It’s January 2023 and I feel I’m so far behind for my plans!

It really is the life of a business builder. So many plans. So little time. But really…. It’s just January, and I feel the year is already whizzing by me. Why?

Business Building

I just don’t have Ricardo Gomez Photography to think about….

• Ricardo Gomez Studios. @RGomezStudios. It’s my personal and business photography business. I’m doing some huge marketing work.

• Ricardo of New York City. @RicardoOfNYC. While not originally a business, I turned it into a fashion influencer and lifestyle blog.

• Secret Photography Business. To be unveiled in April. I hope. I’ve been trying to work on it seriously for a VERY long time.

This is all in addition to the work I have planned for Ricardo Gomez Photography. Shoots. Marketing. Infrastructure building. A photographer colleague said once: 98% of a photography business is in front of the computer and 2% actual photography. But that 2% is really amazing! So true!

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I re-aligned my Ricardo of NYC Instagram to include my fashion and lifestyle. Been doing quite well. Increased followers by 10% in the last 5 weeks! This photograph of my new Meermin shoes was my first attempt at marketing which did extremely well. But, I think it was largely luck. I got 33% of my Followers numbers which is super great. But men love shoes. Meermin posted this pic in their Instagram Story. At least a great learning moment.

The Unfortunate Truth

I think for really, even at the beginning of my IT career many years ago, I never really took marketing as serious as I should of. In. IT, I got a good number of referrals and work just by word of mouth. With several organizations, it was the incredible network and partnerships we had with others that really got us what we wanted.

Marketing? Who needs it.

Well, Coke spent 193 million dollars in 2018 in marketing. They made 6 billion in net income. Apple spent 1.8 billion dollars in 2015. They made $53 billion in net income.

So yes, Coke and Apple think marketing is very important.

Some people would say “Well, it’s Coke and Apple. The don’t need to advertise.. Everyone knows about them!” Sure, but how did people get to know them? Well, through marketing! And they can’t ease up… Because they have competition and want to grow their business. Especially Apple.

Apple actually has a small market share in the computer industry. But their equipment has high margins. And of course, they have all those subscription services like iTunes, Apple Music, Apple TV, etc. So the more people that know about their services, the more customers they’ll bring in. Let’s look at some more numbers…. Apple’s gross income in 2015 was 234 billion dollars. So that means that 2 billion dollars in marketing was only 1% of their operating expenses…. ONE PERCENT!

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Coke spends $193 million to convince you to buy this: a $1.25 beverage. Every year. Do you think marketing is important?

Basically, out of $100 dollars you make, you spent $1 on marketing. BTW, that 53 billion in net income is PURE PROFIT. That’s money after expenses like production and salaries. Basically, money goes to shareholders and is an asset for the business. To be used for things like R&D, marketing, sales, etc.

So if I was as good as Apple and spent, say $5000 on marketing costs in a year, I could make $125,000 in pure profit. That would be my pay. TOTALLY worth it in my book. If you invested $5000 in something and made $125,000 out of, you would totally do that. Right? Coke’s return on marketing is even more effective. For $5000, you’d make $155,000….

It’s a lot more complicated than that. But you get the point.

You also can’t say: If I throw $5000 out there, I can make $125,000! No. Because you have to know what marketing channels are going to be most effective. Apple after all, spent ‘only’ $100 million on Twitter ads. So out of $1.8 billion, that’s a pretty tiny amount. So they probably don’t look at it as a high ROI potential. Probably from their data, maybe $100 million is the sweet-spot for Twitter investment. But God knows, they are always trying to figure out how to get more from that investment.

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These are the last 3 Instagram ads I created  for serious marketing on Ricardo Gomez Studios. On the right is about events. My first real attempt at marketing. I got 11 Likes. That's 10% of my followers. The middle one is also about events. That got 8 Likes. Not great but still 8%. The last one, on the left, about portraits, got SIXTY-NINE Likes! Yes, it's a pretty woman but not some super-model. We'll see what happens with my next ads.

Marketing for most people is a pain in the butt. Because it’s a sort of unknown metric. It can be hard to measure. I don’t really think so. You just have to be very vigilant in documenting where you get your business from.

And what I’ve discovered: I’m actually having some fun learning how marketing works!

Trying things like Google Ads. Instagram Ads. Direct mailers. It’s been VERY interesting. Some of my numbers correlate with percentages to what Apple does. So it’s not some mysterious art. And there are some interesting side benefits. Social media follower growth is one of them. The more people who follow you, the more people see your services. The more potential opportunities. After all, if .2% of your income comes from your social media following. .2% from 2 million followers is certainly going to be more than with 2000 followers. Right?

Wish me luck!

Ricardo Gomez Photography

Originally from San Francisco, Ricardo is now a New York-based photographer specializing in editorial and commercial photography.
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