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Case Studies

Lesson 16 from: Building Your Online Marketing Machine for Photographers

Lindsay Adler, Robert Gordon

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Lesson Info

16. Case Studies

Next Lesson: Final Thoughts

Lesson Info

Case Studies

All right, so we're going to take a look at some case studies, and I'm excited about these because we're going to show you room for improvement, so you can be like, "Oh yeah, I do that and I need to fix that," or, "Oh yeah, that's what she's talking about. "I see it coming together." So, that's what we're hoping to get, those light bulbs. So, we are going to start with Geek Photog. Hi, okay. (audience laughing) So, we are going to talk about her site, and talk about what she's doing right or wrong. So, the idea here that we thought was super compelling is that she's a geek and likes to photograph geeky things for other people that are also geeky because she's part of the tribe. And when I say geeky, just really cool, funky things. I saw an engagement session or a bridal session with light sabers, and then I saw people as Stormtroopers. Fun, playful things, and I thought that was an amazing niche, an amazing focus. I think that was fantastic, but when I came to her site first of all it ...

was flash. So, tell why flash is bad. I'm sure everybody online and in the room has heard that you shouldn't be using flash these days for our websites. It's just not good for SEO, and I don't think that anybody, any modern website developers or organizations are using flash anymore. So, usually this is something that might be even as little as two or three years old, but it's moved more towards things that aren't flash related. You're very rarely going to see flash website. It's not mobile responsive, first of all, flash. So, that's one of your biggest no-no's. If you're running on a site that's a little older it's time to upgrade. All right, so I get to your page, and I love this concept and this idea, and I get there and you've got three seconds to tell me what you're all about, and I wouldn't have gotten that if that's your niche and that's your specialty 'cause I don't see anything super geeky. And, I'd love to because I'm gonna remember you. I'm gonna be like, "Oh, that's super cool," even if not everything you do, it's not like everything you need to do needs to be that, but I'd love to see it right away. And, the other thing that I get confused by is I'm like, "Okay, commercial and editorial." How's that gonna work? So, basically what you need to do is you need to figure out with your niche how do you unify your brand message and have everything hammering down to what's this girl all about? What's this photographer all about? What is the specialty? 'Cause then I'll actually remember you. Good? Yeah. Okay. One of the things that we also thought that was confusing was each one of these links opened up someplace different, so when we opened up commercial and editorial it did a separate site, and then you open up to wedding portrait and it was a different site, and then you click on blog it's a different site. Each one of these is hosted completely differently. They're not unified. And, this happens sometimes because you might have had a blog on Blogspot, or you started a blog a real long time ago, and then you upgraded your website, so your stuff's all over the place. And, you can migrate that right? Yeah, you can migrate it, but the issue is to is the user experience is interrupted. We talk about unifying your brand. I've probably looked at 200 websites in the last couple of weeks, and there's a handful where it completely looks different. Is this a different person? Where am I looking at, you know? So, here's another thing you did brilliantly that I absolutely loved is when I went to the about me section. It's because I got so much personality from you. If you're reading her description. "I love to capture geeky, creative, off beat "weddings, portraits, and editorial. "I love a good DIY wedding with geek elements." I get to know you, and I'm gonna say, "Yeah, you're part of my tribe. "You're part of my community. "You are someone I want to hire me." So many other people just say, "I've been doing this for 20 years." I don't know you, and so I love that. Also, this video that she did that explains what she's passionate about, what she's driven to capture I feel like I know you already, so this was super successful, and it was a good use of an about me page where you actually wrote about yourself. Most people are just like, "Wedding photographer in Seattle." Yeah, sometimes we all know it's hard to write about ourselves, but this really niches down, and this really explains and sells yourself. And, a video is a great example. We saw that on another photographer's website where it explains what you're gonna get that day, and he's just sitting in chair talking about what your day's about. And, it was like you could hear it from him, so you get his vibe. The next thing, are you a writer? No, okay. She says she's not. What you did really well that many photographers don't is this was a lead in to a blog post that just has a whole bunch of photos after it, but she wrote something. And, you can see there were some good, relevant keywords in there and its content, so this was her blog, but it wasn't just like, "This was," what are their names? Pattie and Matt. Oh yeah, Pattie and Matt. This is Pattie and Matt's shoot. There's storytelling, and