How photographer Jared Polin makes use of e mail advertising to create and generate visitors for his content material
Creating and delivering content that your audience will rave about is no easy task. For example, photographer Jared Polin uses video content to build audiences and drive email traffic.
By Sean Tinney 19th November 2020
Jared Polin went from the unknown Youtuber to one of the biggest names in photography.
His journey began in 2008 when Polin made a video of himself talking about his camera equipment. It was uncomfortable. He was clearly uncomfortable in front of the camera. But he went on.
He made another video. And another and another.
In 2010 he launched his website Fro Knows Photo to showcase his photography expertise and get some freelance jobs. His following was nonexistent then, but he kept creating.
Slowly people noticed. They asked questions about his techniques and Jared answered them as best he could: with videos.
Today, Jared has nearly 1.27 million YouTube subscribers and more than 260,000 email subscribers.
But its success didn't happen overnight. He cultivated his following over time with incredible content, a smart marketing strategy, and perseverance.
I'll show you all of the tactics Jared uses and how you can apply them to your own marketing strategy.
Getting started with content creation
When Jared Fro Knows Photo started, he didn't have a business plan. He didn't wait to create the perfect video. he has just started executing.
"I don't have a business plan," he said. “I have ideas about what I want to do and I'm going to participate. I think the problem people encounter today is they worry too much. It is important to plan, but to start executing. Start with. Then iterate along the way. "
The sooner you start, the sooner you can collect feedback. The sooner you collect feedback, the faster you can pan (if necessary).
Most of Jared's videos today are meant to help people take better photos. But education wasn't his goal in the beginning.
"The idea was to post content with the photos I took so I could get more jobs because companies would see my work and try to hire me," he said. "That didn't happen. What happened was people who started asking questions about photography. I was spinning right off the rim. People would ask a question, I would post a video about it. From then on it started to grow . "
If you're struggling to find the direction to go with your content, find out where your ideal audience is online – think forums, the comment sections of popular blogs, and Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Get involved in these communities and pay attention to the questions people are asking.
Is there one particular topic that people are dying to know more about – one that other blogs and companies in your field have not adequately addressed? Start there.
Jared's following grew from the start due to his consistent interaction with his audience. If in doubt, seek feedback.
Bring away: There is no “perfect” time to start creating content. First, answer the biggest questions in your field and give yourself permission to improve over time.
Create content that stands out from the noise
When you're just starting out with content creation, take a look at what other people are doing in your field. What can you do better
Jared knew he wanted to create videos that checked the camera equipment. The problem with most of the review videos was that they were painfully boring and unhelpful for most viewers.
"You can't pretend you're getting good photos," he said. "If you just have test images of lights and grass, you are not helping people. However, if you show that you can get fantastic results with the entry-level camera, tell people," You can do this yourself. "
Jared's videos resonate with people because they are authentic. He's not trying to create perfect content, he is creating honest content. (Example: Here's a video of Jared crashing a razor scooter.)
Whether you're creating videos, e-books, or blog posts, your audience can tell when you're faking it. And when there is no real snack to apply on your own life, you are simply wasting your time.
Bring away: Does your content offer a real solution? Do you allow your personality to show? Would you read it or see it for yourself? If you can answer “yes” to these questions about your own content, you can stand out from the noise.
Increase traffic to your content
Do you have any content that you are proud of? Brilliant. Now let's drive some traffic over there.
Jared knew he could create great content all day, but if people couldn't find it, it wouldn't do anyone any good. He wasn't an SEO expert, but he knew that smart use of tags in the videos he uploaded to YouTube could give him better visibility.
"I knew if I could label things intelligently – like 'Nikon D3300' '- people would look," he said. "But if I tag the same video with 'The first Nikon review, this thing is awesome" there won't be that many keywords. I didn't know much about SEO, but all I did was use common sense. "
No matter what type of content you bring out into the world, including keywords that reflect the way people search for these topics, this is key. Try Google Keyword Planner to find out your best keywords.
Another way to get traffic is to publish content consistently like Jared does.
"I published high quality, consistent content and that got people to know more," he said. "You can't publish one piece of content a week and expect people to cling to you. They will forget you. It would be very slow if you only published one piece of content at a time."
I mentioned earlier that Jared made new videos based on questions he was asked. This is one of the most important ways he has been able to increase his following.
"If people had a comment and it was good, I could turn it into a video," he said. "Or people could submit photos that I could criticize, and that is content that I could bring out."
Delivering consistent content gives people a reason to keep coming back. Creating content based on your audience's comments and questions shows that you're paying attention. This is the beginning of a nice relationship.
Bring away: Put more content into the world and include the appropriate keywords. Try creating an editorial calendar to stay organized. So you can create an editorial calendar to keep track of your content.
