We chatted with Vicki Yen a Brisbane-based photographer and copywriter, content strategist specialising start-ups and small businesses.
Tell us about your business
I’m a photographer and copywriter, and content strategist. I focus on women in business – especially businesses just about to start-up, and small businesses right on the edge of success, but they know they’re missing something, but what is it? How do you find it? Then – what do you do when you find it?
That’s where I step in, before you go off spending precious marketing dollars on something you’re not sure of, or something that has not brought the results you’d hoped for.
I love working with passionate people. We have so much fun on this discovery tour. When you put all that together – I’m a credibility specialist. After all – that’s why we invest time, money and energy into crafting a powerful message that works on many levels-to build your credibility and trust with people.
How do you help businesses create better credibility online?
Credibility starts with consistency of message across all platforms, and especially when clients meet you in person – the “touch points”. And then there’s the foundation, the anchor point: discovering the real message you could be using – the one that clients crave (not the message you think is important).
Small business owners are brilliant and passionate about what they do, but because they’ve lived, breathed and dreamt about it for so long- they often miss the most powerful message that connects.
I can spot it.
What’s your favourite way to use digital marketing to promote a business?
I love using social media to get people off social media. I create lead magnets like EBooks and Info Sheets with quality info that actually adds value to the contact, and I create the sales funnels and emails sequences to keep them engaged. After all, the buyers’ timeline is rarely an impulse buy. You want them on your website finding out more about you, buying something, or getting the impetus to contact you.
Ever added up how much time do you waste entertaining people with your social media posts?
What’s the biggest mistake you see with website copy?
For me, the number one thing is if you are a sole trader or micro business, don’t try to look like you’re a bigger business. Small biz owners undervalue how much clients love personal service. If you give personal service, it’s a marketing advantage – for example, I tell people: “I’m Vicki and I’ll be doing your photos and writing your copy. I’ll be taking your call, I won’t be giving the job to a contractor…”
How did you get interested in photography?
I was always a writer, and went to uni to be an English teacher – got a holiday job with a photographer selling his portrait and wedding work, and I was hooked. Then when I worked in the humanities departments in government, I did a huge amount of travel as chief photographer and magazine writer and editor, visiting remote Indigenous communities like the Torres Straits, Weipa, and Palm Island. Photography takes you everywhere. And gives you an excuse to talk to everyone. I love it.
How do you help businesses improve their photography?
There are 2 things people can start doing immediately: Number one is re-think what photography is.
Every time you pick up a camera at work, ask yourself: what image do I need? Where will I use it? What are the words to go with this image? Be strategic.
Photography creates an asset that connects you to prospects – it builds a bridge. Tells people about you, positions you and your business in the marketplace – it’s classic credibility building (whether it’s you, me, or whoever creating the images.)
Why are you using the faces of American strangers to promote your businesses in Brisbane? (You may notice that’s a pet peeve of mine.)
Plus you can use photography every day to support your business- it’s so easy with digital, but you need to recognise the value first. You know, every time you do a quote or speak to a client: “First we’ll check this, then we’ll do that, and in a few days this will happen and then the problem’s solved…” what are you doing?
You’re telling a story about your service.
You just need to recognise your everyday story has a value, and, so, make a plan, a strategy to collate it.
I help plan all that, help you discover that mindset, and then find the best stories. That’s content strategy.
Photo training? A few hours of one to one training can also produce a radical improvement in results – forever. Most people are only doing one or 2 things incorrectly, but they do it for every shot, so the image quality never really improves – and great shots? Yes, they surprise you occasionally. But have you ever tried to repeat it?
What are you up to right now?
I’m working with 2 artists, (which is always dangerous ‘cause I end up buying their stuff).
And I’m completely reworking all the communications for a Sydney photographer, a full web re-write; creating EBook resources; doing a series of team shots for him, and rearranging all his images on his site so the words of the story are accompanied by images that enhance the story.
Do you have any plans for the future?
The next passion project of mine is photography of Yoga/Fitness/Wellness, especially women over 40) like me). Forget the matronly portraits sitting on a red velvet lounge, the girls are out at exercise class in their lycra – let’s photograph them feeling energised and empowered. I’ve started already.
And I’m planning my next photography trip Cape York. I love it up there.
Where can people find out more about your business?
I have a free download: 6 Ways Your Home Page Copy is Killing Your Business. You’ll find it here: https://www.vickiyencredibilityspecialist.com.au/Fixit/
And I’m doing a few small presentations at networking groups. But I won’t publicise that until I survive the first ones.
Just call me, or visit my website: