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Content Strategy

Lesson 8 from: The Photographer's Guide to SEO and Online Marketing

Lawrence Chan

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Lesson Info

8. Content Strategy

Lesson Info

Content Strategy

There are many types, but we talked about three and we're going to expand on the different types of content for each one, so really briefly we have word of mouth next social media and lastly search engine optimization but as we talked about earlier such as your situation betty, when you move to a new state, what happens when you want a charge out of a different price point? What happens if you lose your pool of referrals? This is where comes in and I'm not trying to tease you or anything, but I will talk about it in thoroughly detail no tomorrow, but it doesn't mean that that in itself is sufficient because there is so much more to it it's a combination as susan said earlier, you have to take a very holistic approach to everything they all fit together well one without the other is just like a house of cards it will crumble so types of good contents we want teo understand what to put out there because whatever you produce, you're going to put it all into search engines you're goingto o...

ne people to share on clicks for social media and with a mouth you need to be found in the same time it needs to be discussed your focus is to deliver consistent quality content that we eventually convert readers into fans, fans into clients and clients into your vangelis this is why we need to diversify everything will produce not everyone made purchasing at the same time, but you want them to be ready to maintain that toma the top of mine awareness so what type of contents are there? There is the very obvious one which is portfolio content portfolio continent is basically stuff you're issued your clients but the thing is is that I mean I get it it's a very important you need to show that you're capable of producing what they were trying to sell, but beyond that during the down times do you leave a blank when you deal on top of it? What impression do you get people when it's a website just full of clients just full of client work? It's not easy for them to relate to that from outside perspective and I'm going to read this quote that I wrote it's a very interesting one that would sum up my full feeling about this imagine how annoying it would be if all your favorite brand did was say, buy my stuff by my stuff by my stuff or look at my photo shoot look at my photo shoot we're looking my photo shoot it gets really prepared I mean imagine if you're fair branded that it would be really annoying if that's all that's all there was it's not like I can engage with it too, for example for a baby photographers out there if you posted a photo of a baby I mean sure if it's cute and I like smile but it's going to get me it's gonna take a lot of effort for me to like the photo because it's really weird because it's not even my baby it's going to be even more weird for me to comment, let alone and this is your client's baby let alone share the photo why would I share a photo of a baby that I don't even know that's not even yours it's your clients is I'm not going to share it so you have to create content and not only worth you know liking but also worth sharing so I hope you get the idea we're trying to produce content that this is a cipher that not any worth reading but also works very so my point is content strategy is not about pushing products that creates alter motives and as I mentioned in rule number one with altar mothers there's this trust you cannot sell directly to someone else you're trying to create other ways to go around that so don't focus solely on portfolio shoots create other things the most important one is really to create solutions now when I talk about solutions into a twofold is this the very first one is to their daily problems as you mentioned earlier for betty situation and for dogs you know halloween costumes, organic dog food, all of that you know or babies you know, host lou I mean they're unlimited problems out there so for kids how they could protect the kid from sunburn or about avoid drowning safety tips were for swimming private school criteria and once you do so you post it you make it optimized for search engines, you make a shareable because let's just say we're all moms here we have kids and I posted a post on how to get your school into private school I mean how to get your kid into private school even though it's a photo of my kid like I said you may not know the kid you're not gonna share it, but the topic isn't about my kids topic is about a solution how again to private school that is worth sharing you can share that with all your mommy friends and that network spreads the whole goal was for them to get to your sights, browse around, find other solutions and then ultimately converted into clients. I'll talk about conversion later on, but you need the content first so which is why we're talking about what types of content the other thing is when I talk about fears and solutions is to quell their fears of hiring you what hesitations ardor for hiring you let me okay jolene, you probably have the most ah, they need to lose ten pounds they need to wait for husbands anniversary christmas um money um schedules thinks like that very nice so once you understand their fears that's how you're able see I don't want to answer your question you because I actually have a video for boudoir foot photographers that someone produced that sort of answer all of the questions and fears beforehand so I won't talk about that yet but those air great you have to understand the theorist first and then you can address them because how can you proactively addressed um if you don't know what they're afraid of, I know I'm going very general right here they don't always tell you what they're afraid of I mean, they might tell you one thing when they're really afraid of something else so that's kind of hard to that is a lot of times they don't know what fury what they fear so you after you have to be proactive here is one that I thought about for children photography the very obvious one that we all think about and you mentioned earlier too too expensive because anything beyond free is too expensive and a lot of times so you want to be us, you know, for school photographers, the other thing you are afraid of as a parent is that you're not going to