Episode 39 – Expectations & Consistency In Your Branding w/ Bryan Caporicci

Bryan-Caporicci

Bryan Caporicci was previously a guest in episode 6. He is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer based out of Fonthill, Canada.

Bryan specializes in creating natural, relaxed and fun imagery. He is a Fuji X Photographer as well as one of the voices, and really the main voice, behind the Sprouting Photographer podcast.

Bryan is also one of the founders of Sprout Studio, a powerful photography business workflow solution.

WordPress/Photography Related News:

  • X Theme has a major update as well as a new version called X Theme Pro.
    WordPress 4.7.4 Is now available.
    WordPress 4.8 is dropping support for Internet Explorer versus 8, 9 and 10 
    Corey Potter from Fuel Your Photos and guest for episode 32, is getting close to completing his first photography theme. It’s built to be used with Elementor. We will have more on that once Corey is ready to release it into the wild.

Referenced Links:

Where to find Bryan:

Transcription:

Transcription was done by Rev.com
Scott: Welcome to episode 39. My name is Scott Wyden Kivowitz, and today I'm joined by my guest Bryan Caporicci. I've known Bryan for many years at this point. He was previously a guest on episode 6, so I'm going to do a quick introduction to Bryan, but I definitely recommend you checking out episode 6, so you could get a deeper introduction. Previously what we talked about with Bryan was I think we talked about flow and things like that I think, if I recall correctly.

Bryan: Yeah, I think we talked about the customer experience on the web mostly. Yeah.

Scott: Yeah. Cool. Bryan is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer based in Fonthill, Canada. He specializes in creating natural, relaxed, and fun imagery. He's a Fuji X-Photographer as well as one of the voices, and really the main voice, behind the Sprouting Photographer podcast. Bryan is also one of the founders of Sprout Studio, a powerful photography business workflow solution. We're very excited to have Bryan back on for another episode, and also the first returning guest of the podcast.

Bryan: Ah, the first returning guest. That's exciting. That's a fun title I guess.

Scott: Yeah, and really just over 30 episodes later, so that's pretty cool.

Bryan: Right. Awesome. I love it. Well, thanks for having me back, Scott.

Scott: You were there for the beginning.

Bryan: That's right.

Scott: Yeah. Awesome. Before we dive into what's going on with you with Sprout Studio and everything, let's dive into the WordPress photography-related news. We have a few items to mention. First is X Theme, a very popular theme sold on ThemeForest. They have a major, major update, so if you are using X Theme, they now have two versions of it. One is not called X Theme, which is kind of what you're used to already, and now there's also X Theme Pro, which sort of brings their Cornerstone page builder into the header, the sidebar, and the footer. You can basically use page builder anywhere on your WordPress site. There are two versions. I think the X Theme Pro is an upgrade, and I think if you purchase it in a certain timeframe you're getting that upgrade for free or something. I don't know. There's a blog post we will link to in the show notes, so if you're interested, just be aware it's a very text-heavy and not very image-oriented blog post, so be prepared to read a lot of paragraphs. So that is a-

Bryan: I was just thinking about it as I went there. I was like, "Oh cool, what's this?" I'm just scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. I'm like, "Where's the picture? Come on."

Scott: Show me pictures, yeah. That caught me off-guard, but fortunately, their email announcement was a lot of bullet points, so I was able to get the gist from that. The next bit is WordPress 4.7.4 is now available. This is a minor just sort of a bug fix thing. There's a lot of updates in this, but it's pretty minor so just run a backup and update. You shouldn't find any issues. But WordPress 4.8 is around the corner. It is dropping support for Internet Explorer Version 8, 9, and 10. If you're a Windows user, you know I think Internet Explorer went up to 11, and now it's called Edge, so it's a completely different browser. That means WordPress will still work on Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10. They just won't support it anymore, so if you have an issue with uploading an image or creating a new page and you're using 8, 9, or 10 of Internet Explorer, you won't get any assistance. You need to update your OS basically. That's a pretty major one.

Bryan: Hey, one of the things I realized in running Sprout Studio here, we build a web application, not that different than what WordPress is, and man, cross-browser supporting from a development perspective-

Scott: It's the worst.

Bryan: It is so difficult. We might build something, and it is perfect in Chrome, and someone opens it up in Safari, and they're like, "Oh, nothing works." It's like, "Oh my goodness." You just wish they would speak the same language so it would make development for the web so much easier. I mean, you would think especially because that is the future of development, right?

