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Find your real target audience

“Define your target audience.” How many times have you heard these words since you decided to become an entrepreneur? Well, yes it’s a common knowledge and sounds like an old and useless information. Partially it’s true as it’s “Captain Obvious” type of data. However let me prove you that it’s not that all known and useless after all.

Advertising agencies made the “target audience” word almost a mantra. These people are your everything. You make research on them; you sell only to them, and you talk only to them. And while it sounds very evident, defining the target audience or target group on your own, it’s not that easy as it seems.

Check this questions set to define your TA

We all have a good imagination and we all can create some imaginary people in our minds and then try to sell them our product. And that’s where all of us start. But with time, many never move from this stage. They still try to sell to an imaginary target group or to “all people on the Globe”.

How many times I’ve asked my friends: “What do you think about this idea or product?” And they answered this way: “Well I guess it’s a good idea at least for those who are interested in this subject”. What does that mean? That means that they are not interested in your product at all, but they try to be polite and helpful. The truth is that we gain zero information from these type of answers. So be careful when you ask good friends.

You need to find people 90% of whom will buy your product if it exists and they know about it. What if you don’t know anybody from the group? The best way to find them is to start asking friends this way: “I have in mind “this product” and need to run some test sessions with someone who can be interested, maybe you have someone in mind?” This way your friend will be able to help in a better way.

You can ask similar questions in the related groups on Social Media. You can ask this question on the sites like Reddit.com or Quora.com. Find your prospects at Industry Events. Or create an even yourself if you do it for a local market. It’s always better to start with some test sessions. It will give you real time feedback and perhaps turn testers into customers eventually.

Please share your questions and ideas in a “comments section” below. Cheers 🙂

What is brand and branding? The meaning and definition.

To find out what is branding, let’s first remember the definition of a brand.

The brand is the image created in a customers’ mind. It forms when the customer experiences product or service related to a particular company and consumes its messages through the various information channels.

Accordingly, the branding is a process which involves a lot of things. Some of them are — Name Creation, Identity creation (Logo, corporate style, site, etc.), Defining Target audience, creating Brand personality, the Voice and Visual Communication rules. Once all this is established and a positioning statement is set, the most interesting part takes place. Following the brand guidelines, advertising agency creates an image of the brand in the customer’s mind via messages, images, actions and more.

Once you understand the brand process, everything looks clear. However, you can sell with advertisement only once. All next sales will be based on the quality of the product and service. Customers may not remember the promotion which forced him or her to buy the product, but he or she will always remember the experience.

Three myths about Facebook or how to save thousands on advertisement

Let’s talk about Facebook. It’s definitely the largest Social Media Platform, and probably the most popular. Many will say: “it’s free and so entertaining” or “but it’s good only for young people”, or “it only for fun”, or “only to chat with friends and kitten pics”… Well, is that so? Let’s check it out.

The Myth 1. Facebook is free.

How many times you heard that Facebook is free platform and we must accept anything they do, even if we don’t like it, because it’s FREE. Well, let me tell you. Ever since you started the account, Facebook has been collecting information about you. They probably never sell this information. But the accurate targeting of facebook ads is only possible because of the user’s data. So advertisers pay this media, to be on your timeline. That means, at least, to me, I get all the Facebook fun and pay via my personal information in exchange. So, is Facebook free? Think of it.

The Myth 2. Advertise your page, boost your posts and it will help you sell.

Let me tell you, I was reading about wonders with Facebook advertising. But since they change the rules and every page owner have to advertise the content (even if it’s not a commercial page), it lost all sense. I had a page, it got 300 followers naturally. All of them were active and the page was alive. The 25% content was of my blog and 75% was entertainment (I posted content from other pages and sites while some content was my own). Now my loyal users do not see posts from my page (because of the new rules). Please answer a simple question, if I decide to boost my posts, would I advertise somebody else’s content? No! It means my followers will only see that 15-25% of commercial or my blog content. Will they like my page, or will they buy my product? No! Because they are simply not aware of 75% of the other content that I shared. As a result, I recommend my customers to not using facebook advertising for Page Likes (Likes may be fake, and users may not be active).

The Myth 3. It’s only for young people.

