Yes...I used the wrong word for presents because Web Presence = Presents! Having web presence will bring presents to your business in the form of exposure, clients, and networking. Never underestimate the power of the internet. In this day and age, everyone is pretty much connected. Even my grandma is facebooking it with the rest of us! If she is on the net, imagine who else is out there!
So you're probably thinking...what can I do to get web presence and these presents? Read on my friend!
First--put yourself in the client's shoes.
Time and time again I see people post on various social media sites "Any recommendations on ___________?" Don't you want to be the photographer that their friends respond to their status with? Be readily accessible. Whether you choose to use Facebook, Twitter, or another setup, get connected. Get your profile moving. Not only does the web work as a way to advertise, it also lends credibility to your business. What business today doesn't have a website? Put your portfolio out there for potential clients to see. When you are referred, people want the instant gratification of viewing a complete portfolio indicative of your best work.
Second--network, network, network!
It is amazing to me the expansion a business can have from mere networking. Social media and chat capabilities, in the early days of the internet, were created for chatting in internal company infrastructures and networking with other companies. Since you're reading this, you're the product of how far social networking has reached! Network with vendors and other photographers in your industry. They may very well be your next referral, or they may be seeking photographers to pair with on projects which will increase your web exposure for you!
Third--get a blog!
Yes, I said the b word. Blog. It is so important that your clients and followers know who the person behind the camera is. Also, blogging increases search engine optimization (SEO - the process of improving the visibility of your website in search engines without having to pay for the exposure).
Marketing is not a passive advertising gig. With the accessibility of internet and hustle of your competitors, you must be in active. Put yourself in the path of your target client. Make sure you're seen.
Don't get discouraged if you hear the "chirp chirp" of crickets. You have no idea who is actually reading (even with installing analytics plugins)! I have so many fans that will never comment; but when they see me in person, they will talk about something I posted! If you are hearing too much chirping, think about what you may be doing wrong. Here's some do's and dont's to follow in your journey to web presence.
- Create a professional looking brand (logo, blog, website).
- Keep it active!
- Keep it engaging!
- Let your fans see you're a real person! Share limited personal details of your life.
- Use your business profile to air dirty laundry.
- Inundate your readers with too many posts. This will lead to them removing your profile.
- Don't type something you don't want to be associated to your name. Forum, page, blog. Anywhere. Once on the internet, always on the internet.
Last but not least, make sure you're marketing you. I personally believe that anyone can learn to operate a camera. There are dozens of competent and amazing photographers out there. How are clients to choose amongst them all? Make them want YOU. Let your web presence show you. Give them you.