You call your studio, Nardi Photography, a “niche portrait studio for high school seniors.” Beyond creating a premium experience and product for your clients, what have you done to build and differentiate the Nardi Photography brand or carve out the niche you sought in your market?
The clients I target and build my marketing around are early adopters of both fashion styles, technology and they’re leaders in their peer groups. Seniors are very savvy with technology so creating products and marketing that are relevant in those areas is extremely important if you want to stand out in your market.
Technology has turned traditional marketing upside down for the high school market. Many of the most popular fashion brands have been using behind the scenes type videos in their marketing. This year we have started using video to capture clips during sessions and then mix those in with images to create a video. They are added to all of our online sites – Facebook, blog, website, and Youtube. Animoto has made this process unbelievably easy and efficient.
You’re active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and your own blog. Any tips for managing an active social media presence more efficiently or effectively?
Have a plan and a set time at least a couple times a week that’s dedicated to social media. Put the most time into the ones that work best, which for most high school senior studios is Facebook. Hootsuite is a great tool for managing social media, both Facebook and Twitter.
We noticed you’ve even added Facebook’s “Like” button Social Plugin on your own website. If a studio is comfortable maintaining their Facebook profile and pages what is the next step to take? Facebook ads? Twitter? Making your site more social? Mobile?
Reach out most to fans of your Facebook Page. Fans of your page are more likely to purchase from you, so spend your time connecting with them and making it easy for them to share with their friends. Same with your website and blog – make it easy to share your content.
And again, make sure you are keeping your content fresh on facebook…post images.
You’ve recently begun using WordPress, a blogging platform, for your website. How does this compare to site solutions tailored to photographers?
WordPress is by far the most flexible compared with others, especially the flash based sites. It has made keeping up with social media much for efficient. There is a lot more functionality available with a WordPress site, like sharing and social plugins. The website, blog, Facebook Page, Twitter and Youtube all work together seamlessly. Adding video is much easier with WordPress. It’s also very important for me to have a website that’s mobile compatible and that includes being able to videos. High School Seniors have their phones with them all the time, and being able to access my website from them gives it more buzz potential.
While many flash based solutions offer an additional iPhone site along with a flash one, those solutions still lacked the features I wanted.
Now let’s talk video. You’re a fairly recent adopter of Animoto but you’ve already found a great way to add the videos to your website. What has the reaction been from your seniors to Animoto? How are you including the videos in your packages?
My clients LOVE the Animoto videos! Animoto has also been a fabulous buzz tool. We use the videos as a bonus incentive with higher orders and packages. The high resolution dvds are packaged in custom tins. Another spending incentive we use is personalized flashdrives with Facebook size images and a high def version of their Animoto video. They can share it online or add it to their mobile devices. The videos look awesome on iPhones and iPod touches.
You’re shooting video in addition to stills for your Animoto videos. Are you using your VDSLR or a separate video camera and how does this affect the shoot?
I use a Flip Video HD during the sessions. Sometimes I’ll do the video myself, a couple times I’ve had the clients friend or parent do it. Adding a little video during the sessions really adds to the experience.
For more on social media and creating video for your professional photography business, check out our Social Media Marketing Guide, or see how other pro photographers are using video for their business.