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January 25th, 2019

How Social Media Can Grow Your Business

Posted by liveBooks

Tuesdays Tip

Social Media 1-1

With so many social media outlets available today, it can sometimes become overwhelming to choose which ones you should be using to engage your audience and bring in new customers. It may seem like the best course of action is to ignore all the choices and just stick to one outlet. What many photographers do not realize, however, is that each platform offers opportunities for growth – whether this may be through brand recognition, followers, or potential customers is your choice! We have outlined the platforms we believe will give your photography business the biggest growth potential!

Instagram

Instagram

With over 800 million monthly active users, Instagram has the power to become one of the most important means of outreach for your photography business worldwide. This platform offers you the chance to build a portable portfolio where you can showcase your work. This doesn’t mean that you have to post every picture from your shoot, but rather the one(s) you consider to be the best.

With its massive hashtag database, Instagram can help bring in clients that are looking for your type of work. By using specific hashtags, clients will be able to find you more easily. When used correctly, these hashtags can become similar to how SEO helps your webpage get views. In addition, creating a unique hashtag for your business can help create a viewing gallery for potential clients. For example, using #johnsmithphotography on your images and having your clients use it when they post your images on their profiles, will ultimately increase your brand’s recognition!

Facebook

Facebook is one of the first platforms that come to mind when talking about social media. Having 2.2 billion monthly active users makes it one of the most widely known social media platform.  It not easy to figure that this platform can be a very powerful tool to drive new customers to your business!

Instead of using your personal page to showcase your work, create a Facebook page that allows anyone to access your profile. With the use of analytics provided by Facebook, you’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of each post and activity on the account. Additionally, creating a page allows you to boost a post and create advertising campaigns. These two options allow you to choose your target audience (residing area, gender, age, etc.)!

Another great tool that Facebook offers is the creation of events. If, for example, you are giving a photography seminar and would like to invite your followers to attend, this tool helps you reach out to an audience, track the number of attendees, and keep the discussion streamlined all in one place!

Twitter

Twitter is oftentimes overlooked by many photographers. It requires time and energy to fit everything you are trying to communicate about a shoot into only 140 characters. However, this is a powerful form of expression. You do not need to give your audience an entire explanation of what the picture is about. Rather, allow your image to speak for itself. The saying holds true in this scenario: “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

Many photographers do not realize that when they share their work through Twitter, it can get picked up surprisingly fast. The environment surrounding this platform is very much based around retweets. When your followers love your work, they are very likely to retweet your posts.

To start promoting your business through Twitter, you can see the marketing tips they offer on their website!

YouTube & Vimeo

As with Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo are often ignored by photographers. Many argue that they are not videographers and do not have any content to upload. These video-based platforms are often relevant to the type of photography that you dedicate yourself to. If you are a Wedding Photographer, uploading samples of the “Wedding Day” videos you have created would be a great way to showcase your work to new clients.

If the type of photography you dedicate yourself to doesn’t require the use of videos, you can create video tutorials for your audience and peers. These types of videos create a sense of trust in your viewers that can easily translate into a client-based relationship. By creating a channel on YouTube or Vimeo, your audience will be able to more easily find you and find more videos created by you.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images and videos to their pinboards. The main idea is to create a variety of categories that contain pins, resources, photos, and other information that the viewer finds interesting.

As a photographer, creating your own account that not only showcases your work but also has pins of the type of things you like, allows viewers to better connect with you in a personal way. Landscape photographer, Joshua Holko, shares his work from his projects in various boards that viewers are able to see and pin onto their own boards.

It’s also important to note that this social media platform is largely based on shares. Since photography is such a visual business, it can be a great tool for photographers to market both themselves and their business.

Snapchat

Similar to Twitter, Snapchat is often overlooked by professionals. However, Snapchat offers you and your business the ability to reach your followers organically. The video content you create for the platform is unfiltered, unedited, real and shared in real-time with your audience. Once a follower clicks into your Snapchat story, you have their undivided attention. In a world ruled by constant interruption and many outlets calling attention to your followers, this is a great resource to have on your side.

It’s important to note that Snapchat is a platform that should be used to share how you work rather than to display your work. For example, if you are on a photo shoot, you can record a quick ten-second video showing your audience what you are working on, what brand you’re working with, or even give a quick how-to tip. Audiences create a better connection with you when they feel the work is authentic and organic.

