Tag Archives for " Social Media "

How to shoot the perfect video – recap by the Blogger Union

#MrMindChanger and the Blogger Union

What is the big deal with video, anyway?

If you have yet to make your first video for your blog, then get this. It is estimated that three years from now, 82% of all online traffic will be driven by video. You have some time to get ready, so start now! During our October meet-up with the South Florida Bloggers, we learned the basics to making the perfect video.

south florida bloggers girls at how to shoot the perfect video.

And Pascal Depuhl—chief mind changer at Photography by Depuhl, a Miami-based visual content creation company—led the conversation. His school of thought was simple:

Create mind-changing video!

mr mindchanger pascal depuhl at how to shoot the perfect video.

#MrMindChanger

Because the perfect video will make you do something different. And bloggers have this as an end goal in mind as well. We want our readers and viewers to wear the cozy sweater we just layered on, and test out our favorite beauty products. Some of us want them to eat at the restaurants we frequent and order the lobster mac and cheese just like us.

So then now what? We took away some great pointers from Pascal last month and want to share them with you now. Let us take you to the beginning. It all starts with an attention grabber. Like a good blog post, your title has just a few seconds to draw in your audience. The same thing is true about the first glimpse to your video. Have you given your viewers something to care about? Pascal says that if that is not there, then you’re going to lose them pretty soon.

south florida bloggers workshop on how to shoot the perfect video by #MrMindChanger, Pascal Depuhl

 

Here are some other “Video Don’ts” from Pascal:

  • south florida bloggers girl at how to shoot the perfect video.Don’t explain everything. We don’t need a play-by-play like in football. Just explode into the action.
  • No need for a long intro. Viewers might think they are watching the same video if you always start with the same introduction. Once you have their interest, then queue in cameo of self.
  • Make your videos concise. Put the edit together, cut it in half, and then cut that in half. A two and a half minute length video is a good place to start.
  • Have a hero. It can be a thing, a place, a product, or a service—not always a person.
  • K.I.S.S. – it doesn’t have to be long or drawn out. Keep it simple. And make it worth watching. Show us what you’re eating. Show us what you’re wearing. Show us where to get it, or who made it.

south florida bloggers girl 2 at how to shoot the perfect video.

Then we move on to the body of your video, which is what keeps viewers peeping through the end. A video is multi-sensory. You have auditory and visual senses turned on. Pascal shared that more than half of the content comes across on audio. So pay attention to sound. It is just as important as anything else you are providing in your content. And this will make the body of your video a bit heartier.

Let us not forget the end. It has to have a call to action (CTA). Where do you want to end up? People need to know what to do next. And once you have it all together, where do you want them to go? Here is your selling point. But please, make your CTA’s subtle. Leave the infomercials for late night TV.

 

In case you missed it, click the link here with the slides of the presentation from Pascal.

south florida bloggers learn how to shoot the perfect video from #MrMindChanger, Pascal Depuhl


Join us this upcoming weekend to learn from veteran fashion blogger, Daniela Ramirez, on how to monetize your blog.

5 Instagram Mistakes you can’t afford to make

5 Mistakes to avoid on Instagram

“Photographers have a huge advantage on Instagram.  You already have the most important thing for great Instagram content: awesome photos!”
~Sue B. Zimmerman

Last week I got to interview Sue B Zimmerman (@theinstagramexpert) after listening to her on a webinar put on by productivity guru Steve Dotto (@dottotech). Their discussion made me rethink how much attention I pay to my Instagram account.

In case you’ve lived under a rock for the past 5 years, Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service and, as a visual content creator, it’s basically made for photographers.  If you’re not utilizing it, well, let’s just say your missing out on a large market segment. I wrote about the importance of Instagram in getting hired last December on Strictly Business: Why a Strong Brand Online is Worth More Than Your Skill Set.

