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316: Easton Reynolds – How to maximize your marketing and target your ideal client using Facebook Ads

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Episode 316 of the Business of Photography Podcast, powered by Sprout Studio. Helping you build a thriving business doing what you love.

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316: Easton Reynolds – How to maximize your marketing and target your ideal client using Facebook Ads

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Bryan Caporicci [00:00:03]:

Marketing. Your photography business can seem overwhelming. There are lots of great marketing channels, and digital marketing should certainly play a role in your overall strategy. Specifically, Facebook ads are an amazing tool that allow you to target the right people at the right time and get a great return on investment.

Easton Reynolds [00:00:23]:

One of the biggest mistakes I see photography do is they don’t put in the time and effort and energy to actually understand the engine that they’re working with right and the tools that they’re working with. And it’s just like any other industry. If you have no idea what your power tools do, if you’re trying to build a house, you’re not going to be very effective. It’s really about putting the time and energy and effort into seeing what is available and how powerful it actually is. The number one thing that you have to do is understand who your target writing. So a lot of people, when I ask them who their ideal client is or one of their ideal clients, they’ll just say, Brides in Philadelphia. It’s once you finally know what makes them tick and what they value and where they congregate that you can actually target them, then it becomes effective.

Bryan Caporicci [00:01:07]:

Easton Reynolds is the founder of the art of six figures as well as the art of the second shot. He’s also the co owner of Lou Ray Photography, a South Jersey based photography studio named Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the US. And Canada by SLR Lounge. Easton’s work has been featured in Rangefinder and Shutter magazine. He has taught for Adorama TV as well as WPPI. Today, Easton and I are talking about how to maximize your marketing and target your ideal client using Facebook ads. My name is Brian Caprici, and I’m the CEO and founder of Sprout Studio and your host here on the Sprouting Photographer podcast, where we share a conversation every Tuesday and every Thursday about the business of photography. We are here to inspire you, educate you, and give you the tools to profit and prosper so you can make a living doing what you love.

Bryan Caporicci [00:02:11]:

Welcome to Episode 316 of the Sprouting Photographer podcast. Thank you so much for inserting this podcast into your earbuds today. I know that there’s a lot of other choices for how you can educate yourself, other podcasts you can listen to, other great resources you can go to. And I really, really appreciate you coming here to our podcast, the Sprouting Photographer Podcast, to listen to us. Today’s episode is a great one. I love the topic of Facebook ads. It is such a powerful tool for getting new business, for expanding your awareness, for getting traction with your brand. There’s so much you can do with Facebook ads.

Bryan Caporicci [00:02:50]:

I know in my own photography business, I have used it for years with great success. With Sprout Studio, we use it with great success. With Sproutingphotographer.com, we use Facebook ads with great success. So I know from personal experience that Facebook ads are an incredible tool that photographers should be using. So today’s conversation with Easton from the Art of Six Figures is a great one and one that I’m really excited for you to get into, because we haven’t really talked a lot about Facebook ads. We’ve talked about engagement. We’ve talked about communities. We’ve talked about a lot of different things with social media, but not too much specifically as it relates to Facebook ads.

Bryan Caporicci [00:03:31]:

So let’s get into that conversation today with Easton about Facebook ads. If you want to find any of the links, any of the show notes, anything that Easton and I talk about in this conversation today, you can find them, as always, in our Show Notes page over@sproutingphotographer.com 3116. So with that, let’s get into this conversation with Easton Reynolds. Here we go. I’m joined today on the podcast with my friend Easton Reynolds from theartofsixfigures.com easton, what’s going on? Welcome.

Easton Reynolds [00:04:07]:

Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited, man. This is going to be good.

Bryan Caporicci [00:04:10]:

Yeah, this is we’re going to have such a fun I love this topic. I mean, like, Facebook advertising, it’s this whole ecosystem, this whole world of unlimited potential. And so often, it’s such a shame that photographers don’t take advantage of it the way that you could take advantage of it. So we’re going to simplify things for photographers. We’re going to dispel a whole bunch of myths and give them a foundation for a better system to succeed in Facebook ads today. Sound good?

Easton Reynolds [00:04:37]:

Yeah, absolutely.