Scott: Yep.

Bryan: I mean, apps are now happening natively in your browser now. There's so much you can do in a browser that it would just be so much easier to develop for if you could have compatibility.

Scott: Yeah. Being that you're building your own platform means you only have to worry about browser compatibility.

Bryan: Right.

Scott: When you're talking about WordPress, you're now adding browser, server, OS on top of it, and so many different things. Yeah, cross-browser, cross-platform compatibility in general, it's a nightmare, but it's sort of a necessary evil.

Bryan: Yep, totally. That's the world we live in.

Scott: Yeah. Down the road maybe Google and Apple will merge and then it will just be one big happy family everywhere, and Microsoft will join in and then who knows.

Bryan: That would just be nice. Or someone's got to build the platform that then we can develop for and then it just makes versions for all the browsers, and it does the test thing and all that. Wouldn't that just make life so much easier?

Scott: Yeah. That would be cool. Then the last bit of news is Corey Potter, who you've heard from episode 32, Corey Potter runs Fuel Your Photos, and he is actually building his first WordPress theme for photographers. If you go to Fuel Your Photos, and don't tell him I told you this, if you go to Fuel Your Photos you'll get a preview of what the preview looks like. But he's about to release his own theme. I think it's being called Kindling, which goes well with the name of his brand, Fuel Your Photos. It's going to be out in the wild soon, very soon. He's right now beta testing it with a group of photographers. It's basically built to be used with Elementor. If you're used to the X Theme which uses a page builder, if you're used to Divi which uses a page builder, if you're used to Beaver Builder, Elementor is another page builder, and his theme will be requiring the use of Elementor for designs and things like that. I don't happen to link to that, but I will link to Fuel Your Photos so you can see a sort of a little preview of what it might look like. All right, so that's the news. What's going on with you, Bryan? What's new in your world?

Bryan: Oh, not much. I mean, I'm gearing up to go down. I'm speaking at Belly, Baby, and Beyond in Newport Beach, California coming up this Friday. I've got that. I'm kind of gearing up to head down there, which is nice. I was in St. Louis two weeks ago for ShutterFest speaking at that. Yeah. Had WPPI a couple of months ago there. Kind of just wrapping up and rounding out the sort of convention season now, and wrapping that up and then getting into wedding season here as a shooter. With Sprout Studio we launched a new feature called Multiple Users and Multiple Brands, which was the biggest update we've ever done to the software. You'd appreciate this, Scott. There were more lines of code changed or added in this update than there was in the first version of Sprout that we launched.

Scott: Wow.

Bryan: It was significant. We've been kind of working through that and working on all that, and now working on some gallery updates and stuff. We're having fun and keeping busy over here.

Scott: Nice. Your trip to California, that's going to be a long flight from you.

Bryan: It is a long flight. I never realized until I went to book it and I'm like 13 hours in a plane. I'm like, "All right, let's get some movies loaded up or something. Holy smokes."

Scott: Do you have a layover in the US or something?

Bryan: Yeah, I've got three layovers actually. Or sorry, two layovers, so three different flights.

Scott: What?

Bryan: Yeah.

Scott: Wow. All right.

Bryan: That'll be fun, but that's the nature of the job I guess, right?

Scott: Yeah, yeah. Wow, that's intense. Well, that should be a fun event.

Bryan: Yeah, it'll be a good event. It's an audience that I have a lot of passion for, newborn and maternity photographers and child photographers. I normally speak to wedding photographers, but I do have a quite a bit experience dealing with newborn photographers and teaching them. It's a space that I really think can really benefit a lot from focusing on the business side of what they do, because I've found that not to stereotype by any means, but certainly I think I've found that a lot of newborn photographers are getting into it because their passion for taking pictures of babies comes first, which is typically the case for photographers. But the challenges of running a business in that space are totally different than that of running a wedding photography business. I'm looking forward to helping them out down there.

Scott: Awesome. Yeah, that should be great. If you're watching this and you're going to the event, make sure you check out Bryan's session.

Bryan: Awesome. Woo hoo.

Scott: That's Friday? Is it this Friday?

Bryan: That's Friday, Saturday, Sunday, yeah. I'm keynoting Saturday morning and Sunday morning.