Within 5 years of its launch Instagram celebrated 400 million users,  placing it in the top 5 US Social Media networks; that is a little misleading, since it’s owned by Facebook. Since Instagram does only one thing, it’s simple to use – but that simplicity can be difficult to use well.

Sue talked to me about the 5 mistakes you can’t afford to make on Instagram:

Instagram Mistake #1: setting your account to private

Mistake #1: Setting your Instagram account to private ensures that no one, but your followers can see what you post.

I made this mistake when I started. Social Media is social so don’t keep your account to yourself.

Sue does recommend that you keep your account set to private, until you write your bio (see mistake #3), post a minimum of 9 fantastic images and/or videos (see mistake #4) and come up with a strong Call to Action (see mistake #5). Once you’ve populated your profile – open your Instagram (IG) to the world! Interact with people, reply to tags, @mentions and shares.

Instagram Mistake #2: using a generic IG avatar

Mistake #2: Using the generic Instagram avatar, will make sure that everyone knows you’re an IG newbie.

Ah, the profile picture. Mistake number 2 is uploading one that has nothing to do with your business. The only way you can do worse is by not uploading anything. Then you get this beauty:
Instagram Avatar

Sue says you should put your smiling face on your account. People want to know who you are (and that they’re following the right instagram account). Make it specific to your brand – it can be your logo, but I agree with Sue, I like to have my face up there. The same goes for your IG your username in your brand. Make it the same as your twitter handle (mine is @photosbydepuhl) or your brand name or your own name. The good news is you can change the username on Instagram.

Instagram Mistake #3: not writing a good bio

Mistake #3: Leaving your bio blank. Or writing a bad one.

Your bio, is the first thing people see on Instagram, so make it easy and tell them something about yourself.  Don’t leave it blank or write something completely irrelevant. (You should set your account to private, until you have a strong bio written.)

True, it’s not easy to write an effective bio in 150 characters. Keep it short, sweet and to the point. Don’t forget you need to include your call to action in here as well (more about that in Mistake #5). This bio is the first impression your making on IG. Make it count.

Instagram Mistake #4: posting everything and the kitchen sink

Mistake #4: Posting photos of everything. Or posting underexposed, blurry, badly composed photos.

The Instagram feed for your business should be just that: photos and videos about your business (not breakfast – unless you’re a food photographer; not cats – unless you’re a pet photographer; not cute kids – unless [say it with me] you create portraits of kids).  If you want to post those images, create a personal Instagram account.

Keep your account focused. Sue says that you should show only the images and posts that build your brand. When someone clicks on your IG feed, your brand should be immediately clear. Remember you can post videos on Instagram, as long as they are under 15 seconds long, like this one:

Include finished photos and behind the scene shots, Sue says it’s important to humanize your IG account.

Instagram Mistake #5: forgetting to add a call to action to your link

Mistake #5: Not writing a strong Call to Action for your link. Not including a link at all is the only way you can make this mistake worse. You get one link on Instagram and one link only. It’s in your bio, so choose it wisely. Once you’ve decided what your want to feature – your website, your blog, your newsletter, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts – don’t just say “Click here.” instead include a strong Call to Action. Read my blog. Join my mailing list. Watch my video. Make that sole, lonely link that IG gives you count!  The one saving grace is that this link – like your username – can be changed.


5 Mistakes you can’t afford to make on Instagram was originally written for “Strictly Business” the blog of the American Society of Media Photographers. 

How to fix the biggest mistake you’re making on Social Media

Sometimes you just want to undo your mistakes

I’ve been on social media platforms for a decade now. Building my LinkedIn profile, updating my Facebook pages, creating photos for Instagram and tweeting a couple tweets a week.

We all are. Twitter’s stream is even called a firehose, simply because there are so many tweets streaming through that social media channel, that no one can keep up with reading what everybody has to say.

The big question

Here’s the big question for a visual content creator: “How do you get your voice heard?” or rather “how do you get your vision seen?” 

In a flood of grumpy cats, internet memes and yesterday’s late show’s video clips – it seems impossible for your visual content to compete.

