketing plan identifies: 1) who your target customers are; 2) how you will reach them; and 3) how you will retain your customers so they repeatedly bring in new business for you.

We are often asked what we include in the marketing and PR plans we produce for our photography clients, so we thought we would outline the 15 key sections as the fundamental basis of our working relationship with some of the best local talent.

Section 1: Executive Summary

We often complete the Executive Summary last. As the name implies, this section merely summarizes each of the other sections in the plan. It will be helpful in giving yourself a reminder and any stakeholders an overview of your plan.

Section 2: Target Customers

This section describes the customers you are targeting which we develop through a persona exercise. Personas are generalized characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your current and potential customers. They help you understand your customers better. The ability to more clearly identify your target customers will help both pinpoint your marketing (and get a higher return on investment) and better “speak the language” of prospective customers.

Section 3: Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Having a strong unique selling proposition (USP) is of critical importance as it distinguishes your work and your business in an already over-crowded industry. The hallmark of several great companies is their USP. For example, FedEx’s USP of “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” is well-known and resonates strongly with customers who desire reliability and quick delivery. We’ll identify the USP that sets you apart from your competition.

Section 4: Pricing & Positioning Strategy

Your pricing and positioning strategy must be aligned. For example, if you want your photography business to be known as the premier brand in your genre, pricing your work too low might dissuade customers from purchasing. In this section of your marketing plan, we detail the positioning you desire and how your pricing will support it.

Section 5: Distribution Plan

Your distribution plan details how customers will buy from you. For example, will customers purchase directly from you on your website? Will they buy from other publishing venues, at events or galleries? We’ll brainstorm different ways to reach your customers and document them in this section of your marketing plan.

Section 6: Your Offers

We’ll develop strategic offers to secure more new customers and drive past customers back to you – that will generally cause your customer base to grow more rapidly.

Section 7: Marketing Materials

We’ll take an in depth look at the marketing materials you’ll use to promote your business to current and prospective customers. We’ll identify which ones you’ve already completed and ones that need to be created or re-worked to fit the plan.

Section 8: PR Strategy

The PR section is one of the most important sections of your marketing plan and details how you will reach new customers. In this section of your marketing plan, we’ll consider each of vehicles available to us and decide which ones will most effectively allow you to reach your target customers.

Section 9: Online Marketing Strategy

Like it or not, most customers go online to research their next purchase. As such, having the right online marketing strategy can help you secure new customers and gain competitive advantage.

The four key components we consider for your online marketing strategy:

  1. Keyword Strategy: identify the keywords to optimize your website.
  2. Search Engine Optimization Strategy:  updates you make to your website so it shows up more prominently for your top keywords.
  3. Paid Online Advertising Strategy: the online advertising programs you use to reach target customers.
  4. Social Media Strategy: how you will use social media to attract customers.

Section 10: Conversion Strategy

Conversion strategies refer to the techniques to turn prospective customers into paying customers.  For example, increasing your social proof (e.g., showing testimonials of past clients who liked your work) will nearly always boost conversions and sales.  In this section of your plan, we’ll document which conversion-boosting strategies you will use going forward.

Section 11: Joint Ventures & Partnerships

Joint ventures and partnerships are agreements  with other organizations to help reach new customers or better monetize existing customers. Think about what customers buy before, during and/or after they buy from your company. Many of the companies who sell these products and/or services could be good partners. We’ll document such companies in this section of your marketing plan along with tactics to reach out to try to secure them.

Section 12: Referral Strategy

A strong customer referral program could revolutionize your photography business. For example, if every one of your customers referred one new customer, your customer base would constantly grow. Rarely will you get to experience such growth unless you have a formalized referral strategy. We’ll help you think through the best referral strategy for your business and document it.

Section 13: Strategy for Increasing Transaction Prices

While your primary goal when conversing with prospective customers is often to secure the sale, it is also important to pay attention to the transaction price. The transaction price, or amount customers pay when they buy from you, can dictate your success. For example, if your average customer transaction is $1000 but your competitor’s average customer transaction is $1500, they will generate more revenues, and probably profits, per customer. As a result, they will be able to outspend you on advertising and promotion, continually gaining market share at your expense. In this section of your plan, we’ll strategize ways to increase your transaction pricing.

