Day 18 Bonus: "Consultation"

 

30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business

 

Lesson Info

Day 18 Bonus: "Consultation"

Today we're going to talk about the portrait consultation. The consultation is a really important part of your workflow. You're gonna want to make sure that you do the consultation with your clients so that your session goes like you want it, tio and the sail goes like you want it to the majority of our consultations happen over the phone. Most of our clients come from pretty far away typically it's at least an hour, if not further. And so I started doing consultations over the phone years and years ago, and it's always work, so I've done them that way for ever. But if you can meet with your clients in person, that is great that's fantastic. I recommend it, if you can. I work with several photographers who really feel like getting their clients into their studios and into their business to view their work and their product before the session is really, really important to them and to their final sale. So if that's something that's important to you that's great, and if you can work that...

into your schedule, if you're close enough to your clients that you could do that, I definitely recommend it, but the phone works for me. We do have a plan in process for it to make sure that it happens the same way and happens consistently every single time, and so I'm gonna work through a few things to make sure the consultation call happens, like I wanted to happen, but it's all about just continuing that conversation with the client, leading them through the process and leading them exactly where I want them to go, and that is hanging portrait's on their wall. And so whatever your final product is, whether it's while portrait sor albums or image boxes or whatever it is that you're getting out there, make sure that you're making suggestions and leading your clients through the process. So the consultation call is a really important part of this process for me. I'm going to play a first phone call for you. This is a client that I'm going to be working with and photographing for you guys. This is a regular session for us regular client that we usually photograph of recently year, and she called recently I asked her to call again and just do the same thing, basically that we did on the first phone call, but of course we have to tell people that they're being recorded and so. It is, you know, it's a little stage. Sorry, but we did it. Go back through exactly what we talked about. And I just told her, let's, just redo this. I'm going to record it. And so this is, you know, pretty down and dirty. Riel, what you're going to hear here. But this is the first phone call that's going to lead into our consultation call with this client, lauren or some studio. This is laurie. Hi, lori. Patricia jones. Hi, producer. How are you doing? We're good. We're settling into our new house and the girls have been growing. You won't believe this year's like calls you it has has been a long time. I know, it's. Just like the years went by. I was wondering if I could get you on our calendar for some photos. Definitely. Um, leave. I know we've got to get that christmas picture done, right. Let's became a tradition, right? Um, are we goingto we're gonna photograph all of you the whole family this year? I think so. I'm steve, really, you know, enjoying being in the picture last year. So I liketo flew him again, and I'll have one of all of us. Good, good I thought he had fun last year that was that was great that he got into it that's great. So let me pull up the calendar here and get a time for you guys um are you thinking something here the studio or do you want me to come out to your new place? I was thinking definitely at our new place we have someone in the backyard and a stone house on the property and I was thinking I definitely want a share if it if that works for you laurie, I know you're busy well, I think that would be great I would love to come see it so I know um every time I see you guys running around, you're always excited about it so I can't wait to see it all right? I have coming up here soon. I've got a couple times next week on we could do tuesday the twenty second at eleven or I've got thursday the twenty fourth at one which one of those would work? Uh do you only have to say and I really don't want to take the kids out of school if I don't have teo all right, well, let me ask you a question, you know, you know, it has been a year since we did family portrait's and we kind of know you're only gonna do this once a year, right all right. So do you think you would consider just taking the girls late to school one day or getting him out early? I think so. You're right. I think you talked me into it. Okay. All right. Good. All right. Well, which of those do or do one of those work that tuesday or thursday at one time, tuesday at eleven. Or thursday, the twenty fourth. I have a one o'clock available. I want okay. And so thursday, the twenty fourth at one o'clock. Okay, can we write that? Okay, that'll be great. Um, let me get you scheduled in here. Okay? So we've got you scheduled for that thursday, and I know that you guys are excited about your new place. Have you started thinking about where you want to hang your portrait's from this session way where we could do something? I haven't really thought about it yet. Okay, well, start thinking about it and just weed block through the house with your phone and just anyplace that you consider hanging anything, just go ahead and take a snapshot of that law for me and, you know, I can designed something for you on that wall. Um, so I'll have you do, and I know you don't love this part, you don't like the technicals. Stuff but I I'll have you just stand straight on to the wall and take a