Part 2: Can people “switch” from not valuing photography to valuing it?

I want to start this out by sharing the quote I shared with you at the end of Part 1:

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.

To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” - Buckminster Fuller

Really internalize that.

We must change the existing model of what we’re doing…

And make our current challenges OBSOLETE.

That’s what today is about.

Ok, back at it.


Quick recap:

Most photographers are chasing after the same avatar.

In family portraits, that’s an iteration of “mother, age 25-45-, upper income level, college grad, family is #1”


The challenges with that are many.

There’s more supply than demand in our market, driving average prices down.

That leads to more competition based on pricing, and just less for everyone.

More price-sensitive buyers.

The quest for doing more marketing when we don’t have the time for it..,

…Among the slew of other things we talked about yesterday.


I call this the “Avatar Chaser”

Being an avatar chaser instantly lumps people into vying for the same piece of the pie as everyone else.


To make matters worse...

The Avatar Chaser usually seeks a “band aid” solution.

Usually it’s the search for that one “magic marketing tactic that will change everything.”

Or sometimes it’s trying to do more of all of the marketing tactics a little better.

These usually lead to “temporary relief,” much like an aspirin to a headache.

But it doesn’t treat the root cause  - the REASON FOR the headache (dehydration, lack of sleep, stress, or something much worse).


In the photography market, the deep root cause is that Avatar Chasers are all selling to those that already VALUE photography and have the money.


Avatar Chasers are competing for that exact same person.

And so Avatar Chasers are competing in what the book Blue Ocean Strategy so well describes as the “bloody red sea of competition”, instead of creating a blue ocean of one.


So how do we create our own Blue Ocean, and instead of Chasing an Avatar, doing something totally different?

Step 1 is we market not to a person, but something completely different...

What if we don’t CHASE an avatar…

But do something completely different…


A quick quote, by advertising legend Eugene Schwartz.


Your job is:

“...not to create mass desire-- but to channel and direct it.”

- Eugene Schwartz, who is often noted as the best marketer in the world


Let me tell you a quick story that I think will clarify what it is I just said and the quote as well:



……….2017………...


I couldn’t believe what I was doing…


For YEARS my husband and I had been baffled by what some of our our friends had done...and here we were doing it ourselves!


We talked about it privately.

We talked about it publicly to our friends as well.


To us, it just didn’t make sense...it seemed downright frivolous...I mean…


Who spends tens of thousands of dollars for something they can only use for 3, AT BEST 4, months of the year in Montana?


....And to be tied to yet ANOTHER 30-year loan on top of our mortgage?


Yet there we were, beaming smiles and all...


Signing the 30-year-commitment for our brand new 28-foot travel trailer…


AND WE WERE THRILLED!


We were floating on air.

We could not WAIT to get that big-old-beast out in the woods.

And to this day we don’t regret it.

We still think it was one of the best decisions, one of the best purchases we ever made.


The purchase wasn’t the result of some dramatic event like winning the lottery or having a long-lost relative leave us a massive inheritance…


Our financial situation was close to if not exactly the same as just a few months prior, when were still thinking it was completely frivolous to spend that kind of money on a camper.




So what happened here? Did what we value CHANGE? And what’s it got to do with photography?


It’s funny…

I remember actually sitting there while signing the paperwork, a bit intrigued as to how and why this was all happening…

How my husband and I could so quickly go from “never going to buy a camper this big and expensive ever” to…

“I want it, I need it now!”


Now, it’s important to also note that we came to the conclusion we needed a camper OURSELVES.


We weren’t pushed into it by a door-to-door salesman, or tricked by a phone solicitor telling us our long lost uncle was in prison and bail needed to be paid now over the phone.


Nor did our friends try to CONVINCE us purchasing a big-ol camper would be a good decision.

We would have run fleeing into the night if any of those situations would have happened.



But how did that decision REALLY happen? What’s the process, and can we do the same in our marketing?


It was only a matter of weeks between deciding we wanted to purchase a camper, to buying one...between NOT valuing the purchase, to valuing it.


As Eugene Schwartz might say, the desire was not created, but channeled and directed.


The Old Venn Diagram Vs. The New One



Let me show you a diagram to explain:


First, here’s the diagram from the previous lesson  - where the “Avatar Chaser” Falls:

Venn-Diagram-1-entire-web-res.jpg

So in general, it’s an “Income Level” and “Values Widget” diagram.

This fits any market, including campers/travel trailers.

 

As you can see - we did NOT value a “camper” in the sense of the widget itself.  Even when we purchased, it wasn’t buying “the camper” perse that we valued….more on that in a minute though.     So the old diagram, which in most markets is what is used for marketing, can be summed up by this:

As you can see - we did NOT value a “camper” in the sense of the widget itself.

