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How one Aussie business is re-evaluating and refreshing for EOY

Leading into end-of-year, Sydney photographer Orlando Sydney is tracking data to anticipate booking trends and plan resourcing, and keen to reap the benefits of a year spent building a new customer base.

At a glance

Here’s a snapshot of the advice from our interviewee:

  • Website content and SEO can be a powerful tool for making your business more discoverable.
  • Being a specialist is good, but don’t let it stop you from missing out on other opportunities.
  • The personal touch can count for a lot especially in uncertain times.

Orlando’s business was coming off the back of a successful year when Sydney’s first lockdown hit and suddenly the demand for his niche – commercial photography – disappeared.

“I had to think long and hard about my approach,” Orlando remembers. “What could I do differently? Where might new opportunities be discovered?”

Orlando started by joining business chambers and industry associations to build his network of connections, and to offer support where he could over the tough months of lockdown.

Orlando also embarked on a content creation campaign, using search engine optimisation (SEO) to boost traffic to his website, in combination with expanding the services his company offered.

“My niche is business events,” he explains. “But I could see it was time to broaden out and think about what else I could offer, still within the B2B market.”

Building a new customer base

To prepare his business to ramp up with new customer bases once lockdown restrictions lifted, Orlando started building awareness of his services in new audiences, creating and publishing content about ecommerce product photography, and interiors and architecture photography. It was a savvy move given ecommerce businesses were also ramping up over lockdown.

“I started getting enquiries about product photography within a couple of weeks – it happened very quickly.”

Tracking data to plan for end of year

This year, Orlando tripled traffic to his website, publishing more than 40,000 words of helpful content. And, as a keen observer of his analytics, he was able to see when customer interest switched from information-based articles to service-based content and prepare accordingly for bookings.

“We are seeing encouraging signs from early November’s Melbourne Cup onwards,” he says. “As the entertainment and hospitality industries fill their order books, New Year’s Eve could bring in additional bookings.”

While the end of the year is not traditionally a busy time for business photography, Orlando is anticipating his more diverse offering could mean a surge in corporate portraits and milestone event photography, such as 50th birthdays and anniversaries. He expects business events will then pick up again from February and power ahead to EOFY.

But Orlando isn’t making any assumptions.

“Thinking that 2022 will be as good as 2019 is a big gamble,” he says.

So he’s complementing his dedicated content and SEO push with PR, business interviews and knowledge-sharing opportunities on other websites to help his business be found.

Orlando Sydney

Photographers, Orlando Sydney and Brooke

Making it personal to make an impact

When it comes to other marketing strategies, Orlando Sydney describes himself as ‘old-fashioned’. He’d rather send a personal email or pick up the phone than use social media. A one-on-one phone call, he says, can make a real impact especially in such uncertain times.

“I’d rather spend time developing those relationships with customers than trying to stay on top of social media,” he says.

So he’s making plans to resource his social media management once he’s laid down the foundations and his business picks back up.

“I might look at outsourcing social media to a virtual assistant,” he says. “We have so much content on the website to use now that it would be easy to take one of those topics and amplify it on Instagram or Facebook with some of our images.”

Balance niche and narrow

His tip to other small businesses owners preparing for end-of-year post-lockdown, and whatever other challenges may be in store?

“Don’t limit yourself too much. You can still be a specialist in one area but find ways to capture a larger audience. It’s all about how you present your business. If you present as too niche, you might be cutting off potential opportunities.”

Need flexible access to funds to ramp up a marketing campaign for end of year opportunities? See how a Prospa Small Business Loan could help. Apply now.

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