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End of Life Sessions & Posing Pets & People: Guest Speaker Lauren Smith Kennedy

Creating a Flower Photo with Alessia Monaco

We were so lucky to have Alessia join us live to talk us through the process of creating this gorgeous photo of the dog in the wattle flowers.

Hands up if you thought these photos were created by finding the most perfect flowery bush and getting your dog to stick his head through the branches? 

Prepare to have your mind blown. 

All you need to create this kind of photo is:

  • Your camera and lens (Alessia used an 85mm lens)
  • An assistant or two
  • A patient dog
  • A branch or two or bunch of flowers
  • A lot of patience in Photoshop!

I would love to see everybody’s attempts at these photos in Inspawration Connect, so make sure you jump over and share them! Feel free to tag Alessia too if you run into trouble.

And, of course, make sure you go give her a follow on Instagram!

Beginning your Business: Guest Speaker Erin from the Growth Genies

We were lucky enough to have Erin from The Growth Genies jump on a call with us to discuss all things branding, setting up your business, finding clients, your website, and a heap more.

This will be useful for you if you’re at any stage of your business, whether it’s just a thought for the future, you’re just getting set up, or you’re ready to roll and find some clients. 

Make sure you check out their great blog too, and Erin also offered 1-to-1 30 minute strategy calls if you’re feeling a bit stuck and want some advice, so if you want to know more definitely jump over to their website and book in a time. They’re a super lovely team of women who really helped me with Inspawration so check them out!

Chat transcript:

20:02:39 From Ann-Kathrin Tissen : Hello 🙂
20:02:46 From rekabalogh : Hello!
20:02:50 From Alice Nentwig : Hello everybody
20:03:37 From rekabalogh : I started my business a year ago, so early stages, I had about 5-6 clients so far. My main challenge is getting new clients on a regular basis. It seem to be very ad hoc.
20:04:04 From Monika Maciejewska : Would love to try some day, I think I need to still improve my photography, but I don’t know when to start
20:04:48 From Ann-Kathrin Tissen : I have a small (small small :D) business in Germany, it’s been running for 4 years now but I feel Kind of stuck. Have the Feeling that my photos aren’t as good as the ones I tae for fun. Also having a hard time with Clients having weird expactations, sooo Maybe I haven’t been communicating clearly, I would like to Chance that!
20:05:01 From Ann-Kathrin Tissen : *take
20:22:31 From Ann-Kathrin Tissen : everything fine here 😀 very interesting!
20:27:51 From rekabalogh : Where would I get the email addresses from?
20:29:57 From Emily Abrahams : MailerLite is great too 🙂
20:31:12 From katarina.frankova : but what content and what value could I bring via email marketing to my potential customers? If I was a customer I cannot imagine what would motivate me to subscribe from the client point of view
20:31:31 From katarina.frankova : I usually avoid all kind of mailing lists
20:35:26 From Raičič, Ana : how many emails per month would you say is appropriate without it appearing too spammy and annoying?
20:38:05 From Ann-Kathrin Tissen : an example that I like: a dog trainer sends a “wednesday memo” with a nice short fact or thought about dog training/relationship-stuff. Takes a minute to read and is always interesting without being pushy about buying stuff. So she really stuck with me.
20:55:16 From Ann-Kathrin Tissen : sadly I have to go now. Thank you for the interesting insight! 🙂
20:55:58 From Emily Abrahams : The SEO blog: https://thegrowthgenies.com/seo-what-do-you-need-to-know/
21:00:39 From Emily Abrahams : “Imperfect Action beats perfect inaction every time”
21:03:43 From rekabalogh : Would you have any guidance on picking name for a small photography business? I know it is a very broad question and depends on a lot of things….
21:04:43 From rekabalogh : I have been wracking my brain and just don’t seem to have the creativity to come up with anything…
21:10:42 From rekabalogh : At the moment I use my name, but I’d like to change that
21:19:07 From Erin Michie : https://thegrowthgenies.com/contact/talk-to-us/
21:21:29 From Teresa : Thank you so much for talking us through all the different topics! Do you have any interesting book tips about the business side of things? (yep, I keep peeking towards your bookshelf Erin 😂)
21:22:43 From Emily Abrahams : “She Sells” by Megan di Piero, I’m reading at the moment. Very photography-centric, selling with empathy and being a luxury business. Haven’t finished it yet but enjoying it so far
21:22:54 From Monika Maciejewska : Sorry, need to go, Thanks for a great lecture!
21:24:23 From Teresa : perfect thanks, I’ll have a look at all of them!
21:24:52 From Alice Nentwig : thank you soo much
21:25:08 From katarina.frankova : thank you

Auto caption Transcript

20:04:00 was definitely not what we’re talking about. Unfortunately, that sounds much more interesting.

20:04:07 I’ve turned on the live transcription automatic transcription thing but if any of you guys want to turn it off you are more than welcome to do that if you find it annoying and just remember that it is not necessarily the best at understanding what we’re

20:04:22 saying so take it at face value. So Reagan said I started my business a year ago so early stages had about five to six clients so far. Nice. My main challenge is getting new clients on a regular basis, it seems to be very ad hoc.

20:04:38 Thank you, Jim.

20:04:40 Monica said we’d love to try someday I think I need to improve my photography but don’t know when to start I think I put that on your list of questions.

20:04:48 Yeah. When do you know you put him up.

20:04:52 Yeah, that was a really interesting question actually think about so yeah I’ll be good to talk about that. Cool, and Catherine says, I have a small small small business in Germany, it’s been running for four years now, but I feel kind of stuck had the

20:05:06 feeling that my photos aren’t as good as the ones I take for fun, it can be hard I think when you’re under that like pressure on a shooting like oh god right.

20:05:14 I don’t know poser don’t hear all the muck doing it so like can understand that kind of feeling sometimes, rather than when we can kind of take our time and it also having a hard time with clients having weird expectations or maybe I haven’t been communicating

20:05:27 Philly. I would like to change that.

20:05:30 Interesting.

20:05:32 Yeah, that’s sort of topic I will cover it wasn’t on your list of questions but I think that’s kind of related to the punch day. Uh huh. Yeah, definitely.

20:05:40 Uh huh. Yeah, definitely. Awesome. And Aaron Do you want to introduce yourself you can get started I think just that. Yeah, I have a tendency of jumping the gun and just be like I’ve been pretty vocal I am not talking but now as an official introduction,

20:05:51 I’m Erin. I’m creative director of the growth genius and we’ve previously worked with Emily, in terms of inspiration photography school so we’ve kind of helped out in terms of blogging and email marketing that’s how we kind of got to know each other.

20:06:04 And we also helped with some kind of branding consultation didn’t mean yet stages but in terms of who we are as an agency is we work solely with pet businesses like in the past we did work with kind of anyone and everyone so getting set up but in the

20:06:18 modern day we went solo pet businesses because that’s really where kind of our passions and our interest in our values like. And essentially what we do with businesses at the moment is we help with things like content creation so that can be kind of blogs,

20:06:31 blogs, emails, can the social media that kind of thing or it can be branding, or we also have a group coaching program on the guy at the moment and that’s very much in the beginning stages so we’re just trying to get that to gain momentum at the moment

20:06:44 to. And we also kind of coach consult with startups through to more established businesses, so there’s a lot of activity there at the moment, but in 2022 which is weird to say that year itself is this this really is just strange but in the coming year

20:07:02 what we’re hoping to do is undertake both a podcast and a book project so kind of watch this space and obviously all be kind of pet business related and I’ll be really kind of looking at kind of like what makes a successful pet business, and we’re going

20:07:16 to focus, firstly on Australia but hoping to expand our research and results around the world. So yeah, definitely watch this space.

20:07:26 These are like the greatest genius were super super helpful in me getting everything off the ground, having like a timeline to stick to to get the first course launch setting everything up for the first group of inspiration, students that came in, and

20:07:41 essentially if I hadn’t have reached out to them. First for the branding and then just for like business coaching, I wouldn’t have probably opened it up and you guys wouldn’t be here.

20:07:52 So, yeah, and it’s really cool that they’re hopping on today to talk to us. Yeah, no thank you so much for inviting me to kind of come and talk to everyone because it’s just like what we really love to do, like connect with pet businesses and it’s not

20:08:04 always a case of con, or we need to be kind of pitching on something or there needs to be some kind of like transactional relationship involved, it’s just it’s just really nice to be a part of this community where we all just have by this pure enthusiasm

20:08:15 for our pet, and everything will love it. Okay, let’s jump in, I have some questions for you, Aaron, but you guys are more than welcome to ask questions in the chat as we go through.

20:08:29 If it’s sort of on the same topic we can answer it immediately if it’s kind of a little bit left of center and you just suddenly thought of it I might jot it down and we can circle back to it.

20:08:40 But definitely, feel free to jump on the chat and let us know if you need something clarified or yeah yeah have further questions.

20:08:48 So the first thing that I wanted to talk about is that I’ve been mentioning branding, a little bit this month, as we’ve been talking about our photography businesses.

20:08:56 If I talk about branding what is branding and why is it important for a pet business or any business, I guess.

20:09:03 Yeah, I mean, this is like a real question that I love to talk about because I could get on my soapbox a little bit when it comes to branding and that everybody thinks it’s like a logo or your color palette, and like maybe your tagline and that’s like,

20:09:18 that’s the sum of your branding that’s everything you need to think about. And I’m very much person is like your branding is a much more holistic experience with your business essentially it’s, it’s more comprehensive, the way you’re kind of almost like

20:09:32 to think about it and hopefully this analogy makes sense is, it’s almost kind of like a building. And when like the logo and the color palette and things like the tagline.

