Repeat Customers

 


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The answer to getting repeat visitors - who will turn into repeat customers - is to regularly keep new content coming to your site.

Your site is like a storefront window, and you want to make sure you have new, fresh products here all the time. Getting new photos uploaded, adding new content and periodically sweeping out the old, are great ways to make visitors come back often.

By adding fresh content, new images, and making sure your site always is as fresh as it can be, you are accomplishing something really good. You are making sure that visitors to your site can look forward to seeing new and different material. You are showing everyone your up-to-date work and that you have fresh photos to offer.

Each time you add new photographs to your site, you can send a short e-mail to a selected number of the specialized photo buyers on your contact list, and alert them that you have recently made changes to your site. Best to send e-mails like this only to those you feel will be genuinely interested in your site and photography. If you send too much too often to too many, you run the risk of being seen as a “Spammer. "

Personally, I have a list of some 50 photo buyers that I know are constantly looking for the kind of photos I make. These people get e-mail from me quite often with news about what I have to offer. I have another list of about 300 photo buyers that I know occasionally need my kind of images, and the people on this list get e-mail once every quarter or when I have made really major changes on my site.

In the “New" section of your website, put a few words about what images you will be producing in the near future. For instance when I know I will be photographing traffic police, I let my buyers know this. That way the buyers who are planning something involving images of traffic police will make a note to contact me. This also creates new work, and here's how: by sharing what I plan to do, it sometimes will spur my regular buyers to consider producing articles or other works on those same subject areas.

Offer a feedback form and/or contact form to make it easy for people to get in touch with you.

SPICE UP YOUR WEBSITE TO ATTRACT MORE VISITORS

If yours is not a “generalized" website attempting to appeal to the universe of photo buyers, you can take advantage of your specialization (nursing, aviation, wildflowers, astronomy, architecture, etc. ) by offering specialized information to your repeat visitors

Magazine and book publishers gravitate to websites that are useful to them specifically.

Provide “extras" for your visitors and you'll experience repeat visitors and customers.

Here are typical features you can include on your site. They're all free for the asking.

CALCULATOR. Engineers, architecture, farming, etc.
http://www.bankrate.com/coinfo/licensedCalc_intro.asp
www.csalculatro.com

WEATHER. Aviation, fishing industry, gardening,
www.accuweather.com/

MAP. Visitors can use special maps to find the geographic location of their photo need.
www.nemi.org/newsroom/Articles/Japan_paper. pdf ; www.lead-free.org

ASSOCIATIONS. Provide conference and convention dates of associations in fields your specialized clients would find of interest. www.ipl.org/div/aon/

GRANTS. Your visitors will want to know about government and corporate grants that they might qualify for.
www.grantsnet.org ;
www.nsf. gov/home/grants.htm

CURRENCY CONVERTER. Will your client be traveling to a foreign country? Here's a help feature for them.
www.xe.com

HISTORY. Provide specialized historical info ranging from technology history to crime history. Law enforcement, education, corporate, etc.
www.historychannel.com

FREE ITEMS. Several sites offer free items. In a major search engine, type in your specialization and the word FREE. Feature a useful free item each week.

DISCOUNTS. You'll find a range of discount websites ranging from travel to hotels, from senior citizen to dental discounts.
www.redtagdeals.com

STATS. And don't forget to assemble all of your website traffic stats, hits, visitor profiles and tracking into a monthly statistical report that will help guide you in the direction you want your website to go.
www.freestats.com/

SEARCH ENGINE. Visitors will want to search for specific subjects. You can offer a search engine.
www.atomz.com/

BULLETIN BOARD. Establish a moderated chat group where clients and photographers can discuss their specialized interest areas.
www.quicktopic.com/

GUESTBOOK. Keep a record of your visitors by offering a guest book where they can register and make comments.htmlgear. lycos.com/specs/book.html ;
www.dreambook.com/

And finally, for general information on how to add value to your website, check out
http://www.ehow.com/home/home. jsp.

Photojournalist Mikael Karlsson has 14 years’ experience of working for magazines and newspapers in more than 30 countries. He moved to the United States in 1998 from his native Sweden. He lives in Nebraska and is currently US correspondent for 11 Swedish magazines and a regular contributor to a wide variety of U. S. publications. Reach him at mike@photosource.com .

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