That is the name of the game, right? You want to inspire people so much they just can’t wait to come back and see more from you. First it was blogging, then it was photography and though photography will always be a necessity and totally relevant in marketing, video has now taken over the marketing world.
It’s National Taco Day so of course we had to put together a short film of us cruising around the Burgh and eating at our favorite taco spots!
Such a special thank you to everyone involved. You either fed us our favorite tacos or you made us look good. 🥰
Totopo Mexican Kitchen and Bar
Edgars Best Tacos in Pittsburgh
Emiliano's Mexican Restaurant & Bar
La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans
Baby Loves Tacos
You want to inspire people so much they just can’t wait to come back and see more from you. First it was blogging, then it was photography and though photography will always be a necessity and totally relevant in marketing, video has now taken over the marketing world.
Creating connections and content that matters is what you need to do. This marketing film highlights three of Pittsburgh best entrepreneur collaborating and sharing their talents.
This marketing film is a recent can release host at Urban Taproom in partnership with Hitchhiker Brewing. We take you inside for a taste of the atmosphere, chats with the owners, brewers and of course the guests!
There is no secret to success. Yet, I can give you the answer.
You are a media company before you are xyz. You live in an age of content creation. If you are not creating media for your brand, you do not exist.
Let Laure Early founder of Early: Media Collective share the answer with you.
You can seriously have the BEST idea ever, with the BEST map ever, with the BEST intentions and if you do not have a solid plan of execution, you will fail. It simply does not matter how pretty the site is or how gorgeous the photos are or how educational the video is; if you have poor execution of whatever it is your are trying to get noticed for, you are not going to like the results.
I think one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when they are formulating their strategy is not to have a damn good execution strategy. What does that even mean? It means that all the hard work you put into all the stuff had to do to build your business needs to have a top-notch launching, branding, social media scheduling, sustainability and growth execution plan.
Ask yourself this: what strategy do you have in place to announce to the world that you have just come up with the BEST service or product that is about to change lives? Once you have launched said strategy, what strategy do you have in place to execute consistent growth, visibility, audience and community building? Once you get that going full steam ahead, what strategy do you have in place to execute sustainability?
Oof. Those are really big questions, right??
When we work with our clients, we instill a 3-tiered approach:
Branding their business personally and professionally
Social media scheduling
Boots on the ground community building
That may seem simple, but the truth is we break that wayyyyyyyyyyy down with each of our clients. Some need super intense, start from scratch help. Some just need to have a drawing board to bounce things off of and others want a more collaborative experience. Our job is to figure out what each client needs and not only build a plan to make sure those needs are met, but to also ensure the proper execution plan is in place to make it all successful.
No matter how awesome your plans are, make sure that your execution plans are the most solid.
You may have heard of Melanie Mitro and Katy Ursta previously on my blog. I’ve known these dynamic, brilliant women for a few years now and honest-to-goodness…they just never cease to amaze me with their hustle. #whatiwanttobewhenigrowup
From Beach Body queens to social media mavens, these women know what they’re talking about when it comes to building a business. The latest venture is a female entrepreneur-focused community with the mission of bridging the gap between your idea and how to reach your own professional goals. Meet Chic Influencer! I can’t think of anything better than merging the 2 things I love so much: women and community.
We were hired by Chic Influencer for some film projects to help them get their message out there and it’s been a wild ride all the way. They get it, you guys: if you want to build your own roadmap to success, that includes a dedication to film, photography and putting yourself out there openly, honestly and with a consistency that is full force. In today’s media-driven, I-want-it-now, in-your-face-24/7 entrepreneurial world, you have to be adept at using all resources available to you so that YOU are who everyone is talking about.
That’s where we come in.
It has allowed us to open up our services to an entirely new population that we had never tapped into before. Helping entrepreneurs solve their biggest problems (how to get noticed and take that recognition all the way to the bank) has rejuvenated a whole new part of my brain that was just waiting to get tagged in.
