What does your website look like to google?

Wouldn’t you like to know how well your website is built, designed, and positioned, to rank well on Google???

Today’s giveaway is CRAZY: I’m offering a FREE website SEO audit of your photography website.

Complete the form below to claim your audit (spaces are extremely limited, and I will stop accepting entries once the quota is met):

Complete Below

Sorry, entries are now closed for this competition, and that’s the end of the UNFOLD – Your Christmas Advent Calendar for 2018. Subscribe, and there might be another in 11 months time for 2019!

Rules:

  • All applicants before the closure time will receive an audit
  • Closure time is at the provider’s discretion
  • Completion time of Website SEO Audit Report is at the provider’s discretion
  • Website SEO Audit Report will not identify all issues or errors with website
  • Website SEO Audit Report will not necessarily propose the full solution to remedy errors & issues
  • Website SEO Audit Report does not guarantee SEO success

Email autoresponders might be one of the more powerful – and simple – tools for keeping your brand top of mind with your prospects.

How often do you respond to an inquiry, only to hear… crickets. Nothing. You wait days, and you wonder how much longer you should wait. Do you send a follow-up email? What do you say? What do you ask? How do you keep in touch, without being annoying?

Autoresponder

Our favourite email marketing tool, Mailchimp, has an Autoresponder feature known as Mailchimp Automation.

(Other email marketing tools all have similar features.)

An automation suite doesn’t need to be any longer than 2 or 3 emails, but will keep the conversation going, and keep your brand top of mind.

The following assumes you are sending your inquiries into an email marketing tool like Mailchimp, either via an API, email integration, using a tool like Zapier or ITFTT, or just via direct email.

Setup

Within Mailchimp, you create a new Email and click the “Automated” tab, selecting one of the automation email options.

Keep it simple – you can change and tweak almost everything later – I like the ‘Subscriber Activity > Welcome new Subscribers’ option:

I suggest setting up just a few emails – you don’t want to overwhelm your inquiries, but you want to be top of their mind. In marketing, top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) refers to a brand or specific product being first in customers’ minds when thinking of a particular industry.

Top of mind awareness helps make you their first choice.

Timing

Immediately

When an inquiry is received, it probably takes you some time to respond – right?

You’re probably not at your desk at that exact moment. You probably need to read through the inquiry details. You probably need to check your calendar. You probably need time to load your canned response, attach your price list, personalize some details, etc.

An immediate autoresponder will send through an email within minutes. It will hit the prospect’s inbox and give them something to remind them of you.

And, hopefully, it’ll be something a little useful too!

1 week later

It’s very possible that you’ve made a meeting, or even booked the client, within one week. But statistics show that most meetings & bookings actually take longer than one week. Sending another automated email within 4-5 days will keep you top of mind, and hopefully also be something useful.

I love the idea of a small guide: “How to pick the best wedding photographer”, or “Things to look for in your wedding photographer”, or “What makes great wedding photos”, or “The best time of day for beautiful bridal portraits” – something relevant to their photographer search, something that shows you know this wedding photography thing, something that helps position you as an authority.

Or be like the mofos at Bayly & Moore and send them “20 new album recommendations and a recipe for slow-cooked pork tacos.”

Funny, interesting, useful – and a little bit left-field.

3 weeks later

Some prospects and clients are very organised and want things to happen very quickly, but some take weeks, even months to make a decision.

People are busy.

How often have you chased up an old inquiry, only to find they’re still working through things, and your email was exactly the nudge they needed to book a meeting with you?

It’s happened to me more often than you’d believe. A follow-up email can do wonders for your booking rate.

Automate it. Send out a 3-week reminder that you’re still here.

Continue on the guide idea: “Some recommendations for other wedding vendors”, “The best way to schedule your wedding day”, or anything else you think is helpful and useful and keeps you – your brand – top of mind.

Or keep up the personal recommendations – “What we’re listening to – bop of the week”, “Creative things that excited us this week”, or “This new pinot noir I just discovered”.

Good marketing is simply helpful marketing.

You’re not trying to sell. You’re just being helpful.


Today’s a glorious day, and I’m feeling generous. Super generous.

Today, I’m giving away a one-time coaching package, 100% FREE!

