Episode #7 of the Sprouting Photographer Podcast features an interview with Ryan Hanley. Ryan is a content marketing writer, speaker and consultant as well as the founder of Content Warfare TV, a Google Hangout/Podcast dedicated to helping marketers and business owners win the battle for attention online. Discussion topics for this episode include: Content marketing, blogging, Instagram, Google+ for photographers.
- Ryan’s path from “main street” insurance agency to using social media.
- What is content marketing?
- Why photographers have it “easy” for content marketing.
- Avoiding the “echo chamber” inside the photography industry.
- How do you differentiate yourself on social media and in content marketing.
- It needs to be about more than just the art.
- Avoiding the standard content that photographers tend to use.
- Instagram for photographers.
- Breaking out of your niche and speciality. Show of what you can really do.
- How to generate word-of-mouth through social media.
- Mechanics of how to technically take advantage of Instagram as a photographer.
- Using hashtags on Instagram.
- Being relevant to your target market.
- Choosing the social media platform that makes sense for you and your business.
- Ryan answers the question – is blogging dead?
- How photographers should be blogging.
- How to create a demand for your services through social media and content online.
- Own what you do and be great in your own space.
- Using behind-the-scenes video as a marketing piece.
- How Ryan’s wedding photographer took a “selfie” and made it a great experience.
- Why you need to make every one of your clients feel like they are the most important person in the world.
- Clients assume expertise, you need to show experience.
- Google+ for photographers – how and why to use it.
- Google+ Profile versus Google+ Business Page and how to use them.
- Google search – the “knowledge graph” and what it means.
- Search engine optimization – what it means today with social media.
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- Ryan Hanley’s Website – Content Warfare
- Ryan’s Google+ Starter Kit – Ryan’s free course to become introduced to Google+ for business
- Ryan Hanley on Google+
- Ryan Hanley on Facebook
- Ryan Hanley on YouTube
- Content Warfare Podcast
- Google Drive
- Google search for “The Murray Group” to show what the “knowledge graph” does.
- Ryan’s “100 insurance questions” experiment
Content marketing on social media for photographers:
First decide who your target market is, where they spend time online, and on what platform. Second, become familiar with the mechanics of those platforms, how they work, and how people interact there. Third, diversify and start sharing content from all styles of photography in those spaces. Lastly, don’t forget to bring your clients and prospective clients back to your “home base” which should be your blog!
Ryan Hanley: It’s such a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me, man.
Bryan: I’ve listened to Ryan’s podcast for a long, long time and it’s really interesting for me because ,Ryan, you’re always in my ears and I’m always on the other side of the table. So this is a really cool discussion for me to sit here and actually be able to talk about some concepts with you from a different perspective.
Ryan: Yeah, it’s exciting – I like being on the other end of the mic, too. Sometimes you get into interviewer mode so much that it’s nice to have someone asking you the questions. It’s fun.
Bryan: Right. It’s like photographers always being on the other side of the camera, but then when someone points the camera at them they always get so anxious about it. It’s a fun discussion, anyways. This is the direction that I want to go. Quickly, Ryan, do you want to give listeners who are hanging out with us right now that aren’t totally familiar with you and what you do, with your show – do you want to just share a little bit more about what you do?
Ryan: Yeah, for sure. I cut my teeth in the insurance industry. About 7 years ago, I started working for my wife’s family’s independent insurance agency. I started as a traditional boots on the ground producer. Put your rubber sole shoes on and get people to buy insurance from you. This is 7 years ago, really in the heart of when the internet and internet marketing went from this spammy, blocky kind of websites to being tools that we use in our everyday lives. Facebook was becoming prominent, Din had just started to show it’s face, and I realized very early that for me to differentiate myself in our marketplace, I was going to have to do something. I was young for the business, I was 25 and people don’t want to buy insurance from a 25-year-old. So what I did was, I went to the internet and I started blogging. I started using social tools, Facebook and LinkedIn in particular, to market the articles I was writing, making new connections, and drawing them into my space. I started to see results. It took some time to get some momentum, get my voice going, but I started to see results within 2 or 3 months and I said, wow, there’s something here. That was about a year and a half to two years into my career, and the last five years I’ve spent refining the process of telling your story in the online space and building a community around that. Ultimately then cherry picking our quality leads out of that community, out of that audience. I do wear two hats. My primary client is still my family’s business, so I still am very much in the game – a working content marketer from that aspect. Then I have this other side of my life where I’m helping other businesses as well. I have Content Warfare and a blog at RyanHanley.com where I share the things that I find that work in the everyday space. It’s not just theory that I pulled off other sites. The things that we talk about and a lot of the advice that we’re going to talk about today, Bryan, is stuff that I literally do every single day.
