Marketing Vs Pricing
Machelle came up to me at the break and said, "I don't have a business yet." Machelle is a graphic designer that does photography and she is starting to get into photography. So when she looked at the business rating she's like, "Well, how do I rate myself?" So anybody that's at Machelle's level, this is what she did. I said to her, "Okay, so you're gonna "start a business on these principles, "tell me how strong you feel going into each category. "And rate yourself on what I'm gonna find easy "and what I'm not." She said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "Well, look at brand and style. "Brand and style, you're a graphic designer. "That tells me that your brand and style "are gonna be pretty easy because you're a designer "so you've already got that locked down. "You're gonna go in there at at least a three." The second one is product and price, zero. Because she's never created a product or done a price so she's gotta learn that. Marketing is at a two because she's been marketing herse...
lf as a graphic designer so she knows, what she's gonna have to do as a photographer. Shooting is at a three, because she's been practicing that, that's why she's going towards it. Sales are at a zero, because she's never sold her photography yet. Balance and family are at a high seven, "cause she doesn't own a business yet (laughter). Service and production is there two, Photoshop is at a six and probably higher 'cause as a graphic designer she's already trained in Photoshop. And money management is at one, she's gonna learn that and business goals are at two. So you can rate yourself even before you start your business, right? Victoria is this yours?
Yeah, I don't think you can read it.
Brand and style is a three, I actually don't agree with that, I think you're being too hard on yourself, I like your brand in your style. I like what you've been putting out both work-wise and there's a lot of trilling and fellies on your logo, which is an excess of me but you have to have your own personal stamp on there. So whenever I look at your work I'm like, "You don't need that, your work is so beautiful." But then at the same time I'm like, "You know what? "Everybody has their own style, "in terms of their Brand and style." So it can be higher than three, 'cause it's definitely higher than three. Product and price is at one.
Cause I've changed. Cause I was the shoot and burner and now all of a sudden I'm trynna figure out what products. So I feel like that's at the beginning again.
Alright. Then your marketing is at one, I find this incredible cause you're a dynamic woman, you're attractive, you would talk to people easily, you run a community through your church and your marketing is at one. So we have to talk about that.
Your shooting is not at a one, so this quite frankly is one of the most pathetic ratings I've seen (laughter). And the difference between you here and most people is, you didn't rate yourself based on what you actually need to work on, you rated yourself like you were just being mean.
No, I think it's truthful though because I'm not... my bank account says otherwise. So it would--
Yeah, but my shooting was still really good and my bank accounts said otherwise. Alright, sales are at a two, so your sales are better than your shooting.
Well I think shooting I also meant how many clients I'm bringing in. 'Cause a lot of what I'm doing is all free. But I'm doing enough of it to make it look like I'm busy.
Alright. So you wrote family balance as an eight and you are at a zero, but you're a mother. So I think most women would write zero. Service and product is nine.
My service is at a nine. I feel that I give to people, my turnaround is terrible.
Because of my life. (Sue mumbles)
Photoshop is four, that's good. Five is money management and business goals. When I look at your rating, you know where you wanna go, now you've just got to come up to speed with all the others over here.
And can I say something too 'cause when you were talking earlier, when you were talking about what are you trying to get. And you were talking to about families and stuff like that, for me and I think I might speak for some for some people I'm personally not trying to have these lofty career goals. I'm not trying to get recognized, I'm very, very clear in what needs to happen because it has to happen. And so I'm not doing this, because it's a personal goal. I'm doing this because I have to make X amount of money, to support our family. So I can go do that working at a retail job, that I'd be working ten times the hours and die doing it because I would be so miserable. So I'm trying to make what I know how to do work, which is very difficult.
Okay, so what you're telling me is, "I don't wanna be like a CreativeLIVE presenter, "I wanna just be a working photographer." And yet your three lowest scores are product, price, marketing and shooting. And that is what you sell, how much you sell it for and who you speak to about it. The three principles to make money. So you're not working on the three things and that is what to sell, okay? You rated yourself, the three lowest points are the money makers on your, you will not make money from having a good brand, you will not. Doesn't work. A website can set most beautiful design in the world, won't make you money unless you drive it. But unless you have a product, with a price attached to it, you can't sell anything to me.