capture, you know, kids, essence so there are many ways how school photographers take portrait's of students they just put them in the backdrop they shoot him it's a run of the mill so that's a everything they're always just they're afraid that's going to be not unique it's not going teo capture their essence and it's expensive and they always get this you know it's just boring so in order to address something like this and you don't actually address it directly like I know that I'm expensive and I know that it's boring you know you don't say anything like that it can be something along the lines of you know I've always been disappoint with school photos as a parent it's the run of the mill sessions mike my kid is quite lively you don't believe me or not however, if I wanted a d m v photo of my son like a deer in the headlights then sure I have a school for tom would take care of it I always like to bring my subjects especially my son to their elements let them play let them have fun it takes a while longer to get the right moments but aren't they only young once so then what I did there was I demonize the whole idea of boring photos at school and I illustrate the fact that my son is very lively and yes, it does take time which means that it does take money but I'm the only young once, which is my hot button to provoke fear in them because they do grow very fast and you want to build capture their essence. So that's one way of creating a compelling campaign for wedding for two offers whether some of the fears that you're not going to capture a moment for destination weddings, you're not going to arrive on time, but what happens, your plane's late? So it can be very simple is yes, I am in aruba and few days ahead of time before the wedding, but thing is, as much as I like to actually mate to the weather, I simply do so because I want to make sure that the bride has a piece of mine, that I will be there in case because I know how hurricane season works, you know? But I'm help here, you know, dot, dot, dot and great thing is, is that I have friends out here, local photographers through my great network, so then we get to always have multiple coverage because I understand how expensive it is to fight off three, four photographers from the states into international island, so automatically I talked about without even thinking about this and go, wow. That is true what happens if a person can't make it there's a hurricane so this person likes to come out early anyway too expensive to hire if so many photography all great this person is a great network and those local photographers knows howto acklin mate you came and talk about the fog from the humidity of the lenses. Oh, I didn't think about that that's an issue but you talk about how you really do so proactively so this is what I'm talking about proactively calling the fears before they even think of it it sounds a bit like an infomercial if you think about it. So think about what problems to your client's face what issues keep them up at night the bigger the problems, the bigger the opportunities to generate valuable content creates cures constantly. I could have said it better, but you steal a psychology professor michael fans look said fear is the most powerful motion and has been mentioned earlier fear is gripping, it stops you from doing things at the same time it makes you do things too because of fear of loss and forces you to quick you quickly act so provide solutions and I've been talking about example is the whole time doll costumes boudoir would be sexy lingerie ideas or and I don't mean to get into prurient ideas but sex tips for your to excite your husband yeah, and then when they see it and they see the sexy photos very steamy is they call wow joey has some pretty cool photos here hope she she sees in my area in sacramento like it gets the ball rolling and then they share their friends who might be in sacramento and it pushes the you know, the boundary from there it's all about the idea of unsolved products so whatever it may be constantly create these unsolved ideas that minute that they may have never thought of always be consistent everything you d'oh everything about your brand don't throw things out from left field make sure everything you put out there is of quality content it is better to be quiet and have a silence you know, high respite then she just the role content because oh shoot I think blogged today it's okay you know world move on just wait and make sure because the thing is is that the world social world is a race old soul noisy I mean, how often do you read all of your facebook updates or every single a twitter feed update? I don't I mean I tried teo but it's hard because there's so much and a lot of times it's it's garbage so I have to filter through a lot of them I mean not that my friend's feeds or garbage but it's a lot to read through so make sure that it's targeted constantly make sure it's surgically precise you know for your target audience one thing you want to focus on is agitating it's a made up word I know so it's educating and entertainment same time because if it's just purely educational it's not going to fly and detaining the has no value but if you merge together it makes it much more fun to interact with so I tried immersed the other two in the un you want to create content not only worth reading but also worth sharing which is why you can't just put portfolio of babies out there because no one's going to share it but baby ideas worth sharing lawrence yes from the chat rooms ezra eichmann said now I'm thinking I might go interview my friends and associates about the things on their mind from day to day make a list of the problems that everyone has in common and then come up with economically viable solutions for them that's a very clever and carol see said me too that is very clever they're working it out that's cool find out the problems because you unless you're in that same position and even if you are you still may not ascend the full spectrum of problems that people fear so understanding would you recommend ah sending your client's a questionnaire I mean is that that seems like kind of weird to ask my clients with their fears are it is but it can it can be but I would say this is something more you talk in person because people also have a fear of committing it down to words because then it gets people time to think there was also right that you know well it's conversation it's colloquial you can