snapshot of any wall where you'd want to do something and I'll start designing some things for you so we can start narrowing down where we wanna hang things would start talking about the clothes I don't work for the different rooms or we'll be hanging portrait now that's a good idea okay how soon do I need to get that done more I need it as soon as possible so we've got our our session scheduled pretty soon so as soon as I've got those snapshots from you I'm going to give you a call back so that we can start planning in designing the session and that will really help us to narrow down what kind of clothes we want to do for each of the different rooms and um you can just text me the photo so it'll be super easy and you've got this number you can actually text this number as well okay okay all right. So that idea yeah that'll make the planning and actually doing the pictures a lot easier you know it have that done ahead of time for that that will be a very good idea actually try okay, great. Okay, well good as soon as I have those I'll text you back if you text those two me and you can e mail them to whatever is easier for you but sometimes I have those I'll give you a text or call, and we'll hook back up and go through what we're going to plan for. Okay, thanks for calling. I'm excited to see you guys, I have a car take care. Thank you that college is basically as it happened in real life, just redone for you guys, but that's really typically how first phone call is going to go if I've worked with the client before, of course, the phone call that is going to be a brand new person that were being introduced, teo is going to go a little bit differently, and we went over that in our inquiry segment, but this is a very typical call with a past client. I did go through working with her on picking a time that was during the day while the girls were in school that's all riel and that's exactly how I would handle it, whether it's a new client or an old client if we're talking to them about a certain time, you know, it's probably been a while since you've done this. How long's it been since you had a family portrait were asking those questions to get them to start thinking about how important it really is, too. Take that time and, you know, leave school or leave work or whatever it is that we need to do to make it happen. This family has recently moved just outside of winter set the little town that I live in and so I have seen them around town in the last couple of months and they're so excited about their new house and the girls are super excited about their new rooms and so I can't wait to go and be there, but even though I have photographed this family many times in the past, I'm still going to do a consultation call with them just like I would any other client we do this every single time and this is what makes the whole process goes so smoothly now that they're in a new home I've asked her to walk through and take those snapshots for me again and so I have now gotten those and we will go through the actual consultation call now hi, patricia florrie, nordstrom I hi hey, I got your snapshots of your walls in the new house it looks amazing so I really can't wait to see it did you did you take these pictures yourself? Uh, no, I got a little help think I spent too many I'm definitely going to need your help narrowing it now I just I I wanted a picture every place and well that's okay and that's good I'd rather have lots to choose from and and you know now I've got the wall space and so you and if we you know aren't doing something this time I've got it for next time so that's great that you sent sent lots that super so I emailed you over a couple of options I put it see things together but I thought that it would be you know, really nice to do something in your master bedroom because that's the first thing that you're going to see every morning when you wake up so okay I thought that would be a really nice place for your family portrait and then of all those spots that you sent to me what would you say would be the most lived in area of the house um that's where we have a tv downstairs okay, so you know that's kind of the wearing the girls hang out when they're inside are for doing family movie night. We do that now here's okay, well, then I think that would be a great second place to go with a grouping is really you know, you kind of want that to be in the place where you spend the most time because that's where you're going to enjoy it the most okay? And then, um even if we do something of you know, just the girls and that spot or the other spot you know just something where he could we could mix it up a little bit but their rooms look awesome and they all have their own a great big rooms they look so nice so it be great to do something special for each of them in their rooms as well. Okay that's definitely somethingto think about I would like that. Okay, awesome. So did you have anything in mind for clothes or do you want some suggestions? Uh you know, laurie, I I was kind of thinking that kind of casual maybe black shirts and jeans and boots just kind of so we all sort of look coordinated but just the clothes that we wear every day when we're outside and I just I want you to really kind of capture off on the feeling of being out there, okay? That sounds great then I'm not going tio make too many suggestions and for close I think I mean, you always do a great job of pulling everything together so I just can't kind of think about where we'll be hanging things and you know, just making sure that things are gonna look great on the wall as well. Okay? You know, we've done so many different things with the girls over the years so I think just getting some great shots of you guys just being you and who you are on farm sounds perfect so that's a great idea