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Branding & Packaging

Lesson 5 from: The Photographer's Guide to SEO and Online Marketing

Lawrence Chan

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Lesson Info

5. Branding & Packaging

Lesson Info

Branding & Packaging

The very first thing is and most important is positioning is your usp your unique selling proposition? You have to create this and maintain this with their clients all the time what it is is really how you're different and I have a few now if you actually have a number of examples here it's a really fun slide so let's take a look at toothpaste. All of these brands are toothpaste brands. At the end of the day they just help you brush your teeth yet colgate tollo is known for complete protection twelve hours close up is for sexy, cool and fresh crest, you know is for fluoride and gun protection. Armand hammer is the baking soda for oxygenation aural be dances approved and since the dinosaurs sensitive teeth they're all toothpaste I mean, end of the day yet they're all different. So when you think about something, you all probably have your preferred brand. Maybe maybe not. Okay, um you have to be able to create that same preference when it comes to consumerism for your own products where...

the you brent I mean, how do you brown yourself and where do you fall in this whole scheme of giant of ray of photographers who offer very in a way similar services and different markets have different expectations to german car examples. Mercedes means luxury. Bmw is ultimate driving machine volkswagen is berenice das auto which is the people's car in german and allie is truth in engineering but if you think about mercedes in europe they're known as taxis and trucks yeah they're not luxury cars the taxis and trucks so it's determines on your market and it's okay to have market segmentation where you have a different brand for different markets and then we'll talk about the pricing segmentation later run so when you position yourself you have to gauge in comparison tio two things first your competitors how much do you price based on your competitors because if everybody in your whole city if that's your target is charging to the four thousand you obviously and you may but I can say it's not going to be work very well you can't charge sixty thousand no one is gonna be very difficult teo cell that point so it's really more than just a nice position even though it's important but you have to be able to position still yourself in comparison to other photographers you still need that little elevator pitch which will work on later on but it's so much more because when you're talking about competition remember we talked about earlier there's the brand product generic and total budget competitors you have tio we will compete for the same resource is in this limited pie the very next thing is not only position yourself based on competitors but you position yourself based on value one is you're competitive advantage what can you offer that other people cannot you know it's a hard question to answer because you don't want teo you want to give you sometimes we forget to give ourselves too much credit so you have to know exactly what limitation and your capabilities are the next night I'm actually gonna get into libya of economics for consumer and producer surplus but it's a very cool thing to understand so when it comes to economics the x value or about online on bottom is the quantity and in the response value which is the why is the vertical line which is the price so the higher price lower the man you know lower price hired the men so far but same time as a producer you would try to produce different things so consumer surplus is what they get when you charge for example lower price and I'm just going toe scoot over here really quickly so if you if they're able to get away with a lower price then they're surplus becomes more that means they get to gain more but as a producer if you get a bill charge more your surplus or your benefits become more but if you really think about it it's really the same thing as this one has earlier the willingness to pay as well as your opportunity cost but next thing we have to understand is it's really about your brand equity because it's not just about what you have your company isn't based on the value of your company isn't based on just simply your gear or your equipment because I know we talked about ourselves it's really your creative eye that you're paying for your services, your personality, your hospitality all of these things so how do you have to put that into value and this is a really little attendant more into accounting tangent it's not completely applicable to you guys but it's still good teo to safer as an example so if you think about position in terms of goodwill or equity brand equity you can actually put a price on it um jimmer back in oh five o for gu had google video for if you don't remember it's okay oh isn't really popular that's the thing youtube had something is like oh, we got to compete with you too so they created a video and no matter how powerful and smart google is and all the great engineers, they couldn't create a product that competed with youtube everything the same thing even better but still can compete with you to that shows you how brand equity works so what did they do? It is bach youtube which works out to so they bought youtube for one point one nine four billion but if you account in terms of youtube's tangible assets it was only worth point one seven seven billion and you can actually do the whole accounting you know ledger if you want to journal it out in terms of thousands if you take away all the patents and trademarks and contracts and all of that the goodwill how much their brand was worth is one point one three four million so if you think about creative live here you take away all the you know, the appreciable equipment, the lights, the tables you know, the backgrounds of sofas and the supplies they have food in the fridge you know, even though there they have explorations take away everything all of that is it are they only worth you know, the four hundred thousand I put in no it's not because creative life has built this brand report all of the viewers that's worth so much more that when they say something oh, this is cool. We also yeah that's critical, you know? Okay, good because they're in authority and what I'm trying to get at is you have to build this brand equity this and your brand equity boils down teo relationships, you know again hospitality and all of that but it's really relationships, the more relationships you have, the stronger your brand back when he becomes but it's very difficult as susan asked earlier in terms