Scott: Yeah, so this episode comes out on Thursday.

Bryan: All right, well if you're down in California, come say hi to me.

Scott: Yeah, timings were just right.

Bryan: Awesome.

Scott: All right. Let's dig into our topic. We're going to be talking about branding, but not the typical branding that people might expect. We talked with Lena Hyde in a previous episode about branding. It was more about the stylization than elsewhere. Let's talk about branding. Why don't you define your definition of branding, of how it relates to what we're going to be talking about?

Bryan: Yeah. I think in general branding can take on so many different terms and so many different ways to refer to it. I think that at the end of the day it's how people feel about you and your brand and your photography. That's sort of I guess what I would call branding as a really generic brushstroke. As a very broad stroke, I would say it is that. But my perspective on branding on the web is that a lot of the times I have found that photographers look at a website as purely a portfolio. I'm of the opinion that we need to be really focusing on our brand, on experience, on differentiation through the web in a way that goes so much further than just a portfolio. I think it needs to be setting expectations. We need to start outlining some policies. We need to start having clients either lean in if they're the right client for us, or pull back if they're not the right clients for us. That's why I think branding and really thinking about the structure that lives underneath it before we get to the exciting website stuff is really important when you're looking at building your website.

Scott: What kind of expectations would you say are very important to set right out of the gate?

Bryan: Totally depends on your brand. That's where I love this conversation because I don't think that there's like a one-size-fits-all solution. I think that you've got to start thinking about what is your brand, what is your differentiator, what's the story you're trying to tell people? Because I think that if you can figure out what that story is, then you can figure out the tangible pieces of how that actually shows up on your website. Most of the time I see a photographer they'll say something like, "I picked out my first camera when I was seven years old, and I fell in love, and I have such a passion for photography." I'm kind of like, "Yeah, you and every other photographer," right?

Scott: Yeah.

Bryan: I mean, like if we're saying that we're passionate about photography, we're not saying anything about our photography. I would expect you to be passionate about your photography. It's like me going to look for a real estate agent, and a real estate agent says, "I love selling homes." It's like, "Great, so you're in the right profession, so now what? Why you, right? The opposite I guess is also the case where photographers will say something like, "Wedding photography is the only thing that you have from your wedding day to enjoy and to see for years to come." It's like, "Okay, so you just promoted the medium of photography, but not necessarily your photography." I think that that's where you've got to do some thinking on the substructure there to figure out what is your story, what is the narrative that makes you unique that clients will then lean into or pull away from if they don't connect to it?

Scott: Nice. Yeah. One of the things that I do that I find that my clients appreciate is on my website I'm very upfront about what they get. It's a different type of expectation than just the story behind what you do. It's more of just I'm going to hire you for cake smash photography, and how does that day go? What do I get from it? How does it start? How do I prepare for it? What happens afterward? Who cleans up? All that kind of stuff, right?

Bryan: Right, right.

Scott: I think as far as expectations go, the way that you would talk to your client face-to-face, in my opinion, should also put that on your website as sort of a selling tool, and make it pretty of course. Not just put text and call it a day, but make sure that it's very clear that they know who you are as a person and as a photographer, but also how they're going to enjoy that experience with you and how they're not going to be stressed that day, and things like that.

Bryan: I think it's super important to make sure that we start building context around what we do as photographers. If you're hiring, let's say a newborn photographer, or let's say a maternity photographer, if you're hiring a photographer to do something, you know that they take pictures obviously. I think what we have to start doing as photographers is start building an experience around that, building emotion into that, and framing what we do, pun intended, in a way that can now build value greater than us just taking pictures for people. That's why I really advocate for building that story. I don't necessarily mean like my own story as a photographer, like this is my background, but more so getting into the why of what I do and getting into the story and the meaning that we're creating for it, or building some context around it so then as the client or the potential client starts leaning in, it's framed in a different way. You know what I mean?

Scott: Yep.

Bryan: Picture this. If I were a family portrait photographer, if you were to go on my website and you could just start seeing pictures, you know your portfolio, maybe there was even an About page, which that's what most photographers would do. Whereas instead, if you had an entire kind of purpose, a whole set of tools built on your site that advocates for what you might call the lost generation and how today's generation doesn't print their photographs, and you've got this story about how your grandmother still brings around her old 35mm film camera to take pictures, and every time you say, "Grandma, we all have our phones, we all have these things. Why are you still taking pictures?" And she says, "Because you guys never share your pictures, so I still take pictures because I want to have prints, and I get doubles of everything so I can share them with you guys." Maybe that's the story, and that's just one example of it, but you need to start building some context around what you do beyond just saying, "I take pictures."