We’re problem solvers. That’s what we do.
I think sitting down, hearing the stories behind the epiphanic brainchildren that each of our clients so desperately want to bring to life, and then coming up with an individualized plan of attack to make those dreams come true is the most fun for me. The most rewarding is being on their team and watching as they turn those late night, in-your-head conversations-for-one come to a level of fruition even they never dreamed of.
I guess 15 years and going strong as successful entrepreneurs has its benefits! Now it’s time to pass all of it onto you.
Anyone have a problem that needs solved?
Build it and they will come. That no longers works. Upload content daily and they will become engaged fans. Upload (YOU TV) a.k.a videos about you and your business and they will become clients/shoppers/customers.
OK--so 'round these parts this is *kind of* a new concept. Well, at least the way we do this is kinda new. If you're an entrepreneur of a small business then you know how difficult it is to get your name out there. I know a lot of you "pay to play" with paid advertising and Google Ads and the sort. But I'm about to drop a bit of wisdom on you here so pay attention...
Consistency beats anything else you can do any day of the week.
Yep! If you can be consistent in your marketing, you will not need advertising. Yes, that means Instagram, Facebook, blogging and any other platform that is relevant to your business. Here's why: search engines CRAVE fresh, new material because they know that is what people want. So their little bots are crawling all over the place 24 hours a day looking for material that is new to keep pushing to the top of searches. Wouldn't you LOVE to be the one pushed to the top? Guess what? You can be. All you have to do is consistently put new material out and you will get pushed to the top. That's how I topped off Google organically for YEARS for my boudoir photography. I have never once paid for placement. All I did was feed the bots exactly what they wanted allllll the time.
Here's another tidbit for you:
Facebook and Instagram (IGTV), with Twitter pushing this more and more, are going to try and go to all video within the next 2 years to compete with Youtube.
What does this mean? This means you are going to have to rearrange your thought process when it comes to priorities on your sites and social media. Everyone believes that photography is the number one thing needed for a site, but in fact, video is quickly surpassing that. What does that mean? That means you need to invest in video.
Yes--I know what you're thinking but hear me out. You want to tell me that either you or someone you know invested THOUSANDS of dollars for a super-overly-curated film that you posted one time and it did nothing for you.
I'm not surprised and here's why: because posting one thing, whether $1 or $10,000 in cost, will not bring anyone to you. Once they find you somehow and end up on your site they may watch your super duper expensive film, but the point is to GET THEM TO YOU with your social media and branding.
This brings me back to my original point: consistency. Can you do this with photography? Yes, you can. Ideally, you want to do it with both photography and films but remember I just told you the future is films.
So, how does Media get you consistency without breaking your bank? First off, you should know that we approach our pricing and our style in a more blue-collar kind of way. We don't mind getting our hands dirty, so we are super hands-on with our clients. We are team players and it's really the brainstorming, creativity and the running and gunning that does it for us, so we're in it to win it with you. Most desirable to you, I suspect, is that our pricing is blue collar as well. Just got interesting, right?
So, our approach obviously has to center around the tips I just mentioned above: video and video consistency. We know you don't have $10,000/mo for us to curate 2 to 4 films a month for you, but you do need 2 to 4 films a month in order to blast social media and search engines consistently so that you not only get up in searches, but you also start to gain followers. Followers = audience. Audience = more visibility and more sharing. This all translates into money for you by way of picking up new customers and clients. So, although we definitely do hit and runs with one-film-and-done if that's what you want, our desire is to help you build an archive of films for you to be able to pull from, repost and use in multiple ways on multiple platforms over a 6 month to year-long relationship. We typically take clients that hire us for 2 to 4, 1 to 2-minute films per month. Once you have your arsenal films it's then up to you whether you need to keep us in your pocket or fly free for a while.
Iceland, your weather beat me up. Seriously, I have never been tossed around by wind like that before.
