Guide Critique: Better Pictures and Family Photography
let's talk about claire next claire how's it going so your guide is on how to help take a better picture to talk about this guy talking about why this is what you want so I don't shoot um quite happy about that and but I do spend an awful lot of time with mom's a go on sohn sessions with people and I spent a lot of time with the mom and mom's typically hate to have their picture taken they love to take them they have no interest in having the camera actually headed their direction and so they they end up in front of the camera a lot with their kids but they are usually uncomfortable about it and so we were just these kinds of thoughts kind of just develop as you spend time with people so let's shout a little bit more for us what your role in the business is what I was a customer that was hiring you guys how would I see your role versus you know what don't tell me what you do but tell me more how I would see it as a customer the friendly bubbly one thing that you talk to every time so i...
t's pretty clear you're not the photographer but you're the one who's going to take care of me exactly yeah yeah um it's I do all of the underpinnings of what makes the business work on I'm the social butterfly of the crew so yeah great well okay so I think there's a couple key things you brought up and I want to just re shift a little bit of how your phrasing things and is going to help you with your message um you're talking about how mom's typically detected the death and this is what I've seen you want to change that to b more about your brand message our mom's typically we know because that date of death and whether or not that's typical of all moms or not doesn't matter it's a matter of what you've learned about your target market and your target audience that is something that is very very important as you know how to target in attract people as you learn about that authentic brand message you've uncovered something that I would argue probably actually isn't ubiquitous or common amongst everyone but you think it is because it's the world that you surround yourself with and it's the people that you tend to attract and that's the underpinnings of a great target market sometimes we forget that the things that we take for granted or the things that we see in everyone actually aren't in everyone it's a matter of having a good refined message or a matter of knowing your target market or matter just happened stand sometimes we just tend to buy luck attract certain demographic certain types certain segments of people but that doesn't mean that it's ubiquitous we should just assume that it's not a part of our message you know jason and gina grub jason talked about it yesterday about how andi didn't go into as much detail if you have time to have a beer with him a z told you likes a good colorado beer every time have a beer then we'll tell you about that process and that journey they went through realizing some cases not knowing thinking this is how everyone was but realizing that most of the couples they worked with were outdoor enthusiasts most couples they worked with were very active kind of into fitness all those sorts of things and it's not necessarily ubiquitous it actually might be very unique to you and the brands that you have just wanna encourage you in that that maybe it's a little bit more than just every mom feels this way but the people that you attract feel that way um okay and so the problem that you are trying to solve here is to try to help them feel more comfortable and try to help them feel more comfortable from the camera so let's see the four things you went through his lean in shift your weight breathe and smile and trust your photographer um did any of these rank higher for you where these kind of could the collective four trust is definitely way spent a lot of time talking to people about its the best way that for you to look good is for you to relax and you no way do we tell everybody you know the first ten the first ten minutes of the pictures are not going to be your best pictures you know it's very much on how you know we talked to you and we just weigh almost take them out of the portrait setting because we're just talking we're just we're having a good time we got to know each other sure you know the camera's happening too but it's a lot more built on the relationship that we established with the customer so you can hear it in a way that claire's talking and it's one of the things I really want to bring up about the guide that you wrote is you did a fantastic job of leaning in to the pain cool that your customer was feeling I thought out of all the guys you do the very best job of this we talked yesterday about marketers need to be empathetic you have to just feel the pain you've got to own it you gotta know it and boy you did you leaned into it and that's something that you want to do is your building your guides is you want to acknowledge the pain you want to understand it you want them to know that you feel that you're there with um you see it you want to solve that problem you want the world to be rid of this problem because you can't deal with the emotional burden of it anymore I'm not trying to actually be dramatic just for the sake of being dramatic if you see this pain happen in your couples in your clients on a daily basis you want to be we talked about marketers we talked about business are so they're givers you want to be a giver that solves that and you leaned in and you really were empathetic to the problem that they had and I could feel that I was reading it it was very empathetic here's a great line lucky me I'm still married to a photographer I can't get away you were talking earlier about how you have to have your picture taken you don't have a choice I can't get away from that so I've learned to cope in over time I've learned a couple of tricks of the trade look at that tricks of the trade expert opinion while you're being empathetic wonderful and if I can remember them before I freeze like a deer caught in headlights look at that we are now I mean you're empathetic to the point of actually acknowledging what I what I feel when I go through admitting some of the areas that you struggle with great great great I've got a better than even chance of a decent image so I really wanted to highlight how you really took that idea being empathetic and really brought it out in your god that was absolute fantastic well done and we all should use that as a model when we're building out our guides we have to have that empathy we don't want to just sound like we're just some stoic corporation you know that wrote this four steps toe better happiness or whatever it is and we just kind of rolled it out there being empathetic showing your personality and lean into the problem that you're trying to dress is just it's really great so here's an area that I want to talk about that I thought you could improve upon with this guide and I thought could actually build and this is a this is a bigger topic and