Content Upgrades and Lead Magnets
So I gave you some ideas of the type of blog posts that everyone can do, help out your audience, be useful, be relevant. Now, I was talking a lot about what probably sounds like blog posts, but I also mentioned that you could do any of those things that I listed as a video if you think that'd be more engaging. Or maybe as an infographic that can be pinned on Pinterest or maybe as a checklist that they can download. So this is actually where we're going to segue. So something we've been talking about over and over again as in like yeah, let's find ways to drive traffic, it's gonna be SEO, it's going to be social, it's going to be all these different things, content, and then I'm like you connect with them and then you gotta capture them. And so we talked about emails. So, what we're talking about in this next section, what he is going to get into, what Robert's going to get into, he's gonna talk about email marketing and collecting people's emails. But I'm gonna talk about how you convi...
nce them to do that. 'Cause I don't like giving out my email. I don't want crap from people. But we're not giving them crap, what you're doing is you're actually giving something they want. Because I know, that let's say it was the Mother's Day example. Man, after Mother's Day, I'm like "Oh crap, I would've been really good "if I had remembered those family portraits," like that would've been a good gift instead of the card and the gift certificate to Chili's, you know what I mean? You're like, it's actually helpful, it's actually useful. So what you do, in the idea of content that we've been talking about, is there's something that is called lead magnets or content upgrades. So you are creating something, where you say, "Hey guys, I've already gotten you to my site "and you saw I have all this useful staff "and we're building community and I have this other thing "that I think you would find really, "really useful and helpful. "If you give me your email, I'll send it to you." And so it's an exchange. And so it's that whole thing is I've been generous, generosity and reciprocity 'cause I'm getting their email back, that's the idea behind it. So this is the part that I don't think, when we were looking at websites, we're analyzing a lot of photographer's websites and there's a lot of people, some examples I have that did really good with their content, there were some people creating great content but they weren't leveraging this last part of it, is actually capturing those emails. And Robert's going to get in depth into just why email marketing is so important, and I mean I remember this is unrelated to your portrait business but as I was working with different brands, they would always ask me, what's your email list? How big is it? Because those brands I was working with knew how valuable it is to actually convert people, get people to spend money. Anyway, so seguing back into this. It's sometimes referred to as a lead magnet because once you get email that's your lead, someone who's actually interested, leads someone saying, "Yeah, I'm interested in what you have," or it's called the content upgrade. So those list of things that I was telling you before, I mean some of those could be a content upgrade. For example, I had a list of what to bring to your, to a photo shoot, right? You could do that as a blog post or, you could say by the way, if you want a complete checklist on what to bring to your photo shoot, I'll send it to you. They go, "Oh yeah, okay, I wanna see what this is all about. So think of it that way. Anything that could be a blog post or a video, some of these things can be converted over to a content upgrade. So remember, we say we connect with them, we capture and close, so this is, we're talking about the middle part here. How do we get the emails and we're offering something in exchange for that? So I was going to take you through a little bit of a brainstorm. Now, I understand that I won't cover every type of photography here. Like I've mentioned the cosplay person repeatedly. I don't have a whole section on cosplay photography, okay, for example or newborn, but I do have family. So I'm just gonna give you an idea of some of the things you should be thinking about, those of you who purchased the class, all of these are in that 25-page packet, and a little bit more so you'll be able to see what I'm talking about. So wedding photographer, I know no one on that line can read this. This is meant to be a list and I'm just going to give you an idea, so you're saying, okay, these can be either blog posts, videos, it could be Pinterest, or you could turn into something they can download. So content, it's all encompassing. It depends on how you wanna package it, but it's all relevant. So for example, for wedding photographer, a post could be, your city's top location for engagement sessions. One of them I have on there is five great websites for curvy brides. I actually came across a lot of websites that specifically cater to that. So first you do a blog post and they say, "Oh, that's really helpful, "There's five places this photographer's telling me "it's gonna help me look better, "because it's catered towards my body type." Things I have on there is how much time should you allocate to wedding photography on your wedding day, a checklist of the top must-have wedding photographs. Five creative wedding images I can't wait to shoot. You can package these either as blog posts or as checklists, or, I don't know, is it something that's used as an upgrade or is it uses a guest blog post on another site, or is it used on your site? You can multipurpose these things. So I've got 15 ideas there. Also in the guide we talk about some keywords and back link ideas. We talked about back links before. It's basically who could you get to link to you that's gonna help you in your SEO and also drive traffic. So for the wedding photographer, I'm just gonna read a couple more. Let's do, my favorite vendors for a picture-perfect wedding day, 'cause guess what, that's useful. You're like oh, local vendors that you like. How about, when to start planning your wedding day, when to start planning your wedding photography. And let's do one more. How about six things that can ruin your beautiful wedding photographs. And the people, oh crap, I gotta