and you know what I haven't even told you yet but I'm thinking we've got a new session is called it's my life story session and that the session includes video so you know you've met stacy before but stacy yeah she comes along with me on these sessions and shoots video so we've got the whole story we've got you know, the still images with that we've got the motion images and it really helps to tell the story of who the family is right now gets personality and that movement in it and so since you've just moved in here on the farm and you know you've got all that beautiful land out there I think that storybook session might be really perfect for you guys so yeah what what else are what's new for the girls were they into right now uh well they're into horseback riding and you're gonna think I'm crazy but we just adopted three outdoor dog home again as a girl wow so three are they three puppies yeah they're from the same litter they're really cute and you would totally love each one of the girls have women they take care of oh a german shepherd in the lab next wow really really energetic so makes great shot especially because they're you know sixteen, eighteen pounds now and next year I'm a quality one hundred pounds each night have some pictures of a yeah, that is a great idea and that will be perfect for video also and if if they're super energetic we'll see what we can make happen with pictures but it'll be perfect you're going to be perfect with video so that's that's great is the video session a lot more money or how does that work? Well, it is the video sessions or twenty five hundred dollars and I know that sounds like a lot hope you're sitting down but but really in the end it actually saves you money because when you choose it from the beginning it is you know, it's that twenty five hundred dollars up front investment but you're not only going to just get your session fee included, but you're gonna get both photographers there was me shooting images, stacy shooting video and then you're going to actually get that final video included and so you can play that on your computer on your tv um super fine and then you're going to get a thousand dollars and wall portrait credit and a thousand dollars an album or image box credit so really overall you're getting a super value with it okay? You're talking into a you're going to kill me care of that way won't tell him I think I know what I want either I yeah it's good thing you know the booth good idea, good idea how normally you know it's usually I would say six to ten minutes it's ah you know it it's condensed to really get a feel for what like like it really is it's a little bit of fun okay? They're found with it or is it just still pictures it'll be we'll have music to it and so we've got some great just you know copyright free music that we have license to and so it'll be it'll be really fun so um and steven and he's going to love it and I actually think doing it for a christmas present is a great idea I think that would be super toe actually you know play that even on christmas morning maybe just a fun money yeah you really ripped I so I know you know last year when we did your session it was just fun having you all together and outside and all of your favorite things around you and really it's all about those memories that we you know are creating right while it's happening so it'll be fun to get it on video yeah I would totally love that so work in bring the crew I'm not going to get crazy up tight about the clothes I know you want us kind of in the same top I'm going to go with jeans and darker challenge with top and I'll probably have a lot of black and white as usual ok unless you have other suggestions no, I think that's great that will be super and you know we'll see when we get out there the colors are so amazing right now we may end up what to do a few things in color but um well planned for the overall and black and white and that'll be super its plan okay, I'll see you soon okay have a good wife and all that sweet okay, thanks a lot patricia thank you. Thank you that's pretty typical of a consultation call with a past client so you got tio here that and go through that I do know this family from working with them before I know that she's not going to hang from this session in you know, three, four five rooms so I'm narrowing it down for her and I'm going to suggest for the master bedroom and the most lived in area of this new home. I do know that she'll have other portrait that air hanging when I get there and but all the walls that she sent me or places where there aren't any portrait's hanging so that's great we've got a lot of places to move as the girls get older and we do photograph them every single year they also have a house in florida and they also have a house in another place in iowa so we actually decorate for three different places but this time we're concentrating on this home on their new space, and I'm also going to suggest to her to do something special of each one of the girls she's told me that they all have new puppies, and so I'm going to suggest to her to do something of the girls with their puppies for their bedrooms, being a past client it's not quite as important for me to get nailed down every single wall that will be designing for before the session and that's because I know from working with her that she's going to do what I suggest, and so I'm going to make those suggestions to her, and we'll be able to just have fun and fill that in at the order appointment if this is a new client or maybe even somebody that I've only worked with once in the past, then we're going to get very, very specific on the consultation call for exactly what rooms will be designing for the most important part of the consultation call is getting the client those designed room