so that was great because it allows us to talk about that there's a fine line between making a guide about instead solves a problem that our clients have and making a guide that is about our primary expertise and the reason is because the original reason that they hired you for whatever it is to shoot their baby to shoot their wedding to shoot a landscape print for their wall to shoot their child sporting event to shoot the prom photos the original reason they hired you is because they had a problem that needed solving it wasn't really a problem they felt like was a problem but the original problem was I didn't have a photo of my newborn and I am not good enough to do it myself or I don't have time to do it myself or I believe that somebody else could do it for me and that's why I'm hiring you and you don't want to write a guide that answers or solves the primary problem which is why they hired you now you do want to write a guy that solved all the other problems that come with solving that problem so I have solved that problem by hiring barbara to do my newborn photos and oh my goodness now I've got to figure out what to put her in and I've got to figure out how to get her happy for the photos and I've got to figure out how she's not gonna be asleep when I'm doing the photos or has she not crime and I've got to figure out all these things to go along with solving that original problem and this guide teeters between that that kind of primary juxtaposition some at some points in this guide you are solving the actual problem they hired you to solve for them and so you don't want to write a guide that's like how to shoot your own wedding photography you know are you know what I mean like how do not hire me so you can save money you know we don't want a guy that good that it seems kind of obvious but the same time we can kind of find ourselves going that direction when we're writing these guys that are meant to solve problems but we don't want to solve like the original problem that they hired us to do we want to solve the problems that's been out of the original problem that we're solving and you gotta kind of just go back and check yourself in that sometimes you kind of get some thoughts on paper you're like well that's a little bit that's actually not the reason I want to write this guy want ready to solve this so great job though wonderful job especially with all the empathy that you put into that okay let's see kimberly you prefer camera kimberly doesn't matter I think I've been calling you kimmel weeks that I thought what okay so let's see your guide is beautiful and stress free family photos okay so why'd you pick this topic well um it's something that everyone has to deal with it's something that everyone has anxiety about because it's such an emotional part and chaotic part um so we answered for everyone and nobody's nobody's that excited about it and to be clear this is for the wedding photographer this's doing a family for formal yeah this is the family formals that everyone has to do but you're right I'd say by and large intelligently excited about it and their obligation there yeah exactly that's an obligation and what are some of the areas that you've heard that are kind of the problems that go along with it from your you know your couples that you've worked with um figuring out who's going to be in them assuming that they can just jam out super quickly not not knowing the time line of education really lack of understanding yeah exactly and then just carving out the time if they're doing a first look at their not doing first look at how that impacts people don't realize if you don't do first look you can't do combined family photos ahead of the ceremony we can't see each yeah yeah on a total tangent I was actually wondering if someone's going to do that as a guide topic because I was thinking last night about boy if I was writing a guide tonight and I was trying to solve the problem you know back obama photographers when I was when I was shooting there full time which one would I choose a dress I think the problem I would have addressed wass whether to do a first look before the ceremony or whether it's you know not see each other before the ceremony that seemed to be something I was not asked about one okay so you chose these three topics you know it's something that a lot of things that you could addressed in the kind but the three chose teo work on work who will be in the formal photos when will the formals take place and where will the formals take place and you know again let me ask what was the what were the problems inside of this if you could going togo through the problem and each one of these you're trying to solve for the many problems in the smaller problem that each of these is building the solve sure so I started by thinking about you know in the end we're trying to make a beautiful collection with genuine emotions good expressions good background everything everything that goes into it like a gorgeous family portrait because as much as we like to think that the creatives are the parts that get cherished and they are it's so wild like how many print sales fall on the family formals or like that just becomes codified into family history so you really owe it to them to make it as good as it can be so deciding who is going to be in it seemed to be the most important things that's going to determine how many there are what time it is and what space you're going to need so we normally provide a worksheet so that's really just expanded on why they'd want to fill it out and what I thought they'd want to give to it um and then I was worried about the guy but a little bit because I felt like my style was to ask a lot of questions like with pros and cons and so I hope I didn't bring up more issues for them then they started out with I tried to solve any cons or any questions that I posed to them um so then I just basically gave two paths if they're going to see each other beforehand you know that is the path to go down on if they're going to see each other not see each other here's the path and then here's the present cons of each of those and then determined you know by if you're going to see each other beforehand or where you're going to be at or what kind of flexibility you have they're like where's it gonna happen and what are the things you have to consider with that well you kind of brought up one of the most important things I was going about your your god what I thought was very great about it which was you were very thorough you were very detailed and it was definitely a complete guide okay and you know we talked about that yesterday that we talked about making sure you complete your thought you know they don't walk away wanting more thoroughness is such an important part of putting together any piece of content you know we don't leave them hanging in the regard of that didn't actually really solved my problem it kind of just reminded me of how much of a problem it is I now have more questions than I thought I did before you know it needs to be