But First.. 3 Tips for Blog Writing
WHO ARE YOU WRITING BLOG POSTS FOR?
As with any marketing task, when you sit down to plan or write for your business, start by giving yourself a mental refresher on who your target audience is. What are their needs and interests? Bear this in mind throughout your blogging exercises. This will keep you on track to write engaging and informative posts that will be discovered by the right people.
DON’T FADE AWAY
Many blogging efforts start off with a bang but end soon after in a fizzle. Why? One of the biggest mistakes people make when they begin blogging (or any continuous social media marketing activity) is to start creating content without a plan. This often results in using the strongest, most engaging ideas in the initial period, leaving little to follow up with.
Brainstorm your areas of interest. Create a 3-month plan. Make it achievable. Start writing. Repeat.
In 2019, this matters more than ever if you hope to see positive search engine results. And regardless of that, your brand will benefit from genuine content which shows your passion and professionalism.
Always write with your audience in mind. In your copy, answer questions your audience may have. For the best results, your posts should be genuinely informative, answering queries people may search online.
The Big Question… What Should You Blog About?
Following are a number of blog topic suggestions from our team which we feel have merit for newborn photography businesses. You should be able to break many of these suggestions down into multiple posts. Some are suitable to be repeated seasonally. As above, choose those which you feel are relevant to your audience and don’t forget to write in the style which reflects your own brand’s voice.
WHO ARE YOU / YOUR BRAND?
- How you made your start in newborn photography
- About your business name
- What inspires you?
- What do you do when you’re not working, which influences your brand, your services, and/or your work?
- Why are you a photographer?
- Why do you blog?
- What do you love about the products and services you offer?
- How have you grown as a photographer this year?
SHOW YOUR PORTFOLIO
- Certainly, display your images, but don’t overload every blog post with a large number of images. This may slow load-time of your blog and deter visitors. (Don’t confuse web galleries with blog posts).
- Consider what your audience may be searching for and let this influence your choice of themes for your image-based posts. Theming gives context to your posts will result in greater search success than lots of generic image-based posts.
- Example: Autumnal/Fall inspired images, sibling portraits, multi-generational portraits, maternity portraits, newborn twin portraits, newborn multiples, studio portraits, outdoor newborn portraits, fine art newborn portraits, and so on.
PROPS & STYLING IDEAS
- Whether you want to show off new props you’ve invested in, or you’re still in the process of building your folio, photographing your sets in preparation for a client will allow you to share more of your style and preferred colour schemes. This can help build your brand awareness and give clients an idea of what to expect.
- Are you a DIYer? Document your creative process from concept to completion to show the work that goes into your sets and props.
TELL SOMEONE’S STORY
- Communication is key to our job. It’s an essential part of discovering what our clients want and delivering it.
- You probably find you develop closer relationships with some clients than others. Consider documenting a journey from enquiry through to hanging prints on your client’s wall.
- Why did they seek your services? What’s their family’s story — Are they welcoming their first child or perhaps recording their extended family? Why was photography important to them at this point in their lives?
- It should go without saying, but obviously seek appropriate permissions and respect client privacy when sharing.
- Received a lovely testimonial from a client? Share it as a blog post along with your experience of working with them.
- Show off each of your products in a different post.
- Whether you offer canvases, albums, print boxes, digital collections, etc., allocate time to photograph your products beautifully.
- Before the shoot, consider the key features you will point out and ensure you capture the images to illustrate these.
- Style your products in a manner which reflects your brand.
HOW TO DISPLAY YOUR PRODUCTS
- Ask your past clients if they could send you – or allow you to capture – their products on display in their homes.
- Discuss how the choice of products compliments each client’s lifestyle and placement in the home. Did you work with the client to help this process?
PRODUCTS VS LIFESTYLE
- We all offer different products, and many of them serve different purposes. Not every product is suitable for every client’s current lifestyle.
- For example, a large feature canvas is a great choice for a family portrait for an established family, whereas a smaller coffee table album or print box might be a better option for a new family who hopes to add more volumes in the near future.
- Discuss why you’ve chosen the products you offer and considerations your past clients have made when making their buying decisions.
SHARE YOUR PROCESS – FROM ENQUIRY TO DELIVERY
- Discuss the stages of your process from client enquiry through to product delivery in an engaging and interesting narrative.
- Tell the story of a particular client or clients to help potential future clients understand the process they will go through if they book with you.
- Commission another photographer to photograph your client interaction to help illustrate your post/s.
HOW YOU PREPARE FOR A SESSION
- Rather than just-another-behind-the-scenes post, use this topic as an opportunity to educate your clients. Explain your process behind communicating with your clients from the first enquiry to session date, discussing your client’s needs, what influences your choice of colour schemes & styling, the client’s role, how you might involve the client in the session, and so forth.
- Address buying or making props that suit your style, safety, and baby’s comfort.