Section 14: Retention Strategy

Too many organizations spend too much time and energy trying to secure new customers versus investing in existing customers. By using retention strategies you can increase revenues and profits by getting customers to purchase from you more frequently over time. We’ll identify and document ways you can better retain customers here.

Section 15: Financial Projections

The final part of your marketing plan is to create financial projections. In your projections, we’ll include all the information documented in your marketing plan with the related expenses that give you the highest return on investment.

One final word…

Creating a comprehensive marketing & PR plan is real work. Once it’s complete, it will serve you well as an actionable road map of deliverables with expected results in terms of new customers, sales and profits.

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About the Author
Deanna White is owner and publicist for storylinePR, exclusive PR firm & marketing agent to Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers. “Because we know instead of marketing your work, you’d much rather be creating it.” www.storylinepr.ca

Content marketing – beyond images

Most photographers share their images on their website in hopes of driving a ton of traffic to complete the ‘contact us’ form. Unfortunately, in today’s digital world that’s no longer enough. You need a content marketing strategy. What is content marketing exactly?

Definition of Content Marketing In my view, content marketing provides relevant, useful content to your audience online without actively pitching them. It’s about providing information that makes your target audience become more informed before they buy. By doing this in a consistent manner, you’ll earn brand awareness and they will ultimately reward you with their business.

I won’t lie to you – it takes work. Relevance and consistency are key. How does one get started? Here are some of our top go-to recommendations when building a solid content marketing plan.

Get social

Dread it or like it? Some photographers dread the idea of social media while others embrace it and utilize it to engage. It’s a necessary evil in an effort to reach your target audience.  Have a presence and aim for good engagement activity.

Share stories

Posting images online is no longer enough. Blog about the experience. Tell a story about the image in such a way that will entice your target audience to learn more about you. Provide useful content and tips on ‘how to’ for your audience relative to your work.

Educate

Despite what some believe and in the wake of CASL, the art of newsletter writing is not dead. Provide an opt-in mechanism in all you do to have people sign up. Make it educational in tone. What better channel to distribute your content than to the ones who raised their hands to openly to receive it.

Keep SEO in mind

This goes without saying, but a good content marketing strategy will involve search engine optimization. And, if all the above things are done well, they will help with SEO.

In our next few blog posts, we dive deep into each of these with some tips on how to implement.
Stay tuned.

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About the Author
Deanna White is owner and publicist for storylinePR, exclusive PR firm & marketing agent to Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers. “Because we know instead of marketing your work, you’d much rather be creating it.” www.storylinepr.ca

Top strategy for charities

What if I told you there was a way to get your business in front of potentially thousands of eyeballs from your ideal target audience. All for the cost of a few hours work. It’s one simple concept that very few photographers take advantage of.

This will impact your bottom line

Ottawa happens to be home to many charitable organizations who are on tight budgets, and always on the lookout for giveaways to create more donor dollars.  I’m not talking about donating your time to shoot for a charity event, but rather putting a silent auction package together that gets your name in front of a very lucrative target market and will likely not cost you a thing. In fact, in most cases, it can make you money. Similar to the gift card industry, offering up certificates for your photography services as a silent auction item associated with a dollar value can, and will, deliver to your bottom line. Here’s why:

Many are not ever redeemed. Giving away your services for free is hard swallow sometimes, but as Jenn Reichenbacher of Merchant Warehouse reveals, many times they won’t ever be utilized. Thousands of dollars goes unredeemed annually. About 40% either lose or forget about the item they purchased at a silent auction and most people chalk up their donation as going to a good cause.

They encourage repeat business. It’s also important to remember that when customers make purchases using gift cards (or in this case, silent auction gift items), they don’t always spend the entire amount. That means that they will likely return to make more purchases in the future. Gift Card Granny points out that “55% of gift card recipients require more than one shopping experience to spend the balance.”

Customers tend to spend more than the face value. By the time the monetary value of the silent auction item has been used in full, a client most likely will spend more. That means more money for you! “65% of gift card holders spend an extra 38% beyond the value of the card.

