30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business

Lesson 6 of 53

Day 4: Studio Image

 

30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business

Lesson 6 of 53

Day 4: Studio Image

 

Lesson Info

Day 4: Studio Image

Day three is non and on your studio image we're gonna be talking through all of things that you want to think about what your studio images and all the things that it takes to make sure that you're projecting the image that you want to project you know when I started in the business I think when I you know people would talk about your studio image I kind of thought, you know well that's all about the way my business looks and the way I dress you know it's that's your image right now but I've learned that it's it's there is so much more involved in what your studio image is and how you are perceived by your marketplace so we're gonna work through some of those first impressions are lasting impressions and we've got a lot of opportunity with first impressions with our client's whether it's marketing the first phone call our website now there's all different ways that you might be first introduced to a client your displays what your clients have hanging in their homes and so you know thin...

k through all of the ways that you can make a first impression to your clients even when it comes down to you know packaging your packaging is the first presentation of your images it's another first impression and so all those things are very important as you work through your personality is a huge part of your of your studio image and a lot of times you know we don't we don't really think about that because it's hard tio it's we all kind of have this little thing that says, you know well, maybe they won't like my personality or maybe you know, maybe I really shouldn't put my personality into something cause I could get my feelings hurt, but when it comes down to it we're going to attract people who are like us we're goingto attract people that are attracted to our personality someone's not going to work with you if they're not you know they're not connecting with you and if they do once they're not going to again so your personality does have a lot to do with what your image is and if you can learn tio even brand that no think about, you know, the girl who said, you know, I'm a home school mom and I'm focusing on family on my block you know, that's part of who she is and her personality and she should be projecting that to her marketplace and attracting those people who are attracted to those things you know, I know another studio whose blawg is written from the voice of her cat and you know, and she's a pet photographer and so she's attracting people who are, you know, excited to go see what this cat is doing every day, you know, uh and you know there's all different ways that you can really put your personality into what you dio and really say something about your image he has a business, your reputation in the community is a huge thing, you know, I'm in a tiny, tiny little town in winterset, iowa, and we really don't photograph a lot of people from our town and I've been there long enough now I've been on this star square for thirteen years I opened up my first business in two thousand there and you know, I've been there long enough that there is this proceed value that well, yeah, I would like to go there, but I can't afford it and honestly that's okay with me? We've got a couple of different divisions in our studio now that is reaching out to the winterset market, but my main myself main market is des moines and beyond I have clients that come from an hour, two hours, three hours to the studio, but I want to maintain that reputation in my own little community, whether I'm photographing there or not. No, I want people to know about the business I want them to be able to tell their friends in des moines and other places oh yeah, we've got this great photographer and she's really expensive, but you know you're you would love it and you could do it and so, you know, we want to let people know that I wantto you know, support things that are going on in my community and that's about the only advertising I pay for is if something is going on in our community that I want to support, I will go ahead and pay for that advertising to be a part of our little local publication even though I know it's not gonna bring me business, but I know it's gonna it's the reputation is out there, I know that, you know, I want my community to know that I care and I'm you know, a part of the community and not, you know, not not apart of community so reputation, the community, the business partnerships that you form, we're going to talk a lot about networking and bringing in other businesses to helpyou market and support your business. And so those marketing partnerships you really need to think them through, you know, who are you partnering with? And do they support the images that you wanted to project for your business networking partners kind of that same thing, but it may be not a business partner, maybe it's a business partnership, not a business partner but networking partner could be another individual who you're networked with, who is, you know, really well connected or maybe she's in the junior league or a part of a certain group that you want to have a presence in so really think those through and we'll talk about it finding your target client and really defining your target client and that has a lot to do with finding those networking partnerships we definitely want to make sure that those all tie in to what we want is our studio image your charitable contributions are something that can really elevate the image of your business in your community whether you're just supporting schools or a local fundraiser that's going on maybe there's a child in your area who's ill you know that you're supporting that you're helping to fund raising for you provide your certificates for school auction whatever it is those contributions and just being involved and caring and being a part of your community in that way really make a difference for your image and we're going to spend a whole day talking about charitable marketing and ways to do that and be involved with your studios with different charities and fundraising that will also make you money and for me one of my big rolls and the businesses I want to give a lot and so the rule is I want to give a lot so I gotta make a lot you know so make a lot so you can give a lot and that's away toe really put a positive image out there in your in your community your status in the industry is another thing and now I would really encourage you guys to get involved with your local photography organizations get involved with people a if you're a p p l remember you should be leading your clients know it should be on your website even decal that goes on your door you can you know display that but let people know that's important especially these days if we can have those professional you know credit credentials I guess is what it is that's very important if you have gone through your cpp test your certification test make sure you're letting your clients know that status is really says something about your image and sets you apart from the every photographer that's out there and this can be done as simply is print competition you know even if it's your local fare if you're doing print competitions that something that can elevate you in the eyes of the consumer and the eyes of your market and so do those print competitions whether it's locally or nationally or whatever you want