INTERVIEW W/ JIMMY MONCRIEF FROM CIDERR.COM

I had a chance to talk with Jimmy Moncrief of Ciderr.com a few weeks ago, and he answered some questions about their innovative new service.  I thought I'd share with you, since some of you might be interested in checking it out!

 

What is Ciderr?

Ciderr is the only service on the internet that specializes in giving vendors the power of crowdfunding for their business. Helping them tap into a $19,000,000,000 registry market and helps spread their brand further and faster than traditional market methods by turning their clients and their friends into marketing agents.

Where did the idea for Ciderr come from?

I was seeing how a few businesses were doing gift cards. That's a very popular way of allowing others to gift "money" to their friends. But the further I got into it, it became a logistical nightmare. Since it dealt with a physical product, I had to create a easy way for my clients family to know about it, easy way for them to buy a gift card, I'd have to give a physical card or product to them and then create a system to figure out if the card had been used or not. It was too many variables.

Then the idea of Ciderr came to me. I saw what Target, Bed Bath & Beyond were doing and I wanted the power that these companies have had for decades. The power to have brides "shop" at their stores and then have a vested interest in telling ALL of their friends and family to shop and learn more about their business. It's brilliant marketing and has increased their sales tremendously. Why couldn't I bring that to small businesses like mine.

How is Ciderr helping photographers market to their clients, and future clients?

The average age for brides and grooms are raising every year. In 2008, the average age for brides and grooms were 27 and 29. In 2010, two years later, their ages went to 29 and 31. These couples are already established. They don't need to register for products that traditional registries offer anymore. That era for the most part is gone. Since they're older and established, the percentage of brides and grooms paying for their own weddings is increasing year to year as well.

What these couples want is not toasters and vacuum cleaners, they want to afford a beautiful wedding and hire their dream photographer. What they need is help. They may be able to afford the photographers time but they just need help (or just want) extra services like a bridal shoot, more hours of wedding coverage, more pages in their album, etc. So instead of registering at Williams Sonoma, they registry with their vendor.

Much like a traditional registry, they tell all of their friends to give them wedding gifts from this registry. And any contributor is asked to spread the word about the registry on behalf of the bride and groom. So marketing wise, a vendors branded registry could go viral. Amongst the people coming to the registry are other couples who are engaged and love the idea of Ciderr and hire the vendor because they stand out from the other vendors they've seen!

How is Ciderr different from other registry options available for wedding clients?

All registry systems on the market are aimed toward the bride. But we understand how busy modern brides are today. They don't have time to gather all the information and create an online registry from scratch. A bride could literally register at a vendors registry in a minute or two since all of the setup and hard work has been done for her.

Ciderr is aimed at the vendor and the first registry system that can be fully branded to a vendor. So Ciderr simultaneously makes a vendor more money and markets for them at the same time. If a vendor markets it right, they could drop other marketing methods they've been using in the past and save literally thousands of dollars each year while increasing their revenue.  

What should photographers know about offering a service like Ciderr to their clients?

When comparing a family heirloom like a wedding album that will be with you for a lifetime to a toaster oven, it doesn't take much convincing a bride what is more important. Especially when she already has the plates and appliances. We've asked photographers who simply don't know if their clients would like a registry system that Ciderr offers, to do their own independent research.  EVERY one of them has had an overwhelming excitement about the service. Our society is absolutely ready for a service like Ciderr and the ability to tap into a $19 billion dollar industry... as business owners, its simply too much money to ignore!

Anything else you want to tell us about what you're working on?

We're hard at work on Ciderr every day. We want to give our members incredible service. We're listening to them, giving them a place to put their ideas and input on Ciderr. We're actively improving it every day. We have some really fun ideas to increase marketing for our members even more. We're small and since we don't offer a ton of other services, we can move REALLY fast. We're excited about what's in the future. It's going to be fun and exciting and we want everyone on this journey with us!

 

Be sure to head over to www.ciderr.com and check them out!

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INTERVIEW: FISHEYE CONNECT - A BETTER WAY TO FIND WORKSHOPS

As a photographer, I know that finding solid educational resources about both photography - and business - can be difficult.  That's one of the reasons I'm excited to share with you an interview with Kristy Dickerson, the founder of Fisheye Connect: Your Source for Photography Workshops.  

I know Kristy personally, and I know she has a huge heart for helping photographers connect with the educational content and workshops that will help them grow their business.  After the interview, be sure to checkout www.fisheyeconnect.com to see what they're up to!

What is Fisheye Connect?

For students that want to learn photography, we are free resource to search and find photography workshops, classes, and events by location, instructor/company, or interest. We also have a free subscription service that allows potential students to subscribe and be notified weekly of the new events released and the ones upcoming. 

For instructors we are a Photography Workshop/Event Management and Marketing Software. It allows instructors to handle of the details of an event in less time and also have a bigger marketing reach. 

Where did the idea for Fisheye Connect come from?

When the founder, Kristy Dickerson, started in photography, she wanted to learn more but had no idea where to start learning without having to get another formal education. By getting more immersed in the industry she realized professional photographers offer workshop and there are many other areas for education. Combining photography experts and professionals together with students that want to learn both the technical, art, and business side of photography was how Fisheye was born. 

How is FEC helping photographers find valuable workshops?

Location is the biggest key. Finding education in your area and the answer to the valuable part is something we have been trying to figure out. Since day one, Fisheye put a system into place where students can rate and review their experience from a workshop. We recently made it public and realized for making it all public we had a few kinks to work out. As we are writing this, we are in the process of giving the instructors the option of posting reviews. We want instructors to have this sort of control but we also feel like this is the biggest part of finding valuable workshops. So instructors will have the option to publish or not publish reviews. And all or nothing review system like YouTube. Either way we will be collecting reviews for instructors to use for honing in on their teaching skills.  

What is unique about Fisheye Connect?

The rating system and searching by location is what sets us apart. Becoming a trusted source to find, research, and register for photography workshops/events.  Ebay sellers became a trusted source due to a third party rating and reviewing them. If photography instructors just collect reviews themselves and publish them, it doesn’t add that much extra creditability. By being able to see past attendees reviews it is a win/win. Instructors strive for their best and want their program to be worth every penny photographers spend purchasing a ticket. You can also only leave a ratings and review if you actually purchase and attend the event.  

How do reviews help photographers?

Just like any other product/service that is reviewed you can see what other attendees thought about the program or classes. We are not trying to govern the market for photography instructors, but give everyone a place to connect for quality education. It brings an equilibrium to the market. 

Anything else you want to tell us about what you're working on?

We are currently working on a tool for all photographers to be able to use.  We want success and we want to help you achieve it. To receive weekly notification emails from Fisheye and to stay on top of what is going on, you can subscribe here for FREE! http://fisheyeconnect.com/newsletter.aspx

We have built Fisheye Connect by taking feedback from trusted advisors, leading instructors, and attendee. If you ever have any ideas or just want to reach out email Kristy@fisheyeconnect.com any time.