Bryan: Yeah, and this is the thing, Ryan, that I love about your situation, is that you’re actually coming at this idea of content marketing and social media for business from a grass roots perspective. You’ve done it for a traditional brick and mortar type of business in an insurance agency. And that’s a typical industry that a lot of people wouldn’t necessarily associate content marketing or social media with, because it’s got that certain stigma to it. You’ve actually been there, you’ve done it, you’ve laid the groundwork to have a successful social media and content marketing strategy for that kind of industry. Kudos to you because I love that approach.
Ryan: Thanks. Writing about insurance everyday is awful because: 1. People hate it, so no matter how good of a writer you are it’s really hard to make it interesting. And there’s only so many things that you can spin before you start talking in really hardcore insurance geek speak. What I always tell people is, that if I could find ways to make insurance interesting, we can find ways to make any industry interesting – and build a community around that. Especially photographers, you guys have images. I would love to be content marketing a photography business. You’ve got all these great images.
Bryan: That’s actually a good direction right there, Ryan. Photographers, we naturally have content, right? That’s always the first challenge that a lot of businesses have when it comes to social media or content marketing, is that you need to come up with content. In your case, you have to write articles, do videos, and things for your insurance clients that would be interesting for them. Photographers have that. We have images because we’re out all the time taking pictures. That in and of itself is a pro for content marketing, but I think at the same time it presents a challenge because every photographer has images. And most of the time, if you’re a decent photographer, they’re good images. So sometimes images alone aren’t enough. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and we were talking before the show about this. I love the idea, and you actually put this term to it called the echo chamber. A lot of the times, photographers, we get into our own heads. We get stuck into our own industry and we hear the same thing time and time again from other photographers. Photographers can tell each other, here’s how you can blog, use Facebook, use Twitter, but a lot of the times it’s the same thing. In this case, I’d love to hear your thoughts – an outside perspective, someone that’s done it at a traditional business and is now teaching it to other businesses. What do you think photographers can do from a content marketing standpoint to stand out and be different?
Ryan: The frame of reference that I’m going to use is, I have a cousin who is a photographer and she just started her own business last year. She stopped being a teacher, started her own photography business, and she’s out on her own. She’s working hard and she’s doing good things. I don’t know all of the echo chamber ideas that are passed around, but I’ll give you my thoughts on what I gave to her. I think it fits perfectly. The first was, yes, everyone has images. From that standpoint, the market is saturated with standard wedding – if we’re using wedding or whatever your niche is inside the photography business. She takes pictures of kids. There are many other people in your industry taking those same types of pictures and there’s only so many ways you can put a bow tie on a kid to make them look cute. Then the pictures start to seem the same. Not to discount anyone’s talent because tying it back to insurance, you don’t want to make people feel like their ability to place an insurance policy as an insurance agent is not as good as the guy next to hem. It’s just to a certain extent, there’s only so many different ways that you can skin a cat. How do you differentiate yourself? What I told her was in addition to the photos, it needs to become art, right? In insurance, it’s how do we turn this godawful product that no one cares about – nor do they want – and everyone assumes is a scam and spin it in a way that actually makes it interesting. For insurance, we can’t really turn that into art. But for photography, you have these images – these great images.
