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CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
How are you marketing your photography business? In today’s episode, Dan Moyer joins me to compare the benefits of active versus passive marketing, and which one will lead to more success in the long-term. Listen in as he shares why he’s played into his strengths and focused on relationships and referral marketing in his own photography business, which has led to him still getting referrals from his earliest weddings.
The Business-First Creatives Podcast is brought to you by CRM and Dubsado expert Colie James. Join Colie each week as she discusses how to build a business that brings you joy and a paycheck! From business advice with fellow entrepreneurs to sharing automation tips and tricks, Colie and her guests are sharing industry trends and resources, along with a little bit of sarcasm.
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Daniel is a photographer, podcaster, photography educator, and blind optimist in the best sense of the word. He is on an journey to help photographers break the mold and discover how to build a business that is meaningful, joyfilled, and profitable.
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Here are the highlights…
[1:28] Meet Dan
[2:00] Marketing in Photography Business
[3:25] Relationship Marketing
[5:50] How to Get Your Clients to Talk About You
[8:30] Think About the Client Experience
[10:25] Consider the Wedding Process
[12:30] Customizing Your Client Experience
[13:35] Consider the Subconscious
[14:02] Active vs. Passive Marketing
[17:10] Skepticism on Social Media
[17:28] Networking & In-Person Connection
[19:17] Creating Great Relationships with Other Vendors
[22:30] Low-Effort Marketing
[24:12] Slow Growth & Patience
[30:22] Finding a Balance of Passive vs. Active
[32:30] Testing Marketing
[33:58] Personal Brand
[36:45] Playing Into Your Strengths
[38:45] Referral Marketing
Mentioned in this Episode:
Connect with Dan
Review the Transcript:
Colie: Hello, hello and welcome back to the Business First Creatives podcast. Today I have Dan Moyer on the podcast for the second time.
Now, this is a conversation that has been in the making for a few months.
I was listening to a conversation between him and Carolina Guek. I am gonna figure out which podcast it was and put it in the show notes.
I can’t remember right now. It was either hers or his.
Dan: we aren’t each other’s.
they’re both fabulous. But after I listened to it, I basically started sending Dan these like ranty Instagram dms,
and I was like, oh my God, you need to come on my podcast and talk about this. So
Dan, how are you doing?
Why don’t you introduce yourself in case they didn’t figure out who you were from the first time that you were on the podcast?
Dan: Hey, I’m Dan Moyer. I’m an extreme empath photographer, dad, husband, blind optimist in the best sense of the word. I coach some photographers. I take lots of pictures. That’s about it.
Colie: Okay, nice and succinct. So today’s topic guys, is marketing.
I think you guys all know how I feel about marketing. I feel like people don’t talk enough about marketing or they only have like this narrow tunnel vision on what they think marketing is.
So Dan, tell me what marketing is for you in your photography business.
Dan: In my photography business. So there’s, I’m gonna make a distinction here. There’s ways that I do it, but then there’s also like, well I think marketing is just getting people into like, the, getting eyes on your business, right? Like, how can you get people to come into your doors or, I’m gonna use a weird word that I don’t really like get, like it’s the funnel which you like, bring people in, right?
And I’m not talking about a sales funnel, it’s just like getting people into your world, right? That’s what marketing is. I think for me. I really love to focus on relationships. That is my marketing effort because, and if we’re just gonna like, dive right into it right now, there’s so many great ways to market, right?
Like Jordan Correcces, I think that’s how I pronounce his last name of like, wedding lead Machine, uh, accelerator, W L M A, like doing great things with Facebook ads. Corin, Jasinski. Crushes it with Instagram and creating a community there. My favorite thing and what I think is like the foundation of everybody’s marketing pyramid is relationships and, and building referral streams because, algorithms change.
Platforms change. Like remember when, you know, all of a sudden Instagram was going towards reels and everybody’s like, oh my God, we’re the, the photographs are not gonna be seen anymore, blah, blah. And like, right? Like, all these things change, but what doesn’t change is someone’s opinion of you. And if you give a great impression on your past clients or a venue manager or like, just do a great job and you, uh, exceed that person’s expectations, they’ll tell a bunch of their friends about you.
And that’s what my approach to marketing is.
Colie: And I mean, Dan, that’s how you’ve built your entire business. So I want
you to tell us about your first client, because I really do think that sets the scene for how you view relationship marketing and
how it has served you well the entire time that you have been photographing weddings.
Dan: Okay, so, uh, I started photographing weddings. The first wedding I photographed was a, a church friend of my mom’s. her husband had passed away a couple years earlier. And, so that was like my, that was my literal first client. So let me, you know, be very open. Literally first client, like she knew I was not taking pictures for this one studio was working for anymore.
And she said, Hey, here you go. But then after I. I photographed her, but I was like, Hey, maybe there’s sub course, sort of something to this, maybe that I could, I could actually do this for a business. And so I created business cards, like real, actual business cards printed from Vistaprint. I think, they, I still have them.
