Lacy and Cody are the cutest pair! They agreed to be my models for me to test out my new presets and work on a few I've had in the bank that I've yet to tweak. Lacy owns Lacy Matusek Photography which amazing because other photographers make the best models! Aka, they don't mind when I fidget with my settings for a few minutes between shots because they get it. These two are new to Raleigh, so if you see them around town say, "Hi!"
If you're like most brides, your wedding day was SO. BUSY. And than can mean a lot of things, but what it usually means is that you don't have a lot of time for pictures. But don't fear! Wedding portrait sessions are here! You don't have to wear your same dress, or re-create your same wedding, but you can have tons of fun with lasting memories. This is Jo and her husband (who will remain nameless) and they own High Cotton Acres in Burlington, NC and they found themselves in this same situation - not a lot of time for portraits on their actual wedding day. So Jo created these amazing settings to re-create their wedding portraits and I was lucky enough to be behind the camera.
Venue: High Cotton Acres
Model: Jo Folz
Set up and Florals: Jo Folz
Make Up: Mikki Alfred, Lavishly You Make Up Artistry
Welcome to blog 4/4 in my rebrand series! This week is SEO and Brand Marketing – hands down the hardest part of sustaining a brand. I am by no means an expert at this, but I will tell you everything I’ve learned so far! I’ll start with SEO because a lot of people know about it, but not what it is or how it works. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The way it works is search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo index all the content on the internet multiple times/day so that when someone types in a search term, the search engine can bring up:
(1) the most reliable source
(2) the most accurate information
(3) the most relevant
(4) the most recent
By indexing the content on the internet, search engines then rank the websites and pages it finds in order of accuracy and popularity. Sounds simple enough, BUT if you’re a small business or in a crowded business space, it’s hard to come up as a top search. Introducing: SEO! The way you can boost your website’s ranking on search engines is to be a relevant source – this means updating your site regularly (read: daily).
You can do this lots of ways, but the most popular and most efficient way is blogging. Blogs contain SO. MANY. WORDS. That these search engines can index. Another great way to boost your SEO is to link your social media accounts to your website. This lets the search engines know that you’re a real person with things to say, not just another website. SEO also works like a web – your website is linked to your social media and your blog, and as other people reference your blogs and social media, you’re seen by search engines a reliable source, upping your rankings. This means posting frequently – I’ve met bloggers and other business professionals who try to tweet 10 times a day and post on Instagram and Facebook twice a day! That’s a LOT, but it pays off. I, personally, don’t have that much to say yet, so I post 2 or 3 times a week and am trying to become more frequent as my business grows.
A few notes on social media platforms before I move on: social media platforms, especially those owned by Facebook such as Facebook and Instagram reward you for using each platform individually. So that means when you post to twitter, don't send it to Facebook via twitter. Post the exact same content on Facebook via Facebook. Same thing goes for Instagram.
There’s lots of technical things you can do on your website, too. The most important thing is to register your website with all the search engines. They’ll give you a HTML code that you enter into your websites header/metadata so that the search engine knows to go find you and index your content; however, recently google has done this via Google+, so be sure to set one of those up for your business. As far as content goes, make sure pictures on your site are named relevant things. If you have a picture of a purple wedding bouquet and on your computer that image is named ‘039472.jpg’ rename it to ‘purpleweddingbouquet.jpg’ that way when someone Googles “Purple Wedding Bouquets”, your site and your picture is more likely to come up as a relevant search.
One word of caution if you're re-branding: changing your website address (URL) will hurt your SEO big time - It will literally erase it. So if you've done a TON of work on your website and SEO be sure to follow these steps to keep some of your momentum:
1. Keep your current URL and redirect it to your new URL for a while (6 months or so)
2. Copy your website and import it into your new URL - be sure to transfer all your blogs, too!
3. Link up all your Social Media Accounts to your new URL
4. Join in on Blog Circles (More info at Social Media Hat)
It has been so fun to share my experience with you guys and I hope it can help you in your branding/rebranding process!
If you're looking for more information starting/rebranding a photography/video business, check out this article at Shoot Dot Edit. (Or copy this link: http://shootdotedit.com/2017/08/how-to-start-photography-business/)
As always, if you have any questions drop me a comment or send me an e-mail! I'd love to hear from you.
Welcome back, lovely!
So once you’ve gotten your concept down and you’re making moves to build your brand or re-brand, you’ve got to build hype and let people know what you’re up to! Let people inside your excitement. When I re-branded, I posted a lot about it – I shared my new name, logo, website sneak peeks, business card sneak peeks, and my feelings about my new brand. And you know what? People liked it! I built up hype and let people know that I was re-branding and that it was still me, but with a different business name. This way I didn’t lose followers (or follower – thanks Mom!) or confuse people when I switched up the look of things.
The way I did this was I built out my brand and WAITED. And it killed me to wait because I’m not patient. But I waited a few weeks before I launched and posted the sneak peeks I was talking about on instagram and facebook and the twitter so that I didn’t lose anyone in the process. The same goes for when you’re launching a brand – build hype! Tell people you’re starting a business or that you’ve got exciting things in the works for your current business. Friends are amazingly supportive and will send people your way more often than not. So let people know what you’re up to behind closed doors. If you sell a product, have a giveaway to get people involved, if you’re service based (like me) offer coupons – make it a BIG reveal like a grand opening of a store front and have fun!
While you're building hype around your business, don't be afraid to spend some money on advertising. Boosting posts on Instagram and Facebook is a great way to reach a broader audience for $20. One thing I will say about boosting posts is that I, personally, haven't seen much traffic out of them other than more followers on my social media pages, but when I boosted my post about my website launch I saw more traffic to my website and it did result in some inquiries and a booking! On that note, I will leave you for today, but tune in next week for my final installment in this series: SEO and Marketing!