What the Easter Bunny, the Honest Politician and the Upscale Bride Have in Common | Jeff Jochum

(c) istockphoto

(c) istockphoto

What the Easter Bunny, the Honest Politician and the Upscale Bride Have in Common

ANSWER: In spite of our most optimistic desires, none of them really exists.

Yeah, I telegraphed that one, didn’t I? (Did I rush it?  I feel like I rushed it, a little.)

Okay… then let’s get to the point. Why are “upscale brides” in that list, in the first place?  If they don’t really exist, why are there hundreds (thousands?) of books, classes, workshops and advisors that are enticing you with how to find, attract, pitch and sell to them?  Maybe it’s the same reason we keep electing the same “old white guys” to public office and expecting different results – wishful thinking.  Alas, as we keep discovering every election cycle, and after spending lots of money and time on workshops, books and “good advice” – wishing does not make it so.

IMHO, the confusion about the concept of Upscale Brides is centered in the increasingly inaccurate belief that we can categorize the behavior of people by evaluating their age, education, location, income levels, etc.  These points of data are referred to as “demographics” and have been at the center of 99% of all marketing theory and execution for a century or more.  Here’s the thing…

Demographics don’t work. Never really have. 

So, why does every professional marketeer use them, if they don’t work? You can blame that on a psychological bias known as “anchoring.” (This is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions.) When we don’t have clear data that helps us  understand the behavior of the market, we use the information we have, which is usually just the easily-compiled demographic data, even if it is totally invalid for our purpose.

I call this the “Big Lie.”

Now, those of us who aren’t satisfied with the Big Lie, i.e. using demographics as a key indicator for behavior, are often forced to compile social data (stories, examples and anecdotes) to reach our own analytical conclusions.  For me, this is why and how I initially derived the philosophical concept of Specialism over 20 years ago. The goal of this type of social research is the need to add behavioral metrics to our analysis, i.e. how people “act” rather than simply who they “are.” 

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Posted in Branding, Making Money

Rock Your Business: The 10 Must Read Books for 2015

by Mike Allebach

Here is my list of must reads in 2015. I have read and love each of these. For the last 3 years I have read at minimum 24 books a year (most of them on audiobook while driving). If you are serious about growing your business faster than before, these are your must reads.


The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Every artist has a battle to fight, everyday.  I can’t think of a more motivational book that deals with creativity. Steven Pressfield is the artist’s author.  Great for anyone in the creative field.

“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
― Steven Pressfield



Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials) by Robert B. Cialdini

Want a marketing crash course?  This is the book.  Some marketing books deal with opinion, this is not one of them.  Robert Cialdini is the father of modern marketing and can explain with science why people do what they do.  I reference his list of influences regularly when writing ad copy.

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies? The result was that once again nearly all (93 percent) agreed, even though no real reason, no new information, was added to justify their compliance. Just as the “cheep-cheep” sound of turkey chicks triggered an automatic mothering response from maternal turkeys—even when it emanated from a stuffed polecat—so, too, did the word “because” trigger an automatic compliance response”

– Robert B. Cialdini


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Posted in Branding, Marketing, Reading Tagged |

The Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the US


Photographer’s Brandsmash – Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the US – 2015

Just in time for 2015, I’m releasing the 100 Best Wedding Photographers in the US list.  In 2014 I wrote a post of 30 influential portrait & wedding photographers, this list is a follow up to that one! Since becoming a wedding photographer of offbeat & quirky weddings in the Philadelphia area in 2006, I’ve realized wedding photography while a fun job is lots of work.  So I’d like to recognize some of the best wedding photographers in the country for their dedication to the craft.  To be a successful wedding photographer you must be not only an artist but a savvy marketer and an entrepreneur rolled up into one.  To formulate this list I asked some of the smartest photographers I knew to nominate the photographers who impressed them the most (in business or in art).  This list was compiled from submissions along with photographers who I’ve seen consistently improve their craft.

So without further ado, the top 100 Wedding Photographers in 2015 (in alphabetical order of course)

Adam Houseman
Amanda Picone
Angelica Glass
Anna Kuperberg
Anne Almasy
Ashley and Jeremy Parsons
Ben Chrisman
Blonnie Brooks
Brendan Bullock
Brett & Tori Photographers
Brett Butterstein
Callaway Gable
Caroline + Ben
Cindy Guessford
Christina Blanarovich
Christopher Becker
Cliff Mautner
Crissy Everhart
Crystal Stokes
Daniel Stark
Danny Dong Photography
Dave Getzschman
David Murray
David Zaveloff
Dee and Kris Photography
Diane Stredicke
Dina Douglass
Douglas Despres
Dylan and Sara
Elizabeth Messina
Emin Kuliyev
Erin Chrisman
Erich McVey
Erik Clausen
Evan Hunt
Gary Nevitt
Hiram Trillo
Hunter Leone
Jacklyn Greenberg
Jaime Emery
Jana Williams
JB & DeEtte Sallee
Jeff Newsom
Jen Woodruff
Jeremy Chou
Joe Buissink
John Michael Cooper
Jose Villa
Joshua Dwain
Julie Paisley
Justin and Mary Marantz
Justine Ungaro
Kamila Harris
Karina Picache
Kathryn Krueger
Kelly Rashka
Kirk Mastin
Laura Gordon
Leah Haydock
Leslie Gilbert
Lin & Jirsa Photography
Lindsay Docherty
Lindsay Hite
LuRey photography
Matt & Kristen Roberts
Matt Miller
Maurico Arias
Melissa Jill
Michael Ash Smith
Michelle Gardella
Michelle Randolph Turner
Mike Colon
Morgan Lynn Razi
Nessa K
Ning Wong
Parker J Pfister
Pat Furey
Raven Mathis
Rhinehart Photography
Right Start Photography
Rob Greer
Roberto Valenzuela
Ryan Brenizer
Ryan Joseph
Sam Hurd
Samm Blake
Sascha Reinking Photography
Scott & Melissa Hopkins
Siang Loo
Susan Stripling
Syed Yaqeen
Tara Welch
Taylor Lord
Tim King
Todd Laffler
Tony Hoffer
Trevor Dayley
Tyler Wirken
Vanessa Joy

(winners here is your downloadable badge)

Downloadable badge

I’m sure I missed some great wedding photographers…Who do you think I missed? Who are the photographers impress you with their beautiful wedding photos or business acumen?

Mike AllebachMike Allebach is an award winning philadelphia based wedding photographer of tattooed brides & tattooed boudoir at Allebach Photography and guest blogger at Offbeat Bride.   Follow him on instagram at @tattooedbridephotoguy and his work on facebook.

Get Photographer’s Brandsmash tips for your business at http://brandsmasher.com/free-updates/.  Mike Allebach & Jaleel King will be kicking off 2015 WPPI’s classes with the topic Go Viral, Get Press.



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