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Every Photographer Needs A Facebook Fan Page
It’s Free And A 100-Percent Opt-In Marketing List
Every week I get emails from photographers, some losing their studios, some leaving professional photography, some starving, some looking for new ways to earn a living, but few are success stories, emails or messages. I even get phone calls from those that know me personally asking for help. I feel for all of them and I immediately let them know it’s impacted me too, whether it’s canceling or rescheduling a photo workshop because a studio closed down or photographers canceling their workshop attendance demanding refunds because they lost their jobs. It’s a tough market out there today and it’s showing no signs of getting better.
You can visit and "like" my Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/rgomezphoto and it's free!
No matter how much photographers diversify, no matter how much they spend in advertising, no matter how great their photos, it’s just plain tough. But one common thread I’m finding with most of the negative news is that many, and I mean many, of these photographers aren’t capitalizing on their now expanded down time through social media, social networking and social marketing. They don’t have a Twitter account, they don’t have a blog, they don’t have a Facebook personal account and most important, they don’t have a Facebook fan page for their photography.
Many simply have the attitude, “Why bother?” Well I covered social media, social marketing, social networking, blogging and more in my photoblog article, “Twook To Build Your Brand” so I’m not going to rehash all that, but I will focus on the advantages of a Facebook fan page, because it’s FREE, practically spam FREE and it gives you the ability to target your audience with 100-percent opt’d-in potential clients.Twitter, blogs and even personal Facebook profiles aside, nothing beats the FREE power of a Facebook fan page, and here’s why:
- Your Facebook fan page is free! No HTML or web programming skills required.
- Your Facebook fan page is actually a great way to build a marketing list, free!
- Your Facebook fan page can pull in your tweets, blog posts and more through RSS feeds, for free! (Some requires third-party applications and there are many.)
- Your Facebook fan page is 100-percent opt-in, thus you are not spamming! Once a person hits the “like” button they’ve opt’d-in. Fan pages are the “new lists.” These lists are more powerful than any email lists and technically Facebook maintains it for you for free! If a person wants to “opt-out” they simply “unlike” your page, no administration work is required on your part to remove them from your list.
- Your Facebook fan page is an instant messenger, the minute you make an update (post a photo, YouTube video link, status update, etc.) every fan that “liked” (opt-in) your page can see it and they are alerted within seconds. Instant delivery free!
- People spend more time on Facebook than Google. When people do a “Google” they are on the results page for seconds before moving on verses when people go to Facebook, they are on for hours. That’s over 700 million people on Facebook for hours, not seconds. In the marketing world, that’s gold, the ability to reach millions of people everyday for free!
- Facebook fan pages come up on Google search results. Google search results do not come up on Facebook fan pages.
- Facebook is the new culture change. It’s addictive! People get their coffee, drinks, turn on music, and sit there for hours—now that’s a lot of “click through” possibilities. You can even purchase inexpensive Facebook ads that target people with interests in photography. There are also “widget” possibilities so you can include your Facebook fan page activities on your websites and blogs–you see mine on this photoblog and all my blogs–and it’s free!
- Facebook is smart phone ready! You don’t need to build an “app,” Facebook has done that for you already, for free! In fact, most people click their Facebook app on their smart phone before they check their email.
- You can have additional administrators help you and because they will probably already have their own personal Facebook page, minimal training is required.
Now that’s just some of the possibilities and advantages of having a Facebook fan page. There are many and major companies like Audi, Starbucks, Chevrolet, Nabisco, etc. know this along with celebrities, musicians and other professions and they are on top of it, so don’t be left out! It works for them, it should work for you–it’s track tested by the greats the only focus group you need is your fans on your fan page, they will give you feedback and there is tons you can learn from your fans to improve your sales, your bookings, etc.
Don't get lost in the clouds, plant your feet on the ground with a Facebook fan page!
Social media, social networking, social marketing is the “new Internet Gold Rush” but there are thousands of new miners coming by the minute—why get left behind? These are exciting times, right now! Everyday you wait on starting your Facebook fan page is a day you’re probably losing potential photo shoots and assignments.
Ok, so now you’re convinced, you need a Facebook fan page, especially since it’s free! Now how do you bring traffic so people will opt-in in your “new list.” First, add it to your email signature, every time you send an email out it should have a “signature” at the bottom with links to your websites, Twitter, etc., but most important, a statement like “Follow me on Facebook” or “Please ‘Like’ my Facebook Fan Page.”
Make sure you have links to your Facebook fan page on all your websites, all your signatures like those on photography forums, your personal Facebook profile, portfolio hosting sites, your Twitter profile, etc. Basically, you need to link to your Facebook fan page on everything you do—remember, Google counts “backlinks” to any web page, including your Facebook fan page which helps place you higher in search engine results. Build your fan page, the search engines will find it especially if you maintain it and interact with your fans.
Just like building Twitter and blog traffic, post comments on forums, other people’s Facebook fan pages, comment on your Facebook “friends” personal profile status updates, basically anywhere you can post a comment, do so. If you’re a writer, guest blog, if not, comment on blog posts. Just make sure and include a link back to your Facebook fan page.
Important Facebook Tip:
When you first set-up your Facebook fan page, you must select “Brand or Product” under “Category” then to the left of it, select “Website.” If you’ve already got your Facebook fan page, it’s very important to do this before you reach 10,000 likes. If you don’t, you could lose your page publishing rights once you hit 10,000 likes, thus you lose all control as it becomes more of a public page.
Now as your traffic builds (Facebook likes) you must stay engaged with your audience. Don’t just “sell” yourself. Respond to comments, “like” comments, encourage conversations through status updates, it’s all about interaction and engagement. Start questions, not just sales pitches, as people answer, answer back. People use Facebook as a “social” tool, they don’t come to Facebook to buy things. It’s the content in your fan page that should sell your photography. I’m not saying you can’t sell anything, but use an 80/20 approach. Eighty-percent of your Facebook is engagement and socialization with your fans, 20-percent toward selling your photographic talents.
It’s important to note, Facebook is not going to kill Google. Facebook is a social media tool, not a full-blown search engine. Facebook is not acting like Google, on the contrary, with the introduction of Google+ (Plus) it appears it’s the other way around. While photographers should focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to increase their personal website search traffic, Facebook gets you a more targeted audience to your photography—the people you are socializing with on your fan page have already told you they “like” you. The people that find you in a search engine, don’t even know you or if they will like you. On your fan page, they’ve already made that decision. They’ve connected, they’ve opt’d-in at free will.
Yes it takes time to build those “likes”, or your opt-in Facebook list, but so does increasing your rankings in search engines—search engines that constantly change their algorithims—but if you allocate 30-minutes a day on Facebook, it’s easy to discipline yourself and build your audience, thus potential increases in your sales or photo assignments. Top marketers know the busiest day of traffic on Facebook is Monday mornings as for most people, that’s the first day back to the work week and who wants to start the grind with “work” on a Monday? No, we Face”hook” instead.
In a nutshell, with the poor economy, the influx of digital capture devices in people’s pockets that has made everyone a photographer today, plus the constant struggle of survival, if you want to succeed and stand out, then socialize and do it for free with a Facebook fan page. Capitalize on your downtime. Join the Gold Rush. The photographers that will have stamina in today’s culture and economy are those that are twooking. Twitter, blogs, Facebook personal and fan pages are a must for every professional photographer today and with over 700 million people on Facebook, the chances of someone finding you and liking your fan page is higher than someone finding you in the ever changing algorithms of search engines.