of selling your business because of relationships are built based on one person so it's difficult to try to sell it there they're on unless you can somehow separate yourself from your business and that's a difficult thing to do so next thing about positioning is perception and perception is a very it but it's the same thing as indicative value earlier two thousand dollars versus a thousand you know a thousand seems more experienced ritz carlton versus motel six and danielle really who is a psychologist at duke university he did a very cool coffee experiment where he served to the same target audience students at m I t two different colored the same coffee same style of brewing but present in two different ways the very first one he put in fancy cups fancy condiments sugar is cinnamon whatever and he took a rating on how much people willing to pay then he offered the same coffee same quality products same everything except in star phone cups label with a red felt pen and just presented there and and ask them what they're willing to pay and not surprisingly all the students thought that the coffee was in much much higher quality when prison you know in the fancy cups even though it's the same coffee my point is is that you're surrounding your perception is very powerful and I'm not saying that you have tio it really depends on the target audience too so where you meet your client so the strategy is perception tactically is how can you create the proper perception for your target audience where you meet your client is important now? Is it a casual, argued clients casual starbucks might be a better choice if your clients are lugs you know of a luxury here, then lobby at ritz carlton or if you have a very nice home then or a nice studio that's a good place to whatever it may be, you have to be able to change an altar to that target audience. So that's a tactic understand that perception is very important and I'm not saying to go over above it, over or under it, but just at the right level, so when it comes to position and we also have to create the right message again, I earlier I asked you a question of why you is it possible for any of you to answer that question right now? Why should I hire you? Um well, I'm a boudoir photographer, not a wedding photographer dh um I'm a misbehaved photographer for independent women, so I am giving ah empowering experience to these women who I'm powering them to celebrate their bodies and their you know, their lives as is very nice so that's a very nice position, but I'm goingto challenge that laid around the fourth bullet point, but that's a really, really clear one really strong and really short because as to be transcribed well for other people so very first questions be able to determine why you I know where it gets interesting and I will tell what would you are too? I have a lot examples so a lot of times photographers say my work speaks for itself it's really difficult because again it's an esoteric item and I want you to do me a favor I'm going to change my slide to wedding photo and I want you to write one word that this finds the style take ten seconds first word that comes to your mind I won't even write one myself five seconds for betty did you write one down? Okay, can you tell me what your style then you thought if my work this find my style yeah, editorial okay. Glamorous contemporary okay, editorial whoa! First time I ever had the same thing for two people but nevertheless we had three different words I was thinking romantic but I was thinking fashion okay five you see that thing in fashion now if our work truly spoke for itself, can you imagine how much noise there would be if oliver clients you know, decide to praise us but they cannot have a consistent message to be able to say the same thing every single time see for jolene it's very simple all of her clients are going to say she empowered me she made me feel independent those were her words she crafted it fordham allow them to speak it I mean the same thing I can play this game again and we're all probably come off this different words not to mention the twenty words that came up in the chat room. Oh okay, so the thing is the bottom line is that if you don't give them the words they're going to come up with over whether a message they're going to come up with and its promise you it's going to be different than what you intended it to be? The reason lies because what we provide our esoteric items are services esoteric and what I mean about this it's something very difficult to grasp it's very out there if you think about wine beer, coffee, can you truly unless you're connoisseur tell me the difference between good versus great coffee good versus great beer good versus great wine if you're concert maybe but it's still very difficult but how do we tell the value of wine, beer or any other esoteric item to me? I base it on the packaging the label of the wine bottle the name of it called chateau there's something french then okay great that's a great one and I can tell the difference between a forty dollars between the forty dollars four dollars but if you two deport him, you know he's a as a placebo, I wouldn't tell you I based on how much I pay that's, how I value my work so unless I've drunken thousands of bottles of wine or a boudoir clients or a senior client or bride who gets married only one time, maybe up to three times a lifetime now, because things are changing, they haven't seen thousands off photos every week, as you guys have, so how can they tell the difference between good versus great? We could probably tell the difference between good versus great photos because we see it, but it's such a large volume, but they can't, so if they can't say, see it just as how we can't tell the difference between these that'll say esoteric items, what makes you think they can and be able to determine your value? So it goes back to the whole idea of perception indicative value there's so many it's, all of them, I am around it that makes you valuable, not necessarily the core of what you deliver, because that actually becomes minuscule in the whole grand scheme of things. But I like what you said earlier about your your brand message, because if you cannot sum up your entire brown in one tweet, it's too long because if it's not translatable, imagine if I will your clients you just photographed me and I had to go tell my friends about how great you were I have to say she is a wonderful greats phenomenal x y z you know independent in the photographer who makes me feel empowered and exploit you know so far it's just too long I'm going to forget the words but if you keep it short and simple is very clear very concise and its transcribe a ble for other people because ultimately you