learn these things, I need to download that real quick. It's a sense of urgency, like I don't want to ruin my photographs. So, this would be for a wedding photographer. So just to give you an idea of what this funnel looks like, or in other words your connect, your capture, and your close. So it'd look like something like this, they'd see a blog post, they would, let's see this one, Facebook. Alright, he's gonna cover Facebook advertising a little bit later in this section. Alright, so for the Facebook advertising, we can make sure one of our ads as photographers show up when somebody changes their relationship status to engaged. So it changes, and we recommend, oh hey, by the way, you might find this really interesting. This is a top checklist for wedding photographs you gotta have on your special day. And you can actually have that on Facebook where they can download it directly. So like oh yeah, okay, great, I just got engaged, I need to see, I gotta like study up on this stuff, so they download it. And that takes them from a stranger, then they kind of followed you and now you've actually captured their email. Now that you know this, you can send follow-up emails and he'll talk about that that say, "Hey, when is your wedding day, congratulations," you're welcoming them and starting a conversation. And that's eventually, they say, you know what, I want more information, they call for a consultation. And that's then your job to close on it. Like that's when you've got to figure out how do you actually get them to book you as a photographer. But you gotta get them to that point. Getting them to call, getting them to email, like that's the hardest part. So how about another example? So headshot photographers out there, again remember, this could be a blog post, this could be a download, this could be a guest blog post. Something I really like, how about what your headshot says about you. It's helping with your SEO, it's useful 'cause you're like, what kind of body language is more welcoming, which says that you're a little bit more stern and reliable. Like we know these things as photographers and we can pass it on to our clients. So let's do, why your headshot matters. Top tips for eye-catching social media headshots. So I'm like, "Oh yeah, I needed to update that," they know what I should be doing. Have a headshot to get you hired, top tips for successful headshots. Or you could do blog posts featuring previous subjects. You can write about an accomplishment they've had or ask them to talk about why they're passionate about their field of, that they've chosen, their job. But that's nice because they're generating the content. You could take some of these and turn them into downloads. Others can be blog posts, others can be guest blog posts. So here's an example of how you can lead that through for our funnel, for capturing or connecting and capturing. First one, alright, so their friend or their colleague at the business they work with posts on their Facebook, "Oh, look, this photographer featured me on their blog," and they're friends with them on Facebook and they check and they read through the blog and it's featuring their colleague and then they're like, "Oh, I really need to update my headshot." So they keep clicking around, they'll look around the site and then, they'll get a notification for your content upgrade, and the content upgrade is a download that is headshots that get you hired. The person is like, "Yeah, I could use a better headshot. "I'm looking around for a job," whatever it may be. So they download it. And now you have their email, so you begin that conversation. Robert's going to talk in depth about what that conversation looks like, like what's the next part with the email. But now you've got their email. So this about working out for you guys, understanding how content can be repurposed in different ways, but you're getting that valuable email. Everybody good? Alright, keep going through this. Boudoir photographer. You select a couple here. Three great local lingerie boutiques. It's useful, it's relevant, something that also is local. Maybe when you do a blog post like that, the boutique links to you. But either way they're looking and they're saying, "Oh, this is helpful, this is relevant." Three tips to feeling your best at your boudoir session. Valentine's Day lingerie guide, tips to flatter your curves. I mean that's not just photo shoot, that's lingerie to flatter you regardless, so that's widely relevant. Or this has nothing to do with photography, local spa treatments to help you feel glamorous. But probably somebody who wants to fill sexy in a boudoir shoot would also like to know about these spa treatments. It's the adjacent content. It's not exactly photography related but something they would find useful. You could do, also just a complete checklist for what to bring to a boudoir shoot, things that you might not have thought of. So I've got several things in there but let me show you an idea of how it might work for your business. Alright, SEO, somebody searches Portland lingerie photography, or photographer, and they find your site, which is great because that means they're actually looking for the services you have to offer. So they pop over. Now, if you just have pictures of girls in lingerie, that's fine, but you want the person to feel connected to you, and you want them to feel like you know what, if I did a lingerie shoot, I'm gonna feel comfortable with this person. This photographer is going to make me look and feel my best. So maybe you have some content throughout the blog that's saying, oh, you know what lingerie makes them look the best, or you know how to help someone feel comfortable, you've got that content. So they're going, yeah, this is a good photographer to choose. So then, they're like, you know what, I'm considering this photographer and there's this little checklist. It says checklist of what to bring to your boudoir shoot. And you're like, okay, I think I might go with this photographer, let me just see what I'm supposed to bring. And they download it and then you have your email and then you can continue the conversation 'cause that's a warm lead. If they're downloading what to bring to their boudoir shoot, they're interested. They're obviously considering this. So it's your job just to convince