Struggling with anything in your business? I can attempt to help you work through it.

Valued at almost $400, this Coaching package offers a full wedding critique, and and hour of my time over Skype to address any questions, queries, or concerns you may have.

Skype Coaching Call

One-on-one coaching call over Skype

valued at

$200

one hour skype calls

targeting a specific area of your business, working through any problems

overcoming an obstacle

helping you transform whatever needs your help right now!

Full Wedding Critique

A full wedding gallery critiqued on video

valued at

$190

full wedding gallery critique

send through URL to full wedding gallery, as delivered to your clients

video delivered securely and private

expected video length: 60-90mins

Complete the form below to enter the competition – 1 lucky winner will receive all of the above!

Enter Below

Sorry, entries are now closed for this competition.

Rules:

  • One winner will be picked randomly from the subscribed entrants
  • No further obligation necessary
  • The timeframe of delivery of services is at the provider’s discretion
  • Offer unavailable to current Coaching customers – sorry

The lure of social media has led many artists into the realm of social media addiction: “the opiate for the masses”.

There is no magic bullet. Individuals are ultimately responsible for their own social media use.

Yet, all social media platforms and educational establishments (including our online marketing course) have a role to play in reducing excessive use of social media.

Below we suggest a few techniques and tools to avoid being sucked into social media.

Remove Distractions

Don’t open your browser and leave it there, awaiting the next ‘ding’ or notification.

The Chrome extensions StayFocusd, Work Mode, or my personal favourite Go Fucking Work, will stop you from needlessly opening social media tabs in your browser. Install them. Use them.

I’ve personally found these to be great at stopping the social media distractions – when you can’t access the tools, your mind gets back to doing more important real work.

On the Mac, SelfControl is a great open-source app for blocking access to distracting websites, or anything else on the Internet.

On an iPhone, Moment tracks your iPhone/iPad usage, and if you’re using your phone too much, you can set daily limits on yourself and be notified when you go over. You can even force yourself off your device when you’re over your limit.

Using Android? Consider an app like Freedom, which blocks distracting websites and apps, or AppDetox to block apps and spend less time on the phone.

Personally, I’ve turned off all social notifications on my mobile devices, and hidden the apps at least 1 folder deep so they’re not obvious and easily accessible.

Consider turning off Facebook & Instagram notifications from your phone and your browser. None of these are vitally important to your business - the responses can wait.

For more reading: subscribe to the wonderful blog of Cal Newport, or buy his book Deep Work.

Schedule Posts

Tools that schedule posts – set & forget – are wonderful at restricting social media usage.

Later is a wonderful app for planning & scheduling a week’s worth of Instagram & Facebook posts in as little as 20mins. It’s visual, it’s intuitive, and posts using Later see no obvious negative impact on engagement compared to using the native Instagram/Facebook/Twitter platforms.

Consider using Later to plan a week of social media posts in 20 minutes.

Set Aside Time

Firstly, force yourself to have periods in the day with self-imposed non-screen time (such as during meal times).

Consider leaving your smartphone in a separate room from where you sleep (resisting the urge to check social media before bedtime, during the night, and when you wake up). Simple action = very effective.

Create periods during the day with non-screen time: meal time, bed time, children time, etc.

Secondly, much like regular work responsibilities, your social media time should be allocated.

Set aside time to engage with your audience.

Outside of your posting schedule, respond to mentions, DMs, and comments without being distracted by your everyday posting duties.

Much like the time you allocate to responding to emails, or the time you might allocate to this our marketing course, your social media use needs to be allocated specific time.


The perennial question: what size images do I post to social media?

The answer: as big as possible – it doesn’t matter, all social platforms will scale your images anyway.

If you really want numbers, if you must insist on a perfect size that reduces the risk of resizing artifacts, use the list and templates below:

Download our useful Lightroom Export Templates - to have these export sizes at your fingertips directly in Lightroom! Download here

Instagram

Square Image: 1080px (w) 1080px (h)
Vertical Image: 1080px (w) x 1350px (h)
Horizontal Image: 1080px (w) x 566px (h)

Facebook

Shared post image: 1200 x 630
Shared link preview image: 1200 x 628
Event image: 1920 x 1080
Cover image: 820 x 312 (minimum 400 x 150)
Profile image: 180 x 180

Pinterest

Pinned image: 600px (w) – ideally 2:3 ratio, but any height works
Profile image: 165 x 165 – (maximum size 10 MB)
Board cover image: 222 x 150 – (minimum 55 x 55)

Twitter

Tweet Photo: 440 x 220
Profile Photo: 400 x 400
Header Photo: 1500 x 500

Continue to keep up with recommended image sizes at: HubSpot or Buffer or SproutSocial or HaveCameraWillTravel.


