Year One in Business
Here you go, guys. Sandra, Amanda, you all know Tobin, you all know his wife Sarah. So Sarah joined us for the second CreativeLive in August, but Tobin was in the first round of students. These guys have gone away for a year. They've been working on their business, and I wanted to bring them back today to not only talk about their blocks, to talk about their first hurdles, but more importantly, I needed to clear their blocks, because when I see a really simple block for me, it's now something that I no longer can see should exist for anybody, and so when this rolled out, this is how it rolled out for me. Sandra wrote this on Facebook, and it says, hello, you know, and everyone else, I hope you don't mind an honest post, but I really wanted to talk honestly to a smaller group of photographers who are driving a similar ship, and the responses from this team really frightened me, because I realized that they were almost at the, Sandra was at the is it even worth putting money into buildin...
g any more of this, and Tobin was at the I'm seeing Bryces all 'round the place, and they're charging less, and that means he's coming from competition, she's coming from lack, and I'm reading their Facebook page going I'm so disappointed by this. So I called Sandra and I said I want you to come to Seattle, and then I was like, hell, I want you to come to Vegas. (audience laughing) And they came down to talk about their blocks and where they've gone wrong in the last year. So last night we got together and I asked them, before I asked them the questions I asked them last night, I asked them these questions online. How do you feel about your folio? And I want you to ask these, these are all to all of you. How do you feel abour your folio? Do you love it? Are you excited about it? 'Cause if you're not excited about it, nobody else is gonna be. That's why you must be photographing something you love. You know, 'cause it really helps to be excited by your work. And that means you pitch from enthusiasm, that means you love what you do. So I asked them how do they feel about their folio right now, and of course, like all photographers, they feel pretty good. So then I asked them, would you pay what you charge? And I didn't ask are you happy with what you charge, I said would you pay it, would you pay what you are charging right now, and have you? Have you gone to another photographer and paid that value? Do you understand what that value is? So I'm $3,500. Would I pay another photographer $3,500? Yes, I would. Yes I would. So all I now want is a photographer that can give me the experience that I give for that money, and as soon as I believe that, I would pay for that experience, I believe that 100%. When was it working? And why isn't it working now? Okay, these are the first questions I ask people, because I feel like it's gonna help me really quickly get to the root of their blocks. Where their blocks are coming from. When was it working and why isn't it now simply comes from yes, there was a successful time in your business, no, there is not now, what's changed? And the answer will blow you away. Because that one is the single question that you have to ask. So then I asked send me your PDFs, okay? Send me your email marketing. I got an amazing reaction from that. Okay, and the amazing reaction came down to this. Sandra said yes immediately and sent me hers. I emailed back and said Sandra, it's crap. I don't mince my words. Okay, I'm not gonna say it's good but. I'm gonna say it was crap. It's crap and you're worth 10 times more than what your visual communication is telling me. So there's her block straight away. Alright? Amanda didn't send me one, and she didn't really have one because she hasn't really started going yet. She's still just introducing it, tying up kids, families, blah blah blah, which means she didn't have one. Tobin and Sarah waited three days and sent me a beautiful one, and then I realized they'd just designed it. So I was like okay, that's really cool, nice design, what have you been sending your clients? Well, nothing, we've always meant to do it, so that was on the we had to do it anyway, it was all coming, and I was like, uhhh. That's not what I asked you. I was like so what have you been sending your clients for the last 11 months? Okay, and same with Mapuana did the same thing. Alright, pretty much the same thing. Because it's something we gotta get around to. Right? So on that checklist, when I say what is your clear communication, do you have an email PDF, have you done your vouchers, have you done that, are you clearly communicating? I cannot, I'm gonna say it three times. The email PDF that you design, that you send out to your clients right now to educate them, to bridge the gap between what you do, and to visually show them your beautiful work, is free to create on your own Photoshop. Why aren't you doing it? There's no excuse that any one of you right now do not have dynamic, gorgeous, creative PDF that you can send out on email. And if you are not doing that, you are missing an opportunity, a golden opportunity to market your business. And I cannot believe how many people don't have one. Who has one here in the audience? Yeah, who doesn't have one? How many of you that do have one would happily put it on screen for everyone to see it right now? Okay, I can't see your hands. Five.
I would if I could. (laughing) Okay. So there you go. I find the most incredible thing about apathy is, non-action is apathy, right? Apathy is the ability to not move on something, blocked energy, is when you block, when you block one of those channels, one of those physical channels, is it comes down to I don't believe that these five people sitting in front of me did the work on their PDF. And that disappointed the hell out of me. Because I was like, this is the most obvious marketing tool you have right now. I said it in my first CreativeLive, my second, my third, and my fourth. Is there a reason we have not created that yet, yes, because there were other blocks at play, and that's what they've discovered today, right? So, everyone does it. This is human nature. When is it working, when was it working, and why isn't it now? So, that was Sandra's. That was Mapuana's. That was Mapuana's. That was Mapuana's. That was Amanda's, and then we started getting into Arabic. (laughing) And long equation. I kinda got bored on the second page. And this was Sue Bryce. Models Wanted. This was mine. This was my epic fail. Don't you love it? Models wanted, makeup, hair, and photoshoot. The best part about it was I wrote this: all ages and sizes please. (all laughing) Alright. No charge. That's even better. I don't expect you to pay me. Beautiful studio in New Market with an all-woman team. Like they care. We are training two new photographers. Only Tuesday and Wednesday appointments. Limited bookings available. Alright. So when you come back now to this visual PDF, you can see where we all have epically failed, correct? Amazing, right? Now, too wordy, too image related, too price related, too number related and yet none of them accurately or clearly communicate to me the five people that I know who you are. And I know who you are, so I don't see your message in there. I don't see it at all. And yet your IM that you started that people even started to copy was magnificent and you haven't even done that. I'm not gonna talk about that because you're gonna do it this month. So my challenge to you is, on my blog, over the next for weeks, is for you to create your PDF, mind-blowing PDF, and I want to put it on my blog, and I'm gonna help you with that. I wanted to design them for you, but I didn't have the time last night. So, really important was this: as I started to track my progress from my epic fail, in fact, before we move on from our epic fails, can you talk to me, Sandra, about what your, out of the eight physical blocks, what were yours today?