20:09:42 They’re nice kind of accessories or kind of things have on the exterior of your building but what you really need to do is have a very solid foundation to your business as well.

20:09:51 And you need to have, you know, the doors and the windows and all the internal infrastructure of your business or your branding really on point for it to be quite stable and successful enterprise essentially so the things that I mean by kind of like the

20:10:05 foundations and the walls and the doors and things like that it’s kind of more involved, it is thinking about what your identity is as a business, which is kind of like said beyond the logo or the color palette is really thinking about what kind of energy

20:10:20 and presence you want to kind of shape around your business but also things like, what’s your personal story what are you here to achieve as a business that again goes beyond a transactional relationship with your target audience.

20:10:35 and what kind of storytelling strategy does that encompass, and then that can kind of go into things like what your personal mission is, as a pet business.

20:10:46 And I know that like, as you mentioned a lot of kind of the guys jumping on the call today are kind of like, just in the beginning stages so if I use kind of like any buzzwords again that don’t make sense, please do feel free to call me on it because

20:10:56 when I talk about things like your mission or your values as a business, it can be a bit I own that sounds a little bit, we were a little bit out there but really what we do at the growth genes and what a lot of businesses are doing in the modern age

20:11:08 is trying to establish a business that has a grander vision and a grander purpose, rather than just been in existence to you know kind of pitch or sell to like a product or service someone, you will see kind of countless businesses who are kind of shaping

20:11:23 themselves around like a kind of giving back initiative or, you know, like, they have a kind of vision that were through that kind of services they will achieve something great and that’s what I kind of mean, when I talk about things like your mission,

20:11:36 and your values and, again, kind of your values are something that is super important to your branding because that’s something that gives your business more substance than something kind of what you could have the best logo in the world but you know,

20:11:49 if you don’t have that substance and that authenticity in something that your target customers can really resonate with and connect with, then you’re just going to be another business and I think obviously we’ll go into this later about standing out in

20:12:02 a competitive marketplace, but I just wanted to kind of plant that seed of people not your values and your identity in your story. These are elements that are really going to help kind of the strength of your business and essentially things that can you

20:12:15 know that unparalleled like there might be a number kind of pet photography business that is an existence which kind of looks similar to you but the main differentiator.

20:12:26 And the thing that is going to make you unique and kind of like have that long life as a business is really kind of working on these elements of your branding.

20:12:34 And once you kind of got those kind of foundations they’re really the foundations and it’s time to think about things like your voice, or who your avatar or ideal customer really is.

20:12:44 So, to be honest I could like talk about all of these elements like our themselves I won’t go too deep into it but I hope that kind of gives you a bit of insight into branding isn’t just about kind of the superficial parents of your business.

20:12:56 It’s really working on that substance and authenticity and experience, they’re going to have from start to finish with your business.

20:13:04 I think we actually talked about that a little bit the other day we did a workshop on like putting together your website and one of the things I encouraged my students to do was to really think about their why and I think that comes back in that purpose

20:13:17 like why are you doing this, why are you here Why have you decided to come out here and set up this business and lie in the mud and you know sacrifice on weekends or you know like, yeah, is your purpose for, for being here and you know that giving you.

20:13:34 Yeah, that that kind of mission to do what you need to do so.

20:13:39 Do you have is there some way, because I feel like, you know, I asked the people who are at the workshop the other day if they had, you know, if they could think about their ideal client, your ideal customer and, you know, to have a think about their,

20:13:52 why is there, like some strategy or a prompt or something that you would recommend to help them just get that those questions started or, you know, a line that they could, you know, sit down and go okay you know if I can answer this question then this

20:14:11 is going to get me thinking about this with more clarity, because I feel like sometimes it’s so much so why, kind of like so kind of like if I’m correct and kind of your question is like something that prompts there like understanding or why they do what

20:14:24 they do. Yeah, because I think it’s one thing to say, why are you a pet photographer and we all immediately go, I want to capture beautiful memories of people’s pets.

20:14:32 Yeah, yeah, literally all want to do that like how can we go deeper.

20:14:36 Yeah. No, I’m saying I think one good way to actually kind of get into your why because it is a thing that kind of like the first answer is not going to be the best answer to this because you do have like that new kind of like, oh I want to take photos

20:14:49 of pets like that’s kind of the obvious answer and again that’s not going to be.

20:14:55 It’s not going to be super authentic to you as a business because you you expect that with pet photography you to go on a website and be like, Oh, they actually hate pet photography but they’re still doing it as a business it’s kind of like a given that

20:15:06 you love that element so one kind of tip I probably give to people in terms of like really working through that is think about kind of your personal story and your kind of personal relationships with animals like how has that kind of inspired your kind

20:15:20 of journey to today like, because it’s not just come out of the woodwork your love for animals and it’s not just decided to do pet photography has it been like, Oh, that sounds like a cool thing to do like you’re saying kind of the the conditions that

20:15:31 you work in and like the time and financial investment you kind of like input into, you know, the training yourself up and then you know undertaking this as kind of like a business that old like incompetent like an enormous amount of sacrifice so there’s

20:15:46 something deeper that’s driving that beyond like I just want to take pretty pictures. There’s some real passion there and it might just take like thinking about like your childhood maybe your adolescence, even your adulthood, they might be more recent.

20:16:00 But I think if you. It doesn’t have to be you’d like your Why does it have to be so super profound, I think it can just be something that is like, personal to you.

20:16:09 And that is something that will be very kind of effective in again kind of connecting with your target audience. So does that kind of help like give people a starting point at least to think about this.

20:16:20 Yeah, I think so. Okay, great.

20:16:25 on the list. I can say like in the chat give me like a thumbs down if you’re like no I didn’t help me I saw like the worst. Yeah.

20:16:37 Like just kick it here alone.

20:16:40 So I think mainly I’ve kind of covered so the next question is what are some tips and tricks to go about creating a cohesive brand for your business but I think like you’ve maybe kind of touched on that in terms of trying to be quite authentic to your

20:16:52 story and your voice and who you are and I think, I mean not to like you know talent my own horn or whatever but I feel like I was mine have got a lot of that authenticity and you know how I come across I’m always quite honest, I’m kooky and chaotic and

20:17:08 everything and I think, you know, so do you have, I mean maybe that kind of links into what we’re talking about and I guess it’s just that authenticity, would you say in terms of the year.

20:17:21 I think yeah definitely when I kind of like was thinking about this earlier, I think I was thinking that is like a huge part of it because there’s that question of like how much are you the brand versus how much is the business the branded, that makes

20:17:33 sense like and that’s something that a lot of kind of business owners struggle with is like, how much they are kind of a representative of their brand but you know something like inspiration photography school, you kind of are the brand Emily so that’s

20:17:46 kind of how that’s what taught and that’s why authenticity so effective in terms of your ranking, but there’s some people who are quite hesitant, you know, to kind of put themselves out there because you know kind of photographers quite like it’s a bit

20:17:58 of a cliche isn’t it but they’re kind of like they prefer to be behind.

20:18:04 It’s understandable but that they might be kind of like, Oh, but how do you kind of like offer that authenticity and how do you be vulnerable in terms of your branding and there’s a few kind of like strategic kind of like in the kind of things you can

20:18:16 do in terms of kind of creating cohesive branding which is more about kind of consistency. And if you are kind of like hesitant, in terms of kind of like thought like What does authenticity mean and things like that, like, I’d be like, Okay, if authenticity

20:18:30 seems like too difficult for you to tackle at the moment I aim for consistency. And in terms of consistency that could be easy and like, you know, picking like a color palette and sticking to it, or you know, picking certain fonts and again kind of sticking

20:18:43 to them and not over complicating things but um, so there’s kind of that kind of practical steps you can take but also really kind of think about your ideal customer ultimately it’s more about kind of what your branding is, as I said earlier, kind of

20:18:59 like an experience of your business from start to finish. So, what you like another practical thing you can kind of do if you don’t even really know to start with kind of creating consistent or cohesive branding is, you know, do a little bit of like social

20:19:11 media stalking like if you have a particular kind of ideal customer in mind.

20:19:17 It’d be great if they’re like an existing customer for example you’ve worked with them like in a small capacity but you’re like this is the kind of person that I want to work with like 10 hundred times over the you know kind of maybe look at their social

20:19:28 media look at what kind of businesses they’re following or interacting with like whether their pet businesses or non pet businesses, and you know, look for trends in the kind of businesses that they’re interacting with it’s like are they drawn to kind

20:19:40 of certain like aesthetics or kind of like messaging on certain websites, you know like, do they like the Eco angle for example or do they like adventure and kind of like adrenaline, you know, and you can kind of shape like whilst authentic authenticity,

20:20:14 and in branding is very important you can kind of shape your branding, in a way that is designed to appeal to your target audience too. So that is kind of a way that can make it cohesive and it’s really just, you know, kind of sticking to it then kind

20:20:09 of consistently I think that’s probably one of the, you know like, major things you can do, kind of like that will help with your branding make it feel kind of like, visual and effective without it kind of getting out of your control and, you know, if

20:20:24 you are kind of looking at businesses that you’re kind of ideal customers following on social media, then you know kind of hop on to their website and sign up to their newsletters and you know kind of look at how they’re talking to their audience and

20:20:34 things like that and like how they present their story and their values and their mission all these things about that we talked about before. And because it’s not kind of copying it like you’re not cheating it’s just like, you can take the structure that

20:20:47 these existing businesses are essentially using but you know just put your own spin on it. So it’s not like you have to necessarily start from scratch when it comes to kind of creating branding because you can look at businesses who have like done it

20:20:58 well you know like big corporations and be like, okay, I can emulate that, but in my own way, so kind of use it as a template.