very thorough and very complete and you kind of tio use the term circled the wagon you know you kind of looked and make sure I'm gonna look and make sure I've solved every part of this problem you know I'm not going to leave anything out and that's tough to do when you're trying not to also be verbose they're at war with each other we just talked about how hey you don't want a guy that's too long you have five guides are there right there you know trina so your guide was like could've been five guides and so that is that you have this balance that we have to weigh have tio we have tohave it to strike this balance that is ah balance between being a complete and thorough and detailed but not being verbose wordy and losing their attention we're trying to make your lives easier not harder we don't give him a manuscript and encyclopedia you did a very good job of making sure was very thorough it was very detailed and very complete and through all that what the benefit you get from being so thorough is that you again get to reinforce how obvious it is that you know what you're talking about that they hired an expert that they can trust you we're trying to build trust we're tryingto love on them by giving them something that solving a problem and in the process of that the byproduct is trust trust is today's currency is so valuable and you get trust by doing things like this where you show your value where you show your expertise it's kind of come up in a number different areas you can see there's number different ways to show your expertise great job great job area I thought could use some improvement or area to think about maura's you're building this guy and that is and you brought it up a little bit is that you gave them all the options and when you want to develop in your guide a little bit of an opinion you want teo and not in a way that puts them in a box but in a way that moves them closer to the route you want them to take not because it serves you better usually it does serve you better that's a byproduct but because you believed that it's better for them you have an opinion about what's better for them and you get to use as an opportunity to use fax to use past history to use examples to show why you think it's better but to actually have an opinion in the guide you want to have an opinion it's not opinionated but it's an opinion built and suggested and backed by by things that you know from your expertise yeah my only concern with that one it's so tradition reliant like if you know if you don't want to first look are you really truly believe it's unlucky or whatever you know cultural tradition you have about that it felt really hard to come down on yeah like we want to get you to cocktail we don't want to tie up your family for cocktail hour but if that's something that's super I just didn't wanna I agree then again I'm not saying that you you know there's certain things you won't have an opinion on like yes you should do of any agent session before your wedding yes you should make sure that you measure the wall you're gonna put the landscape print on before you order landscape print yes you need to make sure that your newborn is at least two weeks old there are certain things we need to have an opinion on that are are very easy to come down on there's other things like what you're addressing that are harder but you could still some eight what hey if tradition is very valuable to you than do this if not then I recommend doing this this is better this is easier this makes your photos better some like that yet wes do you also see the guide in this particular situation as an opportunity to kind of filter your audience in the sense that like if your work is the is not going to be the traditional people you don't necessarily you like doing the first look you like doing the very informal formals you know whatever it happens to be do you see the guide is an opportunity to say this is what I prefer and what I recommend and then people who don't like that hopefully won't book with you it depends on what phase you're introducing this guide to and we talked yesterday you brought up the further down the phases you go the more sensitive you have to be who you're dealing with so katrina when trina was introducing her guide at the phase before they even booked that is the time to have an opinion to take a stand for what your target market wants puller rise and give your opinion more so the further you get you have to be more and more sensitive and the further down the chain you go the more sensitive you need to be I mean we talked about what if they're divorced yeah at that point we need to be more sensitive there already a customer they already know how we work there they love us at the beginning where trina's guide entered you could be even more opinionated polarizing and focused on attracting your target market what is you want it's a great question it's a great point but since she this guide is intended more for people who are farther down she's already identified our at least close enough my target people that I want to work with now it's let's figure out the nuances within exactly examined so this wouldn't be somewhere to come down with a stance on where is not of your making this guide for someone at the beginning before they'd even book to you you know you know maybe you're going to come down and say hey before you do anything for your wedding you should decide what you want to see each other beforehand or not and let me tell you all the reasons why that's going to shape the direction of your wedding no and then you can actually come down with a very opinionated stance not in the offensive way again when we say opinion we don't mean way don't wantto what comes to mind immediately or not necessarily the things you were trying to do but depending because that's the early on phase you can actually use it to target and polarize for what you stand for for what your target market does that's a great point I'm so glad that got brought up because it's a really wonderful point anyway great job great job very very good guide very thorough very clear very easy to talk about um oh I didn't even bring up I didn't show you some of the wonderful things some of the thoroughness and brought up so here we go family formals after the ceremony if you're not seen each other before very clear about what it is we're talking about here the pros here are the cons and again so going through and I'm not saying you didn't have an opinion no we suggest communicating to the key people multiple times before and during the wedding that's more about what you're recommending rather than what you're actually standing for so it's hard kind of rest brought up that point like that already a customer you're there to serve them that's your first and foremost obligation as the hired as they're being your customer but you still get to provide education and still provide guidance because you are the expert and they have hired you to be that expert so good job
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