Real Estate and Forex and Life, Oh My!

Apparently I don't know what it means to be a consistent blogger. Anyways there are a few things to be updated in my life. 1. Real Estate Investing Since last November I have been interested in investing in real estate. I Read more

Time Keeps Marching

The summer has been a whirlwind of fun. My parents were here for about 6 weeks, though they did travel a lot during that time. I was able to spend about 8 days with them down at my sister's Read more

Made It Through The Winter!

Well it seems that the winter is finally over. In fact there wasn't much of a spring around here. As my friend Casey put it, in Wisconsin there is winter, and then there's a death match between winter and Read more

New Job Finally

I've been back in the States since October and have had a couple of jobs here and there, but they weren't very good and didn't last long. Well it's been just a bit over four months and I finally Read more

I've Been Everywhere Man

Well I have now come to the end of my career on cruise ships. I thought it'd be nice to provide a little list of all the places I've been in the last 3 years. Most of the names Read more

I'm Off to See the Wizard

The wonderful wizard of Alaska!! Yeah I can't wait to be back in Alaska. Sounds strange to say that because it's gonna be 5 long months of hard work but it's gonna be a nice change - at least Read more

Skydiving in Honolulu

Well, this is definitely something worth writing about. I jumped out of an airplane. The airplane was 14,750 feet in the air. The free fall was 60 seconds. It was amazing. I had never thought about sky diving before Read more

Next Contract - Panama Canal and Alaska

With also a few other places thrown in such as Tahiti, Bora Bora, Hawaii and Christmas Island!! If you're interested please see below my itinerary for this next contract on the ms Statendam. I'll be joining it during dry dock Read more

Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Oxford Oh My!

Two days ago Niamh and I took an all day tour to visit Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Oxford. It was a fantastic trip and we both enjoyed ourselves immensely. The sky wasn’t blue but at least it wasn’t raining, so we were pretty pleased even with the weather.

There’s only so many days in 6 weeks, and sadly we only have 2 weeks left of this vacation. Tomorrow we’re off to a place called Centre Parks with a few of Niamh’s friends. We’re gonna spend 4 days there in a cabin and just hangout, play games and have fun. We’ve rented bikes so I guess we’ll be able to ride through the forest around there. Sounds like it’ll be great fun. But then after we return to London we’ll have about 4 days before we head to Ireland again. We’ll be there for about 3 days and then it’s back to London. At that point we’ll only have another 5 days or so before it’s back to ship life. The Ryndam is calling.

I’ve updated the photo gallery with some more pictures that I took recently. You can see here the proof of Niamh and I at Stonehenge though. It’s amazing how many awesome places I’ve been recently. If nothing else, working on a cruise ship is at least good for that!

Posted on in Cruise Life 3 Comments

Learn How To Start Marketing Your Photography Business

There are a lot of things to think about when you’re beginning to market your photography business. The type of marketing that you do should be determined by the type of photography you are engaged in and the type of clients that you have.

When you’re first starting out with your business, you probably don’t have a lot of capital to invest in marketing, so you’re going to want to be as cheap as possible and still be able to get your message across. Luckily, there are some cheap marketing strategies available to you; some of these strategies are even free.

Give Something To Get Something

The best way to get something is to give something first, and you can’t just give something worthless and expect to get something worthwhile in return. You need to be generous and give something that truly has value.

Consider this. You are at a park and you see a group of friends having a great time, maybe even at some sort of landmark. You notice that they are really enjoying themselves but none of them has a camera. Whip your camera out and offer to take their photo and email the results to them free of charge! Don’t mention that it’s free of charge, just offer to do it. They’ll be super impressed and happy to have some nice photos. Then when you email the photo to them, include a link back to your website. You’ve already got people who like you and now you’ve introduced them to your website where they will likely go in the future when they need professional photos taken. They might even refer other customers to you.

All this took place because you had the good foresight to see an opportunity that cost you nothing, but profited much. Remember how I said you needed to offer something of value? Yes it’s true, but value doesn’t always equate to money. In this scenario you didn’t spend any money but you were still able to offer something of great value.

You can use this same line of thinking to market your services in many different places. You can even make accidents like this happen less accidentally and more planned. Simply visit sites where you think there might be a lot of people. Search out those who don’t have cameras on them and grab your opportunity to get some free marketing!

An important thing to remember about this approach is that your customers aren’t actually buying a photo from you. They are buying you. This is true for almost every sale ever made. The client buys something because they like or trust the person that is selling it to them. The product can be the best in the world but if the salesman selling it is mean or unprofessional, the product is gonna stay on the shelf.

Search Engine Optimization: The Single Best Marketing Strategy For Nearly Every Business

Apart from the type of aggressive personal marketing that was just described, the best type of marketing is search engine optimization. The internet is king. If you rank well for searches in Google and other search engines, you’re going to get a lot of business. Every day people are getting more and more tech savvy. Everyone knows what the internet is and nearly everyone uses it. If you have a question about something, it is likely that you will turn to Google and within minutes you’ll have an answer.

What you need to do is find out how to rank well for these keywords in Google so that your website can get its fair share of the search traffic. Getting ranked in Google is usually not a matter of being expensive, but rather a matter of a lot of hard work. Of course you can hire other people to do the hard work, so then it’s a matter of cost.