20:21:07 And, yeah, and I think probably another way is like, like I said before kind of thinking about your story if you’ve kind of got gotten About Us page on the go on your website or you kind of in the process of building that out, really kind of work on that

20:21:21 because that can be something that almost acts as kind of like a beacon or lighthouse when you feel kind of like, oh maybe I’m gonna go off my branding a little bit with what I’m doing here, you can kind of pretend to your About Us page and think about

20:21:32 your story and the way you communicate your values and whatever your mission is and things like Does, does it all line. And then you can buy Oh well, if it doesn’t, if it massively like diverges from that then of course it’s not kind of coordinate with

20:21:46 your branding so don’t do that thing that you’re going to do. It’s kind of like it’s just really simple things that you can do like I said in like a technical capacity that can make life a lot easier.

20:21:57 Cool. Awesome. And any questions so far guys everybody’s very quiet on the chat I’m assuming you have furiously taking notes and everybody’s okay.

20:22:15 We just have to be the teacher that checks in

20:22:20 ourselves.

20:22:15 Sometimes I asked if there’s any questions and I’m like, I’m imagining somebody like, wait, don’t move on.

20:22:23 like little info section.

20:22:28 a little info section. You should be able to give a little like reaction, thumbs up thing that will show up in the participants.

20:22:38 Yeah, I think kazoo authority comes up, which was great.

20:22:41 It was lovely thumbs up.

20:22:44 Okay. Well, in that case, going to my next question, which is, you know, a lot of my students, feeling a bit overwhelmed I guess with how to get started.

20:22:54 We’ve already kind of talked about branding Would you say that less than most important place to start or, you know, once they have thought about their branding now that we’ve talked about it and then glaringly.

20:23:05 Yep, What’s my why.

20:23:08 What is the next best thing that I call this is going to mean my story. The color is my logo, this is what I want to have for my why. Where to next.

20:23:19 So I’m assuming as well like one of the primary things that they’ve done is like set up like social media accounts and got those kind of cooking especially like as pet photographers codified things like Instagram we’re going to be kind of your, your biggest

20:23:34 biggest kind of platforms to promote your services so if you’re kind of like you got those kind of cooking away or you’re just in the process of setting those up.

20:23:49 That’s my next recommendation to you there’s something that, again, kind of, we add the growth genius love and I personally love his emails like email marketing like you really need to like get on board with like setting some kind of system up where you

20:23:57 start to build your, your own kind of community or your own useless list and I know this is something that Emily we’ve like previously discussed in the past but we kind of like creating a community that isn’t necessarily like tied to something like Instagram

20:24:11 or, you know, Facebook whatever platform you’re using because I think over like the past couple years as we’ve all experienced like social media can turn so quickly and it’s so kind of changeable and unpredictable and technology can change and that can

20:24:27 impact results and algorithms, but, you know like, here’s a tip like if anybody says like oh like this is due to the algorithm, they’re just talking like out of that but to be honest because nobody except for the people at like Facebook and Instagram

20:24:40 actually know what the algorithms to do it. And so, you know, just discount anyone who kind of pops on about that but I think it is so important to have kind of like that social presence established for business.

20:24:52 One of the primary things you do kind of alongside your branding, but like I said kind of been your next focus really should be on building that email list because this is essentially a community of your own that you’re building, and it’s also like data

20:25:06 that you own as long as you kind of like adhere to kind of any privacy laws and everything like that depending on the country you’re operating in, like, this is going to be one of the most valuable things that you can create for your business because

20:25:19 essentially you social media is structured in such a way where they’re kind of interacting with your businesses very fleeting like they might just be scrolling and they might come across your content and be like, oh that’s lovely that’s cute might give

20:25:29 it a life, or they might not even give it like these days, you know, especially when you’re just starting out as a small business, it can feel kind of, so kind of crushing when you put all this energy investment into posting all these amazing photos and

20:25:41 content on social media and it’s like, you know, kind of that tumble, we’d kind of crickets movement. But just because they aren’t necessarily commenting and liking on social media doesn’t mean they aren’t engaging with it but it just makes it very hard

20:25:54 to you know kind of track that and track the effectiveness. So, alongside things like social media, it’s like email is where they you can kind of capture more focused attention, and it’s where you can really nurture that relationship with prospective

20:26:10 customers or existing customers and you kind of hide thing word of mouth for example with existing customers because I know that was something that you touched upon earlier with like someone’s like, again like kind of one session done but you want to

20:26:23 structures to get repeat customers. And this might be a way because people might need only like one photography session but then you know the way that you didn’t get repeat customers things like you know kind of word of mouth and you know kind of similar

20:26:34 to friends and family but yes, just to return to the importance of email is like the depth of the relationship that you can build with your audience through this medium.

20:26:47 Is it can be something that kind of really changes you from a business that they kind of stumbled across and they’re like, oh kind of vaguely remember them to a business which is really at the forefront of their mind and it’s something that maybe they

20:26:59 don’t necessarily need your concepts is at this point of time, but they’ll think about you like further down the line or like somebody is kind of got like birthday or celebration coming up and then I don’t know what to give them, or maybe I’ll give them

20:27:12 them a photography session you know you can be planting the seeds of like email marketing in a way that social media doesn’t kind of allow as much and I think when people can get their email marketing really cooking and built a newsletter list and really

20:27:27 get like that good number, and kind of be talking to them about like different things different ways just offering them value it’s not always about making sales that that might be the key to really kind of experienced that kind of that changing growth,

20:27:41 and you know really kind of getting those conversions coming through. So, if you don’t have your email marketing setup, I beg you, please go set it up because that like I say it’s one of the most valuable things you can do for your business.

20:27:56 There’s a question in the chat Where did I get the email addresses from.

20:28:02 So I’m assuming that people are setting up their own websites, but that particularly might be they’re just on social media and that you’re breaking through that, yes, some of a lot of them is starting to set it up but they might not have their own domain

20:28:16 at this point so might be hosted through like weeks or something so they might be some weeks address or. Yeah, yeah. So I think yeah especially if you’re in the kind of beginning stages and you don’t maybe have your kind of like a website set up or you

20:28:30 don’t have the capacity to capture emails, at this point, then yet, kind of, obviously kind of really honing in on that social media presence but you know by, like, the more active on it then, or interactive couldn’t rather than just like posting more

20:28:52 It might be a case of, rather than waiting for people to come to you in terms of like you know following your account or engaging with your account. You then have to be more kind of proactive in building your social media presence, if that’s where you

20:28:56 really want to focus and that might mean kind of going back to what I spoke about before is like thinking about your ideal customer and looking at the kinds of accounts that they follow and particularly if their pet, that would be great.

20:29:08 Then you can kind of jump on those accounts, accounts to and become a commenting and kind of like bump up your visibility that way, they kind of like responded to other people’s comments not in like a spammy or salesy way but in a way that you know kind

20:29:20 of engaging with that community and getting your name out there, and you know, kind of like the more people see kind of the value of interacting with you, even if it’s through somebody else’s account they’ll be like, Oh, just kind of click on that account

20:29:32 or just go have little nose yet them and that’s a way that you can be like really hard to not promotion on social media but yeah like I said before, like, really, if you can set up a platform, even if it’s like a basic landing page that is beginning to

20:29:45 capture their email addresses and then you can use systems like MailChimp which are very kind of like affordable and it kind of gives you quite clear kind of them, pricing structures that once you hit like a certain number of email subscribers in your

20:29:59 next package.

20:30:01 Yet, may light as great as well yeah like all these kind of systems, there’s just a little bit of googling just kind of look at, you know, if you want to join a couple of Facebook groups as well that people can kind of give you the pros and cons because

20:30:12 there’s so many systems out there in this day and age but you can really hop on to some very basic systems and begin kind of by capturing email addresses that way so I think yeah, it shouldn’t take you too long as well like to say just really basic landing

20:30:26 page, color listening to your Instagram or Facebook and that can, that can be a game changer. Yeah we did talk about the importance of having a website you know needs a portfolio About Me page contact like nothing at all it needs, and then somewhere on

20:30:41 there you can have like sign up for the mailing list or, you know, something like some kind of value add thing I was just thinking is really useful again just to get that like to build that trust with you.