Scott: I got a side story that I think we'll use. It's the complete opposite of what you just said as far as the grandmother printing photos. My grandfather that had the name Wyden, which is one of the reasons why I use Wyden in my photography, he was all about printing photos. He was a hobbyist photographer. But on the other side, they're not a really big photography people at all. My grandmother right now has an iPad, and every time we have a family text when we send photos of her grandkids, my daughter and then my niece and nephew and whatnot, she saves every photo on her iPad. Every single photo, which I think is great. Obviously, she wants the photos. Then she recently bought a new iPad, and the reason why is because she ran out of space on the old iPad. Instead of printing them, she just went out and bought a new iPad so she can store more photos.

Bryan: That's hilarious.

Scott: Yeah. Anyway.

Bryan: That's hilarious. It's in like whatever it is, and that's why I say it's like what expectations do you set? I think there's no hard and fast set of rules for it because I think I've also seen photographers go too far where they have like all their policies on their website. A client's not going to read that. I think we need to make sure that we're keeping our copy and our content short, brief, but based on story and leaving something to be desired so that clients want to lean in and connect. Because if you just kind of put everything up there on your website open for the public, including your prices, then you're not really giving any reason to connect. That's where I think you've got to start building; you got to figure out what is that thing that makes you different, or what are those things, or what is your story that people can connect to? Then try to start building that into your site in many different ways.

Maybe one of the ways is that your have a fine art background and you actually do your own canvas stretching, and you do your own oil paintings for a special commission. Start telling that story, because that's a story that you can tell that nobody else can tell. Maybe you have a video that talks about that, maybe you have some pictures, maybe you have testimonials. Maybe you've got some behind the scenes of your actually doing these things. Whatever it is, start telling that story in your website is such a great tool because you can tell that story in so many different ways, yet still, connect to the same purpose through your website. Because the thing is is someone's not going to read every page of your website. It's not going to happen. You know what I mean? They're going to kind of click around, unless you design a really streamlined experience, which is what I think we talked about in episode 6. If you give yourself the opportunity to tell that story in as many ways as you can, the likelihood of it connecting with somebody is just going to go up.

Scott: Yeah. I was about to say something I totally just lost. That's so funny. I think I'm going to leave this in the podcast because that's really funny.

Bryan: Totally. It's the best. This is the joy of podcasting.

Scott: Yeah. Man, what was I going to say? This is going to drive me nuts now.

Bryan: I was talking about website, story, video. You could put it everywhere. Fine art printing, canvas stretching, behind the scenes photos, stories.

Scott: Yeah, I totally lost what I was going to say.

Bryan: Policies on your website. No?

Scott: Oh, that's what I was going to say.

Bryan: There we go. See?

Scott: Yeah. Man. I think that in addition to adding all this, I think this kind of leads into consistency a lot in a good way is the way that you speak, the language you're using in text. Even if it's text on graphics or text in the video, or just text that's clear text, whatever you are doing I think the words have to be your words, and I think it has to be the way that you speak when you talk to somebody face-to-face. I also think that getting there and finding out what to say, how to tell your story, how to even find your story, I think if you as a photographer can't find it yourself, you need to work with somebody who can help you. There are people out there who can help you that actually, that's what they do is they consult to help you find your brand, find who you are as a brand, your persona, things like that. But I do think that once you find that, the language you use has to be your language, not somebody else's and not just like robotic.

Bryan: I totally agree, and I think it's also something that we want to keep in mind, and this is like a rule of copywriting, which perhaps Scott, you and I, we kind of live and love that space. I think a lot of times photographers don't live in that space of online marketing or copywriting, which is understandable. It's just not their space, but we want to make sure that we're talking into the client, you know?

Scott: Yeah.

Bryan: Like instead of going on and on about ourselves or going on and on about all these things that we do, it's a small mindset shift, but one that makes a big difference. If you can talk in terms of them, and start giving them value, and start talking about the benefit to them, then all of a sudden they start to kind of clue in and listen up, as opposed to us going off about awards or this or that, or whatever it is that we want to be saying.