views, so I've gotta have those snapshots from them before I can make that call, so typically I'm going to ask them to be taking those snapshots right on the first phone call, I'm going to ask them to walk through their home and any place that even consider hang your portrait, take a snapshot of that wall and send it over to me I give them my cell phone number so they can just text it over, make it super easy, they can email it as well, but I rarely get emails anymore. Most people just click it with their phone and texted over, so that right there has getting gotten rid of a lot of excuses, you know, years ago we would have people that would say, oh, I don't know how to do that or I don't know how to get him into my my computer. We don't hear that anymore. I used to even tell people, take your point and shoot camera, you know, before we were all doing it on our phones, but take that camera and take those snapshots, and when you come in, bring it and all don't download them myself because people, I actually didn't know how to download them, you know? But we don't have those excuses anymore, and now you know, a year, year and a half ago, the only he says that I would get where, you know, it just takes too much time to get them from the phone to the email. Well, how since I can text him right over to me, nobody has an excuse anymore it's, easy, it's quick, and they can just text him over. So that's something I do want all of our clients to know that they can actually text the number that they call when they're calling to make the appointment they've got that number so just text him over to me so I'm going to get those snapshots of their walls and I'm going to take those into preview and I'm going to design one concept for each of the walls that they send me and that is something that I learned that the hard way because in the beginning when I had preview I was so excited about designing and doing different concepts for my clients but I found that if I send them three or even two different options you know these are options for this wall then they know that there's options and they start asking me, you know, well can you do this or change that or you know, what about this? Well, now if I send them one thing day in their minds it's like, okay, well, this is the right thing for this wall in this space because this is what laurie told me is right? And so by sending just one concept one design it's like it's just a yes or no and so it makes that process very easy, very simple typically on the consultation call I am sending them their emails those emails of their designs in preview you can just take a snapshot of the wall concept and then export it and email it over to the client and so I just send those over five minutes before I make the call for the consultation call I text him, I let him know that those images air coming that they're in their email to take a look out of adam before we call and then on the call they're goingto be looking through those and if they send me three walls I am sending them three concepts if they send me five balls, I'm sending them five concept so it's going to be for every single thing that they sent to me if they would consider hanging a portrait there I'm gonna consider that they would buy for that wall and so I'm gonna design for every single wall that that they send then as we go through each one of those suggestions on the phone that's when they're going to start asking me about price typically that's the first time that it really comes up I have sent my complete products when you two every client after the first phone call but they go through it it's a lot of pages it's a lot to look at lots of products are a lot of rooms to see that are decorated with portrait, but there are only print prices in there there are campus prices and other product prices, but there isn't frame pricing so they can see the frames and see that that's an option, but, you know, I don't have it all categorized out there's just way too many options. But what preview does is, as I'm building those wall groupings in preview it's calculating the cost for me of the frames and the print cycle inside of them, and so I can build those for the client, and so that is going to be the first time when we're on that consultation call. They're going to see these finished room views, and if I'm showing them three or I'm showing them five, then they're going to start asking questions at that time they're going to say, you know, wow, I really love this, but how much is that gonna cost me? Or they're going to start narrowing down? You know what? Let's? Go ahead and do this for the living room this time, and I think maybe for the next session that we planned next year well, do something for the playroom, so they'll start narrowing down in that way. This is the first time that we're throwing out big numbers, and so I am telling them the finnish price of the concept the well, with the way I'll answer them, is when they ask about price, I'm going to say to them. This room with the prince and all the frames and I'll say the number of frames, so if there's fried frames there, I'll say this room with the five images and five frames together comes to a total of and then I'll give them the price I always say about because, you know things very, and I never want to get stuck on something and, you know, they say, well, you you said it was this much, but so I I always use the word about and I'll say this altogether, these five pieces, these five frames will be about twelve hundred and give them the number, and then I move on to the next room. I don't stop and stay there or let them react if they do, of course we address it, but I will say that number and then move on to the next room in this room, we've got three frames, these air, each sixteen by twenty with all three prints