Even when we purchased, it wasn’t buying “the camper” perse that we valued….more on that in a minute though.


So the old diagram, which in most markets is what is used for marketing, can be summed up by this:

That middle overlapping part is the definition of an Avatar Chaser, with all of the problems that come along with it...oversaturation, crazy competition, price sensitive buyers and all.     Think about it - that diagram works pretty good PRIOR TO over-saturation.  Or prior to supply being larger than demand.  That’s how all markets start.  That’s how it likely was back in the days when you had to be a chemist to also be a photographer.  Bigger skill set needed, bigger bar to enter, low competition, high demand.  My, have things changed.     But I want you to take a look at where my husband and I fall into a NEW Venn diagram...


That middle overlapping part is the definition of an Avatar Chaser, with all of the problems that come along with it...oversaturation, crazy competition, price sensitive buyers and all.


Think about it - that diagram works pretty good PRIOR TO over-saturation.

Or prior to supply being larger than demand.

That’s how all markets start.

That’s how it likely was back in the days when you had to be a chemist to also be a photographer.

Bigger skill set needed, bigger bar to enter, low competition, high demand.

My, have things changed.


But I want you to take a look at where my husband and I fall into a NEW Venn diagram...

As you can see, our placement didn’t change…  We never moved to “values camper.”  We were ALWAYS in the “desires freedom” category.     For my husband and me, that IS one of our deepest desires both separate and as a family.  But as a side note, “A camper will bring you freedom!” marketing message would have never worked on us, or others...tomorrow you’ll learn why and also the alternative called “desire linking.”     So here’s a more universal Venn:


As you can see, our placement didn’t change…

We never moved to “values camper.”

We were ALWAYS in the “desires freedom” category.


For my husband and me, that IS one of our deepest desires both separate and as a family.

But as a side note, “A camper will bring you freedom!” marketing message would have never worked on us, or others...tomorrow you’ll learn why and also the alternative called “desire linking.”


So here’s a more universal Venn:

The “sweet spot” for marketing is where a deep desire intersects with a person who can afford your products and services.     Since most of the market is NOT competing for that piece of the pie, things start to become a bit ...no a LOT...less challenging…     This is called  The Desire Director:  Directs desire rather than chasing the same target market/avatar as everyone else  Becomes a market of one with little to know competition  Is seen as unique and different than the rest  Has constant word of mouth without even trying  Is thanked for their marketing, because it leaves their potential clients better off  Gets inquiries who are pre-sold on the services and products and don’t need to be convinced  Most inquiries about pricing aren’t from “price shoppers,” but from people who genuinely want to see if they can afford the session, and see how long they may need to save up prior to booking     This is actually pretty interesting...because the desire circle can really expand or contract a LOT.     If the desire isn’t a REAL desire and is more chosen as a random guess, it will NEVER intersect, and sales will be few to none.      But now let's take a look at how drastic the other end of the spectrum is.     Let's think about Moms.  Moms who can afford boudoir/glamour, vs. value boudoir/glamour, vs. have a deep desire for self-love.

The “sweet spot” for marketing is where a deep desire intersects with a person who can afford your products and services.


Since most of the market is NOT competing for that piece of the pie, things start to become a bit ...no a LOT...less challenging…


This is called

The Desire Director:

Directs desire rather than chasing the same target market/avatar as everyone else

Becomes a market of one with little to know competition

Is seen as unique and different than the rest

Has constant word of mouth without even trying

Is thanked for their marketing, because it leaves their potential clients better off

Gets inquiries who are pre-sold on the services and products and don’t need to be convinced

Most inquiries about pricing aren’t from “price shoppers,” but from people who genuinely want to see if they can afford the session, and see how long they may need to save up prior to booking


This is actually pretty interesting...because the desire circle can really expand or contract a LOT.


If the desire isn’t a REAL desire and is more chosen as a random guess, it will NEVER intersect, and sales will be few to none.



But now let's take a look at how drastic the other end of the spectrum is.


Let's think about Moms.

Moms who can afford boudoir/glamour, vs. value boudoir/glamour, vs. have a deep desire for self-love.

