I'm Dolly — a Nashville based branding photographer for small business owners & a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & Dubsado. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
Here are 10 actionable steps I would recommend to any business owner who is wanting more of an online presence for their business:
If you haven’t done this step already now would be a great time to do so. Here is a helpful step by step instructional blog post with directions on how to do so HERE
This is a great step because you can ask your past clients/customers to leave reviews for you. Clients can also leave pictures (if you are a service-based business like a photographer, creative, videographer, etc.) so that other people could see your work. This leaves a know-like-trust factor for your brand.
Do you have a Facebook Business Page set up? Make sure that you have consistent profile pictures across the board (Facebook business page, Instagram page, to whatever platforms you are using).
Being consistent continues the know-like-trust factor AND it helps with brand recognition so if a visitor clicks from one platform to the next, there is no confusion.
I only bring this point up because one of your social media platforms MAY come up in a Google search (over your website) so it’s important to have consistency in branding across your platforms!
Interested in reading more about optimizing Pinterest for your business? Click here (or click in the image below)
Now is the best time to start blogging about & for your business (You all, blogging is NOT DEAD)
You do not need to blog every day (or even every week) start off small with blogging at least once a month or two times a month and create rich content that can create more of a like-know-and trust factor with your business.
Interested in learning how to best optimize your blog? Click on the link below for a free resource I have created to help small business owners with blogging!
Keywords in the following areas: Alt-text area of your image, in the metadata of your photos (before you import the photos), the header of the blog, the description of the blog, use the plugin YOAST to do a quick scan of your blog if you are a WordPress user, make sure your H1, H2 and H3 headers are used appropriately throughout the blog (here is a quick recap of what those three headers mean)
In your blog posts don’t forget to use those rich keywords which you want to point back to your business (example: I am a Nashville Family Photographer, Nashville Elopement Photographer, and a Nashville Branding Photographer so I try to use keywords that will point specific blog posts back to my business. This blog post is going to feature me as “Nashville Branding Photographer”)
Determine what platforms you are going to be using for your business and stick to a schedule.
Allow yourself to learn something new for social media that you can begin implementing in your social media schedule, but stick to a good social media schedule and don’t overwhelm yourself! Start with blogging, Instagram, and maybe Facebook?
You do not have to have fancy equipment or be Steven Speilburg for this step. If you are producing rich content for an audience, you should repurpose it not only in a blog format but in social media (IG, Facebook) and even on video (like IGTV or Youtube). You have a higher chance of reaching people through video format because at the bottom of your videos you can link back to your original blog post, you can link back to any important links which you want your audience to be aware of (again re-reading point No.2-make sure all of your platforms are consistent)
You can follow me on Youtube here! Note: I am not perfect at creating youtube videos, but I am wanting to show up and deliver good content which will help encourage and empower other business owners who are either starting new businesses or who just need some encouragement in content creation!
I bring up video only because if a person searches within Google for a topic that could pertain to your business, sometimes VIDEOS populate the search engine results too!
This may seem like an obvious step, but a lot of people surprisingly do not have a website set up and that stresses me out personally. As a business owner I think “how in the world do people find you if you don’t have a website” OR people may have a website but it hasn’t been updated in months or even years (I heard a great quote from Kaylan Thompson from “Joy to Lead” who stated, “No one in their right mind would show up to a professional networking event in their pajamas and think they are leaving a great professional first impression, so why do we treat our websites this way?”)
I am in no way, shape, or form trying to imply that you have to have THE MOST perfect website or else you are not business-ready, no that is NOT what I am stating. But I am stressing it is important to have an updated website which reflects your business, your services, and what you do. You want to attract your ideal client and let them know how you are going to help them solve a specific problem OR how you are going to answer a question they have that your business specifically solves.
If you are wanting to be taken seriously as a business, you should have an updated website that reflects the following:
-your services, who you are (about me section)
-a portfolio (services)
-your mission and a contact page (maybe even a reviews page that is linked back to your Google reviews)
-and a blog too (try not to have more than 7 menu options because you should not overwhelm your potential client)
Make sure Google Analytics is set up for your website for tracking purposes so that you can see where your visitors are coming in from and so you know what areas of your site are the most popular
Please note: you do NOT have to be a photographer (like me) to use Showit. Many other businesses have a website built by Showit and the reason why I love Showit is because of its ease to use and it’s an easy drag and drop feature (basically you don’t have to have a computer science degree to understand how to use it) It’s so easy, has fun templates. If you use my codes with Davey and Krista and Elizabeth McCravey you’ll get a discount too (make sure to use these links!)
You don’t need to have a Showit website, but do make sure whatever platform you do use, Squarespace, or Wix or whatever platform is easy to use and has an option for you to track your google analytics and track your analytics in general. That’s why I love Showit because I can track multiple analytics within that one platform and know where I am performing well.
Bonus: if you are a Showit user, you can also purchase the SEO Digital Grace Design course (which I have taken, and which I am grateful for because I think it’s the reason why I’m on the #1 page on Google for Family photographer in Nashville) If you use Code “DOLLY” you will receive $25 OFF of Sarah’s SEO Course TODAY! (click on the link HERE or click on the link in the picture below)
What do you do within your business and what problem does it solve for potential customers? Can you format that in a potential lead magnet? To read more about lead magnets click HERE
Lead magnets are a great way to grow your email list in addition to pointing people back to your website!
In addition, you can create lead magnets within your blog posts with rich and searchable KEYWORDS that will point search engines back to a specific blog post (again, another way to be found on Google)!
Now this point DEF pertains to industry creatives (photographers, videographers, any service-based business which can be featured on online publications + magazine publications to showcase work)
However, if you are not in a creative-based business another way to make your presence known is by buying ad space (many creatives do this on TheKnot, Wedding Wire, or other platforms) but if money is tighter, have you considered looking into Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads?
If you are a brick and mortar business (you have a physical business not just an online business) consider buying ads to advertise + consider having other people advertise for you (can you ask your friends and family to talk about you on Instagram, Facebook, social media platforms, can other people blog about you, think creatively “outside the traditional AD box” so that this can be “free” for you but you are still being featured in some way)
Working on your SEO is not an overnight project, it is an ongoing process. If you see a company that advertises that they will help you jump to #1 on Google overnight, do not fall for that gimmick. Working on your SEO takes time, patience, and persistence over time. Plus pair that with great word-of-mouth reviews and relationships built with other business owners and vendors over time your business WILL grow. Just give it time.
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business owner who educates on all things Pinterest, Dubsado, Lead Magnets & Email Marketing (aka pretty much all the fun automation stuff centered around those business systems)! Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography. She loves capturing the joy and emotion in both digital and film photos.
She also has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Pinterest, Dubsado, email marketing, and business systems with new creative business owners in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that even muggles can become automating wizards!
Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.
Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography LLC, please email her at email@example.com or fill out her contact form here.
Interested in learning how to best automate a part of your business to attract your ideal clients by creating a Lead Magnet and have NO clue where to start? I created this FREE PDF “The Lead Magnet Master List ” and if you click over here you can access it!
Or maybe you're not really sure how you'd use your new collection of branded images? Download my free planning guide to learn how to plan an elevated brand photography session to impact your business!