Pimp Your Studio – Minneapolis Event is Official for October 9th and 10th

August 22, 2009
Pimp Your Studio Event

Pimp Your Studio Event

It’s been official for about a week but we needed to wrap up a couple loose ends. We’re excited!

The first Pimp Your Studio event will be at the Ramada – Mall of America Hotel on Friday and Saturday, October 9th and 10th. In a nutshell, it’s a real-time workshop for photographers and other creative professionals to get local and be social online, and using this knowledge to help bring customers to your actual studio.

First, the good stuff.

Here is where you can register for the event.

We narrowed the locations and decided to clearly go with the Ramada – MOA hotel for a few reasons. One is the location. It couldn’t be more convenient. (map)

Ramada - MOA

The hotel is completely wireless – just turn on the Interwebz. The conference room is big enough at 1900 sq. ft. that you’ll have more than enough room to stretch and move around. We’re going to have half-round tables which allows you to work as a team while being able to watch us guide you at the same time.

Since you’ll need to bring a laptop for this workshop, there will be plug-in strips under every table to avoid any battery issues. This… is awesome.

Also, for the Saturday full-day schedule we’re providing a free soups/sandwiches/salads buffet for lunch.

The Ramada itself is completely renovated, yet unique with hints of the old deco when it was the Thunderbird. They have a huge bar and they’ll even section off part of it after Friday’s afternoon session for a happy hour. This would be a great way for us to get to know you better and give honest advice. 🙂 For more info on the hotel, feel free to visit their site.

The hotel event planner was a big plus. It was obvious she put all of our needs over her commission. Room rates are $89/night for any attendees who choose to stay overnight. This is a tad better than a discounted rate of $250/night a hotel down the street gave us.

We hope to attract many from out of town. If this is you, please consider staying for the weekend. The Twin Cities is more than awesome. The Mall of America is literally under a 10 minute walk from the Ramada which includes a light rail station that will take you to downtown Minneapolis for a whopping 2 buck debit/credit card swipe.

Mall of America from the Ramada

Mall of America from the Ramada

If you’re traveling from somewhere further like Madison, Des Moines, Sioux Falls or Fargo/Moorhead and would rather fly, we’re this far from the airport and the Ramada provides free shuttle service.

Plane flying into MSP

Plane flying into MSP

To say we’re excited about this is an understatement. Instead of presentations to give you ideas, this workshop is to literally let you create and/or improve your local search marketing and social media profiles on the spot. If you know anyone who would benefit from this, definitely let them know! They will leave the workshop with profiles set along with the knowledge and confidence to continue efforts on their own.

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Bro-Sis + Lew Marketing Update – Minneapolis Workshop Coming Soon for Photographers

August 7, 2009

The last time I gave a bro-sis marketing update was from the great time we had presenting in Madison in May. Well, we’re back and we’ll be doing something different this time, right here in the Minneapolis area.

On Friday, Oct. 9th and Saturday, Oct. 10th we will be giving a two-day workshop on local search and social media, specifically for photographers. Just as in Madison, the extremely talented photographer Lew Everling from the Indianapolis area will be joining us. Stay tuned in for further updates.

Lew-Everling

This workshop will be different. Attendees will have their own laptops in-hand literally ready to go. We’ll be guiding them to create local search and social media profiles on the spot, and truly understand why. We’ll also be providing strategies and tactics for them to use on their own.

Lew, Heather and I will all be in contact to finalize everything. Here’s what we have so far for detailed topics.

  • Google Maps
  • Yahoo Local
  • Bing (MSN) Local
  • Google Alerts (online reputation management)
  • User Ratings and Reviews
  • Facebook (profiles, ads and public pages)
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • LinkedIn

For the venue, it’s looking like a hotel conference center TBD. Considering this is a two-day event, it allows out-of-metro attendees to book a room at a reduced rate. It’s narrowed down to a few, mostly centered by the Mall of America and a Minneapolis LRT stop. This may also include a reduced Saturday night stay for those interested in spending a whole weekend enjoying the MOA or a half hour light-rail ride to downtown Minneapolis.

We haven’t determined an attendee price yet, but it will definitely be in the lower three digits. If you know of any photographers who would be interested, definitely let them know. From experience, we take the BS out of search marketing and social media and go out of our way to help.

More to come soon. 🙂

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Bro-Sis Marketing Update – Total Success in Madison

May 18, 2009

This will be the last Bro-Sis Photography Marketing update for little while. I’m happy to say that the Madison event was beyond successful and we couldn’t be happier! It sounds like we’ll be doing some future workshops for photographer groups as well as more speaking engagements. Special thanks to Lew Everling who spoke the morning session.