It’s taking and adding a layer that makes it a story. It’s not just a really nice image of a couple in love in a moment that captures that. The image tells a thousand words, but there needs to be a story that goes along with that as well and that makes sense. I’ve seen a lot of photography blogs, in researching my help with her, that do that. There’s 3 or 4 images and then, Jim and Joan were on the bridge and the bridge is where they had their first kiss and all this stuff. That’s all great. But it’s telling that story in a way that people are actually consuming the content today. I know that photographers hate Instagram, but I would freaking load up Instragram with images. I would be on there all the time with images and not just in my niche. I’m assuming, if you’re a wedding photographer, the photos that you take are not just of weddings. You probably have some other interests, as well. You’re taking landscape photography, maybe it’s a couple pictures of your kids in the yard. Showcase what you can do consistently using tools like Instagram. I know we’re going to talk about Google+, but the reason I like Instagram is because you’re taking it to the level of where the consumers actually are. I know the filters drive photographers crazy – I get that. I completely understand every photographer listening to this, when I say Instagram, is like, ugh, filters. Everyone thinks that they’re a photographer today. But trust me, your photos are going to stand out versus my crappy, like the lighting’s behind my kid as he’s trying to do the thing and you can’t really tell what’s happening. I think it looks good because I can throw a filter on it, but when you take your really nice professional shot – maybe you don’t use a filter; you can do whatever you want – you place it in that. I go as a consumer to Instagram for photos. Bryan, as you said, if someone’s interested in a wedding photographer, there’s like a three week window that you can capture them. Then they’ve had their wedding and they’re done. But what if you could make it so that after the wedding, the person didn’t unfollow you. They kept you in their Instagram stream – and I’m just using Instagram in this case. Because they see the quality of your photos and now, that person is like, “I used Bryan for my wedding photos and man, he is always sharing the best pictures in Instagram. It’s amzing what he can caputre”. Now her friend Joan is getting married and she’s like, “Joan, you’ve got to start following Bryan on Instagram. He always shares the craziest pictures, like the sunset picture he shared the other day – it’s amazing. And he took this picture of his kid, you should see if he does kid photography”. Or landscapes or can come take a picture of your house or whatever the person needs. It’s getting past the, we’re just going to place it on our blog, and start getting into the spaces where people actually consume images on a regular basis. Does that make sense?
Bryan: Yeah, totally. I love it. Let me double back. I want to clarify something because I know a lot of photographers listening are probably on fire thinking about this. This is good stuff. Let me ask you, from a tactical standpoint, are you suggesting then that it makes sense for us to take the images that we’ve taken professionally – we’ve done our editing on the computer and all these things – and put them on Instagram?
Ryan: Oh, heck yeah.
Bryan: OK, OK. From a tactical standpoint, help me understand that or help those that are listening that maybe aren’t in that space. Is it something as simple as you e-mail it to yourself? Because I know you can only post on Instagram from you phone. So you e-mail it to yourself, I assume, and then open it up that way?
Ryan: You could e-mail it or, what I would recommend, open up a Google Drive account. If you don’t have a Google Drive, for $5 a month you can have like 100 gigs. That’s a lot of images. And maybe you just take the best ones that you have. Now, one of the caveats is going to be, you’re going to want to make the images square. Make sure the dimensions are right. Whatever it is, you pare it down to some sort of squared image, throw your logo onto the image so people know and they see your brand on that image, and then just pop it into your Google Drive account.
Bryan: Keep it branded, keep all your stuff there, and you’re basically using Instagram almost as a portfolio. You’re having your actual work on there.
Ryan: Yes, because here’s the beauty of a tool like Instagram. And we can talk about any specific platform that you want to – I know we’re going to talk about Google+. But this is why I love Instagram for photographers. Instagram’s all about hashtags, so you can hashtag ‘wedding’, ‘love’, your geographical region, ‘photographers’. You can use all these hashtags to start to capture other people. Say a woman is interested – and I’m only saying women because from my vast experience, usually it’s the women that are looking for the photographers. Anyone, man or woman, is looking for a wedding photographer and using the tools of today, if it was me, when I think images I think Instagram. I would type in weddings, photographers, or something like that. What Instagram does is anyone who has that hashtag, it pops that photo up into a stream display. Now I click on a photo that I think looks really nice and I’m like, “Damn, I would love to have my wedding produce an image that looks like this. Who is this person? This is Bryan, he’s like an hour from me. This dude will come and take pictures of my wedding”. Bang. There’s your sale right there, because you’re consistently on Instagram using a tool that your consumers get images.
