The Photographer's Guide to SEO and Online Marketing

Lesson 2 of 24

Strategic Planning Part 1

 

The Photographer's Guide to SEO and Online Marketing

Lesson 2 of 24

Strategic Planning Part 1

 

Lesson Info

Strategic Planning Part 1

It's understanding about yourself because before you condemn plan anything, you have to know your own capabilities and your own limitations before you can really do anything. So this is a very common analysis it's called a swat analysis, and even though it's basic business it's still important, you have to know your own strength, whether your weaknesses and any opportunities for your open for your business as well as threats, so keep that in mind. Think about it and be honest to yourself. Don't tryto say, I have no weaknesses, you know you have to be clear, but one thing I want to emphasize is that you can convert your weaknesses into strength as well as threats into opportunities, even those strengthen opportunities where we usually pair are two things together to generate our business. So if you imagine cds, for example, back in the days as cds became more more expensive to produce, apple created ipod, they created a product that took advantage of this threat and turned it into an op...

portunity. I hope that makes sense, so try to analyse the situations and see how you can apply that to yourself to your scenario. So when it comes to any goals for business, you have to really focus on three things, and not all of them are truly applicable to your situations, but try to apply as much as possible so there's basically a vision mission and desired market position and I did not intention try make it rhyme but it just so happens to do so so when it comes to your vision it's your internal compass it's the direction of where you're going to be and it doesn't necessarily have to be public it's really just for yourself to know where do I want to be and I'm not saying in terms of goal is to be like oh I want to make a hundred thousand something that's not the goal because money will come once your goals are clear for example let's just use google and we don't know google's vision but I assume it's to become the perfect search engine it sort of makes sense so what is your vision? Is it to have your portrait it's in every household over every mantel and everyone's facebook page I mean things change so demands change or having on everyone's phone whatever it may be you know shoot for the moon go do something impossible because even if you think about google search is a problem that will never be solved and they said that on their site they know it's impossible to reach yet they still try to pursue it and it's okay to try to pursue an impossible goal. So when we talk about a mission like I said earlier, we're not trying to talk about our financial goals we're not talking about three thousand dollars per wedding times twenty weddings or you know x dollars per portrait time so many portrait that's not what we're talking about we're talking about the purpose of your business what is your day in and day out? What is your goal so let's use google isn't another example their goal is to organize the world's information and make it university accessible and useful this is their mission day in day out one year later five years a day there same thing. So what is your mission? And it could be completely different and I just made one up for you guys if you guys want to do that but it's basically to photograph porch it's that will be cherished for generations it's just a possibility it's not entirely useful for the public and it's not like you guys have shareholders, investors relations or anything you're their small businesses but generally speaking for bigger corporations. It's ah guiding compass for the outside for the public so it's really good to know for yourself so when it comes to market position, you have to ask yourself one question off all of the photographers in the world why you it's a tough question to answer and if you can somehow answer that then great, you're off on a great start but that's what we're going to dissect how to stand out among the crowd because there's a lot of competition and we'll discuss how this competition is increasing as well. So for this course we're going to talking about three things goals, strategies and tactics so the goals we mentioned earlier it's overall compass internally externally how one of the case even your front financial goals the strategies are the concepts of support the goal the tactics aren't actionable steps and this is where I think ok, this is for example engagement is your strategy so how do I create engagement? The tactics would be facebook, twitter, instagram so forth so I'm gonna be focusing a lot on strategies and then you have to formulate exactly how many times you have to do x y z on what platforms because everyone's needs are different, you know sons, which is a strategist for warfare said it best strategy without tactics is the slowest round victory but this still victory tactics without strategy is the noise before the feet so you can't just start randomly choosing any platform that comes out oh snapchat came out let's just use it it doesn't mean that it's gonna work even though it's popular so you have to be strategic and choose wisely because you have a limited amount of resource is limited amount of time you have to be able to choose which one to prioritize, so when we talk about outside forces these air things, their external things that affect how we decide what to prioritize our energy and they're essentially five areas that you want to focus on and you want to think about in terms of the producer's perspective which is yours as well as the consumer's perspective and because these economic I mean because of these outside forces