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Old May 22nd, 2012, 11:17 PM   #1
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Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Yep, me again!

I ve been trying Facebook ads that link to my business facebook page, and
I ve spent $40, gotten 46 clicks, and 6 likes, and zero calls.

I just got a free $50 for LinkedIn Ads, so I am trying that now.
After that I might try Google ads.

I am getting about 500 hits to my website a month according to google, so I fixed up my website and demo reel some more as well. I seem to be getting very few calls or emails however, so if anyone has any advice I would love to hear it. (Phasing out weddings, and going commercial and corporate.)

silasbarker.com
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 07:44 AM   #2
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Demo reel looks great, and the audio is perfect.

Perhaps you could change "Contact" to "Make a booking"?

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Old May 23rd, 2012, 07:52 AM   #3
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

hi checked out your site...

couple of comments

* Videos would not play for me ... they went to video page and then did nothing else... i really suggest you host you videos on VIMEO .. buy the 50.00 paid account so that you can embed HD video in your site.
Trying to host video any other way is a waste of time, ISP's do not have the bandwidth or streaming video setup to compete with YT or Vimeo

* Site looks a bit home made ...it is not the worst i have seen , but also anyone in multimedia has to have a wow website ...

The four stages of a buying decision are

1. Attraction
2. Qualification
3. Comfort
4. Indicate Interest

so if you are not getting 4. you are most likely failing in 1,2 or 3

You can get people to your website, but unless it establishes at least 1 & 2, the viewer will abandon and seek their solution else where...

Attraction, is discreationary, but rule of thumb your site has to grab attention and show you work as highly professional and beautiful ... something worth paying for ...
Video must be the main focus .. because that is what you are selling ....

Qualification, your site has to prove that you are the real deal. you can provide serious professional outcomes

Comfort is generally coveyed by external sources, 3rd party write ups, apprasals of your product service ... this phase the prospective customer is asessing if the decision they want to make is sound ...and low risk...

Indicate interest, is where they reveal themselve to you ... from that points its up to you the human to convert them to a sale ....

last comment ....

publishing your prices on site is good .. but mainly bad....
i think its better for professional service providers to negotiate a price with the prospective customer, build in some discount room for yourself ...
also, you look a bit on the cheap side ... best to cost by job ....

hope this helps ....
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 11:13 AM   #4
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Great points Justin.

Too add my two cents... I do not know if Vimeo is purposefully dialing back the bandwidth but over the last 4-6 months, pretty much every video I play from that site has suttering/buffering issues.

I have been happy with hosting my site at IPower and feel the bandwidth is plenty to play my videos. I keep the bitrate around 800-1000kbps for most of them. Video and the internet is still a large unknown as to the customer experience.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 05:37 PM   #5
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Great thoughts guys!

Previously the videos did not work on IE9 - they should now work so definitely check them out if it did nt work earlier (refresh your browser). I am hosting my own videos for various reasons, but it should work well now on magor browsers, smartphones, and ipads (still need to double check some of these).


I am hoping with this new website design (live since May 22nd) to get the attraction, qualification, comfort and interest. The old design was messy and alot of the video work was old.

- I tried to make the website clean and simple, its not a wow website, but its nice.
- The demo reel (& other videos) shows what we can do by showing a number of great shots in a montage
- Testimonials and Past Clients are shown on the tesimonial page
- The simple contact page with a message box makes it easier for anyone to make contact...
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Old May 28th, 2012, 07:20 AM   #6
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

nice site and some very good video - well done

some good points there ok, still learning myself - i like the 4 stage buying thing!!

i think for weddings and set pieces, a price list is ok, I know personally if i visit a site and see no prices for comparison i tend to leave it and move on! lots of sites here in Ireland seem to not show prices, i think it can deter people.
Perhaps for other events it's probably better to negotiate a price

the only other comments i would make is;
would you consider changing your email? yahoo mail sort of shouts 'low rent' :-)

oh! you have a broken line break tag showing in 'weddings.html'
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Old May 28th, 2012, 07:37 AM   #7
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Looks good. The videos would not play in FireFox12 but did in IE8.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 01:10 PM   #8
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Thanks for the feedback guys,

The videos should play in all browsers, if your connection is a little slow it might hang for a few seconds though. Also on IE9 it uses IE8 settings because IE9 has some glitches with that player.

I may need to change my email sometime (:
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Old May 28th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #9
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

In FireFox12 I get the play button and no matter how many times I click it the video does not play.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 01:45 PM   #10
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Strange - it should auto play, dont click the play button, it should disappear within a few seconds ( wait like 10 to make sure) and then it should play. I tried it with my Firefox 12 and works fine.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 10:47 PM   #11
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Barker View Post
I am getting about 500 hits to my website a month according to google, so I fixed up my website and demo reel some more as well. I seem to be getting very few calls or emails however, so if anyone has any advice I would love to hear it. (Phasing out weddings, and going commercial and corporate.)
Here's a brief write-up of my experiences with Facebook advertising: Does Facebook work for photographers?

I found that Facebook ads suck for my purposes.