They are terrible. it’s just like a wash of brown. But, I used to be very open and sort of aware of when, I saw women with engagement rings on and my then girlfriend, now wife, she would always carry my business cards around with me in my pocket. And we were standing in the back, of this line at a pizza shop that we used to love to go to.
And in front of us there was this woman who had an engagement ring on, I think her husband was a Marine. And I was like, oh, hey, are you guys engaged when you getting married? Blah, blah, blah. And it was like a Thursday and they were getting married that Sunday. And I was like, well, have you gotten a photographer yet?
And I said, I’m a photographer, blah, blah, blah. And sure enough they were like, well, we’re not having like a full wedding. We’re just doing something small at the courthouse. And I think this was sort of before. Like elopement became like a real thing and justice of peace became a big thing. But they’re like, well, would you take pictures of us at this park on Saturday?
And they hired me and I got like 300 bucks for like an hour’s worth of like taking pictures. And I built my business literally from that shoot. Like I created an album from this and all that stuff. But like that started and then, and I just saw the power of like treating people really well and, and sort of blurring that line between what a photographer client relationship looks like.
And, and now 13 years later, I have so many clients that I’ve photographed, like all the siblings in a family. And this one couple from October 29th, 2011, there was this crazy snowstorm. I can attribute like a hundred thousand dollars of weddings to that one wedding because she just told so many friends and then their friends told their friends and they’re all showing up at these weddings.
And um, that was how I got my first client.
Colie: So Dan, I know what people say and you know, I think it’s ridiculous, but I’m gonna say it anyways because I feel like someone’s like, but my clients don’t talk about me. How do I get my clients to share me? I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t have done that in that voice, but whatever point being Dan. People are gonna be like, oh, but you know, I, my clients don’t talk about me.
So what are you doing that is so special to where your clients are like praising you to everyone that they know? Like, what’s your secret sauce?
Dan: Man. Um, okay. I’m not special. I’m not special
Colie: You’re special to me, Dan.
Dan: Thank you. Thank you. That makes a lot Colie. So I’m not special in the sense that like, like I’m not the best photographer in the world. Like there are way more creative photographers than I am. I’ve got like, I’m in a saturated market. I’m outside of Philadelphia, but I think one of the things that I do really well is like, Is I will be a really along and invested in, in the journey rather than just like, let me, let me get you to sign this contract and then in 12 months I’ll send you a questionnaire before the wedding and then, and then it’ll be like, I’ll be best friends with you on the wedding day.
It’s like, no, let me, let me blur what this relationship is supposed to look like. Right. So there’s this book called The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. And in it they talk about this idea of like flipping a script on, on whatever a sales process is, right? So let’s talk about a restaurant.
When you go into a restaurant, you have this like subconscious series of events that like play through your mind. It’s like, all right, well I’m gonna walk in, the server’s gonna seat me, the host is gonna come over, they’re gonna get the drinks, da da baba da. You know, like the whole thing. And then the, you’re gonna get your food.
The server’s gonna say, how’s your food? Like right as you’re taking a bite of your sandwich and you’re gonna be like, Ooh, really great. And you got sauce all over your face, right? And. There is a sequence of events for every transaction, and it’s no different than a wedding or a family or whatever. And I think our job is, if you really want to go above and beyond, is to.
Figure out what that script is and every, let’s talk about weddings. Cause that’s what I know best. Every couple who’s coming to get married has a script that they have been told from their friends that they know from attending weddings that they’ve read about online. So it’s like, where can you, in that script of what these couples are going to expect, just totally insert something that is going to completely throw them off guard.
It’s like, why would, why would the photographer do this? They’re just a photographer. They’re just supposed to take pictures. And my favorite thing that I’ve thought of recently is like, Let’s not let your couples wait until the wedding day to find out how awesome you are.
Dan: Feel me?
Colie: I do. I feel you. I mean, it, it is part of the client experience. It’s thinking about every single thing that you do for your clients, and then what can you throw in? That maybe it has a high value, but it doesn’t actually have to take a lot of effort. And
that’s what I think people screw up in when they’re trying to like elevate their client experience is they automatically think, oh, well anything else that you want me to do is gonna take a lot of effort.
doesn’t have to take a lot of effort to surprise and delight the clients because guys, there’s a reason that they hired you in the first place. Like they’re
already enamored with you. They gave you thousands of dollars if you’re a wedding photographer.
And so, It is that thing of, I feel like, you know, there’s all the zing, there’s the, you know, I wanna work with you and like you said, you get ’em to sign on the dotted line and then they don’t hear from you for months.
And I think that as an industry, I mean, and even for family photographers, the timeline might be shorter, but we are guilty of the same thing. We are guilty of having people book their session and then not talking to them until like three or four weeks before the session. I
mean, I admit I have that problem
I’m a lot better at it with like newborn clients cuz I feel like I hop in and, you know, check in on them a lot more often. Like, Hey, how are things going? Like I remember, I know I had my child 13 years ago, but I remember having a summer baby and it was absolutely miserable and add on my 16 weeks of bedrest.
