Receiving negative reviews is never easy but it can also be the catalyst for positive change in your business and life. So following on from my first non-5 star review in iTunes, I’ve decided to shake things up and take some of the feedback on board.
In this Wedding Photography Podcast episode, I want to share with you what the review said and how I responded by making a commitment to myself and my listeners to continue striving for improvement.
It’s also helped me to bite the bullet and go live with Youtube wedding photography videos, offering a new and exciting format to connect with my listeners and viewers.
We’ll chat about the content that I’ll be sharing on this new platform and the ways we will be able to engage with one another to help you go full-time in your wedding photography business or achieve your goals.
The video format is a more accessible way of sharing stats and information, while the live component will enable us to connect through Q&A sessions, comments, and feedback.
Not too long ago, I got my first non-5 star iTunes review. Why is this such a big deal? It’s not really about the star rating but the content of the review and what this particular listener said about my podcast that I want to address.
Secondly, I’m transitioning over to YouTube. The podcast will still continue every Thursday. But over the last several months, there’s been quite a few other things I’ve wanted to do and not quite been able to on this podcast.
I will still be focusing on my main goal and that is helping you with your wedding photography business, getting more visits to your website, more leads and, from there, more bookings and earnings.
Let me back up a little bit and highlight this particular review. This was truly my first non-5 star review. I don’t have a ton of reviews, at least not on iTunes, and this was a two out of five-star review.
First off, I do want to thank this person. I think his name is Johnny. I also want to thank everybody else that has taken the time to write a review or a testimony for this podcast. You can find this review if you go to Apple Podcast or just search for “Wedding Photography Podcast”. But I’ll save you a little bit of time and read the review to you.
“The podcast is fine, some episodes are really informative, but others push a “short topic” to a much longer length than is really necessary and Henry ends up too verbose while saying nothing of substance.
Also, a lot of verbal crutches to truly be enjoyable. “So-called”, “whatever” or “quote-unquote”. Once you notice their frequency, you will not be able to stop noticing them”.
Once I read the review, I wasn’t actually too upset. It wasn’t like “How could this person say that about me and my podcast”. If anything, I was glad to get any feedback. I know this might sound a little extreme but I’d much rather get negative feedback than no feedback.
Some of us might say no news is good news. I kind of disagree as I want to get better myself. After all, you’re committing all this time to listen to me. I want it to be valuable to you.
So do I agree with what Johnny said? For the most part, I think I do. It’s a constructive critique:
“But others push a “short topic” to a much longer length than is really necessary”. Yes, I do agree with that at times. There have been episodes where I stretch it a bit longer than need be and that’s something that has been bugging me as well.
I need to know that I will do a better job of that, especially going into future episodes. I will try to cut down the length, more so because I don’t want to waste unnecessary time on your end.
And the next part is: “A lot of verbal crutches to truly be enjoyable”. Yes, I am guilty of that as well. I have a tendency to do some of those things. That’s just my personality, in my nature.
Do I want to try and fix that? Well, not completely. Because that’s who I am. But at the same time, I understand that it could be a distraction, as Johnny mentioned. "That once you notice them, it’s impossible to not notice them. I want the focus to be on the content and I don’t want that to be the distraction."
I will definitely take what Johnny said into consideration in order to provide a better show for you guys. If he’s thinking this, chances are many others that are listening are too. Maybe there have been several other listeners over the months that stopped listening to me because of some of these things.
The shows are way too long and maybe there’s not much substance after the first 15 or 20 minutes. I also don’t want to get into that trap of saying things over and over again.
But I do want to address this review and for anybody else that has feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, I definitely want to hear from you. I’d be a little nervous if you go to iTunes and write it to the public but you are more than welcome to do that. That’s what the reviews are for.
In addition to the content I offer on this weekly podcast, there’s so much more that I want to provide to my listeners. Whether it’s just one photographer or a few hundred, I want to make sure the content I share with you is truly valuable.
That you see improvements in your photography, in your business and, for that matter, your life, based on the success that you’ve had in wedding photography through listening to my podcast.
That’s why I’ve decided to go live on YouTube and make that a consistent part of my wedding photography educational content. I don’t want to pile more content on you without a good reason.
However, it’s at a point now where it’s not enough for me to just have this weekly podcast. Don’t worry, the Wedding Photography Podcast will continue indefinitely. I know there are some of you that may be driving to and from work or editing your images or in the kitchen and want to be able to passively consume. That’s the beauty of an audio podcast.
But I also want to share some things visually, something an audio podcast can’t do. I’m unable to show you my screen, you’re not able to see my facial expression or my hand gestures as I’m talking about these things.
