Tips for Moving Your Photography Business to a New Country

Moving your photography business to a new country is hard work. On top of navigating a different culture and finding new clients, you’re also fighting Google to even show up on their map. Stay a step ahead with these six tips for moving your business to a new country.

Do a Couple of Sessions While You Visit.

This tip works whether you’re moving abroad or across the state. You need content in your new location, so when you visit the area, make sure either have a photoshoot lined up or bring a model along with you so you can tag the location on social media and blog about it.

Make a new Google Business Profile to reflect your new country instead of changing your old profile’s service area.

Even though you can change your service area, Google Business will not allow you to update your physical location across countries. If you plan on ever owning a studio in your new country, instead of updating your service area, make a new Google Business Profile. Then you can message Google and let them know you’d like your reviews transferred over to the new Google Business Profile. (Note: Google won’t transfer your replies to reviews, so make sure to go back and respond to reviews again on your new profile.)

If you have updated your service area and now want to change your physical location because you are investing in a studio, you will need to change your service area back to what it was before you create a new Google Business Profile. If you do not do this, Google will think your new listing is a duplicate and immediately suspend your new profile and you will have to go through an appeals process.

Update the SEO on your website months in advance.

SEO takes time. Once you know the area of the new country you’re moving to, change your website to reflect your location. Make sure you immediately request Google re-index the pages you’ve changed, because it can take Google a while to do it on their own. You can do this from your Google Search Console.

Invest in a Keyword Research Tool that has Extensive Data for Your Target Country.

Before you buy a keyword research tool, make sure it has data in the area you’re moving to. If your keyword tracker doesn’t cover your new country, you may have to purchase a new subscription. When I moved to Amsterdam, I realized my keyword tracker has data on North America, Canada, Australia, China, and England, but not data specific to the Netherlands.

Research Keywords in the Target Language.

This one seems like a no brainer, but honestly who knows if Google is translating searches in your keyword tracker (they aren’t). Make sure to find out what the keywords are in your target language.

If English is widely understood in your new country, search terms may be mixed, containing both English and the new language. For example, in the Netherlands “baby fotograaf” is a common search term, but “kindje fotograaf” is not.

Additionally, if you’re moving to a city in your new country with immigrant populations, remember that some immigrant groups will Google Search in different languages. If you’re hoping to attract clients searching for “South Asian Wedding Photographer” in Germany, you need to know if those clients will be searching in Hindi, German, or English.

Become familiar with your new country’s data protection laws.

When I moved my photography business to Amsterdam, I had to scrap my intake form on my Showit website and replace it with an embedded Mailchimp form to be GDPR compliant. If you hope to have European clients at all (maybe you shoot international weddings), you need to be GDPR compliant as well. This means that clients must opt into your cookie policy the second they arrive on your website, and they themselves have to physically check the opt in box. Nothing can be pre-selected for them.

Additionally, clients must have a means of requesting their data be wiped from your system, and you must have a privacy policy outlining how to do this. If your head is spinning just thinking about foreign legal jargon, Termly has a privacy policy builder that’s GDPR compliant and free.

Work with Other Businesses in the Area.

When you’re moving your photography business, you’re basically starting a new business all over again. You have to be strategic. Another business who has the same ideal client as you do is a good connection to make. If you don’t have a studio yet, ask a local flower shop or jewelry store if they would rent out their shop to you for a mini session event.

Light and Airy Amsterdam Photographer Sim Sawyers

Sim Sawyers is a maternity, newborn, and family photographer living in Amsterdam, Netherlands with her husband and two boys.

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