Intro To The Photography Marketing Masters Podcast
Nigel kicks off the Photography Marketing Masters podcast with a brief introduction and reasons why the podcast exists...
Hi there – I’m Nigel Merrick, and I want to thank you for joining me for the very first episode of the Photography Marketing Masters daily podcast. Each day, I’ll be interviewing the most interesting and exciting professional photographers, expert marketers, and motivational speakers about what it really takes to create a successful photography business today.
One of the things I’m most excited about (and, to be honest at this stage, a little scared too) is that I’ll be producing a new 30-minute episode for you every day. That means you’ll have a constant supply of marketing and business ideas to listen to in the car, at the gym, while out walking, or during any activity where you could use an added dose of inspiration.
Does that sound interesting to you?
If so, keep listening, and I’ll explain more about the podcast and a little bit about me, Nigel Merrick.
First, why did I decide to create this show?
In fact, someone actually told me I must be quite mad to commit to creating a daily podcast, and they might be right, but and there is that old saying that goes “only mad dogs and Englishmen”, right?
In all seriousness, though, it’s obviously a lot of work to organize and produce a podcast once a week, let alone every single day, but I enjoy a good challenge, and it sounds like a fun and interesting journey to embark on.
One thing is certain – I am not going to be bored or lost for something to do!
The idea for this podcast originated partly out of my own frustrations. Like many people these days, I spend way too much time in my car, and I decided a long time ago that it was the perfect place to go back to school, as it were. Simply hook up an iPod to the car’s audio system, download some great podcasts, and hey presto! It’s education on the go. I think it was Zig Ziglar who first coined the term “automobile university” but I can tell you from experience that it was one of the best things I ever did.
In fact, I think the rest of my family are still under the impression that the radio in my car is broken and that I can’t be bothered to get it fixed for some reason. The upside is that they’re all marketing experts now, too, whether they wanted to be or not!
There’s just one problem with this – it didn’t take too long to run out of episodes to listen to, and I was amazed at just how few podcasts there are dedicated specifically to photography business and marketing.
So I thought it would be a great idea to start a new podcast – one that would have enough content to keep even the most avid listener busy for quite some time.
As if I don’t already have enough to do managing the Zenologue marketing blog and running my Prime Focus coaching program!
But hey, if it gives me the perfect excuse not to have to get outside to mow the lawn, who am I to complain?
Of course, there are other great reasons to do this – for one thing, it’s a wonderful alternative to the written words on the marketing blog. Audio continues to be the medium of choice for many people, and the podcast is the perfect way to satisfy that need.
MP3 files are also highly portable – you can take them almost anywhere, for example while relaxing by the pool, or out walking the dog.
And then there are the amazing guests that I’ll be featuring on these podcasts.
Have I got some awesome folks lined up for you already!
But one of the ironic things about my featured guests is that many of them are so successful that they’re way too busy to spend time actually documenting in detail the factors that have contributed to that success.
While they may be well known to us in the industry, this podcast will make you feel as if you’re actually sitting right there with them, able to learn, first-hand, about what they’re doing right, some of the mistakes they made in the past that we can avoid, and the reasons behind why they chose specific strategies.
But here’s the really important thing.
Success in the photography business, any business really, is not due to one or two factors, nor does it happen overnight.
Despite the abundance of seemingly-magic systems for sale across the Internet, there really is no silver bullet or superhero special power that can transform your business into an overnight success, allowing you to make money with no work, while you sleep or bask in the sunshine on the beach.
As you’ll see from many of my guests, the idea of any overnight success in business is really an illusion. Success, when it does happen, comes slowly and after much hard work and a process of trial and error. To those of us watching from the sidelines, though, it can give the impression that it just happened all by itself because we can’t see all the hard work, sweat and tears they had to endure on their journey.
That reality doesn’t stop all kinds of misinformation from popping up like weeds all over the Internet. I guarantee that you’ll find conflicting opinions and advice on all aspects of marketing – one blog post tells you to do email marketing, while another says it’s a waste of effort. Facebook advertising is both dead and alive at the same time, depending on who you choose to believe. And don’t get me started on how many different views there are about the right way to do SEO for a photography website!
It’s clearly a mess out there – and it’s no wonder photographers are confused about what they should be doing to give them a better chance of success.
Another reason for me to start this podcast is that I believe it’s worth paying attention only to those strategies and tactics that have been proven to work – the rest are really little more than someone’s opinion, whereas true success is not an opinion, but an actual fact.
And it’s hard to argue with the facts.
I also believe in keeping things simple. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to wrestle with a marketing strategy that’s so complex that it ties our brains up in knots just thinking about it.
The way I look at it, if our marketing seems complicated to us, how in the world must it look from the customer’s perspective? No wonder so many of these hairbrained schemes fail to work.
So, my promise to you with this podcast is to try to keep everything as simple as possible to understand and put into practice.
No fluff, no useless filler, and certainly no BS.
So what about me? Now, I don’t want to fill this up with my life story as it’s nowhere near as interesting as the one Sir Richard Branson has, and that one’s already taken, so here’s a very brief rundown for you.
I’m originally from Wolverhampton in the UK, near Birmingham, and my original career (after graduating from Manchester University with a degree in botany, which turned out not to be the best choice for career-growth) was in IT as a programmer, systems analyst, and project manager. I was a little shy as a kid, and probably would have been voted in class as the one least likely to start a daily podcast, although the word podcast wasn’t even invented back then. There was no such thing as an iPod when I was at school and, as I recall, an apple was something that my nan would turn into a delicious pie.
In 1994, I left the UK for a programming job at a bank in Bermuda, and spent almost 6 years SCUBA diving while working for the bank in my spare time, or was it the other way around? In 2000, I took a literal leap of faith straight into the deep end by moving to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt to become a SCUBA instructor and start an underwater photography business – what a change that was! From there, I somehow ended up in the Cayman Islands and then back to the UK in 2003 to go through the somewhat painful process of applying for a visa to live here in the USA. I landed in Memphis in 2004 to start up a portrait and wedding photography business, married my wife Kathy in 2007, and became a full-time marketing coach in 2011 after I realized that I was still in love with IT, SEO, websites, blogging, and all that geeky-type technical stuff.
Some of my clients still find it strange that I love to play at the things they hate doing, like search engine optimization.
And so, here we are, in 2014, at the start of another new venture in the form of this exciting podcast. In some regards, the feeling is very similar to the one I had the first time I stood on the back of a boat with a metal cylinder strapped to my back, and 3000 feet of water underneath me, full of things that looked a lot like sharks…
I’m sure that this ride will be just as amazing, exciting, and illuminating, and I can’t wait.
Again, I want to thank you for joining me here at Photography Marketing Masters. It’s my sincere hope that you will not only enjoy listening to the great interviews I have planned for you, but that you’ll be inspired each and every day to drive yourself and your business further than you ever thought possible to enjoy the success I know you deserve.
If you do find value in this podcast then I ask only one favor – please click the subscribe button and give the show a 5-star rating on iTunes. Your support will help the show to gain traction and reach as many people as possible. In turn, we’ll be able to share this free resource of knowledge with professional photographers everywhere, with the goal of elevating our industry to the level of respect it so rightly deserves.
It’s time to put the word “professional” back into professional photography.
Thanks for listening, and in the next episode I’ll be talking with renowned portrait photographer Rod Evans from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, about how he uses Instagram to help promote his business.
Until then, stay focused!