Iceland, you had me experience every shade of gray under God‘s great creation.
Photographically, I want my work not to be typical. Did my best to stay away from anything touristy spent my days in the remotest parts that I could find.
Here is a quick edit of a few.
Its been a great week of creativity & collaboration. I am thankful for the quality of the people that I get to work with.
The power of pause.
In an age where media is more often than not tearing us apart, can you imagine a technology platform to help us make real social connections? In turn, which leads to having conversations that connects us to each other.
Meet Jordan Corcoran founder of Listen, Lucy.
"Listen, Lucy is an outlet where people can express themselves, creatively. Post and read contributions from people who have something to say. Listen, Lucy's main goal is to give everyone someone to lean on during difficult times."
Please turn down the noise in your world today and take some time to digest the message that Jordan is sharing.
My “ask” of you today is to share this film with somebody who needs it.
Rebrand yourself to stay relevant. The world is changing. The world has changed. However, you earn your income that is not what you do. You are a media company before you are ... x?
The Attention Economy is flooded with noise. Stop fighting to be heard. The Persuasive Economy is the NOW. Tell your story. Your story matters. The narrative is everything. Traditional “whatever-thinking” has gone away. The new dawn of business that we live in is arising anew every day. I love that. Create your market.
Stop throwing spaghetti at the wall. Consistency is what sticks.
Fast forward to the pain. If I do not do this ...? I will not achieve this ...?
I create marketing films. Films that have persuasive designs built into them.
I blend wit and wisdom, education and entertainment, heart and mind...I help you communicate the best of you to the world.
Sunday morning. The house is cold. On my second cup of coffee. Everything is quiet except for the dryer. Pick up a book to fill my time. My wife left for work. My daughter sleeps. My thoughts leave the page. Need to write something in my journal.
Confronting the dull ache of being bored. Artist seeking a sense of awe. I wonder what it would be like to... That is the starting point for creating something new. New, my favorite of all the creations.
Been thinking about this story that was told to me last week. The story of the restoration of a single life. Imagine what if your life was at the end then suddenly it wasn't. The mystical bugger of grace stepped into your life, yet you would never really know for sure. Why? Drugs. Drugs that were flowing through your veins. Not the drugs of a junkie the drugs of a slow drip from a clear bag on a stainless steel stand to the left of your hospitable bed.
Obedience, messenger and promise are the only words you can use to describe this sense of wonder.
I wonder what it would be like to... I was told that is the most powerful sentence one can say to themselves. It's a sentence in which all you have to do is allow yourself to have a sense of awe.
I got an idea. What if the future is yours? Now you have to do something about it.
My daughter awakes. I can hear her footsteps as she comes down the stairs to me.
I wonder what I will make her for breakfast?
We are becoming more and more like machines. We have to produce in real time. Just the fact that real-time is now part of our language is proof enough.
Today, the work of the artist is countercultural to the emerging world view.
The artist asks us to slow down, stop, reflect, pause and to be moved to what's in front of you. The artist asks you to question traditional narratives, to slow down and make meaning in what you observe. You can not achieve this in real-time. You will need to take your time.
Much of the real-time commercial works focus on fear and tearing each other apart online. Red vs. blue, me vs. you, us vs. them, walls vs. bridges. We are training each other to fear and reject.
Art asks you to stop and reflect.
Let go of the conventional norm so that you/we can learn to experience what is arising at this moment.
The answers are only good if they bring forth new ideas, thought and better questions.
Do not give up on being human, yet.
1) Networking is not randomly handing out business cards to strangers at an event hoping to get jobs. Networking is building relationships and making new connections. Networking is building your local community so that in turn you can help others grow while your business grows.
2) See & Be Seen. Most likely at this point in your career, you are working out of a single city or regional area. This is where networking can/will grow your business fast. People will recommend/refer somebody that they have made a personal connection with way before somebody they simply follow on Facebook.