Bryan Caporicci [00:04:38]:

I love it. Walk me through. How did you come to have such a passion for Facebook advertising and for teaching photographers about Facebook advertising?

Easton Reynolds [00:04:47]:

Yeah, so it’s kind of funny. I’m one of those weird people that I learn as soon as you give me a piece of the pie, I can normally go and bake the pie, but only in what I’m good at, right? So I had no idea that marketing was my thing until about two years ago when I put out my first course. I love Light, which is just teaching photographers the basics of off camera flash. And then my wife was like, hey, how are you going to sell that? I’m like, I don’t know. And I was like, you know what? Let me try this Facebook ad thing. I talked so much trash on it before because I was just know, I was just mad at Facebook because they know my organic reach. Whenever I post on my Facebook page, no one would see it anymore, and I got to pay for it. But I got over it.

Easton Reynolds [00:05:36]:

And what really started it for me was I would see ads on Facebook and I’d be like, okay. And then I would click it. And then after that, I’d be like, how did I get that email afterwards? How the heck did that happen? And then they’re still telling me, and then they know that I left their webinar, all these different things. And I’m like, okay, so there’s got to be some kind of science behind this. And I signed up for every ad that came through my feed, and I went through all their funnels and I went through all their emails and I read every single one. And I still do to this day because that is literally what has helped me launch into this whole thing.

Bryan Caporicci [00:06:15]:

Love it. So, for photographers that are looking to grow their business, I mean, obviously that’s where every photographer stands. And I think that it’s undeniable that using Facebook the way that we used to use Facebook is just not going to be a viable business model anymore. I remember when I first started in photography, eleven years ago, I guess even. Did we even have Facebook back then? I mean, I remember when we started getting into it and when I first started my page, I’d have 1000 people on there in my first couple of years. And I’d put a photo up there and 900 people would see it. Right, right. It used to be about engagement and content.

Bryan Caporicci [00:06:56]:

And I remember teaching Facebook to photographers where it’d be like, you have to ask questions and engage the community and do all these things. But now, Sprout Studio, we have a Facebook page of like 25,000 people. If I put an organic post up there, I’m lucky to have 1000 people see it. Like, you’re talking a percentage of the people that are on there that are actually seeing it. So that doesn’t work anymore. Right, exactly.

Easton Reynolds [00:07:20]:

Right. Yeah.

Bryan Caporicci [00:07:21]:

So is totally gone, the replacement of that? Is that like or I mean, I guess when you teach photographers about the mechanics of going through this, are you teaching Easton that you still do organic with ads, or do you do organic and then boost through ads, or do you just do ads? What would be your recommendation?

Easton Reynolds [00:07:40]:

Well, it’s a little bit of both. So with Facebook ads, there’s a lot of different options to be able to target your ideal. So Facebook kind of rewards you for sending people to your Facebook page because you’re keeping them on Facebook. So you can do ads that send people off of Facebook, but those generally cost a little bit more to do that. And we do a mixture of both. But at the end of the day, you do want to do both. You want to have your consistent posts going all the time and still be using those older school rules, if you will. And that’s just more of like your everyday grind.

Easton Reynolds [00:08:20]:

And then the Facebook ads are going to be able to drive people to see those things. And that’s where you can position whatever you’re talking about to have that language be relatable to whatever it is that they’re considering before they would actually reach out to you. Right.

Bryan Caporicci [00:08:40]:

So do you recommend the idea of looking at running a Facebook if you want to get into Facebook ads as a photographer, do you do it through coming up with promotional campaigns and then you kind of run a campaign, launch it, and then kind of close it out and go? Or do you have ongoing things, I guess what would be the thought process if a photographer was listening to us right now and they want to get started doing it? Let’s say that they are not already doing it to a great way. Where would they start? Do you define the purpose first? Do you just start throwing money at it? What would you recommend?

Easton Reynolds [00:09:17]:

Yeah, I mean, one of the biggest mistakes I see photographers do is they don’t put in the time and effort and energy to actually understand the engine that they’re working with. Right. And the tools that they’re working with. And it’s just like any other industry. If you have no idea what your power tools do, if you’re trying to build a house, you’re not going to be very effective.

Bryan Caporicci [00:09:37]:

Right.