It’s tough to present about search marketing, local search and social media in just two hours. There’s no way to present a “how to” session as that would take a whole week. However, we were able to “demystify” the concepts and common fallacies for these smart photographers. @JillWhalen would be proud because we did our part to take the BS out of absolutely everything.

I wish I wrote down their names, but a married couple from Wisconsin Dells came up to me afterward and thanked both Heather and I so very much! They get the big-box sales calls and pitches, they vaguely understand the concepts and now have a clear path of what they need to do in search/social as professional photographers. Thank you!

More thanks goes to Krystal Stankowski from Krystal Images Photography for her help to put this on. After the event, I sat with her at the hotel’s business center computer to show things we talked about including Google Alerts, Facebook Pages and grey-hat anchor text. 🙂

Ok, a picture story…

Here’s Heather talking about the difference between Facebook profiles and Facebook Pages.

Explaining Facebook Profiles vs. Facebook Pages

Explaining Facebook Profiles vs. Facebook Pages

Being pretty passionate on how to easily create your own Google Local Business Center for free while other companies literally charge thousands of dollars to do it for you.

Example for Milwaukee Local 10-Pack Results

Example for Milwaukee Local 10-Pack Results

Talking about good Twitter examples while Heather’s loading a hilarious cartoon parody video of Twitter. You can see the parody video at Twouble with Twitter.

The Good and Bad of Twitter

The Good and Bad of Twitter

Awesome audience during a break

Awesome audience members during a break

Awesome audience members during a break

Lew Everling in a fantastic morning presentation.

Lew Everling

Lew Everling

Fantastic presentation from Lew Everling. The whole day brought some sweet synergy. I look forward to co-presenting with him again.

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Bro-Sis Marketing Update – Another Picture Story and Day One of Madison

May 17, 2009

This is it! Tomorrow afternoon Heather and I will be presenting an overview of search marketing and social media to a group of professional photographers in Madison. Just earlier today, I saw the official SCPA announcement of it. Also, we met Lew Everling who will be presenting before us. He’s an awesome guy and talented photographer.

Getting close to Madison, I again got sucked in to buy stuff at the MouseHouse CheeseHaus. Both my car and myself were happy.

MouseHouse CheeseHaus

MouseHouse CheeseHaus

I arrived early to get a chance to walk around downtown Madison. I love this city! From talking to Heather’s friend Mariah, State Street is still a pretty crazy place during Halloween.

State Street - Madison, WI

State Street - Madison, WI

Turns out it’s also graduation day for the cool 2009 class at UW-Madison.

Congrats 2009 Graduates

Congrats 2009 Graduates

There was also a very cool biking event, partly going around the State Capital called Wheels on Willy.

Wheels on Willy

Wheels on Willy

From there, it was to the hotel. I had to hit the Apple Store at the West Towne Mall first because I lost my presentation remote. They had me in and out in under 3 minutes. Thank you!

Apple Store Comes Through Again

Apple Store Comes Through Again

Finally, we got together with Lew and a couple of Heather’s friends. Here’s Lew, Heather and I enjoying an after-dinner drink.

Lew, Heather and I

Lew, Heather and I

We’re really looking forward to the event. The one thing we’re missing is audio speakers as they’re not provided. We have a few short videos to show so I plan to hit a Best Buy right when they open to buy a cheap 40 dollar set. I’ll unfortunately have to miss part of Lew’s presentation because of it, but he’ll benefit from having speakers as well.

Thanks to all who have been following our updates, and more will most likely come tomorrow after the presentations.

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Bro-Sis Marketing Update – Fun in Rochester and a May 9th Picture Story

May 10, 2009

This was a fun day. Heather and I presented a dry-run in Rochester for our May 18 presentation in Madison.

First, thank you very much to those who showed up yesterday. Family was present as well as Sara Hobbs Kohrt from Studio Seven Photography. It was a pleasure to speak with her and get her input as a professional photographer. Her talent speaks for itself.

