Why We Built Ciderr. (Hint: It’s Not About The Money)

This post is inspired by Simon Simek.  Simon is a speaker who talks about the “why.”

He analyses famous leaders like Martin Luther King Jr, Steve Jobs, and the like.  What he found was they focused on the “why”.

 

So WHY did we build Ciderr?

 

Yes, in the short-run I would be lying if I didn’t say it was because we wanted a registry for our photography business.

We were increasing our prices, building a premium photography brand, and at the same time getting bombarded with emails every week with people who LOVED our photography but couldn’t afford it.

 

We were wanting to continue to build a premium brand but it got exponentially harder the more we increased our prices.  Let’s also be realistic: We had bills to pay.

Gift cards seemed cheap, out-dated, and above-all a logistical nightmare (keeping track of lost cards, dealing with the mail, all leading to more email which is not what the goal was).

 

So why did we want to build a premium photography business?

Because we wanted to offer a premium product.  To do that we wanted and needed to shoot less, but make more.  A registry accomplishes this.

 

So why did I say “It’s Not About The Money” in the title of this post?

Because ultimately, the reason we wanted to shoot less and make more was because we wanted to spend more time with our family.  More quality time with our friends.  Less time (and money) spent marketing trying to get clients.

 

If any of this sounds like you, I suggest you give ciderr a try.  For the month of March we our giving all new members our Marketing Toolkit (which we sell for $97.00) for free.

 

 

 

 

read more

Technology That Changed Lives (And The Thought Of Living Without Them Now)

Scott Wyden Kivowitz of Photocrati Media was gracious enough to write a fantastic blog post about technology and how it has benefited society,

Scott is a friend, fellow photographer and advocate of ciderr.  Note, to get a free month of ciderr’s cheapest plan use code: photocrati

Enter Scott:

 

There are many technological advances that I could not imagine living with out now. In the article I’m going to talk about a few of them.

While I go through each one I want you to really think about if you could live without the specific device or software now. Could you imagine spending days on end without it…

Smart Phones

These devices do so much for us, in addition to making a phone call (they still do that?). They act as a quick note pad that you type on or speak to. They remind us when tasks should be completed and wake us up in the morning with what could sometimes be rather disturbing tones. They navigate us to the restaurant and tell us if we should wear our jackets or bring a scarf.

My smart phone tells me when I’ve been working too much and need a break and some stretching. It tells me how many calories I’ve burned during the after-dinner walk with my wife.

My smart phone is a device I would not want to live without. Could I manage? Sure! Do I want to? Nope.

Tablets

This one might be debatable but I’m bringing it up anyway because for many business people and teachers a tablet has become a true life changing device.

There was a time (and I guess some still do this) where people would hand write their notes during meetings. Now with fancy Wacom stylus’ and apps like Penultimate, Evernote, Notes and so many others, there is no reason to waste paper and ink to take notes. Heck, purchase a dictation app and let it take notes for you.

Teachers are using tablets on a daily basis. I’ve seen music teachers use it for music sheets and special needs teachers use it for helping children with autism learn new skills.

Could each of these people go with out? Sure, but why when the technology is improving the way we work and live.

I use my tablet on a daily basis to read, check email, clear my head with a video game or to catch up on funny YouTube videos. Could I live without it? Sure, I could pick up a paper book, and use my computer for the rest. But I enjoy the simplicity. I enjoy taking notes and drawing on my iPad.

Facebook

I enjoy Facebook even through their terms of service changes every time the moon shows itself. The only reason I like Facebook and wouldn’t ever want to delete my account is simple. My family and friends are there. People I do not see often are there. It’s the most efficient way for me to stay on top of what is happening in everyone’s lives without making phones calls every day. I’d be on the phone for hours instead of a few quick views of my Facebook stream.

Could businesses live without Facebook? Possibly, but half of the world is in Facebook, so should they? Probably not.

Skype

I use Skype for business and for personal things. I am in text chat sessions with my Photocrati co-workers throughout each day. Once a week we meet for an all-hands meeting through Skype’s voice call. Could we live without Skype? Sure we’d have to find a different solution. Should we live without Skype? No, it works for our needs.

Could other businesses live without Skype? Of course! Many have moved on to Google Plus because of their Hangout feature. Heck even Photocrati uses Hangouts for webinars and podcasts.

I use Skype for personal things like chatting with friends and family around the world. Imagine traveling for business or pleasure and wanting to see your children. Before Skype there was really no inexpensive way to do it. Not you can see your children for free. Why would you ever want to give that up?

Google Plus

Still kind of a newcomer in the social media world, Google Plus has a huge community of photographers and many of my friends are there. It’s a great place to be inspired, learn something new and of course Hangout through a video chat.

