Video Marketing for Photographers with Sean Cannell

are you standing out or do you feel like you're kind of getting lost in a sea of sameness today we're talking with Sean kennel of think media about how to use video to uplevel your business stand out and book more of your dream client so I'm excited to introduce you guys to Sean kennel just hit over a million subscribers across all of his channels and is an expert with online video so Sean share a little bit about what you do with us yeah my passion and thank you so much for having me on your channel but yeah my passion is helping people build their influence income and impact with online video and we've been doing that for years now my background is video I got cert in 2003 and built a business and then eventually started sharing my tips and my answers and we help entrepreneurs photographers businesses stay-at-home moms learn how to use video and YouTube to create more revenue meet more people and ultimately build their influence over all that's awesome I love that first I wanted to just start with Sean what do you see as kind of the current benefits or opportunities for photographers to build their businesses using online video yeah I think there's so many I mean really we're living through this age right now which is arguably one of the greatest times in human history for building your brand getting noticed and the reason is some things that everybody knows but because of the internet because of social media platforms because of lower cost tools and free tools we now can share our message with the world globally and get it out there a lot of times by just investing our energy our time and not even necessarily money however because of all that opportunity it means that everybody's trying to maximize that opportunity so I love this conversation because the challenge is how do you stand out and you know I think the main thing to recognize is that people's attention is on this right people are looking at their phones brides are surfing Instagram for ideas people are looking at blogs and websites people are going to YouTube for ideas other photographers are going to YouTube for looking for information and training and tutorials and so it's knowing where attention is and then asking ourselves how can in the relevant places so that we can be attracting clients the right audience and things like that I loved that especially the idea of being where our clients are so knowing that how can us as photographers especially portrait and wedding photographers use that online video to book more paying clients yeah it's a great question and I think the first thing you have to decide as a creative as a photographer is you have to make a decision that you're gonna do content marketing and that you're gonna start creating content now photographers are already content creators because they're shooting those photos for their clients they're putting all that content and that work together but I'm I'm talking about creating relevant content that you put out into the marketplace that will attract your ideal audience now I really believe there's two paths that photographers can take to do this and what you want to answer is who is your target audience so if it's a wedding photographer that wants to book more clients but content that you would create would potentially be relevant to brides that are researching so it might be tips about how to get flattering photos in the dress or prepare for your wedding or how to choose a wedding photographer would be a good video to make mistakes and choosing a wedding photographer the other approach is to actually position yourself as one that's gonna educate other photographers and that's two different things because if you think about your channel you're helping photographers learn business that's not gonna like help brides so who is your target audience you really want to know that but I think that on either path you still win because one of the biggest pieces of authority in our culture right now is celebrity and I'm not talking about becoming internet famous but I am talking about becoming famous in your sphere you want to be known in your city you want to build your brand blow your brand up even if it's in a small world you want to be the known wedding photographer in your area and so if you're an authority helping you know sharing tips and people see that you've got a couple thousand YouTube subscribers they see that you're creating content and you're out there in the world even just that positions you different because imagine if if two people's work is generally the same but I see like wow they've got more followers morning just more happening around their brand that leads to more business hands down because we perceive those numbers that content as an authority pay piece and we ultimately do business with people we know like and trust and the content that we put online builds trust which is a bridge to business love it I guess the next thing is really overwhelmed you know as photographers we wear so many different hats in our business and I know for me you know it's a lot taking on video as well and probably for a lot of my audience but it's just one more thing that they're adding to their plate and they're gonna be asking is this worth it absolutely that's a great question and I think a couple things is first you can just start simple and start slow you know a huge advantage that your community has is that a lot of their dslr's are already equipped to start shooting video they're already brilliant at you know knowing things about lighting and having a lot of advantages that my community doesn't even understand yet as photographers but I think the other thing is to really realize that you should be planting seeds today that will grow the trees that will provide shelter for you tomorrow so it's also just like diversification I think it's nice to diversify your influence and potentially diversify your income so you know your communities photographers as a videographer back in 2010 I was doing wedding videos business videos for small businesses and whenever I had some extra time I started building my influence on YouTube I'd put out some videos I put out some content and I started to monetize and I created another income stream by just maybe if I reviewed a camera I gave some tip I did affiliate marketing we could talk about some other tips I know I'm dropping a lot there but ultimately I didn't you know go into full-on video production mode until potentially years later but I don't want people to miss the opportunity to start now start building some momentum start getting into it a little bit because you'll be thankful years from now that you created some of those assets and started to build your platform little by little yeah I love that and I mean it's clear to see that video is not going anywhere it's becoming more and more something that we as photographers can't ignore so that in mind you know you've kind of shared some of the benefits the opportunities and why it's great for us as photographers what are you know for those wanting to dive in some of the big mistakes maybe three of the biggest mistakes that you've seen when people are just getting into video yeah I think that a couple of the big mistakes that people make with video is actually focusing on the video you know the two things we always talk about are the three things is AVL audio/video and lighting now picture image and picture quality photographers understand and even lighting but I think that audio piece is pretty big and I think for photographers if you haven't been used to that a lot of times people will watch a video that is maybe it's not even the best video quality but they can hear you well but we if we've seen it if we're trying to watch like a live stream on Facebook or something and it's just off the phone the phone's 10 feet away from someone you can't hear what they're saying even if you really want to consume that content you're like I'm not gonna hang with this so I think what the big first mistake would be audio make sure your audio is strong even yeah I think it's even more important than video in a way because people will tolerate bad video but not bad audio as far as holding their attention I think the second mistake that people make when it comes to getting into video is not starting with the end in mind before you ever press