Social media only works if you are constantly willing to engage your audience. Does your clientele fit in with the description of social media junkies who might be interested in what you have to say on a daily basis?

On why you are not getting emails from corporates or ad agencies:

Think like a marketing pro - you need to 'marry' your brand to theirs in order to be in contention for their project. E.g. your website is black and dark blue in its general tone - that'll put off most marketing professionals or art directors in less than a second. How many websites of ad agencies or companies do you see with a background design similar to yours?

A simple test: Make another version of your website with a white background and black text - nothing fancy, the exact same layout as the present one. Split half your visitors to your existing site and the other half to your 'white' site. Try this for a couple of months (ideally 3 months minimum). If you're using analytics, use it to track how many visitors return and how long they stay on your site.

Unfortunately, fine tuning a marketing and branding strategy is a time consuming process, and in the case of a small company (or even a one-man crew), the best suggestion I can give is to keep things as simple as possible - remove everything that does not contribute to your brand.

One other test: Try putting something like: 'Contact me for a FREE consultation right now on xxx-xxx-xxxx and I'll show you how to make your business grow without spending a truckload of money!' - on the main page in bold letters. But beware, you better have the personality to back up such a boast.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 02:50 PM   #12
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Interesting...

Maybe I will mess around with changing the colors on the website.

Any suggested website to check out that look really cool (for film/ video / commercials / etc)

Also - google analitcs says that people are spending an average of almost 4 minutes on the website - so they are looking around at least apparently.
I would like more calls or emails though!

Thanks!
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Old May 29th, 2012, 09:52 PM   #13
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Sorry, Silas, but if there's one thing I've learnt in marketing it's that 'cool' is not equal to 'revenue'.

But I can offer some direction:

1. Choose your 'area' of influence - is it a town, district, state, country, world? - this is the actual physical location you can cover to set up meetings and make sales. This is where 'you set up base'.

2. Make a list of former clients (corporate) and future clients in your area whom you plan to target. Choose about 50 of them.

3. Make a list of twenty of the best ad/marketing agencies/competitors in your area.

4. Make a list of ten of the most respected brands you can think of from your area. Try to remember other people talking about these brands - which ones have the best top-of-the-mind value (brand recall)?

Now comes the time consuming part - go to all the websites from the names on your list.

1. Take a print out of the main page layout - make a file, classify according to background color, main color themes (limit to two main colors), fonts and font colors, menu layout and items - whatever else suits your fancy. There are a million things you could look into, but at this point it might be a wise idea to just stick to five major points.

2. Find out how many of your preferred clients have accounts with the ad agencies/competitors you have chosen. By looking at the profile/jobs/about us section in the corporate websites, you will know whether they have an in-house marketing division or not. Make a 'map' (I use Excel for this kind of work) of who goes where, etc.

Using the file and the map, try to analyze how the website contributes to the actual relationships that exist between these groups. Hard work? You bet it is. This is a fraction of what marketing people do day in and day out. But that's what it takes.

The idea is to get a 'feel' for the business psychology in your area. It's one thing to 'claim to know' it haphazardly, and quite another to see the numbers going another way! Do it systematically, respect the numbers, and you should see the results you were hoping for.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #14
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

I appreciate all the info, I'll definitely look into it.

Also - I just created the white background version of the website (:

silasbarker.com

Thanks!
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Old May 30th, 2012, 12:19 AM   #15
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Silas, I think your focus is wrong. I truly don't believe that if you build a better site or reel that clients will choose you based on those improvements. Clients will choose you because they were referred to you by someone they know and trust.

The old adage, "it's not what you know, but who..." is so very true in service industries. And that's what ours truly is. In fact, ALL creative pursuits are. The video (or photography, or music, or whatever) is really just a commodity where "good enough" is really good enough to satisfy the client, but it's the service you provide a them that will make the difference between getting calls for new work and new referrals... or NOT.

There's also a trend to specialize these days, and I think it's sound. Even though you obviously CAN do event work, commercials, music vids, corporate or industrial, you should make a site (or at least a playlist) and a reel for only ONE of those specialties, and see if that doesn't help. Potential clients can become very "concrete" in their thinking. When someone asks for my medical work, that's all I show them. Attorneys? Same thing. Commercial spots? Just show them my Comcast reel. Race stuff (bikes and running)? That's what I show them. And what would they say if they also knew I did photography on the side? "Well, he couldn't possibly know how to do ALL of those things well!"

Be very intentional in a market you want to go after, and ask for referrals from existing or past clients. Don't waste time cold-calling. I used to recommend chambers of commerce, but rarely do anymore. Trade associations in your desired field would be better. And never under-estimate the power of a well-executed pro-bono film in the right industry. I launched a very-successful foray into non-profit films that way, and various non-profs account for over 60% of my $ these days. I get new leads every month, and they're the most easy-to-satisfy and downright grateful of any clients I've ever had. And, unlike many for-profits, they pay on-time!

And truthfully, most of my clients never even looked at my website. They took the referral from their friend or associate, then called or emailed me, I sent them a playlist and a quote, and then we started shooting.
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