them to hire you, alright? Let's look at more ideas. Family photographer. I had a ton of ideas here. The reason I did this is because I kinda grouped it as somebody who does newborns as well as children as well as family, because that's what I did. In a small town I photographed every stage of the family. So some ideas, and this is what I want you to think of again that's not exactly photography related. You could have a post that's a download to a little sign you created in Photoshop, that the kid holds on their first day of school. They say the grade, the kid's name and their age. And it's just a free download so that they have cute first day of school photos. It has nothing to do with your photography, but it is useful to your target audience and then you say, "Give me your email and I'll send it to you." But then you know, there's somebody who's looking at your site, and they're interested in your content. And then you're becoming a useful resource to them. So a few other things I have on there, great holiday photo booth ideas for school. So maybe like a mom that's really crafty and she wants to set up a little photo booth. So you have little cut out things, like you're just suggesting something that would be beneficial to them. Has nothing to do with your photography, it's actually a photo booth that they're doing, but that's your expertise and that's how you can help them. So we read a few more. Fun, not stuffy, tips for a family portrait session that you'll actually enjoy. Best times of year for family portrait sessions in your city. Style guide, autumn family session style guide or beach style guide, what they should wear. But that could be an infographic or it could be a checklist or a download. Some of these could be a video. There is a must-have milestones checklist. So when you really should be taking pictures of your kids besides the school photos. And then things like gift guides. So what's useful to them, both in the realm of photography and also just what you can do to help them out to become a resource, to be part of their community. So for example, here's how you would maybe capture them. So you've got a blog post that you wrote on, creative decorating ideas with your family photos. So it's just showing a cool DIY stuff you can do that's cute and decorative. And somebody came across it and they posted it on their Facebook page. And then this potential client, customer sees it. They're like this is useful. So they click over to your blog and they're checking it out and, oh, that's not an updated one. So they're going around, they're checking it out and they go, okay, this list on the beach attire, there's a little download that's going to tell me exactly how I should dress my family for a beach photo shoot. This is of course applicable, if you do beach photography, if you live in that area. So like okay, great, I'm actually been thinking about that. So they click to download that email, that checklist, you have their email, and then you can continue the conversation. Women's glamour, or women in glamour photography. So if you just photograph women, this all depends on your branding. This is why none of these will necessarily apply to each of you, it depends on are you doing personal branding for women? Or are you doing fashion styled shoots. You gotta kind of figure out what your niche is and then you can work that into this content. But types of ideas here, portraits for personal branding. How beautiful portraits help you reach your goals. Gorgeous DIY dresses for your portrait shoot. Five chic looks for a timeless portrait. Another would be tips to look and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. All of these things are helpful. It could also be your favorite local places to shop for style. So keeping it local, how to look great in your photo shoot in everyday life, but supporting local business, thinking that way as well. I also have girls glam night, how makeover parties are something everyone would love. It depends on what you do. Do you do makeovers, do you do business but you turn it into content. You can pick how these are repurposed. So for example, maybe you did one of those glam parties, you had one of those glamorous parties and you have, you do a pixie set gallery. So you've got a gallery of all these photos and their friends are sharing it online. "Hey, check out the makeover shots from this party." So people click on it, and they're looking at this gallery and then there's a link to say learn more about glamour makeover shoots. So they're clicking and they're learning and they're like okay, and you got a resource on what to wear and then you see this thing, they're like, oh, you know what, I might want to do this, but I can see they can help me feel comfortable but I wouldn't know what to wear. And then they look, and then oh my gosh, there's a checklist on how to look and feel comfortable in front of the camera, and it also says, what to wear, what to bring and they're like, "Okay, I feel like maybe I can do this. "So I'm gonna download it, see how I feel about it." But you already know they're interested. So it's the same thing over and over and over again. High school senior portraits. It could be five picture-perfect locations for your senior portraits. Gorgeous DIY dresses for your senior portraits. How about the three ways to improve your selfie game. Another one that would be relevant is if you photograph a school charity event. If you go there and photograph it and then you post the images online and then tell people, "Hey, check these out in the gallery "if you want to see more." Drives them back to your site, they're clicking around and then it gives you a chance to have other resources to hook their attention. It could be makeovers, it could be makeup do's and don'ts, you could feature other students or you let them write about themselves so it's content that you don't have to produce, clothing guides, do you see how it's like kinda the same stuff, just slightly varied? But then if you have a niche, it's gonna help you out. So for the high school senior, it would be, they search in Google, or the parents search it, whoever searches, (mumbles) senior portrait photographer or (mumbles) senior portrait photographer. So they have to research what they would be looking for. So you make sure you're