and three frames together, it comes to a total of x, and then I move on to the next room, so if they stop at that time and say, oh my goodness, I had no idea it was going to be that much or, you know, whatever their reaction might be that I'm gonna address that at the time if they've already told me that they love something and then we go on to price and they have a reaction than I can say to them. You know what? I know you love this? Why don't we go ahead and plan on this? I will set up payments for you or help you get this however I can that doesn't mean that I'm going to discount it doesn't mean that my price changes, but I will help them in making payments are breaking things up a lot of times, just making that suggestion to somebody it puts it into perspective and yeah, I could pay it out, but, you know, they're just gonna pay for it the way we worked things in the sales appointment is that they're going to pay half when they order and half when they pick it up and so that's typical that's normal, but they can pay it out any way they like. We don't start in order until half is down, and they can't pick up the order until the balance is paid off, but they can make those payments out anyway. They want to and will help them set that up and that's totally fine with me, it doesn't happen very often. But I like to be ableto have that option to give to people, and it also just kind of gives a little buffer there when somebody does have a reaction to price. Typically people aren't going to get, you know, totally crazy about the pricing because they've already seen the menu, they know the print prices when they see a finished grouping, it really becomes more about into your design, it becomes more about decorating than it does the pictures. And so that's, what I love about this process and really this added service that we have to give our clients and creating something beautiful and something finished to go on their walls, that they are going to live and enjoy every single day, and so talking to them about that and communicating in that way, it really raises the value of what we do because it's, not just pictures, is definitely not just digital files. It's it's something to enjoy it somethingto love and people do spend a lot of money on decorating. And so if somebody says a reacts to, you know, this is going to be fifteen hundred dollars or this is going to be two thousand dollars, if they have a reaction, I'm going to stop him, and I'm going to say, you know, think about the last. Great piece of furniture that you purchased or the last great piece of art that you purchased and how long you've been able to enjoy that how long it's lasted the memories that you've made with the family all together on that couch or whatever that piece is that maybe they would even mention to me you know, think about that and really when you think about it in terms of that last favorite piece of furniture that you bought you know this is something that you're going to get so much use out of this is something that you're going to enjoy every single day it shows the people that come into your home exactly what's important to you and it's it is something that we're tying into their decor and there third a course style and their lifestyle and so by asking lots of questions about all those things through the process and getting those snapshots of the walls and making very specific suggestions for each of those rooms that they've sent over you know we're helping them through this whole process and really, you know, helping them do something really special with the images that we're taking in the memories that were creating for them for each consultation I'm going to go through our wall art planner and then our session planner the wall art planner just gives us all the details about the room that we're going to be designing for decorating for and when we go through this it's got the actual name of the room so we're going to say it's the living room it's the master bedroom it's the daughter's room you know, whatever we can actually name the room and we're gonna do this for each room that we're designing for so everything has its own little worksheet but we're going to name the room next I'm going to write about the style of the room so is it french country is shabby chic? Is it pottery barn? You know what kind of style do they have going on in the room next I'm gonna write down the wall color in the rooms that's going to be the main base color of the room and then we're going to add any other key colors in the room so if we're designing for a living room I might be looking at colors that are in the pillows on the couch maybe there is a throw rug that has an accent color, so I'm going to write down any other key colors that we have going on in the room. I'm always going to suggest to clients to hang the portrait from their most recent session and the most lived in area of the home that's where they're going to enjoy them most and so if someone has told me that their family gathers tio ate dinner together three times a week which doesn't happen much anymore you know I'm going to say to them, oh that's gonna be a perfect place to display your portrait's from your family session you know, that's where you're going to be able to enjoy them every single time that you guys get together for dinner and that's just amazing that you guys do that and take that time together and so were, you know, adding value at each step of the way by really talking to them about how they're going to enjoy the images if we're going to do something in the master bedroom, I'm going to say to them, you know, this is the first thing they're going to see every morning when you wake up besides your spouse, you know, you're going to be able to see that family portrait or that portrait of the kids and so I'm going