Since its inception, Facebook has changed a lot. If 5 years ago, it was fun-oriented media, nowadays it’s a good source of news and communication. Thanks to Messenger. It also become a connection tool and partially replaced the SMS. Mothers are following children and know more without questions (such a relief). Employers check new workers (be aware of what you post). Also, you can subscribe almost anywhere using just Facebook. It’s clearly not only for youngsters anymore, it has become practical.

So if you want to save thousands on the Facebook advertisement, you have several choices.

  • First accept that with many “fake likes”, you may not reach the real customers, and don’t spend on Facebook advertisement. Use some other platform for it
  • Secondly, post 4-6 times per day – be useful all the time and try hard, you will gain the attention of both – the real and fake accounts, although, very slowly
  • Third — just use Facebook as a posting schedule tool for your Twitter account and advertise there your Facebook page
  • Fourthly, talk about your page in groups, but do it after you confirm it with the group owner, they may charge you for ads, but in many medium groups, users are real, so you will avoid fake likes.

Meanwhile, if you like to improve the visual communication of your Social Media profiles, you can subscribe and get FREE BOOK “Good Photo=Good brand”! Cheers.

How to give correct brief to the photographer

In creative work such as photography, design, and advertising, 60-70% of the good result depends on a good brief. If a client knows how to give a good brief and what exactly he wants – wonderful. The ability to assign a task and give references to a photographer and further to give the ability to create – priceless. So, here are a few ideas about giving the right brief and get awesome photographs for your brand.

To achieve the photography which works, you need to create a perfect brief. Tell about your brand in detail, the mood you want to create, describe brand personality and values. What is the purpose of this photoshoot? Where are you going to use these pictures? Is it online media, print or outdoor? When you are giving the brief to photographers, please be sure that they understand it.

What you need to focus on, while creating a brief?

  1. Brand personality has a lot of advantages in communication. Once you have defined the brand personality, then it determines the language, rhythm, humor, design, image treatment etc. Describe this through a brand personality to a photographer.
  2. It’s important to be consistent across all communication channels. And, to be consistent for a long period of time is, even more, important. It refers to sharing the same values in the same language for a long period of time. If you already photographed something for your brand, share the samples with your photographer. And, try to follow the similar style.
  3. Show respect to your customer. When you are hiring professionals to make great-looking images, you in a way show respect to your buyer. Choose a photographer who delivers a result. It’s better to wait for an able specialist rather than rushing and ending up wasting money for pictures which can’t sell.
  4. Be different – in a highly competitive market, you need to stand out. Good brand photography will advertise better than anything else. You will use it in an advertisement, social media packaging etc. Analyze the market first before hiring a photographer. Otherwise, customers mistakenly may associate your photographs with some other brand.

Give freedom to the photographer
When you brief your photographer, have a brainstorming session with him on ideas, execution, and discussing references. Be certain that both of you understand each other. Then give the photographer a freedom to create. If you want to get really good photos, videos or design, freedom of creation is crucial.

 

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Hope now you will get better photographs from professional photographers you hire. If you like to know more about how branding and photography can help your business, join the tribe and get all good information before it appears in social media.

 

 

How to photograph pictures which sell for you?

It’s a valid question, isn’t it? It’s actually quite easy, all you need is a creative idea, a decent lighting, and an ability to capture the image. Well, I would also add the understanding – why you need this image! Yes, it’s important. How many times you were just clicking some pictures for the sake of clicking, or passing something really interesting, and didn’t even remember about a camera in your bag? When we find out why are we going to photograph something, the idea, creative approach, and execution details come along. The keys for good photos are WHY, WHAT and WHO (the viewer).

Let’s say you want to promote the new cakes from your online shop. That means a customer will not be able to taste them, smell them, or touch them, they will only see the pictures, and read the description on the shop page.

Answer the question, WHAT are we going to shoot.  Something sweet, delicious dessert, cake! (You can start with a long description, which itself will push some creative ideas.)
All right, so let’s see WHY we need these photographs? To attract the customers and make sure they buy it. 
Then, WHO the customers are? If we know who is going to buy the cake, we are going to address these people first. (Describe them in details.)

So, how to photograph pictures which sell for you?

