Marketing w Social Media
So let's, talk a little bit more about marketing as it pertains to maintaining your presence online. Now I know that that might sound like a no brainer, like, of course, you're online, we're all in line, we're all online all the time, but more above and beyond being online all the time. It's really important to me that the way I am online is a very deliberate and very well thought out thing, so my presence online, I have my blawg, obviously we all have blog's it's, facebook and I'm not talking about my personal facebook. I'm talking about my business facebook account it's, the susan stripling business sand page, um, twitter and I'm also very active on instagram. I'm not google, plus er I'm not I does anybody do link down? I don't do link done if you do that's awesome, but I don't. It is very important for me to maintain each of these things, maintain them on a regular basis and maintain them very specifically. One of the things that I tried to tell my daughter who is almost thirteen ye...
ars old is that nothing that you do online ever goes away. Everything that you do online is online always and forever and could follow you for the rest of your life slash career. So I am very, very, very careful with who I am online and when I'm here and I'm talking to you if you go read my twitter feed, which I update myself and if you look at my facebook page in my business facebook page, which I do myself, I am pretty much myself online I'm just a very careful version of myself and the me that is sitting here talking to you right now this is me this isn't some persona that I invent when I come and I teach this is what I'm like in real life I'm maybe not as peppy might be a little more bitter definitely where we wear sweat pants that I'm wearing right now but I'm also very careful about what I talk about online I don't talk about politics that's not to say that I don't have extraordinarily strong political leanings or views but you're never going to know what they are because I don't think that that's important to how I run my business and whether or not I am religious you don't need to know what religion I am you don't need to know what god I worship or don't worship there are many photographers who put their faith into their business and it is it can be a beautiful thing when it is done beautifully but I strongly feel me personally just me that politics and religion are best left out of my business so while I might have unfriended you if you went completely deranged on the last election, you're never going to know who I voted for. I don't think that's important, so I choose to keep that out of my online persona well, I put pictures of my children on instagram I will that every single time I instagram a picture of my children I ask them first if it's okay, can I put this picture of you guys online? Do you mind I barely ever blawg my children and when I do I ask them I'm very careful about how I exposed them online because their lives are not mine and if I'm going teo put them out there, I want him to be okay with that and if they ever said mom, please stop instagramming me it's of course of course I will and I'm very careful with what I instagram and I'm very careful with what I post on facebook you will never, ever see a picture of me on instagram or on facebook in a bar holding a drink now maybe I'm a w p p I maybe we're all sitting around and it's been a long day in a long night and I'm having one glass of red wine you won't know that from a picture online, maybe I've had sixty two glasses of red wine maybe I'm behaving really badly I assure you that I'm not, but I'm very careful with what goes on line with my name on top of it, both personally and professionally, a lot of people feel otherwise, and that is perfectly fine, but the type of business that I run needs to be very true to the type of person that I am so that's what I'm comfortable with and all I'm trying to tell you you here is if you're going to go online and you're going to live a little bit of your life online so that your clients can feel like they get to know you, you need to be comfortable with the you that you put out there, and you need to be comfortable with the fact that if you put it out there, you can't take it back, so I actually said in my vows to my husband on our wedding day, I promise to never retweet without thinking because that is a fatal flaw of mine and something that I'm constantly trying to work on is how am I online all the time? So I don't care if you're twelve I don't care if you're fifty be conscious of the personality that you're putting out there and the things that you're putting out there for public consumption, what does your site say about you above and beyond? What your online president says about you? What does your website say about you and now if you've been with us since day one, you will have seen me talking through the mini, sometimes frightening it orations of my website before it got to where it is right now, but your website needs to say something about you and your business, and for some of you, that might be a no brainer. But when you don't have a website or when you have a generic website and you're looking to upgraded to a version two point, oh, twelve point oh, you need to have a very clear understanding of what your side is going to say about your business before you do any of that you need to establish your business identity. What do you want people to feel when they look at your website? What do you want people to feel when they look at your work? What emotional reaction are you trying to invoke in people that are looking at your images and your site online? What are you trying to say about your business to prospective clients when they see you online? If you don't have a very clear sense of what your identity is, your marketing and your branding is going to be not very clear either, and as I've talked to you about needing to hire a lawyer if you need one, an accountant, a financial advisor why would you hire anything other than a professional to create the storefront and the face of your business online? My very first websites, I did them myself. Of course I did them myself, I don't know what I was is doing, but when it was time for me to really take things seriously, I hired a professional, and then when it was time for me to take things even more seriously, I stepped up to a amore capable professional to execute the vision that I was trying to put out there for my business. So when you are looking for a professional toe work on your branding and to work on your website, you need to be prepared to wait. When I very first got started with infinite design, there was a six month wait to get started on a new website. I'm pretty sure I also waited nine months the last time I worked on my new website, and it was a weight that I was very, very, very willing to do because I knew that once we were able to work together, they were going to be able to do exactly what I wanted. And also it gave me nine months to prepare every single thing that I needed to give them so that they could get started and create what I needed. If you are going to hire someone to do your website or to do your branding or to do your marketing materials for you, the first thing that you need to do beyond establishing your business identity is you need to find out what inspires you and I'm not asking you to go to pinteresque and start just making a pinterest board that means absolutely nothing although I did make a pinter a sport and it was awesome I'm asking you to find what is inspirational to you and when I sent things out to my web designer saying I want my website to reflect that I am upscale, that I am elegant, that I am timeless and classic with an edge I needed