Day 13 Bonus: "Scheduling & Planning"
Today, we're going to put together your marketing calendar for next year, and this gets me excited because I love love, marketing and love even planning for the next year so that I can see everything on paper and it gets me excited to think about being profitable in the new year and making mawr in the new year than I did before and a lot of times that's, even about management, and I may not even be shooting as much, but I still want to be more profitable and so planning out how I'm going to get those clients and what that's going to look like, it's, something that I really want to think through, and I want to get on paper, and so I'm gonna work with carly, so you can kind of follow along with me, working with her and put her heart, putting her marketing calendar together, and first, before a marketing calendar, we have to think about how much we want to make and back that up into how many clients that means we have to photograph and at what average. And if we know how many clients that...
we need to photograph each and every month, then we can think about how we're going to make sure that happens when we did carly's projections together, we broke each one of those details down, and so we now know how many clients that she needs to photograph every single month in every single product line carly's gross revenue goal was seventy five thousand for the year and she's already got almost seventeen thousand dollars worth of weddings booked for next year and so that leaves us with almost sixty thousand dollars that she needs to generate income for so as we planned the marketing calendar we're going to think through those things so if you didn't go with us through the pricing and planning your pricing segments go back and watch those segments first so you can plan out those parts of next year that's really important that you really think about your projections for next year what you want to make how you're goingto lay that out you know if you need to make one hundred thousand dollars how many sessions can you actually do in a year and then you're going to divide that into one hundred thousand dollars to come up with what you need to average and we laid all that out in the projection segment so go back there first and when you've got that figured out you can move on along with us and do this marketing projections we spent two segments part one and part two going through all kinds of marketing ideas and ways to implement those marketing ideas we spent another segment talking about networking which is an extension of your marketing it's a huge part of your marketing and so think back through those things and the notes that you took the things that you wrote down that are things that resonated with you, things, that that our marketing ideas that you want to try, maybe events that you want to try and your studio may be word of mouth is even where you've got most of your clients up till now. But when you push your pricing up to the next level and you're ready to take your business to the next level, we've gotta put steps in place that make sure those referrals keep coming in, so it might even be that you've got to step up your referral program or put one in place, so we'll walk through those and and talk through your marketing calendar and what's that what that's going to look like? One of the big things I want to accomplish today, along with you is planning our marketing plan for next year, but before we can plan our marketing plan, we've really new to think about how much time we have allocated to marketing, and so to do that, we're going to look at our entire schedule and what that looks like. The first thing to do is look back at your projections calendar. So if you haven't gone through that segment with me where we talked through pricing and then we planned and projected your pricing for next year, go back and watch that segment first, because until you know how much you need to gross for next year telling you then how much you're going to net and profit that's going to tell you how many sessions you need to dio and at what average and we know how many sessions we have to do, we know where to put those sessions in our calendar, and we can start breaking it down from there. So I need you to figure out that part first and then come back to your planning calendar if he went through the projection segment with me. You saw me laying out projections for next year with carly, and so I'm going to use carly as an example on her schedule. We need to plan eight to ten sessions per month, and so we're going to look at exactly where we're going to put those sessions. I want you to decide don't leave your calendar open to your clients and that's something that's really normal, especially when were first starting. Is to you know get a client who's calling and they get excited about working with us and it's time to book their session and we just ask him you know what's good for you when would you like to come when we would you like me to come to you and we just open up our calendar to them instead stop right now and think about when you want to shoot what are the best times for you and your family and let's get those on your calendar first I want you to think about a week of your month and whether you're doing the same thing every week or it's every other week or maybe you're only working one week out of the month whatever that looks like let's get it on paper for me I'm going to plan you know what my perfect week looks like when I'm going to shoot when I'm going to sell when I'm going to market and we're gonna go through those things but first I want you to think about when you're going to shoot what the best time is for you for me it's tuesday wednesday thursday at eleven and one those are my times for shooting I'm also going to schedule in events and other things that I'm going to be doing but on a week to week basis I'm scheduling those times and those times only so what is it for you you know, maybe here husband is home certain days of the week for you to be shooting or maybe you shoot at night because he's got tuesday and thursday