Books are so unbelievably important to my life, my education, my business, and my creativity – so I’m sharing the love. All 4 books below have become classics on my shelf, and I want to share them with 1 lucky winner.

Complete the form below to enter the competition – 1 lucky winner will receive a brand new copy of each of the 4 books!


The War Of Art

Winning the Inner Creative Battle

Steven Pressfield

The perennial artist’s guide to inspire and support those who struggle with that great enemy: the “resistance”.


The Creative Habit

Learn It and Use It for Life

Twyla Tharp

A genuine practical guide for harnessing creativity. This book could legitimately change your life.


Deep Work

Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Cal Newport

The ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task, allowing you to produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do.


The Power Of Habit

Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg

If you haven’t already picked this up from the above, creativity isn’t in our genes – it’s the result of lots of repeated work. In other words, a habit.


Enter Below

Sorry, entries are now closed for this competition, but please subscribe to the UNFOLD Christmas Advent Calendar – there’s still 2 more Sundays in December, which means 2 more giveaways!

Rules:

  • One winner will be picked randomly from the subscribed entrants
  • The randomly chosen winner will receive all 4 books
  • Competition available to all residents of New Zealand and Australia, residents of all other countries will pay applicable shipping costs to deliver books to provided address
  • Books can not be swapped or changed for other books

I’m big on seeking outside inspiration.

As Austin Kleon says: “You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life.”

Marketing

Seth Godin – Seth’s Blog (daily)

Creativity

Austin Kleon – 10 things worth sharing
Creative Mornings – weekly breakfast lecture weekly highlights
Jocelyn K. Glei – more creativity and meaning in your daily work

Cool Things

The DO Lectures – The DO Newsletter is here to inspire you
Weekend Reading – code, design, technology, and people
Cool Tools – books, gadgets, software, hardware – tried and true

Other Cool Things

These websites don’t have a weekly email (but they should), however their websites are still worth visiting and bookmarking:

Swiss Miss – a design blog that’s just inspiring and awesome
Jason Kottke – art, technology, science, visual culture, design, music, cities, food, architecture, sports, and endless nonsense


There’s a lot of really neat tools out there for effective online marketing.

Are you currently using:

  • ClickTalk
  • The Facebook Tracking Pixel
  • CrazyEgg
  • Google Adwords
  • Google Remarketing Tracker
  • Google Analytics
  • ???

You probably should be, but the installation of all of these Google and third-party tools is just… well… a little bit geeky, and a little bit painful.

Every time you’re setting up a new tool, you’re faced with directions like this for code snippets:

Google Tag Manager helps manage all of these – and more – without constantly editing code. You can manage all of these scripts from a single dashboard.

It’s built for small businesses – like us – to deploy website tags:

Google Tag Manager is a free tool that makes it easy for marketers to add and update website tags -- including conversion tracking, site analytics, remarketing, and more—with just a few clicks, and without needing to edit your website code.

Google never make the most user-friendly tools, so here’s a few tips to help you through the process:

Installation

Signup for a Google Tag Manager account: Google Tag Manager.

The “Add a New Account” is essentially telling it about your website:


And here comes the only really geeky part: you’ll still need to get a code snippet into your website:

If you’re a WordPress user, DuracellTomi’s Google Tag Manager for WordPress plugin is very highly rated and super simple: Google Tag Manager for WordPress Plugin

If you’re a SquareSpace user, this guide from Yo! Web is super helpful for your install: Google Tag Manager: How to add to Squarespace template

Usage

Once installed, your initial state should look like this:

Whenever you want to install a new tag – or tool – you choose “New Tag”:

And find your chosen Tag here:

The parameters for each tag installation vary, and while words like “Conversion ID” or “Track Type” can seem confusing, the steps to guide you through each tag installation are helpful.