want them to praise you because if you imagine if you're in a room let's just say that we want to refer someone we can't just say oh my photographer is great big no my photographer is great think no my photography is great but great how my photographer is great because she does this if you're not looking for that the antithesis of it then yushin hardest photographer how do you create your brand message if we got you came and talk about protecting it unless you have one if you don't have one you can create your own it's not a problem but a very easy formula is simply this you put your craft your target audience and your location it's sort of simple is that I am I'm a misfit misbehave photographer for independent women and I'm empowering women to celebrate their bodies shamelessly so misbehave photographer she's obviously rebellious and you were targeting people who want to celebrate their bodies women specifically soul that's a very clear one so you're talking about anyone who is not that is not your target audience includes men, people who don't want to celebrate their bodies but who doesn't you know and so forth? So a lot of times a big problem what people are fearful of doing when they say this is when they craft a message they're excluding people because when you exclude people this is the your modern photographer then that also means that you are not including traditional clients he only want modern clients don't want traditional, but if you say a traditional than your mother and that is loss of vision and people are afraid of loss has mentioned earlier so we don't want to lose it, so we try to include everybody but when you include everybody, you actually lose out on the market share because you have the stronger brand so it's better to be very narrowly precision focus surgically focused than to be very broad, but there are some ways we can get around it and I like justin starr someone used her his example and the lawful tolerates no her her slogan is lifestyle fit offer for fabulous people, so her position is really targeting families people is they're so anyone who is not retarded ons are in fabulous people in a way what anyone consider him or herself on fabulous so you can always stick with positive emotional words such as that other ones might be stylish I don't care if you are wearing you know sarah gamble or if you're wearing gap or if you were to h and m everybody in their own lines I think that they're fashionable for stylish so you can always stick with positive words like that now there's always one big problem now is if you have your brand message what stops people from just simply copying it? What stops me from saying exact same thing as you know you you you you or judgment there is nothing stopping me from doing that. So how do you protect yourself from copycats and that is really branding you when it comes to you? This is why we talked about earlier your target audience is very much like you this includes your likes dislikes your vulnerabilities and your life philosophy when we're talking about likes and dislikes. This is where a lot times how I believe instagram works because I can put myself out there and I would attract other people who like me people who like to travel and people who like to eat and try different things and not be afraid of experimentation of foods and all that in terms of vulnerabilities and a lot of times we don't want people to know that we're flawed, yet it is actually a very powerful strategy because we always root for underdogs if you think about it a lot on the dogs we like him we watch movies and we support them and cry over them too I mean for those who watch korean drama okay, so apparently you do I don't speak korean I'm not korean but I watched a translation and I am always crying you know, for the dog I want her to win, you know, get the man and all of that so put yourself out there these vulnerabilities make you more human making more authentic because if you're too perfect and too polished I know it's hard for people to actually relate to you to keep that in mind but you can put as much or as little as you want to your comfort you don't want to put everything out there he just up to your own limitations in the end you're the only you no one can be a better version of that so that's your ultimate brand but you still require both ends you need the elevator pitch the one that people can still transcribed in the short one tweet one message say my photographer is edgy if you're looking for boring photos and gold firing in their photographer you know mine is the best if without that message it doesn't work but what goes beyond that is yourself so it's really twofold and they're always us there's a story behind everything so what I want youto really emphasizes the story and the reason behind why you chose into what you d'oh you know, the emotional trigger usually to make more money is not a convincing argument so you want to be able to transcribe that store each other people if you think about toms toms shoes uh blake mycoskie has a wonderful story he went to argentina I saw so many misfortunes no people of misfortune not having shoes I felt compelled to create your company even though he didn't know anything about shoes and he created a model of one for one you by pair he'll give a pair and that's the story and because of that, consumers who buy the shoes can tell other people a story cycle what's toms toms is a company that dot dot dot dot it's easy to remember because stories are linear there's a beginning, middle and end we're trained to listen to stories from from childhood everything's based on stories so you want to have that story? What is it? I mean nikes the same thing about the coach and athletes and how they were just wanting to create the best possible shell for a competitive advantage, so but, you know, after all of this you have to maintain one thing and that's humility because if you're you know cocky hottie, whatever you want to say it it's a real turnoff so make sure that you maintain it and I know it sounds like a no brainer but you'd be surprised how many times you know people still go overboard and there's a sorry interrupt I have ah wedding photographer friend who's really cocky but he is young and he's good looking and he likes to be like that okay that way and that's the kind of clients he gets and talking clients like they may just there aren't they all hang out together jazz nash that's that's really cool no I'm not all right no it's true you you basically it boils down to evangelism you attract those who are most like you because you're most comfortable with yourself and they're comfortable each other you know being cocky against you know kind of each other I'm not saying that's a bad thing but