to talk to them about how they're going to enjoy them, what they're going to be seeing what they're going to be feeling because if I tell them that I plant those seeds that's exactly what's gonna happen and I have clients a lot that will come back and tell me exactly what I told them. And so if I tell them, you know let's, do something for the master bedroom, you're going to enjoy this every morning when you wake up it's gonna be the first thing that you see you're gonna love this you know they'll come back and say that to me oh, I just love seeing those portrait's every single morning when I wake up, it makes me so happy and you know, and I'll tell them that to this is gonna make you happy every time you see it if we've got laughing playing and I'm gonna tell them you're gonna laugh every time you see this this is going to bring these memories back, and so it does and they do, and they will tell me this. So you know, think about that and think about what happens in this room and then use those tools if you know what's happening in that room, communicate it to your client that this is what you're going to be seeing it's what you're gonna be feeling when you see these images every day. Once I have a little bit more information about the rooms that will be designing for, I can go ahead and go into preview and design those wall concepts on their walls remember that when you get those snapshots, you always want to make sure that you have something measurable on the wall. We created these really cool law claims a couple years ago, and this is just a ruler it's ten inches because I wanted it to fit on a piece of paper, but the longer you could make this that actually the better this is just a it's a sticker it's a walk laying it will stick to anything paper walls, whatever and there's come right back off so people can use it and reposition it if someone comes in to schedule their session, I will give them one of these if there's they're session isn't scheduled for awhile, if we've scheduled a month or two out, then I'll go ahead and pop one of these in the mail to them it goes on a sheet of paper that gives them some instructions how to use that and it goes out in the mail if I don't have time it's not that big of a deal we just tell them to tape a piece of paper onto the wall or to have something that's measurable in the shot and so it's a big piece of paper everybody confined a piece of paper lying around their house and so that's usually pretty easy but he's just make it kind of cool and fun and, you know a little bit more professional if we can get these out to them. We do, but I don't get worked up about it I'm just fine to tell people take a piece of paper to the wall and take those snapshots for me, but what that does allows us to measure whatever's on the wall whether it's the ruler, piece paper, whatever it is we can measure that and preview, so that then when we put the wall concepts together, it's going to be to scale, so they're going to actually be able to see things as they would look hanging on their wall and that's. One of the things that I love about preview is that I can show these finish walk concepts and by sending them over one, I am going through that room style, those colors, the what the family is like kind of more about their lifestyle get to know them, and then I'm choosing for them. I'm making suggestions to them whether it's traditional frame wild survey that hand painted wild survey framing or canvasses campus wraps might be perfect for somebody, maybe in your area, even metal prints or acrylic or something like that would be great in the midwest. We aren't that hip, so usually it's traditional framing while survey framing our campus wraps for us, but you know, whatever it is in your area, you can make very specific suggestions based on your client's decor style by getting to know all those things and being very specific in your suggestions, they're not going to question whether it's right or wrong, or really even ask you for changes very, very rarely have a client asked me to change something because I have told them this is what I'm suggesting and, you know, they're coming to you, they are trusting you, they they want those suggestions and, you know, think about the different people that you do business with and we want people suggestions when I go to the hair salon, I want to sit there and I want somebody who can tell me this is the right cut for you for your face shape. This is the right color for you because of your skin tone, I want them to give me those suggestions, and I want them to tell me if I think I want something that isn't gonna look great and it's the same way with, you know, any service provider that we use, we want people to tell us what's best for us, we really do. So think about that when you're working with your clients and make those very specific suggestions to them, and they will trust you with those suggestions. The other thing when we're measuring and we're taking that into preview and I'm showing them a size on the law, they're seeing the right size, you know, I'm not showing some them something that's too big or too small, and so it makes perfect sense that we're showing them to scale into size, and they're not asking to change sizes. You know every once in a while if something is too pricey for somebody on a certain wall you know maybe we'll drop it from five frames to three and so we can make some of those kinds of changes but we're not changing the size of the portrait on your consultation work sheet you're then going to go after you think about the room the style the colors what happens in that room all those elements you're going to then start thinking about what you're going to suggest for those rooms so if I'm designing for rooms for sarah you know I have then got to think of four