I’ve been getting some great responses to my post 3 Degrees of Separation. One response was from Janos Glaser. Here’s what he said:
Your article “3 degrees of separation” have inspired some thoughts that i would like to share. My most important marketing experience is ppc so i see ppc in almost everything. You will probably be already aware of most of this but hopefully you will find something useful in what i am about to say.
Wedding photography is one of the largest niche in photography. You know that because you have researched the subject and i know it because i spend a lot of time playing with Google’s keyword tool. But the wannabe professional photographer does not necessarily know it.So he/she while trying to focus could end up picking something that there is no demand for. There is demand for wedding, fashion, portrait, commercial, nature, baby, landscape, child, event and advertising photographers. These are exact searches. These are categories what people look for. But there is a danger that in the attempt to specialize someone might pick a niche that is to small and if conquering it does not work out very well it can be the very cause of failure.
My idea would be to focus on many things at the same time. It is simple landing page optimization. Find out what are people looking for: wedding, portrait etc Figure out what are the categories that you can do a reasonable job at. Divide your portfolio into these categories and name them the way the public calls it. Drive traffic to those particular parts of your website. See where you can get business. If there is enough business in a category that you particularly like then specialize using the advice in “3 degrees of separation”.
Thanks for your attention.
Janos brings up an interesting point. In the world of PPC (or pay-per click advertising) and search marketing it is common for people to try and target “long tail keywords”. For example, a very broad keyword search might be “wedding photographer”. A long tail keyword search might be “wedding photographer los angeles california black and white”. When you’re optimizing your site for search engine rankings and if you’re doing PPC advertising, systematically attacking the long tail keyword phrases is a good idea. The broad keyword searches are more competitive, therefore its harder to get good placement – or in PPC, they’ll just cost you more.
But, I’ll contradict Janos in saying that you should still stay focused on your particular niche. You can’t be everything to everybody, and if you try, you’ll end up being nothing to nobody. Be the best you can be at ONE thing. Then no one can compete with you. Definitely drive traffic that is targeted to your niche. The more your traffic is targeted, the higher conversion rates you’ll have and you’ll have an easier time working with those clients. If you end up driving a lot of traffic to your site that is not targeted to your niche, you’ll spend a lot of manual time weeding people out, trying to talk people into your area of focus, or worse, you’ll end up doing mediocre work because it falls outside of your focus.
Key point: Stay focused.
One more key point: Use long tail keywords that drive TARGETED traffic. (check out my interview with Pye Jirsa of Lin & Jirsa Photography to see a great example of how to do this)