my360partners.com

Google Maps Tips for Photographers

Posted on 05-09-2022
Google Maps has been around since 1998, but there are still so many options you can use Google Map to your advantage, here's 6 tips for photographers to make the most of their Google Maps contributions!

1. You no longer need to be a trusted photographer!

Anyone can now publish their virtual tours to Google Maps as long as they have uploaded at least 50 images to Google Street View and Maps. 
This can be images of businesses but also of interesting sights and nature reserves or fun facts. 
Once you have uploaded your 50 images you automatically become a "Local guide" and you can start making 360º photography for Google Maps for your business!

2. You should NEVER say you "work for Google"

Photographers that pretend to "work for Google" may be in for a shock when one day they find their account and all its images are gone! Why? Google does not like it when you tell people you work for Google. You don't work for Google, you are a contributor to their platform, and you can do so for FREE. 
You CAN however use the Google name in a different way. For example: 

"I am making 360º image that I put on Google Street View for you"
"Today I am shooting images to add to Google Maps, would you like to be included in the shoot?"
"I am a Google Local Guide and we're just in the area to shoot some images that we can connect to Google Street View - are you interested to show on Google Maps with your business too?"

So you see, there's different ways to use the trusted "Google" name to your advantage without actually saying that you are in any way shape or form employed by the tech giant. 

3. You can not use the Google Logo

Previously, with the Google Trusted Program, you could use the Google Trusted Logo on your printed materials to get more trust from your clients this way. Those days are long over, but Google has released a "Local guide" logo that you can use. You can make stickets to add to your equipment or add them to a polo shirt, but be careful you do not change the logo in any way or make the Local Guise logo bigger than your own logo. 
Google is very specific in saying that YOUR logo needs to be the one that is on the forefront of all your marketing materials, and the Google Local guide logo should never be the thing people see first. 

4. You can use the Street View App for free

If you are just starting off with no budget you can try to work with the Street View App which you can donwnload for free from the app / android stores. However, this app has many faults and is not really actively maintained by Google so chances are your work gets stuck / lost / deleted at any given time and there's no support contact where you can ask fro help. 
Instead, most photographers use moderators such as My360 to do the work for them. Not only will My360 add the tours to Google Maps for you, they will do so under your name and up to 4 images it is totally free! 
If you are a PRO Partner of the My360 network in fact, the uploading of images is 100% free no matter how many you upload! 

It's the easiest way, because you know you don't have to deal with the constant system upgrades at Google, the issues, errors and faults that lie within the system are all taken care of by the team at My360 and you can simply focus on your sales. 

5. Don't charge a fortune for your virtual tours

Adding virtual tours to Google Maps used to be hard work - the cameras were harder to work with and took longer to make the images. You had to do a lot of post-production, editing the images, stitching the images, removing any errors. 
These days with the instant 360 cameras such as the Ricoh Theta or Insta360 cameras, those are issues from the past! The cameras are fast - there's no stitching invlved and if you are the lucky owner of a Ricoh Theta Z1 with built in HDR, the editing of the images can be minimal. 
So your price label should reflect this too! Gone are the days you can charge 100's of $$$ for a simple 6 shot virtual tour. If it took you less than 30 minutes to shoot and build, then you should charge accordingly! 
This way, you will have more clients, happy clients and you will see it takes less efford to "close" your leads. 

6. Offer extra services

One thing we learned over the years as 360º photographers is that there is a lot more business out there that you can offer to your clients. Once you have gained their trust with the 360º images and adding them to Google Maps, they will be more likely to give you other online work such as web design, offline printed design, social media management and setup or simply setting up their Google My Business account for them! 
All these services should be included in yout portfolio of services, even if you don't know how to actually do them (yet). 
A My360 partner gets full support from the My360 team, this means you can offer all these services and more to your clients and you have to do absolutely nothing for them! Our team will build that website, buy the domain, look after hosting, design the artwork, logos or videos and you can sell it as your own! 
This way, many of our partners have already increased their income 3 to 4 fold, and with these services, they are recurring each year, so you know over time you will get a steady income stream from the renewals!