On top of that, I mean, I have things to talk about with people who are having babies. I mean, I don’t necessarily do it with like families because I personally don’t do like, you know, the fancy outfits. I don’t help
people plan their outfits, but I do help them plan their activities.
And so checking in with them every once in a while to see what’s new.
Like, Hey, has Susie Q learn how to do something new? Do you think it would be interesting for our session? I mean, it doesn’t take much, but I do think that people just overlook the importance
of being a human
with the people who hire you and pay you money.
Dan: Yeah, it’s about like just a little bit of thoughtfulness, right? Like, so when my wife and I were going through the wedding planning process, we had a very long engagement. And we’re, I remember leading up to the wedding day, right? Like I’m still have a full schedule of weddings. My last wedding was two weeks before our wedding, and then we had a nice break after, but, but I remember three months to our wedding day, like things really started to ramp up, right?
And it was. It was at that point where I remember like all the minutia just started piling on top of our shoulders, right? There’s all the, everything stacks up. Like you can’t tell the venue how many people are coming to the wedding until you get the response cards back. You can’t get the response cards back until you mail out the invites.
You can’t get the invites until you design ’em and print them, right? So you can’t even get ahead on anything. And I remember that being the point, which I was very stressed out by, and my wife was also stressed out by, and the seating chart and all that stuff. And so I started thinking, well, if I’m stressed out about this, I betcha my couples are as well.
I was like, okay, so at that three month mark, what does my couple need from me to remind them that all the BS that’s gonna come up? It is actually not anything really they should be worried about or, or, or just at least bring their awareness to it that they need to, um, make sure they have a date night or they need to, uh, do something so, well, my wife and I did right before, our wedding, the week before we went to the beach and we had like a reconnection weekend where it’s like, okay, we’re gonna get a ton of stuff done right by this weekend.
We’re gonna have a weekend together and then we can get re excited about the wedding day. So maybe there’s something there and I do is like this date night box where it’s like, it’s nothing fancy. It’s like bottle of champagne, some chocolate, some gourmet popcorn, and like a couple of other like little things like cold brew packets.
And I just send that and I’m like, Hey, this is like, this is the start of like a date night and a date morning, right? Like what’s coming up is gonna be a lot for you. So maybe just use this as, uh, something to remember that, you know, you are most at risk of forgetting what the point of the wedding day is.
So just remember that the point of the wedding day is joy and to togetherness and not all the minutia that’s trying to distract you over the next three months. Right? Photographers don’t do that.
Colie: And I know someone’s gonna be like, but you know, Dan, do you give everybody the same box? Like how do you know what to send them guys? That’s where you’re, you know, getting to know your clients is really helpful.
Like for me, like Dan just made up a whole box. I don’t think I’d have the patience for that.
Do you know what I do? I would ask all my couples, what’s your favorite local restaurant? So
that I can give them a date night to go eat out
and I can support a local business at the same time.
That’s what I would do.
Dan: It, it, low-hanging fruit is what we’re talking about here. Don’t, like, let’s not overcomplicate it with, well, do you need to have different boxes or whatever? Like, yes. Like put, put a, a line on your questionnaire in the very beginning that’s like, Hey, what’s your favorite restaurant or something, and then note that later.
Or just if you need like to just get started. Just send everybody the same box. Oh, and maybe you don’t even make it yourself. Maybe there’s a local gift basket person who you can hire to do that. And then you’re also supporting a local business too. And that’s what I used to do. Um, and then I started making it myself.
And then the last couple I haven’t done, cause I’m looking for something different cuz it’s fallen flat. And so I’m working on maybe this like adventure jar that’s like a little, money that they can put into like an adventure jar or something. I don’t know. But
Colie: That’s unique.
Dan: What if we just get outside of the context of we’re photographers and more towards the like, subconscious stuff that people actually need from us during, uh, a stressful planning for a family session or stressful planning for a wedding or whatever, you know?
Colie: I’m with you.
So we’ve talked a lot about relationship marketing and the funny thing is that’s not even what you and I were originally gonna
Colie: What we were originally gonna talk about guys, which we’re gonna head into it now, is active. Versus passive marketing.
So, Dan, what, So, what, do you want to say to like, set the scene for where we’re going next?
Dan: Okay. Uh, I think this just comes from being in the industry for a long time where so many, uh, photographers start out now and it’s like, all right, I’m just gonna get my Instagram channel up. I’m just gonna get my website up, and then that’s it. Like, and I’m just gonna sit back and the work is gonna come to me.
that’s very passive. The thing I despise about wedding photography marketing is it feels so passive. Like, I’m just gonna pay thousands of dollars to be on this. List for the, you know, the nod or wedding wire or whatever it is.