Eight physical blocks and the one personal block. You can acknowledge first the eight physical blocks.
Help me with the personal block. You're saying...
Well, I believe that there's a ninth block, and it's your belief system. So, the eight physical blocks being the Photoshop, the marketing that we had up, which one of those, where do you sit in your blocks?
I actually, as I was listening to you, I believe that there's a ninth other block, and that is time management, and you mention it on your checklist, and I think it, along with my marketing, are playing off each other.
I don't believe in time management. I believe when you want to do something, you get it done, and when you hate something, you procrastinate. So, the point is, is you'll pull that up on your hate list immediately, and I'll think you find that everything that you lack in time management is on your hate list. And, you do not need to try to go to the gym if you love going to the gym. If you hate going to the gym, and you think it's a place of great suffering like me, you don't go. (laughing) So you don't go and buy a gym membership, do you, because you're just buying it to feed the gym and you're not going anyway, so, what you love, you get done. It is that simple. What you love, you make time for. If you don't love it, you won't do it. It's that simple. Time management really is about procrastination and apathy. That means you don't want to do it, so that's on your hate list.
And you're right, and that's where I'm saying marketing, because I'm cluing in. You saw my PDF. I suck at marketing, and I want to hand it off. You said that last night. You said hire somebody, and I was like, light bulb.
That's your biggest block is marketing, and that is bums on seats. And without bums on seats you're not shooting, without shooting, you're not making money, it's that simple, correct? Alright, so, your marketing is not about self-hate, it's about hate, but there's a difference between having no confidence to market yourself and having to confront that, and just hating it. It's not your thing, you don't know how to do it.
I don't know how to do it.
Yeah, 'cause you're a good self-promoter.
Because I've met you and I know this and I've photographed you, so I know that about you.
So the self-promotion's not the problem. I think the creative marketing is probably, and the doing of it, is probably what stops you the most.
So that's cool, that's a good block. Amanda? Physical blocks first.
Physical blocks. The sales and money.
Mine was definitely just not thinking that I'm worth it.
Thinking that I should be here, and everyone says you should be up here.
So yours is a personal block. It's the ninth block, and we're gonna deal with that tomorrow. And also what we talked about today, so that's gonna clear that out for you. Tobin?
Our biggest blocks really consisted, was mostly in brand and, mostly marketing.
Okay. Mostly marketing yourself. So putting yourself out there, again. Is it a block about confidence? Or is it a block about I'm not liking it?
I think it was a block all about not liking it. That is, we've got enough confidence. We find there's three steps. One is getting people's bums in the seats, giving them the experience then making the sales. And when we get the bums in the seats, their experience is always great, and we always have sales.
I don't care what you're good at. I care what you suck at.
It's marketing. Okay, so tell me why. Why do you suck at marketing? When you said to me, in the break, you said, I just found out my block with Sarah, what was that?
Well it wasn't that I'd just found. We were looking back at, we bottle necked. Which you warned us against in the first one.
We worked so hard, we did a phenomenal amount of shoots over the summer coming right off your course, and we exhausted ourselves, and found ourselves in a lack of communication to each other, and such stress to each other that it became a big marital problem.
What exhausted you?
The physical shoots were exhausting because the learning curve was steep.
Everything was new.
It is steep. When you love something, you're energized by it.
But we also have a two and four-year-old that affect our sleep when we try to recover. And at that time we had a one and two-year-old that weren't sleeping, so recovery was hard just to, yeah, recovery was hard on that because if we had infinite time, we had looked at each other so many times and were like, oh, if we found this before if we have kids,
It would have been easier.
'Cause we had no other income.
We had decided, after we--
Okay, stop. You were going so hard because you had no income. So why would you work yourself to death with kids, and that's your answer there, so you were panicking and bottle necking because you were trying to get more done, and when you panic and bottle neck, you do not invite clients into your studio, because you're just trying to rush through them to get paid. Okay, so your block is around money.
Okay, your block was around money, and so you overloaded yourself to make money. Right?
And we were surprised that we made money, honestly. I was, at least.
Okay, you're surprised that you made money?
We made a lot of money, and we made it quickly, and it was shocking, and then the next big block for me was fear of success. Because holy crap, all of a sudden, we had the potential of being successful.
Yes. And I don't actually believe that there's a fear of success, but I know that people say that, but that's really intriguing to me. I always kind of think, you already are successful.
It was a parental thing.
Yeah. That's cool. But that's a personal block. Okay, so your block was money, and ironically, you thought it was marketing.
Mm-hm. So when you say your block was marketing, what were you talking about there?
That we didn't get out of our way instead of listening to people about why they didn't want to come in, we would go and tell people why they should come in and what the experience would be instead of listening to their need, and we didn't get out of our way, but we just talked too much. We didn't listen.
Okay, so that means you were coming from a place of ego and validation instead of coming from a place of service?
That's an easy block, because you just turn it back to service. I've done that a million times. You turn that back to service and you work on your money blocks tomorrow, and you're done, home and house. That's why we have 10 bookings next week. We turned that around last month.
Mapuana. Physical blocks.
Production time. Like turning things over fast enough.
Okay, so you don't like doing it, which means you need to hire a re-toucher.
And you need to price accordingly, so you need to lift your value so that you can price an extra hundred dollars so you can pay for your re-toucher to not even do it. They should be providing you with re-touched images, and you should be selling them and going back to your children while that happens. You have outsourced it and you have priced for the outsource.
Okay, that's where you want to be. Any other blocks?
My time management, because I do have kids. So, like, as soon as school's over, it's done for me. I can't do anything. I can't return emails, I can't get on the computer, just, it's over at three o'clock.
Okay, so you get one shoot a day.
And when you say your time management, I don't believe in time management, so there's something that's going on there that you don't like doing, and you struggle with it, and is that the post-production?