always change your marketing plan will always change you have to stay nimble you have to understand for the very first part is that photography is a luxury and I was not saying that you guys are like the ferraris of the businesses or the man's, but in a way when you compare it to necessities, what do what do you consider a necessity bread, water, milk, electricity, these air necessities? Are you going to die if you don't have your photo taken? Probably not, which is why photography is a luxury, even though it is part not necessarily too expensive, but it can be but it's not a necessity, so you have to really mother economical changes in the world. This is basically a forecast of every country, and I know I'm getting a bit into economics and I will too. Throughout the slides, I have a little of accounting about economics and a little bit of finances it's I simplified it, but it's still pretty simple to follow along essentially, every country goes through recovery, prosperity, recession and depression and depending on where you are in the business cycle, you have to determine how you're going to price yourself how to market yourself because if you're going to be charging yeah egg story amount of money during a time when it's a depression, a recession it's going to be really difficult to compete, the next thing to consider would be political factors and it doesn't really apply to us it was photographers, but for other businesses it does apply, you know, dramatically, for example, president obama cried everyone to have health insurance then all the sudden the health insurance business changed overnight, but if for some reason the president you know, required everyone to have a professional portrait taken and that's going to change your mind on business models as well. Of course that's not probably gonna happen, but for other businesses you're going to keep that in mind, so next topic would be a legal and regulatory factors and this is where you talk about class sophistication of goods and taxable goods. For example, if you purchase a product outside of the state where you live in there's no sales tax, my correct, which is why I always buy myself outside a neighboring state and have a ship by my friend or I go tribe, I pick it up, it saves a lot of money on top of it if you're delivering a tangible good something you can touch and feel there's a sales tax on it but as of right now and it could change that's this is why we have t o speak strategically when you talk about intangible goods such as a digital file there is no sales tax on that they can change so you always have to be vigilant in terms of what is going on this one's a very interesting thing because this changes all time technological changes now you have to think of it in terms of the producer and consumer remember when we talked about that consumer your customers how has it changed their perspectives at first they wanted facebook then they went on pinterest to look for inspiration the demand for digital versus prince has that changed and it changes people's perspectives and needs in once and these are all things you have to pay attention to but in terms of producers which are you guys how has that affected the business or industry overall if you think about it how have you how did you get into the industry? Was it did you have to get a degree to get into photography? Yeah no oh you did but did you need it? No, not at all okay, so basically and I'm I'm going to say this as a consensus you don't need a degree unless you're talking about back then before digital came around because of technology it affected how we learn we learn quickly we can see instant feedback on the lcd we can upload photos and share quickly these all changed the industry and how people receive in expecting goods to be so you have to keep all of that in mind and social cultural this is a very powerful and tio keep in mind because it influences how people perceive things and how their attitudes and beliefs towards things and their lifestyles and norms for example a lot times I would I feel and you got him agree or disagree but new younger generations are becoming less essential that's one thing of needs you know they don't need to so many physical things they're more chancy in't they can just pick up and move and they may not need prints as much or they may not cherish albums but whatever the case you have to be attentive to this because if they're just sufficient they're happy with just instagram quality then that's really changes the game and you have to constantly change our business plan accordingly because of your haunting me pushing for one thing for prince or whatever the case you're eventually going to drive your business to the ground so you have to keep all of these things in minds you know sometimes people are more happy with just I phone full of state there sufficient they find that to be the perfect that's all you need basically so when it comes to all of these things you have to stand with the value is what are you delivering? Because when it comes to marketing it's all about focusing on what value you bring to your customers in the end you're selling a vision you know, a lifestyle in division lifestyle because if you don't have that brand you're going to compete so liam price and that in itself is not sustainable business model so you want to be able to define yourself in such a way that makes sense to people so I'm gonna give you a few examples so busy man where dreams come true doesn't make sense I mean, you think of disneyland sake yes all of my dreams, fantasies and all the cartoons but once you have that value the value proposition set everything else that they produce do not matter as much. So if you think about theme parks, movies, cartoons they all sort of funnel back