There's a good chance you're already familiar with Spencer through the Ground Glass blog – which will always have you thinking in ways you probably hadn't considered about your photography business, sales and converting enquiries to bookings.
You may also be familiar with his photography at 5 West Studios which is raw, dark, uniquely his and the very reason he had to learn how to better attract his ideal client who would connect with his work and what he loves to produce.
You may also have heard Spencer on the PhotoBizX podcast in episode 49 and episode 104 where Spencer shared his thoughts and tactics on photography branding and sales. Or on the podcast recently when I shared details about his courses on how to succeed at sales without being a sales person but asking the right questions and actually listening to the answers – Momentum Sales.
Now he's back with a challenge for you (and me). Are you up for it?
Here’s some of what we cover in this interview:
- A new challenge to complement the success of the Facebook challenge
- Why you need to avoid putting all your marketing eggs in one basket
- How to be actively productive in your photography business
- What is the 21-day blogpost challenge?
- Why you need to be adding content to the photos you're sharing online
- Good writing can be achieved by any photographer through practice
- The importance of creating content focused on your clients
- The biggest mistake photographers make when marketing their business
- How to avoid writing boring content
- Step by step instructions for the blog post challenge
- How to come up with the topic for each of your blogposts
- What is the real purpose of the blog challenge?
- How to identify your audience and blog for them
- What defines good and bad copy?
- What is copyrighting and how does the blog challenge fit in?
- How to create effective writing for your business
- What tools to use when writing your blogpost
- Coming up with 3 distinct ideas for your writing
- Using unlimited words as long as clients are kept interested
- Is ten minutes really achievable with this blog writing challenge?
- How you should react and what you need to do when you don't see any post engagement
- Why “Likes” shouldn't be used to gauge engagement
- Facebook Like's are a deceptive metric
- Should you directly blog into a WordPress window or from a writing app?
- How to be effective with your branding and blogging at the same time
- Understanding how to control people's desires will guarantee bookings for your business
- Every action you take should be attached to people's desires – channel that for success
What’s on Offer for Premium Members
This interview will be shared in it's entirety for both free listeners and premium members because the big benefits for members will be hidden in the background via our secret Facebook group. It's here that we'll be sharing our successes, failures, state, encouragement and feedback.
It's challenges like this where the membership will come into it's own and the photographers involved will be taking the extra steps to implement what they hear and push themselves to make real improvements to their photography businesses and themselves.
I'm looking forward to all the action that's about to start and the followup conversations inside the group… Bring it on!
If you’re on the fence about becoming a premium member, join with the $1 trial today and get access to the FULL membership benefits including access to an amazing back catalogue of interviews and ALL future interviews delivered automatically to your phone or tablet.
Plus, access to a members only Secret Facebook group where you'll connect with other members and interview guests to help, support and motivate you to take what you hear in each episode and put it into action. You will not find more friendly, more motivated and caring photographers online.
What is your big takeaway?
Following this interview, I’d love to know if you're up for the challenge and wiling to invest a little time and effort into yourself, your writing and your business. If so, let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to share links to your blog posts – I'd love to check them out.
Writing is not just about learning to write, it's about learning to understand your client – Spencer Lum
If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Spencer about the challenge or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them below.
The NEW Photography Xperiment Podcast is live and available
Following the success and support shown by listeners after the experimental format of the recent interviews, the new Photo Xperiment Podcast has been launched and is available on this site and in iTunes now.
Interviews are underway and I'll be looking for new guests, not restricted to wedding and portrait photographers. If you have someone you think would be a good fit, let me know in the comment area below or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Words are fundamental to the way people communicate – Spencer Lum
The idea behind these interviews is to get into the headspace of the photographer and find what makes them tick, what drives them, their thought process, philosophy on shooting and how they achieve what they do with their photography. So yeah, a little technique type content too.
These interviews will not focus on the business of photography – that'll be preserved solely for the weekly and unchanging format of the PhotoBizX podcast.
