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WPPI 2009

WPPI 2009






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  • Ask questions:Who has their own photo website?Who publishes your own blog?Who is on Facebook?Those of you who are, how many of you are using it to promote your business?Who is uploading videos to YouTube?Who is using Google Analytics or another similar analytics program?Those of you who do, do you check analytics:Monthly?Weekly?Daily?Thanks! You’ll understand more about why I asked these questions after the presentation :)
  • The internet is a powerful too. I aim to help you understand it’s potential and some technical aspects, how to improve your habits and choices, how to go about engaging people and what that means and hopefully, this will lead you to better success.
  • I’ve worked for MAC Group for 11 years, and been a photographer since I was 17 and in the photo industry for 15 years. All of the examples you’ll see in this presentation are based on my own research, or reports from reputable agencies. I believe what I see for myself, and between all of my activities I see a lot of what is happening and has been happening for the last 10 years.I’m in charge of everything MAC Group does on the Web, and initiated our move to social media and handle11 Web sites5 blogs89 email list segmentsI am also a… (next slide)
  • An analytics addict
  • To understand who I am, I’ve found you should frame your decisions about my information in the framework of what I do and what I have done. Same goes for considering what you would do for yourself – but we’ll cover this more later in the presentation.You can reach a potentially unlimited audience with the Web, so understanding how to maximize on your time while doing things on the Web is important for business.If more people are online now than last year and years previous, you should be looking to capture their attention there. Your potential reach is unlimited versus direct and in-person marketing.It shouldn’t replace your other marketing efforts, it should inform and augment them.When you get into the swing of it, it is fun! Let’s take a look at the most popular sites on the Web
  • As of January 24, 2009 Alexa reports the “popularity” of websites as such:Yahoo, MSN, Live.com and Yahoo Japan are all default start pages, and portals to broad content, popular to a wide range of people.Wikipedia is popular as a resource for people around the world – collaborative editing of the sum total of human knowledge.The ones I noted in red here are very important.Google is the triumphant king of search. When people want something on the Web and they do not know a specific URL, what do they do? “Google it.”YouTube is owned by Google and is the dominant source for sharing and finding video content. MySpace is social networking’s first huge success. We’ll talk more about why later.Facebook is the up-and-comer social networking app with great potential to become even bigger than it is now, and in 2008 it grew by enormous proportions..Blogger.com is also owned by Google and is the most-popular free blogging platform.We’ll check these out in greater depth, but first…
  • What do we use when we use the Web? (Hands) Language. Words. We describe what we want by typing in a domain name, searching for something with words and reading words on websites. It’s a verb – we search for what we want.People will share things that they like with their peers, family and associates. It’s as easy as clicking on a link or copying and pasting. Good content gets passed on!Information is mostly unregulated on the internet. Consider newspapers and magazines – how you must navigate your way up through editorship to reach the pages and the audience that comes with the excellence cultivated by those editors. On the internet, anyone can publish their thoughts, work and advertisements. And that is why you must focus on being the best you that you can be when you embark on promoting yourself on the Web. That includes being good at describing what you do with good language.
  • What do we use when we use the Web? (Hands) Language. Words. We describe what we want by typing in a domain name, searching for something with words and reading words on websites. It’s a verb – we search for what we want.People will share things that they like with their peers, family and associates. It’s as easy as clicking on a link or copying and pasting. Good content gets passed on!Information is mostly unregulated on the internet. Consider newspapers and magazines – how you must navigate your way up through editorship to reach the pages and the audience that comes with the excellence cultivated by those editors. On the internet, anyone can publish their thoughts, work and advertisements. And that is why you must focus on being the best you that you can be when you embark on promoting yourself on the Web. That includes being good at describing what you do with good language.
  • It’s true – photograph speak a thousand words to humans, however, to a search engine that means next to nothing. It’s the truth. The filename MAY be descriptive, but it will not do your photos justice. There is a very important tag in HTML called the “alt” tag that was originally used in the dawn of the internet for text-only browsers, but in modern days allows for a few important things:Search engines will know more about what is in your photographs when properly tagged. If they know what’s in the images, then you’re likely to move up higher in search rankings. Higher natural rankings on Google equals more attention, which equals more possible business.If you use HTML to send emails, tagging the images means that when images are blocked/turned off, that large white box will have text in it describing what the box will hold when images are turned on – making it more possible that your direct mail, beautifully designed, of course, will be seen!
  • You may have heard about it. It’s not black magic – it’s just a collection of good habits regarding your website.
  • Clients – think about how you speak to them and what conversations were most persuasive.Cross- linking –use a phrase like “Call us for for an appointment” instead of “contact us” because it’s more specific and action-oriented.
