This is the emailed Advertising Advice that we sent recently to a one man freelance business. He's a photographer.
What I don't seem to find on your site is "me".
- I am just a guy that doesn't know much about art and I need to buy the services of a photographer to help me get something done.
- I am the mother of a lovely daughter and she is about to: get married, graduate, join a facial tattoo coven, Quinceanera, Bat Mitzvah, shave her head.
- I am a web designer and to I want license some very unique images for a local business's website.
- I am an agency designer and to I want license some very unique images for a national campaign.
- I want to buy one of your pictures for my office.
Don't wait for clients to inject themselves into your business. Tell them (and show them) that you have made your business for their situation. Show me "me" in your business. What can I buy from you? Be specific. Ad messages need to attract, inform, sell. You have the attract down pat, but you don't inform about business, so it's hard to sell.
Do yourself a favor and forget the word marketing. Just advertise. Advertising is two things: message and placement. Everything that you say and show on your site is message. Everything that gets your site found is placement. In the 21st century, placement = Google. This year, there are no other placements.
Secondary Marketing is when someone is holding your business card in their hand decides to go to the web address printed on it.
Primary Marketing is that people find your site with Google, visit and then buy something.
To use your site as secondary marketing, you have to spend a lot of time getting yourself into crowded rooms with your product on the wall and a continuous supply of business cards right next to the frame.
As primary marketing, websites work with Google in one of two ways. You pay for clicks using Adwords -or- they give you visitors through the organic search results. Either way for your business category is likely to cost cash money, not just time. Adwords is easy, you just sign up and start working on matching your placements and messages. The organic search results (the free clicks) come through SEO* work.
Tip 1. Even if you are a home based studio, add your business to Google's Local Business Center. It's free. Then, modify your contact page and tell people that you work from home and tell them that they may not drop in. What you get from this is a placement on the Google Maps listings. Don't do this until you've corrected your pages to show me "me" in your business. Except for that one business directory, avoid internet directories and yellow pages like the plague. Other directories hurt you because in the online world they appear ABOVE YOU in the search results. Do not list with online directories--only Google's Local Business Center.