to give them examples of what timeless and classic with an edge meant to me the very first thing I told them as I said, I want my business and my website to be chanel meets alexander mcqueen and these two lovely gentlemen from lancaster said what? Okay, we need to know what that means to you so I worked on gathering fabrics, pictures, colors, pictures of anything that invoked that response in me anything that I felt it showed classy, timeless with an edge I put into my folder of inspiration, so I was able to give that to them so that they knew what the words that I was saying really meant to me and what I am trying to do with my website with my branding with everything I have on line, is to elevate myself. I'm trying to take what my business is I'm trying to take what my work is, and I am trying to elevate it to a status so strong that you can look at it in a second online and know exactly what I'm about now. Beyond that, the one thing that I truly cannot accurately speak to you about is ceo that is something that I am continually learning. It is something I am continually struggling with it's something that I am continually seeking advice from professionals about if you are wanting to improve your ceo, I am not the person to teach that to you and I have no problems telling you. I don't know I can't do that. There are many people out there that can do that better than I you will not get a new ceo lesson from me. I am sorry, but if that something that you're trying to improve their are wonderful resource is out there for you to get help. Just be very careful in who you hire toe work on the ceo of your website or any of your information online there are fantastic. Scams and crooks out there so if you are going to hire someone, take your time and research, ask around, make sure you're working with someone who will be able to do exactly what you need. So we've talked about freeways to get your name out there. We've talked about ways to maximize your relationships with people now let's talk about paid listings, and this is a really somewhat controversial one, because you have to figure out the amount of money that you're going to spend on this listing that you're looking at. Will you be able to book enough weddings from it that will have made that expenditure worthwhile? And above and beyond that? Will you be able to get your name out there to enough people that even if they're not turning into direct bookings, are they turning into referrals? Are the paid listings getting your name in front of other vendors in your area? That's one thing to consider when I first went on june bug, when I first went on style me pretty eye was not on ly trying to reach brides, but I was also trying to get my name and for other front of other industry professionals that also looked at those websites, so to me ah paid listing is worth it if it translates into two things if it translates into direct the bookings from clients. And if it translates into vendors getting to know me, that might not have seen me before. Now I track all of this information. I definitely look at where every single person is booking me from. I have spreadsheets, and I have my shoe. Q data. We will talk about all of that data when we talk about managing your studio. But every single time a client hires me, I know how they found me. I do my best to know the trail of websites that led them to me or the vendor referral or the past client referral that led them to me. I want to know how they found me. And that way I can look back and I can say, oh, I got seventy five referrals from my style, me pretty listing. But only five people booked me or only one people booked me. One person booked me sorry, but then again, I can also look at some other listings and say, wow, I only got five referrals from that. But all five people booked me. So when you're tracking your bookings and you're looking at your paid listings you have to look at the enquiries and you have to look at the bookings, and then you have to find the numbers that are comfortable to you. There is no algorithm that I could get you that a paid listing is worth it if it gets you at least one hundred enquiries a year in six bookings, well, maybe, but also maybe not. Maybe it is super worth it for you if it gets you one booking, but its massive. So these are things that I can't teach you, that you have to find numbers that you're comfortable with yourself when we're talking about paid listings. I am listed on june bug weddings, which gets me both enquiries and bookings and vendors getting to know me. I enlisted also on style me pretty, it gets me more enquiries is in june, bug, but it gets me less bookings so that's an interesting bit of data have for a brief period of time, I was listed on brooklyn bride, and while it was getting me enquiries, it wasn't really getting the bookings, and I was able to really analyze those to see that the clients that were frequenting this blawg, paul, fantastic clients having fantastic weddings, they weren't a match for my style, they weren't a mesh for. The work that I was doing and the products that I was delivering so I ended up parting ways with that paid advertising not because I didn't like them, but because it wasn't reaching the people that were actually hiring me. I've taken out a listing on the un jersey bride, which is a really great kind of jersey based resource because it does get traffic, it does push clients that I want towards me and I think above and beyond those there isn't really thing any there really isn't anything else that I pay for online. I am listed in the online section of new york weddings magazine the reason why I'm listed there is because I have a full page ad with them. So when considering print advertising, I also have to consider what online component comes along with the print advertising and will that or will that not help me? So some of the paid listings are a gamble I could have done. All of my research in the world signed up for style me pretty only to realize that it was a total style in this match and got me nothing. So I have put money out there and I have paid for listings that got me absolutely nothing whatsoever, but sometimes you don't know unless you try it, but I also know that for example, being listed on the knot will do nothing for me it isn't reaching the type of clients that are hiring me, and I would have to spend so much money to be on the top of their listings for new york city that itjust isn't financially viable for the return that it would bring me so that's not something that I'm willing to consider. So do your research look and see where your competitors might be advertising. You know, if there's someone that you continually go up with for weddings over and over and over again, it is definitely worth seeing where they're listed and not only how our people finding you, but if that guy's your competition, how are they finding him? So do a little research on him or her and and see where they're listed in what advertising they're doing. It's just market research and it's just basic smarts. So today we've talked about how to get your name out there on the internet in ways that are free, whether paying for anything is absolutely worth it. How you need to consider your presence online, how to meet other professionals, both vendors and venues and photographers that will become friends and colleagues, and sources of referrals and inspiration for you. I hope that you have found this helpful thank you so much for being with us so far, we have so much more to cover. From mark, from booking your clients to taking care of your client's toe. Actually shooting the entire wedding and all the way through work flow. So we're really just getting started here. And we'll see you again soon.