Easton Reynolds [00:09:37]:

And it’s the same with this. So it’s really about putting the time and energy and effort into seeing what is available and how powerful it actually is. But we do a mixture of both things. There’s no right way, but I would say the number one thing that you have to do is understand who you’re targeting. So a lot of people, when I ask them who their ideal client is, or one of their ideal clients, they’ll just say brides in Philadelphia, right? And it’s like, okay, well, you can target that on Facebook, don’t get me wrong, but it’s going to cost you a heck of a lot of money because you’re just going to be targeting a bunch of people that aren’t even engaged or God knows what else. So it’s once you finally know what makes them tick and what they value and where they congregate that you can actually target them, and then it becomes effective. And once you really lock in your audience, you do maintain it, but you can kind of turn the ads on at will and run a new campaign with that audience and you’ll be good to go.

Bryan Caporicci [00:10:41]:

Talk to me about give me some examples just to kind of for, because I think you and I live in this space. So, I mean, I love Facebook ads. You love Facebook ads. We both use them to a great extent. But perhaps photographers listening don’t quite understand the depth that you can go with Facebook ads. What are some examples of a campaign or promotion or retargeting effort that you can do through Facebook ads just to kind of understand what this might look like without getting into the mechanics of how to do. But like, what’s a couple examples that maybe you can kind of point out?

Easton Reynolds [00:11:15]:

Yeah, so I think once you actually understand who you’re targeting and you know who your ideal client is, then you can actually start doing Facebook ads before that, there’s really no point. But once you’ve got that down, then you need to understand how you need to position your ads in the correct part of the consumer buying process, right? So we all go through this thought process when we realize that we want something or we have an issue, right? So for instance, you’re driving down the road, you get a flat tire, you now know you have a problem, right? So then you’re going to look for solutions, you’re going to find the right place, you’re going to then make that decision and then you’re going to feel some type of way about how it all went down. So what I like to tell people is, for instance, with brides, you know that when a bride gets engaged, she’s going to go on Facebook and select that she’s engaged, right, and update her status. Now she’s engaged, what is she going to do next? She’s probably going to look for a venue, a wedding venue. And if you can actually target with Facebook ads, local wedding venues, normally it’s the bigger ones, the smaller ones, they typically won’t be know, but the bigger ones will be on there and you can just target them. And for basically any bride that likes that Facebook page, then your ad’s going to show up to them. So now your ad is preemptively showing up before she even is ready to go for the photographer. And so if you position something that gives her value up front, then she is much more likely to actually reach out to you when the time comes for her to want to book.

Bryan Caporicci [00:12:57]:

Yeah, I love it. I’m actually in the process well, I can’t share too much about this, I’ll tease it. I’m in the process of writing a book actually for photographers about what I’m labeling as experience design. And it’s this idea of understanding with empathy what a customer is feeling and thinking and doing throughout that customer journey and then making sure that you’re giving them what they’re looking for at that point. And this sounds exactly like that, like you have to understand the customer first. You have to understand what’s going through their head, how are they feeling, what are they looking for, and then that literally points exactly to what you should be giving them at the different stages of the customer journey. So unless you do that homework first and understand it, you could be saying the right thing to the wrong people, the wrong thing to the right people, the wrong time to the right. So you really do have to understand that quite a bit better, I guess, to a pretty deeper extent.

Bryan Caporicci [00:13:59]:

I know one of the ways I’ve used Facebook just as another example for our listeners, one of the ways that I’ve used Facebook marketing for my photography business is I would retarget people who had been to my contact form, had filled it out, but were not clients of mine yet. So I would retarget them actually fairly heavily, and I would actually dump quite a bit of money into it. Because if they got actually, I think I also had that they had been on two other pages on my site, so if they had been to my portfolio, my services page, and then my contact form, and then the thank you page, that shows that that’s a pretty qualified buyer at that point. If they at least got in touch with me, if they hadn’t booked me, then I would just serve ads like crazy to them more on the trust building side of ads, just to kind of build that level of awareness with them. And I have booked so many brides just from that. I remember one bride, I tell the story when I teach marketing, the bride, after she had emailed me and she found out my prices, she said, yeah, I know you’re too expensive, so we’ll have to keep looking. I said, no problem. And then she emailed me like three weeks later and said, hey, can we get together? Yeah, sure.

