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How to Get on the First Page of Google

July 20th, 2016

google_logoWhen potential clients search Google for photographers, the first thing they see is a map of the studios closest to them. Getting on this map can dramatically improve your chances for a client to find your website.

You may be curious why some studios come up on the first page map – and some do not. It seems like a mystery. What did those other photographers do that you aren’t doing? What could you be doing differently?

While no one can guarantee you a front page position, Google does give guidelines on how to increase your chances of being on the first page. According to Google, their Maps search results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help Google find the best match for search results. For example, while a studio that is closer to the client should be higher on the first page, their search technology might decide that even though a studio is farther away, it is more likely to have what the client is looking for!

Here’s more detail on what relevance, distance, and prominence mean, along with some ideas to help improve your website for each.

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Facebook’s New Panorama Photo App

July 13th, 2016

grand-canyon-full-screen-panoramaYou can now easily share 360 photos on Facebook. 360 photos are Facebook’s name for panoramas – from wide angle shots all the way up to full circles.

360 photos and are easy to identify in News Feed: just look for the compass icon on the right-hand side of the photo. Explore a 360 photo on mobile by tapping and dragging the photo or by moving your phone, and on the web by clicking and dragging. Your clients can experience the moments you share in 360 as if they were actually there with you. You could use this for:

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DPPA Outdoor Model Shoot July 19

July 13th, 2016

dppa-photo-shootDPPA will sponsor a hands-on workshop with live models in a park setting on July 19 from 5:30-10pm at Stoney Creek Metro Park in Shelby Township (map).

This will be an opportunity to try out new techniques or poses you’ve read about, or just to update your portfolio. Photograph a half-dozen models wearing sportswear, summer dress and swimsuits in various natural sets. 4 Master photographers and 3 Certified photographers will offer tips in multiple outdoor lighting techniques. Light modifiers, reflectors and off-camera strobe will be provided.

Price is free for DPPA members. $45 for guests. Everyone must pay for entry into the park. Rain date July 26th.

Click here to register.

Instagram Adds Facebook-Like Business Features

July 6th, 2016

instagramInstagram has added several new tools and features to help you connect with clients. Basically, they are using the Facebook model (Facebook owns Instagram!) of separate personal profiles and business or “brand” profiles. With this change, you’ll be able to promote your studio, as well as boost images and put them directly in front of potential new clients.

Why Instagram?

Instagram is an image-focused social media platform, which makes it perfect for professional photographers. It is a great way to build your brand. In 2016, Instagram hit 400 million users with half of them using the site daily. According to Pew Research Center, 56% of online adults ages 18-29 use Instagram. And Instagram is owned by Facebook, which has shown they know how to build a social media platform to connect your studio to potential customers.

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Get Maximum Exposure for Non-Paid Facebook Posts

July 6th, 2016

fb_logoIf you’re using a Facebook business page for your studio, you know your posts are going out to less of your audience every year. In the last 12 months, the number of free business posts on personal pages have dropped 40% to make way for paid posts. Facebook wants businesses to pay (boost) to show their posts to all their fans. Learn how to boost posts here.

However, even non-paid posts can get maximum exposure by using the “Audience Optimization for Posts” feature in Facebook. Think of it as targeting for non-paid ads.

By using Facebook targeting for posts, you can put your updates in front of the people who are more likely to share, like or comment on them. With the decline in Facebook page reach, post targeting can help you get your posts in front of the right audience without paying. For example, you could send out a wedding post to women 18-35 in your town only!

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Graduation prints for $5 at Walmart

June 21st, 2016

I recently spoke to a mother who was frustrated with the professional photographer she had hired to do her twin’s graduation photography. Her side of the story (admittedly biased) was this. She had contracted with a photographer who specialized in grads for an offsite “urban decay” photo shoot. The cost they agreed on was $1,600 dollars for the shoot, with prints to be chosen later.

After later reviewing the images, the mom was told the prints she ordered would cost almost $15,000 dollars. She said she didn’t want to spend that much, tried to cut the number of prints down, got frustrated, and eventually left the studio.

Because she didn’t have prints to show at the open house, she asked a friend with a camera to take some outdoor shots. The friend gave her a memory stick with all the images. She had them printed at the local big-box store.

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Safely Stop Windows 10 Auto-Update

June 16th, 2016

aaIf you run Windows 7 or 8 on your computer, you should have noticed Microsoft encouraging (nagging?) you to download and install Windows 10 for free. Windows 10 is the latest generation operating system from Microsoft. Their goal is to upgrade as many computers as possible so they can stop support for older operating systems.

While we’ve heard many positive comments about Windows 10 on new PCs, we’ve also heard of problems on older computers after the automatic update. Some devices like printers and scanners will work fine, and others will not. It’s a roll of the dice. If you’re considering updating a working, business or production computer, it may be a risk you do not want to take.

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5 Ways to Use Psychology to Boost Sales

June 8th, 2016

ThinkstockPhotos-495721137-300x300Every client is unique when they are ready to make a purchase of a big-ticket item like professional photography. However, psychologists who study sales behavior know that there are common mental shortcuts we all use when we’re ready to buy.

Think of it as part of our “animal brain.” For example, if we hear a sudden, loud noise, we might jump, yell or jerk our head around to see where the noise came from. Our reaction is based on our body’s “fight or flight” response. We cannot help it. Even though we’re sometimes embarrassed by our reactions, it is almost impossible to control.

The same holds true with sales. When we are ready to make a purchase, we use emotional shortcuts wired into our brain that we may not even be aware of. By knowing what these shortcuts are, you can increase the likelihood of getting a client to make a purchase.

So what are these built-in shortcuts? Here are five examples, and how they can help you motivate your clients:

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New Pick-a-Pack Catalog Changes Can Affect Saved Packages

June 8th, 2016

pick-a-pack packagesOver the next few weeks we will be updating the JD Pick-a-Pack for School, Sports and Events catalog.  The goal is to make products easier for you to find, and to make orders move more efficiently through the lab. This means faster print turnaround – and fewer mistakes on orders.

What does this mean to you?

The new Pick-a-Pack catalog changes can have an effect on products or packages saved as favorites if the products in the packages are updated or removed.

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New Product: Custom Photo Tote Bags

June 1st, 2016

tote bagThese new tote bags are a great new gift idea for you or for your clients.

The all-white bags are 15″ x 16″ x 3.5″ with a 3″ gusset and 2 handles. Made of 100% non-woven polyester so they are easy to clean. Excellent for promos or shopping events.

Best of all, these tote bags can be customized with your favorite image or layout. Use a 11×12″ vertical image @300dpi on one or both sides. You can use the same image or 2 different ones. For example, you could put your client’s photo on one side and text on the other.

Tote bags are only $5.95 printed 1-sided, or $6.95 for 2-sided. Find them in the Specialty Items | Photo Gifts.

Click here to download JDLab2You and place your order.

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