And then I’m just gonna wait. And that’s the part that I, I dislike so much about, like the passive part of it, the active part of it. What do you think is active marketing?
Colie: I mean, I think we’ve already talked about the
Colie: marketing. I mean, that’s definitely active, but I think that what you and I were honing in on is that so many people who. Come into the industry, think that all you have to do is get the website,
like you get the website, you put the website up, and people are just going to come.
Now, I would say blogging can be both active and
passive in that you are taking the time to continuously create content and put it out there. The same can be set of your social media.
Colie: But I think what we want to get away from is you just thinking, you post one thing that shows people the work that you do, and that people are just going to flock to you like birds.
I mean, you have to still ask for the sale. You
have to still put your value out there in all of your content in order to make people know how you can be hired. Why they should hire you and what value you bring either to their wedding or to their family session. But if all you’re doing is simply sharing the work that you’ve already done and you are not pairing that with messaging, you are missing out on a big part of the marketing piece.
It’s what I call hopeful marketing. You are just telling people what you know. You’re putting your work out there and you’re hoping that people are gonna come hire you. And guys that may have worked. At some point, but I am here to tell you this is 2023 and whatever worked for you in 20 22, 20 21, and
pre pandemic is not working.
Now you are gonna have to, pardon my French, you’re gonna have to get in the shit. You’re gonna have to get out there and be a lot more active and like, think about it. I would think that depending on what your client roster is and what people expect from you for your marketing, if you are trying to book your past clients first, which everyone knows I’m a big fan of,
but if one email sold you out previously for like a fall, that is not gonna happen this year.
just not now. You rare birds if you exist. Okay, fine. Maybe it works for like a handful of people, but the majority of us are gonna have to do more work. We are gonna have to work twice as
hard, three times as hard to get the same sales that we have gotten in previous years.
Dan: so I think one of the reasons why is I think people are more skeptical. Right now, I think everybody on Instagram, everybody on social media is like, is a salesperson or is giving tips or giving advice or trying to get something. And I think it’s easier to see through that when you’re in front of somebody.
One of the most uncomfortable things that I did that was really rewarding, and I actually want to go back to it, was this organization called B and i. Have you ever heard of it?
Colie: I have.
Dan: Okay, so there’s B and i and LA Tip and all these different ones, and it’s like a business networking group. And it, there’s just such power.
Like I’m still getting referrals from people in that group and I’ve been out of it for like three years now. But I think there’s something about, I. People getting to see you for who you are as a real person outside of like, I’m the photographer, I’m the, you know, wedding photographer, I’m the family photographer, whatever it is.
And seeing you for also the person seeing you. Like people were always really connected with my story. Cause I f we found out we were gonna have twins like, while I was in that group. So people will still write to me and be like, oh, you know, I know you don’t do this, but you do do this. And they ask, they just, they, they know my story and they like me as a person that helps them refer me and think of me.
But the other thing is like, if you’re like, again, I’m gonna talk about weddings, and that’s why I know most, um, it’s not always just about the couples either. It’s about, venues, it’s about other, wedding professionals. And it’s not, it’s not that. I think wedding venues, since they’re the first ones that everybody go to, Every, all photographers, like, that’s where I gotta go.
I gotta work for them. But, but they reach out and they say things like, what can I do to get you to refer me? It’s like, well, of course they’re not gonna refer you. That’s all about you. Right? And so one of the things that I try to do is like, if I’m working with a new planner or, uh, a new venue or something like that, one, I want to go there and meet them in person.
I wanna have them show me what they do best, have a tour or whatever. And then at the end of it I say, Hey, I’m coming here for a wedding in such and such a date. While I’m here, what is it that I can photograph for you that’s gonna help your marketing efforts? I don’t even ask about can I get on your list or like any of that stuff.
And then when I photograph the wedding afterwards, I’ll reach out and say, Hey, do you need any photographs? Not, here’s the whole gallery.
Dan: It’s, Hey, do you need any photographs? And then when they say, yes, it’s okay, would you like me to go through and pick out a selection for you or do you wanna go through the whole gallery?
Let me just start this conversation with people and help them because they have a boss. They have deadlines to meet, they have all this stuff. So if I can be of service and helpful to people, that’s marketing, that’s active marketing, and that’s just being, um, thoughtful and helpful and rather than, Using this person as a means to an end like, Hey, let me drop off this album for you, then you can get me on your list.
Wink, wink. Like instead of that, it’s let me see you as a person and help you out. And help you look good to you. The people who you serve also.
Colie: But then I feel like there’s someone who’s gonna come back and be like, but why should I give my work away for free?
Like, and I, it’s funny, I mean, you might have a different response, but when someone comes back and says that to me, I’m like, you clearly don’t see the value in building the relationship.
And so that is not something that I can explain to you.
Like I, I, can’t explain to you why you should give away your work for free, if that’s how you see it. Like,
if you see starting that conversation and having that relationship and making that offer for something that you are already going to do, that you have already been paid for, I can’t help you.