nights and he's agreed to keep the kids maybe it's saturdays for you maybe it's sunday or you know if you do have a studio space or even home studio space, you might have certain days of the week that you want to be shooting in other days that you're there for your kids and whatever that looks like let's get it on paper what happens when you do this is when a client calls and they're ready to book their session, you can look right at your calendar and you can see when it is that you're available. So you're going to say if you're me, I've got this tuesday available at eleven or this thursday available at one, which would be better we're going to give them those two times and not open up our in tyler entire calendar, so that's step one is to really think about when you want to shoot after eve listed those times that you're going to shoot in those times for your session you can easily put on your calendar the time that you're going to be editing those sessions how much does time does it take you between the session time and the time you're ready to show the client their images hopefully you've got a good idea on this but I would really encourage you to start tracking that time and really think about how much time you're actually investing in each and every client hopefully you're not like I was when I went digital and started editing on my own you know it took me so long I was behind the computer so long getting images prepared for the client and trying to make everything perfect and so you know and that eats up our lives and it really does so think about how long it takes you and now I also want you eventually think about either outsourcing your editing or being able to show your client's unedited un retouched images but either way we've got at least a minimal time of going through and doing our yes knows maybes in light room for me I'm popping curbs I'm you know maybe adding saturation or whatever it might be that I want to just do in batches even that takes time so I want to make sure I have that on my calendar and if it's on my calendar then I'm not you know stuck before a client is coming into view their images going oh my gosh I don't have time to do this or you know up all night doing it so get it on your calendar I also want to set specific times for order appointments especially if you're doing it all on your own you know, think about the times that you want to be showing clients or images, and you may have clients that really would like to come in the evening. So what will you do that once a week? Is that not an option for you? Will you open up a sunday afternoon to show clients that their image is? I really think that the room and put those times on the calendar I know several studios and friends, even who will shoot one week and do their order appointments the next week so it's like every other week sort of schedule, and I think that works really well, too, because you can shoot one week and put that hat on and then the next week put that business and sales had on and work with your clients in that way. So if that works for you that's great, get that on your calendar after each sales appointment. I know what I'm I've got some time to invest and getting the image is ready for the lab. I've also got time to be placing the images to the lab, so both of those things I want to schedule out a block of time for that you may want to make sure that everything that you're scheduling each partner workflow is a different color on your calendar. And that's great too you can go back through these planning pages and just highlight different things and different colors so you can see what you're doing at different times of the day after scheduling placing the order to the lab, I also want to schedule that client pickup that's going to go along with packaging, checking out everything as it comes in from the lab and marking things off it's gonna be framing if I need to do that, all the different things that I need to do to get the image is ready for the client to pick up and then the actual pickup itself and yes, you can schedule that you don't have to open up your you know entire calendar for that either even if you have a home studio and I do know that I have people that I know of people who say, you know, clients think that they could just come knock on my door any time you know, just because it's my house and not a quote unquote business, what is your business? And if you plan and schedule that appointment with their client that is when they're going to come, they're not going to just show up at your doorstep, so take that control and instead of leaving it open to the client and allowing them to do that, let them know I'm goingto schedule your pickup with you so that I can be there and make sure that you get everything to your car and you know, help you out with that and make sure everything's package properly so plan that as well back in the day when I had a home studio I placed all my orders to the lab on thursdays that's that was my ordering day and so I finished the orders for the week I placed the orders to the lab and by doing that every thursday I knew that everything was going to be back to me on tuesday of the next week sometimes it was there the next day our labs heir very quick these days sometimes it was there on monday but always it was there on tuesday and so on tuesday afternoons I could schedule somebody else to come into my business into the home and do all of my packaging they called all my clients to let them know that they're their order was there and so it was very systematic you know, thursday we placed orders tuesday we packaged orders and by doing that very systematically and allowed me to bring somebody in that I could pay ten dollars an hour to that could go through all the orders check everything and get everything packaged and make those phone calls so get it on your schedule so that if that's something eventually that you're going to outsource you'll have a plan for it and we'll talk about when is the right time to bring somebody on into your business. We'll talk about job descriptions and the things that you love doing