You’re doing it all wrong

We talk about our gear: do you shoot Nikon or Canon; how do you backup your files; how to create a focus stack or the perfect HDR shot or the favorite piece of gear, or…

STOP IT!

Can I tell you a secret? You’re clients don’t care. They couldn’t care less if you found the perfect RAW processing software (which is Capture One, in case you were wondering).  They aren’t looking for your explanation of what company provides the best services to run your website (I’m partial to Photoshelter myself). Do you really think you got hired, because of that blog post explaining how to get Facebook to take down a copyrighted image or how to power a GoPro for a couple of days for a long time-lapse?

For almost 10 years I’ve been doing just that – and be honest, so have you. We’re targeting the wrong audience – we’re writing about what we want to learn as photographers.  We’re writing for photographers.

I like you guys, but not one of you is going to hire me because of what I’m blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming about.  And the people who are looking for a photographer or video creator?  They’re not going to hire me because of those posts, either.

The secret to doing social media the right way

Use social media to put your potential client in a front row seat:

  • Take your client with you. Periscope when you’re scouting a place.
  • Blog about your recent assignment, but talk about how you solved a problem, you’re client is facing.
  • Instagram some behind the scenes shots or have your assistant create a quick behind the scenes video to post on your Facebook page.
  • Tweet a link to your latest customer recommendation on LinkedIn.
  • Share a testimonial video of one of you’re clients recounting why they loved working with you.

You don’t have to stop creating content that other photographers are interested in. It’s great to have Google see you as the expert when it comes to talking about photography, video and marketing, but please spend just as much time on creating content that your potential clients are scouring the web for when they’re looking for the next creative to shoot for them.

Social Media is a powerful platform, but it requires you to know the interests of your audience and what they are willing to spend their time on as well as where that audience is.

________

[This article first appeared on “Strictly Business“, the blog for the American Society for Media Photographers.]

3 tips to give all your clients front row seat: Marketing Hack #26

10,000 clients sitting in the front row (all at the same time)

Wouldn’t it be great, if a potential client could come along on one of your productions and have a front row seat to see how you work, get a behind the scene glimpse of your workflow and get a feel for your personality on a shoot?

Yeah, I know it’s impossible, but wouldn’t that just be an awesome marketing opportunity? Well although it’s not possible to offer that front row seat to ten thousand clients (or even 10) on set with you, here’s the next best thing you can do:

Let your clients come along for the ride

If you take a little bit of time during a shoot, your clients can join you –front and center– virtually anywhere in the world, no not in person, but online.

Here’s a few ways you can put every member of your target audience, specifically your clients and prospects, in a front row seat of your next shoot:

Instagram/Twitter/Facebook
Instagram is visual, it’s quick to produce and you can easily broadcast the photos to your fans on Facebook and your followers on Twitter. Come up with a memorable hashtag that you use in all the photos and let your target audience experience how you run a production from the virtual front row.

Putting your client in a front row seat via InstagramCase in point: I posted only 18 images to Instagram on my recent trip to New York. Here’ how they break down: 5 travel shots, 5 behind the scenes shots, 4 food shots, 3 shots from NYC and one shot of my packed camera bag. I posted these shots over the course of 4 days and got audience engagement on all 3 social media channels, from people in the business, current and maybe some future clients.

You don’t have to flood your social media accounts with content while you’re shooting. A little bit goes a long way. You can check out all the photos on my Instagram account @photosbydepuhl, follow me and catch the next series of bts images (check out #adventuresinfilmmaking).

Remember to tag clients, people you’re interviewing or photographing to make it easy for them to like, share and retweet your visual content (just make sure you ask their permission first).

How to fire a marketing broadside at your target audience!

One of the mistakes I’ve made in my career is to rely exclusively on my images to get me booked. That may have worked in the past, but as I get ready to push my business this fall, I know my clients want to see more than just pretty photographs.