Dan: Yeah, there, like, I will give away and share social media photographs all the time. Right? If somebody’s like, Hey, I want to use this for a billboard, let’s have a different conversation, right? If you have the money for a billboard, I’m gonna get a piece of that. Or one of the things that I will do, like, so there’s a, a magazine that I, That.
One of the venues I worked at, I took a really great photograph and they were like, we want to use this picture. And they said, can you send us the high risk file? And I was like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Let’s have a conversation about this. And rather than having them pay me, I just said, let me put my logo on this.
In the magazine, like right here, this is what I’ll, I’ll send you the high risk file, you can use that and I basically got like $3,000 cuz there’s a full page ad. I got like a $3,000 ad that I would never pay for in a magazine, for free because I just let them use this photograph to promote their business and that to me is worth it.
Colie: But then someone would come back and be like, but Dan, did you make any money off of it?
Like did you get any bookings off of that?
Dan: Well, it’s difficult to always look and say, okay, well I definitely know I got something from this ad and I got something from this ad. Magazines are sort of a shit storm, right? Like I can’t exactly quantify that, that this person came from this direct ad, but I can say that I’ve worked at that wedding or that venue several times since that ad has run.
So there’s part of it, but, I think there’s. There’s part of casting a wide net, right? This is this whole like idea of like a marketing pyramid where it’s like, I’m not just gonna do referrals. I’m not just gonna be active. Let me also like, put some stuff out on Instagram. Let me also blog, let me also like get into this magazine that has a huge subscribership, has a lot of people who buy it off of shelves because it’s the Philadelphia wedding magazine, right?
So like, okay. That to me is worth it. And I think if somebody’s gonna come back with a question or something, there’s always gonna be 10% of people who say, what if? What if, what if? And, and that’s okay. Like it’s good to put your thoughts out there and test them and see what people have to say back.
But like, I also don’t wanna get so wrapped up in the what if that I haven’t taken a chance and failed and said, okay, that that didn’t work. Or maybe that does really work, you know?
Colie: and I mean something that was low effort for you, it would be different if they told you, Hey, we wanna run this ad. If we create this styled shoot, will you come in and photograph this and then let us use the image
Dan: I’ve already created the work.
Colie: I feel like we’re getting into it and like, If I already have it, like I just, it’s worth trying.
And again, like the thing with the marketing, it doesn’t even matter if we’re talking about passive or active.
I think what happens is a lot of people get stuck
in one marketing channel and they don’t see the value in expanding like your marketing plan.
And I also think that people get into like immediate wins, like short-term wins.
And I will say that like I did a presentation at a conference last year, and I just got two additional sales for my
Dan: Is that the Creator? Creator Conference?
Colie: wasn’t that one. I didn’t speak at that one, It was a different one, but I spoke at it last year and I had made a certain amount of money and
then all of a sudden I got two course sales last month from people who came from that course.
I know that because I had it marked, but so I mean, sometimes. It takes you a while to
get a return on your investment, and as you said, Dan, sometimes you can’t always tie it back to like that one ad in that magazine, but overall, You’re increasing your visibility.
You gave it a shot. It’s another avenue for you to use for marketing, and you admitted it’s one that you didn’t pay for.
was work that you’d already created. You added your logo. They knew who the image came from, and if something came from it, great. If not, it was something that you tried and maybe after the ad came out, you thought of something else that you would wanna ask for next time
to see if you could get a better return.
Dan: Yeah, it’s just about like, I don’t know, like why would I go on this podcast, right? Like, I don’t know if anything’s gonna come from it. It’s like, well, Let me also just have the opportunity to put my stuff out there and see what comes of it, right? Like, I dunno, it doesn’t, doesn’t always have to be so complex.
And I definitely have a tendency to over intellectualize things. Well, like, well, this goes here and that goes there and this goes there. I can like really get lost in the details. And that’s one of the things that I’m working on is like, Let me just see what happens with this. And also you talked about like this, like, money, money now or, or like, I need, I need results now.
It’s so hard to be patient. It’s so hard to be patient. Like right now, I’m, I’m working on a new business that I’m really excited about and I really wanna like read all the books and I wanna do all the things and I wanna make it happen like right now because I’m so thrilled about it, but I’m not making money from it yet, so I can’t
Colie: Like this podcast.
Dan: Yeah, right. Like, like it’s a passion project and I know that if it, I, I don’t wanna mess it up, so I’m just gonna like, I’m gonna, I’m gonna do a, Gary V says whether or not you like him or not, whatever. But he’s like, let me focus on the thing that makes me money, right? Like Dan Moyer photography is what makes me the monies.
But then outside of that, let me focus on these other endeavors and hustle on those and slowly build those up so that way Dan Moyer photography starts to like be lesser and lesser. And then I have this other new business that really fills my soul that I’ve been working on. And it’s not like I’m turning off one nozzle and turning the other one on.