Maybe they’re going to go to Google. We can talk about showing up in Google search too, but from a social media standpoint, it’s putting your images into the context of how consumers are actually looking for them. You can brand them. You use Google Drive – you can add the Google Drive app to your smartphone – and then you just take them right out of Google Drive and put them into Instagram. A couple times a day if you want, depending on how many photos you have. And that way people are getting a feel for your quality of photos on Instagram. You can also mix in, look how I can catch a really great spur of the moment shot too, and add that into your stream. But sharing your professionally edited, professionally taken shots with your branded logo on them in your Instagram stream would be an absolute for me.
Bryan: I love it. The best thing that I love that you just said there is putting it in context for people and going to where they are. I think that that’s the best lesson that a photographer can take away from this. Whatever market it is that you’re surveying. For example, maybe you’re a commercial photographer and you deal with a lot of businesses and these kinds of things. Maybe LinkedIn is more the space where those businesses are. Or maybe in the wedding industry and Twitter is a really hot place for the industry right now. If I can sort of summarize here, Ryan, what you’re saying is find out where your ideal customer is and go there and be present.
Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. The cool think about LinkedIn too is you can now attach images to a LinkedIn update and it actually shows a large size of the image in the LinkedIn share. You can share your photos there. And I would not put one of my photos online that didn’t have my logo on top of it. You could even drop your url on. Bottom left hand corner, logo and your url underneath it so people know where to find you. That stuff gets shared.
Bryan: For sure. I want to jump back then. We’re talking about putting content for photographers on the social media channels – on your Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, wherever it is where you want to be. Photographers love having their own blogs. That’s like step one for a photographer. They register their business, they buy their camera, open their Facebook page, and they start a blog. On WordPress, Blogger, or whatever the case is. There’s templates and all these things out there. I’m going to throw a curve ball here at you. In your opinion, do you think blogging as a medium – as a form of consuming content now that consumers are all over the place and in other platforms – is a dying breed?
Ryan: Absolutely not. 100% not, because you need to have a home base that you control. Instagram is a nice place to have a portfolio, but Instagram could just say, we’re not using hashtags anymore. We’re done with hashtags. And now your ability to get found just got completely changed and you need to change your whole process. That could be really bad for your business. What doesn’t change is Google’s desire to attach every single problem that exists in the world with the absolute best solution, within a geographical location if that’s what people are looking for.
If I was a photographer, I would be hammering my blog as often as I could possibly get content out there. I would take an image, put the image on top, maybe a slideshow of images if I could. And just writing stories about the images. You know, the lighting was coming over the trees and that’s why I set them up this way. What it did is it made her glow. You can see that here and this is why I did this. Not just, here’s a nice image and John and Joan had a great time. Almost teach your people, your customers why you did the things you did. Because you know what that does? If I hear a photographer explaining to me – and this goes for any industry, not just photographers – why they’re taking the pictures a certain way, you know what I immediately think to myself? This person owns it. They’re not just out there snapping photos. They own it. They saw that we had an afternoon wedding, the sun was kind of peaking over those trees, and it was going to make my wife look amazing. I want that person. That’s who I want to do my wedding. So your blog is helping you show up in search and then when people get there, it establishes your expertise.
I can get lucky with a great photo. If I take a thousand of them, even though I don’t know what I’m doing, there is a decent chance that a few of them are going to come out and be halfway decent shots. I can buy a light room for $79 and I can touch them up a little bit. Granted, are they professional shots? No. But do they look pretty damn good? Probably. But it’s lucky. I’m not a photographer, I get lucky. I couldn’t tell you why that photo looked good. You know, the light was coming in from whatever angle. If you told me that, I would know that you owned what you do and I would want you to be my person. Because I’m like, this guy can replicate what he’s doing. He owns this thing. This isn’t just like, I couldn’t sell shoes anymore so I started a photography business. This guy is a real photographer who’s going to make my photos look great. I think that a blog is the absolute best way to establish that expertise.
Bryan: Right. So you’re suggesting blogs are more the storytelling aspect with the photos right. To go further and deeper than just posting an image with a one-liner kind of thing. Carrying on the theme of content marketing and even more SEO, Google+, and all these things for photographers on their blogs, what are some other things that photographers might be able to do outside of sharing images from a session? Even ideas of sharing tips on how to take better pictures or sharing links to other vendors in their industry. What are some other ideas that photographers can use for their blog to have content on there outside of just having images?
