When Saskia Nelson set up her business she decided that she didn’t want to be just another wedding photographer. Instead, she decided to specialize in photographing people for their online dating profiles. Her niche business, ‘Hey Saturday’ has thrived and grabbed a lot of media attention, including a wonderful piece on the BBC, The woman on a mission to get rid of bad dating photos.
Not only does her entrepreneurial story make great copy, but her use of customer stories to explain her business is outstanding. Ken and Kristina take a closer look in this video.
Duration: 08:55 minutes – full transcript below.
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Ken: Kristina, one of the things that I love about stories is that once you start looking for them you find them everywhere. And you realize “Gosh they are really strong part of the media.” And I found this wonderful story on the BBC about “Hey, Saturday”, which is a great entrepreneurial story. What I liked about this was, it tells a lovely story about the entrepreneur who was working in an Olympic stadium in London and then decided to set out on her own and create a Photography business. But of course, she didn’t want to just be any other wedding photographer. She wanted to do something a little bit special. And I just loved how she came up with the idea. First of all, she’d been into online dating for quite a while and she’d noticed how the photographs make a difference. They are a big thing with you being picked or not being picked and so that’s what she has set up, a niche business to look at, providing profile photography for online dating. And I think it was a superb idea. It really has got her this fabulous story in the BBC.
Kristina: What she created was very niche and very original and very much in demand. Even if people didn’t realize it at first, what a great concept this was. I mean, you think about it, whether you are talking about online dating or whether you’re meeting people in person or being set up on a blind date. One of the first things you notice about people is the way that they present themselves physically. Doesn’t mean were they attractive or not necessarily but there is that factor of do they look happy, do they look like someone that I want to talk to and be around. And your profile picture in dating has so much of an impact on how people first see you and that’s all you get sometimes, that little snapshot that decides whether or not you’re going to meet someone. It’s just a brilliant business idea.
Ken: Yeah, I think it was a great idea. And the thing is, she treats it as a piece of fun, you know this is going to be a fun job she does. There’s just this little quote from the BBC, what she was doing was taking this quote, this great one, because it’s fun and it communicates the fun of the whole thing. And I think that’s terrific. Now, we have talked about quotes an awful lot in this course. But it’s so important that you are able to express yourself, let’s call it a little sound bite and this is a perfect one. This is a perfect example because it sums up her business and her personality.
Kristina: It does. And even though I think there are a lot of sound bites in this story that are really selling her business to people like me that want to know who we are dealing business with. But she’s not giving these stories and saying all these beautiful, readable funny quotes to try to sell her business, she’s just talking, she’s just sharing. But in doing that she is really benefiting her business because she got a whole lot of press from this. I mean, it just goes to show you that you can be yourself, you can just share your passion and talk about what you love doing and it’s going to be self-promotion but in a very natural way.
Ken: Yes. And she has got a very clear idea of what her own marketing is going to be. And I think that came across like she’s got that great marketing mantra “know, like and trust”. That’s what she wants her customers to feel, “know, like and trust” her. And that’s brilliant. And the story, the way they are told is a brilliant way of doing that. How could you do that effectively without real stories?
Kristina: Absolutely. And she talks about the goal of each of her shoots is for the best photos to look like, a really good friend that you were hanging out with took this awesome snapshot of you that just happens to be really good quality. That’s what she wants and the “know, like and trust” really plays into that and the story that was written, because of all that she shared, because of her general attitude about her business and her customers and her market it does make you “know, like and trust” her even before you’ve met her.
Ken: Yeah. And I think one of the things that’s fundamental in her approach is she understands what her customers need. And I think once you see that talking about your business is not about talking about me and what I’m going to do or whatever, It’s talking about your customers and what you’ve done for them. And that really shines through in this piece and in this woman’s approach to her marketing. It’s fantastic.
Kristina: I agree. And I think that she really thought about that when she was talking about this. So it almost read to me as kind of “Hey, I know this might feel kind of weird if you use my services, it might be a little bit uncomfortable at first. But hey, we’re here to have fun. We’re here to give you something that you’re going to walk away with and be smiling about. Don’t worry about it. This is just going to be like two friends hanging out, we’re going to go and we’re going to get some great photos.
Ken: Yeah, that’s perfect. And another thing about this is, when you find a business like this and you look at their coverage, it’s not just one story, they get multiple stories. So I’ve picked out this one from the Independent Newspaper a few months earlier and she does that classic thing, which so many people ignore and don’t think about. Why not get a reporter to try out your product and make that the story? And she does that with a reporter from the Independent Newspaper. And that’s another great way to promote your business. But also, one of the thing that that does is, it involves the journalist in the whole experience. So not only are they talking about you, the business owner doing, but they are talking about their experience of using your services. And I think I ken that’s brilliant. But what unlocks those sort of opportunities is the willingness and the confidence to be open, nice and talk to people and listen and build those stories. It’s terrific.
Kristina: It’s wonderful. And I really enjoy the BBC story because when you take that approach where a journalist is using your product, in that sense, or your service, they are giving an honest review. I mean she didn’t say “Oh, it’s great. I felt comfortable form the beginning, it was fantastic.” She said “No, it was a little unnerving and I got heckled a little bit and at first that was making me feel like maybe this was a wrong choice.” but she ended up loving it. And I think that’s an honest perspective that the journalist has nothing to gain. The journalist is going to get a story regardless of how she feels about this service. But now the audience gets that real life experience and it’s just a testament to good journalism, I would say, and also this business and this business person that is running “Hey, Saturday” and doing a great job.
Ken: I think that is so true. But it is the fact that you’ve got to think about this. You’ve got to think through what are the stories in your business. Many people come across think that they are boring their own businesses are boring. Why would anyone write about my business? But the fact is your business includes people, it includes customers, includes yourself. And there are numerous stories that you can tell. And if you can tell a story people will be interested.