There are the top three things to keep in mind when putting a silent auction strategy in place:

  1. The Target Market
    Target the right audience with your brand. There are a myriad of charities who attract high-profile, net-worth clients at galas, golf tournaments and dinners. Reach out to the ones that make sense for your business. Ones you have a connection with, or whose causes you really believe in. Make sure it is well suited for your audience by asking qualifying questions about who their donors are.
  2. The Offer
    Tailor the offer to meet the needs of the audience and your marketing strategy. If your goal is to sell your images, perhaps the silent auction item is a private gallery showing with $500 towards the purchase of an art collection. Or perhaps you are looking to market your corporate photography business by offering the cost of a 3 hour session. Even if packaged as a product offer – make sure the dollar value is the main redemption mechanism.
  3. The Promotion
    Here’s where it can get interesting. Be sure to schedule some social media promotion around your silent auction item mentioning the charity you are donating to in the post using the ‘@’ sign. By mentioning the charitable organization, you are reaching potentially thousands of donors and supporters beyond your own social network; the charity is gaining additional exposure about the event; and your brand is being associated with a good cause.

There are several lists we are compiling for Ottawa photographers to reference and ‘charitable events’ is currently in the works. We are looking to our community help us build on these lists. If there a charitable golf tournament or event that you recommend? Let us know by leaving a comment.

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About the Author
Deanna White is owner and publicist for storylinePR, exclusive PR firm & marketing agent to Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers. “Because we know instead of marketing your work, you’d much rather be creating it.” www.storylinepr.ca

Featured Photographer

Image of Roland Bast, Ottawa Photographer - Photo Credit: John-Finnigan Lin
Roland Bast

Meet Roland Bast. You may have seen his work on social media or published in magazines.

As a community ambassador and one of Ottawa’s top social media influencers, this well-known self-taught photographers’ work will be featured Tuesday, November 15th @ 7pm at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts.

Inspired by architecture, nature and the great outdoors, Roland will have have 33 framed and canvas print images on display for sale – including new pieces from his most recent shoots.

Click here to learn more and purchase tickets!

Check out his work on his social media properties:


About the Author
Deanna White is owner and publicist for storylinePR, exclusive PR firm & marketing agent to Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers. If you would like to be featured on our blog, connect with us!

Lisa Tolmie is a Lady on Fire

For Ottawa-based photographer Lisa Tolmie, there has always been photography. Despite being a busy wife, mother and career woman, what began as a hobby chronicling her life with family and friends grew into a passion and her heart’s work. Her evolution as a photographer took the route of a degree in Fine Arts, cabinet making and floral design. Through these varying creative pursuits, she began to realize that photography was a language she understood and one which she enjoyed expressing herself.

When I first discovered Lisa’s work on social media, I immediately fell in love with her unique style. Her images really stood out for me and she seemed like the kind of gal who liked to colour outside of the lines. I was intrigued, so I dug a little deeper & I’m thrilled to share the following Q&A interview with Lisa about her work and business, Lady on Fire Photography.

When did you first think of becoming a photographer? How did you get started?

I’ve always had a camera in my hand but taking the Basic Photography night class at Algonquin in 2014 changed my path in photography to a more professional direction. As part of an extensive final project I had to take 15 portraits of one model. My cousin, Tammy, eagerly volunteered. She wanted portraits depicting a horror movie theme, some as a rock star and a few with Day of the Dead make-up. Her friend Tina, an accomplished make-up artist, brought her themes to life. Together we jumped in with both feet and took portraits like nothing I have ever done before. Unsure of what my professor would think, I handed in my assignment. He loved everything about them! His remarks gave me the confidence to start Lady on Fire Photography, and with both Tammy and Tina by my side we set forth on a path of unique and unusually themed portraits.

Who are some of you favorite photographers past or present that you found inspiring?

My professor at Algonquin, Harry Turner, is definitely someone who inspired me. In his lessons, he always included photos that he had taken and used these as examples to teach a new technique. One particular photo intrigued me, a “photo painting” where you move the camera on a slower shutter speed and create these gorgeous swirls of colour. His work has inspired a part of my landscape photography. He evokes movement and light in a magical way.