Option one — the object on a white background. (Any cake for any customers).
We can photograph the cake on a white background, and focus on the image, and nothing extra. For those who want to buy any cake, it may work. But why they need this cake, not any other?

Option two — photograph with the Mood.
Photograph the cake in an interior with beautiful props, create the mood with a natural light from the window, add a cup of tea, a vintage postcard. Well, that’s a little better. The mood is an important detail which adds value. Customer starts to associate with the idea and decides to buy the product.

Option three — here’s a close up of the detail.
If your cake is decorated with some beautiful flowers, you may showcase this element, and add some attractive text nearby. Well, it may work for some products, but not for all. And, it’s good to have a design in mind before the photo shoot starts.

Option four — Somebody eating the cake.
The big cake is in the background. The piece of it is on the plate, the spoon is nearby, the tea is served. (Invisible human factor). Sometimes, it may work as a very engaging photo. This option can be used for a more sophisticated audience.

Option five — Models eating.
A boy and a girl are eating the cake, they are enjoying and their faces are all smeared with cream, they are laughing. This time, we show the happiness, and if we sell for the birthday parties, it may work amazingly well.

Option six — Bon appetite!
The girl model proposes us a cake, camera focus is on the cake. The eye contact with another human may push people to make a decision to buy. It may help to sell the cake for an anniversary or so.

I can continue with the options, but I guess the thinking process has been described more or less.

Just to add even more clarity, here is the checklist:

  • Why do we need these pictures?
  • Who do we want to sell this product?
  • What idea does this product represent?

After you answer these questions, create an idea, which will promote itself with the light, props, models, and equipment.

More Pictures in my Shutterstock Set ‘Cake Photography’ here

How to create a better restaurant review blog post with your photography

There are many food bloggers who like to review restaurants and share their recipes on social media. Sounds good, isn’t it? But let’s see how it looks. Some media gurus of questionable expertise recommend that you can put just anything online and people will love it. Well, they may appreciate your thoughts, for sure, but will they buy from you, will they trust you just by seeing your images? Probably no. Why? Because they just don’t take you seriously enough. So shall we photograph with that huge DSLR, you may ask? Not, again. Photography is never about the camera, it is always about the play of light and shadows. And if you are familiar with this play, you will be able to produce better pictures.

So, how to take good food pictures or restaurant photos for your food blog with a smartphone? Check it out.

First of all the Idea

What are you going to highlight in your blog post today? Are you talking about a dish? Are you reviewing the restaurant and your attention is on the interiors, services, and clients? Are you are taking an interview of some owner, manager, or chef?
Decide what you are going to focus and make some list with drafts. This list has to give you ideas and answer what has to be photographed to illustrate your story. It will save a lot of time and give inspiration.

If you like to plan your photo shoot or seek the inspiration, check these posts too.

Planning the food photography photo shoot

How to find the inspiration for the photo shoot with Pinterest

Secondly, once you are on location — find the light!

Light is the most important element of photography. Don’t think that a photo, taken in a poor light condition, may attract your readers. Unlike you, they didn’t see this restaurant, they didn’t eat here, didn’t appreciate the aroma of the food or background music. It’s your job to translate all these experiences with mere words and visuals. And if your images are looking not up to the mark, you may create a very bad impression about a good place or a good dish. Well, no need to say, that it will neither attract readers nor help to monetize your blog.
So, if the light is so important then find it. Search for the biggest source of light, such as a window, alternatively create your own light source, or just don’t click the picture. Yes, you heard me right. If you planned your shoot in advance, you will find the light. But if not, then better click the picture of the restaurant entrance or the signage in a good light condition. Also, you may tell the restaurant manager that you are going to review the restaurant and the dish on your blog. Then ask for the permission to use artificial light to create really great pictures.

Lumie Series Muse LED Light

Check this little magic lights by Manfrotto, they may help you a lot in this situation.

And if you would like to know more about photography basics, check this post.

Learn photography basics

The third component is the story behind

The blog is always a storytelling. Let your pictures follow the text. When your fans are reading the review and enjoying the copy and illustrations, it’s just awesome. They may like to share it as well. Do not add too many pictures, choose only the best.

So, the great restaurant review is not difficult. Amazing ideas, good pictures, interesting text and voila — post is ready. Now, go on, share it with your friends and readers on social media.