15 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Photography Website

Today I'm sharing 15 simple steps you can do to drive more visitors to your photography website. I constantly find myself telling other creatives and beginners to generate excitement and buzz around their work and it's no different with their website. 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 website and they are encouraged to return on a regular basis. 

So, today I am sharing 15 simple tips that can effectively drive traffic back to your photography or creative website. 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 know your target audience before you build or adapt your website, I would encourage you to read my '5 Tips to Consider Before You Build/Buy a Website' before you tackle driving traffic to your website. 

1. 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. 

2. Ask For Feedback & Reviews What is it your audience loves about your current website & what would they love to see more of? Consider creating a survey or encouraging your audience to leave comments to find out the answers.

3. 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.

4. 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

5. 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.

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. 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.  

8. 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

9. 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.

10. Become Featured In The News Often local and regional Newspapers are willing to feature your story and images. If you have a personal project that has links with the area the papers feature it's certainly worth getting in contact with them. In my early career as a photographer I captured a series of portraits on War Veteran Simon Brown, my local newspaper were more than happy to feature the work: Click Here. 

11. Make Goals Make one of these 15 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.  

12. Build Up Testimonials & Reviews Audiences that trust you and your work are more likely to visit your website and buy your services. Don't be afraid to ask your previous clients to leave reviews, introduce incentives to encourage them to do so.  

13. 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. 

14. 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. 

15. 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

 


Which tips have you found most helpful? Do you have any tips for driving traffic to your website? 

5 Tips to Consider Before You Build/Buy a Website

It's no secret that in order to share your passion with the world you need a website to do it, whether it be photography, graphic design, videography or anything in the creative industry. Websites have always been essential but haven't always been in the forefront of people's minds, in the ‘Jurassic age’ of when the internet came about, there were no social media platforms so a website was a must. During the last 5 to 10 years social media became the go-to websites for people to communicate, share experiences and also generate work. Websites took a back seat around this time, businesses and individuals were more focused on driving traffic to their social media accounts, building up likes & followers, communicating via various messenger services and offering discounts and competitions.  

The tables have once again turned back in favour of websites, more people focus their social media posts on driving audiences back to your website, so when a new tab opens on your audiences' browser it needs to be as responsive, fast and good looking as that main stream social media platform they have just come from! 

Your website is a huge marketing tool, in most cases it acts as a tool to generate leads and work, so whether you're a hobbyist photographer, a semi professional or an aspiring wedding photographer, these 5 tips may help you on your web building journey! 

Write Down Your Aims 

If you haven't even begun building a website, this is the perfect advice and if you already have a website up and running, use this tip to take a step back and re-evaluate your website's aims. A huge mistake creatives make is to throw all their work onto a website and assume it will suffice, without any prior aims and goals for what they want to achieve from their online presence. 

Consider why you plan to build a website, is it to replace a tired existing site? Do you plan to use your website as a place to generate leads and sales? Are you using your website solely to share your great work with the world? Do you want people to pick up the phone and call you? If your website could do one thing what would it be? 

Research How You Plan to Build Your Website

Seriously, set aside a few hours to understand how you plan to approach your website building. As photographers, most of us are lucky that the fantastic imagery you create can speak for itself but you still need a professional, easy to use and clean website.

If you plan to build the website yourself, make sure you research the websites out there that will help you with that. The list of web hosting platforms is endless, make sure the one you pick has: 

    •    Templates that suit the website you envisage.

    •     Is affordable and reliable

    •    You understand fully how it works

    •    Good Industry Reviews

    •    The company offers support (Twitter, Email and Phone)

There are plenty of free trials out there so try your hand at a few, some may ask for your bank details, just make sure you set a reminder on your phone and laptop to cancel before the trial ends. 

If you're planning on leaving the hard work to a professional web designer be sure to, again, research who will work best for you and your website. Building your own website can be stressful at times but it's also very rewarding and of course more affordable. If you do choose a web designer make sure you consider these tips: 

    •    Make sure they will be able to make adjustments and add new content, and don't forget to ask how much this will cost you each time

    •    Make sure your website is responsive - ability to view on all platforms

    •    Will you be able to take your website, design and content once your term is up? 

    •    Can you make your own adjustments once the site is built?

Organise Your Photographs

Ok, so every photographer's websites needs photographs, what every photographer's website doesn't need is galleries upon galleries of endless photographs. How long do you view a website for? 1 minute, 2 minutes, even 5 minutes wouldn't give you enough time to go through hundreds of images so you need to impress and quickly. Ideally you want 10-20 initial photographs that you will use for your homepage. Sure you can add more images, consider adding larger galleries once the website is up and running. 

Before you even decide which web building site you want to use, have a file on your desktop of web ready images, it not only keeps you organised, but if you do decide to take up a 14 day free trial with a website, you will have your images ready to upload straightaway making the most of those free days. 

Buy Your Domain

Having your own domain is a must when you're running your own website, whether it's .co.uk / .com /.org.uk that simplicity for your audience instantly makes you look more professional. There are plenty of domain sites that you can purchase your own domain from and most allow you to search which ones are available at no cost. Check out  www.uk.godaddy.com & www.uk-cheapest.co.uk

Top Tip: If available, consider buying both .com and .co.uk, you can either link both domains to your one website or keep one unused for future websites. 

Start Generating Hype Around Your Website Launch

Launching your first or new website is exciting for anyone, so share that experience with everyone. Friends & Family are always proud to see you achieving so they should be your first point of call. Secondly, if you already have an audience on social media as small or big as it may be, let them know when the new website is coming, ask them what they would love to see on the new site and don't forget to integrate your social media links on the new website. 