to making dreams come true and that's okay, it makes sense for them. If we look at apple the entire corps is to think different. It says it under their logo if you want to be creative you think different you buy apple products what they produce becomes irrelevant at first they only had computers, then they had music players. Then they had tvs and then tablets and now phones I mean next thing that could make tables but I'm probably not gonna make tables but if they make tables it's probably gonna be okay too so one last example of starbucks because I love starbucks their entire um proposition is to inspire and the richer the human spirit one person one cup and one neighborhood at a time the entire goal is to basically create community if I had to sum it up in one word and I was talking to with susan yesterday I don't even know where hung out before starbucks I really don't I mean I don't even go to a friend's place I mean sometimes we do but starbucks is really the community it is the glue that held us all together to meet in person but once you understand that's community what they produced mattered less see at first it was just coffee then they purchased love launch then they sort of pastries, croissants and all of these nice stuff and now they serve sandwiches and you know even in some select stories they have wine beer, soda, yogurt you know like these don't even coffee related products anymore yeah it's still all works because it's based on committee that's the value proposition they're giving so when you think about photography what is it that your value what is your value? What are you giving your clients and in a way it's sums it up as cherished memories and if your product changes what you produce changes it doesn't really matter as much anymore it could be online galleries could be slight chills it could be prince at one time there could be albums whatever it may be, you have to be able to forecast what those products are and deliver them. So what I'm trying to say is that you have to be flexible don't be so stuck on one thing, but once you have your corps and your value proposition determined everything sort of makes sense after all of these things even the small things matter when it comes to your value proposition the these are all nuances in a way even the tiniest of words think different just two words it could have been longer humanity think different is grammatically incorrect if you think about this think differently verb adverb, but they're so different that they took out the al y so I like to use the movie inception because it's very clever the whole idea if you haven't watched it it's leonardo dicaprio planting ideas in people's minds and letting that as a virus spread and become the whole concept itself. So the whole idea is to put ideas into people's minds first so that it sort of sticks in there we'll talk about that later on um we're into detail so before you can even do that, you have to understand your target audience everything about them if I if I had to put it this way in the best way to understand a target audience is to really just close your eyes imagine this person sitting in front of you you know talk about this person the features is a person how old is she or he gender ethnicity, education level product preferences everything about this person next thing you wanna stand is the person's buying power how much can hear she afford or more importantly how much can he or she or how much is she he or she willing to spend the willingness to spend is very is much different than just buying power because it's based on two things it's based on your current income and also based on future employment because if this person believes that I'm just going to use she um if she believes that she's going to have a future job she's doing her graduate studies right now and she's going to have a higher income she's gonna be more willing to spend and you have to know that everything about her whether her hobbies when she liked to dio on their spare time outside of work think about her needs now what needs does she have and I'm not saying on ly in under the constraints of photography needs of everything what does she need more importantly what does she want? I went in and out fries but what does she want? What are her fears and her promise what's keeping her up at night think about it what moz so we had to think about this in two fold first what's bothering her in life and secondly, what bothers her or her hesitations for hiring you I'm going to talk about fear is a very powerful thing and we're going to talk about how to quell fear they they're on but identify these furious first next and very importantly understand this person's interests and disinterest what pisses air off but what gets you excited and I'm not going to ask you is tio identify this person, but if you really have this person person imagined in front of you, is it possible and cause this is most of time this person is most likely like you I see knives no shake yeah, the reason why is because your target audience it's the reason why I believe it most someone someone that's most like you is because you know yourself best and you're most comfortable selling to yourself because you're most comfortable with yourself I see not okay think about this way when you were in whether you guys have kids or not don't have kids or have friends with kids or even as when you four were kids yourselves when you were in grade school middle school high school especially or even college there are always segment there are different groups cliques right there are the jocks they're the nerds, they're the chess club people and so far but they're all the same type of people because we're always most comfortable around our own type we don't feel threatened we feel