Right? So you gave yourself a one. Then you gave your shooting a one, when I clearly see it's much higher than that, so you either don't believe that or you're being modest or you're being mean. Either way, those three things are gonna stop you from doing the two before which is marketing yourself and creating a product with a price attached to it. If you come back to me in two weeks' time and you have got a product set in stone, a price that you are happy with, get over the shooting number, because you can give that a seven, right now 'cause it's perfectly good enough to make money, you can start marketing yourself. If you do that, you can start making money and that was your bottom line. So when you tell me that all you wanna do is make money, you're not doing the three things to make money.
That's where I'll stuck, 'cause I don't know.
Ah, stuck. Let's talk about being stuck. Why are you stuck? Because I'm so unskilled as far as business sense and--
Okay, that has nothing to do with product and price. Let's lock it down right now. How much are we gonna charge for you?
Right now I have--
No, how much are we going to charge you right now? (lady laughs)
Give me a price.
$1200 for a folio?
Yeah, how many images in that folio?
Let's do eight.
Let's work on Nikki's prices. Let's do eight, ten/fifteen no eight--
Is it eight, fifteen, twenty five.
Twenty five. Three packages. I want you to come back to me by the end of the day with a solid package, a solid price and then we're going to create a product and process that you can start marketing. Because I just don't understand that when people say to me, "Okay, let's talk about I'm gonna market my business "to get constant bums on seats." Have you set up a referral system with your current Brides?
We give them vouchers to give to their friends.
What about for them to do glamour shoots?
For their friends do glamour shoots you mean or?
No, for the bride to do a glamour shoot.
We're working on that (giggles)
yeah we're working on that. we basically bring them in and we give them a discount off the package.
How many weddings have you done the last three years?
A hundred and ten.
How many brides is that?
How many bridesmaids is that?
How many mothers is that?
A hundred and what--
Yeah, well 220.
Plus two mother mothers.
How many sisters of the grooms is that?
Um, probably 70.
Three years you've just let a lot of women walk through your studio.
I know. Don't think we don't talk about that, every day (light laughter).
What are you gonna do about that? (laughter).
Makes some vouchers.
Yeah, make some vouchers, get off our butts. (sighing)
You know what I mean? I've seen this time and time again, you can wax lyrical, you can cry wolf, you can cry as much as you want, let's sit down and talk about what you're doing. 'Cause you're not doing something and you're purposefully not doing that one thing. And the weirdest part is is why? Why? How many workshops have you seen of mine Victoria? You're on them all.
All of them. I was doing half of them. (laughter)
What is? (laughter)
I'm watching a bit 2:00 in the morning trynna nurse like, okay, I gotta do that.
Your baby is gonna grow up and be like this entrepreneur, (laughter) ass-kicking woman and the youngest child and everyone's gonna go, "How?" And it's like, osmosis (laughter). It was liquid transference (laughter).
I love the fact that you were here in six of them (laughs). Okay, can we talk a little bit about the branding part. And Caspar says that branding is his or her biggest challenge, "How do I bring my business message "to my target audience?" So let's-- (Sue Mumbles) what's that?
Branding is not your challenge. Branding is just what you shoot and it really defines you. If you look at Nikki's website, you get two very obvious distinctions, she's a wedding and portrait photographer, branded. Yes, there is a type of bride, that is attracted to another type of bride. You see it all the time, look at the big wedding photographers, their brides all look the same. They do, they are a style of bride, the $20,000 weddings, they have the $20,000 bride. Your brides, and I don't mean all the brides look the same, I mean you're attract the demographic. Okay, you do.
They're all very similar people.
Actually we shoot a ton of nurses and teachers. Like so many of our Brides are nurses and teachers.
Probably about third of our brides are nurses.
Because they're telling their teacher friends--
Because nurses and teaches are great networkers 'cause they work with lots of women and what do women do? (laughter) We tell stories. but you know what a brand is really not important to me, look at my brand, what do you see? Photographs. The photographs to tell the story. My font is Palentino. It comes with your computer (laughter). I didn't buy it and you know, it's just, to me the brand and style is really just making a decision as to what you want to shoot. Like you wanna shoot portrait, but not weddings, then your brand is I'm a portrait photographer, that to me is a brand. I'm not really big on all the bells and whistles that goes with it. I've never needed it so.