Like Skype, it is free and another way to communicate with those you have to or want to. The only way I would give Google Plus up is if they shut the service down like they do so many other products.

WordPress

Last, but definitely not least, is WordPress. Also a business and pleasure thing, WordPress has made the lives of so many people easier. Before it blogging wasn’t fun and there was no community to inspire and encourage blogging. Now it all exists, and someone can think of and launch a new WordPress website in minutes. (ok 5 minutes but who is counting)

Photocrati is a WordPress based company as we make a theme and plugins for photographers using the content management system. Could we survive without it? Sure, but we’d have to find a new platform to design our software for.

What about companies like Starbucks who use WordPress for their internal company websites? Or places like a YMCA who are using WordPress to drive their member checkins using an application built off on WordPress. (Matt talked about this during his 2013 State of the Word)

Could businesses do without WordPress? Sure, but it makes their lives easier so why should they?

There are also many families that blog using WordPress, so other family members can read what’s been going on and to see pictures they post. There are people who just keep an online journal of their lives, using WordPress. Could they do without? Totally… but why?

In Closing

These technologies are not all new, but so many of them have changes the world forever. I know I wouldn’t want to live without them.

I’d love to hear what technology you also wouldn’t want to live without. Please comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

read more

Guest Post: Content Marketing & Remarketing for Photographers

We have our very first guest post from Scott Wyden Kivowitz.  Scott is extremely passionate about photography and helping photographers become successful.  Without further ado:

The business of photography has evolved over the years, and websites are becoming one of the effective means to market to potential clients. Having the right WordPress portfolio theme is only one step of an overall photographer’s marketing scheme.

Once your website is designed, portfolio is complete and blog is filled with educational content, it is time to start marketing your brand. An awesome way to go about it is by using content marketing and then remarketing.  Here is what to do.

Step 1:  Gather Your Articles
Take your best content, and most educational to potential clients.  Compile them into an eBook using Word, Pages, Keynote or whatever document publishing software you prefer.  Use your photographs (of course) to enhance the eBook.

Step 2: Gather Your Leads
Use Mailchimp to gather email addresses in exchange for a free eBook (the one you just created).  Use the Mailchimp autorespond feature to distribute the eBook to the new leads.

Step 3: Content Marketing Complete
Guess what, you have just completed your first round of content marketing.  Next is to remarket your brand to the new leads.

Step 4: Monthly Touch
Once a month, send an email to every lead that you have captured.  Make sure you send additional tips and educational content.  You can even send “coupons” for those who have downloaded the eBook. Be creative but not too promotional.  The goal of remarketing is so the prospective client remembers your brand.

Step 5: Remarketing Continues
Don’t end the touches after a few months.  Keep them going as your list organically grows.  Remarketing takes time, but when a lead converts to a customer it is well worth it in the end.

In Conclusion
As you have read in this article, content marketing and remarketing is not difficult for photographers.  In addition, it is no expensive as Mailchimp has a fantastic freemium program.  One thing to keep in mind while setting up the process is SEO for photographers, because without having your site at the top of search engines, it will be more difficult to find.  There is a free (and educational) SEO for photographers eClass available, for those interested in learning more about reaching for the first position.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

Scott Wyden Kivowitz is a New Jersey Photographer sharing his passion for photography any way he can. Scott regularly hosts photowalks in New Jersey and loves educating other photographers on all aspects of the art. Scott is also the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati  and the Photographers SEO Community, teaching other photographers on how to increase business with their website.

read more

Turning Costs into Profits

EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT YOUTUBE by Jasmine Star on Turning Costs into Profit Centers – this is EXACTLY how we view Ciderr – IT MAKES YOU MORE MONEY!  It’s an investment with a VERY HIGH RETURN! 

read more

The Benefits of Membership

American Express is Fascinating

Think about it:

they have limited places where you can use their card

they charge merchangs a BIG premium for using American Express

merchant sales people (the people who sell the little boxes that you swipe your card through) generally can’t stand them

YET…

American Express is viewed as a significantly more succesfull company because their cardholders have higher incomes and they have a higher retention rate.  Even Warren Buffett invested in them. 

Why is this?

The benefits of Membership – they are focused

American Express- providing extreme value to their cardholders

Costco – providing high quality goods and services at a significant discount

Dollar Shave Club – proving low-cost, high quality razors to their members monthly

All of these insitutions are focused exclusively on their members. 

Ciderr is exclusively focused on its members – wedding vendors!  We help wedding vendors create registry’s with their products and services.  This helps wedding vendors increase options they provide to their clients, and increase their profit.

read more