Working with Amy and Steve feels like working with two good friends that I have known for a very long time. They are super fun people and fun together besides. I can’t wait for their June wedding! Here are a few of my favorites from our recent shoot together.
Thanks to the always fantastic Cup O Joe for letting us shoot a few, and for providing the delicious drinks as well.
A Wedding Photographer’s Book Review: Selling the Invisible, a Field Guide to Modern Marketing (Harry Beckwith)
I love Starbucks. I’m not a two quad lattes a day kinda guy, but I buy all of my ground coffee there (I’ll brew and drink several cups in the morning and sometimes more that afternoon) as well as several other drinks throughout a given week. It might be tempting to think of Starbucks as simply the place where I “buy a cup of coffee.” And yes, I am buying that. But when I buy Starbucks, I’m not just buying a cup of coffee. I’m buying something much more, and arguably just as tangible.
Starbucks is everywhere and I’ve been to dozens of them up and down this country. In virtually every visit, the experience is remarkably consistent. Not only can I trust (that’s an important word: trust) that the product will be of high quality and consistent taste (the coffee or cappuccino or pumpkin spice latte), but the service will be wonderful. The restaurant will be clean. The barista will be friendly, professional and will gladly customize my drink to my liking (light whip, extra espresso shot, light on the syrup.) Should there be any issue, the barista will cheerfully and promptly remedy the problem. In short, I regularly, knowingly and willingly pay a steep premium for a simple “cup of coffee” for all of these reasons.
The Starbucks experience (whatever you think of Starbucks or the Starbucksification of America, their brand and their success story is remarkable) is, in so many ways, what Selling the Invisible is all about.
“If you only ever read one book on sales and marketing, make it this one.”
It would be difficult to overstate my enthusiasm for this book. It is one of those rare books that manages to be everything. It is richly instructive and brilliantly insightful, yet easy to read. It is highly specific yet its concepts may be applied to a virtually any business of any size in any market. Most of all it’s just plain relevant and it’s a fantastic value; arguably worth many hundreds of times the price of admission. It is, in short, indispensable.
The fundamental principle seems obvious; when we buy a service (legal advice, accounting, medical care, photography, etc.), we are buying someone’s promise. We are buying their commitment to doing something for us on time, on budget and with excellence. We are buying something that we probably don’t understand well (I am not an attorney or an accountant or a doctor; I know little about any of those fields and so cannot critically evaluate the end result very well) and we are trusting the provider to make good on their promises, both spoken and unspoken.
This is the great dilemma facing any one who will ever shop for and buy yours or my service; so why do we choose as we do, and what can the providers of a service do to not only appeal successfully to their market, but deliver the promised excellence?
Selling the Invisible touches on many topics related to the marketing of a service, including:
- Start with building a great service. Greatness doesn’t sell itself, but it makes everything that follows much simpler.
- Positioning of your service and establishing a niche within a broader market.
- Attracting, growing and retaining thriving client relationships.
- Setting your prices and understanding what those rates communicate to prospective clients about your service
- The power of brands and how to build one
- Communicating with prospective clients across all channels
- Generating publicity and buzz
- Understanding the multi-faceted mindset that motivates your buyers and the psychology that informs their entire decision making process and experience
In short, it’s phenomenal. Buy it, and buy it now. Read it and reread it. It’s that good and it will transform the way you see your business.
Buy it here.
Phoebe and Charles put on a day rich with love for each other and their families and friends. I like to think their beautiful fall wedding has aged well.
I really enjoyed shooting with Jamie and Chris, who really made my job feel effortless! Here are a few of my favorites from their session together, both on Ohio State’s campus and at Highbanks.
How ridiculously cute is little Kealy? Here are a few of my favorites from our session together.
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