it's for the most part most of us like the humility okay because it's easier to relate teo true but if your target audience is different there exception there there are always exceptions to everything everything I say makes sure you mold it to whatever your business is like all of you're different and I can't overemphasize that but let me just give you one quote from al reese and jack shot who's wrote the book twenty two immutable laws of marketing it talks about humility and to me it makes perfect sense every negative statement you make about yourself is instantly accepted this truth positive statements, on the other hand, are looked at as dubious at best, so it makes a lot of sense to me and I think it applies to most businesses that's intense that's an intense statement it's kind of depressing actually little bit it is people believe all the bad things about you what they don't believe the good things about you. Well, we like to okay, if you think about when we go cocktail parties what's the very first question people like to ask exactly what do you d'oh? The reason why is because we have to make sense of people and put them in a box because we don't make sense of them. We can't compare ourselves to them if we can't compare ourselves how the way nowhere rank people want to be a little bit higher than everybody else unless you just shy like me and I don't care for then most people they want to have that ranking system sit so they want to accept the bat the worst of people and like you said it's, a very it's a debbie downer thought I should take it back because debbie's aren't bad it's a very depressing thoughts yeah it's good to be honest and say that that's yeah that's not what that's not the idea of what we think is interesting I did want to point out that is very culture we have like international community here in the chat rooms and people watching from around the world and I I know from traveling people asking what do you do that's very western culture that's very the united states when you go to a place like india no one asks you what do you do? That's not so it is interesting to think about culturally it's very important to us that's a good point what I'm saying right now applies most americans nationally you know again different market different rules always make sure that you apply to yourself tactically speaking cool but you know, to get around that question I always simply I like to ask people what you like to do for fun because it gets into a commonality because the whole goal is the greatest relationship there's common bridge where we can o d like skiing teoh mi tio which which helps you like or things of that sort did you have a question more like a comment? I just wanted to comment on embracing your negative aspects I looked at being misbehaved because I'm and pretty feisty and I get into trouble um and I make trouble I looked at that is a negative and it wasn't until I started embracing that and and sharing that with my clients and with my friends that it's actually turned into a positive I mean people want to be misbehaved even if they're not already in it just kind of it really set me free to embrace those things about myself I think that's really important to understand you cannot fake something you're not you'd really have to know yourself and be you make that radiant though that whatever aspect that maybe that character because your ultimate going to attract those who are most like you and it's and you can't even if like I said you can't fake it because it's a natural attraction you can't even put into words how that works for myself I'm I'm introverted and I'm putting it out there all line I may be very active but I'm really introverted so a lot of my clients and they even I remember a client asked me do I have to be like all bubbly and jubilant in order to attract it's the right clientele? I said no actually when I was away for topper all of my clients were very quiet and introverted people we like quiet places we like maybe a glass of wine bar sells, weaken, sit there by ourselves and not talk and we're perfectly comfortable so embrace your qualities and don't see it as a negative because it it's going to help make you different that is what makes you different? Well, I actually kind of had a comment similar to that but um like I used to think that my enthusiasm was a negative thing because it made me seem unprofessional and like childish but I realized to embrace it and just I acknowledge that I'm a very enthusiastic photographer all day long which is why I do well with long weddings or something like that but I wanted to talk about the comet the quote in terms of boudoir ours a lot like people I believe all the negative stuff about themselves and they don't really listen to the positives I guess that's kind of like how you could use it too yeah if you spin it into positive thing where the most critical were the most critical bar sells its always the same situation and I unfortunate can't use an example outside waiting for top because that's the only craft I've used but let me just give you an example of how social proof works or rule number was it the friends and family members who used to sell us he was a real number three so when I shot a bride I can tell you every single time I shoot her and I can show any bride and she'll be like oh, I don't like how I look there oh my arms or my hair or whatever there's some excuse all the time so I have come to learn I shoot the bride or you can say client even if a high school senior and you show it to their friends or there or there bride bridal party and all of a sudden there's all my because you look so cute in that photo or you just look stunning are radiant and all of a sudden I don't need to sell the photo anymore because the bride or the subject signor boudoir whatever is already sold because you're using rule number three friends and my family members to sell to this to the target audience. So keep that in mind, it's all the strategy is there it's just a matter of manipulating it so that it works for every single situation. Technically speaking, it's just interesting how statements, you know, we all have something that we want to say or add to certain aspects of this. You know, it really is it's. Not just about seo. Yes, I am that's. Why? I was a little afraid because everybody I walked in and they were looking for that's. Like a tiny aspect of what I'm actually is. Sharing marketing is so much more than just being found. Because being a found this it's just one tiny aspect converting, translating, you know, making them into a tribe. All that that's a whole different story. We love the holistic approach. Yes. Saying the whole room. Yeah. Call is very important to go see the bigger picture here.