I’ve quoted this before, but it’s so valuable I’ll mention it again–Heather Elder* (@heathereldersf) creator of Notes From a Rep’s Journal said “The bottom line is that relying solely on your imagery to speak for you has become dangerous. Adding your voice to that imagery is as dangerous, but for everyone else, not you.” That sounds great, but how on earth do I add my voice to an image?

Add Your Voice

Clients – at least the ones in the B2B space that I’m working with – are looking for more than just an image: they want a photographer who has a strong Social Media presence, one who understands how small businesses market themselves online, one who is recommended by his/her clients and who takes them behind the scenes of productions he’s worked on. On top of all that they expect award-winning photography and video productions.

Integrated Marketing Campaigns

With this in mind I’ve started to create integrated marketing campaigns, which focus on a very specific group of people but are executed across a very broad range of media:

Website

ABE-Website-screenshot2-300x188The target of your campaign is your website. Everything should bring your client to a homepage that proves to a potential customer one thing only: you are capable of producing the job for them. And how they can contact you (check out how to automate that first customer contact). OK, so that’s two things, but you know what I mean. Does the first image your visitor sees on your site tie into your marketing?

Mailers

Yes – physical good old-fashioned postcards. With all the emails, Facebook messages, PMs, videos, texts and SMS’s we get today it’s easy to drown in a sea of electronic messages.

Beautiful-Product-Photography-postcard-300x103

Old-school post card connected to the cloud.

How do you compete against this onslaught? Go old school (with a twist): send a hand- written postcard. Clients appreciate knowing that they weren’t part of an automated campaign, filled in with their <FIRST NAME> <LAST NAME> and thanking them for the opportunity to bid on a photography job for <THEIR COMPANY>. A handwritten thanks gets noticed.

product-photo-story-lp-209x300

Online Context

So where’s the twist I mentioned earlier? Well on the back of the postcard is a link that goes to a landing page with the same image, a client testimonial video and a contact form that integrates with my CRM along with all the automation that comes with it. This page continues into a blog series about this shoot, that details how I estimated the job, pre-produced and scouted the job and how the job actually got photographed. (For a more detailed explanation of how the physical postcard gets integrated with my cloud based CRM, check out this weeks #MarketingHack #17: Link your postcards to the cloud!

How broad can you go?

So-perfect-it-had-to-be-photoshopped-150x150The sky is really the limit on how far you want to take it – social media memes, customer video testimonials, organic Facebook campaigns, winning photo contests, behind the scenes videos, online recommendations on LinkedIn, periscope live broadcasts… All these pieces of content make up the voice you need to promote your small business today. How many more channels can you think of that this image could be integrated into? I’m trying to hit a narrow audience in the broadest possible way.

 … but does it work?

That’s the $64,000 dollar question, isn’t it? As you can imagine a lot of work goes into creating an integrated marketing campaign. “What’s your ROI?” you might ask. Well, let’s look at one example.  In this case, I entered a professional photography contest hosted by the Florida Guild of Professional Photographers because winning an award gives me another reason to showcase my work to my target audience, even if they’ve already seen the image before.  Here’s my investment:

  1. Entry fee to a photo contest: $5.00
  2. 16×20 print for said contest: $26.00
  3. Postcard: ¢10 per card and ¢35 postage
  4. Video of client testimonial: $0.00 – produced by me
  5. BTS video: half day rate of a photo assistant to shoot 4 hours of video

A decent return in the first few weeks:

    1. The client bought more images from the shoot, because of the publicity and awards it was generating
    2. One of the best organic Facebook campaigns I’ve run in a long timeSunrise-Run-FB-stats_465
    3. A multi day photography booking, because of this campaign

The real secret is to cross promote these channels: the postcard leads to the landing page with the video testimonial; the news of the award sparks the curiosity of how the image was created and goes to the “how to” blog series; the periscope live broadcast builds excitement before the photograph is even produced (and lives as evergreen content on the blog); the LinkedIn recommendation causes someone to check out your profile and leads to another visitor to your website… You don’t have to create a linear campaign, where step 2 follows step 1. Someone can enter this integrated marketing campaign at any point and go to almost any other channel to get more info.