Ryan: If you have an assistant, spouse, child, or someone that can hold a video camera, I would get behind the scenes video of your sessions. So I can see that you take beautiful shots and then I get some video that you’re like really funny and easy to work with. You’re making me want to work with you. You don’t want beautiful shots but the whole time the person’s browbeating you because you’re not smiling properly. You want someone who’s fun and nice to work with and some behind the scenes shots of you setting up the camera. You can do that with video. You just have someone walk behind you with a video camera and get some nice shots, some nice video clips of you doing your thing and working with the people. What that does is sets the stage. It allows the people who are considering you to put themselves in that scene and see themselves working with you. As soon as they do that, they’re sold. They’re not going to care how much you cost, they’re going to be like, I want to work with this person because I see their quality shots, I see how easy they are to work with. They’ve given me all the access/ Boom. So that would be one thing that I would do.
Bryan: Great, I love it. And that’s assuming, for those of you listening, that you are fun and great to work with. That’s actually a good lesson, is you have to hone the experience that you’re giving your clients. It can’t be enough to take really good pictures of them. If they don’t enjoy the process of taking pictures then they’re not going to want to refer you and come back to you for repeat business in the future. Having that behind the scenes video is a case in point for that. It’s maybe even a good exercise for photographers to have that video created, even for internal purposes at first, so that they can see what it looks like to be on a session for them. Then they can fine tune and refine their experience that they’re offering their clients. Then from there, once they’ve made it a really good experience and a fun experience, they can put it out there publicly.
Ryan: You know, it’s funny. The photographer who did my wife and mine’s wedding, the best shot – well, the second best shot – that he got out of the whole wedding is actually a selfie of him, with me and my wife on the dance floor sweaty. And he’s dancing while he’s taking the shots. This guy was out of his mind, having a great time, and the shots were amazing. But that’s the best shot. That’s the shot that I remember from our wedding, is a selfie with him in the shot. I referred him to people all the time, because he just completely integrated himself into the experience. Now, not everyone wants that. Not every bride is comfortable with part of her photo album from her wedding being a selfie with the photographer. But the brides who do want that, if he shared that photo with his social media community – and I don’t know if he did – the brides that want that experience, that want the person who integrates themselves completely into the wedding that way, they’re going to work with him. Because that shot tells an entire story. If there was video behind that or he pulled that out into a blog post, just that photo, that told how he got into the middle of a dance circle in a wedding and took a selfie photo with a dSLR camera with the bride and the groom, I feel like that would be a really good sales pitch for a certain type of client.
Bryan: Right, I love it. That’s actually funny that you mention that because something that I’ve done my entire career as a wedding photographer now for 8 years, at the end of every wedding when I say goodbye to the bride and groom when I’m leaving the reception, I always do a selfie. And we actually always do a goofy face. For the photographers listening, I put a wide angle lens on the camera 14×24 in my full frame Nikon and I turn it around, I take a selfie, and we all make a goofie face. I always make a point of pushing that out to social media afterward. That’s almost one of the first things that I put out there, saying it was a great night, a great day. We got some great shots, here’s a goofy picture behind the scenes before I left for the night. And it’s been a great marketing tool for me too.
Ryan: It just shows so much personality. And it shows you don’t take yourself too seriously and that you’re there for the bride and the groom to have fun and to be part of their experience. You are not trying to be above the event. The event means something to you and that’s what people want with every service. This isn’t just photography, they want the same thing from insurance. They want to know that the experience is more to you. Even if it is just business in your mind, they want to feel like to you, that this is the most special wedding that you’ve ever been to. I’m sure you’ve been asked that. How many brides have come up to you and said, is this the best wedding you’ve ever been to? And you always say yes, right?
Bryan: The answer is always yes.
Ryan: And that’s what they want. Same thing with insurance or any product. Is this the best pair of shoes you’ve ever bought? Absolutely, I’ve never sold a pair of shoes to a nicer person. That’s what people really want, and finding ways to show them that you have that personality and you’re willing to do that is the type of content that really sells. There are technical SEO things that I’m happy to talk about – but can be incredibly boring – that help you get found. But it ultimately comes down to providing people with that kind of look into what they’re actually getting.