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Ratings and Reviews


Lawrence has done a great job in trying to simplify SEO and marketing in such a short course. He's obviously a clever and well clued up guy, and he comes across well if a little nervous and bumbling at times. The course itself felt quite fragmented over the first day. At times I almost felt like we were going through a business studies book, but in a disjointed way not knowing what direction we'd go next. Having said that the course is worth watching as there are a few nuggets of gold in there and it's a great general overview of both marketing and SEO which is an incredibly deep topic. There were a few questionable area for me over both days, but I've studied SEO reasonably well, for example he told a viewer to keep her old site and not move to a new domain as she'd lose all page rank. In actual fact the lady could quite easily move from one domain to another, and using a 301 permanent redirect she could transfer between 90-99% of her old pages link juice (ranking power). I understand going through deeper areas like this might have put fear in some people, but I think a few areas could have been better presented or explained. Would I recommend this course, yes I would. Although I saw faults in it, the amount of information on offer is pretty extensive and will help most photographers who run their own websites. SEO can go so much further than has been explained here, but for most small businesses this will be a great starting block to getting your business out there and ranking higher than you ever did before! Note to all: Anyone using wordpress please make sure you get it hosted on a decent host. After hosting my wordpress site on bluehost, and getting incredibly slow load times, I researched extensively to find out that the host plays a really important part in this area and going cheap isn't a great option. If your pages load slow you run the risk of losing a lot of potential customers and hits, so do yourself a favour and pay a little more for a decent host.

a Creativelive Student

I have been looking for a course like this to learn more about Online Marketing and SEO and randomly came across this course playing live. I usually decide within the first 5 minutes whether I want to continue learning, and Lawrence Chan definitely had me hooked. I wanted to continue watching his engaging presentation and listen to what he had to say. His quirky and nervous disposition was handled well as he broke into a smile or laughter from time to time, which made him funny yet relatable. Like everyone else, I was impressed by his thorough knowledge of Online Marketing and liked the examples he gave as he progressed with the course. Hopefully Lawrence Chan can be featured in Creative Live again!

Corrie W

Brilliant ! Great content, well organized, practicable, understandable. I felt like I had a good handle on SEO and really thought I’d be getting a refresher. I am amazed at the new things I learned. Great resource that I’ll go back to often. Well done!

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