record you want to know what what is it that I want this to do you know who is this for Who am I trying to reach that sometimes we just hit record we start sharing ideas start sharing tips but you want to say what does this video actually want to accomplish do you want someone to email you at the end of the video to get a free consult or fill out a form or visit your website who is the exact person you're talking to and I know some people that we've coached and helped they like to have what's called an avatar and in business we talked about that it's your target audience and they think about that bride they're talking to and they want to talk directly to that one person not hey the whole world the internet but you know the one person you're talking to because it's one video one purpose does that make sense yes I love that I have an avatar as well and it's perfect you're speaking into the that one perfect person so kind of segwaying in you shared a little bit about audio quality is obviously really important to us as photographers but we might not want to use like our big DSLR to get video of ourselves so what are like a few maybe three things and you're wise to help us get started yeah in video yes so I think you know really basic but sometimes common sense isn't common practice so just making sure you have these essentials I think stabilization you know a lot of times as photographers maybe at a wedding you actually are handheld the whole time you're running around and you might have that tripod but especially for video you definitely want to get stabilization for sure you know additionally you probably want to invest in some lights and even if you have some strobe flash photography stuff you may not have continuous lighting and video kind of sucks even more light because it needs to be on constantly we know cameras live off light and sensors do so I think investing in some lighting and then you know we mentioned audio but investing in some good audio and the cool thing is this these things don't have to break the bank but just getting some basics that you could plug into your DSLR or your smartphone and you know amazon.com there could be lavell ear microphones that you just plug right into your headphone jack or rather your mic input on either device and those are definitely some of the basics for just making sure at the end of the day let's keep it simple can people see you clearly can they hear you clearly and then can you convey the message because at some point and it's definitely overwhelming when you first start shooting video you're like shoot am i doing it right but at some point it's never about the camera it's about the content and it's the message you actually want to get across a lot of times I feel like creating good video is actually just thinking about removing distractions and not adding anything no distracting you background yeah not a no distracting lighting weird shadows no weird hisses or buzzes like just thinking that's if this is the medium of communication but you want to get past that and speak confidence right into that bride you know speak whatever speak it convey that energy that love that life into your target create that bond because people do business with people they know like and trust and try to create those things and try to forget about all the technical side although it is important yes I love that and really that lis it's kind of the last thing is I'm you know you mentioned that confidence on camera so that you can really speak to that one person and have them feel you and kind of connect better so confidence plays a major role in that and is also probably a lot of the reason why many photographers might stray away from doing video like if you want to get into it how do you build that up from the start it's such a good question and you're right most of the photographers are behind the camera and that's where they love being but now you're in front of the camera and not just in stills but now every second counts and they can hear your voice but you know the the best tip is honestly from Nike you just got to do it I mean you really actually just got to do it but what I mean by that is you need to do it a lot your first videos are always going to be your worst videos and sometimes people if you know these days they'll see my YouTube channel I've been doing this for years and they're like oh man he's confident on camera it seems like he's smooth at talking like he must have been born that way and I think that's the myth to dispel I wasn't born that way I used to be terrified I used to be you know clunky and it and I've just done it so much and and what people I've actually by now uploaded over 2000 videos online and I'd like to say 1600 of those are probably pretty terrible right it's like the last 400 that have been a little bit better and that can seem daunting but I just want to encourage people to just start and here's a really practical tactic one of the people in our community Heather has a home school channel so as a video creator she's been putting out content but like many people in your community might feel I don't want to get on camera how do you do video so she actually put together a strategy where she said at the time I'm gonna go on snapchat every single day I'm gonna just get on snapchat today it could be Instagram stories and maybe you know you may or may not want your audience to see this but she said I'm gonna do it every single day and I'm gonna start teaching before I ever shoot my YouTube videos I'm gonna go beginning middle and end hey I'm Heather and today I'm gonna share with you three tips on how to get kids to pay attention then she'd shoot the middle story and she said I hope you have value from this I'll see you tomorrow and that first day she hated it she hated herself she deleted it like 25 times we shot it that second day same thing was awkward and here's the thing she wasn't trying to impact an audience she was hoping nobody was watching on the other side but there was two things she was doing number one she was practicing and number two she was practicing in public I think that's important I think you're putting yourself out there getting through that awkward phase and she did that for six months and here's the thing at the end of six months from just putting out about a minute of content on stole in a story's format a day now she's like I'm kind of getting the hang of this and so I want to encourage people to just start and here's the thing shoot your first video upload it to YouTube I want to challenge you shoot your first video today if you've never shot one upload it to YouTube and here's the cool thing you actually don't have to make it public but by going through that many steps your confidence will have just written a little bit and then maybe you will be like let me just see what it's like I'll just put it out there and if you do that enough times again you'll get more confident you'll get more competent just like it's a photographer that first wedding you ever shot you're terrified am I gonna miss the kiss oh no you know as my settings right you know but then a couple years later you're like all it's no big deal you roll in it becomes like autopilot you have to start Punch perfectionism in the face decide that done is better than perfect and just get your first video up because you got to get past those first bad videos so you can get through the good ones oh my gosh yes yes yes so much love there lots of power tips guys and a challenge if any of you actually take John up on that challenge post the link in the comments I'd love to see that first video if you make it public I'd love to see it too Sean thanks so much for coming and hanging out with us today and talking to my audience on the importance of video for still photographers to really stand out and market our business thank you so much for having me be sure to check out Sean's channel for ear tips and lots of awesome stuff about online video and although we created a sister video on his channel all about how to get better photos the seven deadly mistakes that you might be making and how to fix them question for you guys are you currently using video at all if you market your business whether it be Instagram stories Facebook or maybe YouTube drop it in the comments below and I'll see you next video

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