Bryan: I love that, Ryan. I brought you on this show and I invited you on because I wanted to talk about content marketing. And you just dropped the biggest piece of gold right there when you said – and I want to repeat this because I think it’s so important – make every one of your clients feel like they’re the most important client to you. That is gold. I love that, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a wedding show, I’ve heard conversations with other photographers and their clients, or they’re talking about it – the worst thing that you can do as a photographer, when you’re sitting there talking with a bride and groom, is to talk about another wedding that’s not their wedding. Of course they know that we photograph other weddings, but they want to feel like we’re 100% in for their wedding, their event, and they’re our most important client. So I love what you just said there, that was perfect.
Ryan: Well, to that point, what the person is probably trying to do is establish their expertise, but my advice would be to them that they’re sitting in front of you because they respect your expertise. They want to know what you’re going to do for them. You’ve already sold them on your expertise, they’re sitting down in front of you or talking to you about what you do. At that point, it’s about, make this bride feel like the prettiest bride in the history of the world or most important person. And from that point, you’re good.
Bryan: Right, I love it. Let’s do a quick transition here. I know that we’re getting to the edge of time You have a huge expertise, passion, and love for Google+ and I’d love to hear your thoughts on Google+ as a platform for photographers and more generic businesses where their clients are the end consumer. You might disagree but I’ve noticed Google+ has had a great adoption in the business community and there’s a lot of brands, businesses, and people that are into entrepreneurship on Google +. It’s a great platform for that but, at least from when I’ve talked to my clients, if I’m asking my bride and groom who are just teachers – or whatever career they’re in; they’re not business owners – they’re not necessarily on Google+. So I don’t know if that’s the best place for a photographers to be. What are your thoughts on that?
Ryan: I would completely agree with your breakdown on who is actually there today. It is like a much more conversational LinkedIn, to a certain extent, as far as who the community actually is. It’s business people talking about business related issues. There are starting to form some pockets of people talking about more consumer oriented topics, but for the most part it is business people talking about business related stuff – of all, not just marketing or tech stuff. There is a huge community in like entrepreneurial leadership and all that kind of stuff. So if that’s what you’re interested in, then the social aspects of Google+ is an amazing place. I don’t even go to LinkedIn anymore, mostly because I get that type of conversation from Google+ in a much stronger and more powerful way. So that’s that. Now, from the perspective of if I had a photography business, why I would want to be on Google+ – for what happens in search when you have a Google+ page. You’re going to have to get a personal profile. Upload your photo, tell a little bit about who you are as a person, but you’re going to want to start a Google+ business page. I’m going to back up just one step. In Google search, there is something that you don’t necessarily need to remember called the knowledge graph, which is essentially these additional pieces of information that Google is pulling into search. It used to be search was just blue line title, two black lines of meta description, next search result. You just went down the list and that’s all it was. Well, Google has started to add these additional pieces of information. Photographs that make their way in, menus for restaurants, scores for sports games.
If you type an NCAA game in, it doesn’t take you to ESPN anymore. Google actually pops open the score right in the search results. And that’s all called the knowledge graph. None of us are in any of those businesses, so to a certain extent that doesn’t help us – those particular examples. However, when someone types in your branded name or a keyword that is the crux of your site in Google’s view, what happens is on the left side of the page you have kind of the traditional results and maybe some additional information, but on the right side you’re getting all this additional information. If you’re looking for an example, type ‘The Murray Group’ into Google after you listen to this and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Basically it pulls out images that you’ve shared to Google+, your business name, a link to your website, it pulls off a map to your business location, it provides a direct link for people to review your business, it pulls off the number of Google reviews you have, the numbers of stars that people have given you, it pulls off a direct connect into Google+, it pulls off recent posts that you have published. All this additional information that fills up the screen branded to your business. Now people look at the screen and maybe you’re the top result, but then there’s four results under you. But then on the right, there’s this huge section all about your business. There is little to no chance that person is not at least going to click through and give your website a shot.