most comfortable, which is why we liked were most willing to sell to ourselves because if you don't know anybody else, how do you sell to them? You won't feel as comfortable, so I understand if you understand how your your mentality works, it makes it much easier to create this marking time for them because ultimately you have to create something that gains their trust and trust is going to be sort the crux of this entire conversation because we have tio once there's trust then they're more willing to spend and buy from you so I've already created six rules on how trust works the very first rule is that you cannot sell directly to someone else pretty much impossible because there is always an altar, a motive there's a game for me and there's a loss for you, which is why telemarketing is not very effective I'm not saying it doesn't work but it's in my opinion a very ineffective and I have some friends who are in it so they can tell me how how miserable it is for them to do it because there's always lost and people don't like to lose we have ah parisian toe loss even for myself when I go to a restaurant, I have the most difficult time ordering I just look at the picture, I get it and close it because if I looked at the menu long enough I won't be able to order you're all nothing because you get it and it's it's true because you can't in the moment you come into one you cannot get everything else, which is why buffets are so cool to me so rule number two you can't sell directly to someone else on that is tied to a selfish cause selfless causes takes away the altar motors think about tom's shoes or toms eyewear now it's a one for one and because it's giving to someone else all of a sudden it became a cool product to wear it's in fact it's a way to show that you are giving back to charity. Warby parker of all the glasses choices warby parkers picking the loss team because it's tied to self its cause. But the best example I can give you is think about girl scouts when she's trying to sell her girl scout cookies it's not like she's trying to make a man dollars she is not there to meet generate income she just wants to go camping, she just wants a merit badges and it's ok, you're willing to spend the five dollars for cookies that are unharmed and healthy for you because you're trying to help her out that's the whole goal so rule number three friends and family members could sell to you the reason for that is because they have no military moto's they want what is best for you and we're going to talk about later on how you can engage these members so forth authority leaders could sell to you so these opinion leaders could include like rachel ray um anthony bourdain, I'm circling around food um and you zimmer, oprah exactly oprah's a good one or chase jarvis, you know, for the photo industry, these people, our opinion leaders and when they saw they say when they say something, we generally trust him because they're not there to there there they're in a position of authority because they know what they're talking about. So next thing is a high level of endorsements could sell to you and this is something I rely on heavily when I travel. So I don't know a lot of russians when I go into new areas, but I don't want to go to the franchises I want to try local flavors and ordered to do so I rely on yelp or trip advisor for international countries and it's really strange because I don't know any of the thousands of graders on yelp, so why are we giving our trust two complete strangers yet it was still works it's because it's a high level endorsements it's same thing as a whole long line theory if you see a restaurant with a long line it's probably worth waiting for that's how your sort work so in a way for yourselves how you comply this is simply testimonials it's always better for someone else to say how nice you are and good your and for you to save yourself lastly you could always sell to yourself I mean for me I never thought I would ever pay four dollars and sixty cents for a starbucks cup of coffee yet I did it one time did again and again and again and I sold to myself it's okay it's not going to hurt my bank accounts right now? How often do you buy one too often? I don't want to mention it and it's the same thing with wine or bourbon or whatever your choice of poison whenever it's like a very expensive bottle let's just say our the pour you a two hundred dollar bottles something you're goingto I'm maki elevate your expectations of it we taste it even though it may be poor for may it may be a suit a product like a placebo and you still think it's great because of the indicative value and I would talk about a lot of indicative values because we use mental shortcuts in life so if you just imagine a ten thousand dollar ten thousand dollars photographer versus two thousand who is better right off the bat I don't even have to do much research aiken predict the tennis any better and that's because of indicative value and these are all shortcuts that we sell to ourselves so ultimately build relationships use these mental shortcuts because they're very powerful and I will talk about these mental shortcuts later on so when we talk about our target audience is we have to understand that they're really basically broken down into five types five types of target audiences and sometimes you always focus all of our energy to our clients because they're the ones who are paying the money so we should give him all our attention yet I want to argue that and challenge you to really target all five of them because every one of them can help your business the very first linus apathetic viewers and these are just people who read your stuff and I want to say viewers I mean reading, listening, touching, feeling all of that he's all senses but apathetic