We’re now more than ready for our Madison presentation to professional photographers. Hopefully, it will turn into a speaking circuit across the Midwest and the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Rochester picture story – here’s Heather setting up:

Heather Setting up for our Presentation

Heather Setting up for our Presentation

Here’s Heather talking about social media:

Heather Presenting

Heather Presenting

Print book advocates who I won’t mention names would drool over these outdated Yellow Pages books in the library print spam isle:

Print Phone Books from Different Cities

Print Phone Books from Different Cities

The Mayo Civic Arena is a skyway walk from the Library, and I admittedly saw Bon Jovi and Cinderella play there back in 1987 as well as plenty of other 80’s hair-rock bands:

Mayo Civic Arena

Mayo Civic Arena

After the presentation, we went to the Rochester Outback Steakhouse to celebrate Mother’s Day. There are 5 awesome mothers in this picture which include my mom, step mom, sister, step sister and niece.

Family with Five Awesome Mothers

Family with Five Awesome Mothers

Growing up in Rochester, I took some other pictures.

Here’s the house I grew up in.

House I Grew Up In

House I Grew Up In

Church I was baptized and confirmed in.

Zumbro Lutheran Church

Zumbro Lutheran Church

John Marshall High School

John Marshall High School

John Marshall High School

Cheap Charlies – The best greasy spoon ever! Back in the day, there were often blood stains on the exterior due to bar fights started around the corner at the North Star Bar.

Cheap Charlie's

Cheap Charlie's

Corn Cob Water Tower. I don’t get it either.

Corn Cob Water Tower

Corn Cob Water Tower

Back to the Outback, it was fun but I think Carver and Alana enjoyed it the most.

Carver and Alana

Carver and Alana

The end.

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Bro-Sis Photography Marketing Update – May 9th, Rochester – May 18th, Madison

April 30, 2009

This is coming up quick! Both Heather and I are spending a lot of hours on the PowerPoint presentation, and thanks to all of you that have been following the Bro-Sis Photography Marketing project. It’s finally on! We’re giving a dry-run presentation Saturday, May 9 at the Rochester, MN Public Library and it’s on for May 18 in Madison.

Overall agenda? We’re presenting and demystifying  (basically taking the BS out of) search marketing and social media to groups of professional photographers. They’re very smart, great at what they do and they deserve to know how to embrace search marketing and social media.

One part I’ll be speaking on is using social media as an average consumer. Here are a few user-review examples that are included in the presentation:

Dennis Koslowski – Minneapolis Chiropractor
Google Maps User Review

Family Life Chiropractic – San Jose, CA
Yahoo Local User Review

Northwestern Tire and Auto Repair – Minneapolis, MN
CitySearch User Review + using Facebook Connect

One of the finishing slides is this:

One Word: Trust

One Word: Trust

I really like this slide. Someone might do a Google search and find you, but does that mean they trust you? Getting to know you from seeing you on Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blogs and others can definitely build trust before they view your actual website.

Any thoughts or input?

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Bro-Sis Photography Marketing Update – Getting Close to Presentation Time

March 14, 2009

Time has been flying by. For those of you who have been following our project, thank you! For those who haven’t, my sis and I will soon be giving presentations to professional photographers on how to use search marketing and social media to help their photography studios.

Our first speaking engagement is set for May 18 at the West Madison (Middleton) Holiday Inn & Suites. I chuckle a bit about it because Holiday Inn events are known for the “make money online” crowds. We’re probably the opposite as we’re going out of our way to demystify SEO and social media. There are some things you can do yourself.

We met today at the Jahn Haus near Wabasha at 10:00 soon after Heather tweeted me to not tweet and drive (guilty). From there, we had seven hours of very productive work. We’re putting together our PowerPoint and here’s an outline:

  • Briefly talk about traditional marketing and continue doing what works
  • Explain the push (traditional marketing) and pull (search marketing and social media) concept

To break it down further:

Search Marketing

  • SEO – Demystifying how it works (taking the BS out of it)
  • PPC – Breaking it down to multiple campaigns and ad groups
  • Local Search – Getting your business listed properly and accurately
  • Analytics – measuring analyitcs instead of rankings – key factor

Social Media

  • Listen
  • Then engage in conversation
  • Explain Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and how they can all work in concert with search marketing

This is pretty important. There are so many different social media outlets. We’ll be focusing on LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and blogs. Listening to potential clients is more important than touting your services.

We’re trying to tie all of this is to funnel into photographer Web sites which includes:

  • Images
  • Call to Action
  • Copyright
  • Fresh Information
  • Ease of navigation
  • Contact Us page
  • Analytics – this is so important in too many ways. See Google Analytics. We’ll be spending some time talking about this.

Next step is to put the PowerPoint presentation together. Our audience (professional photographers) are very good at what they do. They may not fully understand search marketing or social media, but they are definitely smart. Any thoughts to the above bullets? We’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, feel free to follow Heather on Twitter and check out her work.

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