optimized for that and of course they need your services. You pop up first, they click on it and they're popping around and they're looking, and they're like oh, I see my friend has been here. So that's giving you a little bit of authority. It's recommending you. And then they're clicking around and they're seeing your inspiration boards. They're like, "Okay, this person is creative, I like that, "and they've got a little bit of a blog post "about how to feel comfortable in front of the camera," and they're like, "Okay, I feel like this photographer "knows how to make me feel comfortable." And then there's a download for your senior session style guide, and it's tips to showing the real you. So it's saying don't just wear this one thing I'm telling you, but how to show more urban side or show something that's fairytale and you can give them tips and tricks on where to shop, all in this guide. So they click on it 'cause they're curious, gives you the email and then later on, once you have the email, you keep the conversation going and they can call when the school deadline is approaching. So you would eventually send an email that says, "Hey, senior portrait deadline's coming up in three weeks "just in case you haven't gotten your senior portrait, "now's a good time." You kinda make it timed. Somehow I just kinda went whoosh, superfast. The original post I did about 10 different posts that can apply to any photographer, that's true, and the kind of those 10 content ideas that can apply to any photographer. But, I urge you that everyone should not go and write the exact same blog post, the exact same content. Try to find a way to make it specific to where you live, or maybe your specific vision or your style or your niche or something unique, because then they can only get that from you. But you have to remember how you are relevant and unique. So you produce the content, you give them something else of value and you kinda convince them to download it, give the email and then you continue the conversation. So that's the idea behind it. This is the download that comes with the class that has, it's 25 pages. And it includes all those lists of ideas and SEO ideas as well as back link ideas. So I wanted to pause for a second. And I'm happy to take questions from you guys. It doesn't have to be what I just talked about. It can also be ones that you had lingering but also related to content ideas.
When we talk about blogs, should you be looking at something that's better for sharing? For instance, like the Squarespace blog is kind of just like a square place blog but like if you go to different blog companies like say Tumblr I'm realizing, they have a lot more ways of like sharing and there's people already on Tumblr like looking for things. So my thing was, I started my blog on my Squarespace based thing, and even though I was pushing through social media avenues, it wasn't necessarily getting traffic. So it was kind of like well, I need to find a place where I'm gonna put my blog that's going to be accessible for anything. You couldn't even get Pinterest to save on the Squarespace blog. I don't know if that's changed since I last tried doing my blog, but I was wondering if maybe you had an opinion about that. I still think that the idea of one of our goals was to point traffic back at your site so it's in your branded identity and so that they're not distracted and they're not looking elsewhere, and then you can link to other things within your blog. I still think it should be hosted on your blog in your site. I'm sure that they changed the Pinterest thing, I can't imagine that that's not. I'd have to look at it, but that would be an important thing is all the shareable links. But are there ways to also, you can have it auto feed into Tumblr as well, right?
Yeah, I mean I would stick to your own site like Lindsay said and not necessarily, you can use Tumblr, you can continue to use Tumblr but you want to try and get people on your site for various reasons. One, Tumblr, you're not gonna be able to capture their emails. You're not gonna be able to do remarketing which we'll get into and talking about Facebook advertising. So it's not a home that you can control, whereas even Squarespace, you can't control as much but you have a lot more flexibility in what you can do.
And what he's gonna jump into as well is tools to be able to capture those emails. And I know that they integrate well with Squarespace and I would not think they would with Tumblr. I'm actually pretty positive.
And before we get into that, one of the things to know about the content upgrade and the lead magnets, I'm sure questions like, do these work and the answer is absolutely. They work very well in other niches and they work very well in photography niches. It's just something that people like being able to download. Checklists work really well, like how do you create this? Is this gonna take a lot of time? You can create a checklist in Microsoft Word and somebody can print it out and it's a checklist. And you might not think that's valuable but you should try and we've had experience with it not just on our own brand, because obviously we're marketing to photographers who might want that information, but I've worked with other companies that produce checklists for brides specifically, and it was very valuable. So this is a very, very good list building technique. And if you don't want to create a download, some of the email automations and service providers that we're gonna be talking about, you can create what's called an email sequence where if you don't want somebody, you could still ask for their email and then you email them the information in the form of an email. So it's still like if you didn't want to create a download or something like that, and that in and of itself is a lead magnet also. So I'm sure you've kind of done that and you've started to get a few more emails and it's the same concept. You're warming up your lead, you're becoming authoritative in their eyes, and then eventually they are gonna hopefully want to book you or talk to you at least because you're creating a conversation. Instead of you just talking at them, by this, by my services, you're providing content like all the great ideas that Lindsay listed and then you're giving them a reason to take you over the next guy.