Have you any tips on building your first website? Do you plan to build a new online portfolio in 2016? 

Keep checking back in the coming weeks for my top tips on what features your new photography website should include.

The Benefits of a Professional Profile Picture

It’s fast approaching 2016 and if you have had the same LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook profile picture for the last year, you may find this post very useful. The basic principle of a profile picture is to identify yourself and make it easier for other people to find you. Secondly, it’s a square box that allows you to express a little bit about yourself and help other people build the right first impression of you. 

Whether you’re a sole trader, a managing director, a photographer or creative, your profile picture is the first thing people look at when they’re contacting you, reading your online CV or wanting to connect with you. Over the last few years I have captured profile pictures for businesses and individuals, the locations may differ, but every portrait I capture, the final image shows a little bit of their personality. Your profile image should genuinely reflect who you are, whether that’s through facial expression, the location & background or the clothes you are wearing. 

Continuing that contact and connection you have created during networking, business meetings or socialising is usually created on social media platforms and blogs, so an easily recognisable profile image is very useful. Remember first impressions really do count and people like to do business and communicate with someone they can trust, so having that welcoming & friendly profile picture is building that trust up from the start. 

Using a dated image of yourself or even worse, no profile picture at all, instantly turns people away from your page and profile. Having a fresh and professional image of yourself is a must for anyone in business. Here's a few benefits of a professional profile picture: 

    1    Make 'you' searchable: People search the web and social media through names and image, so that person you met during a networking event or someone you have done work for before will find the task of finding you online a whole lot easier if they can spot your profile picture. 

    2    Cross Platform: I talk a lot about your digital footprint when it comes to business and your online activities. If you have a fantastic new image of yourself that you've uploaded to Linkedin then don't let your other platforms suffer. Keeping your profile pictures consistent across social networks helps you to connect more with people and strengthens your identity online. Tip: if you would prefer to keep your personal Facebook profile separate, don't use the same profile picture.

    3    Personal & Approachable: I can guarantee as soon as you upload a new professional, friendly and clean profile picture your contacts will grow. The internet can be an untrusting place, so letting your online community and contacts know a little bit about you and associating that information with your profile picture will feel like they are already getting to know you. 

    4    Don't Assume Formal: You will have all seen those profile pictures captured against a white background, head and shoulders crop and a very formal office attire. Yes, for some businesses this may be a requirement, but consider a less formal approach to your profile pictures. Think about the environment or location you want to feature in the background and what the clothing you're wearing says about your personality.

©LukeHolroydIn1-8.jpg

Hiring a professional photographer to capture some informal portraits of you on location, be it your working environment, city centre or your local park will provide you with a collection of portraits that showcase a little bit more about your personality and approach. Research how other successful people are showcasing themselves online and ask advice from a professional photographer, they will be more than happy to give you some tips. 


Did changing your profile picture generate more connections? Have you got any expert tips for capturing the perfect profile shot?

5 Things I've Learned from Blogging

Starting a blog is a little like that Marmite saying; you really do either love the idea of it or you hate it. Those negative opinions usually come from not having the time, lacking confidence in your writing ability, absolutely no idea what to blog about or you underestimate how beneficial a blog can be to your business. 

Don't worry, I hate Marmite and not so long ago I couldn't think of anything more stressful than writing a blog and committing myself to write three blog posts a week. I'm sure many of you will be sitting in a similar position now and one of the reasons above probably relates to you. Explaining the benefits of blogging will be a post I write in the coming weeks, for now I wanted to share five things I've learned personally from being a photographer and creative resources blogger. 

Finding a Niche Gave Me a Huge Springboard

Photography & the Wedding Market is hugely saturated and when I started my Wedding Photography Business I knew I would have to try and offer something a little bit different and establish myself in the industry. It was the same principal for my blog, there are plenty of blogs out there that offer wedding photography tips and rather than me follow the trend, I created a blog that not only offers photo tips but also gives my own advice and experiences on business and marketing that can be useful to so many businesses and not just photographers. Find your niche, offer more valuable content than is already out there and share your own unique voice and personality.

Where I Found My Audience 

Once you have addressed who your audience is, you need to find where they already 'hang out' when they're surfing the internet, knowing this will help you grow your audience. Many people search for photography and business tips on Google, Pinterest and Forums so that's where I try and expose my own content and make those all important connections with my audience. It's no overnight success, you will have to keep revisiting those channels and eventually, with strong content, those readers will come back to your site. 

Attracting more Followers was Key

You're probably on with the task of trying to build your audiences up on social media platforms, now that's important, but you should also be considering how you are going to build up your email list with followers. Whilst social media is a useful tool, only a small majority of people may see your posts, but an email with one of your latest blog posts landing in your readers inbox is far more valuable. Offering something for free or just posting unique and engaging content will start to build that following. 

I Began Working with other People

The creative industry and many other industries have large friendly communities. Reaching out to these people through conversation and networking can be very successful, cross promoting and guest-blogging is vital when it comes to a successful blog, so make sure you seek allies. Don't be afraid to return the favour, writing a piece for another blog is a perfect way of not only driving links back to your site but it builds up relationships in your industry and can easily generate more work. 

I Made the Blog Look Awesome

Content is always king when it comes to blogging, but don't underestimate the power of your blog's appearance and the imagery you use. Whether you're blogging about Photography, Fashion, Food Recipes or Business Tips, beautifully styled imagery is inspiring to readers and will certainly grow your audience. Even with just an iPhone or basic DSLR to hand you can create some fantastic photographs for your blog, make sure you search the web for tips and even ask a photographer to teach you the basics.


Can you share 5 tips for blogging newbies?  Have you recently started Blogging and have a question?