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“But Skip, there’s nothing to write about!”

Today’s guest post comes from SCU President and founder of Marketing Essentials International, Skip Cohen.

BULL! There’s always something to write about. Let’s set the stage first…

You’ve got two outstanding marketing tools at your fingertips, your website and your blog. While blogging isn’t for everybody, a good blog is an asset for every company. If you’re a horrible writer and hate the idea, then find yourself a high school kid who can write and see how they do in converting your thoughts into the printed word. (Just remember to proof read EVERYTHING that gets published under your name!)

There’s a huge difference between your site and your blog. Your website is about what you sell, your products and services. Your blog is about your heart. A good blog is your opportunity to be helpful and share why you’re a photographer. It’s like publicity giving credibility to your advertising. By sharing your heart you’re giving credibility to your website, which has the same positioning as if you were a bricks and mortar storefront.

Over and over again people will tell me there’s nothing going on in their community to write about. So we’re going to put together a list from as many topics as I can think of right now.

  1. Tips on how to be a better photographer: Nobody is going to steal your business. Give your readership tips on how they can upgrade the quality of their family images. Talk about posing, lighting, composition – all things you deal with every day. Even tips on better holiday pictures will remind your readership that you’re the expert on photography.
  2. Great places in the community to photograph: You know the area, share some of those “double secret” locations along with the best time of day, etc.
  3. Events coming up in your community: Whether it’s a gallery opening, an exhibit, a workshop or a charity drive, make yourself the expert on keeping people in your community up to date.
  4. New products in photography: Talk about some of your favorites. Help consumers in your community understand they don’t need a lot of megapixels to get great images. Every time I hear about an average consumer trading up to get the latest and greatest in pixel count it reminds me of the muscle cars of my generation when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I had one, but all it did was cost me gas money! LOL
  5. Things you can do with your images: Have some fun with this and talk to your lab. Here’s an opportunity to talk about great gift ideas you can provide that are a little out of the norm.
  6. Profiles: Whether people in the community or even pets, doing profile stories, one each week, are a great way to show your skill set and at the same time remind people what you do for a living.
  7. Client shoots: Many of you have trapped yourself in what I call “riptide marketing”. You started out posting images from every shoot, especially engagement shoots and now you can’t break the trend. You’re caught in the riptide! There’s nothing wrong in showing images of clients, but use a select few to make a point about the technique used, lighting, the location, maybe the composition…you don’t need to show every image of every client…just show the 1-2 very best.
  8. Websites and blogs to visit: Pay attention to the demographics of your clients and offer them helpful URLs to visit which are aligned with their interests.
  9. Workshops and conventions you attend: Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn when you’ve attended a great program to raise the bar on your skill set. Here’s an opportunity to remind your clients why you love photography and new techniques you’re bringing into the business.
  10. Tips on hiring a photographer: Help your readers with great tips on checking out a photographer BEFORE they’re hired. Obviously make sure you have a positive answer for your own business on each tip.

There you have it, ten topics that should be able to keep you in blog content for a year or more! Remember, you don’t have to post something that’s essentially in real time. You can build a stash of posts in advance and then draw from them whenever you’re short on time. Also remember the most important rule…be consistent! My suggestion for photographers is always to post at least twice a week on the same days each time!

Now go start writing! And if you’re stuck and have a question, you know where to find me.

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Skip Cohen is President of SCU, founder of Marketing Essentials International and past president of Rangefinder Publishing and WPPI. He’s been an active participant in the photographic industry since joining Hasselblad USA in 1987 as president. He has co-authored six books on photography and actively supports dozens of projects each year involving photographic education.

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