I don't like editing. I feel like I take too long. And that takes up so much of my time, and then my time's gone and then I gotta pick them up.
Okay, so it's not time management. There's no such thing as time management. Everyone talks about time management. I don't get it. You know, when I like doing something, I won't sleep. Time management? You think I'm energized by that? I stayed up 'till 2:30 this morning, and then I woke up at 5:30, and I thought, I don't even know if I went to sleep 'cause my hair was perfect. (all laughing) But what I was doing was preparing this. And you don't think that excited me enough to sit here with this energy? And that I don't feel that rejuvenated by what I'm doing right now because I am in a place of complete enthusiasm over what I'm doing, and when you hate doing something, you procrastinate and you don't do it. That's going on your hate list. Put it on your hate list and then deal with it. So that hate list has gotta be written. We're gonna check that off over the next month. I think that's really important. What is the biggest thing you've taken from just today? And we haven't got into personal values tomorrow, but what is the biggest thing you've taken today? Do you feel like you're reenergizing your brand or do you feel like you still feel helpless?
Good question. I feel like I'm on my way. I'm not feeling a place of helplessness, I'm not feeling a place of this is absolutely, there we go, click, done. But have I found something that yes, I'm gonna work on, absolutely.
Okay. You need to, for me, Sandra, fall back in love with taking photographs, because the one thing that you cried about over and over again in your first CreativeLive was the experience that you can give to women. When did that stop being the most important thing that you did?
It is the most important thing, and when women have come to me, they tell me that.
So reconnect with that.
'Cause I think you probably stopped doing it.
No, no, I haven't, because I know I hear it from my clients over and over again.
Then if you love it, why aren't you drawing it to you?
Because I don't know how to reach those women beyond my own self-promotion. I don't know how to reach the women that, you know, that have the, to be honest, have the funds to do this. I live in a world where women say, you know what, I can't say no to the crown on my tooth because I'm gonna have my picture taken. And I know there's women out there that can afford this.
So you have a money block.
Yeah, you do.
No, I don't agree.
Yeah, you do.
No, I don't, 'cause like I say--
Dude, I walk down the street and I see Ferraris. I don't see that people are like can't even pay for the crown on my tooth. That's totally what you're looking at. Lack. Excuse me, not enough. All around you.
I believe that they are out there. That these women are out there, but I truly find--
Where are they? I know they're out there.
And Sue, that is my world. I live in a world where piano lessons are paid, where women put themselves at the bottom of the heap.
It's called Family First. It's an actual international demographic.
It's one of the challenges.
It totally is. And that's, I think, and you know what, Sue, you reminded me that one in 10 are going to be booking, one in 10.
Not 10. Not eight.
So you're focusing on the nine that say no.
I think I am.
Okay. You're still not there yet. 'Cause you're not telling me the truth. 'Cause I can tell. 'Cause you're saying I think I am. Not I know, right. Everybody else can come to a conclusion on your block and you're still not admitting yours. So. It's okay. It's not a mystery. I'm gonna just talk you through it. It's like this. When people tell me it's a mystery, I'm like, it's okay, you just haven't seen it yet. It's either a money block, or it's a personal block, but one of those feeds all of those channels. Where are you struggling on that eight thing there other than marketing? When you market yourself, and you say I'm having trouble attracting women outside of my own self-promotion? What does that mean? Are you saying that you're marketing yourself and people aren't attracted to it? Or they're just not coming or they're telling you they've got no money?
No, I suck at marketing. (laughs) I do. I don't know what to write on my blog. I don't know where to put my next marketing dollar. I don't know how to announce to the world beyond my verbal abilities.
And when you left CreativeLive, you had a whole lot of photoshoots, and you said your experience with them was just transforming them. You had a whole lot of photoshoots, and your experience was about transforming them, and you just went nuts.
Yeah. What's different now?
And that's, I know very clearly that in the beginning it was about my story, and it was about reaching women with my story. And I felt like by four months of telling my story, I didn't know where to go next, I didn't know how to say it next.
Ah, there it is. Okay, so you know your story's important. And it's your story.
But do people not get tired of hearing my story?
Well, they're hearing it for the first time. You're the one that's getting tired of it.
Yeah. (all laughing)
But, okay, sorry, sorry. It's permanently on my website, but in my blog, to say it again and again and again and again.
Do you really think clients read blogs? No, I think photographers read blogs. (all laughing)
Well, so, they must've been reading it because they came. They came and they said, your story. Your story's exactly what's brought me in here, 'cause you get it.
So you stopped telling you story?
Yeah, I did.
Hello, that was your strength. Is that not what worked for you in the fist place?
Yes. Now how do I tell that story in other places?
I could tell that story every day.
Where? Like, where? Like, not just my blog, but where else can I tell that story?
You tell that to every woman that you speak to, and all of a sudden, so many more will be attracted to you. You can say it in your blog and everything that you do. You can start a mommy self-esteem blog. I don't care what you do. Just tell the story.
Tell it to everybody, and honor that. 'Cause that's what's working for you. That's what worked for you, and it's not working now. That was one of the questions, right? When was it working? When was it working and why isn't it working now? So many people tell me that, that they had a moment when they were really successful, and then they bottle necked, or they did that, and I have to ask why? Why was it successful? Go back to that. That's what you were doing that was right. But what did you do wrong after that that stopped it? And if you stopped, you just got sick of marketing that story?
No. I was worried that people--
Oprah's been marketing that story for 25 years and she's like the richest woman in the world.
Her story is her everything. It's her everything. Everything about you. Every path to empowerment of every woman you meet, it comes back to you, and what you believe, and what you know about yourself. So you could put that into, and fuse it into everything you do.
Okay. Okay. Cool.
Are there any questions? I just find this one of the most intriguing things you can know about people, because what I need to understand is what are your physical blocks first, but it doesn't take long to work out, really, where people's blocks are, wouldn't you say?
Kee-lee asks, okay the fear of success. What about the fear of losing success? Getting there but losing my edge, or not being able to keep my success consistent? Is that a fear of loss?