and the things that you, you need to be outsourcing in a later segment, but for right now, go ahead and get all these things on your calendar. It really really helps when you concede it all in black and white and, you know, if you can see it in black and white and you say, well, have got to do eight sessions this month, but once I plan all of these pieces, I don't know when I'm going to get it in and, you know, these other pieces I need to do because we need to schedule even marketing, we need to schedule networking, we need to get blocks of time on our calendar for bookkeeping and organizing all the little things that we need to be doing in our business. When you've got all those things in your calendar, you can see it in black and white, it will help you make sense of where to put, you know, the different components that you need to put in. And, you know, you've got to also think about time for yourself and time for your family and one of the things that I found years ago. When I realized I have got to get a handle on my schedule, I cannot be up every night until two o'clock in the morning designing albums or till you know who knows when editing images and it had to stop and so putting every single thing on my calendar was what really helped me balance that time out and really understand when I could schedule another appointment and what parts of my work flow I needed help with and when I did that I learned that if I communicated those things with my family, yeah, at the time I had smaller children and you know, I but I sat down with my kids and went through the calendar with them and show them off on the calendar in blocks of time this is when mom's going to be in front of the computer and this is what I'm going to be out shooting and this is time that you can count on me this is when I'm not going to be working and as time went on I learned that even if I did have to take an extra night off away from the family that if I sat down with them with the calendar and said, you know what night this week is best for you no, I'm gonna have to work late one night I've got to put in some extra hours what night works for everybody if if I did that, that everybody was so much happier, it wasn't my kids, you know, tugging at me while I was at the computer or, you know, even years and years ago, my husband saying, you know, g, what about us? And so, you know, really thinking through your calendar really makes a difference for not only your business, but for your family and your own sanity. So I think these things through after you have your initial schedule planned out, you can start planning your marketing calendar here already gonna have time designated for marketing and for networking, and so then you can start thinking about where you're going to plug in the different marketing efforts that you're going to be doing so first, go back to those projections and we're going to work from carly's projections that we put together already, and we're gonna work with the end in mine. We know that carly's projections told us that she needs to gross about sixty thousand dollars, her goal is seventy five and she's got about sixteen thousand on the books already with weddings, and so we've got a goal of about sixty thousand dollars that we want to make and so planning that out. And backing that up, we know that she is going to need to be shooting eight to ten sessions per month, and so now we get to decide how we're going to get those eight to ten sessions per month on our calendar. No, I first want to do an analysis of what was working last year or this year and then what we're going to be expecting and doing next year. So get out your planning calendar for how your clients or hearing about you and we're going to go through that together and really think about how your clients I hear about you and each and every month of the year on, we can look back through this year two thousand thirteen and think about where clients are coming from, how people are hearing about you so let's think about how your clients are currently hearing about you now, or have you done any advertising in the past? Um, I haven't done much with advertising, you know, we live in a small town, so were kind of word of mouth kind of travels fast, especially you don't charge a lot it's kind of easy to get clients to you, but my big thing that I do do is the nicky, your donations and those kind of get me some. Word of mouth back and I put my business cards in their dvds and that kind of thing, but that's about all I do, I don't have any other experience with it. Really? Okay? And so you'd say referrals are probably your main thing. Yeah, okay, and I will tell you that, you know, like you said, you're not charging a lot and so that helps to get those referrals out there cheap, you know? Yeah, and so changing things for next year and raising your prices and adding some new products, you know, you you are going to have to work a little bit harder for you. Referrals and referrals are still number one that's guaranteed, but we're going to put a plan in place so that you can ask for those referrals and encourage people to refer you and then thank them for referring you so that's going to be probably your main thing because that's the way that you've men getting referrals or been getting business but will want to put a plan in place to make sure that continues to happen. Okay? And then what about business to business networking? The only thing that I have is the mickey I don't really have any other experience, um, working with other businesses and then do you still have a pretty good relationship within a cue yeah, okay, so that might be another just really open avenue for you is to put something specific together to make sure that they're handing things out and, you know, so let's make a plan for that as well. All right, let's go through each month of the year and think about where your business came from. You know, those word of mouth referrals, whether it was nick you, whether was friends or clients for each one of the months of this past year, and then we'll start thinking about where we want them to come