It’s important that as a photographer you choose the social media platform(s) you feel are the best to represent your business. Whether you choose to activate social accounts on all of the above-mentioned outlets or just one, remember to have your business goals in mind. Once you kick off new campaigns or themes through these platforms, maintain your business perspective, marketing efforts, target audience, and specific goals all in line. With this, you’ll be able to accurately measure your success.

January 23rd, 2019

SEO Best Practices for Website Images

Posted by liveBooks

seo tips for website images

When it comes to websites, content may be king, but it’s most effective when combined with great imagery. And this isn’t just guesswork, either! A major portion of our brain’s primary functions is to process visual information, which is why your website should be visually appealing as much as it is informative.

If you’re a wedding industry professional, chances are you depend pretty highly on photographs to showcase your samples of work. As you should!

Couples love seeing examples of previous weddings. They are great for inspiration and give potential clients a sense of your style.

However, if your website images aren’t optimized properly, they could be doing more harm than good. Be sure you follow these search engine optimization (SEO) best practices when publishing images to your website.

Consistency in Style

Our first tip is more directly related to user experience, but when your online visitors are more engaged with your website, it can indirectly help your SEO.

Before you even think about adding a photograph, image or graphic onto your website, ask yourself some key questions:

  • Does it match my brand?
  • Will it speak to my ideal audience?
  • Does it look consistent with other visuals I have already placed on my website?

If the image would look cohesive with your branding style, colors and niche market, great! Move on to our next steps. If not, look for something better (or create one yourself!). Remember to focus on quality over quantity.

Resize for Web Use

As great as high-quality photographs are for printing, big files (especially images that are several megabytes, or MB, in size) can only slow down your website load times.

Why does this matter? Well, for one, website visitors may leave and find another faster website if yours is loading too slowly. Second, your site speed directly affects how well your website performs on search engines like Google.

Photographs don’t need to be more than 72 dpi (dots per inch) for digital purposes. Most photographs, however, start around 300 dpi, causing them to be bigger in size (bytes). Ideally, images should be around 200-800 KB maximum each.

This may be way over your head, but you aren’t alone. That’s where liveBooks’ advanced image compression tools can help. When you upload your photos to your liveBooks website, they are automatically optimized for the best combination of quality and performance. If you would like to choose each image format on your own, then you can configure the advanced settings. You change an image’s quality and performance by dragging a slider – one direction will improve the resolution, while the other side will improve the image’s loading time and performance.

Image Titles and Alt-Text

Ever wonder how Google knows which images to pull up when you do an image search?

To put it simply, search engines use what they call “spiders” that scan through websites all over the web for information. In order to know what an image relates to or depicts, it relies on the image title and alt-text.

When your website images rank well for the same keywords within the actual content of your website (such as your services or about pages), your overall ranking for those keywords increases.

With liveBooks’ image tools, you have the ability to easily optimize your images for search engines. In the SEO tab, you can add keyword-optimized image title tags and alt-text to your images. For example, if you post a blog highlighting a recent wedding you photographed at a popular wedding venue, the image titles and alt-text should reflect keywords couples would search for on Google to see what weddings hosted there typically look like.

You might even add a few that focus on your particular role as a wedding photographer. Some you might use for this situation could be:

  • Mansion wedding venues in Chicago
  • Wedding photos at the Stan Mansion
  • Stan Mansion wedding portraits
  • Best wedding photographer in Chicago
  • Chicago wedding photographer

Showcase Your Work on a Beautiful Website

liveBooks offers stunning, customizable website templates for wedding industry professionals and creatives.

Impress your potential clients with a visually stunning website that is ready for search engines and looks great on any mobile device!

We’ve also got a top-notch support team who’s here to help you every step of the way. Start for free today!

With liveBooks, you have access to user-friendly tools that make it easy to manage image libraries and image blocks. liveBooks has released a number of performance enhancements, dynamic image capabilities, and opportunities for SEO improvement so that users can easily build and customize their website.

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Every business owner knows that in order for your clients to buy your product or service, they have to find you first. Thus, Location, location, location remains a valid must-have for all businesses alike, be they off or online.

So how do you make sure you’re found online, considering your website is one of the 2 billion live at this moment? There is a multitude of actions you can take to make sure your website ranks better than your competitors’ – proper SEO, marketing campaigns, and fast loading times are just a few steps you can take to send your website to the top of the charts.

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