20:31:00 Thinking about I guess what your potential or ideal clients would find helpful. Yeah, yeah. And I think, on that note, like, we call it kind of like lead magnet in the business but you know like if people don’t like know kind of what lead magnet is that’s

20:31:12 essentially what it is, it could be kind of like a PDF checklist, or kind of like I don’t know like a mini kind of video series which is exclusive to people sign up to your newsletter list or maybe some kind of like, even if you attended in the past written

20:31:25 written a blog you can repurpose that for like a value add for an email kind of welcome series and it can be kind of like two to three emails, if you are actually kind of like set in like in process of setting up, you can, it doesn’t have to be somewhat

20:31:39 like big snazzy like PDF that you kind of waste hours and hours like building it can be kind of something as simple as, like, three emails and the first email can be like welcome like here’s like a little bit of a value add something kind of like one

20:31:53 problem one solution is the general kind of format we use so don’t try to like feel overwhelmed by like, oh, that might be my like ideal customer like has all the things that they need to know about it could be something really simple, particularly with

20:32:04 photography maybe you give them like a very quick, kind of like tip of how to take photos of their mobile phone, or something like that, you know, something that is immediately going to, you know, kind of give them that little rash of like, oh, like have

20:32:15 learned something or gain something from this interaction, and then say you’ve got a second email and that welcome sequence, then you can maybe go a little bit into kind of nurturing their understanding of who you are as a business so that might be where

20:32:27 you talk about your why a little bit more kind of like, invite them into the conversation around your brand like people have this kind of perception that you kind of build an email and it’s very much talking about the person and then he kind of asked

20:32:38 to kind of click a link, but it doesn’t need to be that way you can really kind of build like an interactive conversation about kind of your business around it like you can ask people to respond to the email with their own thoughts or feelings you know

20:32:50 kind of really kind of generate that discussion around your brain but also kind of provide that insight into, like, I do have depth as a business this is why you should like like know and trust me with because I am a business that is not only going to

20:33:02 kind of offer you amazing pet photography but it’s going to bring so much more to the tape on the value that I can offer and bring into your life. So you’ve got those two emails done very short very simple.

20:33:25 And third, emails like, that’s where you can maybe be a little bit more operational heavy but not in a way that again is spammy or salesy but in a way that kind of like, I’m just telling you what options are on the table so if you did want to work, maybe

20:33:27 these are the things we kind of can do but you know, again if you feel kind of like, Oh that feels a little bit to kind of promotional, then you can then add in like another value add in whatever capacity that is maybe it’s another photography tip or

20:33:38 it’s maybe some kind of like corporate office you follow that they might find interesting you know just thinking about what is going to really kind of, you know, bring value to their life, and then this is sorry this is going on a bit of a tangent, but

20:33:51 you know, kind of in terms of value.

20:33:53 Again, that might be a thing like, I don’t know what they can buy, so you can kind of break it down into four categories or, that’s what I typically do.

20:34:00 And the fastest financial so that might be like a discount or deal or something like that. And the second one will be functional so that’s kind of like providing a solution to a problem that they might be experiencing in the here and now.

20:34:12 And the third one is psychological so it’s more kind of talking to their emotions how they’re thinking of failing and making them feel understood and seen as a kind of a part of your community and then the fourth category is social and that’s making them

20:34:26 feel like they’re part of this community and they’re kind of connected and things like that so you can always return to those categories of value and think about our Okay, I’m going to offer them a bit of financial value in this email or maybe in the

20:34:40 next one I can offer them functional value but then you know when I’m talking about kind of my wife and my mission but I can also offer them maybe some like psychological and social value in a very kind of like implicit and subtle way so you can always

20:34:54 think about that so that’s something that I personally was coming back to whenever I’m thinking about those like welcome sequences, and emails too, so hopefully that helps give me for granted and wonder you said it answered Catherine has a question in

20:35:06 the chat about she’s wanting what content and what value can I bring by my potential customers if I was a customer I cannot imagine what would motivate me to subscribe from the client point of view I usually avoid all kinds of mailing list.

20:35:21 Me too. Yeah well because you know that they’re going to like spam and.

20:35:26 So today, and that’s why you need to redefine the relationship you really have with your customers from the get go, you know like, like everybody under the sun since I keep you sign up for my newsletter I’m not going to sell and not going to spam me and

20:35:39 me and things like that so people really kind of skim over that. But if from the kind of like the welcome email you kind of put like really kind of clear boundaries in place like this newsletter is designed to really kind of bringing value into your life

20:35:52 and things like that and really just be kind of like open that kind of communication because yeah of course you do want conversions from your email marketing but you know if you’re the kind of business that is just going to set out to every time we post

20:36:06 on social media, every time you send out an email. It’s all with the intention of selling to people, then you’re talking at people you’re not talking with people and that’s why so many businesses fail because they’re just, you know, shouting in people’s

20:36:20 faces like buy my stuff by my stuff, and people get their backs up on that people don’t like to be spoken to like that if somebody came up to the industry and was just shocked and then you’re basically like that like you, and you’d walk away whereas if

20:36:42 know like someone’s coming up going like, Oh, I saw that like you’re having an issue with your bike it’s broken down like here, here’s some tips of how to fix it, you know like, there’s a much different kind of like context to the relationship that your assumption from the get go.

20:36:45 from the get go. So, I think, yeah, as long as you can really focus on bringing that value into your audience’s life, even in a very small capacity. And like I said before, it doesn’t need to be some super whiz bang like PDF that takes you kind of like

20:36:58 weeks to like write and create and things like that it can be very simple stuff but you know the perceived value can be like 10 times the amount of the actual kind of time or investment you spend in creating it because you’ve just got out of your way

20:37:09 to actually do something off your own back that is going to benefit your audience, it’s like, I wonder if it’s worth thinking, you know, in terms of that question about the thing that gets them to sign up, you know about those things you’re talking about

20:37:22 the value something in some way, solving some potential problem yet they’re come to or that they might not realize they have or something they might want to get better just something that’s going they’re going to go.

20:37:36 I know I would be interested in learning how to do that I would be interested in finding out more about x y Zed.

20:37:42 And of course you know I think, Katrina, those of us who are less mailing list inclined to feel like oh there’s not gonna be anything that’s going to make, but you know I have signed up for a couple here and there and you know, so if people do sign up

20:37:56 for them so just because we were the kind of people who feel like nobody does that because we had mailing list. Yeah.

20:38:03 this thing or you know they want to learn about this or that.

20:38:17 She said, an example that I like a dog trainer sense of Wednesday a hammer with nice short fact or thought about Dog Training relationship stuff takes a minute to read and it’s always interesting without being pushy about buying stuff shoot so she really

20:38:31 stuck with me That’s cool. Yeah. I think yeah and that’s kind of like prime example isn’t it or somebody who’s bringing kind of value to the table rather than just like focusing on that sell the time like she’s obviously kind of understands what the psychological

20:38:42 kind of benefit of you know kind of offering that information in each email would be as opposed to you know kind of I’m just going to promote my kind of pie.

20:38:59 to kind of enrich and bring value into your life, and it can be something really small. And that’s like another point is like these emails don’t have to be like some kind of Lord of the Rings in length, essays or anything like that is like because people

20:39:08 are very kind of time poor or they perceive themselves to be quite important in modern day. That’s why we have to kind of hold scrolling culture and Instagram because you want that kind of but don’t mean hit like instantly and then move on and then get

20:39:18 another here we move on and it’s like, if it’s not kind of interesting or relevant to me you move on quite quickly so again kind of just return back to what you think your ideal customer brilliant one slide what is kind of like the one problem one solution

20:39:32 you kind of provide with that value in each email and just yet, communicate it in the most kind of concise but compelling way that you know how. And it might take like a while till you find that rhythm, you know, That’s why we do things called what split

20:39:46 tests in marketing where we kind of, you know, we might design it in one way and then test it against another way just to see which one was more effective or we might do like a short email versus a long email to see what our audience likes like you can

20:40:00 make all these presumptions about your audience like oh they won’t sign up to my newsletter list or they won’t like this piece of content but until you actually get out and start testing things you might just be kind of guessing it and you might be getting

20:40:11 it wrong so you need to test these things I think it’s really important that you do, you know, actually, try, try and get that go out there and see what works.

20:40:21 Yeah.

20:40:24 Sorry. Yeah. No, I was just gonna say I thought I saw this other question as well pop up which

20:40:32 is in the chat, how many emails per month, would you say is appropriate without appearing too spammy and a million.

20:40:39 So I think the a good luck amount is probably like fortnightly so maybe like roughly kind of like 10 months is like a nice amount that you’re not kind of clogging up their inbox, but you’re kind of keeping present, so you know kind of it’s consistent

20:40:53 and, you know, you kind of set maybe up a structure where they know kind of what they’re going to get from each newsletter. So they might be kind of like one that is something that is kind of like a practical functional value add and then there’s something

20:41:06 that is more kind of like a social value add which is more about community and then maybe just kind of like a little sign off or something like that, it doesn’t really need to like I said before beach super extended each time.

20:41:17 But I think if you kind of set up like an expectation of what your audience is going to get from your newsletters to, then they’re more likely to want to kind of engage with them moving forward, because it won’t be something that they necessarily need

20:41:29 to kind of use too much brain power to think about that can be like, Okay, this has landed in my inbox I know exactly what kind of content is going to be there but if something that’s going to practically benefit for me.

20:41:40 So even if I don’t kind of jump in and read it right now I’ll kind of go back early today and engage with it then. So, that’s like, don’t always be kind of disheartening to people aren’t like open it immediately especially with this kind of email marketing

20:41:53 strategy where it is more kind of value focused, people might absorb it at different times in different ways but you know like if you do have to say have come back for 90%.