different things that I'm going to be suggesting for the porch is that we're going to be displaying there and so I'm gonna write those ideas down before I even talked to her so that when that happens if she says yes I want to do this this and this I can have those suggestions ready so if we're going to design for the living room that has tan walls we've got brown couch a little bit of red thrown in as an accent color that's exactly the colors that I'm going to suggest or at least coordinating colors for that room in their clothing I'm also going to be thinking about what backgrounds that I have that would look great in that room or an outdoor location you know what's gonna work well do we want to shoot? Walking down a lane with trees overhanging do we want brick walls outside or an alleyway? Do we want grass? You know what? What's gonna look great in that room for the style colors feeling mood what happens in that room all of it's going to tie together and when I explain that to my client it's going to make sense and so it all you know it all starts making sense so you know we're not just throwing clothing suggestions at them like in the olden days you know, when I used to suggest the clients we suggested the same thing to everyone it was solids and not patterns it was, you know, darker on top or you know, back in the day when everyone were white but you know, it was either all white or all black and you know, very boring no personality that was suggested and now we can really suggest for the personality of the family and their decor style it all ties together and so it starts making a lot more sense to them as I'm talking teo mom, I'm also going to be thinking about any props that we want teo make sure that we have I don't personally keep a lot of props on hand we do have, you know, chairs and things like that, but I don't have a lot of stuff and that's because I want everything to be personal to my client and, you know, everybody's a little bit different in their photography style and if europe prop person that's great and that's fine and that's, even something that you can market, that something that you can talk about to your clients is that, you know, I've got all these great things for you to choose from when you get here may be you're a new born photographer, and you've got amazing hats and blankets and things to put babies in, and you've got all that stuff at your at your studio and that's, great, but for my style, I would rather have them bring something from home or choose something from their home that is personal to them. And so we're going to talk about those things, and anything that we want to incorporate into the image is the most important thing for me is that it really says something about who they are as a family or their personalities, as kids or whatever were photographing, and I want to make it something that isn't going to date itself. And so that's something also with the props and I I like to think about is that I don't want to look at it in five years or ten years and go, oh, my goodness, what were we thinking? And so um you know, that whole process I'm writing down those ideas in our work sheet and then when I talked to the client I could make very specific suggestions for each one of the rooms that were going to be designing for the main thing to think about throughout the consultation and the consultation process is that we just want to continue the conversation with the clients we want them to get invested in the process and what we're doing, we want them to understand that it is a process and that we've got a plan for this and I found over the years that if I tell people if I'm leading our clients and just telling him this is how this goes, then they come along with me, you know, it's not just throwing ideas out there and, you know, maybe this or maybe that it's it's having a plan and this is how this goes and leading them through the process and when you do that, they're not likely to get in the sales room and not know what to do not be able to make decisions. We've already helped them make their decisions all through the process and there invested involves there planning their clothing along with me they're sending me those snapshots of their walls, you know, when I get those snapshots and a text message that is like my first little ah ha of you know the process because I know that they are invested in the process when they take the time to walk through the house, and they do start thinking, where would I consider hanging a portrait? And so we're leading them through the sales process right from the very beginning, and I'll remind you that when they call, they are not thinking about where they're going to hang their portrait there calling because their daughter's turning three or they had a new baby or they haven't had been photographed as a family in three years, whatever the reason is it's not because all I want to do something really beautiful for my living room, they're not thinking about that until we tell them, and so we start making those suggestions, and so the consultation is just keeping the conversation going, leading them through the process, making those suggestions and really having a plan for those suggestions. I'm designing the concepts and preview I'm showing them on the consultation call, and once they decide which rooms that they're going to be hanging portrait's in there deciding that on the consultation call, so they're basically buying they're, you know, they're not giving me money at that time, but they are in their minds, they're making those buying decisions. And that's. How we're going to plan and design the session is based on where we're going to hang those portrait. So it's, all part of the proper process. That all leads to the final sale. And I promise you, it will make you more money.

