Writing for Photographers
The following presentation has been reproved for photographers who hated english class refused to learn what an adjective was and now wonder why nothing they write about sounds exciting a little sarcasm there it's another skippy you don't have to be hemingway everybody just pay attention to what your message is what are you trying to say you're seeing the world through your client's eyes it's such an easy thing to do it's not I know for everybody but being able to do some marketing and put things together in your words and I'm using weddings here just to clarify weddings there very easy example of things to explain it doesn't mean that I think that that everybody in this room or everybody that's watching is a wedding photographer. The reality is it's just like justin and mary's video yesterday the sincerity what you showed your client to prove that I can understand you I can see the world through your eyes I understand the pride you have in that house you build if you're an architect o...
r in those products so I'm using wedding because they just makes it very easy. Um one of the things I like to remind every photographer and I've been using this particular slide for just years is use an introduction to establish value and wherever you are wherever you're going to put more information about your business about what it is the services you provide use an intro now, this one is just a short one that I drummed up your wedding is a very special day, special time in your life and in red, I've highlighted those things that are really important to the bright and it's our job to make sure you enjoy it without you worrying about what you might miss it's almost like an urban myth, every bride will tell you that, well, a friend of mine, mr entire reception, because the photographer spent so much time. I'm doing the family shots, there's one friends somewhere, years ago that that might happen to I don't believe that it happens that often now, but every bride wills will worry about that. They don't want to miss the reception because they're getting the formal shots done. And no matter what style the bride is interested in, whether it's more traditional work or photojournalism today it doesn't matter. You have to be able to provide whatever the client wants. Next one is will be your eyes. We pride ourselves on being almost invisible in making sure your time is spent enjoying the day, not spending in front of the camera while everyone else has all the fun, I'm hitting that fear again just to make sure they're secure remember your wedding album is your very first family heir loan and represents the start of your brand new family. And I say this every single time that I've used this slide, I hear little angels coming out of the ceiling with trumpets on that one. A wedding album is the very first heirloom of a brand new family this is what's going to document that event that day, the couple coming together to families joining forces, and it suddenly becomes it's, not an album it's it's a story it's your ability as photographers to tell that story in a way that nobody has ever told it before, and in a way that exceeds the client's expectations. We want to make sure, years from now you continue it enjoy you'll continue to enjoy sharing your wedding album fant with family and friends, so think about think about any product that you buy think about what the first page of a bmw brochure might look like a jaguar brochure think about high end products and the way that will be described think about the customer service policy, because somewhere I think is you come in the front door of nordstrom's there's, usually some kind of a plaque about nordstrom's and who they are, what they represent, what they do think about your message as a photographer of what it is that you're really providing, um and this is another one, this one I tied in with sorry, this one I tied in with your pricing and we're going to talk about pricing at a much deeper level after lunch but first of all I absolutely believe that you should have three price points you can go to four but I wouldn't go much more than four my favorite is three I would also I would also label them as something not just low medium and high it might be um silver gold and platinum if you're doing kraft paper aluminum foil and ten then you're probably in the wrong target audience for your wedding coverage so make them a name you know the bottom line is the bottom line it's our silver coverage in the next line up is our golden the next line up is our plan our platinum in this case are planning what wedding coverage has been created to make sure you don't miss one single moment of your special day it's about capturing the love without interruption a romantic engagement session anywhere we talked about this yesterday is there any place you guys won't go for a destination shoot you're going to bermuda it when into sim in december a romantic engagement session anywhere two professional photographers on the day of your wedding I'm not saying you have to have to remember I'm just dumbing up copy here to make a point coverage starts with the excitement and anticipation captured at the rehearsal dinner right through to the tear in mom and dad's eyes as they watch the last dance you really want to be want to play off the emotion of what you're providing and again I'm using weddings because it makes it makes for easy copy to write everybody understands what a wedding is but you could write the exact same thing about capturing a day in the life of your child because that one day will never come again that one day will be different than any other day that child interacting with the new puppy with friends in your home is never going to be captured the same way again because tomorrow is another day and the child's grown is another day older and their experiences change who they are so it could be done for anybody online hosting of an unlimited number of images posted online before you're back from the honeymoon I'm still amazed every now and then when I meet a photographer who takes two weeks six weeks eight weeks to get images to a client now in the old days that was fine nobody expected him any quicker but every photographer