There was once a time on the internet when starting a blog was promised to be the path to endless riches. You could get famous, have your own books published, have a legion of fans buying every product you put out, and retire early to take part in your own reality TV show.
Those days might be gone, with only a small percentage of bloggers every really ‘making it’, but that does not meant that blogs are useless. In fact, they remain one of the most important and effective forms of content marketing out there. If you aren’t up to date with marketing best practices, then you should know that content marketing is what all the experts are focusing on right now.
But how can you use a blog to attract your dream clients? If they haven’t found you yet, then you might be doing it wrong. Here’s what you need in your blog!
Write to your clients, and for your clients
One mistake that a lot of photographers make with their blog is to write about photography. Techniques, kit reviews, and so on – they show all your technical knowledge and make you out to be an expert, right? So why aren’t people booking you?
The reason is that you are forgetting your true audience: your clients. Your clients are not photographers, and most of them have very little interest in which lens was the best of 2019 or how to create beautiful bokeh. Your clients are people who want pictures taken – if they knew how to do it, they would probably just do it themselves.
The purpose of a blog is dual: first, to get people into your site by employing great SEO tactics, and second, to make them stick around long enough to book a session with you. That means that each blog post must take both of these purposes into account.
Let’s start with what you write. You should be writing advice for your clients, things that they want to know before they book a session. Think about the things they might be asking: When should I book a senior portrait session? What kinds of prints make the best gifts? You can get the gist – go ahead and try using Google to look up why, what, how, where, and when questions with photography as a keywords. Take the suggestions that Google offers and consider how you can answer them on your blog.
Include a call to action
Even if you provide great value content to your clients, you might find that they just read the information on your blog post and then leave your site without looking at anything else. You can use Google Analytics to check whether this is happening – it will tell you where people go after reading the blog post, including if they leave your site.
Why does this happen? Because you haven’t given them a clear indication of where to go next. Make sure that you always have a call to action at the end of your blog posts, so that they finish reading with an idea of what their next steps could be. This could be something really simple, such as urging them to book a session with you by clicking on a link, calling a number, or sending an email.
You can customise this call of action to fit the topic of your blog post. For example, if you are answering the question regarding timing for senior shoots, you can tell the reader to go and look at your senior packages to find out which option will be best for them.
Having a call to action directs the reader away from the blog and onto your sales pages. This is really crucial if you are going to convert them into a paying customer.
Format the blog correctly
While it is fantastic to write a blog post that attracts a lot of people to your website, you may be disappointed to find that they have no idea what to do next after reading it, even with a call to action. The reason behind this may be that you have not spent time and attention on formatting your blog post page.
First of all, make sure that you include a link to any page you want them to go to. Don’t just tell them to click on your menu bar to go to the booking page – link right to it. This leaves the reader with only the minimum effort required to make a booking, meaning it is more likely that they will do so.
Even with this step included, make sure that they have easy access to the pages on your website that are relevant at this time. These should always include the sales or booking page as a minimum, but you should also consider linking your ‘about me’ page, perhaps a portfolio gallery with your best shots, details of your rates and packages if they are kept separate, and how to contact you.
These links should be visible no matter which page someone visits on your website. Why? Because they might decide to go and look at something else before coming back and trying to book, or they might still be on the fence and want to see your portfolio first. Always make it as easy as possible for the client to book you with clear and signposted access.
Know your client
It’s also very important to know who your client is. What kind of words do they use when they speak? Put these into your blog posts. What values are important to them? Emphasise these when you can. Where do they hang out? Make sure the blog post link is shared there.
Knowing your client will help you to speak directly to them, and will also help to discourage anyone for whom your words do not resonate – who are not your ideal clients, and might harm your business.
Getting those ideal clients in requires knowing who you are talking to, and then talking directly to them. Don’t forget to make it easy for them to take the next step, and give them instructions!