Platform: Get Noticed In a Noisy World – Part 2

Launching your platformReady to Launch? Last week we talked about creating a new product, what the product looks like, some ideas about the product, and how to present the product with WOW. As we continue with part two we talk about wanting a product and so we talk about finding our goals and were in then making them bigger. as we begin to launch we must remember that we are allowed to dream big. Think about what you want your product to be, now think bigger! It’s ok to think big! A crucial part about dreaming big is writing those dreams down and holding yourself accountable. What I wrote down for my dream: My wife won’t have to work any more, I will have more time with my family and to work with different ministries.  I will speak at conventions like imaging USA, I will be recognized in the community for my web design efforts and the sites that I design, and I will be called upon by companies such as Adobe as an expert in so that I can influence industry and help educate photographers and small business owners.
“Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it.” ― David J. Schwartz, Magic Of Thinking Big”
Next, Hyatt reminds us that if we are to succeed at our dream we have to remember what’s at stake if we fail. What’s at stake for me? My family, my family’s ability to have the great lifestyle where we can enjoy time together (right now I work the days, and my wife works at night).  Also at stake is the business. If I don’t do well, if I don’t succeed with my dream then Chiseled Images will fail and I have to go back to working away from my family and away from my clients. What’s required For my dream to come true?  I have to write great content on my website. I have to write blog articles that educate and that do something for my readers. If I’m not showing, I have any knowledge in this area than I’m never going to grow the business beyond just trading time for money.  Next I have to develop better social skills. It’s super hard for me network. I’m not a network worker by trade. I like sitting at my computer and working alone, I like coding, I like retouching images, I like just me and me, so it’s definitely hard for me to work with my clients and be the point person ( I still love you guys 🙂 ). Also, I need to start speaking, probably at small local groups like the local PPA. I need to study and write more. I need to stay up-to-date with all the latest web technologies, photography equipment, with all the new trends, and with all that I need to know in order to speak and educate. I need to write and need to get this content out.   I need to reach out and step out of my comfort zone and I need to get over myself. I need to go beyond what I normally do and not restrict myself. Finally, we need to to determine when these goals will happen. This is part of why I’m doing this, I’ve got hold myself accountable and be transparent with you guys about building your platform. Dates for my dreams: wife out of work by January 2015.  I’ve got to admit that’s probably a copout, that should be far less than that but I don’t want to fail and I’m afraid to say anything less (I know, I know..just being honest). Next I want to speak at Imaging USA by 2016. That gives me a couple years to find exactly what my niche is going to be and what I want my education to focus on.  Being recognized as a leader will hopefully follow soon after as well.
“Wonderful things happen when you commit something to writing”
In Chapter 10, Hyatt talks about defining platform goals and again actually defining what you are evaluating  is crucial. My platform (this is our Platform, not our product) will have about a couple thousand Facebook followers with interactions. I want to have a community of followers and fans on Facebook who are commenting on articles and who are growing together. The number doesn’t matter, but remember we are trying to make clear definitions and I think a couple thousand is reasonable. My platform would continue on my blog where I would love to get up to about three posts a week with one post being being original content that I come up with and the other two can be tutorials on webdesign or portrait retouching,  but I want to be somebody that’s creating content in industry not just copying and pasting.  I would love to have a weekly podcast on studio business and what matters in the industry.  Continual interaction with potential clients on Facebook, Twitter, blog, conferences, or other places. Also with my platform, people would share what I have to say.  I would create content that interests people, educates them, and gives them something they want to share with friends.   Finally my platform is ranked on Google or other search engines where people who search for post-production, design, consulting, etc are finding my services. Moving on Hyatt talks about the elevator pitch.  The elevator pitch can be extremely crucial, especially for business like mine.   If you saw me at imaging USA in Atlanta this year, I was walking around the tradeshow floor with cards handing them out to individuals. I would stop people I saw walking the  floor, ask them if they would take one of my cards, and tell them in a couple seconds about what services I offer.   That’s all that face time I had. When I get a chance to talk about my services I often have to quickly explain what my services are about and what I can offer them. My elevator pitch for Chiseled Images:  We offer a complete back-office solution for photographers.  Many photographers have a hard time doing everything alone, but hiring employees takes too much time and money.  However we manage and take care of all of a photographers workflow and production needs by offering post-production, graphic design, web design, consulting, and training without the need for a photographer to hire an employee.  A studio owner simply tells us what they need done, and we make it happen. Chapter 14 talks about securing raving endorsements.   I’ve started work on this myself.  Testimonials are big thing. Testimonials are big thing. Did you get that? Testimonials are a big thing!  Testimonials should go on your website, on Facebook, and on other marketing materials.   We should also encourage our customers to post testimonials on websites like Google +, Yelp, Angie’s list, or other local search directories.  Testimonials are where people are finding businesses these days.  With the social world revolving around sites like Facebook. People are going to go with what their friend told them.  For me I reached out to several people this week to secure endorsements for my own business.  I even reached out to Lori Nordstrom for an endorsement.  Lori is one of the most talented photographers in our industry, a great educator, and I really think her goals for the photography industry align with mine very well. We also talk a lot on her forum, the PhotoTalk Forum.  Although Lori and I have not done actual business together, we interact a fair amount on the forum and work together to help members out.  From our interactions together, she was able to openly give me an endorsement about my desire to help others.  It meant a lot to me, that she was willing to do so and for no compensation from me (in fact I then asked her for more so I could give some stuff away on my blog… more on that to come soon).  But it also means a lot to people visiting my website. They now see Lori Nordstrom’s photo and  quote showing her endorsement and that can mean the world to some people.  I encourage you to think about people who you have worked or interacted with even on what seems to be a small level.  Don’t be afraid to reach out. Don’t be afraid to dream.  Don’t be afraid to define your goals.  Don’t be afraid to asks for endorsements.  Stop being afraid, and get prepared to launch!

Discussion:

-What are your goals? Are you willing to write them out and share? -What’s your biggest fear about launching your product?

Resources:

The Magic of Thinking Big How to Secure Raving Endorsements for Your Product or Service

Homework due for Next Week!

  • Read Part 3- Chapters 17-32 (it’s only 60 pages in a week. Gazelle intesity 🙂
  • Setup or find someone to help setup your blog
  • Begin thinking of Blog posts ideas
  • Think about what has prevented you from blogging in the past
  • Sit down with a client or friend and have them look at your site. Note their reactions and what you might want to change.