  • Highlighted is the search termI used something local – what someone in Las Vegas might use if they were looking for a portrait photographer here in Las Vegas
  • There are you natural search results.You can only rise in these results if you match the keyword phrase, have good inbound links, publish regular content, people spend an appropriate amount of time on your site and more we’ll cover.
  • These are paid advertisements.The yellow ads at top are placed there because more people see them and click, and the advertisers are willing to pay more for them.But money isn’t everything – Google makes sure that the links and ads are of high quality before it will place them here.If you’re in Kalamazoo, your ad won’t get primo placement like this.
  • #1 link result.The word portrait is used nine times. Heavy copy on homepage. In fact, it’s a blog run by Google’s Blogger platform. It’s text-intensive, and built for regular publishing of content.It’s like he has five websites together – one gallery-based for his photos, one blog, one about him, and one that is a newsletter for photographers. Plus, he lists his facebook, SMS, Skype and twitter. Wayne Wallace wins for a good reason – he is participating in all of the best things that drive people to websites, and Google rewarded him with the #1 link for “portrait photographer lasvegas”
  • #2 link result.This is an aggregator website with “Portrait” listed 15 times on page. It lists and links Las Vegas photographers. If you want to move up and it’s free, get yourself listed on sites like this.
  • #3 link result.Not as apparent why this is #3 until you look under the hood.He does have a blog, but on-screen there is only one mention of “Portrait”. He has a blog with outtakes from weddings (a great sales tool!).But lets look at his code. All Web browsers let you to do this by using the “View Source” command in the menus. In Safari, it’s Apple + Option + U
  • 6 mentions of “portrait” in the page now. The other five were in his META tags. We’ll cover these more later. But, his META is completed well, and that works in his favor.
  • Aha!He has 589 links leading into his site!Here is a little Google-foo for you. If you type linkto: and the website address, you can see how many inbound links any website has.
  • The first link is from Martha Stewart Weddings’ website! Smart guy! He posted a promotion on what has got to be a very popular destination for young brides-to-be.
  • I don’t need to teach you all the tricks – just how to figure out what will work for you!Look in these ways and evaluate what you want to do by unraveling what works for other people. You will find so many opportunities you’ll wonder what to do next!
  • This goes both ways! You also need to consider what you share and consistency of character.The most successful photographers on the Web today have branded themselves and created audiences because of deep niches
  • Well, how about a blog!
  • Last year, WPPI hosted a “Young Guns” feature.
  • Technorati is a service that monitors blogs, including tags, popularity and more.Here you can see that there is about an average of 1,000 posts per day that are tagged “photography”.
  • If your web developer used flash to design your site, then most likely no changes need to be made to take advantage of this, but keep this in mind:The text used in the flash file can be indexed by Google.
  • Why is YouTube the 2nd most searched website on the internet?The reasons are numerous, but the lessons are important.Some people like to read, some like to watch. It all depends on the content. But YouTube made it easy and free to share video, and people like having control over their own content.The days of channels telling you when to watch and what to watch are over. The people have voted with their hours – and YouTube gets the most hours out of any video sharing website.Each video can be tagged – next slide
  • I’ll use Mark Wallace as an example.He uses the following text tags for this video:lighting  LightSource  SnapFactory  equipment  studio  photography  digital  profoto  photoflex  monolight  flash  novatron  umbrell That means anyone doing a search on YouTube for those words is likely to find his videos. Google lists YouTube videos inline - blended search.AND if someone else uses those words in copy or tags…
  • Then his video will come as “related”. You can see that a video by photographer Shelby Chan comes up as related to Mark’s video here.
  • All of Mark’s other videos appear here in “More from”If people like what you do, they are likely to watch your other videos!
  • And they might even like it so much that they leave you feedback. How wonderful is that? You get to hear directly from people that take the time to leave behind a comment. Not only is it good for you to learn more about what to improve and what they like, but also is a permanent note for others – peers – to judge what popular opinion is about the video.
  • Here is the holy grail – The embed feature.Anyone (if you allow it) can embed your video anywhere else on the Web. Imagine someone likes what you do so much they the give you extra exposure for free! They can either paste the code that makes it appear on a webpage or a link to it. It’s a huge vote of confidence when this happens. There are other photographers talking about the industry in general out there, and about learning and teaching about photography. Getting a pickup by them can bring you lots of attention. Depending on what your goals are, you can get a boost in business and more opportunities.