it's engaging, and it's good content. So, that's what I see many photographers not do, so that was really good. We talk, like I just said, unifying a brand. This was completely different than the last site, so you don't want to take people in a different direction unless it's your whole commercial site is completely different. This is just disjointed a little bit. And, just to give you a checklist here's what we thought worked well. You really focused and got that specialty that I'm gonna remember you for. You got the personality, and you're connecting. This whole brand cohesion and site ease-of-use, that's what I would improve upon. Well, first of all the flash thing too, but you want to work on your email collection. You've got a lot of good stuff you can eventually do for content upgrades. You share the same passions as your target audience, so this should be easy for you 'cause you write about or share what you would want to know or what you think they want to know 'cause you are one of them. So, it's not like you're targeting somebody that you're not familiar with what their interests and passions would be. I put this in the middle. You did really good writing your blog and keywords. There's more that could be done, but it was a good start on that, so technically you should write even more, but it was really good what you had, so don't feel pressured on that one. All right, so that was case study number one. And of course, like we said, we'll answer more questions later if you have 'em. I'm leaving Robert here forever. (audience laughing) Bother him as much as you want. Okay. Marlen James? I'm gonna say Marlen James. Okay so Marlen, taking a look at her site. This is what her site looks like. Primarily she focuses and specializes in boudoir, but also has a couple of other focuses as well. So, here are the things that she did really well and need some improvement upon. So, one of the things we're gonna take a look at is holy crap, her resource and content is amazing. This is what I'm talking about. You'll see it and go, "Oh yeah no, someone's really doing that." She wasn't just saying to do it. I promise, it's a real thing. Personality, I totally know what she's all about by the way that she writes. Her voice is geared towards her audience, you know who she is, you know what the experience would be like if you hired her, and then she also is really good at integrating her keywords 'cause she using it throughout the site. Room for improvement, there was nothing to opt-in for email really. There was a newsletter thing, but there's no opt-in content. She's got a lot of great resources, but doesn't update regularly, and actually it helps your SEO to update regularly, so that's a consideration. Facebook and Instagram, there was a lot of room for improvement there as far as regularity and having it be consistent. The cohesive message, you'll see why it was a little confusing, but let me show you what she did awesome. Okay, so this her about me page. What to wear, checklist, how to prepare for your session, and then she's talking about what it's like to hire her. Someone's gonna go there, and they're gonna feel like they know what they'd get when they hire her, so we thought that that was really effective, and it's good content 'cause each one of those pages has keywords, and it's a resource, and it's shareable, so that was great. Next. This is her blog. It was Boudoir Photographer for Couples, then it was Holiday Family Portrait Tips, and then it was Types of Boudoir Photography, so figuring out which type is right for you. Turn Your Photos Into Artwork, showing you how to do that. The next one was Three Reasons Not to Have a Boudoir Session. It was a lot of tips for your boudoir session. It was great resources. Over here it says How To Do Your Own Boudoir Shoot With An iPhone. That was one of her more popular posts. It's useful to her target audience. Another one is How To Pose Sexy Standing Up. Okay. If someone wants to hire for a boudoir shoot that makes sense, and then also a summary of Valentine's Day boudoir shoots. All relevant, all good content, great for driving traffic, great for SEO, great for relevancy. As an aside, if you see that bar at the top, that pink bar, that's ane example of, we had said earlier, another opt-in form. There's a service called Hello Bar which is free. OptinMonster has something like that, and it's a little bit of a less obtrusive way. It still stands out, but you also want to make sure you tailor your offer. You said, "Subscribe to our newsletter for latest updates." It's like, well what kind of updates? You might like the information in the blog that is compelling enough for, "Okay, I'm gonna subscribe to this. "She's got some good information. "I'm interested in boudoir shoots, so I'm gonna subscribe." But, you could put your content upgrade offer in there, you can put something that's more tailored to what you want them to actually do. But, here's what she wants to be careful of. Okay, sign me up for more information. Are you boudoir, or are you family portraits? Yeah, you also don't know where your audience is either. Yeah, so it wasn't triggered by anything, so you can't segment that audience, and also the fact that she's got both. I know as a photographer, especially when I was small town, I did shoot everything, but the message looks really confusing for me to have boudoir and family side by side over and over again. You would want to separate those out or something. It's