We got to make sure that we talk in a way that people will hear it and understand it, because if they come to your website and it's basically kind of like verbal diarrhea, and they're like, "I don't know what this is meaning, I don't know what value this has to me," they're going to kind of click away and go. Then that's when you end up saying, "Well, website doesn't work," or, "SEO doesn't work," or, "This doesn't work," because you're not connecting in the right way to people. Just be mindful of writing as if you're trying to convince them to take the next step, which is really what a website's supposed to do. Your website is supposed to have them lean in, and it's supposed to detract those that don't connect with you, but then have them take the next step. If your website's not doing that for you, then your website's not doing what it should be doing.

Scott: Yep. That's for sure. Let's go into consistency. Let's talk more about that. Going along with this whole thing, we could talk about just about the idea of the colors and logo being consistent and stuff, but I that's some of the more obvious parts of consistency. What do you find that is as important or more important in consistency when talking about branding?

Bryan: I think if I can relate this back to how I teach marketing, so when I teach marketing I kind of go through this process because it's very similar, branding and marketing, when I say think of marketing, and I'll just give even photographers listening to a minute, or 10 seconds, think about when I say marketing, what comes to your mind? Most photographers will probably think Facebook advertising, bridal shows, magazine ads, so on and so forth. They'll think of the traditional marketing mediums, like where you market your business. When you start with marketing your business with the medium, you're literally starting off on the wrong foot because you could be saying the wrong thing to the wrong people in that medium. You could be saying the right thing to the wrong people, or you could be saying the wrong thing to the right people in that medium.

When you start with the tactic, which would be the same as the tactic of logo and color and design and theme and so on and so forth, I don't know, are you saying the right thing to the right people? The wrong thing to the right people? The right thing to the wrong people? I don't know, and you don't know until you do that research first. That's the foundation that I recommend building a website on, building your communication style on, building your marketing platform on, building your value proposition on. You've got to know first, what are you trying to say? Then who are you trying to say it to? Only once you figure those two things out, then you can get into the tactics.

If you don't know what your brand is or what message best resonates with your clients, or even who your clients are, maybe your clients are professional independent workers, like doctors or lawyers or things like that, and they just don't have time to go and read all this stuff. If you go and blurt all this stuff out and have all this long-form content, they're not going to connect with it. Even though it might be the most beautifully written content, they may not connect with it. Or maybe your market is millennials, and you're a senior portrait photographer, in which case they need face-paced, quick, rush. They need that, and you also need to kind of hype up the coolness of it. If you go and write this beautifully elegantly worded stuff, not going to connect.

I advocate for figuring out first what's your message, like what do you want to say? Then figure out who do you want to say it to, who's your client? Then double back to that message component and make sure that what you're saying is still consistent for who you want to say it to, and then let's get into the actual tactic, the medium. What's the logo look like? What's the coloring? How does this show upon the website? Where does it show up? Is it the video is it photo? Is it words or is it email? Those are all just tactics, and between Scott, you and I, we could spew out a hundred different tactics. Like, "Do landing pages, do videos, do this, do webinars." There are a thousand things you could do in terms of tactics for web content. Every single one of them works, depending on which market you're going after, depending on what message you're trying to say. I advocate for really thinking about that stuff first and then going through with the execution of it.

Scott: Yeah. I love it. We could do a just like very simple example is if you're a photographer who photographs restored cars for people, right?

Bryan: Yep.

Scott: You like the old, classic muscle cars. That's what you like to photograph, but your language is kind of not speaking to that, and it's actually speaking to the people who have the fancy, what do they call it? Rice burners? Is that what they call them?

Bryan: I have never heard that.

Scott: The ones that sound ... I think that's what they call it, but the more like-

Bryan: Apparently I'm not in that space at all.

Scott: Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, so if your language is towards a different type of car, and you're now advertising on Facebook, and you're targeting people between certain ages that might be restoring cars and in your location, and you got all of the targeting in the right way, but the language you're using is for the wrong people, now you're going to attract people that won't connect with you once they visit your site and see the rest of your content. You need to make sure that that is consistent with everything else you're doing so that you make sure that the people you're going to advertise to, market to in any way, shape, or form connect with the muscle car.