Well that's one last thing for people to worry about (laughs). Angela MC, "How do you know if it's your pricing structure "that's off or if it's your marketing plan or approach "that's actually wrong?" So just in a bigger picture, how do you assess what's going wrong?
Do you think if I put my prices up to $15,000 tomorrow I would get more or less shoots? What do you think?
Less, right? Less people can spend $15,000. But the people who can't afford $15,000, will spend it because it's $15, and that makes me an elite product, right? So it shifts your market somehow. Let you put yourself in that elite market, you get a lot less, but you get people that can spend more. How do I know if my pricing is off? Generally, if you're telling people how much you cost and then showing them your work, and there's a disconnect there, there's a three-way going on here. What she thinks of my product, what she thinks of my price list, what I think of my product and my value versus will she pay me, there's a three thing going on there. But she's not gonna book if she looks at my work and thinks it's not good enough, right? And so that's why that section on CreativeLIVE on 28 days is important because you and I, not a doubt, it's like saying some somebody's gonna tell you you're not worth that, so you have to really price yourself at market value. You know when you go to a restaurant and you order the lobster and there's no price beside it 'cause it's his market value, what is that? What's market value? It's an average of what something selling for at the time, if you look around to all the photographers, we're all priced very similar. We're at different stages like the lower portrait sales around the $800 mark, the higher ones around 1800, the elitist sort of 3,000 upwards, very few people get the 10,000 plus, but that they are in the market, they're that 1-3% sort of higher level, price yourself accordingly.
Okay, Carol has a question, networking. Not networking and referrals amongst your current clients, networking with other businesses. What have you found that works and does not work? What should we stay away from? Nikki, are you doing any of that?
Right now I'm not.
Have you in the past?
But you've joined a networking group.
Oh yes. I did join a women's networking group.
but you main business to business.
Right, business to business. I did go into a clothing store and dropped off some vouchers and talked with owner But um, nothing came of that.
If you were an owner of a business and I approached you and said, "Can you give away my vouchers?" What incentive are you giving me? Right? You either gotta give me something or pay me something. Or I'm not gonna give them away. So if you walk up to a business and say, "can I have access to your database," what are you gonna give for it? If you go up to somebody and say, "I would like to photograph you, here's a $500, "and then you can gift me to your clients," you've got more chance of getting in. But the best way is to join a network with multiple businesses and just make yourself available.
Just from joining the group, two new clients and then they're allowing me to give a spiel about my business at the next luncheon. And I'm gonna just give you a little special deal if you're a member of E-WEB you get to have the special offers, so I'm excited about that. But even from those two clients I've gotten one new client, so it's a chain reaction.
And it didn't cost you anything but--
You really need to go to business groups, data network. Have you thought about that? If you have a good studio space, open up your studio one night a month for local businesses to come and drink champagne. You can buy, I did a networking evening for 100 people and I went and bought $10 bottles of sparkling wine, it wasn't even champagne. I hired glasses, I gave my friend $ and she made three massive sushi and cheese boards look really fancy for a small amount of money. And people came in, they all ate two sushi rolls, a little bit of cheese and crackers and two glasses of champagne on average, we had 28 bottles left over, you know, it was cheap. I ended up keeping them and just doing more of them. The other night for my birthday, Justine Ungaro, she said, "What do you wanna do for your birthday?" And I said, "You know, it's not really a big birthday, "I don't really care what we do." In one day, she got a manicurist, a pedicurist, a masseuse and a blow-dry, a hairdresser to come to my house like all different girls. In LA, that's an easy thing to do, in most other states I would think in one day that's not easy to do. They were all cheap, I was shocked at how affordable it was. And we had a spa day at my house me and three girls. And we drank champagne and strawberries and had this great day. And she said to me, I'm going to do this as a monthly networking for my business networking group. And people can pay for their own spa treatments, but it's like, every single business owner in the world wants to network and they want something but what they don't want, is for you to ask for something. What they want is to get something. It's like me, you can ask me as many free questions as you want, I'm not going to answer them, I have work to do, I'm sorry. You know I'm sorry. But when you offer me something, I'm gonna to let you into my studio. Is it smart business?