It’s a slow burn, and I think that will be, Really helpful and, and teach me about patience because my, yeah, my wedding photography business was patience. Like I was in college when I started building it, I was living in my parents’ house. I was renting a second camera every weekend because I didn’t have the money to like have two cameras and I built it slowly and over like three years.
I was like, then I was hustling. So lemme do that with the other businesses that I have and just continue to slow build. I’m a fan of slow growth. We’re off the
Colie: I both. Yes, and I will say I’ve had a couple of episodes, you know, my new solo episodes where I go on rant.
I’ve talked about confidence quite a few times,
but I think the other side of that is patience, and
I feel like. A lot of the times I’m telling people to try things that don’t give them immediate wins.
It is slow growth. As you mentioned, like someone asked me about starting a podcast the other day and they were asking for like people to be, very transparent in, well, have you made any money off your, on your podcast? And I was like, no. I’m five figures in, and I have not attributed. A single sale to someone who originated from the podcast.
Does that mean I’m gonna stop the podcast? Nope.
It has other value for me.
Does that mean that I’m not gonna start to see return soon because now I’m running podcast ads? I mean, I’m doing things, but like if I created this podcast with the idea that, oh my gosh, it’s gonna bring me sales like immediately, yeah, I would’ve stopped like three
months in and be like, okay, what’s next?
Dan: Have you ever seen that? This, so this is all to Joy. Michelle, she’s the one who brought this back up, when she was on my podcast a while ago. But she’s like, you just have to keep going sometimes and just trust that, like the work, the effort, the patience. Oh, wait, no. This part was Mel Robbins. Do you know who Mel Robbins is?
Okay. She’s like, you just have to believe. That like all the hard work, all the effort you’re doing is gonna pay off. And then Joy Michelle reminded me of this, it’s a, it’s a photo or like an illustration. Of two guys digging tunnels and the top guy is like really digging and he’s got a ways to go. And he’s still digging with like intensity and fervor.
And you see this like diamonds and gems on the right side. And the other guy, there’s like below him, is turning around, walking away and he’s giving up. But his, his tunnel is like, he just needs one more swing and he’ll be into the treasure. But he’s turning around, giving up. There’s this like little tiny sliver between him and the gold and It’s just like about this, like continuing to show up and, and putting out your best effort.
Like the podcast doesn’t feel like work to me, right? Like, my newsletter doesn’t feel like work to me. Writing doesn’t feel like work to me, so I’m gonna, I’m gonna keep going those things because that’s another way that’s active for me to bring people into my world, right?
Colie: Agreed. And it’s funny because I have actually met new people who like, you know, DM me on Instagram and tell me how much they love the podcast, how much they love my guests. Someone recently told me that they invited one of my guests to speak at a workshop that’s gonna happen next year because they listen to my podcast.
So I’m like, oh my God, those are such great wins. But if I was being selfish to only value this podcast at how much money has it made me?
I mean, I, I, I’m about to hit a year. I would’ve quit long before this guys,
but I mean, to me, I get more value doing different things for this podcast. It does give me visibility.
It does bring new people into my audience,
and it allows me to have like a really awesome conversation with people like Dan, whenever I feel like it. And we just happen to tape it for you so that
you can listen to it.
Dan: Yeah. It’s also like really sweet to be able to. Like, one of the things that I’ve realized is like, I can’t be passionate about everything, right? Like, and I love being able to talk to people and use my microphone to amplify people’s voices, right? Like that’s, that’s part of marketing, I guess, right?
Like, like there’s certain issues and stuff that like, I know a little bit about, but let me invite this person on to really talk about it to my audience who might also not be in a space that they wanna listen to that or, or seek that out. And it’s like, okay, how can we just like, that’s the part that’s exciting about it.
Not that like it’s automatically traced back to this sale and that sale. And in general, I think that if. I think I would’ve given up long ago if, like, my only goal was like, I’m gonna try to see this amount of money from this podcast by this point because I, I would’ve just wanted more and more and I would’ve gotten into this mindset of hoping to get more and, and only been focused on that versus like, what, what kind of joy can I bring to people?
Or what kind of new thoughts and topics can I explore that help people on a deeply important level?
Colie: Yeah. So let’s bring it back around to our comp to, yeah, let’s just bring it back around. So we were talking about passive versus active.
What do you think is a good balance? Because I feel like people are like, oh, well, you’re telling me that passive’s not good. And now you’re telling me to be active, and that’s totally not what we’re saying.
think Dan and I are both saying you need a balance. So what’s a good balance for you, Dan?
Dan: Um, I think this is gonna be subjective, uh, because like, like I said, I think there are many people who are really good at this. Passive marketing and they do it really well. Like Jordan is really good with Facebook ads, like I mentioned him earlier. Maybe it’s just about like looking at your strengths, right?