That additional information on the right is pulled primarily – there’s a few other sources – from your Google+ business page, so you want to be there. You want to have that filled out and be using it on a regular basis. Regular might mean going in posting a couple times a week and interacting, commenting with some people, trying to find some people in your local community, or in your industry if you’re not a local photographer. And trying to get a little interaction going there. I’m not going to say that every business needs to be there every single day. But I think the more you’re there, the better you will do long run because Google has made Google+ a priority in their mind. They’re only taking more and more information out of Google+ and using it in search. Very specific example that I’ll give you for the insurance business. I did something called the 100 Insurance Questions in 100 days video series – really awful title that specifically describes exactly what I did. I just answered via video 100 insurance questions in 100 days and I posted them to Youtube. I embedded it on our website and then I posted it to Google+. Google+ posts are indexed just like pages on your website so when I would post a new video, if you searched for terms that were in that video you would see my website listed as one search result. You would see the Youtube video listed as a second search result. And the Google+ post listed a third search result. There are 10 search results on a page. If you own 3 of them, how likely do you think it is that person is at least going to be exposed in some way to your business? Very.
This doesn’t happen if you post to Twitter or Facebook, because those posts are not indexed. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be there. I’m just saying this is the reason why you need to be on Google+, because Google search indexes everything you do in Goolge+ as if it’s its own page. So you are essentially building another website of sorts. Don’t take that analogy too far. But you are essentially providing Google with just another resource to get people in front of your stuff. My personal philosophy is, if you own the search page, you own the market in your area. Because people go to Google with problems. They don’t go to Facebook with problems. When someone needs a photographer, they’re not going to Facebook. Facebook may make certain brands top of mind, same with Instagram. So if you’re working Instagram, back to our original thing, your brand may be top of mind. So you’re definitely going to be one of the people they check out. But they are always also going to go to Google and type in ‘best Albany wedding photographer’ – enter. If you don’t show up on that page and you’re not top of mind – if you’re not doing Instagram or Facebook – and you’re not showing up in search than you’re screwed.
This this is how we pull the whole thing together. People see you on Instagram – they see your photos because they’ve searched wedding photography or their sister’s cousin used you and they’ve seen them like some of your photos – and they followed you there. And they’ve maybe seen you on Facebook once or twice. Then they search ‘best Albany wedding photographer’, saying you’re in Albany, and you pop up there as well. Done deal. That person is not going to call anyone else and if they do, they’re not going to give them the time they’re going to give you because they’ve seen your work. They’re aware of your brand and now they typed into Google and Google has told them again, this is one of the best photographers in your geographical region. They are going to give you every chance to win that piece of business. And that’s how you pull the whole thing together.
Bryan: Wow. Photographers across the world right now listening to this are signing up for Google+ pages if they’re not there already. Ryan, this has been amazing. You’ve totally exceeded our expectations. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing all this amazing knowledge. Now, like I said at the top of the show, I listen to your podcast. I love your content, I’m on your e-mail newsletter. I love everything Ryan Hanley. Yu’re always exceeding expectations and always delivering amazing content. For those photographers who are listening to the podcast now that want to find out more about you, what you do, and how they can get more information from you, where would you like to point them?
Ryan: The best place to find information on me is RyanHanley.com or you can just put into Google. Just search Content Warfare and you’ll see a bunch of different stuff. One quick thing, if you don’t mind, on Google+. If you are new to Google+, I have a free video course. You can find it on my site or just type ‘Google+ starter kit’ into Google and you’ll see this free course. It’ll take you through the nuts and bolts of sharing, posting, circles, communitiesc and all the different parts through the course of about four weeks. And like I said, everything in there is free for people so I would direct them there too if they’re interested in Google+.
Bryan: For sure, that’s great. And for those of you listening, like I’ve said I’ve been listening to Ryan for so long, I’ve heard him go on about all these things for Google+. If there’s anyone who knows his stuff and knows the mechanics, tactics, and Google+ inside out, it’s Ryan. If you’re looking to get into it – which after listening to this podcast you should be at least there, at least starting to dabble – definitely want to check out Ryan’s Google+ training course. If you don’t find it by the ways Ryan has said, I will have it in the show notes as well with the link so you guys can check it out there. So Ryan, thank you again so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate everything you’ve shared with us here.
Ryan: Bryan. my pleasure, man. Thanks for winding me up.