There are plenty of programs that help you do this, but my favorite is The Keyword Academy. I have been a member of this site since 2009 and I totally believe in it. It’s free for the 1st month so you can decide whether or not it’s for you, and then after that it’s only $33 a month. That’s a super deal for having all the tools, support and information you need to keep your business getting all the business you can cope with.

Other Methods To Market Your Photography Business

The two already mentioned methods of marketing are where I would spend most of my energy, as they are the two best methods by a long shot. There are of course plenty of other ways to market a business however and they shouldn’t be completely overlooked. You can look into joining some photography clubs in your local area. They might be able to promote you to potential clients in your area.

Social networks are becoming increasingly important these days. Youtube, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, just to name a few of the big ones. If you market yourself on all of these effectively, you can very quickly become fully booked for years to come.

Hopefully this provides some food for thought and helps you get started!

Posted on in Photography Business, Photography Business Marketing Leave a comment

Advertising Tips: How To Advertise Your Photography Business

Once you have a photography business up and running and you’ve had a few customers, things are feeling pretty good. You’ve got some happy customers, a few good references, and a bit of income already starting to build up. I bet you could do with a little more business though, couldn’t you? Yes, yes you could. A business can always do with more customers, that’s what a business is all about.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to advertise your business. Let’s go ahead and take a look at a few of the more exciting ways to advertise.

Promoting Your Startup Photography Business Through Adwords

Adwords is Google’s own online advertisement tool. With Adwords you can drive people to your website. Not only will you get people coming to your site, but you will get very targeted people coming to your site. If you are a wedding photographer, you will get people coming to your site who are interested in weddings. If you are a sports photographer you will get people coming to your site who might want photos taken at their soccer game.

The reason Adwords works so well is because Google places ads on websites based on the content of the website. So if someone is searching for wedding photographers and lands on a website that is talking about weddings, and this website has ads, some of those ads might be ads for a wedding photographer. If you signup for Adwords you can be one of those ads. This would mean that if someone clicked that ad, they would go to your site and would be able to hire you as their wedding photographer!

This is one of the best advertising techniques that you can use.

Advertising Your Company Through TV

If you are wealthy and have a good amount of money to invest in your business, you can use the TV. This is a more expensive route to follow but can be extremely effective. If you are doing a type of photography that a lot of people are interested in, such as senior portraits or something to do with kids, you might want to try TV. This is especially true if you feel that your local area will respond well to you. The TV can give you great coverage since so many people watch TV. Again, this is more risky because it costs more but can really be worth the risk.

Advertise With Roadside Billboards

When you drive down the highway, do you pay any attention to the billboards? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The thing with billboards is that they are very big, but that’s because they need to be. People are generally traveling by at 60 miles an hour on the highway and they have to be big if anyone is expected to read what’s on there. Also, if you use this method of advertising you want to make sure that your billboard is extremely simplistic. Consider a large attractive graphic with a few short words that capture what your business is all about. If your billboard is too busy people won’t be able to get the point before they are already gone and it’s too late.

That said, billboards are very good because there are many people that travel to and from work on highways. You’re going to have an extremely large amount of people being exposed to your business if you stick yourself across a couple of well placed billboards on a popular highway.

Advertising Via Word Of Mouth And Other Personal References

What people say about you really matters. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful methods of getting the word out about you. If you do a good job for one person, he might go tell someone else about you. If you do a bad job for someone he will DEFINITELY tell ten people how bad you are. As you can see, it’s really easy to spread your reputation around if you do a bad job, so make sure you do a good job. It’s harder to spread a good reputation around but it will happen if you are consistently doing a good job. Sooner or later the dams will break and everyone is going to know about you. When this happens you won’t need to use the other methods of advertisement because everyone will know about you anyways and you can start concentrating more on just being a good photographer than concentrating on making sure you get to advertise your photography business

Local Ads in the Newspaper

You might think that the newspaper is dead or at least is dying. Well maybe so but it’s not dead quite yet! You can still make use of the newspaper to advertise your services. You won’t pay nearly as much as you will for TV ads or for a billboard. You will still reach a lot of people and the best part is that you will reach different people than you would for the other advertisement methods. Say for example you want to shoot photos of kids. Maybe a grandmother is reading the newspaper and she sees your ad. She might tell her daughter about the great new photography business and so you’ll get a new customer because of that.

Thinking Outside The Box

With advertising it’s all about diversity. If you only choose one method of advertising you’re only going to promote yourself to one group of people. This severely limits your effectiveness and stunts your growth as a business. If you want to have the best coverage and exposure possible, you should be advertising in as many different ways and methods as possible. Use Google Adwords. Use TV ads. Use the newspaper. Use billboards. And definitely make sure you get good references to make the most of your word of mouth advertising. You will be surprised how effective you can be when you spread your eggs out between many baskets.

Good luck with your sales!

Posted on in Advertise Photography Business, Photography Business 1 Comment
  • I’d love to hear from you and get any feedback that you may have. You can click the email button here to contact me. You can also find me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, subscribe to me via RSS, and leave comments on the posts.

    I love hearing from people!