What an incredible energy to put into something you don't have yet. (all laughing) How's that going for you? Mm, it's that simple, right? I'm gonna put all of my energy into fearing something I don't have yet, and then I will never have it. Crazy. Human nature.
Why do we do that ourselves?
Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we do that to ourselves? You know, Eckhart Tolle, the power of now, learned in prison, he says too much fear is too much future. Too much resentment is too much past. So, you're either in the past or in the future, but you are not right now, if that's what you're worried about. So if you are thinking I might lose that in the future, you are not enjoying it now, and if you are thinking I resent that, then you are not enjoying it now, and the truth is that if you come back to gratitude you'll come back to now, as soon as you come back to gratitude for your story, for the story that you get to share, for the women that you get to empower, for everything that you get to shift and change in yourself, that will change for you. So there's something there that is blocking that from you believing that it's worth it, and you believing that you value that, and you believing that your story was important enough to be told, because it was certainly important enough to be told when you left, and it was certainly successful when you left.
And it was. Literally, it was as simple as I just felt that you don't need to hear about me all the time. This an experience for you, and yet I'm forgetting that it's that connection that is what makes it.
It is all about the connection, and the connection will attract people to you so that you can then give them the service. You don't sit in the photo shop and keep talking about yourself. You've attracted them because you're like-minded and they understand you. They understand you because your story resonates with them, and they're like, you're a mom, you're a mom and you know what that feels like, you know, re-post my shoot. Come back and do another shoot with me. That would be the best marketing tool you could do with your story, is do another shoot and say and again, a year later, I'm re-empowered by finding myself again, and now you can be, too.
Is that not the best marketing you can put out there? I suggest ask friends, and every photographer I know has a photographer friend, shoot each other. Post that. Fall in love with yourself. See yourself in your own mirror. Peel your image from the mirror. Sit, feast on your life, right? Is that not the whole point of what you're selling? And how can you sell that if you don't experience it for yourself? You are important enough to be in your marketing, you are important enough to tell your story and infuse it into everything you do. It's just the way it is. What's down the back there?
So, you definitely hit the nail on the head when it came to ego getting in the way, and I completely forgot how self-obsessed I am, and how much I have a need for perfectionism, which does hold me back, so, if I didn't have a little Sue Bryce on my shoulder all the time, how would I get, I love that you're calling us out on what you see, because I can't see myself when that belief system is in my way and when my, how I wanna be, how I wanna see myself, is in the way.
Look at your hate list.
Go to your hate list. Because I tell you what, most people can't tell you what they want, but they'll tell you what they don't want. And on your hate list, I remember writing I don't want this anymore. I don't wanna feel like this anymore. I don't wanna be poor anymore. I'm done with the struggle. I'm done. I don't want this anymore. And when I say I don't want this anymore, I go, then I have to change something, and when I go, what do I change, it has to be my mindset. How do I change my mindset? I look at what I'm doing, and I look at that block, and you know, that answer that you just gave about stopping telling your story, even though it was the last answer you gave, it was the first thing you wrote to me in your email. It's the first thing I read. And I heard that as it being the most important thing. My story was important at first, now it's not, I stopped telling my story, and now I can't get work. So that, to me, is what I heard when you told me you were failing the first time. And it took you a long time to come back to that, because the thing is, is often we're not gonna bring our failures right to the forefront, because they're gonna be too hard to listen to. I'm really glad that you said how self-obsessed I am. We all have egos, and we all are self-obsessed. We've all come from that place. That's human nature. You're not sitting here with a bunch of people going, oh, mustard shit's got a big ego over there, and you're the only one, right? (all laughing) That's not how it works. We're all suffering from the same pathological need to be liked. Ouch.
Sue, what about blogging? Like, I feel like I suck at blogging. I don't know what to write.
So don't blog.
Okay, so you don't feel like blogging is that important?
I'm great at blogging, but I've not been doing it.
Because my life has gone crazy, but I miss my blog. I love blogging.
I like it, but I just don't know what to write, like I don't know how, like, what do I write about the next client and the next client to keep it fresh? Like, I just feel like it's the same thing, so it's like, blah blah blah, blah blah blah, this is them, look at my gorgeous client. I feel like a repeat.
Well then tell stories.
Tell their stories?
Tell their stories.
Tell stories, tell their stories, tell your story, tell stories, then. And make one blog self-promotion, one blog an interesting story, one blog a trial that you've had in your business, another blog something you've discovered, look, I've been shooting into the flare. Something new, something exciting, something old, something borrowed, something blue.
And just keep rotating them around, so, one blog a week, four blogs a month, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. So a borrowed story, something deep and meaningful, something old, something new you've discovered, and just keep rotating it around. And just be interesting enough that people want to come back, and show one to two images, never more. But don't blog because you think it's good for your marketing, because if you're a crap blogger, nobody's gonna read it anyway. So, I think that this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and lack thereof. Is total crap. And I don't think it represents you professionally, I don't think it represents, you know what? Your work is beautiful, and your three thumbnails. Sandra. Really? Your work is beautiful, Amanda, and you didn't even have an image.
Well, for me, I, the way I thought of it was that my PDF was for people that want to know the pricing that, my website, is, if you wanna see my images, go to my website. That's how I was. I was like, this is all information, you've already been, to get the PDF, you've already been to my website, you've seen my images, you're interested, you wanna know what the price number is.
Okay, do you honestly think they would pick your prices over anybody else's with beautiful imagery in it?
In my area, yes.
No, I don't agree.
You don't think so?
Not when I see you redesign it and you simplify it, because you'll even find your average got straight away.
That's my other thing, is I, my images that I got from you, I got a metal print done, and I got standouts, because I love those, and I felt like I want to give my clients all of these options. Like I want my clients to have metal prints, and I want them to have the more funky, not just a regular print with a normal frame. Like, I want them to be different. I want them to be able to have canvases and to have standouts and to have the metal prints.
You still don't need to have 80 things on your price list. 80. You need to have three. Acrylic, canvas, frame portrait. Bang.