Class Description

The strongest portrait photography businesses have one thing in common: a dedicated, strategic plan for artistic and financial success. Join creativeLIVE instructor Lori Nordstrom as she goes through 30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business, an intensive course that will give you the step-by-step tools you need to survive and thrive as a portrait photographer.

Over 30 days, you will work with Lori to develop a plan of action for marketing, branding, and pricing that will keep your clients happy and your business growing. Lori will outline the lighting, posing, and shooting skills she uses to make sure clients come away from a session with photos they’ll love. During each daily segment, Lori will discuss the topics covered in her 72-page workbook (included with purchase).

By the end of this course, you’ll have the concrete skills you need to attract clients, build a successful, satisfying business, and deliver stunning results every time.

Lessons

1Day 1: So You Want to Be a Pro Photographer? 2Day 2: Setting Up "Shop" 3Day 2 Bonus: "Setting Up Shop" 4Day 3: Getting Organized for Success 5Day 3 Bonus: "Planning" 6Day 4: Studio Image 7Day 4 Bonus: "Studio Image" 8Day 5: Defining Your Niche 9Day 5 Bonus: "Your Niche" 10Day 6: Defining Your Target Client 11Day 6 Bonus: "Your Target Client" 12Day 7: Marketing Part 1 13Day 7 Bonus: "Marketing - Part 1" 14Day 8: Marketing Part 2 Ideas For implementation 15Day 8 Bonus: "Marketing Part 2" 16Day 9: Networking 17Day 9 Bonus: "Networking" 18Day 10: Pricing For Profit Part 1 19Day 10 Bonus: "Pricing Part 1" 20Day 11: Pricing For Profit Part 2 21Day 11 Bonus:"Pricing part 2" 22Day 12: Projections for 2014 23Day 12 Bonus: "Projections" 24Day 13: Scheduling and Planning 25Day 13 Bonus: "Scheduling & Planning" 26Day 14: The Inquiry: Handling Emails & the First Phone Call 27Day 14 Bonus: "Initial Inquiry" 28Day 15: Client Education & Customer Service 29Day 16: Defining Your Product Line 30Day 16 Bonus: "Product Line" 31Day 17: Packaging Your Product 32Day 17 Bonus: "Packaging" 33Day 18: The Portrait Consultation: Designing & Planning Session 34Day 18 Bonus: "Consultation" 35Day 19: Photographing at the Client's Home: Shooting for the Wall 36Day 19 Bonus: "Wall Concept Shoot" 37Day 20: Shooting On Location: Client's Home with Older Kids 38Day 20 Bonus: "Mandi Shoot" 39Day 21: Shooting On Location: Client's Home 40Day 21 Bonus: "Dryden Shoot" 41Day 22: Adding Video to Your Portrait Sessions 42Day 22 Bonus: "Adding Video" 43Day 23: Shooting with Studio Light 44Day 23 Bonus: "Studio Lighting" 45Day 24: Portrait Workflow 46Day 25: Sales 47Day 26: Handling Objections: Finding Your "Yes" Answers 48Day 27: Special Events & Mini Sessions 49Day 28: Charitable Events: Give & Get Day 50Day 28 Bonus: "Charitable Marketing" 5129: When Should I Hire Help? When Should I Go Retail? 52Day 29 Bonus: Skype call with Lori & Carly 53Day 30: Goal Setting & Motivation

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