Bryan Caporicci [00:15:08]:

And she ended up booking one of my highest packages. And after I signed the contract and got the deposit, I was like, hey, I’ve got to ask you, why did you decide to book me now after all this? I thought you said that I was too expensive and now you’ve just booked my highest package. And she literally told me, she said, after I told you that, I literally started seeing your stuff everywhere and it was almost as if you were following me. And I just took it as a sign that I had to book with you.

Easton Reynolds [00:15:35]:

That’s amazing. Right?

Bryan Caporicci [00:15:36]:

So she ended up booking with me and ended up being like an $11,000 booking and it was all because obviously I actually was following her because I was retargeting her through Facebook advertising. So that’s just another way that you can use it creatively to be in front of people at the right time when it makes sense for them.

Easton Reynolds [00:15:53]:

Yeah, and honestly, if you’re not retargeting, then you’re not fully utilizing the system either. They say that it takes like up to 13 touches now, which I think it used to be like eleven before somebody actually is convinced to take action. And so the remarketing is actually where most of your bookings come from. The original ads are more making them brand aware and overcoming objections and squashing hesitations and using language that they relate of. The one of the main case studies that we did for our Facebook ads courses we worked with Abigail Gingerale Photography, I think you guys had them on recently as so they were in a place where they had their wedding business going pretty strong. They were starting to launch a boudoir arm or branch and so they were messing around some Facebook ads. They weren’t really seeing too much success, but we started working together and what we did with them is what everybody needs to do. You need to understand your why, and it needs to be bigger than your pictures, and it needs to be from life experience.

Easton Reynolds [00:17:05]:

It needs to be the things in life that shaped, informed you. And most of the time, your ideal client is people that are most like you. And people miss that. They try to go in like, hey, all right, I need a client that’s going to make this much money and they live in this location. But that is not the most important things that you need to think of. And I get a little flak for this. But if you think about it this way, if you’re a hardcore Democrat, you’re probably not going to want to work with a hardcore Republican because it’s going to be a weird situation where you can’t talk about maybe the normal things that you would have talked about, your normal jokes or whatever. You’re walking on eggshells you don’t want to offend.

Easton Reynolds [00:17:45]:

And maybe you’re just complete different personalities and they’re not like jiving with you in any way, shape or form. So wouldn’t it be better to have people that were more like you, that you got along with, that you would normally be friends with kind of situation? It just makes the entire experience better for everybody. So with Abby and Andy, we put together this entire why behind what they do. And for those of you who don’t know them, you got to go check them out. But Abby got colon cancer and she is a powerhouse, man. She powered through it. She’s a cancer survivor. She has a permanent osteopine bag.

Easton Reynolds [00:18:22]:

And she did a Boudoir shoot where she was the one being photographed right around this time of launching their Boudoir brand. And it empowered her, it changed her life and it solidified her why even more for her. And then we put together client experiences and things like that, and they’re communicating now on the level that people actually understand. They understand the hesitations of a woman that would be considering doing a Boudoir session. And they understand that it’s not just about her self confidence. It’s also partly about what her husband or partner is going to think about those pictures. So now they can position that. And before, when we launched that campaign, we spent 106 dollarsfifty, one cents, and they got 285 leads in five days.

Easton Reynolds [00:19:14]:

They booked 21 clients on that Saturday alone. Before they were doing like a giveaway for a free shoot. These people were like, I don’t even care, just I want to book right now because of their why they connected to it so much. And that’s the real key to an effective ad, right?

Bryan Caporicci [00:19:33]:

So do you advocate for doing and just as a quick side note or I guess as an interruption to myself, I interrupted myself, we will link up Abby, Andy, because we did have them on the podcast. We’re going to be bringing them back on as well to talk about their Boudoir brand and what they’re doing there because they’re doing phenomenal things. And just an amazing couple. We sat and had dinner with them at, you know, six months ago. Amazing couple, and I love their story, so I definitely endorse that fully. When you’re planning out a Facebook ad strategy like that with a photographer that’s just getting going in it, do you advocate for doing the promotion type of ad? Like Book Now for a free session, book now for 20% off, or it sounds like with them, you had more of a story building, more of a rapport building, something like that. What’s your initial strategy? I know that’s kind of a broad question, but where would you typically start?