from for next year, okay? And so I'm thinking that if we plan your, uh, you know, really kicking off that referral campaign, we want to do that right away in the new year and so january, and if we plan to start kicking it off in january, that means that we really have to plan for the marketing and get it designed in december. So I'm actually going to back that up even a month before and plan that will get that, uh, referral campaign designed in december and so that we can start implementing implementing it right away in january. That's I'm good. Yeah, okay, I think another thing that's just built in for you is an open house have you thought about doing an open house after you get your yeah, I sold and I think that sounds like a good idea. I'm really excited about all of it, so it would be fun to show it off. I think so too, and and you've got a goal for having that finished for christmas so that you can enjoy your family over the holidays. So do you think that you'd be ready to do an open house in january? Okay, so we're gonna schedule that that is definitely marketing, and so we're going to back that one up too, since we're going to implement in january and in december, think about how you're going to invite people if you're going to put together, you know, I would encourage you to put it together more than a facebook invite because that's getting so overuse that people aren't even looking at their facebook invites anymore. Yeah, and really, those the facebook invites are great for letting people know that I have invited you have invited letting them know that all the information is going to be theirs thing going check it out and check in, but well, plan that marketing as well in december and be ready to launch that in january there are some really great things and I'm an encourage carly also to do for her open house and some of those things are going to be, you know, having balloons with specials in them as people walk through the door, you know, people can pull a balloon down and pop it and get the prize out, and it just kind of keeps the excitement going as people walk in and, you know, and even tying with other businesses, maybe, but the bakery or, you know, somebody who can bring in some treats or, uh, you know, there's all kinds of fun ways that you can incorporate other businesses, even into your open house, and when you do that, then they want to invite people also, so it gets you tied in tech, their databases. Well, so we'll walk through all of that and plan that open house for january, and I want to be invited, so I want to see it be a huge success, I think that'll be fun on carly's projection calendar. We wrote down that july and august are going to be her two big months for seniors, and then she's going to do maybe a couple more in september and october, so we need to make a plan for getting those first seniors in in july. So I'm thinking on your marketing calendar, if we want the seniors tow land in july, gonna put seniors here, then we want to back that up, and we want to create the marketing in may and then launch it out in june and so, you know, that's kind of the, you know, great part of doing a marketing calendar like this is we can look when we want it to lunch, when we wanted to go out and when we want to create it and kind of back it up and have all those pieces on our calendar. Another thing I'm gonna encourage you to do is a friends and family day, and you are raising your price is quite a bit. And so I think if you create a friends and family day once, twice, however many times a year you feel comfortable with, we're going to be able tio take care of those people that you really want to take care of, but do it on your time when you plan. So when do you think that those dates will be? I think you'd be good to maybe do you want in this spring and in the fall? Okay, so spring for you. What does that look like? Probably may. So it's a little nicer by them here in iowa. Okay, so we'll put a friends and family day in may and then probably september september be another good one, okay, so friends and family in september. And for your friends and family days, you're not gonna have to create any marketing for those that's just going to be something that you're going to get on the calendar, and you're gonna have that date already playing and prepared so that if somebody freaks out about your new pricing, you can say, you know what, I've got two dates on the calendar, I totally understand, and these two dates, you're going to see pricing more like you're used to it's by invitation only it's for friends and family. Would you like to schedule for them? And if they don't, then you're gonna breathe and say, see you later? Yeah, okay, you know, that's okay, there is going to be somebody who's willing to do it for fifty bucks and exactly, yeah, um and so and I know that's gonna be tough at first, but, you know, by having that yes answer and having something on your calendar that you can offer them it's going to feel a little bit better for you. So I think that's really smart to get those, you know, on your schedule for may and september, and when we look at that, we can look at the actual days that you want to put those on and you might want to do it on a saturday or maybe we can look at even a day that kids are out of school or whatever are there any events that you want to put on the calendar that are a holiday or seasonally based? Okay, the first thing that comes to mind would be doing the holiday event for my special clients are, you know, it's something to christmas cards and gifts and all that stuff probably in october, october was the last time for the leaves changing and pretty weather and before we get too much snow on the ground here, okay, so that's going to be christmas base for cards and gifts, okay? And for that one will want to do that same thing will probably want that marketing to go out in september, so we're going to say holiday event marketing release and then and you know, you can say promotions estate, you know, however you want to wear that, um but that's going to go in september and that means that we're going to