And saying, okay, I, I’m really good at being around people. I love being around people, so let me make sure that I’m, I’m using that as one of my strengths and, and getting in front of people. I’m going to meetings, I’m going to mixers or whatever. I’m meeting other photographers that can help to share referrals between each other, right?
I think that’s an underrated form of marketing, but then it’s just not neglecting. All of those other avenues, right? Like, I’m not a huge fan of the big box websites, for, for weddings, but I tried them because I wanted to see if there’s something there that I was missing. So I think it’s just trying things and evaluating, try some of these active things that you get outta your comfort zone where you go meet people and meet photographers and schedule meetings to go to venues and, and all that kind of stuff.
Or maybe it’s trade shows, and you’re going to these trade shows and setting up a booth as a photographer and selling gift certificates or something. But then, Making sure that you either, if you’re not a strong blogger, you hire somebody to do the blogging for you. Or if you’re not a strong social media person, you are just showing up there in whatever schedule works for you.
Forget about once every day, like if you’re busy like me and you have kiddos that you’re hanging out with, I’ll try to just post a carousel once a week and like just
Colie: And I love those carousels.
Dan: Thank you. Just working it. Like, just find, just, it’s a matter of testing. Like just, and just give yourself the grace to figure out what works for you.
Because there are million different ways to get to where you want to go in business. And that person’s business is different than your bus business. And that’s fun to say. That person’s business is different than your business, which is different than my business. Goodness. And it’s, we’re all just snowflakes, you know, we’re all just different.
Colie: Guys, Dan and I have never been accused of being stuffy people. Let me
just put that out there. So I asked Dan a question and he clearly didn’t answer it. He said it’s subjective, but I think that what we’re both saying is diversify.
Make sure that you are trying different marketing channels, different marketing plans, all of that good stuff so that you’re not.
Putting all of your eggs in one basket, if
you will. And actually, until you said that, I mean, I haven’t shared this publicly yet, but I’ve been running like a bunch of ads
and I have not gotten a single sale for my
course from the ads. And so I think I’m, I’m waiting, like I’m internally holding it in so that I can do like a podcast episode where I’m like really transparent about how much money I’ve spent and all of these things.
But for myself, Active marketing is way more effective for selling my course. I mean, I’ve been at it for I think, three months now.
I think that I have tested, you know, lots of audiences, lots of different creative, and granted I could continue to test more and more, but now that I’ve got like a solid foundation of, well, I tried this for 90 days.
I mean, I am, I’m still trying, I’m still testing. I. I’m still gonna, you know, actively pursue, but I am starting to ramp up my active marketing where I actually talk to the people and I go to where the photographers are that need my course so that I can, I guess the word would be drum up sales, because that’s what I’m good at.
But I wouldn’t have known that the Facebook ads may not be my
cup of tea until I tried.
Dan: Yeah. Do you think that that rate of success of like being in spaces where photographers are is because they see you as like the first thing versus like seeing the course as the first thing? Do you know what I mean? Like, like because you’re selling you, you know what I mean? Like you’re selling you like, this is the person I run this course, you know, you can see how thoughtful I am, how much I know they can pick your brain right away, versus.
Like, here’s the course,
Colie: So let’s actually talk about that because my ads have not been to the course. Some of them have
been, but the majority of them were to freebies, not to courses. So I’m saying I have not done a great job of generating leads. I have
not done a good job of like generating, what I can see is actual podcast growth from the ads.
So I mean, again, I’m still on the testing phase. Technically, I mean, I feel like I haven’t had a good enough opportunity to like really sit down and like put down my thoughts,
but, and again, you guys know me, I’m not a short, you know, a short wind person. Like I don’t need instant gratification.
But as I’m testing these things, I’m realizing that even though ads work for a lot of people, I mean, maybe they’re not gonna work for me.
Now, I am about to launch a for real webinar sales
funnel as like, you know, one of my, I’m testing everything, Dan.
I also feel like this is a little bit of experimentation because I wanna be able to talk about it on a podcast.
Like if I bring on a Facebook expert, I wanna be able to know. You know, well, I tried this for myself and this got this and this didn’t get this.
I mean, I like to be knowledgeable. I think you guys all know that. I like to, I like
to, talk from personal experience. So a lot of this experimentation, it has been to grow my audience and perhaps get sales from it. But it was also so that I can talk intelligently about Facebook ads and that process because I would have done it myself.
Now I’ve run ads before the pandemic, but then I stopped cuz clearly it was the pandemic. And so, you know, I’m starting to do them again, and I do have lots of thoughts, but I think for myself, now that I’ve put like a really good fourth effort into this for 90 days, I am starting to work more on my speaking engagements and all of like podcast ads now.
So not paying for ads from, you know, Zuckerberg, but now running actual ads at the beginning of the podcast that are like, this podcast episode is brought to you by the CRM blueprint.
So guys, if you hear those, you know, Holler at me. Let me
Colie: But I mean, I really do like experimenting in my business.
like experimenting for myself, but I also like experimenting so that when my students and the people that I coach ask me questions, I can tell them my experience, but I can also send them to people who have more expertise in that area.
