Category Archives for "Branding"
Productivity is a must as every Small Business Owner wear many hats: sales rep, customer service rep, accountant, etc. Fortunately, there is a ton of great software to help us do all those jobs, but we still have to create all the digital assets necessary to use these apps, services, and websites productively.
Setting up a digital workflow is only as good as the information you put into it and -especially when things get hectic- it’s easy to miss setting things up correctly.
In my workflow as a product photographer I use
Evernote to organize and store all digital documents – creative briefs, model releases, estimates, permits, notes, etc.
SalesForce is my Customer Service Management service of choice. It keeps tracks of accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, expenses, etc. and links automatically to Evernote, Expensify, and Trello.
How do I remember to add a Note and Tag in Evernote, that will help you organize a new job? Then there’s the opportunity that I have to setup in SalesForce if I want a bin, that will collect and correlate all information I need to have at my fingertips; a new list needs to be created on Trello and the expense report needs to be created in Expensify.
Don’t laugh, but a little Post-It note does all that for me. Automatically.
I use Evernote to get this process rolling:
As soon as I capture a yellow Post-It note, Evernote saves it in my opportunities notebook automatically (Evernote lets you assign notebooks based on the colors of the notes). All I do is save the note named with the job number associated with this opportunity.
As soon as that note gets saved, Zapier takes over and creates a SalesForce opportunity with the job number (which it gets from Evernote), builds a new Trello list with the same job number, captures an expense in Expensify tagged with that identifier (I hope that soon it can create a report), creates an Evernote tag – which will be used to be able to search all documents about that job and finally sends me a SMS to my phone. Done. That was not hard.
At the end of the day, one photo of this Post-It Note creates all the digital assets I use in my day-to-day workflow.
How do you solve your productivity puzzle?
Sure, you can do what everyone else it doing. Or you could try something else. You can market in those tried and true channels or you can rock the boat. If you’re looking to stand out in a very crowded field, here’s how you get your foot in the door.
Before we go any further, there is one thing I want to stress: your work must be solid. You’re pricing must be dead on and your customer service must be top notch. If these things are not firmly in place, you may get that new client, but you won’t keep him. Here we’re taking about how to break through all the noise to reach new clients and that requires you to be different in your marketing.
Who are you as a photographer? More importantly, who do your prospective client perceive you to be? With every interaction, you must put your best foot forward, since you can’t make a first impression for the second time. When a client looks for a visual content creator, they are looking at more than one photographer. How do you stand out from that field? What can give you a leg up?
It’s not just your work – your client is looking at other people who can deliver similar quality.
It’s not just your price – unless you’re interested in a race to the bottom, there’s always someone willing to do it cheaper.
It’s not just your marketing – since we all are on social media, online, …
Before a new clients hire me, they almost always start looking for a generic “photographer” with in a ‘cold’ google search. Once they’ve found my company, it stands out from the rest. How? By hacking the market. By doing things differently, especially by trying things, other photographers say won’t work.
Understand who your perfect client is.Then learn what they are looking for, when they hire a photographer. If you know the answers to these two questions, then you can gear your marketing hacks to help those clients find and book you. Does this approach work? Listen to a recent client talk about her experience:
About a year ago, I wrote “25 marketing hacks for creatives” here on the ASMP blog. Did you try some of these out? They range from the very simple act of mailing a copy of a magazine to an art director (MarketingHack #8) to flying a plane half way around the world for a movie premiere in an airplane hangar (MarketingHack #11).
One thing they all have in common, they are unusual and are all done on a shoe-string budget. Many of these marketing hacks don’t look like your average photographer’s marketing efforts, but that’s just the point. If you’re looking for some more detail on the MarketingHacks that have worked for me, I’ve got a blog post with all the details for each one of the 25+ hacks on my list.
Share your favorite way to hack the market in the comments.
“A great video, is like a great blogpost.” says Miami based visual content creator Pascal Depuhl. “You need to capture the viewers attention in the first few seconds, like a catchy blog title – otherwise you’ll loose them.” Pascal, who has been creating still images for his clients as a commercial photographer for over 25 years, recently spoke at WordCamp Miami. Video is a recent addition to the services Photography by Depuhl offers his clients.
He went on to say that the story portion of the video, is like the body of a blog post. “Story trumps everything” says Depuhl “the perfect video must tell a compelling story, engineered to change it’s viewers mind.” Photography by Depuhl is known for creating videos and images, designed to be mind changing; he gave a TEDx talk on this topic called “the Art of Changing Minds“.
Finally you’ll need to know your Call-to-Action before you start production. “Video is powerful, so your Call-to-Actions can be subtle.”
Here are the slides of the talk and the links that Pascal mentioned, which will be published on WordCamp.tv in a few weeks.
TEDx talk “The Art of Changing Minds”
Wow! Last week we passed 50,000 views on this blog and you’re the reason that’s happened. A huge heartfelt thanks to all of you, who read my blog. I’d love to hear which posts you like and what topics you’d like to have covered in future posts.