  • Also when people rate your video, it’s awesome. Your views are listed here for the public to see.The whole YouTube experience is built on BOTH having a personalized experience (your playlists, favorites) and external sharing. The most popular social sharing sites are ready-linked on every video – MySpace, Facebook and Digg.Mentioning in your blog that people can help you out by using these links can encourage natural, popular growth.
  • And the Statistics & Data tab is tres cool. You can see more popularity indicators here – like how many ratings, comments and favorites.But my favorite part is seeing who else has embedded or linked to the video.Here you can see that Mark gets the most views form his partnership with StudioLighting.net – a popular photography podcast. But you can also see
  • That niche interests will find your content and talk about it!
  • This is one small example of people having conversations about you and how sharing enables it easily.Every time it happens, it’s near-permanent (most stuff on the Web stays around for a long time), and they all add up to inbound links on smaller sites where people can find you when not going to Google and YouTubeThey find you mentioned whiel doing something relevant to them in an environment where their peers approve of/mention you.What could be more convincing?
  • Each of these photographers has a different goal or agenda for using YouTube, and you have to look at that carefully before deciding if YouTube is right for you.But the numbers are great. You have to go where the people go to get more exposure. It used to be television, which is expensive and the audience is generally too broad to justify the expense outside of local cable advertising.Now you can do it for free where people flock.People are using it as a refernce.
  • Let’s face it. Making a website is time-consuming! Fortunately there are some fantastic services out there that specialize in making excellent websites for photographers. If you want to explore some other solutions – check these guys out. These are just the ones that I have run across in my time in the industry and while bouncing around the Web – there are sure to be more out there.
  • This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but it is a list of people who have caught my eye. All of the above photographers excel at social marketing in addition to running a photography business.
  • Thank you! Feel free to contact me, add me to your friends list on Facebook, Twitter me or even call.I’ll be posting this deck online on my personal website, feel free to email me and I will send you a link when it goes live.
  • If you liked the presentation and you want to share it with other photographer friends of yours, please feel free to have them visit ultimatehill.com/WPPI. I will post itthere by this weekend.And the story of that domain name is a long and uninteresting one… Suffice to say I’ve owned it for 8+ years

WPPI 2009 WPPI 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • Photographers on the Web
    How to get the best out of very little
  • Focus Topics
  • Who am I?
    Matt Hill, Marketing Communications Manager at MAC Group
    Analytics Addict
  • Why does this matter?
    Evaluate everything in context
    The Web is your most potentially powerful marketing tool
    You must go where people go to increase your business
    Wouldn’t it be grand to have fun while you’re doing it?
  • Why is the Web so important?
  • Why is the Web so important?
    Sharing is easy
    Democracy of information
  • But we’re photographers!
    Images are our language
    Use alt tags
    A description of what is in the photograph for search engines
    An alternative thing to display when in an email
    It’s part of your SEO strategy
  • What is SEO?
    Search Engine Optimization
    This is the process of performing tasks on your website to increase your natural rankings on search engines
  • Simple SEO practices
    Always have text on your homepage
    Fill in the Title and Description META tags on every page
    Alt tag your images
    Write copy for humans – use words that would attract your clients
    Cross-link within your site with good keyword phrases
  • Simple SEO practices (con’t)
    Monitor yourself and your competition with Google News Alerts
    Add content regularly
    Ask your peers/industry leaders to link to you, and offer the same in return
  • Google explained
    Natural (organic) results
    Left side of Google, best links win
    Pay-per-click (PPC)
    Paid ads that should be relevant to the search
  • Transparency
    Almost everything is open on the Web.
    Research your peers’ successes!
    Learn the tricks and evaluate where to spend your time in context of what works for others.
    Look at source code META tags
    Look at inbound links
    Search on phrases, look at those sites
  • Transparency
    You must also be transparent
    Be a niche
    What you do can be scrutinized and researched
  • Your Blog
    Did you know that 9 of 10 of WPPI’s 2008 Young Guns have blogs?
    If possible, host your own instead of using blogspot or wordpress hosted blogs
    If not, just start it for the sake of doing it, and migrate it when you get the time/resources.
    Pick a niche and be good at it.