just pass ideas much more freely and I know I'm jumping the gun but test you know when you're talking about understanding people's fear I really whole block post about this if you want to read it but how summing up really quickly the most effective testimonials out there because rule number five testimonials cell or high endorsement imagine if you have a page of saying oh she's great she's great she's great it gets a little mundane but the most effective testimonials actually are conversions so you actually have to bring out the negativity of it then converted to positive susan actually gave me the best testimony whoever earlier and I remember the exact words but she was saying something along the lines of I forgot I'm not going to put words in your mouth so forget it. Well, tell me what was about and I'll tell you what I said I would give an example for photography okay? So instead of to sing she's a great photographer at first it would be like you ask him what were some hesitations you had about hiring me and let them talk about it said be open be free and isn't of course after the fact and then you have everything downwards through testimonials but example would be you know, at first I was a little hesitant she's young, I'm not going to lie I didn't know how experience she was but when I saw the photos it took my breath away see that was a conversion not sure became sure versus just blindly I love her she's great that's very different but you said something along the lines of I wasn't sure what to expect at first I thought it was something about a ceo but then became I realize how you know how you have to approach it holistically and sort of like that now is the conversion and that in itself was able to broadcast of much more effective message and just saying ceos great holistic marketing is great there's so much more to marketing whereas she was a conversion so it's which is so funny because when I said it on a rock as I was saying to myself no, no, no, that was great. Well, he said that you thought this was gonna be something else so that's interesting that you're like no, that actually works those are the most effective testimony as you were saying, how tiu have content that addresses their fears and um you mentioned, like kind of just briefly there acknowledging your negative aspects like oh she's too young like part of addressing the fear should you address your downfalls and spirit in a positive or disprove it? I guess disprove like, oh, I may be young, but I can still take great pictures like how do you I personally would not do so unless it is there are exceptions, you know, but I personally we allow them to create their own conclusions. I wouldn't put sword like inception I don't want to plant negative ideas in their heads I plant positive ones and I'll give you a very I'll give you a story later on after on section for it's a really good one and I don't want to get into cells because cells again it's not marketing, but there is one very powerful way how you can control the mentalities of your prospects from the very beginning using sales and I'll give you that secret later on, so watch and stay until a section for okay so next topic you want to talk you know include inspiring contents. What inspires you? Whatever inspires you most like inspires them again your most of time like your target audience but not all the time there are always exceptions, but whatever inspiration of story you find and the key is always include a portfolio photo because the the point is is for them to see your portfolio work, otherwise they won't get exposure to it. So curated content we talked about earlier, since you can't always produce content, find content, that's a really existing curated, repurpose it, but put the portfolio photo in it humoring content same thing fine means find funny jokes, fine, inspirational quotes, things of that sort throw in a portfolio photo into it. I'm going to get really mundane when they keep saying that, but I can't overemphasize timely photos, holidays, birthdays, seasons like for me, I like to be patriotic and celebrate national donut day national chocolate day. These are all the things I love to celebrate, because in the end, who doesn't like donuts and who doesn't like talk with? I mean, there are some people are allergic and people would just to be donuts and that's just weird, I'm kidding. Um, but for the most part, you want to be able to connect with people and use these opportunities to again shoot portfolio photos. Even though you're not a food photographer, it's still demonstrates how good of quality fuller's you have so again in creeper for your father's nexus to create how to or how not teo content, and as I mentioned earlier, you want to create how to content not on ly for the insult products for your target audience but you also even want to include how to tutorials for photographers because member I said earlier becoming an authority in your industry is not a bad idea because you become the toma or top of mine awareness or first to mine for other photographers because julian for your example hiring to become a buddha waris client is a very difficult process but what if I were a photographer we've been following your work for so long so the day I am ready it's much more easy to commit it's just is how you would probably much more easy to commit to another boudoir photographer whom you've been falling for a long time right? So become the authority for your own industry so of course on all these hell to tutorials make sure that you have a portfolio photos versus content I'm going to keep repeating it it's just to make sure you guys are it's julian put your opinions out there sometimes it's going to rub people the wrong way and it's okay you don't want to have everybody in the room to agree with you because it's not it doesn't mean that you stand for anything at that point so put your opinions out there and of course include portfolio photos next one free giveaways but the thing is like who doesn't like free stuff? So do you forgive away again portfolio photos and as uh sally see and other photographer who was on the chat room interviews, interview your target audience interview other authority figures soul for wedding in the street interview florist cycle were some flower designs are poplar for spring you know these air right topics or interview moms if your children or mom, photographer or family for tougher interview what their fears are, what they like, what