Use email to deliver your content
Jared, more than any other marketing strategy, relies on email to expand its reach, build relationships, and keep a closer eye on its content.
"Some of the news was spread via email," he said. "It will be difficult to extend your reach if you don't pay for it. If you want to reach your employees, the best way to do this is by email."
His email strategy? Jared adds an email subscription request at the beginning of his most popular videos. Once someone signs up, they send them lots of valuable content for free. He believes in this tactic so much that in the first two years of Fro Knows Photo's existence, he never asked anyone to buy anything from him.
The internet marketers said, 'You have 5,000 people on your email list! You have to sell something now! "He said." I wasn't ready to sell. That was the mentality five or six years ago: sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. I said, "I'll give, give, give, give, give." It was two years before I had a guide that I wanted to sell. "
Jared offers a lot of free content in advance. On his registration form, he offers a free lead magnet for a photo guide to record movements in poor lighting conditions – a topic that is popular with amateur photographers.
Jared's guide provides the perfect starting point for anyone who just bought their first camera. No wonder he helped build his email list for 260,000+ subscribers.
Bring away: Before you can even think about asking your subscribers to buy something from you, make sure that you provide them with a lot of unconditional content in advance. Create an incentive to give people a reason to sign up for your list.
Keep your subscribers busy with email automation over time
After Jared's new subscribers receive his free guide, he sends them a series of automated emails that span a few weeks. This is what his welcome email looks like:
Jared tells people exactly what to expect from him in their inbox. He even invites them to unsubscribe from his list if they don't find his tips useful.
He'll then send a separate email with the free guide and bonus video with tips on how to get press passes for concerts. More free, unexpected content. Pretty cool right?
Jared then sends his subscribers an automated series of emails that deliver a new photo tip every day. Every email is short and every tip can be used immediately. Here is one of those emails:
Jared is careful not to immediately ask his subscribers to shop with him. When I signed up for his email list, it wasn't until more than a week later that I received an email promoting his paid travel guide. At this point, I had already received eight emails with free photography tips.
"The autoresponder series took a few weeks to build," he said. “I keep sending solid content. Occasionally there is a question there, but then there is more solid content. You also get the emails I create every week or every other week. Whenever I create value, I use it. I don't want to be overloaded. "
Bring away: You can use email automation to build relationships with your subscribers over time. When promoting a product, use caution.
Know your audience before you start creating paid content
Do you have a growing audience and a solid content strategy? Congratulation! You are on the way to monetize your business with paid products or services. How exactly can you accomplish this while balancing free content with paid content?
To answer that, let's look at how Jared created valuable paid content for his ideal audience, and how he uses email to drive traffic to his sales page and make sales.
If you're asking your audience for their hard-earned cash in exchange for your content, you'd better make sure that your content is worth the investment. The first step in developing valuable paid content is knowing your audience.
"98 percent of (my audience) are amateurs or hobbyists who love their job and maybe want to make some money on the side," he said. “I knew this was the biggest area, so I might as well turn to them because there are more of them. Professional photographers shouldn't need this content. Continuing your education is important, but it is a smaller market. It would not be wise to give out extended manuals as they would have to be much more expensive. "
Since Jared's audience is mostly amateurs, it made sense to create a beginner's video guide to photography that he could sell for a reasonable price.
Bring away: Do you want to create valuable content that your audience actually pays for? First, get to know your audience, thoroughly address the challenges in your content, and offer them at a reasonable price.
Jared's promotional emails in action
Jared uses email to deliver free content to its subscribers long before promoting a paid product. This strategy has helped him cultivate avid fans and sell more of his paid guides.
As soon as a new subscriber joins Jared's email list, they provide them with free content worth about a week. Its subscribers receive updates on blog, podcast and new YouTube videos.
After that, he occasionally advertises his paid travel guides to his subscribers. This is how he advertises his beginner's guide by email. Notice how he describes the benefits of buying his guide so his subscribers know exactly what they will get when they buy it.
So Jared is promoting his beginner's guide along with one of his popular videos.
When Jared launched a new paid guide, FroKnows Photo Guide to Video Editing, he ran a limited time sale of the guide to add excitement and generate more sales. Those who did not purchase the guide right away received this email with a countdown clock and a detailed list of reasons why they should buy the guide.
Jared has seen results from this email strategy time and time again.
"We know it works," he said. “We created a sequence of four emails with a countdown timer saying what people have learned and what they can learn. The last email sent four to six hours before the sale ends is very hard as the countdown timer indicates it is ending, which is why we see sales. "
Bring away: Don't promote your product or service until after you've posted lots of free content. When promoting your paid content, lead with the greatest benefits and explain in detail what your paid content has to offer.
