Where I actually, I wanna start is to talk a little bit about some mistakes and misconceptions because these are my misconceptions and mistakes before I had a marketer. Now I also want to say that I realize not everyone has a Robert. Robert's are very useful to have on hand.
Yeah real expensive. They're real expensive. I will say by the way--
Mostly her sanity, we're not talking about costs.
Actually though he did really good when I first hired him he told me how much it would be and I had him on like a probationary thing where I said, in three months you make back for me what your salary is, and I'll hire you. In three months he was making back what he cost me. So there's these, Roberts are good. (audience laughing) But, but I absolutely understand that is not the reality for most people I was a one woman show for the first 10 years of my business. Like it was just me and no one else. So what I will talk about are the things that you can feasibly do own your own...
to get started, and then maybe the things you build to or the things you aspire to. I always find that useful for me in photography as well. Like what can I do right now? What can I work on and what am I eventually building to? So that's what we're gonna approach here. So let's talk about these misconceptions to get started. So Rob, you wanna start?
Sure, so you know marketing without a strategy is kind of like driving a car without gas. You know you're more or less not gonna get very far. So marketing to other photographers is another thing. We talk about becoming a resource in this class, and I think a lot of people assume that, well I'm not a teacher I'm not trying to market to other photographers. But it's not becoming a resource to your fellow photographer which is great, you can definitely take some of what we talk about and apply that if you want to talk about workshops or become a resource in your part of the industry. But talking about becoming a resource for your clients. So that they can trust you, so they go wow this person really knows what they're doing. It's not just selling your photos which could be difficult because if everybody's competing on photos then what's the next thing they compete on? Price, and then what's the next thing? They compete on you actually selling them, like what's the experience gonna be. So marketing to photographers, that's I think an area that some people get tripped up on. Like who am I marketing to exactly?
So here's the thing, as photographers we like likes. And so then we know other photographers will like our stuff. Can I say how it actually hurts you? Let's take Facebook for example. Alright, so let's say I'm pushing my stuff to all my photo friends and I'm marketing other photographers, and I'm making sure that like my posts have like a lot of camera information 'cause I know that photographers like it. Facebook only shows your posts to a tiny percentage of your followers, and it just kind of picks 'em. So the tiny reach you actually have could be to only photographers, which means you got all these potential clients and they will never see it. Like you actually are hurting yourself and your resources by marketing to photographers.
Or your families and friends too.
Family and friends as well.
You say well I get all these likes, but it's mostly from my like aunt or my sister or something like that. So it's not really doing anything. And that becomes frustrating because you put it out there, and you're expecting like what's the goal of me putting this out there. And we talk a little bit more about that. It's about brand awareness, it's about people seeing it. And Facebook's organic reach on, and organic meaning natural reach is about two to five percent now.
Of your entire audience.
Yeah and that's dropped a lot in a way for them to make money. So that you're forced to do advertising. But the advertising is really awesome, and we'll get more about that it's not just, a way for them to make money and then no return. They have really good return. Probably better than any other channel. So we'll talk a little more.
So yeah, they made it difficult so that you have to pay them, but it works. So we'll talk about it. The next mistake or misconception is thinking that likes equal money. And this is why we have this big picture idea of how you turn it into money, or how you actually get them to be a customer. 'Cause someone can watch you and like your stuff all day, but that's such an easy action. I wake up in the morning, and I'm in bed, and I'm liking a million peoples' photos. That's not gonna be that I'm a customer to them. So we gotta talk about that leap. What this leap is though is going to be what we're going to talk about. And this is gonna be huge bulk of this presentation is you get them as a follower, maybe they're liking your stuff, they're checking it out. But how do you actually bring them into the fold as a customer or get their email? So we're gonna go into this, we don't need to touch on it now. You will see that. And then that last mistake photographers make is relying on photos, which Robert, terrible right? Just relying on photos alone for marketing?
Yeah just relying on photos to try and sell, I mean sometimes that can work if you're like a fantastic photographer, or if you're in an area, a very specialized niche that people, there's not much competition on, that could work. But in the end you can see the many different ways that people are going to be your competitors. They're gonna compete with you on price. So you have to kinda one up that a little bit.
So if you are a photographer marketing to photographers, just posting photos periodically and crossing your fingers.