to be involved in every state has in the u s has a photography professional photography organization that you could be involved in that you can do print competition through and one of the things that I learned years ago was you know if I have a print that does well and print competition I'm never going to promote hey look what I won I'm always going to promote the person who's in the image, and so I'm going to say the image of, you know, megan got first place in this category and do a little interview with meghan and that's what's gonna go on my block, you know, we're gonna talk about that or on the website on facebook, and that gets other people excited about what you're doing, they really don't care that you went first place, but they care that you're connected and that you're involved and and that's it, you know, they're going to care about first place after they read about you, but if you're just putting it out there, you know, hey, look at the awards I got, you know, what does that really mean? But think about print competition and being involved in the industry and how you can let your market no, the quality of your image is definitely definitely says something about your image as a business and make sure that everything that leaves your studio or leaves your home studio that you're delivering is exactly what you want tohave in their hands, and this is the season right now when we're all so busy and, you know, it does it's, there are those days when you're like, just get it out the door, and maybe they won't notice, and if they d'oh they can call me and I'll just you know we'll redo it then but you know people are much more they're they're much more accepting when we tell them we made a mistake then if they get the mistake and discovered themselves and so make sure that the quality that's leaving your business is always top notch and you know that people can get excited and they're proud of the work that you've done and they're they're willing to share it that way you know, we all know that if somebody has something negative to say, they're going to tell ten people something positive they're going to tell one or two and so we we got to make sure that we are giving them something positive to talk about and really putting out good quality in our images in our products and you know what we're putting in our client's hands your guarantee says something about your image if you were willing to guarantee your work um you know, guaranteed forever if you if you can if you would uh you know, but if you're willing to guarantee your work, it really says, you know, wow, that that business is really, you know, they know what they're doing if they're that confident tio guarantee everything that goes out the door, you know, I always look att zappos when I think about a guarantee I'm zappos is a shoe store and they're number one on customer service and they're always do lots of marketing research, marketing sherpa dot com I love and you know I'm always I'm a geek that way but uh but zappa was one of those things is is it doesn't matter if you've had a shoot for five years they guarantee their product forever you send it back, you get your money back or you get it replaced and I love that I mean, why not do business with a business like that? You know? And so think about your guarantee and what happening out there I know for me I used to hand paint with oils my my damages my black and white so they were black painted black, black, black and white hand painted porches, the children that's what I sold and now thirteen, fifteen years later, I'm starting to get some of those back and it doesn't happen very often, but I would say for the last three years probably have gotten one or two back every year that the oils you know, at the time we all thought we were doing exactly we're supposed to be doing with archival prints and archival oils and, you know, doing all the right things but there's they're starting to look funky, you know, they're they're kind of getting this sheen tio and the oils are like kind of disintegrating the image and so I've been getting those back from people on dh when they call they say I don't know what happened to this I must have had it in the sun you know whatever they can think it's their fault it's fine but I'm gonna fix it and so we're replacing those and actually the digital product is so much better than the film product was any way that I actually love redoing them but you know having that guarantee in place I don't want to ever say to somebody well what did you do leave it out in the sun you know I'll charge you half price to fix it you know that doesn't say anything about my image I want to guarantee everything that goes out the door you're pricing says so much about your image and you know we all know that there is so much perceived value based on price we all have certain products that were willing to spend extra money on in certain products that were willing to scrimp on and save on so that we can buy those certain things that we want to spend money on and proceed value is huge we know if we go and buy a pair of jeans from walmart or you know we kind of think if I were him once I'm good you know and what if we go and spend a lot of money it's still denham it's still a zipper and a button you know but we spent a hundred fifty dollars on a pair of jeans and we better look good somebody better tell us we look good and we better be able to wear and for you know, a year or two years or whatever it's that perceived value you know we feel differently about the things that were willing to spend money on and so think about how your client perceives that price tag that you have on your work you know it's it's huge for what the value is of your image with that perceived value is going to be and then the presentation of your pricing is another thing that is you know really says a lot about your studio image and I know in the beginning there's so many photographers that just print out a price sheet on their xerox and hand it to your clients and if you've got a piece of paper that you're handing to your clients that says something about your image you know and we have a really, really visual product and so create something beautiful that you can hand to your clients or that you can pdf to your clients one of the things that I do right now ivan I haven't had a printed menu in my studio for a a number of years I used to just have one starting in about two thousand twelve we got rid of price price list no more priceless we created a product menu and that menu was available in the studio people could come in and see it it was there for the order appointments but I was no longer printing things that you know she's a paper and we loved having that printed menu and it was beautiful but it would cost me about seventy five dollars to have like an album printed or something nice printed that we could have in the order appointment room well if I started decided to add a product or change a price a screwed there is a seventy five dollar coffee table book on my you know my order appointment room and what am I going to do with that? And so we have even completely gone away from that and about the last two three years and it's available on an ipad our product many when they come in I pdf every client will talk through that but I pdf them the products menu and in our world people are used to getting things in that way and it's you know it's great it's fine that khun scroll through it and look through it and then when they come in the studio and they asked the prices we hand them an ipad that's got the product anyone it