readers may not purchase your products may not do much with it but if a friend asks so who's the photographer you know oh yeah I know that I'd never have you know hired them but I follow them things of that sort next will be fans fans made never have purchased anything yet they still can't spread the good graces of your work clients, of course, because they do pay you. But clients are also very important because if you build that relationship they will help sell your business for you. The next one will be evangelists. These are people, as I mentioned earlier, since I am an apple fanboy, I will promote apple all the way. Even if their erroneous I was so dumb of them, I was still back. You know, if steve jobs around, I was still back him up, even if he said something crazy. So I'm going to later on talk about what constitutes in evangelist and how we can create vangelis. Because as mentioned earlier, people like to join other like minded people and that's very important to understand, because you're going to use that as part yourselves force and lawrence, can you be your own evangelista as well? You have evangelist out there, but you should always be an evangelist for your own business. So you think that it works that way? I think so. Definitely you have to believe in your own product or your own self beforehand. So yes, definitely. So this is what sums up earlier. Not all customers are vandals, but not all evangelists are customers and it works out, you know very nicely. And lastly, the fifth one we'll be other producers, so other photographers now there's a stigma you know, to be a rock star photographer in all of that, but is it really that bad? Because if you're known well in your industry, your other industry peers are your personal clientele and I didn't really even think about this until I got engaged last year because once I got engaged everybody start asking who was in the shoot your wedding and I think that's a good question and a good you know certain names or a pop into my head immediately because I have followed them they gave great tips you know they're within my affordability of course it's not going to chase jarvis or anything but I have my own people that ivory follow for a long time so is it worth while tio make yourself known in your industry? Yes it is because that in itself can be a sustainable model so your target audience you know as mentioned other could being consumers founds an apathetic readers the latter two may never buy from you but may be inclined to share you know your good graces with her peers. So next thing we want to talk about is consumer buying behaviour everything about them on why they buy how they buy in the decision process behind it so the very first thing is to understand that's very important to understand their behaviour consumerism as mentioned earlier we're creatures of habit therefore we're going to do certain things every single time. So how do you create the triggers that would you know steve lee a certain reaction? The very first thing is we have understand how they're trying what problem they're trying to solve because before you purchase there must be a problem for example, if you needed a new detergent or you need to wash your clothes so that's the problem you by the turn it so their routine ized um problem solving behavior there's minimal research behind it little barriers to purchasing detergent is one of them toilet paper is like another it cleans my butt, you know, trevor rubs me the wrong way and try another brand and this is how you you have to sound where you rank in this this decision process the next one would be limited limited promise solemnly, we require a bit more research, limo barriers and even like senior porch it's, for example, it may not be so expensive that it's going to break the bank account, but it's not something that they're you know, a senior is going teo purchased multiple times, but if the first session didn't come out, it may be, you know, here she may be inclined to purchase in the recession or like this so much could be inclined to do purchase, not a session the next problem solving behavior would um fall under extended so this requires high research high barriers so if you think about the way photography industry you only really have one shot together right which is why there's a lot of commitment and sacrifice is that your client has to make in order to do so but for the decision process it's really starts with problem recognition as we talked about earlier you have to recognize what the problem is and don't even limited photography I want you think about all the problems that they have in regards to their lives I'm going to tie all of this in and I know it's a little dry right now but it's important to understand this because this will all wrapped up into one nice package there on so in or for once they recognize a prom the very next step is information search where are they going to find answers to their solutions I mean to the problems where would they go? Normal people would go with friends online searches authorities sites any might even search internally from internal experiences but if you think about all of these things these are all basically the rules for trust friends authorities sites online search engine optimization social media so the whole point is you have to be there once the decision information sir champions the next thing is to evaluate this is where we talked about earlier the two thousand dollar photographer versus a ten thousand ten thousand obviously sounds so much more experienced but once you itemize yourself as a photographer or anything the moment you itemize you automatically make yourself comparable to other things. So have you ever purchased anything generic generic medicine generic cereal yeah