For us, we didn't, we did the same thing. People came to us because they've seen our website, they've seen our Facebook, they got a hold of us, we, when they've been on our website, instead of making the PDF, we actually made a show reel back in December that was about our experience, which anyone who's seen knows what our experience is and that's why they're calling us. So instead, we send them another block of--
Excuses, excuses, excuses, excuses.
We like to talk to them on the phone. We wanna talk to them on the phone, and that's what we've been booking.
However, if you had done the PDF like I showed you, and matched the third, fourth, and fifth last year, with a beautiful behind-the-scenes photoshoot of your show reels, and linked the show reel, then you'd be getting three times the traffic to that video.
That's probably completely true. (all laughing)
I think yours was a design fault.
And yet you have access to me, you have access to the vouchers, and the videos, $99, 28 templates, and five videos on how to do them. That was just a poor effort.
Just like mine. Poor effort. Didn't know better. So, we're gonna take their designs on my blog over the next month to the next level, and I'm gonna show you how I did this with mine. So this was my epic fail, and this is me epic failing, and then evolving in my epic failure. So I get to here and then I stop. And then I'm marketing weddings for some reason. (all laughing) Don't know why. Just felt that they were beautiful shots. A misalignment in the communication to my clients, but that doesn't matter. They were gorgeous shots, and there I was there, marketing strange little wedding images, and then I tried to market the beauty and be all about the box and the beauty and the word, okay, and I'm missing the essence of the one incredible shot that is not in that series, and that to me is, you know, speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil. (all laughing) And I totally misaligned my clear communication. Then I started to get in here, oh, I love this one. Okay, this is where I start evolving my brand, so I'm in the sort of end of my first year of business, Gift Voucher website only special book now, must be purchased before photoshoot to receive this offer. Voucher is two makeovers, this does not include monthly gift. Only $300 makeup and photoshoot with a six by eight print value 425, only $500, makeup and photoshoot with 11 16 print, value $700. Only $800 makeup and photoshoot. (all laughing) Oh my god, really, Sue Bryce? My images start at $275, my folios start at $1200. Mm. But you get in the way there, 'cause, you know, the more you talk, the less your client's talking back. Then I started to really evolve. I was like, there I am there, I'm starting to look really pretty, pricelist, pricelist, pricelist. I'll say it four times just in case you don't know what it is. Print mounted. Print mounted. Print mounted. Print mounted and matted. Print mounted and matted. Price excludes GST. Framing options, albums, and new exclusive lightbox are available and displayed in the studio. Uh, yes, how much do you charge? I'm not making it very obvious, am I? Okay, then I started to simplify even more. Beautiful makeup, gorgeous hair, professional stylists, the makeup room. I'm trying to incorporate everything I do in one sentence as well as brand myself. Makeup and hair styling for all occasions. One hour, $80. Styling, straightening, soft or full curls, hair must be clean or dry. Oh my god, again. Okay, let's just blind people. And then I went to that. Did you know that that got me more phone calls than anything else? You know why? Everyone loved her. She's identifiable. She's beautiful, she's got freckles, she's real, you know she's not a model, and everyone went nuts. And the more words I took away, the more bookings I got, because I wasn't confusing people with all my palaver. But, very, very careful. When they do ring you, you must tell the truth. You must tell them how much, and if you've got your language and your spiel down pat, you can nail it every time on the phone, and entice them to come in. As I evolved, my simplicity got better and better and then my, I started to extend backgrounds. This was the first real extended background I did. All of a sudden, I realized then, in my second year of business, my brand started to look very contemporary and very magazine. This is when I started to compete on a commercial level instead of a portrait, self-design field, which is where we're all looking over here in our first year. Just like I was. So now I'm no longer boxed in and designed on Photoshop, I'm looking like this. I'm starting to look like the real deal, and I'm starting to feel like the real deal. And so then I develop into this, and I use the word glamour as a thesaurus explanation, and then I've got she is beautiful, she is a woman by William Shakespeare. I've chosen a beautiful font. I've designed it myself. I did it on Photoshop, and that there became my most significant branding for the next three years of my business. And nowhere on it does it say, hair, makeup, or photography. Because once I communicated through my brand, it communicated back immediately. Then I tied in two things. This was my new price list. Makeup and photoshoot for two, $190. Folio box 16 and 20. Wall portraits from $275. Suebryce.com. And that was an a la carte menu on a simple business card that big. And everybody got it straight away. And if I educated my client properly, they got it, and they bought, and they purchased. My philosophy was simply, so they keep the card, because if I put a poem on the other side, especially a poem that related to my brand, they would put it on their fridge and keep it because it's worth keeping. So that was just a keepsake. Simplify, simplify, communicate clearly, and then tell your story. Empower them with what you know, what you love, and I want to see this, clean brands, I want to see four PDFs from these people over the next month that blow you away. I'll help you design it. Those vouchers take me two minutes with those templates. It's a joke how easy they are. This is a voucher I designed that I've used for ten years. This is the card that I use. My card clearly communicates what I do and how I do it, and it has very few words. It communicates with images, but what communicates the most is me. It says Sue Bryce, photographer slash makeup artist, contemporary glamor photography. Okay, my phone number, bookings, inquiries, suebryce.com. I'm crossing genres and I'm crossing ages, and it's a beautiful fold-out card. My PDF is simple. It starts with Simona. This is the one I released on March third, and then it links to Simona's video with Mindy's beautiful song, and before you know it, you're, you know, sitting there tapping away, listening to that song, and all you're thinking about is that experience, and I wish I could have that experience. So many people have written that on that video. I watched this video, and all I think about is this experience, but that PDF drives that video. A video, nobody's gonna drive a video to watch a video, unless you're sending something out that is making them hit on that link, you know? And then my price is here and it's simplified. And I've gone for the highest version of my price. So we're gonna talk about that tomorrow when you do pricing, and I'm gonna tell you the difference between how an a la carte menu works for me, and how one price works for me, and why they are better, and why they have negatives and bonuses, and then we're gonna look at international standards of pricing. Now I'm to here. My PDF just got a whole lot sexier. And the reason my PDF got sexier is 'cause I went with a magazine theme. I did this on photoshop. I got a canvas, I put a blank line down the center, I put a shade on one side and a highlight on the other, and I just drop images into it. It takes a second. I did it myself. I am not trained in this. I looked at Issue Magazine, and I said, I love that centerfold, the idea of a magazine. I'm gonna do that with my PDF so it looks like they're reading a magazine, even