At last count, LinkedIn had over 225 million users in 200 countries. That’s an amazing potential client base to tap into. As an owner of a photography business, you would be extremely happy to capture even a fraction of those users. To accomplish that goal, you need to treat LinkedIn like your other marketing strategies. In other words, you have to work at maintaining a strong presence. You can’t just put up a profile and wait for the clientele to come your way. You should be devoting at least an hour every day to searching across LinkedIn, building out your profile and participating in forums. This is how you’ll get the word out about your business. Here are some helpful insider tips for how you can power up LinkedIn to grow your photography business.
Put Your Previous Customers To “Work”
By now you’ve probably accumulated a decent amount of satisfied customers from your photography business. Those same happy customers have no doubt already recommended you to their friends. Why not extend those recommendations across the LinkedIn forums? Ask your customers for a written testimonial that can be published on your profile and then shared with all your connections. If those customers are LinkedIn users, they could also share on their networks as well. Incidentally, those same testimonials can be put to good use on your business website.
Reach Out to Other Business Professionals
How many wedding planners are on Linkedin? How many caterers? What about DJs, florists and dress makers? The short answer is “a lot!” These are all the folks who do business with couples about to get married. These would be the same couples who need a photographer. That is just one example of how you can reach out to other business professional across LinkedIn to spread the good word about your business. Even if you aren’t in the wedding business you’re sure to find plenty of support businesses you can tap into.
Expand Your Networks Online and Offline
As you reach out to other business professionals, you might uncover opportunities to expand your reach beyond LinkedIn but through LinkedIn. As you search through the LinkedIn Groups directory you could stumble about business expos that you could benefit from attending. Beyond the typical associations that would directly be related to your photography business, you might also look for various hobby groups like car collectors, Civil War reenactors and pet lovers. All of those folks would benefit from having a solid photographer snapping pictures for them. Show at one of their “real world” events with your camera and watch what happens.
Share Your Expertise
As you enter into the world of LinkedIn forums you have the opportunity to make new contacts and share your expertise. By answering questions about what you know best, you’ll have a chance to win over new customers and not just those who asked the question in the first place. Those same answers you provide will be available to anyone making a search utilizing LinkedIn’s Advance Answers Search.
You should defiantly consider starting up your own blog where you can share some of your latest work and offer your own photography tips. Keep that blog current and engaging and you’ll start to build up traffic.
Those same forums can help you stay on the cutting edge of technology in your own industry. Here is where you can get the latest news on equipment updates and pick up terrific technique tips. It’s all part of the big exchange of ideas that is at the heart of LinkedIn’s community of users.
Check Out the Competition
You won’t be the only photographer on LinkedIn. This means you can check out the competition to see how they are attracting new customers. Unless you’re doing all of your business remotely, those other photographers won’t feel threaten by you dropping in and asking questions. Who knows, you might even become inspired to tackle a new kind of subject in your own business.
Get Answers To Your Business Questions
Just as you’ll be sharing what you know about photography, there will be other professionals sharing what they know. This includes areas like taxes, commercial leases and accounting. Once you’ve established your network and social contacts there is no reason why you can’t reach out and ask these other professionals all your questions. When you can improve the “business” aspect of your business then it stands to reason you’ll be free to expand and find new customers.
Share Your Referrals
As a photographer you will have worked with plenty of other professionals from wardrobe stylists to make-up artists to hair stylists. You’ll be able to offer referrals to someone looking for those types of businesses. In return, you could have the referral coming back in your direction. Bottom line: Put LinkedIn to work for your photography business starting now!