3) Taking Social Media to the Street. Yes, social media is crucial to building your audience, yet as in tip #2, you are selling locally. Having 10k fans on social media is great but if you live in Miami and your followers are spread out over the globe, that does nothing for putting money in your bank account. Act global, think local.
4) There is the famous statement by Kevin Kelly that talks about only needing "1,000 true fans" to be a working artist. For building a local business I am telling you 100 true connections locally will take you far. In truth, a tribe of 10 trusted friends/connection that recommends and refer you will grow your business exponentially faster than any amount of ad money you could spend on the local level.
5) Let us get into the how. Find two different groups locally to be part of. This may (it will) take time & experimenting to find the right fit for you. Find a group that is solely entrepreneurial focused. I recommend using the website Meetup.com to find a networking group in your city. Second, find a group that is a social/fun/community focused. It could include any interests of your own: hobbies, running club, community clean-up...you get the point.
6) This next one is hard for people to grasp. You do not need to network with others in the same business as you. Yes, it is important to have a small group of friends that you can recommend and refer work to each other. They are trying to build there own business. This is where social media is great if you love chatting with other photographers because you can join a group. When it comes to networking locally you want to be known to everyone in the community. Florists, hairstylists, restaurant owners, startups will refer business your way before long before advertising will work.
7) What to do at a networking event? Listen, learn, share, offer advice. Do not complain or gossip; networking is not business therapy. Show up consistently. Attending consistently will put you on the local map. This is where most people fail at networking. They show up once or twice, hand out some business cards and get nothing. Again, networking is community building, not high-pressure sales.
8) It's a great way to find a mentor or become a mentor to somebody else in the community. There are all aspects of our business that we struggle with and there are all aspects of our business that we excel at. Share your strengths with others and do not be afraid to share your weakness with others. People who consistently show up to networking events are the people who care about growing your community and your business.
9) Side projects & collaborations: You have a skill that others do not. You can create exceptionally... We live in a visual and online world; a great photo is King. Your iPhone can grow you local-connections: When you go to an event, take your camera. Document the event. Take a couple of group shots. After the event upload 5 to 10 photos to social media making sure to tag the people in the photos. Right there you have contributed to their business giving them something to share and talk about and at the same time spreading the message about your business.
10) Create, connect & grow: Blending social media with local networking. Can you imagine walking into a room and people walking up to you telling you how much they enjoy following your work online?
This is successful networking: blending your online work with real life.
“No matter how far you may dig into the the depths of your soul, eventually you will come out an asshole” -Norman Mailer. Great things come out of shit. Remember that. -Me
In the art world, if you are not failing then you are stealing someones else’s work.
This is the story of “lessons in accidental success.”
Failure is an odd word. Failure is often used when “not showing up” is the accurate word choice. In life we have morals, ethics, sin and grace, yet there is no failure in nature, so why do we place it into our man-made-culture? Is a volcano a failure? Is a melting iceberg a failure? It’s all process. Perfection is found in the doing. Creative human beings: it’s an oxymoron. Drop the word being, drop the word creative…human defines the process.
Doing or not doing. That’s it…nothing, no others words (or judgment) needed.
The photos in this post today all came out of a failed project. For weeks I had conceived this composition in my mind. A multiple exposer of light, water, architecture and 30 seconds of time. I set up my gear, composed my shot, hit the shutter and then was saddened by my own creation. Discipline of repetition for the next twenty shots I reframed, refocused and still nothing but failure.
After giving up on the original idea, I gave myself a “create” test. Go for a walk, but every shot must be accomplished using the multiple exposer technique. With a blend of inspiration and hunger I stumbled into lucky accidents in success.
If you’re not growing then you’re dead. Art is dead without mistakes. Beautiful accidents in success. Picasso knew that, Miles Davis knew that. There is joy in repetition only when you f’ up. The mysteries are only revealed in the searching. Grace does not come to those who ask. Grace only shows her face in the times of struggles.