CLIENT GALLERY WALK-THROUGH
- Tell the story of a client’s newborn session.
- Explain the importance of working with the baby and meeting the baby’s safety and comfort needs
- Through the gallery you’ve captured, illustrate how all babies are different and that many have their own agenda on the day.
- Reinforce that the final images are the result of working with the baby and that while not every baby is happy in every pose, you work to capture and deliver a gallery which shows variety.
- This is a post style which can be created multiple times throughout the year, to reflect the diversity of your clients and your focus on being baby-led.
STUDIO / WORKPLACE TOUR
- Photograph or create a video tour of your workplace.
- Introduce your potential clients to the space where their session will take place; where you correspond with them; where their work will be edited, produced and packaged.
- Set an expectation of the customer service experience they will receive when working with you.
- Updated your decor? Moved your furniture? Have new signage? All good reasons for a new post announcing the updates.
PERSONAL CREATIVE PROJECT
- You may ask why non-client work is relevant but if you have a personal project which fits or strengthens your business brand, share it.
- Show your dedication to your craft and creativity.
PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR YOUR CLIENTS
- Share tips to help your audience capture better shots to record the everyday moments of their family.
- Discuss consideration of angles, framing, setting the scene with wide shots versus tight detail shots, and so on.
- Don’t forget to remind them about the importance of printing and backing up their images.
SHOWCASE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
- If you’ve been recognised for your photographic (or other creative) work, share it. Don’t be shy!
- Explain what drove you to create the work which was awarded. Was it client work, a commercial job, or a self-commissioned concept?
- Give your audience an understanding of what goes into the process of conceiving and creating your awards submissions, and how they might become involved in the future.
- This is one of the reasons events such as the RISE International Photography Awards are so valuable. In addition to the feedback you receive for your own professional development, they provide an opportunity for you to show your audience your achievements and recognition amongst your peers.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING IN PHOTOS
- Reflect on the importance of existing in photos.
- Share your personal thoughts and experiences.
- You could share the photo which means the most to you. This might represent an achievement in your career or a significant personal memory from your own life.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRINT
- There are a number of angles you can take to discuss the importance of print.
- It’s important for everyone to print their personal “snapshots” to make them easily accessible and easily viewable in the home, whether in a frame, on the fridge, or in a book. Most of us have personal experiences we can share in relation to this, along with consumer printing suggestions for our audiences.
- When it comes to professional portraits, what are the advantages of professionally printed images over consumer images which you can educate your clients about?
- For example, professionally printed images provide accurate colour reproduction not provided by most consumer printers. Additionally, the choice of archival quality media and printers available to professional photographers guarantees image permanence, usually of over 90 years (when kept in the right conditions). This ensures your prints stand the test of time, for future generations.
- If you don’t know enough about this topic, it’s an interesting and worthwhile subject for you to research for your own professional development.
- Prior to packaging a client order, photograph the products beautifully. If your client has a story about why they chose the type of products they did, share that (after they have seen and collected their products).
- If you install work in your clients’ home, ask if they will allow you to photograph their photos in situ, to share. Obviously, give appropriate respect to their privacy when doing this. This may help future clients with ideas for extended family gifts or how they might present their photos in their home.
TIPS FOR HANDLING YOUR PRINTS, ALBUMS, DIGITAL FILES
- Your clients aren’t professional photographers.
- Research and explain issues impacting the longevity of your physical products, such as ideal position in the house relative to sunlight exposure or handling prints with bare hands vs cotton gloves. Your lab and album company should be able to provide you with information relevant to the products they produce.
- Explain the importance of backing up digital collections in a number of locations, such as the client’s home; with a family member; and/or in their cloud storage.
- Reinforce the importance of protecting and preserving these precious memories.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Turn the most frequently asked questions your clients have into blog posts to help provide information to your audience
- TIP: Build a FAQs list, not just from client queries, but from experiences you have with your clients, including parts of your processes which could afford a more detailed explanation. Regularly update/create content for your blog (and client information packs) based on these queries.
ANNOUNCE COMING EVENTS
- Mini-sessions, themed shoots, event-based shoots (Christmas), special offers, model calls, personal projects.
- Pinterest boards of what to wear.
- Music playlists on Spotify.
- Favourite books for holiday reading.
- Favourite podcasts to suit your audience.
Grab a pen and paper. Brainstorm the broad content areas which express your brand, your services, and your clients’ needs. Under each of these main headings, break down subtopics and post ideas which best suit your brand and your audience. Create rough working titles for each potential post. Plot them on a calendar. Consider realistically how long each will take to prepare, taking into account writing, graphics and photographs required for each.
Keep your list of titles with you, on your mobile device. Blog posts can be written from almost anywhere at any time. Once you begin writing, you may be surprised how easily the words and ideas for future posts begin to flow!
Have questions about blogging? Leave a comment.