missed an opportunity to not get proves to a client quickly this is called strike while the iron is hot they're excited they've just been married they're headed to their honeymoon most photographers today have things a lot of times posted before they even left for the honeymoon so be quick in that response how quickly do you two normally get sherry and jared? One week one week that's perfect I'm in the process of re doing that, so I hadn't typically at three to four weeks right now, but finding ways to scale it back and you're missing, you're missing an opportunity because they're still excited and the sooner you do it a lot of times there's still other family members that have come in from out of town um to designer handcrafted all other fifty page albums custom designed to share with your grandchildren years in the future designer handcrafted all leather. How many? Well, there may be three of us here, maybe you two guys and me old enough to remember the ricardo montalban commercial with the chrysler card oba yeah, maybe corinthian leather was the interior. I don't know what corinthian leather wass, but I also don't know what shea butter is, and I'm supposed to want it in all kinds of of cosmetic products today. So corinthian leather don't just call it an album, they are designer handcrafted, they are custom designed because you're designing it no two albums or ever the same, so they are custom designed. This is not something that can be bought off the shelves. They are unique two smaller family albums, which a complete replicas of your final album, a complete set of deluxe first edition prince what it elects first edition prints proofs, but don't call improves the luxe first edition prints so put some buzz words in there gets to give it some adjectives and spice it up a little bit when you're writing things up proof read everything you write you spell check have somebody else read whatever you're right I mean, how many times that this is the third time I brought this up? Read whatever you right out loud, use an adjective now and then and go easy on the word that I'm not even going to try and use it in a sentence, but we all use the word that shows up, and a lot of times you'll have a sentence that's got three or four that's in it when you can just cut it out and make the sentence just sound better quick tips there it is, hama nim's I was trying to member earlier pay attention to haman and spellcheck won't catch two, two and two all spelled differently all having different meanings use a pair about paragraph break with a new topic new place, new time uh, when a new person is speaking if whatever it is you're about to publish you think is sensitive or you're concerned or you're worried about the way you're going to say something or you're going to do a post back because some troll got you aggravated, put it away and hold it for twenty four hours everything looks different when you cool down so if it is something sensitive and you really are ticked off and you want to get you want to really make a statement, hold it back I can't tell you the number of times that I wish I could take back something that I wrote and a lot of times wish I could take back something that I said hold back its more than count to ten sometimes you just want to put it aside and I'll come back to that did I explain it right that I get things saying the way I wanted to this is the world according to talk for I love the fact that vicky doesn't call them wallets she calls them art wallets her unique portrayed sessions you heard her talk yesterday or called limited editions that was one of the promotions we asked about what I asked her what's been the most successful in all your promotions that you've ever done big prince she calls v imagery she's not just calling him big prince this is where she's one of the kids that did go and it didn't cut all the english classes in seventh grade on location sessions air called real life sessions and she has a a ton of stuff here I can share share with the audience but with you guys that we can't share it so much live but she sent me a whole package look at just the way she puts things together it doesn't just come in a big manila envelope that I can open and dump out on the desk but here's a here's a thing for one of her dogs shoots she's got which way we going? Which camera? Right there uh more right there that one okay, great. So she's got she's got some nails on the back she's got a twenty five dollars discount it's in the shape of a dog bone this is clever. This is just meant to get through the noise she's got other components this is a piece for kids pieces you won't find anything in here that's just your normal plain old ordinary square here's a gift card that looks similar to you know, I had the gift cards that you see in all the stores now from restaurants to american express gift cards. She even does a small emery board so women that want to do their nails remember who who makes the purchase decisions and who's her target and she's got her image is printed on the emery board so you guys can take a look at that later. The point is that with all of her marketing material she's not just putting stuff out there going hey here so I am here's what I do and here's ghost writers dot com I knew there was a slide in here somewhere and if you still need help and this is sort of an infomercial, but we've got a crew there that can help you guys in writing things in putting things together, and sometimes you're just too close to your own work and you just need to step back a little. So just before we take a break, we've got a special smug offer from smugmug. You get thirty percent off your first year of smugmug pro use creative skip checkout smugmug put this together just for me, it's valid until the end of this month until june twenty eighth plus if you sign up the thirty, the thirty percent offer is is a very narrow window just a couple of weeks, and if you sign up, remember, you also get their fourteen uh, their fourteen day free trial offers so it's sort of like, well, if you did the thirty percent off and then you've also got the two weeks or if you want to wait till later on and you're not sure that you want to use there their help in, um, in hosting