  • WPPI Young Guns Who Blog: 2008
    Ryan Schembri:SITE: http://www.ryanschembri.com/BLOG: http://ryanschembri.blogspot.com/Jesh de Rox:SITE: http://www.jeshderox.com/BLOG: http://jeshderoxweddings.blogspot.comJim Garner:SITE: http://www.jgarnerphoto.com/BLOG: http://jgarnerphoto.bigfolioblog.com/Catherine Hall:SITE: http://www.catherinehall.net/BLOG: http://catherinehall.typepad.com/catherine_hall_studios/
    Gene Higa:SITE: http://www.genehiga.com/BLOG: http://homepage.mac.com/genehiga/iblog/David Jay:SITE: http://www.davidjay.com/BLOG: http://opensourcephoto.blogspot.com/Mike Larson:SITES: http://www.mikelarsonphoto.com/http://www.mikelarson.com/BLOG: http://www.mikelarson.com/blog/JB and DeEtteSallee:SITE: http://www.salleephotography.com/BLOG: http://www.salleephotography.com/blog/Jose Villa:SITE: http://www.josevillaphoto.com/BLOG: http://josevilla.bigfolioblog.com/Lori Nordstrom:SITE: http://www.nordstromphoto.com/BLOG: http://nordstromphoto.typepad.com/John Solano:SITE: http://www.imagemakr.com
  • Technorati
  • Your website
    Pick three to five phrases that uniquely-identify the business you want to bring in.
    Include these phrases in your body copy 2-5 times per page – where relevant.
    Each webpage should have a single goal, and corresponding call to action
    Always include text contact info. Do not make it an image or buried in Flash. If you can’t copy-and-paste it, then neither can your website’s visitors.
    Use the H1, H2, H3 tags
  • Good practices: your image gallery
    Name your files descriptively
    Always use “alt tags”
    Whenever possible, use text around or near your images
  • Image safety
    Your copyrighted work should be protected as best you can.
    Flash is wonderful for photographs as protection and fullscreen viewing, and only recently have Google and Adobe announced that search engines will be able to index its contents.
    In a blog, watermark and let it go…
    Consider Flickr for exposure. Tag everything.
  • How do I improve my organic rankings?
    Use the phrases you target as being important to your business when posting on your site and blog.
    Visit other blogs – leave comments with a link to your site
    Ask other people you network with to put a link to your site
    Blog about gear – manufacturers might pick up mentions in PR or their blogs
    Hire an SEO consultant, or study up on the Web. It is a worthy investment, but takes time (3-6 months)
    Send your images to the companies whose gear you use – many are looking for content to add to their sites, or like linking to creative photographers who use their gear
    List your awards with links out to other sites, ask them to link to you
    Add more content on a scheduled basis
  • YouTube
    2nd most SEARCHED website - why?
    People learn differently, some like to watch
    Tagging – very important!
    Want to learn more about photography? Isn’t a video more instructive?
    Viral sharing – embedding and social bookmarking links part of the interface
  • Your videos on other sites
    Comments on this page:
    was doing some looking and came across this and thought it might at least help out a little bit maybe. and if you would like more try out youtube.com.
    that was really informative... [and intimidating!!! lol]  ... thanks for sharing that!
    Snap Factory has wonderful videos on You Tube.  I highly recommend watching all of them.
  • Notable YouTube users
    Chase Jarvis (1,123,766 views, 34 videos)
    Mark Wallace (972,476 views, 23 videos)
    Joe McNally (255,469 views, 6 videos)
    (Totals gathered from YouTube on 1/29/08)
  • How can I monetize on YouTube?
    Make videos that people like
    Put in a promo for your book, seminar or service
    Link back to your site
    Include your URL in the video
    If popular, use YouTube’s ad serviceyoutube.com/advertise
  • Marketing yourself on the Web
    PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
    Fast, somewhat expensive, easy
    Geo-target for your business
    Something to do while waiting for SEO results
    Test your phrases
    Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Marketing yourself on the Web (II)
    Do something interesting
    Try a project you’ve never done before that stretches your abilities. Post it. Email it.
    Add an opt-in to your website and blog now.
    Send regularly scheduled email updates to your opt-in list (with “Forward to a Friend” turned on)
  • Resources who can help you
  • Your hitlist
    Install Google Analytics - make reading it a coffee habit
    Engage in SEO on your site – copy, content, tag
    SEM – Google AdWords
    Start a blog on your website, find your voice
    Engage: visit other blogs, read, comment, link back
    Be yourself: you will attract the customers you desire
    Network – Facebook, blogs
    Model Mayhem
    MySpace Profile
    Content, content, content!
  • Suggested Reading
    “Meatball Sundae” Seth Godin
    “The Long Tail” Chris Anderson
    “Permission Marketing” Seth Godin
    “The Search” John Battelle
  • Suggested Websites
  • Photographers who blog
    Matthew Jordan Smith
    Scarlett Lillian
    Jim DiVitale
    David Hobby
    Chase Jarvis
    Mark Wallace
    Joe McNally
    Vincent Laforet
  • Thank you!
    Matt Hill
    Marketing Communications Manager
    MAC Group
  • This presentation
    Will be posted by end of week if you’d like to share.