I just wanna ask a little more technical questions about marketing. Nikki you've talked about doing a couple different things and you guys have more work to do with vouchers referrals, how long do you give one marketing technique to show that it does or doesn't work before you move on to another one? Or do you try to do two at a time? I'm just thinking like--
On the marketing section of 28 days, where I wrote the tiers and they're tiered layers of marketing, you get four voucher systems a year. You do three women's shows, a year. You do five speaking events, a year. You did 12 networking events a year. And you run them in tiered layers, so that your marketing is consistently going through the year, across all of your layers. And you monitor which tier is working for you. Like oh! Those shows bring us the most amount of income. So that tear goes to the top and that's what you stay focused on, this tier is not getting us any income. Get rid of it. But what you can't do is market, market, market, shoot, shoot, shoot, earn, earn, earn, nothing. Market, market, market with no money, eek. (Nikki mumbles) SO that Marketing system that I wrote, I once when I first started speaking, you know when you first start speaking you're like, "I wonder if I've got something to say." (laughter) Turns out, um, yeah. 'Cause you don't realize what you know until you start telling people and then everyone's like (exhales). I put that marketing system up in Australia at a national conference and I think 300 photographers took their cell phone out and took a photo of it. And I was like, "Well that worked then!" (laughter) But I don't see anybody else doing that. And I do not have marketing degree, you can do this. Just follow it, print it out and create your own one. Tier marketing 12-month plan, that is your marketing plan. Next time I see Nikki, I'll put it on the blog, I'm going to say to Nikki, "Oh, what was your marketing Nikki? "Oh let's have a look." Nikki's marketing was currently at a big six. And she's gonna have tiered marketing and she's going to start panning it. When I first said that to Nikki, she said, "Right, I've gotta make this work." And I said, "Yeah you're already making it work." She was already shooting, average was already up to 1800, she started to panic she was going out on her own even though she was out on her own. I punched her on the arm a couple of times (Nikki laughs) because it's a good distraction for when people are being stupid (laughs). And I was like, (imitates thud) "You're already doing it." And she's like, "Eek." And then I was like, "Come on, let's sit down "and do your marketing." And I start in Sue Bryce style, started going, "You need to do this, you need to do this!" I look up at her and she's like, "This gives me a full state of anxiety." (laughter) And I was like, "Okay, too much? So I was like, "Okay, we'll come back to it "in a couple of weeks." So I said, "Let's just do one first, "let's just do your woman show." And we focused just on your woman show, but now you haven't picked up anything else.
Aside from joining the network working group but other than that, no I haven't.
So that's a perfectly good reaction to when Sue Bryce says, "I want you to create "six tiers of marketing and show me your 12-month plan," how she felt. And she was sitting in front of me. You're at home going, oh no, no, no.
But the way you lay it out makes it so much more manageable. It's not quite as overwhelming when you're like, "Okay, once a week, I'm going to do--"
One of these things.
One of these things. And it's so much more manageable. So I love how you did it in 28 days. I need, again, I need to go back--
But did it make you feel good when I first showed it to you?
Um, (light laughter). Personally, I have a hard time initially accepting something, initially taking things on. I'm someone who needs to sit with it and go through it and calm down and then work it out. That's just how I operate, you know that, yeah. (lady giggles)
Alright, so now for something completely different, 'cause I wanna make sure we touch on a lot of the different topics that are within 28 days. And one we haven't talked about yet, which you are known for, is posing. So people are talking about the challenges that they have with posing. And I saw earlier one about ballet hands and then one from Theresa Fey who says, "The other day, my client didn't have "a very good relaxed mouth neither do I," (chuckles) Theresa said. "And I had a hard time asking for sexy and no smile faces." So could you talk a little bit about how intensive the posing parts of 28 days is and what you cover. I think if anybody's got any of my workshops you pretty much understand it's 80% of what I teach. I've never asked anybody to give me a sexy face, give me a sexy face Nikki. (laughter) I think if you ask people to give you a sexy face, they'll probably be like.