And one of the sites that I've have used or one of the inexpensive companies to design some of this stuff, is if you guys heard of Fivver? Fivver.com, they do things for $5. So I've just been like here's my content idea. Can you create it for me, and it cost me like 10 to 15 bucks.
It doesn't need to be beautiful either. It doesn't need to be something like,
Strong brand ideally.
We have a designer that we work with that worked on this for us, so it doesn't need to. If you really want it to shine a little bit. You can put that extra effort in it. I'm sure you guys are familiar with using all this software, you could do it but it can be simple and low-tech and something useful. Again, it's a checklist. 10 things to bring your first photo shoot. Alright, I'm gonna download that because I'm going to my photo shoot. I gotta check it off. And it's just simple and quick, and test it out. I'm telling you it will work.
And then another question that I frequently get is okay, just went through all this stuff, all these different ideas. I know that I need to maybe blog regularly, or try to. How many of these resources do I need to have on my blog? How much content do I need to produce? But obviously, the more the better. But it's not like you need to have endless but the content upgrades. How many things do I need people to be able to download? I mean you really just need one good one. It's not like you need to produce a ton of these. But the question really is, for my ideal customer, you filled out that profile, what is going to compel them to give me their email? What is going to be really the most useful to that person? So being in their shoes, they came to the site, what would it be that I would jump at if I were them and want to download? So you really only need one, but again it might be one per audience, so if you do families and you do boudoir, and you do whatever, then it would have more reach.
And this is called your core offer. It's the one offer that is, you can put the most effort into and applicable to everything you shoot or one specific thing. So it definitely is, definitely worth like not stressing so much about how many of these things I have to create.
And Robert and I, what we've done in the past is we have in fact created multiples, because we can test. You don't know what they're gonna respond to, and that means you don't need to put a ton of money into it and it doesn't need to be really complex. But at least if you contest it and you see what people respond to, then you know what you can push and share it on social media and let people know you have. So you only really need one, but it might be useful to test a couple 'cause the first idea you had might've been a flop.
So I keep getting stuck as to what problem I'm solving. So I love to do over the top bridal portraits with color and movement and props, but when photography like this or any photography we do is such a luxury in the selfie generation, I'm just getting stuck at how to market to my target audience and tell them, this is the problem I'm solving. So I'm stuck with what problems that I'm solving. Sure, so here is one of the problems, the problems that I have solved doing fashion styled portraits, is the way that I have treated it is that everybody has their own reality TV show. That's what Instagram is, that's what Facebook is, that's definitely what Snapchat is. And so, what I'm saying is, in your reality TV show, you need those promotional images, you need those, wow, so people go, "Oh man, this person is like above and beyond, this person is got a show I want to tune into. And so when I pitch it, I often pitch to the vanity part of this, saying that these images are going to be eye-catching, show your unique style, show how you are different. And so I'm feeding into the thing of yeah, I'm not like the rest of you, I'm gonna do something different and separate. But that means that when you create your customer, ideal customer profile you have to find a way to target people that value individualism or people that have a personal stake in their brand, people that want to say something about themselves. Or it could be somebody as well. You could pitch as the average person that never gets a photo shoot like this, they never get their fantasy photo shoot, so problem you're solving is that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something they never thought they could, and so you're feeding into that desire like this is a gift for yourself that you'll never do again, that kind of thing. So those are the problems you're solving.
A little furthermore to that point. The bridal industry is very competitive and I don't mean it in terms of photographers but in terms of brides wanting to do something over the top, have a more extravagant wedding than the next person, or to have the best wedding dress. So if you're able to display that as one of your selling points, and you had mentioned some really unique things that you do. It's not just wedding photography, you do something very specific. You could say, here's your selfie, and here's what you could look like. Yeah, they're gonna still take a million selfies at their wedding probably also but they also want that photo, because they want to share that on Facebook. They wanna look how good I look in a styled photograph with a professional photographer, good lighting. They know what looks like a selfie and they know what looks like a professional photo. So then there comes a point of marketing to an audience that's not just trying to get the cheapest because then they don't have that control, like they're not going to be able to invest in something more unique. And they're likely not the ones that are trying to outdo everybody else. So make your customer profile have more money (laughs).