Isn’t THIS interesting…  Do you see how big that overlap is?  (Side note: this isn’t based on any statistical data - just my own experiences as a mom whose talked to a lot of other mothers who want the same thing - more self love)     Most moms deep down DO desire more self-love…  ...Though they would word it in another way like:  “I just want to be happy with myself”  Or  “I hate looking in my closet and seeing my pre-baby jeans that will never fit me again.”     At the same time, those that PURCHASE boudoir/glamour, probably 90% of them ALSO have the desire for more self-love.  Again - my own interpretation of life that is not based on real numbers, but my own experiences...     Look at that potential market you can tap into.     Each and every type of photo session has a potential like that.  HAS a deep desire to be tapped into.  More than one desire that can link to your business, I’d say.  A desire worth directing that can can be directly linked to your photography products and services.     Which is why in the next email, you’ll learn all about becoming a Desire Director…  That will come late tomorrow (Wednesday).  Linking your products and services TO that desire….  Choosing the RIGHT desire, a REAL desire that has a great potential “overlap” to tap into.     Because people are already purchasing non-photography products they think will fill their deepest desires...     The easiest to notice is the self-love or self confidence desire…  ...As many women like myself already know - the desire for self-love has a short half-life after purchasing new clothes or getting a new dye job…     Makeup washes off.  Mascara turns to racoon eyes in the morning.  Thousands upon thousands of dollars spend each year on a desire that never seems to feel filled for more than the hour after purchase.     But...as the cliche says… “photos are forever.”  The DESIRE we can not just direct, but the deep desire we can fulfill for our clients with our work?     Can have a MASSIVE impact.  Not just on boudoir clients…     But on FAMILIES.  On MOMS who sacrifice everything for their children and just want to feel appreciated.  On COUPLES both before and after their wedding.  On brand new PARENTS.  On a baby boomer couple whose dog IS their only child.  On a pregnant woman who never wants to forget what those internal karate kicks feel like despite the glimmering stretch marks that sometimes feel like zebra stripes to her…     I could go on.     I have a feeling most of you KNOW what you do fulfills a deep desire…  ...you know it in your GUT.     But you have a hard time saying it with words.  Explaining the value of what you do in a way that links it to the DESIRE your client has...     Maybe some of you feel a family photo or a newborn photo could ever compete with how powerful boudoir photography can be.  But that’s just not true.  It’s just a different deep desire to be found, linked, and directed to your product.     And that’s what the next email is all about…     So in the next part, let's get our Desire Directing ON!

Isn’t THIS interesting…

Do you see how big that overlap is?

(Side note: this isn’t based on any statistical data - just my own experiences as a mom whose talked to a lot of other mothers who want the same thing - more self love)


Most moms deep down DO desire more self-love…

...Though they would word it in another way like:

“I just want to be happy with myself”

Or

“I hate looking in my closet and seeing my pre-baby jeans that will never fit me again.”


At the same time, those that PURCHASE boudoir/glamour, probably 90% of them ALSO have the desire for more self-love.

Again - my own interpretation of life that is not based on real numbers, but my own experiences...


Look at that potential market you can tap into.


Each and every type of photo session has a potential like that.

HAS a deep desire to be tapped into.

More than one desire that can link to your business, I’d say.

A desire worth directing that can can be directly linked to your photography products and services.


Which is why in the next email, you’ll learn all about becoming a Desire Director…

That will come late tomorrow (Wednesday).

Linking your products and services TO that desire….

Choosing the RIGHT desire, a REAL desire that has a great potential “overlap” to tap into.


Because people are already purchasing non-photography products they think will fill their deepest desires...


The easiest to notice is the self-love or self confidence desire…

...As many women like myself already know - the desire for self-love has a short half-life after purchasing new clothes or getting a new dye job…


Makeup washes off.

Mascara turns to racoon eyes in the morning.

Thousands upon thousands of dollars spend each year on a desire that never seems to feel filled for more than the hour after purchase.


But...as the cliche says… “photos are forever.”

The DESIRE we can not just direct, but the deep desire we can fulfill for our clients with our work?


Can have a MASSIVE impact.

Not just on boudoir clients…


But on FAMILIES.

On MOMS who sacrifice everything for their children and just want to feel appreciated.

On COUPLES both before and after their wedding.

On brand new PARENTS.

On a baby boomer couple whose dog IS their only child.

On a pregnant woman who never wants to forget what those internal karate kicks feel like despite the glimmering stretch marks that sometimes feel like zebra stripes to her…


I could go on.


I have a feeling most of you KNOW what you do fulfills a deep desire…

...you know it in your GUT.


But you have a hard time saying it with words.

Explaining the value of what you do in a way that links it to the DESIRE your client has...


Maybe some of you feel a family photo or a newborn photo could ever compete with how powerful boudoir photography can be.

But that’s just not true.

It’s just a different deep desire to be found, linked, and directed to your product.


And that’s what the next email is all about…


So in the next part, let's get our Desire Directing ON!


<< Back to Part 2

Side Note:

As you may know, one of the biggest desires I’ve been able to tap into, relates to tween photography sessions.


Now, this email series is about you finding and tapping into your OWN markets, and desires of your markets.


But the tween example is an interesting one…


Because while at first glance you may think the desire to channel is the desire the tween has to feel more confident and have more self love.


But that’s actually not the case…


...But we’ll go over that in the next part ;)