Easton Reynolds [00:20:27]:

Yeah, you have to have a why first. Please, guys, don’t do like, 20% off. Weding photography. No one cares. Seriously. You’ve given them no reason to care. They see those types of ads all day long. But, you’ll know, if you’re scrolling through Facebook, I know you all have clicked an ad, okay? And the reason why you clicked the ad is because it made too much sense to not click it.

Easton Reynolds [00:20:51]:

And that’s what you need to do as well. When you’re thinking about the copy that you’re using, I mean, people pay 20, $30,000 to have people write copy for them. And some of those copywriters even take a percentage of the revenue that they create off of that copy. So copy is still the most important. The images or the creative that you use the video or whatever you use is going to stop people. It needs to be like a pattern interrupt for people so they stop scrolling, but then they’re going to read the words. And we all know millennials don’t have that long of an attention span, and that is the main clientele for especially wedding photographers these days. Those are the people that are getting married.

Easton Reynolds [00:21:33]:

So the ad needs to be short to the point and really resonate with them.

Bryan Caporicci [00:21:38]:

Yeah, I love it. If photographer as Easton want to dive a little bit more into this, I want to give you a chance to talk a little bit about I mean, you’ve got a ton of resources. I know you have an Ads course. You’ve got a Facebook ad challenge coming out. You’ve got some webinars know, photographers can dive deeper into some of the psychology behind all this. So I want to give you a chance to talk about some of that now.

Easton Reynolds [00:21:58]:

Awesome. Yeah. We just launched theartisticsfigures.com last week, actually, after almost a year of prep and planning and everything, and it was crazy. And so the response has been amazing. But we have all kinds of different resources. We have free Webinars, free Master classes that you can sign up for. We have a Facebook ads challenge. It’s a seven day challenge where you basically get a new video every day, and you’re going through it.

Easton Reynolds [00:22:28]:

We keep it real, short and simple, under 15 minutes per day. That way, you can get real through it. It’s quick actionable. Things that can get you going to set up your first Facebook ads campaign so that’s on there, everything can basically be found on theartisticsfigures.com. And we also work one on one with photographers to help them develop their entire marketing and Facebook ad. There’s there’s blog posts and all that kind of stuff to help you through the whole journey as. So.

Bryan Caporicci [00:22:58]:

Awesome. Love it. So theartofsixfigures.com for that.

Easton Reynolds [00:23:02]:

Yeah. And it’s all words, no number.

Bryan Caporicci [00:23:04]:

Awesome. Oh, yeah, right. Good call.

Easton Reynolds [00:23:06]:

Yeah.

Bryan Caporicci [00:23:06]:

Cool. Awesome. Well, Easton, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I know Facebook ads is something that people are always bugging us to talk about. And like I mentioned to you off air, when I teach on marketing, and I always give that example of that bride that booked me and said that I followed her. As soon as I start talking about that, the hands are going up like crazy. Just saying, like, Whoa, hang on. You can do this stuff on Facebook.

Bryan Caporicci [00:23:25]:

And there’s so much you can do that most photographers don’t take advantage of. So this is a huge opportunity to dive in and just start to understand it better and start to utilize the tools without wasting your money. Because you can spend a lot of money there without results if you don’t do it the right way. Or you can spend a very small amount of money with huge results, like you do with andy and abigail, and see huge results. So thanks for coming on the podcast.

Easton Reynolds [00:23:51]:

Yeah, man, thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Bryan Caporicci [00:23:54]:

And there you have it, a great conversation with Easton Reynolds from the Art of six Figures, all about Facebook advertising. Hope you enjoyed it. Hope that you saw some of the potential of what Facebook advertising can do for you in your photography business, and I hope that you do take action on everything Easton and I spoke about. If you want to find any of the links, the show notes, any of the resources from this conversation, you can find them all online@sproutingphotographer.com. 3116. Come join us over there. And other than that, we’ll see you in the next episode, 317 next week. Thank you so much for listening until the end.

Bryan Caporicci [00:24:30]:

We’ll see you next time.

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