Brit Bentine from Locked Illusions Photography takes controversial and shocking portraits usually of young children in fantasy art pieces. Each is unique and not for everyone. Her style definitely evokes a gut reaction and although it can be over the top at times I can’t help but smile when a new piece comes out!

Alexander Khokhlov does amazing 2D face paintings involving a mix of face-art and different textures which inspired some of my own photographs. His love of lines and contrast appeal to me greatly.

Recently I have come to love the work of Melanie Mathieu Photography. She captures “moments” in life so beautifully. Her photos leave me breathless at times, her vision and use of angles are especially inspiring. It is a style I wish I had half her talent in. We are very different in our approach to photography, but she inspires me daily!

What kinds of assignments do you like the most?

The weirder the better! We don’t take “typical” photos. We don’t photograph weddings, babies, or traditional family portraits. I like a client who comes to us with their own vision, preferably one that makes me a little uncomfortable. Then the challenge is to make their imagination come to life! I also love the challenge of my “Phlogs” (photo blog). I ask my Facebook group to suggest themes and I try and make them happen in an original and fun way. These Phlogs often inspire some of my best work and they also provide the opportunity to push myself outside my comfort zone. Run of the mill is not what I am about. There is a bit of an electric undercurrent in my work, as there is with me. After all, I am the Lady on Fire…

Why do you create the photographs you do and what do they mean to you?

Unusual face painting photography brings out a different personality in people. I like that the make-up gives them an excuse to hide their shyness and makes them less uncomfortable. It allows the portrait to come to life. I’ve seen older, married men who were dragged in by their wives turn into the best models as soon as the make-up and the character develops on their faces. In front of the camera the make-up gives the model permission to be weird and to try things they never would have tried. When they see the final results they are usually pleasantly shocked with the outcome. Everything outside of the face painting portraits is created out of simple things that I find beauty in. I like pulling out the things people don’t normally see or take for granted. I enjoy creating a mood and starting a conversation with the everyday made extra-ordinary just by zooming in a little closer or looking at it from a different perspective.

What images or series are you most proud of and why?

My favorite series was the Sesame Street Phlog. This was a Facebook suggestion that I would not have considered otherwise, but it turned out to be something I am very proud of. It was a challenge for me as it was the first time I had left the studio and did location shooting. I enjoyed sourcing the costumes, scouting locations and developing the background stories for how each childhood character had grown up. At the time it was the largest series I’ve put together and is still one of my favorites. Many thanks have to go out to all involved in making that session happen!

One of my favorite single images is “stranger on the rocks” it was a very quick split second shot of a gentleman on the rocks at Britannia beach. I loved his vintage swimsuit look and the clouds. It doesn’t always have to be a large set- up. Sometimes the best pictures are one-offs that just happen!

Day of the Dead- Tammy. This was one of the 15 portraits for my assignment at Algonquin College. This set the path to the creation of Lady on Fire Photography.

Image: Day of the Dead - Tammy. Photographer: Lisa Tolmie of Lady on Fire Photography.
Day of the Dead – Tammy. Photographer: Lisa Tolmie of Lady on Fire Photography.

Stranger on the Rocks. One of my favorite fluke pictures! I literally turned the camera and with very little thought I snapped the photo. (private collection). Lady on Fire Photography.

Image: Stranger on the Rocks. Photographer: Lisa Tolmie of Lady on Fire Photography.
Stranger on the Rocks. Photographer: Lisa Tolmie of Lady on Fire Photography.

Painted Forest.  Inspired by my professor, I love making these photo paintings. It’s a lovely marriage between my Fine Art Degree with photography. Lady on Fire Photography.

Image: Painted Forest. Photographer: Lisa Tolmie of Lady on Fire Photography.
Painted Forest. Photographer: Lisa Tolmie of Lady on Fire Photography.

Creepy Clown.  From my last Phlog. I am terrified of clowns and yet I felt compelled to face my fear and do an epic clown photo-shoot. This picture captures my worst nightmare! Lady on Fire Photography.