To hear these interviews in your podcast app, you will need to subscribe to the podcast – these interviews will not be delivered automatically if you're subscribed to PhotoBizX. Open your favourite podcast app and search “Photography Xperiment Podcast” or enter the feed URL, https://photobizx.com/feed/xperiment/ into the search field of your podcast app.
Spencer's example blog posts for the challenge
Below are the three example blog posts Spencer created for the Blog Challenge with writing and timing details. Bear in mind when you read these, Spencer is a bloody good writer and has been writing and blogging consistently for a long time. These are good. Don't be scared off by them, be motivated!
Tap, tap, tap.
Thumbs tapping away. People in the middle of the day, looking into their phones, figuring out what to do.
My last wedding feels a world away. So different from the day-to-day everything that never seems to end. It was hugs and full hearts with wistful smiles and glassy eyes.
It's so hard to break from reality. To leave the world of phones and feeds and endless lists to do. So hard to get back to what matters. You as you. Everyone as themselves. Together. Present.
But it's a mistake to see weddings as fantasy. In fact, I think it's the other way around. That the busy days are the time away from our lives, and the occasions show us what’s real.
When I saw Tracy’s gaze towards the end of the day, I felt like I touched that reality. It was a reminder that there's always room for a little less tapping. A little more looking. And seeing what's always there.
Used Notes on iPhone to write
2 min to outline
4 minutes to write
2 minutes on conclusion
2 minutes to adjust
“You’re going to dance tonight aren’t you?”
He smiled apologetically. She looked down, lips pursed.
It was one of those knowing exchanges. You could feel the texture of their whole relationship in that sliver of a moment.
The day passed. The night came. He watched with a smile. She danced with all her heart.
But by night’s end, you knew he did, too.
Composed on the computer in the Text Edit app
Time to complete: 3 minutes. No outline.
Bare feet grabbing grass, a swing in the air, and straw hats all around. The sun beamed long in the sky, smoke wafting through the air.
I want to say what a beautiful wedding, but damn, all I could really think is “This food smells amazing.”
But is that so bad? Does the big day have to be bigger and more? Or do the little things say it all? Happy people in the charms of the country, some sticky, smokey ribs, and good talking.
It was everything it needed to be. And they knew it. That was the beauty of it all. That if the guests went home with those warm memories of a meal and bare feet in the grass, that was enough.
Being there to capture it, I got to go home with a whole lot more.
Used Notes on iPhone to write
8 minutes. No outline.
iTunes Reviews and Shout-outs
Each week I check for any new iTunes reviews and it's always a buzz to receive these… for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it's confirmation that I'm on the right track with the interviews and that they really are helping you improve your photography business. That's awesome!
Secondly, iTunes is the biggest search engine when it comes to podcasts and it's your reviews and ratings that help other photographers find PhotoBizX. More listeners means more interviews and ultimately a better show.
If you have left a review in the past, thank you!
If you haven't and you'd like to, head to https://photobizx.com/itunes and you can leave some honest feedback and a rating which will help both me and the show and I'll be sure to thank you on the show and add a link to your website or blog if you let me know the URL and your name like these photographers did:
My go-to podcast while editing
In iTunes by Daniel Moore of Bib & Tucker Photography in the UK on June 4, 2016
I'm only recently getting with the times and listening to podcasts and PhotoBizX was recommended by a fellow photographer.
I've subscribed to the premium package and am now enjoying going through the back catalogue of interviews.
Keep up the good work!
In iTunes by Luke Gerson of PhotoGerson in Australia on May 25, 2016
If you are a wedding or portrait photographer looking to improve your business, this podcast is essential. I stumbled onto it 6 months ago, and after listening to the free episodes I quickly realised I wanted to hear all of the information reserved for premium members and wow – signing up was one of the best things I did in terms of improving my business.
There is a ton of actionable tips and content, and beyond this, it is just crazy informative and useful to listen to incredible and successful photographers talk openly about their craft and their businesses.
On top of all the information, one of the best things about this podcast is listening to the confident and relaxed way Andrew and his guests talk to each other – it is something I have adopted in the way I talk to clients and I feel it has paid dividends with client bookings and relationships.