separating how I feel about your brand. Let's go back to what she's doing well. Remember all that content that I said that she created? She's also the one that did this with over 100,000 shares, so she knows her content. She knows what is useful to her target audience which is fantastic for driving traffic, so on and so forth. All right, taking a look at this here. This is what when you have the a href when you can log in the backend and see how sites are performing or your site, so what is this saying? So, basically this is one of the SEO power tools we talked about earlier. We just put in her website, or let's say we do it ourselves, our own website. You see what you're ranking for which is awesome. I'm ranking for boudoir photographer in Toronto. My position is number four on Google. That's good to know. You could Google these terms to see where you are, but this takes all of the headache out of it. Or, boudoir photos in Toronto, I'm number seven. Okay, that's interesting. The keyword volume we talked about earlier, it's not a lot of searches, 20 a month, but let's say you get 10 of those. You rank for 10 of those on the first page of Google. She's got three keywords that rank on the first page of Google. Marlen's Photography. I mean, you're gonna want to rank for yourself. If not, then you got an issue. (audience laughing) That's another thing. If you Google yourself and you don't come up, there's probably a problem. You should be first unless you're on Wedding Wire or something. There's another Lindsay Adler. I feel bad. We've been mastering this. That's a whole other story. (audience laughing) It's true, though. Yeah, so this basically just shows you some good keywords of what you are ranking for. It uncovered some stuff for us. We're like, "Oh okay, this is some good information. "We can go after certain keywords." And, then you learn from this, and you can create. You think, "If I'm not already ranking for this, "what's the use?" The use is you can create more content based in it, or you can maybe target and put some more information on that page that's related to boudoir photographers in Toronto. Talk more about it. Talk about places to shoot in Toronto. There's a lot. You could rank even more if you can get up to the number one position by doing that. It's little changes. And, looking at this. This is not about whether she did good or bad, it's was she trying to get these words, or how is she leveraging it? That's what you're trying to analyze for your own site, and this is going back to something that we would improve. When you go to her photography options it's boudoir, pinup, family photographer, couples, glamour, dudedoir, head shots, marathons. Yeah, there's a lot. What's making you money, and what do you want to make you money? Really pare it down 'cause otherwise you're segmenting your audience, but in a bad way. You're pulling them different directions, and they don't understand what your brand is about. So, you've got three seconds. Instantly, what's this person all about? So, I would recommend that as well. So, doing some really good things. That content is fantastic, really like that. Okay. This is the case study that I mentioned a bajillion times. That's Holly with the pink hair in the back. So good, so good. I mentioned this over and over and over again. This individual focuses on cosplay photography and travels the country, right? You travel all over the place. I thought that was pretty fantastic. That's a good life too, I like it. Her work is phenomenal. Yeah, the work is great which I'll also say having good work does not hurt you, okay? It definitely helps in all of this, increases shareability, but anyways so here's what she's doing great, and we're gonna take a look at this. Man, yeah. The resource content, you get this. It was fantastic. She's got content that is applicable to her niche audience, and of course she's really niched down. I wouldn't have that there would be a cosplay. I didn't even think about it, and it's such a great niche 'cause that's a very specific community, and she's got a real cohesive message. You go to her site, you know what she's about, you get an idea about the brand immediately, and there's a ton of content there. Now, I put these room to improve things because you had the hard ones mastered. That's the hard stuff. These things will be easier to integrate. For example, she travels. And, some of these may or may not be correct. You can always let me know if I was looking at something, and it wasn't right, but for example she travels all around the country, right? There is one place I think where you can join an email list, but most of it says, "Hey, email me if I'm coming to your area," kind of thing. When people look at her social media it's a lot of, "I'm coming to this city, "I'm coming to this city." You know how many people see on Facebook? They don't. I'm not going to be aware if you're coming to my area, so I wouldn't know to hire you. When you've got that opt-in to say, "I want to know when your photography business "is coming to my area," gathering those emails and being able to nurture that a little bit more. So, email gathering, the opt-ins. You wouldn't have to put on Facebook, "I'm coming to your area" so often if you were able to encourage people more to join an email list 'cause then you handle it there, and you can also tag them based on where they are. Is there geolocation for when they opt in to email? Depending on your email service provider, yes. The