(Strategy #3 of 3) How to get clients to find you WITHOUT spending any money
Do you ever feel like you'd get way more clients if only more people knew about you?
I felt the same way for a long time.
I KNEW my work was good, but the only people that were booking me were my friends and the people they recommended me to.
That's when I started looking at how to get my website ranked higher in Google.
Everyday there are people searching for photographers and I wanted to be the first result.
This is actually one of my most asked questions.
...and I understand why.
Search for anything SEO related and you'll get a mixture of outdated information and conflicting advice.
Luckily, one of my close friends is a full time SEO for a national retailer and he led me in the right direction...
Here's what I learned:
Getting on the first page of Google isn't that hard.
It really just boils down to one main thing.
Backlinks are when one websites links to another website.
Each link is like a vote for your website.
The more votes you have, the higher you rank.
You need to get more websites linking to your business then your competitors.
So today I want to share strategy #3 with you, my 4 step framework for getting links to your website so that you can start slaying it in the search results.
Strategy #3 - How To Rank On The First Page Of Google
In a study of over 1 million search results, Brian Dean (big time SEO dude) found that the number of websites linking to your own site was the #1 factor in determining your position in the search results.
We know that backlinks are critical to getting on the first page of Google, so the question then becomes...
How do we get backlinks?
Well, I've developed a 4 step framework that you can follow:
Step 1. Find Your Targets
The first step is that you need to create a hit list of websites you want to get links from.
These could be....
- Other wedding vendors
- Local newspapers
- Photography podcasts
- Wedding blogs
Gather up all the websites you could potentially get links from and put them into a big ol' spreadsheet.
Now that we know who we're targeting, we need to...
Step 2. Create Value
Getting someone to link to you is an exchange of value.
In most cases, people aren't going to just link to your business for no reason.
You need to give people a REASON.
Now, the type of value you create is dependent on the site you're trying to get a link from.
But here are some examples of ways you could create value and get links...
You could partner with local bloggers.
You could get your work featured on wedding blogs.
You could give testimonials for products you love.
You could provide images to local vendors for them to use in their marketing (with link attribution).
You could give an interview.
You could help a wedding vendor directory write a description of your area for their category page.
You could create an infographic and promote it on photography websites.
You could write a guest post on an industry website or vendors blog.
After you come up with an idea on how you can provide value to the person or website you're trying to get a link from, the next step is...
Step 3. Outreach
Now that we have our targets and we have our angle, it’s time to actually reach out to these people/websites.
When pitching here are the most important elements:
- Keep it short (~2 paragraphs)
- Use bullet points to make your pitch more scannable
- Clearly state how what you want benefits them
- Follow up until you get what you want (use a followup tool like Boomerang to make this easy)
Make it as easy as possible for them to say yes.
How can you make someone's job easier?
You could provide images for the content you want them to create.
You could write your own bio if you're getting interviewed.
Hell, I've even written entire articles so all they had to do was copy/paste in some instances.
Do as much of the work for them as you can and it will be hard for them to say no.
Step 4. Amplification
This step is optional, but once you get coverage the next thing you want to do is amplify that attention so that it becomes more valuable.
Let me show you what I mean.
Say you got your work featured on a popular wedding blog...
You could show that on your website to increase your credibility and social proof (which makes it easier to book clients).
Another way to amplify your efforts is to use your past coverage to GET MORE coverage.
When I reached out to him, I linked him to previous podcast episodes I've been featured on.
You see how we're leveraging past successes to secure future opportunities?
If you're a photographer and you want to write a guest post for a certain website, then you could link out to previous articles you've written for similar sites in your pitch.
People are much more likely to say yes to you if you've already been vetted by someone else.
In the example I just gave, I was already vetted by Improve Photography.
Building your authority by being featured on blogs is great for your SEO, but it can also help you book more clients too by increasing your credibility.
Alright, this post is getting long so I'm going to end this lesson here...
If you enjoyed the 3 strategies I sent out over the past few days and want to learn ALL of my marketing secrets -- then keep an eye on your inbox because I'm going to be opening up enrollment for my completely revamped course on how to attract and book clients.
I've spent 6 months putting it together and it's the most complete guide to generating leads for your photography business in existence.
Can't wait to share it with you guys.