November 8, 2011

Liveblogging PartnerCon 2011: Become a Content Marketing Machine

By: Wendy Roe

Wowwww, lunch was spectacular!  Thanks so much to Dammit, Jeff for sponsoring the yummie sandwiches 🙂  On a side note, I just acquired a pair of women’s dress photography pants (YES ladies, the answer to ‘what to wear’ when you’re shooting a wedding) by a fun meeting in the ladies bathroom.  Who knew you could network in the ladies bathroom?  That’s the love of PartnerCon! Thanks Julie for the awesome conversation in solving this constant dilemma.  Check ’em out at

Okay, next up is the talented panel on creating content for your marketing!  Let’s roll…

UPDATE: The ladies at the Photo Life put up the slides and worksheet for everyone to participate and download.


Session Topic:

Become a Content Marketing Machine with Katie Humphreys, Erin Youngren, Rachel LaCour, Elizabeth Villa Ippolito

How are you using your blog, email and social media to build genuine relationships with your audience? How are you transitioning the relationships with that audience into paying clients? Are you using CRM Systems to manage your clients? In this demonstration, The Photo Life content creators will show you how to use generous content to do just that. They’ll walk you through the process of creating a Content Marketing plan for your unique business. You will leave a Content Marketing machine!


What is content marketing?
1) Be authentic
2) Be consistent
3) Take a Stand
3) From that, we’ll feel the love and see the profit

You Don’t Fit in a Box:

– Don’t limit yourself to what works for others.
– There’s no magic bullet; there’s experimentation & customization!
– Differentiate yourself by providing for your unique clients

“Creating and freely sharing informative content as a means of converting potential clients into clients and current clients into repeat clients.” – Katie Humphreys

Basic Concepts: The Method to the Madness
– Creating and freely sharing valuable content.
– Building authentic and relevant relationships.
– Turning  these relationships into paying clients.


Creating and Sharing Valuable Content: It’s NOT about you!

It needs to meet a need.

1) You understand your ideal client’s likes, interests and needs. (What We Love, Recipe Sunday, Why You Should Do a First Look…)  (The audience is doing a hands on exercise on identifying characteristics of their ideal clients.)

2) Entertains: Infuse your voice and personality.  (The Boots that Made Me Swear.  Friday Night Pizza and Oreos.  Stripping the Layers)  A little imperfection on your blog is OKAY.

3) It’s easy to consume.  It can be read, anywhere, anytime, in a short amount of time.  Less is more.  Formatting is your friend.

4) Keeps Them Wanting More.  It was worth it, they got something out of it, and they feel good about it.  (Our Love Story: The Saga of the Hot Librarian.  Hot Tips for Your Engagement Session)


Building Relevant Relationships
Relevant relationships = an audience of potential clients.  But there’s more!

These are people:
1) Who you’d actually want to work
2) That would actually book you
3) and that aren’t your mom…

Be Authentic: You have to get naked. But, not totally naked.  (i.e Family Trip vs Family Argument; Genuine vs. Fake Interests)
Be Strategic:
Decide what personal qualities or values are important to share. What is your VOICE? (Positive and Trustworthy; Modern, Hip and Unconventional; Traditional and Conservative)
Take A Stand:
You can’t be everything to everyone.  You can stop trying!  Share your unique perspective.  Think “Jersey Shore.”
Be Consistent: If you build trust and are consistent in your content, this trust will carry over to your business!  Create content that your audience comes to count on.  Build trust by consistently posting great content.  Choose a medium that works best and you can be consistent at.  My favorite blogs are the ones where the type of content I know of a bit before I even go to the blog.


Guide Potential Clients to the Purchase Decision: You’re offering an experience that your audience wants!

Your Online Sales Funnel:
1) Starting Point (Introduction)

Goal: Answering Questions and Removing Doubt
– Who are you? ABOUT ME
– Are your photos any good?  PORTFOLIO
– My kids could never sit still!  INFO PAGE
– I can’t afford it!  PRICING PAGE

How do they get there: Draw a clear path!  Starting point: Blog post –> About Me  –> Portfolio –> Session Information Page –> Pricing Page –> Contact Form –> Completed Lead Form

Create clear calls to action when you’re asking someone to make a purchase decision.  Add links within your pages and posts.  Create clear navigation on your blog and website and static text on blog post footers and columns.

“The foundation of content marketing is 90% giving and 10% taking” – Erin Youngren

“Look at content marketing as ‘courting your clients’ and it takes time.” – Rachel LaCour

2) Purchase Decision (When the are ready to book you)
3) Completion