one that we use we are able to target that, but you could also ask that information too. If, for example, you had a workshops page of where you're traveling in the country or you're doing a workshop or whatever you're doing, you can just straight up ask, "What area are you from?" They can tag it. And, do it that way, and you can tag them in a certain area. And, that way you're not spraying and praying as we said. You're sending out, "I'm coming to town," and they're like, "I don't care about that, unsubscribe," but to the people who do care about it they're gonna open it like, "Oh, she's coming to town. "I can't wait." That's why I was hesitant. We are working on email gathering. Do you do segmentation at all, or is it you're just sending the same message to everybody? No, we haven't started it yet. We did do MailChimp, or we're starting it, but I was concerned because I didn't want to be like, "Hey, I'm coming to New York," to people who live in Texas 'cause they don't want to see that. MailChimp does have geo stuff, so yeah, you can do that. Yeah, and I think that'll be a really good thing from taking it from someone who's a lead into making money. That's how you can close it 'cause otherwise there's so many people that are missing when you're actually in their area. Also, you've got a ton of content. I didn't go back too far, but it gets published once or twice. You can keep popping it up repeatedly on your social feeds because it's evergreen. It doesn't get old, and it's always relevant to your target audience. A lot of the images don't have or don't have the ideal alt-tags. So, I would go back and check that 'cause man, yours is super searchable and really cool. 'Cause you're gonna be the one that comes up for these things. Back links. We looked, and you had very very very few people linking to you, and I'm sure there's lots of big There's opportunity, yeah. cosplay communities online that you could be more active in getting links to 'cause it helps with your search engine results, but also just driving traffic. We didn't see using a Pinterest, or we didn't see it super robust. So, let's just take a look. So, this is her specialty. I just think it's so cool. I think it's awesome. So, you get what she's about right away, brand message, all of that. This is when I go over to the tutorials section, and it is not just about photography. It's also what would be of interest to the target audience? This is what I'm talking about 'cause they're gonna share it, they're gonna engage with it, it's going to be interesting. They're writing about it. There's that gun thing that I was talking about. How to paint shoes. She's becoming a resource by doing this, and after people do this it's like, "Well, now I need a photographer." Related to that, producing content. I think it was a good choice to put some of these things on YouTube because that audience is probably going to be very engaged on YouTube. And so, the one, there was one down here. The Posing 101 For Cosplayers has nearly 200,000 views, and that's sending the target audience now. These people can be all over the world and all over the United States, so if she can find a way to capture those and then tag them then those are all potential people that she can reach out to and leverage. What is this one? We were just talking about how... Oh, the writing. Yeah, how you didn't have a lot of text. And, we had talked about that. You're aware of it, but there's so much story that can go behind these shoots, and even talking, we talked about sourcing, user-generated content, asking them, "What was your inspiration behind this? "What did you want to do?" And, then putting all that on there. That's great for SEO, it's great for keywords, it's great for other people reading about it, and then they're gonna want to stay on your site longer. When there's no text an even though there's just images people will read that if you do a couple of more paragraphs worth of text. But, then also when they're reading it and a user wrote it, and they can see the type of people that are hiring you they're seeing, "Oh yeah, that's my people" again. That's my tribe, that's my people. But yeah, have your customers do the work. Give them a form, prompt them. Why'd you choose that? Tell me your favorite part, favorite photo, the favorite moment. And that, you can also use continuously in social media. Choose your favorite photo from the shoot and explain why. It gives you content to do this over and over again. And, you said you had started to collect emails. She had one of the things that said, "Let us know if you want us to send a holiday card." I thought that was really cute. I don't know if you put that into your email list, but it was a good idea. Okay, good. Yeah, I thought that was good. One of the rooms for improvement, again the one on the left, you didn't write anything. I want to hear about that girl 'cause I'm gonna relate to her if she said something about the experience or why she chose that character. It's just like here it is. Just give me a little bit more. It also looks automated, no personality because it's just that. And, then this is what I was saying, the one on the right, there are a lot of posts like that, area related, but I think it would help if you could capture their emails to not have to do it as much. Also the meta data. If you see here, it says 50% your payment and everything, and then it trails off. That's not a great description for sharing something. Some people just forget