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Strategic Planning Part 2

Lesson 3 from: The Photographer's Guide to SEO and Online Marketing

Lawrence Chan

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Lesson Info

3. Strategic Planning Part 2

Next Lesson: Marketing Products

Lesson Info

Strategic Planning Part 2

So where you going talk about next is the psychological reasons from buying. So why are they even purchasing they're they're all many there many reasons why they purchase and there's a very nice graph bye maslow it's called the hierarchy of needs so you guys really recognize it so there's self actualization, esteemed belonging to safety and physiological for those who are not aware from the base of the pyramid is your physiological needs these are your basic needs food, water, electricity things of that sort safety would be, you know, safer cars, um health insurance, dental insurance belonging means that you get teo belong to a group. This is where you have community with people. Self esteem makes you feel more confident things of you know along that line and self actualization helped you become a better version of your envision self. So if you always imagine yourself to be the best gear ski lessons is going to help you actualize that but this is very interesting because and I'm guilty...

of this too. I liked I diversify all my purchases, I you know there's some people have luxury cars, luxury purses and luxury vacation packages, but shop at wal mart and discount grocers why is that there's a whole disparity and decision making and all of this inconsistency belongs to our perception and our motives of why we're doing what we're doing why were purchasing what were purchasing and we want to understand this target audience so well that they you have to be well fit yourself into this box however you want to be, you know, placed in there you have to understand their attitudes towards wider purchasing whether purchasing every reason behind it does it help with their self concept? Are you going to make him feel unique or that could run in the mill? How does it fit into your lifestyle? All of these things matter because even the style photography matters in terms of your lifestyle but before we moved too much into understanding target audience because we can go on forever next thing you have to understand very clearly it's understanding your competition because we based a lot of what we do on our competition we based a lot of our pricing based on competition, you know, as an example so let's dissect the different types right now and I challenge you to think about I'm going to give you an example based on a very popular product, but I challenge you to do the same for yourself. The very first thing isn't brown competitors using the apple ipad a brand competitive for apple will be a samsung galaxy tab it's virtuous same price point same features same everything same looks same size except different platform so who is a brand competitive for yourself? And feel free to even given name think about it, write it down so then you can understand who this is and lawrence for brand competitors for brand comparison if you're comparing yourself to a brand, do you have to be their equal? Or could it just be a brand that you like that is similar to yours or do they have to be your equal in the industry? I guess that's what I'm asking I guess from a strategic standpoint, it really depends what you're measuring okay, so if you're measuring based on traffic are based on price point are based on brand equity, okay, which we'll talk about later onto it really depends what you're measuring. Okay, cool thank you appreciate it so the next one is really about your product competitors. If you think about the apple ipad, a cheaper version would be the kindle fire it is cheaper about half the price it does almost everything the ipad can dio perry has a whole resource of books and all that stuff, but the much lower cost. So in your standpoint, who is your product competitors, anyone with the lower price point, slightly different features and so forth? The generic computer is a product for example for ipad will be the google chromebook it's about two hundred bucks laptop and does virtually everything it tries attempts to satisfy all the needs except it's not even a tablet anymore it's a laptop so in terms of your situation who is considered a comparable generic compel her uncle bob you know family friend exactly so these are all your types of generic competitors and then I told about your competitors so I pull apple ipad versus jewelry air jordans or an excursion there also your competitors because if you think about it there is a limit tid finite amount of money that your clients have and you're all asking for the same piece so how do you make them pay you know spend it on you this is the reason why and the whole reason for pointing these four out is because there's this big assumption that if you specialize you know in your industry like I am the you know beach photographer of orange county or something all of a sudden you have no competitors because anyone not targeting beach brides or beach portrait you know subjects technically aren't you competitors but that is such a big and false you know misconception because even air jordans is technically your computer when there's a finite amount of money everything is a competitive and you have to be able to understand that and how position yourself I'm not saying specialization is an important it is highly important but it's not going to make you invulnerable so next thing once you understand your competition you have to be able to mother your competition how do you find out everything about them and keep tabs on them so an easy way networking events for the photography industry just go to networking events see what's going on but don't believe all the hype because a lot of times it's mostly a facade and I'll teach you a way how you can understand to break down all of these illusions in a way because you have to be able to question everything you can question me if you want but when I was kidding but there's a way you can question everything about cause ality relationships correlations I mean we're going to statistics now but then and you can somehow job correlations with confidence so another way you can mother competence, your competition it would be social media so facebook you know twitter there's