Bryan: Yeah, I always like to say that the medium that you choose, and your website is one of the mediums, landing pages is one of the mediums, Facebook ads is another medium, social media like organic Instagram, Facebook, those kinds of things, those are all just mediums. Those are literally just a delivery vehicle for taking your message and communicating it to the market. All right? You've got what are you trying to say, who are you trying to say it to, and your website is just supposed to deliver one to the other. If you haven't figured out that message, or if you haven't figured out who it is you're speaking to, you're literally flying blind trying to build your website, trying to build a Facebook ad campaign, trying to do a bridal show, without thinking about that stuff first.

Scott: Yeah. I'm going to recommend one person that I know does this consulting for photographers to help them find their way. It's Christine Tremoulet. She is fantastic at it. She's been doing it for many, many years. I will link to her website in the show notes. If you want to take this path that Bryan has been talking about with finding your own brand, your own language, find out who you are and how to portray that story, and you can't do it on your own, check out Christine, or just Google for other people if you really want to.

Bryan: Yeah. No, it's a funny story. I was coaching a photographer just a couple of weeks ago, and we were going through this process because I believe this is something that this is foundational. When I coach photographers I often, even though they're saying, "I need to figure out pricing," and it's like, "Okay, let's just do like one a week," because I do 12-week coaching sessions. Or I'll basically only do 12 weeks. I won't do a four hour chunk or anything like that, because I want to see consistency. I always say, "Let's do some foundation work for a minute just to kind of figure out what this feels like."

I was doing this with a photographer locally, a wedding photographer, and she was saying how her differentiator is that for the family portraits, she sets up all these lights and does like this Vanity Fair thing and all that. I kept saying to her, I said, "Who cares?" She's like, "Well, like you get these beautiful like fashion thing." I'm like, "Who cares?" She's like, "Well, but like you look like you're a supermodel." I said, "Who cares?" I kept saying, "Who cares? Why does this matter to the client?" Eventually, she ended up getting to the fact that family is such an important part of a wedding day, and her clients are those kinds of clients that value family, that value tradition, that value having their loved ones, their grandparents, their parents, be a part of the heirloom of the wedding. It's not just about these Hollywood bride and groom portraits. I said, "That's the story, and that's the kind of client that's going to connect with this. You have to start telling it that way as opposed to just saying, 'I'll bring all these speed lights and do all these beautiful pictures for family portraits.'" "Who cares?" is my comment.

Until you start to dive into that, because then all of a sudden the way that we're now developing her communication guidelines to speak to that audience is completely differently than if we were to take the fashion approach, or if we were to take the technical approach. I said, "Listen, your clients don't care what lights you use, what camera you use. They don't care if you shoot film, if you shoot digital, like they don't care about any of that stuff. All they care about is what does this mean to them. So let's take what your differentiator is and find the story under that and start communicating that the way it's relevant to the market," and that's the core process of figuring out message, figuring out market, and then using the medium, your website, social media, to deliver one to the other.

Scott: Nice. I love it. That's a great story right there. I think anybody listening to this or watching this episode will really be able to connect with that story. Maybe they're doing the same thing and portraying the just exactly what happens instead of connecting it back. Great. Awesome.

Bryan: Listen, the idea of story, I mean, we have connected and passed down ideas for thousands of years through story. Story is the oldest form of communication that we know as mankind, like from cave drawings to now. We are naturally hardwired to connect with stories, so if we can be telling our story or telling what we do in a way that is naturally narrative, then we're going to have people connecting with it, we're going to have people leaning into it, and we're going to be able to communicate about a point much more effectively than if we were just listing out facts or saying, "Here's the gear I shoot with," or, "Here is the top five reasons why you should hire me." We need to start communicating through story, and your website is just one of the ways that you could then put that story out to the world.

Scott: Totally. Nice. Let's move on to a recommended plugin that you have.

Bryan: Let's do it.

Scott: The one you have is not a WordPress plugin, but can be used in WordPress.

Bryan: Yeah. Totally. Yeah.

Scott: It's one I think I've talked about this in the past on the podcast. I'm a fan of it. I pay for it.

Bryan: Yep. Yep, me too.

Scott: Let's talk about this. What's the plugin that you are recommending?