because in the end you basically take the brand name you take the generic one and you the comparative o has x number of this extent of this wine them with that why number that perfect it's basically same thing sandwich are generic one and if it doesn't work out we were like a routine eyes problem solving behavior I can purchase the brand name one because the barrier for this loss isn't that great but once you itemize yourself how does that look in terms of the photo industry so let me give you another example ofthe a tougher with fifteen years of experience versus off the top for three years worth of experience who would you hire a girl for? It depends so the answer is really depends because it can work for you or against you if you're looking for someone really experienced obviously the fifteen year photographer the veteran but if you also think about it so do I let's just say your young and fresh and hip person do I really want an outdated fifteen year old photographer jandi to see your head shaking already? Maybe not you want someone's fresh new perspective I want the three year photographer you see how it can work for you and against you now these are all things that even in your about pages you don't wantto itemize yourself. This is another reason why you don't put your price is out there are all of your prices. So again, if you think about strategy, don't itemize tactics don't put all your prices out there don't put how many years you been shooting don't put this don't put that don't put anything where people can compare you because the only thing they cannot compare you to israel yourself. You all four are very different in so many ways and that's what people should fall in love with, not how many years or how much you charge you can put your starting rate, but not everything else. So again, tactically you all have to decide what that is strategically is don't itemize. I hope that makes sense right now. So next part of decision process is the purchase you have the recognition that evaluation now we purchase you want to make the entire purchasing process seamless, however, that may be and then there's the postive post purchase evaluation so there is something called a peek and rule pekin rule means that whenever or whatever the processes throughout the day or throughout the process, it could be good or bad but we only remember the very last thing that happened that day has ever happened to you even in arguments, you know you could forget all the whole reason behind it, but just the very last a minute that you're with that person that you remember everything that's like that conclusive part so even if what brides or other clients she could have ah, terrible day or a phenomenal day, but the peak and rule is she's still remember it was a fence nominal day because that's what she wants to remember so that again, if we're thomas strategies versus tactics, the strategy is utilized peak and rule tactically is don't ask for your balance on the day of the wedding, because why do you want her to remember the very last thing of you? Is you asking for money? So ask beforehand or whatever? Maybe these peak and rules matter the peak and rule for a consultation? What do you want her to remember us? You're giving press sheets or you giving a very nice little president way little magazine last question. So when you talk about don't not putting pricing on your website, you know the photographers that are in the chat room right now are like, oh no pricing on the website, so is that do you really believe that don't put any pricing on the website no, not not any. You can put your starting rate just a starting right that's all you recommend that's alright. Okay, great. I just want to clarify that. Thank you again you could unless you have a reason why you want to be compared. You want to be itemized, then go for it because if you're trying teo really? If there's something that you that no one can compete with you on, you want to be known as the veteran photographer? Or you want to be known as the fresh and chic and mother and young hip for tougher then do so itemized again. This is where I said there is no silver bullet. I'm not saying you can't do this or you can't do this I'm just saying that the strategy is item ization how you decide to decide how you want teo apply your tactics is a whole different scale. You do what you have to dio cool strategy being the key word there yes, there is no way answer yes, thank you. I appreciate that so peeking rule even end of comedy consultations deliver something that's going to leave a wonderful impression peak and rule for wedding days don't collect on a day off and just a pie that in every aspect of any contact you have with their kinds

Class Description


In today’s competitive photography market, taking amazing photos is only half of your business — savvy online marketing skills are essential, too. Join Lawrence Chan for an exploration of the marketing skills every photographer needs to thrive and survive.

During this course, you’ll learn how to create a marketing plan that’s so well-suited to your clients that upselling comes easily. Focusing on a combination of social media, word-of-mouth marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), you’ll develop strategies to attract the right client at the right time. You’ll explore planning and sharing blog content that will attract and motivate your target client base. You’ll also crack the Google code and learn how to use SEO as a networking tool.

Whether you’re a new photographer attracting your first paying clients or a well-established photography studio, this course will help you grow your network, re-energize your marketing strategies, and take your profits to new levels. 

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