It's like duck face. (laughter) I don't know what a sexy face is, I know what a relaxed mouth. Lips together relax your mouth, all of you. More, relax your mouth more. Push your chin forward just a little bit. That's good, eyes to me, relax your mouth. Okay, very good, relax your mouth. I know I'm going to keep saying it through the whole shoot, it's really weird but relax your mouth, okay. Stay exactly as you are and I want you to give me a tiny little wee baby smirk. Just a little, all through the eyes, tiny little smirk on your mouth. Beautiful. Relax it again, do it again. Tiny little smirk, this time I just want the ins to come up, just give me that little twinkle good girl. Okay, relax your mouth, keep your chin forward, eyes to me, beautiful big smile. Nice. It's so easy, because even the cameraman were doing good. (laughter) Because they were listening, you were like I wasn't. (laughter) Because when you listen to it, you can't help but do it. And the thing is just keep telling them to do the same thing. How often in a shoot do I say relax your mouth? Relax your mouth, eyes to me, push your chin forward. Push your chin forward, relax your mouth, eyes to me, push your chin forward. Drop that shoulder, push your hip back, soft hands, good girl. Push your chin forward, flex your mouth, eyes to me, eyes to me little smirk, all the way go for it. I mean I don't stop saying that. If you practice that, you will nail it down. And so when somebody doesn't have a relaxed mouth it means they're holding the tension here and they think it looks good so you must just keep saying, relax your mouth, relax mouth, relax your mouth, relax your mouth. And then go like this. If they're not, it's like this. Camera away, Victoria, you need to relax your mouth, look at me, push your chin forward, relax your mouth, eyes to me, good girl, there it is. I need you to stay there, 'cause you're holding a lot of tension in your mouth, and that is where your mouth is the most beautiful. I'm really assertive, but try to be calm. Calm and assertive, calm and assertive, like Cesar Millan. (light laughter)
Amy, do you feel like you have been able to develop that in your own voice? Based upon what you've learned?
I'm fairly good at relaxing people's mouths. Sometimes I do have them try and just breath in through their mouth.
She's way better than she think she is. (lady laughs)
That's a common thread today with you two. (laughter) So what's your language? Like Nikki's shot with me a lot, so Nikki goes with relax your mouth, what's your language around it? You tell them to do that. (Amy laughs and mumbles) Go on. You've got five women there, looking at you, just tell them exactly what I just said but in your way. Like if you were photographing them.
I'm trynna think of what I even do.
Don't think about.
I think I'll probably do it wrong.
You can put your camera up if that helps. You can hold your camera up (man giggles).
Okay, girls now look at me. And I usually start off with the--
Chin forward and down.
I'm sorry but is chin pan, not the most ass-kicking thing ever in the whole world (laughter).
And still after two years, people still like, go like this when they see me or go like this and try and move my hand, which i think is hilarious, but I just love that.
So we do that with this too. So chin forward and down. Now, relax your mouth, okay. And then I...
See you just did relax your mouth. And how do you get them to come up into their smile, what are you words?
If I want a true smile, I usually start saying, I usually laugh and go, okay (imitates laughter). And then they start really laughing at my fake laugh.
Nikki is doing it right there.
I go ( imitates laughter).
Oh, you're so cute. (laughter)
I know what you're saying. (laughter)
Like, oh my God! (laughs)
Nikki is different when she's shooting a client on her or when she's shooting a client in front of me. Everybody is, it's like for some reason when people shoot with me, they have this really unusual body sweat and like--
I was already getting it (giggling).
Isn't that weird? Because when you're holding the room it's your space but when I'm watching you, it's very different. But I feel like your words are different to me and she's shot with me. So I think you find your own way of saying it but it's still remembering I don't do the beautiful, gorgeous, darling, I just do good girl, good girl, positive affirmation. But when I do see their beauty, like when Laurie said when you do touch here and you look at them with love, it's not so much love when I'm styling a client and I can see that they're just shining and their makeup has come together and I know I'm getting the shots. I'm so happy for them, that when I sort of preen them I kind of thinking to myself, you look so beautiful right now and I'm capturing it. And to me it's like the energy exchange is like me touching their hair and just going, not, "I'm nailing this," but "I'm nailing this for you." And that's what I feel confident about. Like I am nailing this for you and you are just giving me everything, This is just working 'cause it's amazing, that makes me so excited.
I see Nikki nodding as well, love it.
Well she feels the same way.
I'm nailing it for you, I like how you just put that into words. It's for you--
That's right, that's taking that ego out and it's for you.
'Cause it is, it's about them.
And then people feel that, I felt it. Nodding head.
