Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotos Radio - Rod Evans for ImagingUSA
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ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by Morephotos.com helping professional photographers with all their internet needs world wide. Also brought to you by Labimages.com. Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here’s your host, Damien Allen.  DAMIEN: Good afternoon and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen and today with us on the telephone is Rod Evans, photographer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is going to be speaking at Imaging USA coming up very soon here. Good afternoon and welcome to the program, Rod.
 
ROD: Thank you, Damien, thank you very much. I’m excited to be here.
 
DAMIEN: It’s a pleasure to have you. You’re going to be speaking at the upcoming Imaging USA conference with a workshop called Facebook was Made for Photographers. Could you tell us a little, please, what is this workshop going to be all about?
 
ROD: I’m really thrilled to share this with you. I have been using Facebook for many years and it has just been such a successful marketing tool for our business to add into your marketing mix. It’s just an effective tool, because it’s inexpensive and it’s effective, and you can book business using it.   So as a result of that, I really want to share some strategies, success stories, failures, what to do, what not to do, how not to get kicked off Facebook and what social strategies really work the best to make sure you’re booking business using Facebook and not just playing Mafia Wars on it.
 
DAMIEN: What day and times will your workshop be held during the conference?
 
ROD: This conference will be Sunday, January 10th at 9:00 am.
 
DAMIEN: And where can they locate you in the conference?
 
ROD: I am in the business strategies part. That’s where I’ll be speaking.
 
DAMIEN: What do you hope the participants in the workshop are going to take away from it?
 
ROD: Well I really hope that I can get them, it’s an hour and a half, so I know in that amount of time they aren’t going to learn everything there is to know about Facebook. I know I’ll definitely be able to give you some strategies to make you successful with Facebook. The overall strategy of how social marketing works, just the overall sense of how that goes on, and then I want to share with you four or five strategies that I have used on Facebook that have helped us book business. 
 
DAMIEN: What got you get started with Imaging USA?
 
ROD: I have been attending USA for about 15 years; ever since I started my business 15 years ago I have been attending Imaging USA. I have been speaking there probably the last 10 years, I’ve been a speaker at Imaging USA. Such a critical part of your business is education so it really is the key difference of what propels you both not just business wise or artistically wise to become a better photographer and it really takes that knowledge and skill level to become successful. So, obviously, a lot of people love photography, but the best thing you can do for yourself and for the people around you is not just to only create beautiful images and be the most skillful person you can be, but also be a good business person so you are able to create those images for other people for many years to come. And I really believe things like Imaging USA gets you connected with all those resources and it’s just an exciting place to be every year.
 
DAMIEN: We’ve checked out the website and it’s absolutely awesome. Some great imagery up there. What inspired you to look at social networking and use this market as a photographer?
 
ROD: The honest truth is this…in my particular area, I was finding that typical types of marketing such as direct mail and other types of markets like that, not only were really expensive, but I was finding I was having less and less successful results with them. So as a result of that, I have teenage kids, and I noticed they were on Facebook one day, and I’m like what is this Facebook thing anyway. This was years ago and I had no friends, no clue what even Facebook looks like, obviously I’m not in that typical demographic of Facebook a few years ago, and started doing research and learned about it and figured it out and figured out how to connect with people on Facebook and so I guess I can owe it to two factors: one is looking for an alternative to marketing direct mail and the second is having teenagers. I have to thank them very much. They got nice Christmas presents so they’ll be happy. It worked for me!
 
DAMIEN: Could you share a couple of tips on how to market in the digital age? What do you do now? What makes the internet and the whole digital realm that we’ve been sucked into, what tips can you give a photographer on how to market themselves this way?
 
ROD: This is a topic we can go on for an hour about, obviously, but we’ll just talk about a few key elements, ok. Very first is this, in the digital world in connecting with communities or groups of people, the old advertising model was this:  The old advertising model was enter people’s lives enough until they make a decision to call you. So you mail them multiple times, you try different forms of advertising, radio, television, and displays, whatever it is that if you connect or hit them enough, hopefully at one of those connecting points they’re going to call you and make a decision to book with you. Well the new digital marketing and social marketing models are completely different. It is where you go out and find where people are already at and their internet social habits already are; if they’re on Twitter, if they’re on Facebook, if they’re on MySpace, there’s a mom’s forum, there’s a bridal forum that people are hanging out on. What you do now is not just go in their and just start advertising and blasting your name out there and saying do business with me; it’s very subtle. You actually want to become a part of that community and give to that community and share with that community and so the people begin to trust you and believe you are a real person. People are more weary about businesses on the internet than they are walking into a store. So you have to have this really presence of trustworthiness people working with you and in your sharing with them and giving them some stuff for free. So the way we have used that to our advantage is, I’m just going to talk about Facebook, but there are many other ways besides that, is that when you have your portrait taken as a high school senior, we’ll put a couple of images on Facebook, tag you so people know where the photograph is taken, put our logo on it and we’ll give that to them at no charge so that that will virally market to their 5,000 or 400 or 500 friends they may have and the friends that I have so people see what we are doing. It’s like free advertising, because the comments that come in on the images, you know, you’ll get 20-30 comments on those images and many of them come within seconds of you posting those images on Facebook are all basically free testimonials for your business. So that’s just one strategy, obviously, but I really believe whatever you can do online to make it easier for people to book with you, to do business with you is a smart thing to do. Our model applications are online. You can actually book sessions online with us and not have to even talk to anyone 24 hours a day. You can order your images online. There are so many things that we’re doing to allow people to connect with us, and I’ll share more of that in detail exactly how that works, because I’m not giving away the farm. We’re still very profitable, and I still control of my business, but in this digital age, I’m allowing people to connect with us easier by doing business online.
 
DAMIEN: We see that you have been inducted in XXV. Could you tell us what this is and how did you get such a distinction?
 
ROD: It’s a great honor and I’m very humbled to be even invited to become a member of this group. It’s basically made up of 25 of the most innovative photographers from all around the world. We have people in this organization that are from all parts of the world; from India to Sweden to Australia, and the United States of course. The members are from there. So it’s a great honor. It’s humbling to be a part of this organization. We get together once a year, exchange innovative and new ideas with each other, and because it does cross the entire span of the world, it really has for me opened my eyes artistically business wise, things like that. It’s really what is going on in our industry from a very broad show. So it’s quite an honor.
 
DAMIEN: What’s going to be new for Rod Evans Photography in 2010? Will there be other workshops and conferences you’ll be attending or any new projects that you’re going to be working on? 
 
ROD: Absolutely. I am speaking at several regional conferences around, and I’m also hosting an in-studio seminar and doing other things like that. So, obviously, I love sharing ideas and things that, you know, people taught me so much, and obviously I want to share back as much as I can. Not everything I talk about is new, but it has been redone, or whatever, you know what I mean, for the new age…the new times.
 
DAMIEN: Could you kindly share your website and contact information with the listening audience if they would like more information of what’s going on with Rod Evans Photography.
 
ROD: Absolutely. Our website for photographers is www.evanscreativetraing.com. The second website for resources for them is www.rodevans.tv with some videos on there and information and some fun, inspirational ideas, and they can contact me at rod@evansimages.com
 
DAMIEN: Thank you very much for joining us and sharing the information on the upcoming Imaging USA Conference, Rod.
 
ROD: Thanks for having me.
 
DAMIEN: We encourage our listeners to attend Rod Evan’s workshop, Facebook was Made for Photographers and to attend the Imaging USA Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, January 10th – 12th, 2010. You have been listening to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen. Everybody have a great afternoon.
 
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