they dislike things of that sort and lastly include portfolio photos reviews make sure to review not only your personal things it doesn't necessarily have to be again photography related I don't want you guys to be stuck in this mentality is mold you want to corner yourself, review everything even the restaurants you go to the food you eat but again portfolio photo next is to add behind the scenes this one is allows people to see that incites the inner workings of whatever you're working on helps them become part of brand easier it's almost like a little secret that's how the I see behind the scenes I have a video for behind the scenes video that I shot preface this is a video idea for the new york by the fashion week in twenty thirteen believe for grayson wait yeah ah wei was it nice we can talk about how to use video for your own marketing? Yes, actually I will um video I believe it's something that a lot of photographers are not taking advantage of youtube is so powerful you know it's it's I hope that everybody does do so it's not like you necessarily have to know video skills which isn't in my opinion too difficult to learn once your photographer you sort of understand the creative angles and you can have the same camera do everything five theseventies seventies one these they all shoot I'm sorry I'm a cannon person nikon whatever nikon with every nikon whatever does the same thing I really don't know I'm sorry I'm a cannon and that's actually one thing I'm going to talk about no I'm good I'm going intended but there is a customer lifetime cycle a person has so much worth in the in terms of a customer life span and part of it for a lot of businesses is to get them you target for the audio tenses which is why you don't even target them before they become your client. So remember um my was asking about brides how do you target them if it's such a short time my correct you have to target them before they become bright. Does that make sense? So let me give you some examples before the moment I became a cannon for tara the moment I bought my first cannon lens I was stuck as a cannon for topher that's not like I'm going to sell my one d x and all my lenses just so I can convert an icon and learn how the you know, invert my fingers and however you weird people shoot, I'm kidding. I don't know how they use it, but the thing is, is that had I started nikon, I would have I said no way to canton to same thing with sandisk and lex are their whole goal was to get you from the very beginning because once you're done once you kill, you're committed, you're set for a long time and there is this one restaurant I cannot remember the name of it where they have I don't know what type of food is now, where you dip bread and cheese fondue fondue russia so sorry, my brain's like bringing farting what's the russian we def fondue melting pot. There you go. So melting pot one other cool campaigns old burberry does the same thing to not think about melting pot gives away free dinners for graduates for high school graduates can high school graduates really afford melting pot now? But when they want somewhere fancy the future, where do you think they will come up with? Where do you think they will think of first? They're hoping melting pot because they're having a fun experience luxurious to them then it becomes first to mine see how this telma works same goes for a burberry when emma would leave remains and watson my armani ok I care emma stone and a lots of except so emma stone is the spokesperson for bribery no ana watson okay okay emma watson are my knee is a spokesperson for and now it's actually strategic because who do you think her money's aliens well emma watson's audiences are young teenagers exactly they were young back then but they're older now with potential affordability of burberry products they're targeting their future audience and that's how you have it's not my slides so take it as it is you target your future audience because once they've committed there is a lifespan for for clients if you think about even in the whole bridal shoots all way out to boudoir you have to get engaged first you get married then you have kids you have a dog oh my god dr dog photography children for top family for toffee when it grows up then senior photography and if you feel sexy enough you become boudoir I need to express yourself there's a whole span of it I mean there's some specialization of how you want to focus on certain clientele and if you re booked up enough great you want to expand the business again serve like ling ling's example you create a roof that is big enough that covers whatever you're trying to target and that's how you expand your business over there and now we're talking about lateral expansion the fourth section of tomorrow so stick around for that teasing next uh, personal content I'm sorry likes this likes it and so forth and again as I mentioned earlier imperfection is perfection, right? Okay gather flaws allow you allow people to connect with you, you know it becomes in fact it can become a common enemy using your flaws or on the opposite end you khun celeb great flaws and you can create a united front based on tartness similar audience interest on those flaws this is a huge one for me personally because when someone prince presents themselves that they're perfect like they're thin, they exercise, they eat perfectly, they have the perfect family I cannot I'm intimidated by that it makes me feel bad about myself but if someone comes on and is saying, oh, you know I have gained thirty pounds all right? And then you're like, oh she's like she's just like me she's human she's human but that's a huge huge thing for me because I just can't relate to the people that are perfect or even if I could relate I just it makes me feel worse about myself so it's kind of interesting thing that's really important to do this I'm glad you you know you mentioned it if I say it I'm afraid and we rub people the wrong way but it's true I feel the same way when someone's too perfect it's unreal I can't even grasp them like oh my god just like all the whole time but once they lowered themselves with humility is like oh my god this person just like me you know like okay, I will even gonna mention chase like right now he's still quite I haven't met him yet but he's here today he's in the building oh, I didn't see you have to find them for you and lawrence but I imagine because I've seen his videos and he's very humbling guy so I feel as though I could relate to him even though he is this all inspiring guy that I saw myself myself west on the stage with gary vaynerchuk tim farriss on all these people and I'm an audience members like oh yes he's so smart so I have this image but then you know his imperfections make him so much more relatable he's a human being just like me and that's the main thing is being able to connect with people as human beings because your are dealing with human beings. Of course do not forget included portfolio and again I'm gonna and re emphasize portfolio polos on all posts I don't care what it is and there is one argument too for instagram because some people argue oh that's not iphone doyle I don't care make it look good because that's your portfolio people see you on that and for me I have my one z x with two thoughts and I have the f I card the only reason the only way how I can have nice photos that's why shooting with my one d x transferred to my phone and posted because when people ask me you know what's your photo site I don't even really have one anymore because I don't use it like just looking my instagram that is my popular site and remember I said russians have sought my services in new york and I haven't been in new york for a very long time I just eat and then they just want to harm me based on my photos of me eating so everything is has to be portfolio quality even if it's personal your question if you could define what a portfolio photo is I mean since I shoot boudoir I mean you obviously shot weddings in the past but we're posting pictures of food so I guess I'm just a little hesitant to post anything that's not boudoir related you know if it's not a picture of laundry or a picture you know of a model than it feels a little random to put it yeah piece of furniture something on there whatever it may be it may seem that way but of course, they're exceptions, but for myself, I still believe as long as the show is that okay, first off, it shows that you are capable of shooting very nice hotels, even if it's not related to your topic. But the whole point of me shooting, posting photos of travel and food is not to showcase how good I am as a food, even though I'm not food for talker it's to create opportunities for people to engage with me if I post a burger shake shack all my end I found about booth it's the opposite, too. I'm purposely creating opportunities for them to talk to me because I want to engage with them based on common topics and uncommon disinterest is, well, provoke thought, provoke conversation doesn't have to be with war twenty four seven you are so much more than that, I mean, unless you live and breathe and every second you're boudoir, but you're not right now, it's, not that you're on the shays and or anything like that, but thing is, is that you are so much more as a person you're three dimensional. You're not just one perspective that is to your business side, you must have personal interest, your personal hobbies, your personal did likes and dislikes personal favorite brands of wine, I mean, whatever the case there is so much more to you and that's what we want to see but of course and a very in it in such a way that shows that you know how to use a camera that's because that's the bottom line you know how he is if camera your fun amiable but you so happened she would war that's the bottom line I am a food loving for travel fanatic who still happen to be very good at photography even though I'm not cheating if I wanted to say that that's actually really good way of like flipping my mentality too you know cause I feel like my body my blogged is and my website is on ly for my business it's just hard for me to flip the switch and feel like it's you know like it's okay to post those things not that it's not ok just that it feels natural I guess because remember how I asked over there how do you battle against copycats it's you branding yourself you are your business unfortunately you can't separate that because you're dealing in a very small scope here we're not talking about the size of facebook or anything we're talking about a single person trying teo you know create a creative business here and it's not detachable in that aspect and I know I posted is cool earlier I talked about it so but it's really good to reemphasize whom do you think she would hire you who have shared so many funny anecdotes posted price is helpful and humans tips and replied to your comments and questions on social media or a competitors who just takes equally nice pictures. So does that answer your question create those conversations you know it's not that I don't believe you it's just not natural for me to I put myself out there and um and I guess I just don't want I don't want people to click on my block and see a picture of a piece of furniture that I refinished um and think, well why is there a picture of furniture on this girl's website when I'm here to book a boudoir shoot so it's not that I don't understand the concept or I totally believe in it it's just not natural for me for some reason I understand that's actually a very hard malta break first on websites there katarina buttons you can just separate the category into something else but if you go onto my site for tell theorists if you've read my blawg you would see that I talk about it's one hundred percent marketing I never talk about today I went to the beach and hung out it's one hundred percent marketing but the thing is all of the posts are about my personal experiences and stories as an introduction to whatever topic I'm talking about I could talk about cognitive dissonance about how smokers think that oh, you know what, I'm going to die anyway, from ah, car crash. It was what the heck, I'm gonna pop, like a chimney that's calling distance and that's actually marketing strategy, too, in terms of psychology, but I'm not going to just start talking about calling of business. I'm gonna talk about my experience of smokers, personal experience and throwing a portfolio photo. It leads it in mixing more personalized again, this or just a computer, you have the two choices, and if you're busy enough, then great. But a lot of times, you know, people will become more and more, because in this she is becoming more more saturated. You have to be able to personalize.

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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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