20:42:04 And then, if you do get to the point where you do need to kind of do kind of mini promotional campaigns. People will be much more forgiving, if you’ve kind of got like maybe kind of a fortnightly newsletter structure where you are both on a value driven,

20:42:17 and you’re kind of like answering their questions and helping solve their problems and bringing that value to the table. If then you do have like mini bursts of like, maybe kind of like a three email sequence over kind of like a weekend or something like

20:42:30 that, and which again kind of doesn’t lose sight of the fact that you still need to be bringing value to the table, even though you’re kind of promoting something people will be much more like said forgiving about that or willing to engage with that kind

20:42:42 of content so I don’t think that necessarily needs to be a thing of like you’re never going to promote to them, ever. But I think it’s terms of like the long term benefits of having like a very kind of value driven newsletter structure which is kind of

20:42:56 like fortnightly. And then, you know, in these focus periods of time, then you kind of have commercial content going out but maybe just do that, like, depending on how you kind of structure your kind of your business but I’d say probably no more frequently.

20:43:11 Then, you know, twice a quarter. And I think any more than that might be get in bed by or you become spamming or salesy but you know like if you have these brief pairs of like, I’m just going to promote things you know like little small bath.

20:43:23 I think people like I said will be very much more kind of understanding and forgiving of that, for sure.

20:43:31 Cool. So, thinking that about you know this overcrowded market.

20:43:39 A lot of photographers.

20:43:41 a speciality in a way that they might do rescues or dog training centers or they have some kind of specialty products. How important do you think it is to like niche right down or to have some kind of like, I’m a pet photographer who specializes in senior

20:44:09 dogs, or you know what advice can you give to aspiring photographers aren’t sure how to pitch themselves. Yeah, all these other pet photographers, I think this is a really great question because I think you can really come at it from kind of two different

20:44:23 like trains of thought, like there is the first kind of thought we must like really niche down and you need to have like a very specific specialty. And there are benefits to that in terms of a practical capacity in terms of like your visibility will increase,

20:44:37 especially if you kind of like, what we’re talking about earlier if you’re setting up a website if you have sets in kind of like keywords like senior Doc, talk or fee or agility, you can talk about things like that can help to essentially kind of bump

20:44:51 you up in SEO which is search engine optimization so it’s things like, yeah, I mean, I mean like, I know to be like cousin to like I’m no expert on SEO because that’s a whole kind of job in itself but the fundamentals of like targeting keywords is very

20:45:06 simple to actually implement and just to kind of like plug our own resources but if you thought about it before they might need it but we do have a blog on our website which kind of gives you a bit of like a one on one on SEO if guys do want to check

20:45:19 out any point, and I can shoot you the link and you can obviously send share it with your community at another time and move in terms of like Nietzschean down to be like Uber specific like that, that can then help to essentially bump your visibility up

20:45:33 like someone were to be kind of like senior dog but then you would like be able to get to those top results in Google which is something that again can be another way to kind of join those customers and boost that brand visibility and you know, ultimately,

20:45:48 the profile of your business. So, it can really help in that way, and you know there’s there’s a lot of scope in terms of like mission down and it could be something you know like in terms of like, take a breather or could be specific, dog sizes or it

20:46:04 be specific kind of locations you know like outdoor studio or could be like commercial pet photography, or it could be an icon like pet parrot photography as opposed to kind of like, there’s my third baby kind of like you know specific like that kind

20:46:20 of style. So you definitely, if you find it like very overwhelming to think about your kind of like setting up a business that is going to be competing about, like, all these other kind of pet photography businesses, then yeah there’s nothing stopping

20:46:33 you necessarily from finishing but I suppose in that regard, I’d say it’s something that you do need to feel quite passionate about and it’s going to kind of, you know, pay off in terms of, like, the long run because if you niche down in a particular

20:46:48 area of pet photography that just generally doesn’t interest you you’d like but you think I’ll maybe there’s like a gap in that particular market. I think eventually you will kind of lose that kind of passion and enthusiasm for you know kind of really

20:47:01 you’re going to be the driving force behind your business, ultimately, and if you become disinterested in the subjects that you’re taking pictures of like ultimately that’s going to impact the quality of your output.

20:47:14 So I think that is something just to keep in mind like if you do feel quite enthusiastic and passionate about a particular niche, then yeah I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with going that direction but equally you don’t kind of want to

20:47:27 back yourself into a corner. So it’s just something to consider like in the future would collide, would I like to pursue some other companies with that mean starting scratch or, could I create kind of a business model that means I can kind of replicate

20:47:41 whatever I’m doing this business but then kind of translate it over to a different niche or could I kind of restructure my businesses such a way that I can then open up the niche slightly without kind of losing the community that I’ve built in the meantime

20:47:55 you know like if you focused on a specific breed and suddenly your photography look completely out of whack, you know like, people quite loyal to breeds aren’t they particularly with dogs so they might be like oh my god I can’t believe they’re like now

20:48:07 photography, like different six different food like oh my god but you know so you need to really kind of think about how you can even see my react to that kind of change.

20:48:14 They might be quite welcome in your bed or might not you know kind of be a fly on my radar but, you know, some might, you know, kind of be like lose their trust in your brand if suddenly you’re doing something different to you know kind of the way you

20:48:26 establish that relationship. So, if you’re kind of very much in the starting phase of your business, and you’re kind of struggling with visibility, you don’t really know.

20:48:35 Essentially what you kind of want to niche down into is, I think, you don’t necessarily need to do that straight away I think it’ll be better to kind of start your business and get it set off and work on things like we spoke about today like your branding,

20:48:49 they kind of social media and your website and use this time to experiment with what you do love like and there’s other ways that you can kind of create a brand that does stand out from the competition, particularly photography, because before we started

20:49:02 life review Emily like I’ve never seen anyone’s like photos who had that particular style. And I think that’s something that can really help you to stand out in a crowded marketplace is like each photographer has their own style.

20:49:16 It’s their photos in a particular way, and had like that. I’m cool like their signature in how they kind of, then go away and edit photos like the actual contents of the Potala.

20:49:26 Don’t running or like maybe, kind of like a cat on the tree or something like that, those might be the same but then the way you kind of do kind of refine and edit those photos might be completely different from what any other competitor does because

20:49:38 you’ve got that I and you’ve got that vision of what the quality of the product should essentially look like. So that’s like another way that you can really kind of differentiate your own pet photography business from other people it’s like yes you might

20:49:52 have a similar service but if they kind of then land on your social media or the length of website, and they can see that you’ve got some like mission behind your business and you’ve got some bigger why, and you’ve demonstrated the values and you can

20:50:05 kind of communicate your personal story, why you’re so passionate about Prokofiev where it kind of stemmed from. And then you’ve got the cohesive branding, that kind of that whole experience is what is essentially turn to kind of differentiate you in

20:50:18 the market. And I think it’s really thinking about that kind of angle because it’s.

20:50:25 That’s what’s going to really, you know, kind of convert someone is like he might have the kind of best looking at photography business in the world but if somebody lands on it and they just don’t like your stuff.

20:50:35 They just don’t like your stock photography and they’re not going to convert you know but you need to really think about kind of like, you’re not going to please everyone.

20:50:44 If your pet photography so you need to really think about okay what is my ideal customer what kind of photography to like to take you know like to edit.

20:50:52 What kind of like vision, do I have my business what kind of style for example, do I want to be known for, and you know kind of focus more on that I think it’s just kind of being overwhelmed by god there’s so much competition out there and I feel like

20:51:04 they can do what they wanted to like, I’m going to be kind of stand confidently and powerfully in my identity as a business and you know really kind of work on that and work on how you communicate that and that will resonate with people be like, it’s

20:51:17 a no brainer like a love that stopped, or fee or I love the energy behind that photography, and that is something that will be much more compelling to your target audience because I’m is something that we’re really realizing as an agency quite a lot at

20:51:30 lot at the moment is like, people don’t consider themselves like pet owners in the modern day they consider themselves as pet parents so you know the actual kind of emotional investment, they have in us like procure your success as a pet photographer

20:51:45 are just like they’re very high so if you can talk to them on that very emotional level and really kind of tap into that and the vocal and psychological capacity rather than you know, worrying about, I don’t believe in as many kind of social media followers

20:51:59 or kind of like my pricing slightly different. Those kind of concerns are secondary if you can really resonate with them like you’re going to do a fantastic job of doing their pet like honorably with your pet photography services.

20:52:12 So yeah, I think really just kind of focusing on that and being kind of confident in what you’re bringing to the table and not worrying that kind of the way that you’re building your businesses not going to appeal to everyone, but you need to really focus

20:52:26 focus on people who do want it to appeal to.

20:52:29 And I think I went through that as well, you know we’d like you to do i do photo shoots for rescues or do I offer this kind of thing I think a lot of that comes down to your purpose and your authenticity and you know everything that you want to put out

20:52:45 there like if you love working with rescues and that really resonates with you, as a photographer and as a person like I wouldn’t be looking at it as, Oh, this will be good for my business.

20:52:56 I mean, it probably will, but, you know, I think if it’s something that you love to do or like, Okay, I’m going to do, Rainbow photo shoots for sick old dogs who are, you know, about to pass on.

20:53:08 And I’m going to do them for 50% off because this is something that really cold, my heart like that’s going to come across, not as like a salesy business thing if you’re doing it like authentically from a place that it’s something that you love you know

20:53:22 it’s like I love I love telling stories and you’re creating these kind of stories with my photos and I think that comes across and how I do it. So, you know, you find the things that kind of make your heart happy, then that’s going to flow into what you

20:53:39 in your business and into your branding and everything too. Yeah, it’s kind of like an aside, earlier like a lot of businesses are kind of like greenwashing and just having like a, like a sustainable element to their branding and things like that but

20:53:52 you know, for example if you did feel very kind of passionate about kind of like an element of your businesses like for each photo session that is kind of like, just taken with applied.