As I’m getting ready to come out of the slower summer months and gearing up for a busy fall, a marketing campaign like this can drive the visibility I’m looking for and ensure that new (and repeat) clients are hearing the voice I’m adding to my imagery.

(This post first was written for and published on the American Society of Media Photographer’s strictly business blog.)

MarketingHack #16: Be featured as an expert in a book

MarketingHack 16: Loose a book for 2 years

25 Marketing Hacks is a weekly blog series the explores unconventional ways of getting the word out about your work. Traditionally photographers and cinematographers use their portfolios or show reels either in a face-to-face meeting or online to attract new clients. Today I’ll show you how to be featured as an expert in a book that you don’t even have to write.

Become an expert

So yeah, there’s no way around this. You got to become an expert. Clients love to work with an expert in the field, Google loves to find the expert to serve to their users, experts are wanted by everyone. This is the part where you need to put your nose to the grind stone and work hard.

The good news is that you don’t have to become the best expert in the world – after all there’s Featured Expert on videoonly one of those – but you need to become an expert in the eye of the author who is looking for an expert to help teach his readership.

Back up and tell the story from the beginning

Two and a half years ago, I got contacted by Rosh Sillars (@RoshSillars) who was writing a Digital Field guide on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i. He was looking for an expert to give some tips on how to shoot video with the new Rebel. Rosh had asked me to give some practical tips on capturing motion, rather than the technical settings.

I gladly agreed, for one I enjoy helping my friends do well. I also can’t see the downside of being featured in a book as the expert on video. I was in the middle of pulling off my world wide première of my first documentary film (Check out Marketing Hack #11 for why we showed the film at an airport), when I did a quick phone interview with Rosh about video.

It’s kind of a funny story

Rosh finishes the interview, the book gets published and I’m supposed to get a copy from the publisher, but honestly I totally forgot about it, although I did see the page on books.google.com and included a link to that page on my about page. Fast forward to yesterday (2 years after the book got published).

a couple of years ago

Marketing Hack #13: Ask to be introduced to someone else’s audience

How to build an audience

It’s not easy getting your marketing message heard today. There is so much noise out there – so many things are vying for every split second of our time, that especially if you’re just starting out you are speaking to no one. How do you build your audience?

Find someone who already has an audience and is willing to introduce you to them. Now there are a couple of people you don’t need to ask. The photographer that is in your market and your direct competition is probably not going to want to introduce you to his audience. I mean we’re all friends, but we also compete for the same work.

Rosh audience

Let me tell you who gave me a chance to be heard: I met Rosh (@RoshSillars) a few years ago. He’s a Detroit photographer that shoots food and people. He was planning to hold a Social Media workshop in Miami many years ago and I had signed up for that. That workshop ended up falling through, but we stayed in touch. Rosh hosts a podcast and -I don’t remember all the details if he asked me or I asked him- but I ended up being a guest on his show. Rosh and I don’t compete. We’re in different markets and we focus our photography on different segments of those markets. It didn’t hurt his business to have a Miami product photographer on. Interestingly enough my first time we spoke about the importance of blogging.

Sharing audiences is a long-term strategy

To be honest, my phone did not ring off the hook, with people begging to photograph for them after the show aired, but Rosh gave me the opportunity to talk to his audience. You never know where these opportunities end up, our most recent collaboration was the Switch2Social workshop I produced in Miami, where Rosh was the main speaker. Rosh has interviewed me for books he’s written, I’ve been on his show a few times and he’s promoted some online events I’ve put on.

As long as there is mutual benefit in these relationships and it makes sense to share your audience. If you’re just starting out – ask another photographer, if they can introduce you to their audience and if you’re an established shooter, don’t be afraid to share some new voices with your audience.