Guess what? You probably already have everything you need to take your photography business to the next level. No, seriously. You just need to learn how to use them!
Most of the photographers I know had access to these three types of traffic before they had any idea what they were doing.
But here’s the thing – by not taking advantage of this, you’re costing your business big time!
Check out these three types of traffic and what they mean for your photography business.
1. Paid Traffic
I hate to break it to you, but you need a paid strategy, especially if you own an established business and regularly receive referrals.
For every $1 you put in, you should get at least $1 back. I know, I know. If you’re not making money, what’s in it for you? A lot, actually.
Even if you’re breaking even on your paid traffic, it’s still traffic. You’re increasing exposure for your business, spreading brand awareness, and collecting data on your clients for future marketing strategies.
Ideally, however, you do want to make a profit from your paid traffic. For every $1 spent, aim for $10, or $30 (or more!). Keep in mind that if you’re earning $2 for every $1 you spend, you’re still making a significant return on your investment.
The better you relate with your clients and perfect your paid marketing strategy, the more you’ll pocket in the long run.
Thinking about using Facebook Ads as a paid marketing strategy? My 2020 Facebook Ads Guide For Photographers will tell you everything you need to know to get started.
2. Earned Traffic
Earned traffic includes SEO, social media, and partnerships. It could involve Facebook Lives, Instagram posts, or even promotions through client testimonials and model calls. Earned traffic relies on generating content to attract interested customers to your studio.
Find a balance between earned and paid traffic. Earned traffic requires time, while paid traffic requires money. If you have more time than money, focus on earned traffic. If you have more money than time, focus on paid traffic. With time and experience, you’ll find the right balance for your business.
3. Controlled Traffic
Are you paying attention to your controlled traffic? No? You’re not the only one! But get this – the traffic you control is the most essential type of traffic for expanding your business.
Your controlled traffic includes your social media following, email list, and text list. These are all platforms you actively and directly control – in other words, the list of leads you’ve already acquired.
If you’re not convinced yet, take this real-life example from a photographer I work with. Recently, she sent out a single email to her leads list and received 10 serious inquiries from prospective clients within days. If you connect more closely with your current followers, you’ll see the same results – or better.
Your controlled traffic is a force multiplier. The more you utilize it, the more it grows, which in turn grows your business.
You can finesse a great return from your paid traffic. You can generate leads from your earned traffic. But if you’re not regularly reaching out to your prospective clients, you’re missing out on your biggest business opportunity.
You control this traffic. You don’t have to deal with Facebook’s changing algorithms or page restrictions. You don’t have to worry about your group getting shut down. Your controlled traffic is full of people who are interested in your work but still need that little extra push to book with you. Controlled traffic earns the majority of your conversions.
The Hard Truth
You don’t trigger conversions just because your studio happens to exist and your name is out there somewhere. You trigger conversions by moving prospective clients through your sales funnel.
Maybe you’ll only book 2 or 3 of the 2,000 who notice you on a social media platform, but your leads list has limitless potential.
Your future clients need to connect with you and your studio before they’ll even consider investing in you. They might need to read more blogs, receive more emails, or view more samples of your work. Over time, those same 2,000 users who saw you on social media could be worth 45 bookings.
It won’t happen instantly. It might take weeks, or even months before you start seeing that kind of traffic. Ultimately, however, you’ll discover that your controlled traffic is the most effective form of traffic you use.
Focus on all three types of traffic to boost your business. To move leads through your sales funnel, make use of your paid and earned traffic, but pay special attention to the traffic you control.
You’ve already done the work. Now, make a killing out of it!
For more insight into how to improve your business, join my exclusive Facebook Group, The Higher Rollers Club. It’s time to level up.
Humberto Garcia is the world’s leading photography business growth expert.
Founder of Photography to Profits and high-performance coach to multiple 6-figure photography businesses. Humberto coaches photographers from his special operations military experience and photography sales and marketing experience. After years of high performance in Marine Special Operations and building businesses, he knows what works.