Image: Creepy Clown. Photographer: Lisa Tolmie of Lady on Fire Photography.
Creepy Clown. Photographer: Lisa Tolmie of Lady on Fire Photography.

If you could go back ten years, what advice would you give yourself and to other aspiring photographers?

Starting a business was not on my radar ten years ago. I was at home with my daughters who would have been 3 and 6 years old. Being immersed in my family and motherhood felt isolating at times. Taking pictures of my children was an outlet for me, a way to be creative. Finally taking the leap into a more professional photography business has led to stronger bonds with my family and friends and opened up a confidence I didn’t know I had. I am blessed with a husband, daughters, family and friends who are ready, (though occasionally unwilling), models who inspire me daily and allow me the freedom to experiment. I’d tell myself, GO FOR IT and never second guess a shot, just take it!

What are your main goals now as an artist?

I want to be as original as possible and break rules. Through my work I want to continue creating a conversation in a positive and inclusive manner.

Can you tell us where you feature your work?

Many of my pieces are in private collections in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. I have recently put my photography out on various forms of Social Media. I began with a Facebook page that allowed an interaction with people that I really enjoy. Their suggestions end up being some of my best creations. I love the feedback and creativity they invoke. I’ve recently started showing my photographs on Instagram. I feel very new age and hip being on there! It’s been a fascinating adventure to see how each photograph is received. I have a website www.ladyonfirephotography.com this is where you will find the famous Phlogs and a sampling of my landscapes, oddments and portrait work. Pixieset is where you will find the body of my work as well as a way to purchase Fine Art prints. In its infancy I have ventured into the world of RedBubble. It seems my more eclectic photography makes for fun leggings and I-pod covers! Things will be removed and added over the coming weeks but feel free to check it out!


About the Author
Deanna White is owner and publicist for storylinePR, exclusive PR firm & marketing agent to Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers. If you would like to be featured on our blog, connect with us!

The magic bullet for photos on social media.

I can fully appreciate how time consuming and frustrating it can be for photographers to market their own work. I understand that all you really want to do is create it. One of the many reasons storylinePR Photo Marketing exists.

When it comes to marketing, I know you’re looking for that one single magic bullet. Want to know what social content works best for your photography business? One word… experiment! You need to experiment to find out. Take advantage of the wealth of information at your finger tips using the built-in analytic tools of the social platforms you use.

How to REALLY attract and engage thousands of followers.

Image of bulletsPeople who offer ‘the’ one stop solution to fix all your social media woes with the promise of increasing your audience and generating thousands of engaged followers are not providing you value. I’ve known some so-called ‘gurus’ who use negative selling. That is, they show you what’s not working, (eroding your confidence in your own skills in the process), so that you buy their magic bullet, only to find it’s not magic at all. It’s a dud.

They use this technique to sell you, yet even more magical bullets – and guess what? They’re duds too and soon you will have spent good money after bad to be exactly in the same place you started. The e-books, programs, cheat sheets, courses and other short-cuts to social media success can sometimes be helpful with some good tips, but they will never give you the thousands of engaged fans they promise. Here’s the thing. There is no magic bullet.

Your audience is unique to you. No one else.

Don’t get me wrong. There are ethical social media consultants who work alongside you and who can show you the ropes. There are also wonderful virtual assistants that know how to expertly utilize social analytics & can manage your social media channels for you. You’ll learn very quickly if they are providing you value.

Listen, your audience is unique to you. No one else. Promote your brand authentically and organically. Have conversations and dive into those built-in analytics I mention. THEY hold the magic you’re looking for.

Image of Deanna White of storylinePR holding camera

About the Author
Deanna White is owner and publicist for storylinePR, exclusive PR firm & marketing agent to Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers.

Learn more and connect at www.storylinepr.ca
Follow Deanna on Twitter @storylinepr

Connecting the photographer & the audience

I’ve interviewed a few photographers for this post and I quickly came to the conclusion that most photographers a) have never written an artist statement or b) really…. REALLY hate writing them. Why? Because most artists visual thinkers. It’s hard for photographers to put their creative process, philosophy, vision and passion into words .

In this post, we share some tips on developing your artist statement. Specifically, why you should have one, where you will use one and how to write one.