though it's not even folding like a magazine. Because what are my words? Contemporary portrait, contemporary glamor fashion. Magazine. I want to correlate that look of a magazine. I wanna use my before and afters in the simplest and most beautiful way that I can, and where are the words, where are the words in this PDF? You know where the words are? The words don't need to exist because the whole point is the image is telling the stories. Who's getting lock in the port-a-loo for that phone call? (all laughing) Okay, the words are not important as the pictures are. Get your friends to photograph you behind the scenes. This is your first point of contact with every single one of your clients, and it needs to be your best, and it needs to be designed this week. Do not hold back. Do not wait. Get excited about it. And then when you put it out there and refresh your story, you'll have a new reason to talk excited, enthusiastically about your business. This now PDF, my struggle with the PDF is cutting down from 50 pages, 'cause I'm so goddamn excited about it I feel like I'm designing a magazine. And I'm just like sitting on Photoshop going I want everybody to see this, and see how I'm cropping slightly over the center line, but I'm leaving room for words on the right, but I'm gonna keep my words minimal, I'm gonna use words, I'm gonna cross images like this, I'm gonna take a horizontal image like this and I'm gonna splice it up the middle but I'm not splicing a face, okay, never splice a face. And then I want to, you know, cross over. I wanna use some behind-the-scenes shots so that people can see the reality of the experience with me, and still, I've showed you no words, because I don't need to, do I? Because it's so beautiful and so visually beautiful. I can create a contact sheet. I made this little film border. I just made it myself before I owned Alien Skin, I just made it myself on Photoshop. It's not hard to replicate once you know, and then I can splice full images, I can use words, look at that, that is absolutely beautiful, I love that splice being in there. And then I've created a little contact sheet with sticky tape, which, by the way, I photographed, I photographed a contact sheet with sticky tape, and then on Photoshop, I laid my images into it. Okay, that's how I did that. And now it's a template on my computer. And then that's your before and after and it looks funky, and then I did the center one because I think that looks great and by the way, that is the girl doing the glam shoot on the left, and that is her and her partner on the right. So that marketing tells me you can bring your boyfriend in and get shots with him as well. And we just went up in price. And there's Simona behind the scenes, rocking it, looking gorgeous, finishing with a green dress, and we finish with her video, Mindy's song, and before we know it, we're wrapped up in the experience and I'm saying, I'm just, I'm loving that Sue Bryce. Okay, and this is what I showed you last month. So now I need you to kick this out of the park, start there, go through your checklist, make this happen. This is where it's at. This is your contact point with the world. This is your contact point with your confidence. This is your contact point with your marketing with no money. This is, you can email it, you can send it out, and it is free to do this. So get excited about it, and if not, show reels, $99, you got 28 templates. I made these three vouchers in under two minutes from the same template. Are they the same template? Yes, they are. One two, three. It is so easy to create beautiful marketing and beautiful visual displays. You're a photographer. That tells me you're probably quite good at taking pictures, so all you really have to do is put some words on them. Yeah. Not that hard, is it? And stop reinventing the wheel. If it's functional, leave what you've got. If it's working, leave it. Okay, don't just go and redesign it because you think you want yours to be sexy as mine. Okay. Oh, that's gonna be so much fun. I'm happy to take questions. We're wrapping up for the day. I wanna, I just wanna say one thing about these guys. They're the only, I don't care at the end of the day what they stand up here and say. They're the only ones that can identify and remove their blocks. Just like you are. I think everybody has a different idea what a block is. Everybody has a different idea of where they think they're at, but if you are struggling to find your block, like if you are not 100% believing that about what you do, and even if I say it back to you, and you're still not 100% there, you need to keep talking about it with someone you trust until it comes forward, but only when you are ready to accept it will you accept it. Right? Only when you decide what that is will you decide to shift it. And you can hold onto it for as much as you like, but I'm telling you right now it's affecting your business, and if you don't deal with those blocks, you will not achieve what you need to achieve. Would you agree with that? Yeah. And you've been in business for a year. I've been in business for 10. So I'm a little ahead of you on the evolution chain, but I've been there no less. Is there any questions in here?
I was looking at your marketing pieces, and this happens every time I'm looking and researching other people's stuff, is I look at their marketing pieces, and I just think they're so beautiful, and when it comes to my pieces, I'm just having this, like, oh, sure. When I'm looking at other people's marketing pieces, I just, I fall in love with them, and I think they represent their work so well, and when I go to design mine, I can't pick a picture, I can't, it's, I can't find a cohesive, I don't know what it is, but I feel like, would it be better for me to hire someone else with my work to do that?
Well, here's the thing. I think you should just try falling in love with your work. You're obviously judging it and not valuing it, and so therefore it's not good enough when you look at it. That's your idea, that's not the truth. I went through that. I've actually been through that. There's a few things that I know to be true. One of them is, I know TY, because you saw me shoot her, you saw me shoot her, and you saw me reveal the shoot to her, she's one of our missing students from today. I know that woman, and when I look at that image, I'm in love with the image. I'm in love with that woman. I think she is an amazing woman. She came all the way from Nigeria and met us and spent a week with us. These guys know her. I don't need to look at that and say I don't love that. I love that. When I look at that, I know this woman. I know Jen. I know her daughters. I know where she lives. I know her story. I know her partner. I know her. I remember that shoot, we were in New York. We were in a great time. I remember everything about that. We went out and we had a great, just the most fun weekend. To me, I'm in love with my work. So if you just need to reconnect to it. Unless you're enthusiastic about what you do in your brand, you will not sell it. You cannot market it, and you will not value it. It is that simple. I would, and I want you to do the same, fall back in love with it. I don't need to think about that. That is Maria. I know Maria. Maria's a bugger. There's nothing I don't know about this woman. I love this woman. And she will be on my vouchers for the rest of my business days, because I love this image, and I love everything about it, and because I love it, it makes it special to me, and because it's special to me, it's easy to market it, 'cause I'm proud of it. And yes, there was a time when I wasn't proud of my work and I hated it when it was really good. Because I just couldn't see the value in my own work. So tomorrow, when you're doing your personal value, and you can name your money price and you can start valuing your work, I want you to go back and just re-fall in love with your brand. Reconnect with your images, and reconnect with what you do, and if you can't find that connection, you need to do something different. Something else.