In know that in the grand scheme of the blogosphere 50K views is not a huge achievement, but I still wanted to express my gratitude. I appreciate you and am looking forward to providing more content focused on photography, cinematography and how I use technology to create mind-changing visual content.
WordCamp Miami 2016, a tech conference, is back in Miami from February 19-21. South Florida’s longest running non-profit tech conferences (It’s the 8th year WordCamp has been in Miami) is designed for WordPress users, bloggers, content creators, SEO, designers, marketing folks, and developers to hone their blogging skills. It doesn’t matter, if you’re an established blogger, a WordPress aficionado or just starting out in the blogosphere, #WCMIA 2016 has something for everyone –from classes for kids to talks that are all about the code that runs your WordPress blog.
There’s too much to list here and WordCamp’s website is obviously the place to go (quickly, since they always sell out of tickets). Nile Flores –a fellow WordCamp speaker– has put together a great blog post on what to look forward to at WordCamp Miami 2016. She highlights some interesting details about this conference and some the speakers that will be sharing their knowledge at this conference.
Here’s an excerpt from blondish.net:
“WordCamp Miami is expected to bring in well over 800 attendees, according to one of the WordCamp Miami organizer’s, David Bisset. He also says that some of the things that attendees can look forward to seeing is the kids activities.
Bisset says “There’s a lot of kids activities like the Saturday Workshop, Sunday STEAM activities, and the Kid’s Panel at the end of Sunday.”
Ptah Dunbar, the lead organizer of WordCamp Miami 2016, says that attendees should look foward to the JavaSscript Track on Sunday. He says, “We’ve got a great lineup of quality speakers.”
Ptah says that attendees should bring the following: “Bring a friend or two! Learning new ideas and connecting with friends is always a good time. Also, bring pocket notebook and pen to carry with you (leave your laptop at the hotel), for notoriously writing down actionable advice from all the really smart people you’ll be meeting over be next 24-48-72 hours (depending on how long you stay) and their Twitter handles.”
Dunbar also mentioned, “And finally don’t forget to set aside time to enjoy the beach and explore Miami! Keep an eye on the #wcmia slack channel as we’ll be sharing announcements like things to do and other surprises throughout the 18th-21st.”
With every passing year, it seems clients are expecting more and more from their photographers, which means we may need a lesson in productivity. Kat Dalager (@3etheLTAgency) goes even further and foresees the change of the very word photographer in her “Predictions for 2016“:
“The word ‘photographer’ will change. Maybe it will be ‘image maker’ or ‘content maker’ or ‘capturer.’ Whatever it is, it will reflect the expanded capabilities of the role.”
I agree with her and believe that in order to embrace the ever-increasing roles we find ourselves pushed into, we must become exceedingly efficient in our productivity. 2016 will be the year, where I take that productivity to the next level, integrating the technology, cloud based services, apps and automation software I use in my business.
Here are 11 tools that help me, solve my productivity puzzle:
The backbone for this virtual productivity is SalesForce – the CRM that’s been running my business for over 7 years now. Every account, contact and job lives in this cloud based service [learn more about SalesForce here: “I got my head in the cloud (along with all my data)“].
This year is the year where this automation will get flushed out. I’m already using the amazing integration between Evernote and SalesForce, which allows me to attach all job related records automatically. Now any creative brief, handwritten note, job estimate, permit, release, receipt, rental agreement, … is tagged with a job number in Evernote and appears in the digital job folder in SalesForce as if by Magic.
Every job, event and task that get entered in SalesForce automatically creates a counterpart in Asana, via Zappier. Asana is my project management software, where I can split up a job in an actionable To Do list. Every contact that’s added on my phone is automatically entered in SalesForce via IFTTT (IfThisThenThat). Zapier and IFTTT are two amazing automation softwares that enable you to use apps and cloud based services to stay productive.
The whole thing started on Twitter. I followed the filmmaking blog of one of Europe’s top young filmmakers. His tweet put him in Miami a few years ago, right in my own backyard. Nino was on vacation with his girlfriend after having been at NAB. I did the only thing that you should do, when that happens–I invited them to breakfast. “If you ever need help producing a filmmaking masterclass in the States, I’d be happy to help.”
A few months later I get a PM on twitter: “Are you still up for helping us produce a Filmmaking Masterclass in the US with Philip Bloom?” For those of you who don’t know, Philip is one of the most well-known HDDSLR shooters and instructors around, so there is a big opportunity in working with world-class talent like him.
Marketing is in large part positioning your brand. Being able to work together with a world-class group of people rubs off on your brand. Find the best expert in your field and offer to help them put on an event, a show, a film, an article, a workshop – anything that lets you get your brands name out there.
Long story short, I ended up producing 2 filmmaking masterclass workshops. One in Las Vegas and one in Key West, where I learned a lot from Philip and Nino. On top of that the workshops where a lot of fun to run, I made a little money, but most importantly are the connections I made with the instructors and the students. Philip has asked me to help him with some other workshops since then and my most recent video job is a result of producing those workshops: I got to be director of photography on a documentary film for Netflix.