to fill it out, and they're just sharing it from their own page because maybe you didn't fill out your meta information or your page information, but we talked about this is almost equivalent to a website on Facebook. You have your title tag, you have your page description. People look at this first, then they look at this, then they look at this. I mean, they look at that too, but they're always gonna look at the image and the compelling headline, and then another reason to click, so you want to make sure that this is all good calls to action. When you have something in there that says 50% payment blah blah blah, they're not ready to buy yet. Or, maybe they are if you're doing a targeted area. I don't need to know about Paypal in the description. Yeah, and that could just be an oversight. I'm sure you didn't do that on purpose, but even if you did then you know it's something that you want to write something a little more descriptive. This is where we were like, "Oh man." You've got such shareable content. This is in the a href where it analyzes. It says you only have 82 back links. Which is not bad. It's not bad, but you could get so much more especially with the quality of your work, so I would make that en effort. Where can you get people to share and link back to you? It'll help in everything. And, that's a huge community. You could have conventions. They have comic cons and things like that linking to you. Imagine getting a link from comic con. Your site would rank number one for cosplay photographer. And, for everything. That's a good opportunity. Yeah, so I've make a target list and focus on that. This is the organic keywords that you rank for and we were looking, and the interesting opportunity is you rank for cosplay contacts which gets 5,200 searches give or take a month. Crazy! And, I don't know if you meant to rank for that, but it's how to safely buy and wear cosplay contacts and circle lenses. So, you're number eight. She's on the first page of Google for a phrase that's not a local phrase. That's a worldwide phrase. Yeah, that's a worldwide phrase, so cosplay contacts. You might not sell them or do anything, but it's another resource. It's another great thing. But, you could also have a pop up, an opt-in, that's relevant to that post on that page 'cause you're getting traffic there, and you didn't realize you were, so is there a way for people who are interested in that that might be interested in photography to capture them? Yeah, and there's another one. Dr. Who cosplay. That's 2,000 searches a month. Yeah, that's great. Number one ranking for that. That's a lot of searches, 2,000 a month. But, you've got to get those emails resulting from those searches. Imagine multiplying that times a bunch of different keywords and how much search traffic you could get just off of making a few little SEO tweaks. You'd think, "Wow, that's a really niche market. "There can't be that many people," but look at the number of searches, so there's opportunities there. It's just how you leverage it. It looks like she's leveraging it all really well. So, our last case study is a guy that we've mentioned a few times, Ryan Flynn here in Seattle. He's a guy that ranks for best Seattle wedding photographer. So, he's doing some things that are great, and we'll show you what those are, and then some areas that he could improve or he could leverage a little bit better. So, doing great. You look at his site right away. You know what his brand message is, what he's all about, his style of photography. You can feel the audience he's catering to instantly, and there isn't even that much there. Back links galore and good back links. He's got so many good people with a lot of authority linking to him, so that is skyrocketing his SEO. He's got good page titles. They vary, and they're descriptive, and they have local, and they're best wedding photographer, top wedding photographer. He's doing a good job there. He did name his images, and he's using keywords well. He could use them more. Room to improve. He's not capturing any emails. There might have been a newsletter thing, but he's not really capturing emails, and one of the things that he does is destination photography, so I feel like there's a good opportunity there for people searching for destination wedding photographers to be able to offer, maybe offering tips for planning your photography. For example, there's ways to figure out based on a location if it's a destination what time of day the light is good. You could do figuring out what time to plan your photos in a place you've never been. There's a lot of opportunity there if he thinks of what can I do that's of value to my target audience? He doesn't do resource or content stuff at all. It's just not there. He does blog with tons of gorgeous photos. He's an amazing photographer. He's not really writing too much. I would say if you don't like writing get some more user generated content. Hear about the experience that these people had with you 'cause that's gonna sell me. Also, his Instagram needs a better hashtag strategy. He's all over the place. It's not consistent. It doesn't look like there's an actual strategy there, so he could leverage that better. He could be getting more Facebook traffic. He's not linking back to his website from Facebook, and he's got a pretty big following, a decent size following on Facebook. So, here's what his site looks like. The brand, you feel it right away. We also don't really know Ryan's goals