So is your recommendation someone's contacting us instead of getting them on the phone and talking to them and getting them excited about coming in, is first send them the PDF and the video as opposed to talking to them?
Okay, so that would imply they've sent you an email to say can I have your price list, and then you're sending an email back to say call us. Well, you potentially could lose that call by doing that when they've just asked you for a simple request. Wouldn't it be better to send a beautiful PDF, visual PDF, showing your work, a link to your site, and your phone number saying please call and we can talk about any requirements you have for your photoshoot.
We have a lot of stuff that comes in our form. So their phone number comes in initially, so it's not then send us your phone number, they're inquiring with their phone number in the email.
Well, if they inquire with their phone number, you get them on the phone first, and then you send the form while you're talking to them. So when they say how much do you cost, you say as I'm talking to you, I'm sending you a PDF and a price list right now, and a link to some behind-the-scenes video so you can see how much fun you're gonna have and have an amazing experience with what we do in our studio. And then you're hitting them both. You're talking to them on the phone, you're winning them over, you're sending them a PDF, and it's linking to your Youtube account and your vimeo with tag words, which ultimately is raising your ECO.
We have a number of questions that have come in that are a lot of different very specific blocks, and how do I deal with this, and how do I deal with that? Jenny eeh-lug says I can be incredibly hard on myself, body image, and I look at other people's images as I would mine, and I worry that I look over possible good images because of my own shortcomings. How can I clear my mind and look at a session with loving eyes instead of critical? And what I would love for you to do, actually, is to kind of go a little bit beyond that, like, and, give people some advice on how to figure out what the answer is for themselves. Because they're not always gonna have you.
Yes they are.
Or, they are. (audience laughing) So what they need to do tomorrow, is that is a self value she's working on, and we haven't even done self value yet. Like I just talked about reading a book about self-hate and how it changed me. I haven't even asked you about your blocks yet. So her blocks and her judgment to other people's bodies is an incredible learning curve for her, because that tells me that she's about to learn some huge lessons about herself, because how dare you judge a client and their physical appearance, what right do we have to do that? None. And that tells me she's judging herself so harshly, which is what she said in her first sentence, which is what she's having a problem with. That's her block immediately. Do you understand it's the language you use? When people say, they're telling you. And that's what I hear. I'm hearing their truth. She is telling me that she's struggling with that and that's a huge part of her life 'cause she sees it in everybody else. Guess what. She will keep attracting people with body images until she works on her own. That's how it's gonna work for her. It's gonna keep coming back, and keep coming back until she deals with it. Until she doesn't care and just gives people unconditional love, and she'll learn how to do that herself. So when you're not gonna have me to pull up your blocks, this is where you have to just identify that you have a block. Okay. You've gotta admit that. You might not be happy with yours, but you've got it. You've got a block. I've got a block. I've got lots of blocks. I'm like road block central over here.
What is your biggest block, Sue?
My biggest block? Mmm. I don't want people to think that I'm become an educator because I'm no longer a photographer, because I see people give up photography after two years and become workshop people, and I bag on them, and I didn't want to do workshops because I didn't enjoy them, but really, also, I didn't want people to think those who can't teach, 'cause I have a successful business and I love being a photographer, so that was a huge block for me. When people write on Facebook things like oh, it's the Sue Bryce show, it makes me cringe, because I think that's what people are saying about me, so that's a block with me, not that I have a wealth of knowledge to share, 23 years, but the fact that I was more worried that people would judge me for that. I have a block, I've had multiple blocks through my business with the terms of how I look, and I think it's a girl thing, I'm gonna talk about that tomorrow, definitely. There's a boy block there, too, but don't worry about that. (audience laughing) The truth is is what Cahl-en said, I'm not with it, I'm not pretty enough, you know, people always say to me, well I'm not sensual like you, so how can I pose my clients when I'm doing all those poses on stage, and I'm showing people, and so I have an answer to that. And yeah. So I have multiple personal blocks in that sense. I learnt how to make money, so I would go $5,000 empty, $5,000 empty in my bank account, and then I jumped up to the next level, where I was like $70,000 empty, $70,000 empty, and I keep resetting that, and then I jumped up again to the next level which was $150,000 empty, $150,000, and then I held it for a while, and my block was, I keep putting a ceiling on what I can earn, what I can have in the bank, what I can earn, what I'm worth. I keep putting a ceiling on it, and it keeps shifting, and I keep getting afraid of that instead of just focusing on the service that I channel and teach, because when I do that, I just make money. And so my money block has grown, meaning my money has grown, but my block is still there, it's just the ceiling has lifted higher, and I'm trying to burst through the next ceiling, which is to have no limits at all, and to not care if I lost it, because if you took all my savings away now, I would still be Sue Bryce, and I would still be able to offer a great service and a great product, and I'd still be able to make money tomorrow, so that doesn't frighten me, but the block still exists. I have a personal block around relationships. I'm single. Yeah, so, that's a huge one for me, and as successful as I am as a photographer, I'm not very successful at relationships. I'm working on that. But that's a huge block for me, that's personal. And that ultimately is a huge thing for me. And, you know, that's my story, my drama, and, you know, we all have something. We all have something huge going on, but the trick is to just identify that you actually have a block, and that's not a hurdle you're going through, it's just a belief, and as soon as you identify it, you can stop making a drama around it and just go, oh, is that what it is? I have a block around money. I'll just read the PDF Sue's giving me tomorrow. That fixed her. (audience laughing)
Thank you for opening up, Sue. Thank you.