I feel like that's a lot of us right? Like I feel like it's many of us, we're gonna help you out. So what I wanna do is I'm gonna start with some big picture things. I like to talk about the big picture because these are the things that stay true always. Like in each of the things that have been true since social media was born and they've stayed true. But it's a lot those nitty gritty and the technical stuff that sometimes it feels overwhelming 'cause you gotta stay up on it to know what's applicable. And that's where Robert, I mean he's reading this stuff everyday. So I'm gonna take the lead on the big picture things, and then all of the technical tools and what is most effective right now, that's his expertise. So let me just start off with some of our guiding principle, the big picture things that are true all the time. And this is one that is very true to my heart. The idea of generosity and reciprocity. Okay, I just wanted to sound fancy by giving it big words, but here's what it really means. When you give to people you build community, you build trust, and then eventually it comes back to you. You don't give to get back, but it does. If you do it correctly. And so for example for me as a photographer, or for me as an educator, I am constantly providing free tips and my knowledge, or guides, or whatever it may be because I genuinely care about the industry, and I want to help. But when someone then sees the quality of my education, sees the quality of my photography, I'll explain how it works for your brand, then eventually they start to appreciate you. And they start to trust you, and they start to check back regularly because you are a resource, you are an authority to them. And so it builds that relationship, which you can eventually convert into money. I'm a teacher, this 100% is true for photography. So we'll spell that out. 'Cause I remember when I first kind of heard this as a teacher I was like, or thinking of it as a teacher, it's like well how does this apply to photography? The most successful photographers I see online, the ones that are really leveraging the power of marketing online are doing this. So we'll talk about generosity and reciprocity. The next one we have here is consistency and accountability. So it's all good to be gung-ho after this class and then go post a few things, and then if you just disappear. Doing it once isn't gonna do you any good. So that's also why I think it's good to be in that Facebook group to give yourself a little bit of the motivation. You keep seeing people talking about it, keeps it in your mind, keeps you motivated. For example, you're supposed to really ideally post an Instagram photo a day to really leverage the power of it. You have to be consistent. But also the Instagram feeds that do the best are the ones that look curated. The ones that all have that same look and feel. So it's consistency of your brand, consistency of when you post. So these are things that we'll talk about over and over again. Being consistent, being generous, spot down to the next one, community and engagement. Selling doesn't really work anymore. In the sense of just like, hire me. I can guarantee you guys when you put something online that you post and you say hire me, it is crickets. If you're not getting crickets to just a general like, hey Facebook people hire me like I'm impressed. But for the most part that's not people respond to. What they respond to is for you to join their community and have a voice and to whatever that may be. So when I'm thinking about this, if I'm thinking about the bigger picture. If I've got a target audience, and I let's say that my target audience is going to be people that need head shots, okay? And there's a meeting for the better business bureau. Like a real life meeting, like you know in real life okay. Rotary clubs, anything where it's influential business people in the area, doesn't it benefit me to actually show up and then maybe for that rotary club to join. I give back to my community, but I'm also involved in their community. And that's eventually when people think oh I need a headshot they're gonna think of the person who's part of their community because they feel relationship with them. So that's why you go out and you become part of those communities, but it's the exact same thing online. And PS, my dad is very active in rotary like--
That's why I mentioned it. I'm surprised--
So give him a shout out for that. Moving on for a couple more things here. Attract and convert, this will be something you hear us. So bring them to you, make them customers, or bring them to you get their emails. Talk about that more. And then to wrap this last one up of big picture is Robert kind of mentioned this in the beginning, you do have to kind of test and analyze things. This is the number one thing, we'll talk about, we see people with Facebook, the Facebook ads. Like this is not like a you know, pat myself on the back 'cause he does it. I make a lot money on Facebook ads. But it was a lot of testing that he did, and analysis and seeing this. Like it's not the first time and trying one and like a few dollars, it's testing and analyzing. Or how I'm building up social media followings, I'm looking at the analytics seeing the type of content I produce that gets responses and when I actually choose to post it. So these are big principles, you'll see absolutely throughout, but Robert this is your specialty for this is what he will be emphasizing over and over again.
So I had mentioned this already, the recurring theme of the class, I think I mentioned it exactly like that was to attract and convert. So whether that's getting people to your website to become a sales lead and they go down the funnel, or whether it's introducing them to your brand. Because as Lindsay mentioned, you sell to a cold audience on Facebook or wherever else say, hey I have a sale I have something like this. You might not get any actual response, or anything that other likes from your family or friends or something like that. So the whole point is we get them to our playing field. Facebook's not our playing field. We get them to where we can actually do the most be the most successful that we can. And that's generally grabbing their email. So we'll talk a little bit more about that.
And I think about it too and the thought of attracting somebody and warming them up is like if you're walking past a store that you've never seen the store before, you have no idea what they sell, and someone saying, hey come on in come buy stuff. Like it's jarring and you're like please don't talk to me. At least that's what I do. But if you're kind of familiar with it, and if you've seen it before. That's like you gotta warm them up first to be interested in maybe being familiar and maybe stepping in the door, and then once they come in the door that's when you're really friendly, and you build the relationship, and eventually you get to the sale. The just like, hey buy stuff from doesn't work. So this is, you're gonna see this several times. You're gonna see this slide. Because this is the idea that comes from the marketing world that we as photographers, I didn't know about, but this is what I'm going to recommend for us to be successful. So here's what happens. Someone's a stranger in the beginning, and then they see your brand and they become a follower ideally. Like they like what you got, you've warmed them up, they follow you. Then it's something called a lead, someone who's actually interested. Like they follow you, but now they're like, oh I'm kinda interested in that Boudoir session, let's talk about it. And then the last part is where they are a customer, right. So it could be on social media, originally they were just stranger, but then they see something, so they start following you, and then eventually they reach out right. So it's those steps. And so what we talk about, and you'll hear us say often. Is you find a way to connect with the people, you find a way to capture them like capture their attention, capture their email, capture them, we'll talk about examples. And then you turn it into a customer. And there's a lot of different ways to connect. We'll talk about blogging, we'll talk about social media, we'll talk about SEO, so we'll talk about those things. We're gonna talk about getting emails or making relationships with them, and maintaining those relationships. And then the last part we're also going to talk about email marketing. Like all these businesses that are successful in marketing, they do these things that like I feel like we photographers often don't do. So this is gonna be a big bulk of our presentation.
And this is pretty much your funnel. You know you're getting your people in at the top of a funnel--
If you looked up marketing funnel.
So these are your cold leads, or the people that are in the blog and social media, they don't really know you. And then the warm leads are the people that you kind of start talking to, they become your followers, maybe they're not ready to buy, maybe they need a little more information, and that's when you start to warm 'em up, and then hopefully close the sale. So it doesn't look like a funnel that's kind of the funnel.