20:54:04 You’ve been kind of donate a portion of proceeds to kind of like help an animal in need, you know that’s a very basic example but you know like that is something again that can kind of help you stand out from like other kind of photographers in the industry,

20:54:19 particularly if it’s kind of like have certain types of pricing like the thing that might like sway somebody’s opinion about your brand is they again see that you have like this higher purpose or this higher why as a brand like you’re not just here to

20:54:33 take photos of a pet you’re here to make a positive impact on the world in whatever capacity, it has, it could be small, it could be local it could be big, it could be kind of like you know aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which is like,

20:54:46 if you haven’t ever checked those out there but who call it’s all about kind of you know like live on land life war token world hunger and things like that so it’s very kind of easy to align yourself with a cause, which I would kind of encourage people

20:54:58 to make like a central step their branding is thinking about how you can incorporate some kind of like charitable giving back, aspect to their work, and it doesn’t need to be financial because I do understand like a lot of people can start in off they

20:55:12 don’t have, you know, kind of a lot of profit, they might just be kind of you know barely making any kind of a revenue at this point. But you know, there’s things like the, the 1% pledge as well where you kind of donate like 1% of your annual time to,

20:55:26 you know, helping out with charitable cause and things like that or like you’re saying earlier, maybe they do come free photo shoot for, like, animal shelters stuff like that is, you know, it’s, again, kind of, resonating with your ideal markets kind

20:55:40 of values like what kind of things do they consider important in life and I think an easy one, it’s going to be the welfare of animals really, and you can you can talk to that and you can work with that and again like I said that can be something that

20:55:52 really swings the opinion of your pet business over someone else which is some new price.

20:55:58 Yeah.

20:55:59 Awesome. I just see a blood.

20:56:04 And it cuz. I’ll see tasking Whoo.

20:56:07 Thank you.

20:56:09 Um Okay, question about advice for aspiring pet photographers who aren’t sure if they’re ready to begin charging clients like how did they decide whether to begin charging where do they get started in the phone.

20:56:25 I think this is like a big question because I think the way kind of like you think about it is like if you’re asking that question of yourself is like when I, when can I start charging clients for my pet photography is like this is the moment that you

20:56:38 can probably start charging for your pet photography because I think money is such a charged thing especially when you’re kind of just starting out you can feel quite like guilty about it or quite negative about or, like, you know, I’m whether you’re

20:57:06 for it but ultimately if you’re providing a pet photography service then you deserve to be paid for that energy exchange because otherwise you’re just going to keep giving out and out to like you know friends and family and things like that and you’re

20:57:08 not really getting much back and, and I know kind of like if you’re very much in the beginning stages like they might be doing it as a paper to help you kind of build your portfolio, things like that.

20:57:17 And then, if that’s the case and if you do still feel like, like no way Jose, I’m nowhere near at the point where I can like, ask for kind of like financial kind of payment for this service then there’s another way that you can get compensated for this

20:57:31 for this work and like I said before it’s all about an energy exchange so if you are doing pet photography and you’re like, Oh, no, just I’m just not at the point where I can actually charge for it, then ask for something else in exchange for these services,

20:57:43 like for example, it could be like a Google review, it could be a testimonial. It could be something kind of like a photo or video testimonial but typically good because I think another thing that will be essential to anyone can kick starting their business

20:57:57 is really having like social proof that they’re kind of the pet photography services, or kind of legitimate and people love the results and things like that.

20:58:07 And you know, especially when you’re first starting out and you don’t have a lot of kind of white in your portfolio you don’t have a lot of evidence of that like testimonials from people can be like hugely effective and powerful because I don’t know about

20:58:20 anybody else here but you know like when I’m shopping online or considering a service like one of the first things I do is kind of figure out what they’re offering me but then the second thing I do is check out the reviews, or like the star rating and

20:58:31 things like that. It’s like, we really do kind of trust other people’s opinions. So the more you can kind of build that up alongside you know kind of doing these like pet photography sessions for kind of friends and family or people who volunteered is

20:58:45 asking for them to intern like I’m going to do this view, I’m going to take like amazing photos of your dog or whatever it is, but in exchange like a very kind of upfront and care from the get go about this like an exchange I need you to do X, Y Zed me

20:58:59 me like I need you to share this to your social media and kind of tagged me I need you to leave me like a Google review I need you to do like a video testimonial and you know you can kind of help them out with what kind of you want them to say like not

20:59:13 scripted to the point where it sounds like really wouldn’t but you can kind of guide them on the kind of things that you need you can be like please leave me a five star review just like don’t give them any kind of wiggle room and be like, can you kind

20:59:22 of mentioned like your experience with me on the day like how professional I was what kind of like how happy you are the results so you can really kind of frame it up.

20:59:32 So I think yeah just like having that very clearly in writing if you are at a point where you’re like just absolutely not, no way that I can ask for money but as I said before, if you are at a stage where you are kind of wondering if you’re ready to do

20:59:45 it is, yes, you probably are at a point where you’re ready to ask for money in exchange for your services and. And I think if you’re kind of in that in between stages like all but When, when, when can I do, when like when should I do it set yourself a

21:00:01 very kind of tangible quantifiable goal, and then stick to that as well, like, you know, kind of 2022 by February, I’m going to start charging clients you know like there’s no kind of like kind of great middle ground but it is very kind of black and white

21:00:14 white you’re, you’re going to do that and you’re going to start charging by this point. And you know, kind of, rather than leaving it loose, which I think as pet photographers I’m sure a lot of people are like perfectionist and they want to get things

21:00:26 100% right before they kind of like they start thinking about charging for maybe what my editing is better maybe when my actual photography is a little bit better I know what star go for, you know, kind of like, that’s something that will mean that you

21:00:38 can keep delaying by charging your client. So, yeah, like you said, kind of like imperfect action be perfect in action like every time so just set yourself that deadline, and I think hold yourself accountable to it, tell people like, especially if you’ve

21:00:53 got friends and family who are supporting you and kind of building this business be like, okay, by this, like, you know, this time in 2022. I’m going to start charging, and then kind of hold yourself accountable to that and just, you know, there’s no

21:01:04 wiggle room out there and, you know, be confident in that what you’re bringing to the table is worthy of that financial investment because it is, and it is amazing what you’re doing and the skills that you’re learning with Emily are kind of invaluable

21:01:17 so of course your photography is going to be what you think.

21:01:22 I actually read a really interesting seeing from kind of like a sales photography sales kind of grew lady, the other day. This is more about raising your prices but it could be interesting for some of you who are really just feeling the fear of charging.

21:01:36 And she said, one way you can do it is the shooting your raise your prices and then. First off, be like, and then it’s 30% off so you’re kind of like easing yourself into it and then like that a month it’s 20% off.

21:01:50 And the next month is 10% off and then suddenly you’re charging full price and everything’s okay but he’s like, ease yourself into this scary number that you with too much at first, so maybe that’s something as well.

21:02:03 Yeah, definitely something to try Yeah.

21:02:07 Cool. Um, I know we’ve been going for an hour Aaron so I don’t know if we should maybe wrap up, we do have a question about marketing and promotion and we’ll talk about social media being the best place to kind of begin marketing and promoting yourself.

21:02:25 Yeah, um, yeah I did like I think that’s a good thing yeah we can definitely talk about that quickly because I think another kind of temptation is a social media is like if you just throw a lot of money at kind of like marketing and social media, then

21:02:36 that’s going to produce all these amazing results and kind of get loads of sales and conversions and, like, this is quite a divisive thing in terms of the marketing world as to you know like how great is or like how rubbish social media marketing is but

21:02:48 I would say to you until you have a big enough budget to invest in something like social media marketing.

21:02:53 Don’t touch it, and work on kind of building like an organic community first. And that can be that can be done through social media still it can be things from like hosting many competitions for example where it’s very affordable freebies or it’s like

21:03:08 a session with you. You know that can really help boost brand visibility or it might be, you know, reaching out and kind of establishing partnerships with other like minded pet businesses that are in direct competition with you and maybe you could do

21:03:20 like a bundle of kind of services or you know kind of gifts. That is a prize for a competition and, you know, kind of like, maybe you do something for them and they do something for you, kind of like with partners it’s, it can be energy exchange rather

21:03:35 than anything kind of financial in terms of competition but you know maybe you can do like a social media tape on their account and then maybe you can do something else for them that they will find valuable.

21:03:46 And then I think, you know, just being kind of like, as I said before being really kind of active and interactive on social media will be super important, is a one way that you can kind of build your audience is by, you know, stimulating conversation,

21:04:00 and you know kind of talking and actually interacting with your followers, or you know kind of followers on accounts that you kind of want to steal their followers you know because who on social media and it follows one account nobody everybody follows

21:04:13 multiple accounts so there’s no kind of necessarily like kind of brand loyalty that’s going to stop them from you know kind of been interested in following you.

21:04:20 As long as you’re not kind of, you know, jumping on to another pet photographers account and being like, oh that’s absolutely rubbish coming look at my head like don’t do that.

21:04:28 But you know, kind of like really just get involved in that conversation and, you know, kind of show that genuine enthusiasm and again to think about what kind of value can bring to the conversation itself and again it’s, it can just be social psychological

21:04:42 like helping people to feel connected or seen and understood.