So actually not call you the pet name, sweetie and darling but she will affirm, when she knows that she has a beautiful image of you, she will affirm that and say this is just beautiful and she means it, it's coming from her heart and soul.
Nailed it, we nailed it.
Yeah, yeah. As you're working together-- (Sue mumbles).
That works for weddings too. And that's something I've been thinking about the whole time is at 28 days, so much of the stuff that's in there we do for weddings not just for glamour.
We do have lots of the same hand issues with weddings as well, the thunderbird (giggles).
Yeah (light laughter). And also the chin,
And tilt chin directing with your hand.
And the relaxation and the smiles and the moments.
Yeah and creating moments.
Wanna give a shout out to a Valerie Ott in the chat rooms who says, "Tell Sue, that my clients have told me "over and over, that they really love the way "that I direct them. "I think that firmness and repetitiveness is what works "and I learned that from you." So good job, glad it's working.
I did a shoot in Los Angeles two weeks ago with a celebrity hair makeup artist who like does clients like Mel Gibson, you can follow him on Twitter Bruce Grayson, absolutely amazing man. We were talking the other night and he was like, "You hypnotized people. "I watched you do it." And I said, "You know, it's not hypnotizing, "it's controlling." Because all people want is for you to take charge. So if I flounder they'll smell my fear. But if I can hold their space, hold their eye line, hold their pose, hold their body and then move it with my hands, they're so locked on me, they've forgotten I've got a camera. Then when my camera does come up, just keep the words going, just keep talking 'cause you're distracting them. It's like hypnosis and when when I snap my fingers, you're going to wake up and spend three and a half grand. (snaps fingers) (laughter)
Please, can that be learned?
Yes, yes it can, it can be learned. Because remember my first boss told me I was too young, not dressed well enough, uneducated, with poor elocution and that I didn't even have the life skills to converse with clients. And I was like 22 and I might have been a bit rough around the edges you know, but I was like, "Well, I'll learn that." I'm gonna learn me some good speaking tricks and then hypnotize people into spending lots of money. I don't know, of course you could learn that. It's about being confident enough to try anything. I guess the difference between me and most people, is I've had to shoot in front of thousands of people live on CreativeLIVE, knowing that whatever comes up on that tether you're gonna to see and I'm just like, I've been doing this for so many years, if I make a mistake you'll see me make my mistake and then you'll realize that's the same mistake you make. Like I wasn't certainly thinking, (imitates nervous yell). But to watch people shoot in front of me is horrifying for them. 'Cause I've had photographers lose their ability to speak shooting with me. Like they've gone muzzle, muzzle and I was like, keep. And I stab them in the back you know keep talking, keep talking and they're like this one woman turned to me all sweaty and smelly and was like (clicks). And I said, "You can't breathe?" (light laughter) and she's like, "Can't speak." Then I said, "You can't speak?" (laughter) It's just like, (clicking). And I said, "Why?" And she's like, (light laughter). Your fear will change everything about you. Your fear of money will change everything about you. Your guilt and earning money will change everything about you. The way you shoot, the way you handle people, your assertiveness, your self-confidence, will change everything about you, it will change everything about your business.
The more I've grown in this, I've had to learn that it's okay to ask people multiple times to do the same thing, if you just didn't get the shot. What I used to do is, I would be nervous and oh they're gonna think I don't know what I'm doing because I have to keep asking them and I can't figure it out. And I would just take the shot and be like, "Oh looks good," and then move on when really, I didn't get the shot.
And you know you didn't get it.
Right, and now I've learned it's okay. And if I need to stop and collect my thoughts, that's okay, they can relax and take a break. If I need to tell them, ten times, chin forward and down, that's okay (lady giggles). And I had to learn that--
Cause I said 60 times.
And I always said to Nikki, "Look at your posing manual, pick out twelve images "before your shoot walks in the door, "while she's in hair and makeup. "Have the images drawn out on the floor." But no, your client's not watching you follow a diagram, your client is watching you design her shoot, think about it. She's not watching a posing manual, you're designing her photoshoot. What images do you love? Oh my God I love that image, we could do that with a black dress, let's draw that out, draw a shoot list. Then you will nail it every single time and if you don't get it keep going until you get it but stop looking at the back of the camera.