and the things that smugmug does. If you use smugmug skip cohen at checkout, it'll take twenty percent off your first year smugmug pro and that's, valid until may second, two thousand thirteen, and on that note. On that note, we want to take some questions I think we're gonna break for lunch soon. Yeah, we are about to break for lunch any questions in the audience? I love talking about charity and giving back where my heart is so it's so important to so many things and there's so few people in this in the world that have a career path that allows you to give back something that's totally unique, going back a little bit on what bambi was talking about, what the salons you may be able to answer my question here in the seattle area, the salons, they don't hire full time stylists, they just rent the chairs out, so there isn't really a vested interest in the stylist promoting themselves to the salon, so and I'm assuming other businesses are similar. I know that a couple architecture firms that are like that too, where they just contract out and don't have full time employees, but in that type of business would the rule should we first tried to get the relationship with the owner or establish the relationship first with the stylist and then follow them wherever they go? Absolutely owner because the owner really controls it controls the space, the owner has the responsibility, the owner has the liability for what you do, I mean, if you go in and you've got this great relationship with with one of the stylists and you go in and you're working with the stylist, the owners still has liability for you being there so just from a legal perspective, but from a marketing standpoint, you want that owner to feel so good about your ability to help build traffic and build their reputation. The owner still has a percentage that they're getting or they're getting the rental fee for that spot a real estate they're running the stylist. So either way, the owner has the most vested interest. The owner also has probably the responsibility over promotion, marketing, advertising dollars things that aired going on also, when you're tying it in with the charity you may be able to find, you may not be making any headway at all with a particular owner, and then all of a sudden you do a little research and you find out that their favorite charity is something to do with, I don't know a walkathon coming up for some particular charity that might be coming up in the community. So if you do your research, so you're not just walking in cold saying, hey, I'm carlos and I take great pictures and I'd like to do something with you to raise money for charity if you go in there and you actually know. What the hot buttons are for that owner and sometimes you can find that out just by talking to some of the stylus sometimes it's easy enough just to go and google that person's name because everybody today almost everybody in the world you khun google and find them somewhere and read more about them and find out what their interests are so that that's another wayto to hook him fantastic well thank you. Um go versus michael I was really intrigued uh but what you were thing and about the adjectives and having creative ways to describe your products do you have any advice on how to go about you know, gold, silver, platinum or you know, those air like the art wallet that sounds how how do you fancy that up? Um well how I do it I have I mentioned yesterday I've got this big white board I think everybody in the world ought to have a big white board now not everybody likes to work that way. I have to write him out and I'll sit and if I'm trying to figure out how I want to describe something that really is a challenge to may and in that case if I was in your role, I'd said and maybe you just do it on a sheet of paper I like the white board because it's big it's in front of me and I can just sit back and stare at it and say all right is this what I really want to say and I just start writing work I'll do my own brainstorming which is tough win when your brain isn't necessarily working sometimes she will help me and I go come on help me think of a word what do we call this thing what do we what is it so getting another family member getting a friend that you've got a good relationship even if it's just a phone call saying come on give me this is who wants to be a millionaire call a friend give me give me twenty words that that I mean having a good time and people just if they're good friends they'll start giving you ideas and sometimes you just need tio brainstorm yu's dictionary dot com look for synonyms that that mean the same thing go through the deficit the dictionary I use it all the time I mean it's it's not just that big book that we used to press leaves with when we were kids now because it's online you can go in and you can find a thousand words that might mean the same thing also I am a constant student of of advertising when I look at a magazine I do look at all the pictures I don't read the articles as much as I want o r should read them I do look to see how how are high in companies describing a product? How is somebody that has a particular service that's similar to something I want to do describing it? So I would read I would I would look at magazines I would, I'd watch tv and pay attention to the commercials. I'd walk into nordstrom's and look at the way they displayed things look at the way product is displayed, look at the colors they used, look at a nordstrom's ad, go online and go to some of your favorite higher in stores and see the way did they describe their products? And a lot of times I'm not suggesting you plagiarize, but a lot of times you can get ideas on other adjectives and for me, like I said for me, I love I love that silly white board because there's just this crap all over it, and sometimes I just keep things there because they keep reminding me that if I procrastinate one more day, I'm going to lose an opportunity. So sometimes it's just, you know, the window's closing and it's only open for so long, and you've got this window of opportunity and having stuff out in front of you on the wall, there's just great a lot of people use post it notes and put post it notes everywhere.