Bryan: Yep. I totally cheated. It's a plugin, or an extension to Chrome, that then works in WordPress that way. It's called Grammarly, G-R-A-M-M-A-R-L-Y. There's a free version. It does a great job, the free version, or there's a pay version. I also pay and subscribe to it because I want the more advanced functionality, but basically, it gives you a built-in grammar, spelling, word outline, copysmithing editor right in your browser, or right in WordPress. If you want to use it stand-alone, you can use it stand-alone. As you're writing blog posts, as you're writing copy, as you're writing your About page, any of these stories you're writing. You can even use it in like Gmail. It basically helps you structure your sentences, helps you make sure you don't have any obvious typing and grammar and things like that, but it actually catches more than what a Microsoft Word might catch, or what your default dictionary plugin might catch. But more so, it helps with the sentence structure. It makes sure that you've got the right order or words of things, and if you're using the wrong S somewhere, or if you're using "is" instead of "are," different things like that. It just helps you refine your language and refine your copywriting so that it comes across as polished.

Scott: Yeah, I love how it says like, "You're using this word too many times. Here's suggestions to change it," or, "You're using the wrong tense," when the rest of the tense is a different one.

Bryan: Exactly, yep. Exactly.

Scott: But then the one thing I don't like about it, which I really wish they address soon, is it doesn't work in Google Drive, like in a Google Doc. You can't use it [crosstalk 00:33:43]

Bryan: I know. That does suck. Yeah, that does suck. I always copy it out. I have the desktop app of it, so I just copy it out of Google Drive, paste it in there, do my editing, and then paste it back into Google Drive.

Scott: Same thing. Same thing.

Bryan: But yeah, I know. Apparently, I was reading up on it. It's the technology clash, like Google Drive doesn't allow you getting into the content like Grammarly needs to. I think it's Google's way.

Scott: My guess is they could probably build a ... This is super technical, so if you're listening to this, you can just ignore this one part. They could probably just build an add-on for Google Drive, which sort of is like a workaround maybe.

Bryan: Yeah, it lives on top. It's great. It's going to help you build better understanding in your content. It's going to help you not make things complicated. The app that I actually love to use with it, so I'm cheating though, Scott, and adding another recommendation is one called Hemingway App. I use that in conjunction with Grammarly. I'll kind of bounce the content back and forth between them because Hemingway App will basically grade your content and give it a rating in terms of a grade rather, so is it grade five, grade six, grade seven, grade eight saying how understandable is this, how digestible is this? If you have long run-on sentences or you have sentences that have a lot of points in a sentence, it'll grade it higher, meaning it's more complicated. What you want to do is get your content to be a lower grade, so it's more digestible, easier to understand, that kind of thing.

I'll kind of bounce content into Hemingway App, I'll do the grading on it, and then bounce it over to Grammarly, check it for grammar, spelling, understanding, bounce it back to Hemingway. Do a couple back and forths on it. Be nice if you could do it all in one place, but you can't. I do it that way, and that way you've got sentence structure that makes sense. It's readable, it's scannable, it's digestible, it makes sense, and it's also structurally and grammatically perfect. It's a great sort of two-hit combo.

Scott: I do the same exact thing. In fact, and I will link to this article in the show notes, I have an article written called Why Use Grammarly and Hemingway When Writing Content?

Bryan: Now way. That's hilarious. That's hilarious. Well, there you go. Spot on then.

Scott: Yeah. This has been a great episode. Thank you again for joining.

Bryan: Of course.

Scott: This was sort of a last minute I needed a new guest, so I'm glad you were able to join.

Bryan: I showed up. We're good.

Scott: Yes. I really appreciate it. I wish you good luck on Friday at that conference in California.

Bryan: Thank you.

Scott: Hopefully we'll see each other in person again soon.

Bryan: Yeah, definitely.

Scott: It's been a while.

Bryan: I know. For sure.

Scott: Do you know if you're going to go to PPE?

Bryan: That's coming up. PPE is in the fall. We might be there. Depends. I might go down to New York for that. We probably won't have a booth, but I may go down just to network and hang out with some folks. Definitely back at WPPI. I do ShutterFest every year. Potentially we'll do Imaging this year, so we'll see. Got lots of exciting things coming up this year.

Scott: Nice. Awesome. Lots of travel.

Bryan: That's right, yes. I know, which is challenging when you have a young family, as you know.

Scott: Yes. Yeah, for sure. Awesome. Well, thank you, Bryan, again for joining today. You can find the show notes from today's episode at imagely.com/podcast/39. Until next time.

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