If you are a wedding photographer who has a business to run, you don’t have time to become a digital marketer. The good news is there are 3 simple things that will get you halfway to success in your online marketing. Everything else you do will build on top of these three things.
- Your Website
- Your Google My Business listing
- Your Reviews
Now, you may be thinking, wait, what? There is a lot more to digital marketing than these 3 things!
Of course there is. But these three are critical.
That’s because these are the 3 things that Google uses to understand what you do. This lets them judge when and where to show you in search results. They can also measure the amount of authority you have relative to your competitors.
More and more brides and grooms do all their wedding planning with their mobile devices. So who shows up in the “3 box” at the top of a Google search are going to get a large share of all the leads through organic search.
How do you well in local and mobile searches? Besides proximity to the searcher, the second determinant is the number of reviews you have. Reviews appear in the 3 box, along with your business name, phone number, address, directions, website, and business category. This information comes from your Google My Business listing, which we will cover in another article.
As important as what Google thinks about you is what prospective customers think when they are researching who should do the photography at their wedding. This is an important decision and any evidence that they can find that you have photographed other weddings successfully is going to make them more confident about calling you. Reviews are that evidence. That’s why they should be part of all your client’s closing communications. Be sure that you ask for a review and supply direct links to make it as easy as possible to leave you a review.
Although there are hundreds of review sites, it is a good idea to steer your clients to the big 3 review sites.
I could write a whole article on my opinion of Yelp. Suffice to say, I consider creating a good Yelp profile and review section a necessary evil. It’s a place that prospective clients will go to look for wedding photographers, so make sure that your account is first-rate.
If you have not asked for reviews in the past, build a list of past clients and contact a few every couple of weeks to leave a review. Why not send a request to everyone at one time? Look at it from Google’s view. If you have a couple of reviews and then you suddenly have a dozen come in in a month, one could reasonably assume that you solicited those reviews. And that is a no-no. Reviews are supposed to be naturally occurring, not solicited.
But people tend to not leave reviews if you don’t ask them to. So be willing to spread out your asks and make them very low key. Nobody appreciates a pushy review request. Remember a review is a huge favor to you. Also, don’t give a “suggested” or “sample” review. People will think they are doing you a favor by cutting and pasting your sample. This copying will get all your reviews thrown out.
You can receive notifications of new reviews if you add the Facebook, Google My Business and Yelp apps to your phone. This will allow you to nip a negative review in the bud. A bad review with a quick and positive response on your behalf to make things right is almost as good as a good review. Why? Because it shows that you believe in a positive client experience. We all know that people can leave reviews that are more about them than what actually happened. You come out the winner by proving it was them and not you that had the problem.
A strong review profile will help your business in search results AND getting the phone to ring. Make a commitment to get started today.