21:04:47 And, and then one last thing I was thinking about is really kind of working on developing your own assets alongside this other stuff that you’re doing because I know that when you got your own business, it can feel like you need to do 101 one one things

21:04:59 that, you know, think about what kind of valuable assets that you can maybe potentially building in the background and that could be like, easy how to PDFs or it could be kind of like newsletter blog content, give them, essential reason to want to engage

21:05:15 engage with you. And I think that is something that will help to really kind of grow your business beyond you know just social media advertising but that will help in terms of like nurturing your audience and essentially getting your name out there, which

21:05:27 is the goal here.

21:05:29 I know I didn’t put this in the question but one thought, I’m wondering about is the value of connecting with places your ideal clients would be likely to hang out in the real world eg no local grooming salon pet stores dog parks maybe if that’s the thing

21:05:46 where you are in that big in Europe but in Australia like if I was in my mom’s suburb where everybody has many many dollars in their bank accounts for sure I would be at that dog park like just and not being there like page with a flyer, join a business

21:06:04 carpet being like, Oh my god you don’t secure that that I would love to get one of that kind of dog in front of my camera one day or you know just dropping it Oh, what do you do for a job do on pet photography and I did a day.

21:06:16 What’s your thought on yeah connecting and networking and marketing in the reasonable rules. I mean, I think, like, especially as we were talking earlier like pet photography is going to be such a personal experience and you really have to trust the pet

21:06:30 photographer in is not just a case of trusting your skills but I think, like, resonating with them in the personal capacity, you know like, sometimes you meet someone in you’re just kind of click so if you do, for example, kind of like, go to like a dog

21:06:44 park and you start to talk to people like that is going to be such an amazing way that you can kind of market your business but then that’s also quite a time consuming way so if again if you can, like, partner with businesses like the example that you

21:06:57 just used as amazing like in terms of like a pet grooming salon like especially with dogs like it, you know, kind of the range of dogs I go in there and you’re kind of like the actual kind of problem and solution that government places solve is like,

21:07:12 you know, sometimes it’s also practical crafting clipping claws maybe things like that but also making dogs look good, and you know like if those look good you kind of want to fight over that there’s a natural kind of connection there and like correlation.

21:07:25 And you can definitely do kind of an energy exchange you know like if people were kind of booking in like a session for pet photography with you maybe you could then get them to like discount on a pet grooming session like before, after you know you can

21:07:40 really tie in that way, and then kind of vice versa, the pet grooming salon can maybe do kind of like, oh, did you know that you can get like pet photography services with the passing and you can get like through me you can get kind of like that 50% discount,

21:07:53 you know so, I think, like, there’s a common saying that like no man is an island and no pet business is an island to, like, you are part of this grand were both like you know needs or wants that pet owners have, and if you can really think about kind

21:08:10 of your ideal audience in terms of not just kind of like how, what kind of purpose this pet photography stuff in their life but think about what kind of additional kind of, you know, problems or one for desires they have in relation to their pet and you

21:08:26 know where, where do they shop, where do they hang out online where do they go kind of physically what kind of foods today by you know what kind of grooming products they use really think comprehensively about that whole kind of power only experience

21:08:39 I think about the ways that you can really kind of, you know, show up in those places don’t wait for them to come to you actively kind of seek out those spaces like today have like specific kind of harness that they use Can you somehow can partner with

21:08:54 these companies or, you know, even if you can’t partner with them maybe they’re like a massive brand which you know because you’re too small for them to take notice of, you can still talk about like these products and things like through your own business

21:09:07 and show like hey I get you like I understand what you want and you know really kind of reinforce your validity as a kind of pet business who knows their kind of pet insight and now and that’s why you’re going to do such a great job with your photography

21:09:20 because you know exactly what they want and need as a pet parent, as we’ve been discussing. So yeah, I definitely kind of get out into the world but you know some supplement that we’ve like automated digital activity as well as that isn’t such a time

21:09:34 suck you know kind of things I were talking earlier, you know, have like a real system of getting people into your newsletter list and then send in these week like welcome emails, which is just kind of treatment automatically and things like that.

21:09:45 So, you know, keep all these plates spinning and all together like. Once you’ve created this kind of ecosystem of marketing activity that’s what’s ultimately going to get you those sales conversions.

21:09:57 Cool.

21:09:58 There’s a question in the chat about diamonds on picking a name for small photography business. I’ve been racking my brain just starting to see it seemed to have any the creativity to come up with anything.

21:10:09 Well this is a really interesting question I think probably because obviously when you kind of came to us for inspiration photography school, I think there’s like a similar thing wasn’t it because obviously you had your original business which was your

21:10:20 name. So then you kind of got to the point did you where you’re like, do I call it something different or I kind of created as part of like my name under that brand so I think you can go with your name and just be kind of like De De De De like pet photography,

21:10:36 that is kind of like an easy kind of onset.

21:10:40 And, you know, kind of pick communicates very consistently who you are and what you’re about.

21:10:55 And, okay so at the moment you do use your name, and out of interest, why would you like to then kind of change that do you think they do you think, like, well, right, because, Oh,

21:11:01 Sorry, I’ve been timing might be quicker to talk.

21:11:04 It’s a number of reasons really because I’m. My name is not something that people can generally pronounce right. Yeah, yeah.

21:11:13 We are hungry and and it’s you know it’s hard enough for people to try and get my first name, my last name and.

21:11:21 And I think it’s just really difficult for people to remember so it just not not something that, you know, Yeah.

21:11:28 And I’m happy to perhaps use my first name but I’d love to do something that is a little bit more to do the pet, or doc photography.

21:11:38 Yeah.

21:11:40 And do you have it right. Yeah, no, do you have to kind of like any childhood nicknames for example that are quite easy to pronounce that you could incorporate into your brand name instead potentially.

21:11:52 Is it again very very kind of traditional Hungarian word wouldn’t mean anything to anybody and I love to do something that is a bit more English. Yeah, because I think the, the one thing that I would probably, kind of like, I suppose worn in terms of

21:12:07 getting like a business name is like a lot of people want things like poo or dog, or you know kind of poor or something like that in their business. And it’s incredibly hard to, you know, kind of like, in terms of like trademarking and copyright and that

21:12:16 kind of thing like further down the line. When you’re like a small business you kind of like able to get away with it but if you want to grow to the point where you’re actually quite successful, or you’re getting quite a lot of kind of profit from your

21:12:32 enterprise, then you might encounter some kind of issues or stumbling block. When it comes to you know kind of an actual name of your business and then there might be you know kind of legal issues involved in there.

21:12:44 But then you might have to go back and do like a huge rebrand refresh which is again kind of what you don’t really want to have to do that if you kind of get it right from the get go.

21:12:54 So, in terms of kind of branding names, and there’s kind of like different ways you can kind of go about it but something that, especially what for inspiration photography school is kind of make up words, as well, like they don’t necessarily need to you

21:13:08 know be kind of sense cool. It doesn’t need to be kind of like super kind of straight laced you can kind of like have a little bit of fun with it and it kind of very much depends on kind of again what I didn’t see you want your brand to have whether you

21:13:35 it to be more consistent gated or you do want it to be a bit more kind of fun and like bubbly and bouncy, but you know kind of take Google as an example like that’s just a made up Word, and that is something that you know kind of through repeated exposure

21:13:38 and just asked kind of using that service again and again and just it being kind of embedded in our brains that we all we do know what kind of word Google means and it’s like, it’s entered our languages like a verb, now you know to that degree, and obviously

21:13:50 as a pet photography business likelihood is you’re not going to become a verb, but you know, the thing is like your friend named can be something sentence which is quite catchy which does kind of stand out.

21:14:03 could be another thing you do to come up with an original name, that will just help in terms of like you know things like copywriting and trademark and down the line, but also help in terms of like social media handles or securing a domain for your website,

21:14:28 eventually, or you know, kind of like again kind of search engine results like a specific kind of word rather than cuz you’re gonna have a lot of competition in terms of pet photography, those tags, like that time it’s going to be highly edited but if

21:14:41 you have some kind of point of differentiation, which is kind of like a made up word or something like that, then that is something that can again kind of help you to stand out from the competition is something again that is going to remain at the forefront

21:14:55 of their mind and be more memorable in the long run. So, like my recommendation is maybe have a look at kind of maybe pet related terminology and see if you can maybe kind of create a word which kind of emulate like any pet terminology or, you know, take

21:15:13 take a couple of words and like See if you can squish them together, or you know kind of maybe take a word and scramble it up, maybe think about that way but you know just try to, as I said before, stay away from Wired’s like poaching dog and cat and

21:15:36 like that because you just there’ll be no chance that you’ll be able to, you know, kind of trademark or copyright anything in the future, who knows. Does that help. Yeah, no no it does. Yeah, wonder if you could use knowledge name potentially as part of it could be interesting.

21:15:43 be interesting. Yeah haven’t really thought Banda, or even just your first name like if we’re talking about like, you know, things are unusual it’s kind of, I mean it’s not like a super long name is your first name and if you use that with something else that could be

21:15:57 interesting, that might take some of that like, people don’t know how to pronounce it, it’s really Hungarian like half of that off at least.

21:16:20 Um, could be interesting because I know you know people go oh Who did you have your photos with oh it was with breaker.