create it in august. So what happens a lot of time? Does we put the events on our calendar, those things that we want to do and that's, you know, that's a great first step what if we don't back it up and we don't think about when that marketing needs to go out and how it needs to go out and then back it up from there again and decide when that marketing is gonna happen when we're going to create it? Then it never gets done, you know? And I had years where we had events on the calendar and we would get so excited and, you know, make all these verbal plans about what we wanted to do, but because the creation of the marketing and getting the marketing out wasn't on the calendar, it didn't happen in those events fell apart so that's why we're planning backwards here, and so we'll plan for creating that marketing for your christmas events in august. So think through each of the events and each of the holidays and maybe anything else, seasonal events that you want to do, maybe you even wanted to portrait parties like my real kids events, but think through each one of those things and give each one of them a place on her calendar and don't only plan the event, but planned the launch of the marketing and when you'll create the marketing now that we've got a plan for the different marketing events that we want to make happen. As well as when we're going to create it when we're going to send it out we need to decide what types of marketing we are going to be sending out or how we're going to be promoting each event so let's go back through and just a few of the things that we put on the schedule one of the things was your senior marketing that we want to start creating in may well what are we going to create that zoe you know that's the next question and we don't have a huge high volume that you're trying to bring in you're trying to bring in just a few seniors which is great and so in may I would actually suggest finding a senior model and that's gonna be somebody that's at the end of their junior year and what you could do is just to call your seniors from this last year from two thousand thirteen and let them know you know hey, I'm starting my marketing for this coming here and who would you recommend I need a model and that way usually you're not going to just get somebody who's good looking you're also going to get somebody who's popular and that's really who we want as a senior rep and a senior model is going and you know checking out who's going to really spread the word you know and those popular people that people want to do the same thing they're doing. Um you know and that really the best way to find those is through your past clients so you've got a built in little database hopefully you've started a database and that's uh that's a hard thing when we're starting to we don't think in advance like that but definitely from here on out mike sir you're building that database and even if somebody calls and enquires about a session and doesn't book you can still get their information by just letting them know that you want to keep in contact with them and going ahead and getting their email address and getting their mailing address so that you can send out those you know future events your open house and your holiday event and those kind of things so with seniors the first place for the low volume like you want to do is contacting back your past clients and you could also its very easy now to search on facebook and instagram for a hashtag with high school and so I know and you could even do a hashtag seventeen and with the city because you know you never know what's gonna come up so maybe even stalk somebody in that way which I had actually done before I've stopped people and said you know hey, I love your look I would love to photograph you I'm putting together my marketing for two thousand fourteen and you know we'd love to have you in the studio and that's okay, you know, so but contact your past clients and then start creating that marketing and always always give those wraps or those models incentives to hand out your information to their friends. And, you know, it could be a cz little as a fifty dollars gift card to your studio and with the rep cards, you want to make sure you've got images of the senior model on one side and in your information on the other and, you know, giving her those cards with her picture on it is going to give her also that incentive toe handem out and show off a little bit. This is your model, and you definitely wanna post on facebook and, you know, give her incentives, even forgetting likes and comments on her pictures and that's a great way to get attention to your brand on your site. I know your open houses in january, I've got that schedule for then and, you know, you can go back to your database of clients and invite them. You're also definitely gonna want to invite any friends and family that you have in town and you've got a pretty big database. They're just people that, you know, and people that love you already, but you know, can you think of a family in town or that kind of the perfect target client in town that you know you might have thought of even one as we were planning out who your target client wass yeah, I have a really good one I've been thinking about and they actually have a good extended family here and they're all located in winterset, so I think maybe I'll seek them out and see if they'd like to maybe have a session here there and then spread the word very great. Well, I would love to see you do that in time, tio have it done and have something even on your wall in january for your open house because that's gonna be a great way if they're well connected and they're gonna want to invite their friends to the open house to see their portrait on the wall and that's gonna be great advertising for you. Yeah, with open houses you need to think beyond the facebook invitation these days because people you know, kind of get distracted on facebook now. Facebook invitations was there is a new thing a couple years ago, but now we get so many of them that were not paying attention. And so think about inviting