Tip #6: Location, Location, Location
I’m sure many professional photographers are willing to travel outside their immediate city for assignments, but more often than not, clients are still looking for photographers based on a specific city. Perhaps it’s an art director in New York looking to work with a commercial photographer based in Los Angeles for an assignment in Southern California…or maybe a wedding couple looking to work with a photographer in their hometown of Chicago…potential clients often hire photographers based on location.
Although I wouldn’t go so far as to use the buzzword “location-based marketing” and praise its effectiveness for photographer marketing…it’s no doubt that professional photographers should pay some attention to incorporating location into their personal branding and how to use location to get on the radar of potential clients.
Here are a few tips we have…feel free to share yours in the comments!
1. Be Specific
I see hundreds of photographers’ websites a week, and too often I come across photographers who don’t state where they are located at all. Many times, potential clients are forced to decipher it from the area code in the phone number. Also, too often, I see the phrase “available worldwide”, or something of that nature. We get it…you’re a photographer who likes to travel. We don’t deny that might be your goal, but still we’d recommend you to at least state a location where you’re based out of most of the year.
2. City, Metro, or Beyond
After you’ve committed to a location…what’s the best target location? Perhaps you’re in the suburbs and would like to brand yourself as a photographer in a nearby large metro area. Or the reverse, where the metro you’re located is over-saturated with photographers and you’d like to expand your services to surrounding suburbs. Decide on a brand strategy for your services and make sure it’s clear how your location(s) are reflected in your brand.A quick look of the Google Keyword Tool might provide valuable insight for your particular location.
3. Website Best Practices
Make sure your website reflects your target location immediately. Lot of times, potential clients will scan quickly through a website to see if the photographer is based in the right location. Don’t make it hard for them to find. Put your location right on your home page, perhaps in the footer or the header. Put it in your contact section, even if you don’t include your full mailing address. You can also put it in the about/bio section when talking about yourself.
Localized search is a big topic today. Make sure you’re doing all you can to improve your location-based SEO. For your website, make sure your targeted location can be found somewhere on your homepage. Include the location in the html title tag and meta keyword and description tags on the website. To build relevant incoming links for SEO, make sure to join any relevant photography directories or vendor lists that are location specific.
5. Will Travel For Work
So are you willing to travel? If that’s part of your brand, then specify clearly where you’re equipped to travel. What separates you from the potential client hiring a native of that location? Perhaps it’s your familiarity with a particular part of the world, or a culture, or a language. By being specific on the various locations you can work…you can increase your chances of getting hired on those other locations. A good example of this is we often see commercial photographers have representation in 2 (sometimes 3) major cities like London and New York. Although they are not based in one location, the brand message of their multiple locations can still be strong.