As an example below, if you were installing the Google Analytics tag, the “Tracking ID” value from your Google Analytics account here:

Is exactly what you would insert into Google Tag Manager here:

It’s almost that easy!

(Our 12 Weeks to Wedding Photography Marketing Mastery Course takes full use of the Google Tag Manager when it walks you through setting up your Google Ads Remarketing tag.)

Do It!

Go on, install Google Tag Manager – you’ll save so much pain and time when you need those amazing new marketing tags in the future!


We all know hardly anyone makes a phonecall these days. You’ll also understand the hesitation prospects have in completing your contact form, or sending you an email. These create friction, and lead to people not contacting you.

You might have noticed an increase in messaging via Facebook, or other social media platforms – essentially less formal communication methods.

“Messaging is the modern communications channel of choice – and you need to be where your customers are.”

Let’s remove these hurdles.

Live Chat

Let’s incorporate a Live Chat into our website. You can achieve faster responses, and customers prefer live chat over the formality of emails.

There are a number of solutions – most of these are enterprise-level solutions for larger businesses, most have far more functionality than we need, and many have pricing plans that require financial commitments:

That list is intense. If you want a slightly more sensible list, G2Crowd has a crowdsourced list that positions Intercom, Hubspot, and Drift near the top, and I have a personal fondness for Drift, so have used this for the example below:

Drift

My preferred Live Chat solution is Drift – a conversational marketing platform that does so much more, but the beautiful thing is:

  • their FREE plan includes the Chat functionality;
  • they have iOS/Android apps so you’re available away from your workstation;
  • and it’s so unbelievably easy to setup.

Just perfect for what we’re after!

(Sure, there’s a lot of functionality you’re missing on the FREE plan – Drift offers much more – but we’re just wanting a simple solution for now.)

Sign up for a Drift account: https://www.drift.com/

Setup your site’s welcome message

Keep it simple, but on-brand to start with.

I like the idea of letting people know you’re available to answer questions informally, removing the hurdle of contact forms.

“Avoid a phonecall or email – we’ll answer any questions quickly here.”

“Any questions about availability or pricing – we’ll quickly answer them here.”

“I’m sitting here editing and would love to chat to a real human.”

(At least you’re being honest!)

Install Drift for WordPress

Drift is super easy to install for WordPress users:

  • Search and install the Drift plugin
  • Copy & paste your Javascript code into the Drift settings
  • Ta Da!

Install Drift for Squarespace

Squarespace users need to use Code Injection, a Premium feature available in the current Website Business plan and higher.

From here, it’s also simple: copy & paste the same piece of Javascript code into the Header portion.

5 minutes worth of effort, and you’ve got a Live Chat solution installed on your website. How easy!

Test it works

Visit your website in an Incognito window to see the Live Chat speech bubble and popup. Send yourself a message, understand how your notifications are setup, reply to yourself – see how easy it is to answer your prospect’s questions.

Install the iOS / Android app

My favourite is the iOS/Android app: allowing you to converse with your prospect when you’re not sitting at your workstation.

It’s free, and even easier to setup: install; login; you’re done.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References
  1. https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-messenger-bots-guide/
  2. https://messenger.fb.com/
  3. https://www.businessinsider.com/most-used-smartphone-apps-2017-8#6-instagram-5

Why 12 weeks? Isn’t that really long? Why can’t you deliver the marketing goodness quicker, or give me everything at once?

It’s about forming the HABIT.

I *could* deliver all the information – all 12 modules, all 80+ lessons – in one big dump. You’d glance at it, you’d read a couple of things, you might do something, but you know you’d probably rarely come back, you’d probably rarely revisit it.

We’ve all got Creative Live videos we haven’t watched. We’ve all got toolkits we haven’t used. We’ve all got books we haven’t read.

We know a habit isn’t formed quickly: it takes routine. 21 days. 2 months. 66 days. The science is all over the place (https://jamesclear.com/new-habit) but we know it isn’t formed overnight.

The 12 weeks is *my* attempt to help you create the marketing routine – work on your marketing over 12 weeks, and hopefully continue once the 12 weeks are over.

Here’s a quick video: