Today I'm sharing 30 simple steps you can take to build excitement around your business. I constantly find myself telling other creatives and beginners to generate excitement and buzz around their work and it's something we should all be conscious of. Your audience is one of the most important aspects of a creative business, they use your services, recommended your business to friends and family and take an interest in what you do. That's why it's important that your audience keep engaged with your business and they are encouraged to return on a regular basis.
Remember these ideas can be adapted, used together and built upon to generate excitement around your services and website. It's also important that you're at a stage in your business which you are comfortable at before you build upon that, I would encourage you to read my 'How I went from Freelance to a Full Time Photographer' before you tackle adding excitement to your business.
1. Make Goals: Make one of these 30 ideas a goal for your photography business. If you read my recent blog 'Your 2016 Goal' you will know that setting goals is always important when you're running a business, be it Daily, Weekly, Monthly or even Yearly. Set yourself a goal and share it with your audience, vistors will be intrigued to see your progression and your end result.
2. Seek Free Advertising: Advertising is highly regarded in the creative industry and there are plenty of ways to maximise a budget to really drive traffic to your website. Although for most creatives and photographers there may be only a small or non existing budget for advertising. You can still advertise without a budget; social media is largely free to advertise and when maximised to its full potential with some effective marketing can be a brilliant source of driving traffic. Also consider local advertising: notice boards, local newspapers and online directories.
3. Enter Competitions: Many competitions online require your audience to vote for your images, people who follow your work will generate excitement around it. Any features or succesfull competitions will drive more traffic to your photography site.
4. Get yourself Featured on Blogs: There’s hundreds of bloggers out there that are always looking to feature new photographers' and work. Features on your work can lead to audience growth, new traffic to your website and can make you look like an expert or professional in your industry.
5. Create Video Video is fast becoming the dominant force on social media, it's a great to way to engage with your audience and drive that traffic back to your website. Use a video to showcase your work, introduce yourself to your audience or show new visitors around your site. If you're interested in getting to know me and how I used video: Meet Luke - Creative Wedding Photographer in Yorkshire
6. Network If you read my latest post 'Start Networking Face to Face, it works!' you will know how highly I regard networking. Networking was one of the biggest tools I maximised when starting my business and I still continue to network now, it's not only a fantastic way to reach new audiences in your community and gain trust but also a brilliant way to build relationships and create a database of talented businesses and creatives in your area.
7. Teach a class: A few weeks ago I was invited to share my knowledge at a local high school, you can see my results here School Creatives: Year 9. If you have a wealth of knowledge, sharing your expertise with others is not only rewarding for them but also a great way to add creditability to your name.
8. Always showcase your work: Audiences can easily loose interest so always make sure you share your new work and little facts about yourself. Keeping yourself current and fresh is mega important in the creative industry.
9. Generate Endorsements: My own wedding photography business works both on advertising and word of mouth, both HUGE tools you should be maximising in your business, generating reviews, edosrosments and positive feedback about your business is not only free advertising but also great feedback for your own professional development.
10. Start a Blog: Blogs are a fantastic tool and usually a free service you can add onto your website. I highly recommend writing a blog and there’s plenty of reasons why. It not only makes your website more ‘attractive’ to Google, pushing your content further up the pecking order, it also gives your viewers another platform to get to know you or your business more. Lastly, it helps you keep motivated and document your progression, consider challenging yourself to write 2 blog posts a month, you can always change that figure over time.
11. Host Events: Hosting events such as training courses, seminars and workshops not only helps your audience gain trust in you and your skills but attracts new followers and creatives in your industry. The more people appreciate your skills and work the more likely they are to visit your website.
12. Feedback is crucial: Asking for feedback from your family, friends, business associates and your audience is a great way to build your business. Consider how you will collate those results, either an online survey, a twitter poll or via email.
13. Make Changes To Your Site: Rebranding is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your website and will certainly bring you results. If you haven't got the time or finances to rebrand, making subtle changes to your website is still a brilliant tool. Consider updating the arrangement of images on your homepage each month, audiences will be more likely to stick around on your site if they see it has changed and more likely to re visit to be the first to see the changes. Remember to generate hype around the changes to generate excitement.
14. Go Live\Host a Webinar: With the boom of Facebook Live and webinars ever so popular at the moment, it's important your business is seen to maximise them. Use a webinar or Facebook Live to offer some of your knowledge or to give an insight into your daily routine.
15. Give Something Away For Free: Everybody loves free stuff. Giving something away that is relevant to your work, it doesn't have to be physical, giving away your knowledge and advice is a great way to attract new audiences. This will not only drive your current audience to you website but also non-followers.
16. Guest Blog: Sharing your work, skills and knowledge on other websites gives you the platform to connect with a brand new audience. Ensure that any guest posts link back to your own website. If you want to read who has guest Blogged on my site, head over to: Guest Blog Posts
17. Partner With Another Creative: The creative industry is generally full of people who are more than willing to help others, whether you're working with others, outsourcing work, employing staff or just meeting up for a beer with someone, use their business knowledge to grow your own.
18. Utilise Twitter Hashtags: The Networking opportunities on social media, especially Twitter, are something you should grab by the horns. You may consider starting your own hashtag, but alternatively there are plenty of existing hashtags you can jump onboard with. 'Twitter Hours' happen each day every week and are great for networking and sharing your work. Some of my personal favourites are #Yorkshirehour & #Weddinghour - and there's plenty more: List of Twitter Hours
19. Keep Active: Keeping fit and healthy in life can add positive energy and motivation to your business. Be conscious about how much time you spend in the office and working on projects. Don’t let work rule your life, find time to spend on your own and with family and friends and that positive energy will transfer back to your business.
20. Use Sales and Promotions: Another old school method of building your business that can still be used today is to offer discounts, sales and promotions to generate interest. If you have excess stock or want to push a new product then use offers to push it out there.
21. Share Your Knowledge: Using your website to share your experience and knowledge of the industry provides useful information to creatives and is more likely to be shared on social media, giving away free advice is a one way ticket to you gaining a larger audience.
22. Challenge Yourself: There are plenty of challenges out there, from 365 projects to writing a blog post each week, challenging yourself with creating new goals that can help your business grow.
23. Give Back to Charity: Whilst giving to charity isn’t going to grow your sales, it not only shows you’re doing your bit for charity but it adds more credibility to your business.
24. Take a Holiday: Similar to keeping active, sometimes we need to take a break from our work and businesses. Vacations, with your partner, family & friends or even on your own, is a perfect time to sit back and reflect on your work, on your return you will feel revitalised and more than likely approach things with a fresh perspective.
25. Create a day-to-day Schedule: The ‘daily grind’ can often become very repetitive and unproductive, bad habits and time management are downfalls of many creative businesses out there. Take a read of my ‘A day in the life of’ to see how I schedule may day and consider creating your own. Remember to limit your time spent on distractions such as social media and ensure you take plenty of breaks throughout the day.
26. Hire People: Hiring staff or virtual assistants is a big step up for some businesses but can also be very beneficial. Having an extra pair of hands means you can delegate jobs that may take up a considerable amount of time in the business, leaving you to focus your energy on building your business/creating awesome work/growing your audience. An employee/virtual assistant can take on tasks such as emailing, social media posting and general administration duties.
27. Share your personal work: Whilst it’s important not to confuse your audience, sharing your own creativity and personal work from time to time can really help grow your business further. Be conscious the work is still in keeping with your brand or alternatively you could create a separate website or Instagram to showcase the work.
28. Generate Hype Around A New Offering If you plan to add something new to your photography, be it wedding albums, a new package, or a new feature, it will no doubt attract your audience back to your photography site. If you want to drive even more traffic, start to generate hype before you release the new product / service. Use social media to your advantage by sharing behind the scenes and sneak previews.
29. Work For Others: You might find it crazy that experienced creatives would work for someone else but you as a creative are always learning and adding to your proffesional development. You don't have to assume you're working under someone, you might be lending a hand or working on par with them, who knows what you will learn that you can then add to your own business.
30. Showcase Your Tools: Audiences love to see what you get up to behind the scenes, what equipment you're using, what software you have or even just what coffee you drink on a morning. Consider writing reviews or small blog posts that excite your audience and also let them into a part of the business they wouldn't otherwise see.