Friday, October 26, 2012

Are Your Blogging and Facebook Habits Sabotaging Your Sales?

Do you blog your sessions or post images on a Facebook business page? Many of us maintain these sites, but have you ever wondered if the number of images that go online are killing your sales?

I visit a number of Facebook pages and blogs when I have time and am truly amazed to have learned a few things in the process.
  • First, many blogs aren't maintained regularly. People begin them with pretty lofty goals of regular posts, but then quickly run out of things to say or time to create the actual post itself. Hence, you see a lot of photographers opening their blog posts with the line "I'm so bad at keeping up on this blog . . . "
  • Second, there are FB albums and blogs with what seems like the entire session's images posted! It makes me wonder if people are using the blog as an online gallery, are indecisive and can't simply select a few good images, or just have the thought process of "I'll show everyone all the good ones and everyone will think I rock!" 
Let's address the frequency issue first. Rather than try to blog every session or do it once a day, set an attainable goal for yourself. Maybe once or twice a week is more realistic. If it means you can keep up with that workflow more easily, then schedule at least one day a week on your appointment calendar for blogging. Wednesday mornings at 9am may be the perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and get caught up. It's more about being consistent.
As far as the number of images go, it's entirely up to you. Realizing that many photographers use their blogs as their websites, I completely understand the desire to "show lots of variety." Yet there are those who toss anywhere from 6-10 images from a single session online regularly, and a few photogs who really load up with even more!

Is it a bad thing? Well, from a technical standpoint, using larger images on your blog post will cause it to load slowly. Multiply that times the number of images you use, and you're risking losing a viewer before your post has finished loading. Some less patient folks will simply click out before that process has completed. In cases such as this, a multi-image collage may do the trick much better than a dozen full-sized images.

However, it's something Charles Lewis used to say in his seminars that I think of most often when it comes to blogging. He was referring to online proofing, but the same principle applies.

"Once you put the images online, of course your client will share them with their family and friends. Great, right? However, it 'uses up all the memories' and your client now has minimal incentive to purchase them because everyone who they wanted to show the images to has now seen them."

And . . . if they're big enough on the blog to copy and save, why would someone need to purchase more? There are plenty of people out there who could care less about your logo across the middle if it means not having to pay you for the same image. These same people are content to print the images on their home inkjet printer and call it good. After all, this way they're "free".

Of course, this may vary depending on your final product. I'm not selling a disk of images; my final product is physical prints in 99% of the sessions I photograph, but that means this is completely critical to my income. I'm very conscious of my marketing and if I'm helping or hurting my sales with what I am doing. Whether it's Facebook or a blog site, I don't want them to "use up all the memories" before the sale.

Food for thought.

- David Grupa


  1. Good points! Guilty on all charges over here. Trying really hard to be consistent and show restraint.

  2. This was a great read. It was definitely a reminder that I need to be more consistent with my blogging. :)

  3. I whole heartedly agree with your thinking on this!

  4. Interesting article, I really wish I could keep up with my blogging!

  5. I received an email from a photographer who chastised me for telling people not to use large sizes or numbers of images. Upon visiting this individual's blog, the images on her page (well over a dozen) loaded at an extremely slow speed (due to their size!)

    You don't need 8x12@300 size images for your blog. It simply sucks bandwidth and takes too long to load.

    Were her images any good? I couldn't tell you . . . the one I did see was nice, but the rest were still loading when I clicked out of the page.

  6. This is an awesome post! I used to post the "sneak peeks" before their ordering, but don't anymore. A very recent change, but can already tell a HUGE difference from the last ordering vs. before.

  7. All very good points!! Thank you!

  8. Thanks for all the info, its good to know that i am doing some things right. I do need to be more consistent, and i know i wont blog everyday, but picking one day to blog would be a good idea as well. :D