What is an artist’s statement?

The artist’s statement is  an effective marketing tool that connects the photographer with their audience. An artist’s statement is not a resume, a biography, a list of accomplishments and awards or a summary of exhibitions or a catalogue of works.

It’s a short document written to provide a window into the photographer’s world. It enlightens and engages – giving the audience,  (potential buyers), an understanding of you and your motivation behind your work. It can be insight into a single photo or a collection of photographs. The important thing to remember is…  it’s a living document that can change because you change.

Why should you write an artist’s statement?

People who love a photographers’ work generally want to know more about the photographer. Your statement will help your viewers answer questions they may have about you. When viewers have answers, their delight in what you shoot increases, and they have more reasons to take your photographs home with them.

Here are a few questions you can answer to help craft one:

  • Why do you create the photographs you do and what does it mean to you?
  • How does the creation of your work make you feel? What emotions do you wish to convey?
  • If the statement refers to a specific photo or series, why did you choose to represent this photo in this way? What do you call the photo and why?
  • What inspires you? How are your inspirations expressed in your work?
  • What message are you trying to convey to the viewer?
  • How is your work a reflection of you?
  • What artists (living or dead) have influenced you?
  • What is your vision/philosophy?
  • What are your goals for the future?
  • What are your techniques and style and how do these relate?
  • How do your techniques and style relate to your vision/philosophy?

How long should my artist statement be?

The key here is to express how you feel and create a statement that stands on its own and represents your work. Remember that people usually don’t have the patience to spend a lot of time reading, so it’s better to err on the shorter side. One to three paragraphs – at most.

What kind of language should I use?

Keep your statement clear and concise. Avoid flowery language and “art-speak”. This only lengthens and weakens your statement. Use language that is comfortable to you, and let your words flow. Don’t be technical. Readers won’t care what equipment or post processing software you use. Leave details about tour gear out of it.

You’re an artist at heart, so some specific terms you may wish to mention in your statement are the elements of art (line, colour, shape, value, space, form, and texture), and the principles of design (balance, emphasis, movement, harmony/unity, pattern, rhythm, proportion, and variety). Source: How to Write an Artist’s Statement by: Melissa Wotherspoon

We started out by crafting press releases for Ottawa business fifteen years ago. Today we write artist statements and PR plans for Ottawa’s most talented photographers. From experience and a marketing perspective, the more you can relate to your audience, the better your chances are of selling your work.

Where and when will I use it?

This is a common question I get, (a lot).  Here’s several instances where you artist statement will come in handy…

Where will you use it?

  • In an exhibition
  • In conjunction with your biography
  • As a boiler plate in a news releases
  • In your brochures and/or printed marketing materials
  • On your blog,  website and social media

When you will you use it?

  • Approaching a gallery with an exhibition proposal
  • Entry Form for Competitions
  • Introducing yourself to potential buyers
  • Public speaking and networking opportunities as your verbal introduction
  • Talking to clients at a private view
  • Sales presentation by an agent
  • Publications writing about your work
  • Pitch to agencies

Want to be featured?

We’ll be featuring some of Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers in upcoming Q&A style blog posts. Want to be featured? Contact us with the words “Blog feature” in the subject of your email.


About the Author
Deanna White is owner and publicist for storylinePR, exclusive PR firm & marketing agent to Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers. Learn more and connect at www.storylinepr.ca

Photography blogging | More than just pictures.

The following quote comes to mind as we share our next topic… “Photography is the story I fail to put into words.”- Destin Sparks. Blogging is an important part of your marketing mix and your strategy should be thoughtfully considered.  This week were sharing some great tips and articles we found on the web about blogging for your photography business.

Why you should be blogging.

There are many reasons why you should blog about your photography business. We found Bryan Caporicci summed it up best with these 7 reasons:

  1. Build credibility with prospects who may not know you or what you do.
  2. Show authority to new and existing clients.
  3. Establish trust and build confidence with your prospects.
  4. Create value first instead of coming across as “sales-y”.
  5. Give people a reason to bookmark, connect with and re-visit your website.
  6. Talk about more than just your most recent photos.
  7. Guide prospects to the “next step” in your sales process.