Dan: And this is what I’m saying though about it sort of being subjective. It’s like, like every person. Like, there’s so many coaches who’s like, their thing is Facebook ads. That is what they teach. They teach it really well. Whatever. My thing is referral marketing because I think I’m re I’m, I have a high emotional IQ if that’s a thing.
Colie: Mm-hmm. It is a
Dan: people real. Thank you. I thought so. I think I can read people really well and I think that’s why. So much of my referral marketing works for me because that’s, that aligns with my strengths. But somebody else, like, might be a really good copywriter and they just absolutely crush through Facebook or crush through Instagram because they’re ab able to emote or, or pull people in through their ro their written word.
But like you said, it’s like you just have to test it out. Like I. Don’t like and it does not work for me. I was with The Knot for two years. I was with Wedding Wire for two years, and it just does not work for me. I tried a million different things. I did everything they told me would work. This doesn’t work for me and that’s okay.
There’s plenty of people who I know who crush it through the knot, but it’s just not my thing.
Colie: And what you said is so important because, um, you know, some of the ads that I’ve done, I guess, have been a little bit more passive. But I’m wondering if I’m gonna have better success now that I’ve finally recorded
this webinar, because it is gonna be me
giving my knowledge of how to, you know, convert more of your leads.
So we’ll see if that has a different effect.
But like you should be thinking about these things, not just for paid ads, but for like everything that you’re doing in your business related to marketing. Like if you tried this one thing and it didn’t work, try something else.
Make a slight pivot. Like don’t just go down one path because someone told you this one path made them successful.
Everybody’s gonna find their own, their own marketing joy.
Dan: Their own marketing. Wait, who is that? Oh, Sarah Petty. The joy of
Colie: Joy of marketing,
Dan: Yes, please. Hope that’s not trademarked. Oh it’s not. It’s your podcast. Doesn’t matter. Um, so, alright, let me like, streamline my thought on this. I think the foundation of everybody’s marketing should have. Some sort of referral marketing in it because it lasts the longest, right?
Perfect example. June 6th, 2012, I photographed Kelly and Kyle’s wedding just this past March. I photographed her sister’s wedding 11 years later, right? Like, and that happens a ton still from these early days. Couples still remember me, their siblings remembered me. That’s something you can’t buy on a Facebook ad or something like that.
At least I don’t believe you can. So I think that should really be the foundation, right? I’ve also had. Some of these like venue managers move from one venue to another and sort of take me with them. But then above that I think there’s gonna be, maybe the next level is, just having like your solid, seo, your solid blog, your solid, Instagram where things that you’re putting out to get people in around the web, into your funnel.
Part of me wants to just stop there cause I don’t wanna say like, what’s the top smallest part,
Colie: Oh, that’s all right. I’m gonna cut you off, Dan. So
listen, guys, when this episode airs last month was all about SEO on this podcast.
Colie: you have not checked out all four episodes from last month, I’m calling it the simple SEO series. There
were four amazing experts on this podcast.
Make sure that you’ve listened to all four, but before you do, remember Colie said that that is long-term marketing.
You are not going to blog and increase your SEO in 30 days.
That is not a thing.
Dan: Yes, this is, this is a long term thing and that’s why I think referrals are at the bottom. Also long, social media, blogging, SEO also long term. And then I think you get like, above that is some of these things where you start to pay for advertising, that are a little bit less. But I think there’s so much that can be learned and, and so much business growth that’s long-term growth from those bottom two rungs that I just.
Rungs? No, that’s a ladder. What’s the bottom of a pyramid? The foundation. That’s it.
Colie: the base.
Dan: the base.
Okay. There’s dad brain.
Colie: That’s all right That was an excellent place to end this episode.
Dan, in case they didn’t get it the first time, tell people where to find you and what your podcast is because guys, if you are not listening to Dan’s podcast, you should be.
Dan: I’m going to accept that compliment and allow it to grow my confidence. Thank you. I am the host of the Focused Photographers podcast, on Instagram. You can find me at Get Focused Photographers. My coaching website is focused photographers.com and my business is Daniel Moyer Photography
Colie: Dan, it was a pleasure and just in case the listening audience doesn’t know, the last time that I had Dan on, I was like, that is such an incredible conversation. Like I just wanna
talk to Dan all the time. So just so that you know. I’m gonna have Dan on the podcast every six months. He doesn’t have a choice.
if there is a topic that you guys would like for us to rant about together, send it in. Contact
Dan: is a rant series
Colie: Yeah, I mean, I’m here for it.
Dan: rant with Dan and Colie.
Colie: There you go. No rant with Colie and Dan. It’s my podcast. I gotta come first.
Dan: right? Yes, right. Colie and Dan rant. There’s gotta be a fun name in there somewhere. Okay.
Colie: I mean, we need to think about it. All right, everyone. That is it for this episode. See you next time.