specifically, so some of those room to improvements can be taken with a grain of salt. It doesn't mean everyone needs to do everything related to those. His goals might be like, "I'm getting a lot of weddings. "I'm getting enough weddings, "and I don't need any more." So, he could be perfectly happy because he ranks for a very high keyword, so he could be getting the business that he already wants. And so, that's exactly it. I'm like content, content, content, and then he ranks at the very top because of his back links alone, so it's not one thing for SEO, it's many, but it might be focusing more on one, so just know we gave you as many tools as possible, and then you figure out what works best for you. But, he might say, "Man, I'm getting a lot of business, "but I'd love more destinations. "I'd like to travel more." So then, he could make an effort to focus more on destinations, those keywords, blog more about that, have content around that, gather emails around that. Figuring out your goals is how you can do that. It's exactly what you just said. So, this was again talking about the sites that link to him all with a lot of authority. His file name, there's some room for improvement, but it's still got some content in there 'cause it's got the resort, it's wedding. There's just some room for improvement. He's got his brand keyword which is Ryan Flynn Photography, a wedding, where it is. Blackrock Resort. You don't need something like the word in or something like that, and I mean people usually pin the file name, so if they ever had to go back they know what it was 'cause once you rename it then you may never be able to find it again. But, you mentioned certain things in there which are useful. So, he has gorgeous photos. The left is a blog post. That's how much he wrote. He could use more words. He's doing real good with SEO, so it just depends if there's specific words he'd like to rank better for this would be an opportunity to do so. And, then looking over here there's no hashtags. He's still getting a decent number of likes, but that's 'cause his work is so good, so the work is carrying him on that. But, I would develop a better hashtag strategy on Instagram, and there's a lot of resources out there that discuss hashtag strategy on Instagram. This was the same thing on Facebook. It's not leading back to anything. Point it back at your website, whether it's more images from this shoot or more in the type of location. And, this was bringing back to what things he's ranking for. He's wedding photography in general, 14. Yeah, which is the second page of Google. That's insane. Seattle photographers, number two. Seattle wedding photographers. So, he has let's see, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, about 14 or 15 page number one and in high position keywords. And, we showed that there was Wedding Wire and Yelp that were above him, and then there were some ads and some other stuff, but the first two you might not want to click on because it's like, "I don't want to go to Wedding Wire." Or, "I don't want "to go to the Knot." I want to see photographers. I want to see who the best photographer in Seattle is. Oh, he comes up number one. That goes back to authority and brand awareness. I had spoken to Ryan and asked him, "Have you been doing anything with your SEO or whatever?" And he goes, "You know, not really, not specifically." It largely has to do with his back links because his site is optimized. It's got some room for improvement as we said, but again that might not be his goal. He could be getting enough of what he's doing, but the back links helped, and we showed earlier he was getting stuff from these really high authority blogs like Brides and Style Me Pretty, and I think a couple of other really important blogs. And, those are high authority blogs which means they get a lot of visits, they get a lot of popularity, and somebody linking back to you from that is gonna move you up in the search engines.

Class Materials

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Content Marketing Guide
Building Your Online Marketing Machine Keynote

Ratings and Reviews

Rajiv Chopra

This is a very good class indeed. Everyone needs a Robert, and Lindsay is definitely smart to have Robert with her. The combination, where she paints the big picture, and he gets into some of the nitty-gritty, is brilliant. They have two different styles, and they play off each other very well There is a wealth of information here, and enough tips for someone to explore further For me this is a very useful 'class'. I have built brands for companies, and other people, but never did focus on myself! So, this fits perfectly in what I was looking for. So, kudos to Lindsay and Robert. Or, should I say, 'Bravo'?!

Cindee Still

Wow! Being in the audience you could feel Lindsay's passion for her art. She is a fabulous speaker captivating the attention of her audience. She and Robert a wealth of information that they are sharing so others can succeed too. My mind was blown. I'm so glad I will have access to this class on my computer so I can digest the information in smaller chunks as I move my online business forward.


She is an amazing teacher. Gordon is brilliant. would love to see more of him. Just wish Lindsay would stop posing the whole time. she'd be just as beautiful without so much makeup, the heels, the hand on hip and angling herself the whole time. Another great class.

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