I just have a quick question about the PDF. I'm excited to create mine. I just wanna be clear on everything that should be included in that. I understand it's kind of like a simple price list.
Beautiful images, behind the scenes, and a clear communication of what you do. So if you're gonna, you know how some people can write and it's like reading the most beautiful thing? I can't write like that. I write like I speak, you know. And unfortunately I don't have the gift of writing, so I'm going to have, I have the gift of photographs, so I'm gonna tell my stories with images. Behind the scenes and video. But if your gift is writing, by all means, write words, but I'm telling you write now, people will remember images and video over text. They will hold it and they will keep it and they are more likely to read it if it has video and images. More likely to, like 78% more likely to.
Would this also include what they can expect at the shoot and how to prepare for it?
Okay, that would be the next...
Yes. That would be your consultation and prepare for your shoot PDF.
Which is one of the challenges.
Consultation, education, what to wear, what to bring, and how to educate them in price, that's on the second PDF, the follow=up, when you talk to them on the phone.
It's kind of a joke, like, do you still give away gift vouchers? Do you still give away gift vouchers?
Always, always. Yeah, I will always do that. I don't need to worry if I'm gonna get paid now. I know I'm gonna get paid. And if I don't, I've done something wrong. I'll work on it.
I was hoping, well, first of all, 'cause I wanna say thank you to the five of you for getting up there onstage, and getting real, I mean, yesterday when we talked with Sue, she said I want you to tell the truth. And you guys have. And I'm wondering you could tell our studio audience, but also, the internet out there, one piece of advice, or one thing that you've learned, even through this little process of being up here and being faced with your own truth.
Oh, I do have the mic, oh, sorry. (all laughing) I guess in all, the thing that we found is, in being the authentic us, and taking everything that Sue gave us, and making it our own, is how, some people talked about standing out in the sea of people doing stuff, is even if our price is the same and our product is the same, the experience with us is what's different, and that's what we bring, because every one of us is unique. And so, in that way, always being the authentic us is what's helped us where we are now.
I've learned that no matter how many times you fall down, you still gotta get back up. So like, Sue had asked for the PDF. I did not even do my PDF, and I was like oh my god, we're gonna be on CreativeLive, I don't even have a PDF, and she's gonna be like, what, you don't even have a PDF?
I was so onto you, though.
Yeah, I know.
I was walking around the house going, agh agh agh ah ah, ah.
I was like oh my god she's gonna do that on CreativeLive, and I need a PDF, so the truth is I didn't even have a PDF, so I had to hurry up, rush and get mine done, but I feel like I can get lazy at times, and I know I can get lazy and I need to take responsibility for that, but it's just about constantly, you know, you gotta own it, like you gotta own your faults, and you gotta just keep going. You gotta recognize where you fall down and stuff, and know that, and just keep working on it.
Good girl. Alright.
Mine was I wasn't only in my way, this was our realization last night, is that I wasn't only standing in my way, I was standing in his way. So I just have to get out of the way. I have to get out of the way of sales, because people wanna give us their money. I have to get out of the way of telling people what they're gonna have, 'cause they're gonna tell me. I have to get out of the way. And that's what I learned.
Good girl. (audience laughing)
I would have to say, from what I learned here but from the last year or two is don't hide from the opportunity to learn, don't hide from the answer. You said come and I initially went, hm, mm, breathe, and, you know, I've had those all this last week. Breathe, this is gonna be so public, this is gonna be so public, and I thought what? I have so much to learn, just by engaging this conversation. Don't hide from it, find out what it is, what your block is. It's worth it 'cause the answer is gold.
It is. And when you redesign all of your PDFs, and I put them on my website, and then you can start to write to people out there and tell them what shift you've had, then it will be significant, and I know it will be.
Just get out there and do it. I got back from the workshop, and it took me 'till October, November to get through what I already had booked. October, November came, and I was like okay, now I'm ready, what do I do?
So you're gonna go with the Nike ad, Amanda? Just do it.
Yeah. No, but it is.
Are you gonna go with the Nike ad?
You've gotta get out there and you've got to work it.
But you're gonna go out there and just crush your money block.
No, but you've gotta find hair and makeup artists, you've gotta market, you've got to, you have to, if you don't just, it's 'cause October, November came, and I was like phew, my beach sessions are done, I'm good, and then I started going, I was not, sort of reflecting on my year, and I was like, I was not happy with what I was doing.
So now you're gonna apply the same just go out and do it to your money blocks so you can just mash through that and quadruple it.
Alright, Sue. It's about that time. Do we have any final words from you for the day? (Sue sighs)
I spend my whole time going to consultations and workshops, wishing that I didn't, because all I see is people that need to work on themselves, and it's a conversation that that's all I want to have. I don't wanna teach you how to be better photographers, although the 28-day challenge, ironically, is all about teaching you how to shoot my business model and market on my business model, so the most empowering gift that I can give you would be that you need to constantly work on your blocks, you need to constantly work on your clear vision and reset your direction, you need to constantly reenergize your excitement and your gratitude and making that happen, you need to constantly, constantly, constantly regenerate that in business, and if you are working in a business that you really love and love what you do, it's actually quite easy to do, because you just fall back in love with what you do, and then you just make it happen. But today all I've seen is a whole lot of people stand up and just tell me what they were doing wrong, and a whole lot of people stand up tell me that they were, making excuses for really basic blocks. Okay, so those eight physical blocks, then one big block tomorrow is the personal self, we're gonna go through that, and although we talked about physical blocks all today, I feel like all we talked about today were personal blocks, 'cause isn't that where everybody wants the conversation to go? I'm gonna show you a thread about fear that exploded on Facebook, and what it means to people, and you're gonna find out that everybody's bottom line is the same, and then we're gonna deal with it, but I just can't wait to show you the 28 challenges, and how much you're going to enjoy doing them, and you saw that one at lunch time and how awesome it was, and how much you can learn from it, and hope you're along for the ride tomorrow, because I just love, love, love talking about this.