even you know instagram with tags and google alerts, which is really fun if you haven't heard of google alerts it's google dot com slash alerts and you can put in keywords and whenever that keyboard comes up on search engines a new one so let's just say I am competing with sorry going blank table photography I can put on quotes and the table photography the size of block one time because I'm not going to like stock table photography and day and night I don't have that time, but if table for toffee does something online and google, you know, catches wind of it. Google I'm madly in armies that they look table photography wrote something about x y z ok, I'll go click it and check it out so I let go. We'll take care of everything, so definitely get google alerts. Next one will be authority sites now it's different for every industry for the photo in the street, there is pet a pixel on dh, but if you're talking about your own craft industry, so photography might be I mean, there are actually a number of them, you know, not wedding style style me pretty so far, there's there's a ton of them so you guys decide which one you want, teo and ultimately, which takes up a lot of time, is websites talking to subscribe to the rcs fee and go from there, but you have to make sure you have everything covered. Um, you want to make sure that your constant keeping tabs on what they're doing and I want to leave this opportunity open up for a little of questions, but before that, you know well, I let internet catch up next section where we talk about is getting into the market positions and the four piece of marketing, product, place, position and promotion segmentation the types of products that you can produce product lifecycle, which is really important because every business and product has a certain lifestyle goal and ultimately positioning yourself among the throngs of other photographers out there because if you think about using technology because it's so easy to become a photographer it's going to be even in terms of expenses it's not like a massive barrier to entry as always, you know I'm not I'm simplifying things too. Camera business cards, web sites you know you got ninety percent of it down there ready? Of course, the skills involved too. But in order to start a business it's not entirely difficult, which is why there's so much there's an influx of photographers so it's a lot more competition. So how you position yourself in this murky market and then all right, lawrence? Well, ladies, if you have any strategic planning questions, this is your opportunity to ask ahead. We have time for all your questions. I have a question about knowing your competition. I'm a wedding photographer in seattle and the saddle market is really saturated with wedding photographers. So how would you recommend identifying your competition and saturated market that's? Ah, in terms of identifying them it's going to be a little bit, it depends on what you're trying to identify two I can't just put a broad shock over this whole thing saeko everyone's a competitive because in a way everyone is but how can you identify a living yet the burial of the narrow your market a bit more in terms of how you can find them? It depends on what medium to trying to you know utilize so if you're using utilizing search engine you can easily go for the certain keywords and you'll find them if you talk about from venu referrals then you can always talk about you know the different hotels and see their recommend a vendor list things of that sort so can we take this competition conversation a little bit further? Lawrence okay okay adrian far who's from england asked or says many instructors tell us not to worry about the competition and to focus on what we're doing in our own business so what are your thoughts on that? I know it's a fine line I think for me personally I tried to not worry about the competition and just think if I put in one hundred percent of myself my heart and soul and everything then it will be good and I don't need I can kind of have blinders on I know knowing your market is important but can we talk about this a little bit more? What do you think? I definitely want to rub people the wrong way but on I will rebel people you're only a little bit I don't understand how creative artists are very passionate people we we want to produce the very best of what we produce. We want toby, we wanted the everything we can pour our hearts and souls into the product and make the clients happy. But thing is, is that there's so much more to it? Because if it just requires great artists and where they're always the whole idea of starving artists and there's, a reason for that is because there's so much more to competition, you have to really know what they're doing, because as we talked about earlier, the external factors always change economical, social, cultural in illegal political they all competition has to be on the same love of all of these factors, so understand watching them, and I'm not saying see the reason why people say don't pay attention to competitors it's because you don't want to be uninspired because they produced wonderful work, a lot of our competitors dio, and if you're not feeling like you're up to par, you're going to feel really bad about yourself and you feel less confident. But I'm not talking about in terms of the creative aspect I'm talking about strictly on the business aspect, what are they doing that is helping them and doesn't mean that whatever they're doing is directly affecting their success or you know, un success, but still you have to mother everything that they dio because if there's some new medium or some new thing that you have to know about, you should know about it because otherwise you just could be left in the hole in the dark and underwear, and that can be scary to even more scary in my opinion and being uninspired. Um, so I guess this is kind of what you were asking about knowing are keeping an eye on your competition, so the ideas get an idea how what they're doing to succeed and really it's not a competitive thing it's like, because portland is a lot of tarver's as well, but we're actually pretty friendly for the most part it's kind of like when you identify an equal competitors is more of a friend that uganda working with eventually are referring or maybe I'm thinking it's friendly, maybe they're not being friendly. I don't know what I'm