Best business advice you will ever get
In iTunes by Ryan Teague of Feather and Finch Photography in Australia on May 16, 2016
Since starting my business Stone & Wood Photography, I have been a member of Photobizx. I seriously would not be where i am in my business without this podcast.
I would say 80% of my work is coming directly from Andrews guest marketing ideas, promotion advice etc.
Each week I am impatiently waiting for the next podcast to come out, to help me succeed in a tough industry.
Thank you Andrew for having the best resource for photographers.
Educating and Inspiring!
In iTunes by Nigel Ramsey of Nigel Ramsey Photography in the UK on May 13, 2016
I must have listened to every photography business podcast that has ever been produced and this is the only one that has stuck.
When Andrew interviews it’s obvious that he’s truly interested in his guests and what they have to to say. What’s more he goes the extra mile in getting involved with the listener and supporting the listener, he really wants you to succeed in your business.
Not only do I learn from the podcast but I’m inspired by it – it’s so easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day Photo Biz Xposed reminds me to remember the big picture – highly recommended.
About time I reviewed this fantastic podcast
In iTunes by Paul Duane of Paul Duane Photography in Ireland on May 11, 2016
I've been listening to Andrew and his amazing podcast for what seems like forever now. He constantly delivers amazing content, even when he heads off on his travels to Japan and India. His enthusiasm and passion for what he does rubs off on his guests which in turn leads to real, insightful answers and ideas.
I haven't implemented even a quarter of the ideas that Andrew has brought to the table, there are so many, but what I have taken from each episode is the inspiration that it brings with every listen.
For premium members, there truly is a world of content and ideas, add to that the Facebook group full of real friendly advice. I could not recommend it more. And I do apologise that it has taken so long to leave a review. I would say more, but I know Andrew is prone to blushing.
The Photography Symposium by Yervant and Anie
Two weeks ago I attended the photography symposium in Melbourne Australia. It was the first photography workshop / seminar I'd attended in over 12 months. The speakers were more varied than any other event I've been a part of and included speakers on fashion, fine art, wedding, posing, lighting, selling and portraiture.
There's been a lot of discussion here and elsewhere on the value of workshops and whether photographers should be paying to learn from other photographers instead of finding our own way and discovering our own style. I do somewhat agree with this argument but attended with an open mind.
Here's a look at the Melbourne event I was at: https://vimeo.com/168709806
Looking back, I definitely learnt new things on lighting both large rooms (wedding reception venues) individuals, couples, indoor and outdoor, posing, collaborating, personal projects and heaps more. Some things I won't use in my business and photography, some I will and have already.
Education aside, the motivation factor alone, after attending something like this is sky high! I've come away with a reinvigorated enthusiasm for my photography and business which makes the entry price pale into insignificance. Not to mention the new friends I made and old ones I caught up with.
If you get the chance to make this event as it tours the world, my advice, get there. More details for the USA and Canada events are here: http://www.yervantphotography.com/usa-canada-symposiums-2016/
The incredible speaker line up include: Lindsay Adler, Roberto Valenzuela, Brooke Shaden, Sue Bryce, Yervant, Joe Buissink, Michele Neal Celentano, Bob & Dawn Davis, Anie, Peter Hurley plus more.
I want to add a special thanks to Sara Henderson of Henderson Photographics in WA, Justin Gammon of Justin Gammon Photography in Adelaide for being so open in our “on the spot” interviews and at the Symposium. Also, a special thanks to Brooke Shaden for spending some time answering questions following her swim in the harbour in the name of creative photography.
Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:
Thanks again for listening to the show and thanks to Spencer for coming on and putting up the blog challenge! I think I'm crazy for agreeing to do this right now but hey, I'm game!
The more you write, the better you are at creating attractive content for people – Spencer Lum
If you have any suggestions, comments or questions about this episode, please be sure to leave them below in the comment section of this post, and if you liked the episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post!
That’s it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business!
Thanks and speak soon