21:16:12 You know, so that’s, they’re not going to always with the scruffy motley pause crew, you know like, they remember the person that was there connecting with them, doing the photoshoot interacting with their dog doing the sales section or whatever it is

21:16:27 afterwards. That’s who they’re going to, you know, so if they’re like oh I don’t remember who what heard her business is called they’re going to go on Google and rake up pet photography and see who comes up, you know, so then I think for me, something

21:16:41 that I’ve seen a line, you know, Facebook groups are the groups that, you know, people are reminding people of I guess that’s a good point. Thank you.

21:16:53 Yeah.

21:16:56 Thanks.

21:16:56 Yeah.

21:16:58 Alright, cool. Um, so I think I pretty much done. Do you have any further recommendations Aaron for things, my students could do to move their business forward right now, what would it be.

21:17:12 So, I think there’s kind of like two things you can be doing, and one is kind of like that can be kind of plugging away in the background or something that you don’t necessarily need to kind of have finalized by tomorrow but it’s something that you can

21:17:24 kind of be working on and that’s really kind of getting your branding down as we’ve been talking from the beginning and that is definitely not like an overnight project but you know really started to think about your why what your values are, what your

21:17:36 Think about your why what your values are, what your identity of the business is. And so whilst you’re working on that and get the things kind of like, it kind of translates to your website for example you know about us page, then start to actually be

21:17:50 creating kind of digital content or assets that is going to resonate or relate to your target market and it’s going to be really useful for them or it’s going to grab their attention and it’s going to come so, like, one problem one solution, just think

21:18:03 about that for like anything that you do create like, don’t be overwhelmed by it just think about one problem they have one session you can provide with this asset.

21:18:12 And you know, then use that as a way to capture their email addresses and I think, like, if you really are struggling with this because it can be quite overwhelming to is, we all we do offer kind of free strategy calls at the growth journey so if you

21:18:29 We ought we do offer kind of free strategy calls at the growth genius so if you did want to kind of book in and just you know spitball some ideas or want some kind of like personalized assistance of just, you know like, I’m just overwhelmed like you talk

21:18:42 about branding and talk about websites, about this that and the other. You just want kind of someone to kind of sit down with you and be like, okay, color, what is your specific like pet photography business what are your goals, you know, kind of for

21:18:49 the next year. Okay, here’s, here’s three things that you can do, then please do feel free to kind of like reach out to us and book a call for the coming year, and we’d be happy to sit down with you for like 30 minutes and just really kind of put that

21:19:02 very kind of like next steps into play. So I’m just going to drop the link in for anyone who is interested in that, here you know, you got to do a plug in, don’t you, but the thing is like every business is so different, like I said before, like maybe

21:19:18 you do have a service which is kind of similar to someone else but you know your personal journey and your personal goals and the way you get there is going to be so unique to your business.

21:19:28 So, it is very much kind of worthwhile kind of reaching out and getting that one to one support where possible, and I know that Emily’s community is like a fantastic place as well to kind of get that feedback and that support to so even if you don’t reach

21:19:39 out to us, then obviously I’m sure like every herself so she’s there to, you know, kind of like spitball ideas to. I am I am but I am always very upfront about the fact that the business side of things is not my strongest suit so talking to people who

21:19:52 are all about the business is probably going to be much more have a lot more clarity then, my advice I mean I know things but definitely not my area of expertise.

21:20:05 So, for sure. Like, I would, i would be taking advantage of that opportunity.

21:20:13 Okay. How do you structure your services done Do you do basically anything from very basic stuff to all the way to.

21:20:31 What do you what do you do, do you do packages and, yeah, that’s something like if you did want to kind of look into a call we’d be like happy to talk to you about that because we do kind of have packages.

21:20:36 But we understand, especially come with startups like sometimes they’re not affordable so we’ve got our group coaching program which is a bit like more affordable on a monthly basis that you can kind of join and we do kind of teach some of these concepts

21:20:48 there, or tenants. Alternatively, you can sign up for one to one kind of coaching, consulting services so that’s not us kind of for example like doing blogs for you but it means we can kind of guide you on a blog creation strategy we can kind of help

21:21:03 you out with like what topics to kind of write about and how to write about the things like that and kind of help you to work towards those goals but then like you said like, we do have packages of services where we do all of this for you so we basically

21:21:16 take this, this responsibility way off your shoulders and, you know, kind of like we just go to town with it instead so yeah we offer kind of a full range so it’d be a case of jumping on a call and just seeing what you kind of need and you know what is

21:21:30 again kind of financially viable for you.

21:21:34 Thank you.

21:21:38 Teresa said Do you have any interesting book tips about the business side of things, like keep picking toward your bookshelf Eric okay so if you have any book recommendations, I guess, and toes us just kind of like, Randy okay so this is one of my favorite

21:21:55 Okay, so this is one of my favorite so if I really ripped up my so this is by Donald Miller, and this is called building a brand story. So hopefully you can see that.

21:22:02 And this is a great book that will just, it takes you through essentially the customer experiences kind of like, it talks about your customer in terms of their their hero, and they’re going to go through this journey with your business and this is kind

21:22:16 of how you can construct that whole journey through your business and how you can do some kind of storytelling around that. So that’s an amazing book so I’ll show that again that’s done with Mila, how to building a brand story.

21:22:37 So story Brian Davis, and another one, it will be Simon’s cynic start with why I think that’s the name of the book as well so that’s more of a kind of, I suppose you can call it kind of like personal development side of things so I don’t, I only have

21:22:47 that completed and so fortunately I can’t kind of flush it up for you but yeah I just double check the title, yet start with why is another great book and it really kind of prompt you to kind of question and reflect on what kind of like that deeper passion

21:23:02 is, and that is something that will be super important as we’ve been talking about to your personal path for photography branding so are 100% would recommend his stuff as well so two books for you to take away not to read and list tonight, I dropped one

21:23:16 one in the chat to that I’ve been reading is very very photography centric but I like it so far it’s, yeah. And I don’t like reading like fiction, nonfiction books I always have to be a factor fiction, nonfiction.

21:23:30 I’m not a big fan of nonfiction books but I’m quite enjoying this one so it’s quite light and it’s, you know about, um, yeah structuring your specifically your photography businesses and luxury kind of product and selling with empathy rather than being

21:23:44 salesy and gross and just really getting to the heart of what people are looking for when they’re reaching out to book you.

21:23:59 Sounds great. I haven’t read that one so I’ll add that to my radio to light and it’s kinda so it’s pushy sales. Yeah. And if people are time poor then you know audiobooks all the way like you can fit that in I am doc walk, you know, kind of, if you’re

21:24:09 like, trying to kids around in the school run and things like that, like, just, you know, trying to kind of get these resources into your life, and where you can because I think it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially if it does feel like it’s so

21:24:19 overwhelming but you know just just reading these things can kind of make you think about things differently or spark new ideas so yeah definitely try to get on board with these, these books at the same time.

21:24:30 Awesome. Cool. Any last questions guys that people have been hitting us to bed while we’ve been finishing up.

21:24:39 If any of you guys is still here have a last question, do drop them in the chat otherwise I’m pretty sure I can forward any further questions through to Aaron on date traces giving us the flaws in the reactions there I can see.

21:25:02 Oh, keep your clothes cover get siloed but I’ll be like,

21:24:57 giving us closes out amazingly, nobody wants that lady gaga song like all about the applause or something, it’s just like, that’s just goes through my head all the time, just give me the applause, it’s like,

21:25:13 are you getting it oh you’re getting all thank you thanks guys too much to continue but let’s

21:25:22 keep going.

21:25:25 Okay, awesome, thank you so much Aaron for giving me your time this is really really interesting and yeah I really liked hearing your thoughts about branding and the Y, and everything I feel like you have it heaps.

21:25:38 Yeah, well I think we have But like I say I could talk about these things for like hours and then so I do apologize if I was like, blah blah blah blah times because I’d like to say enthusiastic about this topic so I do hope people have like gained something

21:25:50 or you know felt like this conversation has been beneficial to them in some way to know if he saw me.

21:25:58 Not in the hallway through like thing but also yes this is

21:26:03 great. Well yeah, thank you so much for inviting me to talk today because it’s been amazing to meet your community to.

21:26:10 I’m sure like there’ll be because it’s a Tuesday night there’ll be others that will watch it throughout the week so yeah definitely reach out to the grocery means if you guys need some help getting your business old set up because like I said they’re

 

All About Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): with Mirella Ruotsalainen

If you’re a pet photographer (or aspiring to be one), you really need to have a website. Unfortunately, just building a website and sitting back, waiting for your adoring clients to come and book you isn’t enough.

Without a functional website, optimised for Google’s crawlers to find you, you might end up on the 20th page of the search results when someone tries to find a photographer in your area. 

(And who ever clicks through to the 20th page of results?!)

In order to rank higher in google’s searches, you need to strategically employ SEO – things in your website that will make it move up the listings so your potential clients can find you (rather than your competitors!). 

In this guest talk, Mirella, one of our original LC Students and SEO expert, shares her knowledge and advice about SEO – what you should do to your website to make sure it’s Google-Friendly, as well as resources you can use to check how well it’s already doing, and strategies you can implement to improve your site.

This talk is great if you already have your website up and running, but may be overwhelming if you haven’t got anything set up just yet – though it will probably save you a lot of heartache if you set up your site with these principles and ideas already in place, rather than having to retrospectively fix them later!

Veronika Shandor: Composites, from Concept to Creation

Pet First Aid: Guest Speaker Olivia Moore