More than just pictures, you need to actual write about your work.

Write about the photo you’re featuring on your blog. What inspired you? What’s special about it? Is there a story behind it? Readers want to know about you and your work. Keyword stuffing won’t accomplish that.

Rank Higher in Search Engine

Do you have a WordPress blog? (Or any blog for that matter). Showing up on the first page of search engine results can seem like an impossible task. These easy tips will help you be on your way to getting more traffic and prospective clients to your blog by ranking higher in search engines. Here’s a great resource:  Easy WordPress SEO Tips for Photographers.

Keep it fresh for SEO

Having fresh content on your site is one of the best ways to let Google know that your site is active, (which gives you better rankings), and shows your customers that you are busy. Be sure you optimize for search. SEO is key.

Position yourself as an authority & expert.

Reach out to online editors and bloggers. Get featured on other blogs then promote the feature to your clients, in your website, social media etc…

Unsure of what to blog about?

Here’s some inspiration: 21 Blog Topic Ideas For Photographers – Blog More And Get Clients

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About the Author
Deanna White is owner and publicist for storylinePR, exclusive PR firm & marketing agent to Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers. Learn more and connect at www.storylinepr.ca

Networking to boost photography sales.

If 70% of sales comes from networking and building relationships, shouldn’t you be doing more of that?

This weeks blog topic: ‘Networking to boost your photography business’, (It’s not as scary as you might think). The most important thing to remember about networking is that you have to make a genuine effort to meet people and get to know them. Simply showing up isn’t enough.

We’ve rounded up some of the best tips to maximize your networking efforts.

Great places to find networking opportunities.

  • MeetUps  are informal and a great way to meet like minded professionals. Search for an  industry-related get-together.
  • Attend local chapters of formal business groups.  Sit on the board. You’ll learn a lot.
  • Volunteer your time by offering your services to a networking group that’s the right fit for you. A great way to gain instant exposure for your work, (if you target the right audience).
  • Join professional photographer groups – photo walks are a great place to meet other local artists without commitment or cost.
  • Events where marketing and communication folks hang out is the place to be. These are the people working for organizations always on the lookout for new shots to use in their marketing materials. Contact us! We’ll be happy to recommend some marcomm networks in the Ottawa area.

What to bring to your next networking event (besides your enthusiasm).

Be sure you have a good supply of business cards and goals. What do you want to accomplish? Set goals for yourself, such as meeting five new people. If there is a list available for attendees, such as on Facebook events or meetups, you should review it prior to the event so you know who will be attending and who you want to connect with. Heck, why not reach out to them in advance and let them know how much you look forward to meeting them.

Networking is an investment.

You’re in a room with people you don’t know. Walking up to a stranger and introducing yourself when you’re at a networking event is down right, heart pumping scary, right? Even though it won’t seem like it, everyone in that room feels the exact same way as you.  TRUTH: Expect to invest 6 to 12 months networking before you get to know people and start feeling comfortable.

The right stuff.

The ultimate goal is for you to generate revenue from networking, but you need to lead up to that. First, be friendly and conversational. Don’t focus too much on what you do; be sure to ask people you meet to tell you about their business, and ask intelligent questions. Secondly, take notes on who you met and any other details you can remember. That’s the stuff that builds business relationships.

3 things you can do right away.

Networking is going to be a much slower process if you don’t actively follow up with contacts after meeting them. Here’s three things you can do after the networking event you just attended:

  • Call them the next day to invite them for coffee to continue the conversation you started at the event.
  • Send them a handwritten note on the back of one of your best photos. Let them know you enjoyed meeting them and how much you look forward to working with them in the future.
  • Email a note inviting them out to lunch or another meeting to review your portfolio in the near future.
  • Stay connected. Invite them to connect with your business on social media while your meeting is still fresh. Your feed will show up in their social  networks and you’ll continue to stay top of mind.

What other networking tips do you have? Share them on the comments.

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About the Author
Deanna White is owner and publicist for storylinePR, exclusive PR firm & marketing agent to Ottawa’s most talented fine art photographers. Learn more and connect at www.storylinepr.ca