like. Is it more just to like see their strategy and like work with it rather than try to top them? I don't know, I never believed that you should try top anyone, you have your own goals and you set them and you follow through with them that's the main thing, but definitely networking with other photographers I think that's a great idea and I don't really you know in this sense for see them as a competition, but even technically speaking they are because you guys are all competing for the same space that's the bottom line you know, end of the day but it doesn't mean that you can't be friends with him too, so definitely network with them, but as I mentioned earlier, you can't determine that because this person is doing something it is the sole determinant of this person's success so this person's I'm going to use snapchat because I don't see how it could be applied to photography if this person is using snapchat, I can't deduct saying, oh my gosh, this person is so successful I gotta get using you know I have to get on snapchat too but it's important to know what this person is doing because maybe you can understand strategically why he or she is using snapchat oh maybe it's to engage with in a different mood and you can go I can probably use that strategy but in a different aspect tactically speaking and applied there. But it's still always go to just to know what's going on because if all of a sudden they haven't influx of digital demands versus print a man, you have to ask yourself why is that maybe it's not because they're doing that that's causing sex success, but they're responding to the market factors earlier than you are and then you base it on that sicko the market is changing, the demands are changing so I have to change my product line to that sort of what I meant okay, so I'm still wrapping my head around the brand competition thing because I don't like that idea like I like knowing my other photographers like you were saying and stuff like that and I don't like having to stalk someone but you're more saying that yeah that's how it feels right like your stocking somebody and copying what they do and like does definitely not what I want to do it all or how I run my business. Yes, but so you're saying it's more just so that you can see okay, I see that this person has been like using products more than just your general warren products in that how that's been benefiting them so that maybe you're questioning how you were doing things that you can b your business could be more innovative is that correct? It might getting there you can be I mean, I'm not saying to point where you have to stock I know I'm just trying to understand because like it's, this is a different I thought process then I have come across before if you think about as even if you have this everyone's day you guys all have coffee or something and discuss different strategies and tactics and you replied and work and not worked that in the south of is already mothering you know the seattle market and that's okay and to me that's research already and that's all I meant to say ok, it was more monitoring your market is that what what? Uh, knowing your competition and your brand is more like monitoring the market, but it could possibly be that your competitors slash friend's arm or responsive to market behaviors our market conditions so that they see it quicker and then you could say, oh, I should start changing too so you used him as a moniker for market conditions. Okay, I get that. Okay, cool, I like that it's going to be quite a few questions about starting a new business in a new town. I know she's she's in the same kind of position and s ferris had asked, how do I open markets in secondary markets where I don't have community credibility? Is that something that you could just do with a ceo by adding the city, the new city name in the new town name or county name? When I started out I once I realised because if you think about social media it's really only been around since two thousand four or six that's when facebook started, and even then it was only for university level so everything has changed so quickly and innovations it's like really fast you have to be really quick on in southeast things so when I'm on their search engine optimization I realize that there's a whole untapped market and will even talk about youtube and other mediums to later on because those air also ceo in a way but when I was trying to get into different markets such as and I'm not talking about the neighbouring markets for l a I want again to orange county I was talking about how I how do I get a wedding in jamaica or how do I get a wedding in hong kong and that's when you can use search engine optimization and I I'll even use an example for here for seattle as a test I want to prove and I know I'm jumping the gun because this is really for tomorrow's presentation but if you go into incognito mode or private browser mode and there's a hotel locally and you probably can help me it's called a lexus hotel or something okay so I've never been there I don't know where it is I have I have no clue except I did a quick research and it's an lgbt supported hotel it's supposed to be pretty nice venue was like okay, fine you know I took a few generic looking photos and I optimized for alexis hotel because if you put yourself in the bride's position program if it's same gender what would a person look for now in terms of keywords searching, I'll talk about that tomorrow because every craft is different but you are pets and weddings but wedding specifically someone might look up alexis hotel wedding photography for those pictures because you want to get some inspiration first it's not like I'm going to look up see how the wafer talk for you I want to get my inspiration first before I look for the photographer though so that's where you have to be so I optimized for alexis hotel wedding photography and if you go on google right now I'm number one and I've never been there and I have my photos on there and my website link is the first on the page right now so that's an example of what I'm talking about, you can break into markets very easily even out of pricing points because if you target certain climb his certain cities that have a higher cs or socioeconomic statuses, then they can afford more and we're going to talk about price segmentation later and today, which is very powerful and again again I