your friends family community in different ways your database in different ways other than facebook but then let them know that that facebook invite is there waiting for them that they can go there for more information and that's just a great way to see who else is coming to the event and create a little buzz and excitement and also, you know, give them address, give them time and the things that they can expect at your event but don't leave it just to the facebook event for an open house, a hand written invitation is always great, but of course you got to make sure that's in your marketing budget and for an open house it's a little bit harder to play in a marketing budget than it is for an event for an event, and we know that new businesses are going to spend from five to eight percent on marketing. And so for a regular event where we're planning something that we're might be mailing out are planning a newsletter or designing something for our marketing so I can project that I want to photograph ten families from such and such event and then I'm going to estimate that each one of those families is going to average x amount of dollars. So when I add those together, I can then take five to eight percent of that and know that that's my marketing budget and with an open house it's a little bit different, you have to think even further into your projections because you're not actually photographing at an open house usually sometimes you might be photographing, like free facebook, profile shots or something like that, just for fun. But you're not actually generating revenue and income from your open house, and so you've got to think about it the future, you know, how many new clients do I want my open house to produce? And then you can still back it up in that way and think about the five to eight percent that you have to budget for that open house. That's not going to come just in your invitations that's going to come in your food, your you know, even your anew display print, you know, whatever, you've got to get ready for that event, you've gotta budget into that marketing budget. And so from your open house, even if the family that you're thinking about that is going to be your v I p guest, your open house, and hopefully invite their friends and family, you know, how many new clients do you want to generate from that? And by determining that we can decide what are marketing budget is? And so open houses are a great way to really promote your business and to get people in to see what you're doing, whether it's an open house or a retail location, and if you don't have either of those. Partner up with another business and host an open house at their business and it's still a great way to get people together to build that buzz in that community and do some fun cool different things by incorporating other businesses into your open houses and parties and events let's think through this holiday event that we've got scheduled for october now you said that you normally are marketing to your past best clients to invite them in personally for the cement that right? So email newsletter is that what you're thinking? Yeah, I think that sounds like a good idea, okay, maybe I kind of like the idea you were saying about like, a handwritten invitation too, just to make them feel like they still are special and they're still doing something to me. I love that, and so we planned that the creation of that holiday marketing would happen out in august, and so we're going to do cem handwritten invitations and to that event and another thing that I would even suggest beyond the handwritten invitation in the newsletter is actually picking up the phone and you know if there's somebody that you haven't seen in a year did uh, family portrait session with you a year before you just pick up the phone and let him know about your event on what's going on and tell him that you would love to get him scheduled and that's a really great way to be very proactive in your events is to really think about those past clients and just hold their hand right in, so those are a couple of ways that you can do that, and when you're doing that, you're gonna want to put a little bit of a script together and so that's something that you're also going to plan in august so that you can make those phone calls in september to make the event happened in october. So you've got a couple of things that you can do there, um, in your newsletter, you may want to add specialty products that you're going to do for the event, and so if you start with the handwritten notes and the phone calls, and you can let them know that you're following up with the newsletter and that could go out to a few more people, is well, but just let him know that you're following up with the newsletter and it's gonna have the special items that you have for that event or special pricing. One of the things that I offer quite often during holiday events at our studio before christmas time is I offer fifty percent off of framing, and what that does is it's going to cover my costs on the framing, and I'm not gonna make a ton, you know, when I'm selling, framing but it really encourages those wall portrait sales when it comes time for christmas so that people aren't coming in and just buying those christmas cards. None of us want that to happen, so I want to encourage that they still buy for the wall, and I also want to encourage that they're buying gifts for friends and family. We want to have those specials on framing as well a specials on different specialty item pieces, like the photo jewelry from katori or tabletop frames, some of the fun items, maybe handbags, some of the fun items that may be. We dont really push all your long. I hope you've gotten a lot out of today's planning and scheduling segment, and you've gotten a lot of things on paper. I hope your is excited as I am when I'm planning for my year and planning for success and profitability. It makes me happy. I hope it makes you happy. Thanks for joining carly and me today, and I hope you're enjoying watching her business come along as you work on yours, we'll see you next time.