January 2, 2010

What’s In a Name?

We recently received a photography business question for the Photofocus podcast. Rather than answer it there, I decided to deal with it here on the Photofocus site. And I went to one of the best business guys I know for the answer. Skip Cohen, 17 years with Polaroid, ex-president of Hasselblad, ex-president of WPPI and Rangefinder Magazine drops by for a guest post here at Photofocus.

Question from Nick:

I tend to notice that most people that are pros in the industry have their company name as something like “John Smith Photography.”

Is it just merely preference between the name of their business having the word photography vs images?

I know its not really that big of a deal, but are there any pros or cons on having either name.

Skip Answers:

Dear Nick:

A great question, but the truth is, you first have to answer the question, “What’s in a name?”   We live in an instant fulfillment world and nobody is willing to spend very much time mining for the information they want the most.  Often your name is the first and only thing people are going to see.

As a professional photographer your target audience is the consumer and while all of us in the industry have accepted that photography has morphed into “Imaging”, the average consumer couldn’t be more basic – they just want some good pictures!  I’m a big fan of photographers who work something about “photography” or a derivative into their name.  The average consumer knows photography, they don’t use words like images or imaging.

But, there are other words and techniques to strengthen your name and get the most out of SEO.  For example, Carey Schumacher in San Diego is a children’s photographer and her business is called Barefoot Memories.  No mention of photography in her name, but she’s done an outstanding job to assign the right tag words and when you google topics related to children’s photography in San Diego she comes up on the first page of Google almost every time.

So, what’s in a name?  In my opinion, EVERYTHING!  And then there’s the question “What’s behind a name?” Even more!

This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

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