know this first and second sections are going to be a little more dry, but it really gets fun once you understand the psychology of numbers and how you can discriminate term surprising not illegally this committing, you know based on races or anything but discriminate based on people because you think about price discrimination okay every line tickets for example same seats next to each other same destination same flight same you know peanuts they're gonna be served yet everybody in the subjects under the plane and the cabin have paid a different price. Is that fair or unfair? So the question is how do you segment your price to charge higher for certain locations and potential lower for others? So that it's still fair for everybody and people are happily a something to pay extra that's a very interesting topic and I'm really excited about that later on but I won't spoil it but to answer your question to break in two different markets and I know I go intentions a lot ceo is one very powerful way, but other ways you can and I'm going to talk about marketing mix is there on I'm jumping a gun again, but there are other ways how you can promote yourself through networking public relations so you know things of that sort because in a way you should also set aside money for marketing how we do advertise if you had a limited amount of money, how would utilize it to the most maximum benefits for yourself I know, but honestly you just saying what you said about the alexis hotel and that your the first thing showing up on the search is that that's just that's ridiculous it took me seven hours or six hours to be number one six hours well that's a lot of work those six hours for right and I know I'm saying when I posted it well then you six hours within yeah it's like you work for six hours no no no it took me like two minutes wow but within ten leads I'm not even trying to brag or anything but what you're teaching this class that's why I'm excited to be here I mean that's just that's just incredible incredible and I will talk about how and why it takes you know, positions fluctuate and it's really based on I'm talking about day to segment stuff now it it's based on the age of website or the age of a post because if google expects you to take it out you know then they're goingto not rank it so well but the longer it stays the higher your rank that's why even though it took me two minutes to post it within the first ten minutes it was on the first page but it was like number ten then they moved in on five number four and I didn't do the pre recording video that's a demo until someone so I had to wait about six hours until his number one and stay as number one we're gonna teach us how to do that, lawrence I will yes that's what I wanted to know but there is one thing that you have to understand is that if everybody does the same thing, how can you all be number went so that's a very interesting question after that so you're gonna be number one and we'll be number two no, I'll believe my post my posts are strictly for demos I'm just kidding I'm teasing but you know there are different, you know you have tio be attentive to that not everyone can be number one and even if you aren't, how can you still create a successful business around that? I don't know about everyone else but everyone watching this course all of you guys, we can all be number one everyone watching that you know how we talked about fear and fear not only understanding in the fear of your customers, but you can actually use fear to generate market to generally marketing campaign and I actually did that partially on the video riel that I play for creating life. I don't remember the exact words, but it was something along the lines of and we can all be number one, but you definitely rank higher than those who don't watch his course so all the sounds like, oh, I'm gonna watch this course otherwise they're all gonna outrank me so you can use fear because fear is a very powerful emotion and arguably speaking it's more powerful than love fear of commitment fear of this fear of getting fear of rejection fear of everything it drives our decisions tremendously and loss aversion is a very powerful thing and it's actually a lot to do with the psychology of pricing as well and decision making and choices because want to commit to one again you can't have a way else it's not like you can hire a ten photographers for a wedding or porter shoot so marketing mean fear can go both ways uh vivian vivian had a question this kind of big picture questioned and the segment how do you recommend naming your business so that you can sell it or exit or retire well and how do you create content that is personal without it all being attached to you and your personal life style? I find it difficult to not be personal but I know we'll be hard so my photography business one day if it's all attached to me and my personal take on photography in life what you think about that question that's a very long term society you know, long term planning and I think that's a very important question and it it's a very difficult one because if you're trying to position yourself differently as based on your own personal traits because you yourself you're not scalable and I'm going to talk about this later on in terms of products but you're there's a there's, a term called inseparable service. So, for example, let's, just use a bellhop the moment the bellhop executes a service, the consumer is also receiving it, but moments the bellhop takes away had, you know, hammer herself away from the situation. The service is expired. You can't scale that. There is no way how aiken clone myself to make multiple myself to push multiple cards. So when it comes to photography, you're essentially selling your oneself. But how are you able to create a brand where you can have associate photographers and things of that sort? And we would talk about that later on, too. But when it comes to yourself, it's not really scalable, and you have to understand the limitations of your own business. It's not like google, where it's a very broad name, you are yourself and you can only go so far and we'll talk about the production ah, frontier later on and how much you can produce and limitations of that, too.

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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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