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Effortless Marketing for Photo Workshops

By December 31, 2015No Comments

Design your learning events to attract and wow lifelong clients, by Steve Moeller

If you’re offering, or thinking about offering, photographic learning events, let me help you make them profitable and sustainable. First, how would you answer the following questions?

1) How can I design and deliver insanely great photo learning events that instantly attract great clients as soon as they learn about them?

2) How can I create such an amazing experience that my business grows through word-of-mouth marketing and repeat clients?

The Secret to Attracting and creating raving fans

Photography workshops, tours and classes have all the foundational elements for a highly positive and even transformational experience. I believe we are hardwired to enjoy learning, find pleasure in beauty, feel inspired in nature, feel competent when expressing our artistic skills, be in the flow when on a fantastic shoot, connect with others who share our interests, and to feel elated when pursuing our passions.

Sophisticated marketers place these and other “emotional payoffs” at the center of their product designs and marketing communications. You must be an effective communicator with a helpful teaching/coaching style. But to create an incredible experience, you need to go beyond the head to touch your students’ hearts. That means designing six specific emotional payoffs into your learning events and featuring them in your marketing.

Satisfy these six Emotional “needs”

A few years ago, psychologist Kennon Sheldon and his research team conducted a survey to determine what made satisfying experiences satisfying and what made unsatisfying experiences unsatisfying. Here are the six “must have” positive emotions that create a highly satisfying experience. Think about how you can consciously add these elements to your learning events and marketing materials.

  1. Feeling secure

Concerns about personal and gear security are a big issue, especially for international travelers. Health care and access to emergency care lurk in everyone’s minds. A happy adventure should also be a safe and secure adventure.

Questions to answer:

  • How can I create real safety and peace of mind for participants at my events?
  • How can I effectively communicate the safety and security of my events in my marketing? (Examples: doctors on board, CPR or first-aid certified, close to emergency help, security detail.)
  1. Feeling competent

This is the main conscious motivator behind most students’ decision to participate in a photo learning experience. They want more control over the artistic process, so they can create better photographs than they are now producing.

Questions to answer:

  • How can I ensure that each participant feels they have increased their technical, artistic and philosophical skills in a meaningful way?
  • How can I convince prospects that they can master the art and science of photography through my events—or at least, get them one step closer. (Examples: testimonials or before-and-after participant photos.)
  1. Feeling connected

No matter what else happens at your workshop, one of the most rewarding elements for participants is always the other participants. Make it easy for people to get to know and help each other.

Questions to answer:

  • How can I optimize social interaction and connection, shared coaching and learning, and group cohesion before, during and after my events? (Examples: self-introductions and goals, sharing tech tips, storytelling or discussions over shared meals.)
  • How can I communicate the camaraderie and fun of being on an adventure with such awesome people? (Examples: testimonials, videos.)
  1. Feeling autonomous

Some people enjoy being part of a group; other people just want to be left alone. Let attendees freely choose how they want to participate, interact and learn.

Questions to answer:

  • How can I ensure that all participants learn at their own level and feel in control of their learning experience?
  • How can I communicate that this is an individualized learning experience where participants are free to “follow their vision,” because all activities are voluntary?
  1. Feeling good about yourself

When we experience autonomy, competence and connection, the three positive states discussed above, our feelings of confidence and self-worth are boosted automatically. Attending a photo workshop or learning event enhances a student’s self-image.

Questions to answer:

  • How can I enhance my participants’ feelings of freedom, mastery and connection in ways that make them feel good about themselves? (Examples: special club, awards, designations, acknowledgments, etc.)
  • How can I communicate the feelings of mastery my participants experience? (Example: video testimonials.)
  1. Feeling pleasure

Hedonic pleasure is a technical term that means it feels good. We experience hedonic pleasure mostly through our five senses, but we can also enjoy intellectual pleasures such as a good joke or a compelling idea.

Questions to answer:

  • How can I create novel experiences that stimulate my participants’ senses and intellect in a pleasurable way? (Examples: swimming, wine and food, desserts, beautiful accommodations and locations, parties, indigenous culture, music, cooking class, BBQ, cocktail parties.)
  • How can I communicate how much fun participants have at my learning events?

Now you know the secret to effortless marketing: Conceptualize your learning events as both informational and emotional experiences. Understanding and satisfying these six hidden emotional “needs” will guarantee you rave reviews, repeat customers and word-of-mouth advertising. All of your marketing will truly be effortless.


Steve Moeller attended a training experience with Don Augustine to learn about the power of nature to trigger positive emotions

Steve Moeller is an author, workshop leader, photographer and marketing consultant for entrepreneurs. He applies his expertise in consumer behavior, neuro-marketing and motivational psychology to create better products and more effective marketing strategies. He is the author of Effort-Less Marketing for Financial Advisors, and Endorphinomics: The Science of Human Flourishing, which is about money, happiness, and quality of life. Both have earned five stars on Contact Steve at or go to

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