Use YouTube to add to your email list
YouTube plays an important role in adding Jared to its email list.
See Jared Polin break down his email list improvement tactic that earned him 260,000+ email subscribers.
Turn your YouTube subscribers into email subscribers
You already know how email marketing can help you promote your paid products. How can you get your YouTube subscribers to sign up for your email list?
Everything has to do with the marketing funnel. Your YouTube videos grab attention. Your viewers may not initially know about you or your company, but your video content piqued their interest. If they like what they see, they'll consider learning more about you.
At the beginning of many of Jared's videos, he asks viewers to sign up for his email list. Sometimes he even includes a clickable image of his form in his videos, as shown here.
Once a viewer clicks on the registration form, they will be directed to the landing page on Jared's website where their video is located. In this case, it contains a Nikon D5 “Real World Review” where you can sign up for a free photo guide that expands on the content of the video.
This is what this page looks like:
"YouTube is all about the question," he said. "I put a piece of content out and people watch it. Before the video starts, I say in the intro," If you haven't signed up for the Fro Knows Photo email list on the website, please enter Your name and email address and I'll send you a free guide to capturing movement in low light. ""
Jared makes sure he adds a sign up form to his most popular videos to ensure higher conversions. However, some video content results in more conversions than others.
"The videos that convert the most submissions for me are the preview videos," he said. "I immediately see a huge increase in which I organically receive 450 registrations in one day. It can go up to 450 or 500. You have no way of knowing what content will be the most popular. This is why you put the question first in most of the videos. I know people are always looking for different lenses. If this is the first time they find me, I would like to have this question at the beginning of the video. "
Bring away: If you're just starting out creating video content for YouTube, ask your viewers to sign up at the top of all your videos to take advantage of all possible conversion opportunities. As you continue to create video content, you can determine which content is the most popular and test different types of sign-up forms and incentive offers.
Diversify from YouTube
Once you have a YouTube following, it's important that these followers stay active both on and off YouTube so you can build profitable relationships with them.
"If you're just starting out on YouTube, you have to figure out how to get off YouTube at the same time," Jared said. “You use YouTube to build a following. But if you do not have a following and leave this platform, you are doing yourself no good. Unless you're one of the greatest YouTubers in the world and get hundreds of thousands of views every day, you're not making money. "
Case in point: Jared has 1.27 million YouTube followers and while most of his content is on YouTube, he doesn't just rely on YouTube to monetize his business.
“I knew I had to build my email list. I knew I had to get off YouTube and not just live there, ”he said. “That's one of the drawbacks of a lot of YouTubers. They frolic and do the YouTube corner without trying to get out of there.” “I can still do business because I have my email list. I have my other social ones Integrations. It's important to diversify from YouTube. "
Even if you're just starting out on YouTube, it's important to consider how you are engaging your followers elsewhere. Email marketing is the perfect opportunity to retain your YouTube subscribers and turn them into loyal, paying customers.
Run competitions to quickly attract new subscribers
Contests are one of the best ways to grow your email list during a time crisis. Jared runs contests when he wants a quick boost to his list. As he runs larger-scale competitions with giveaways for cameras valued at $ 2,000 to $ 3,000, businesses at each stage can leverage competitions for subscriber growth.
"Competitions where I give away $ 2,000 or $ 3,000 in camera equipment are an investment," he said. "But I get signups that I can use to build my following and my email list."
If Jared wants to increase his competition even further, he will run Facebook ads for them.
"It's one of the very few promotions I do," he said. “We run Facebook ads for the competition and it just spreads. If I typically get 150-200 signups a day, you'll see 2,000 people signing up for your email list. Then they come into my autoresponder sequence. My autoresponder emails are meant not just to sell, but to add value, ask about the sale at specific points, and keep people coming back to find out more. "
You may be wondering about the people entering contests because they want free content – not because they are interested in your business. This is also one of Jared's concerns.
"My concern in running these competitions has always been people who just want to kick the tires because they want to enter for free," he said. “The people who join for free will sign out anyway. However, if I can get a conversion rate of 20 percent with 100,000 subscribers and can maintain that conversion rate with 200,000 subscribers, this is important. Competitions are powerful. "
If you're thinking about running a contest and wanting to collect weak leads, it's a good idea to run a reactivation campaign and then clean up your list to make sure your subscribers are engaged and your deliverability isn't impacted.
Use email marketing to grow your business
Running a business is like working two full-time jobs. Sometimes investing your time and energy in marketing your business can be a challenge. With this guide we've made it a little easier for you: "How to Grow Your Business with Email Marketing".
Download it today.