I’m not able to look at your work, your website and critique things and do things in a much more personal and transparent way. That’s where the visual side of my online efforts come in and the flagship for that will be on YouTube.
Specifically, I’ll be going live every Tuesday at 11AM. One of the main reasons I want to not just have videos but go live is to be able to answer your questions, help you with your business and hopefully inspire you in some way, motivate you, hold you accountable.
When you’re listening to a podcast, it’s more a one-directional means of consumption. But I feel like, with a live visual component, I’m going to be able to connect with you on a much higher level.
You don’t have to watch it live though. Perhaps you’re at work, you’re running some errands or you’re doing something else on Tuesdays at 11AM. There is going to be a replay.
But I strongly encourage those of us who are able to tune in for 5 or 10 minutes, leave a comment and let me know some of the things I’m going to ask you during this live session. There will be a structure to it like there is with my podcast.
I’ve actually had this channel for a little over a year now, there’s maybe 80+ subscribers. I tried to do a Q and A session around a year ago but it just didn’t work. In addition, the office I was working in wasn’t the most user-friendly.
If you guys do watch me live on YouTube or Instagram, you’ll see that I have a brand new backdrop where I’m recording these podcasts and going live.
I removed my large desk and the shelves and replaced them with smaller ones. The colors are a little more modern, there are more lighting and a little more decor. Some plants and a photo of my adorable baby daughter.
A better setup that got me more excited to do the videos. As we’re slowly heading into the off-season, I also thought this would be the best time to launch the YouTube live sessions.
Previously I had a Facebook fan page and I was on there doing live webinars earlier this summer. But I decided that I just wanted to focus on one platform and that’s YouTube. I think there’s a great community of wedding photographers out there and I hope there are going to be ones interested in the content that I plan on sharing.
I’m going to be able to finally share with you things that I never could on the podcast. Through an audio medium, I can give you numbers, I can try and describe things. But I could never show you that.
Pictures speak a thousand words and being photographers, what better way to illustrate a point than to literally show it. Whether it’s an image from a wedding, engagement session or a chart with some numbers...that’s why I want video to be a huge proponent of my efforts going forward.
I also want to be really transparent with you when it comes to my inquiries, bookings,and earnings. I’m going to be able to share with you how I got those inquiries. Did they come from Yelp? Did they come from WeddingWire? Was it through word of mouth? Was it from a venue, a vendor?
And what did the couple say? Was there a budget for photography? I recently had an episode where I talked about how I am able to book weddings without meeting clients. How did I go about doing that? My workflow is something I’m going to be able to share with you that I never could on an audio podcast.
The plan is that the very first live session of every month is going to be a recap of the inquiries, bookings, and earnings from the previous month. I’m basically putting myself under the spotlight.
I want to be as transparent, as honest and as helpful as possible. I want you to see exactly where I am succeeding, as well as where I’m failing.
Maybe you are just getting started and can learn from my mistakes during my 10+ years of experience. Or maybe you’ve been doing this for a couple of years and not quite been able to take that next step and go full-time.
You’ve been stuck at a certain number of bookings per year and you’re not really able to leave your conventional job or justify anything else that you want to do.
No matter where you are in the spectrum of your business, I feel that there is a way that I could be of help to you...and that’s going to start with me being completely up-front, honest and transparent.
And please, your feedback is so important. There are going to be questions I ask you in these live videos and I’d love to hear your response. That’s what’s going to help me shape upcoming content, based on the feedback from my listeners and audience.
So every Tuesday 11AM PST, starting December 5th. If you haven’t already, you can check that out over at youtube.com/successinweddingphotography.
I want to keep each of those YouTube live sessions to around 30-40 minutes max, depending on the topic, with the final 10 minutes for Q&A.
My goal is to keep the audio podcast to a more conversational thing, a mindset discussion. Something you can listen to passively. Not too much about numbers and data. Possibly having guests on the podcast. Whether it’s another photographer, an industry leader, a vendor a supplier. Somebody that could share a lot of great content with the community.
Despite changing things up a bit in 2018, my goal is still the same: to help you commit to your business and be able to finally do what you always wanted to.
Achieve the goals you set. And I’m going to be along for the ride with you every single step of the way. In a year’s time, we can look back and say “Wow, I’m so glad that I did these things. I took action. I was able to meet these goals”.
You’re able to book more weddings, make more money and have the lifestyle that you want, with wedding photography the engine to make this all possible.
Watch my FREE video explaining how I made $150k+ in the second year of my wedding photography business.