it still feels great in their hands and you know it's a nice high tech syrians but we're not printing anything anymore you know I want the image to be that were current with the times that were you know you can even use the going green excuse if you want teo but I would encourage you to try to get away from the printed menus just because it does box you in and I have seen a lot of photographers get their pricing done and have a beautiful piece done and they order one hundred of them and then you got to get through one hundred clients before you can change your prices you know? And so if you do it digitally and create a pdf or having on your ipad when you're meeting with their clients you can change it tomorrow if you want teo so we will talk through all that and talk about setting that up um your phone personality is huge you know? That's gonna be the first presentation a lot of times of someone to you when they when they call on the phone so make sure that you're answering machine we don't have answer machines anymore do we make sure that your message is, you know, happy and tells them all the information that they need if you're not going to answer the phone and if you do answer the phone, make sure you stop and breathe for a second and smile you know and it makes a huge difference if we're scrambling for the phone and we've got other things going on and were distracted and in a bad mood you know, it really says something to the collar and you guys know you've all had the experience where you've called a business and you're like but this person needs to go work at mcdonald's or something because they're not happy with their job, you know and so take that opportunity to really you know, this is who I am this is my image and it can be projected right on the on the first phone call your staff and your employees definitely say something about your studio image so make sure that when it does come time that you're hiring people that they fit into what that studio image that personality of your business is and I I this is really important to me as faras employees go I want to make sure that the people that I'm working with that it is a groove you know, we fit together and we like each other you know, that's always important and you know, my kind of rule with employees is, you know, hire the personality and train the task so I want them to be a fit for the studio image I can train him to do what I need them to do if that first fit is there your website says a lot about your studio image make sure that you're being consistent and your branding and the look that you want to put out there make sure that you're talking about the products that you love and really what it is that you want to do for your clients and I want to sell wall portrait sona so wall groupings and I want to design for the client's home and so I want to make sure that I'm letting our clients know when they come to the web site this is what our studio images I'm not about being a photographer anymore I mean that's probably sounds bad to some of you but I am about designing for the client's home with personalized uh products that they're going to love forever and ever so I want to make sure that I'm showing that right away on my website your blog's same thing your newsletter newsletter is kind of dying away but it's an extension kind of of a block and we still do a newsletter a couple times a year but you just want to make sure that you're so your studio images you know reflected in the newsletter marketing definitely speaks to your studio image I don't have a ton of ton of marketing pieces in our business and we'll talk more about that but the ones that we do have I want to make sure really if reflect our brand and image that's going to be that first communication that you have to the marketplace packaging talked a little bit about that already, but make sure that that is again carrying that brand through and then the client experience that you have to give to your client and, you know, a client. The client experience is so important, it definitely reflects your studio image of somebody is leaving and they didn't take care of of a child who was naughty the whole time and you get frustrated, you know that that says something to a mom. If your main target market is a mom with small kids, you better know howto work with small kids who are not because most of them are these days. You know, you have your brand in your image and your market is high school. Senior girls, you know, know howto work with senior girls and make them feel beautiful and make them feel special and be able to even communicate to mom how special her daughter is and what you see in her. Now all those things, you should be able to really reflect your studio image, your personality right through the entire client experience and the special little things that you do for your client. We'll talk more about the client experience in more death. But my little thing for client experiences to give them the star experience in the star experiences something they're always remember, so it always want to make sure throughout the client experience that we're doing little things and making sure little things happen that they're going to want to talk about something that they're gonna remember, something that they're gonna be excited about. One of my goals is that I want to make sure all the kids that kind of my studio know that I'm their photographer, and so I love creating relationships with the kids as well as the mom, but I want the kids to know, you know, my kids who come to our studio, I love them, and I really do, and I want to make sure that when you know they're home and they're playing photographer, they're playing lori, you know, and I want to make sure that they know that they're photographer is me that if their mom even tried to take them somewhere else, they would say that's, not that's, not who takes my pictures, you know, that's important to me, and so think about all those little things that you can do to make sure that they have a really, really great experience and when it comes to customer service. This is from marketing, sherpa dot com, that website, they have done the research, and it is a fact that twenty seven percent that's like, you know, that's that's a big number when you stop to think about it, because how many? How much for the percentage of the marketplace can we photograph? Not twenty seven percent that's for sure, but twenty seven percent of consumers. I would pay more than fifteen percent over market value for exceptional customer service and that's not even for your product that's, not even for your images or the style of your images that's for a great customer service, if you make them feel special and wanted and appreciated, those are all things that we have to have is human beings. And if you can do that for your client and give them that star experience and make them feel like really important and that, you know, this is such a special thing that they're doing for their family talk about those things, you know, they're willing to pay more for that, and I love reading things like this because it just validates that reason for making sure that we do have that client experience put in place, you know, that's that's, a huge part of your studio image, so your download for day, for and it's just gonna be some, uh, stationary for your studio. Thank you. Cards, notecards. I'm a big believer in the handwritten note and we'll talk a little bit more about during the workflow, the different parts of the workflow that I want to make sure our client get those hand written notes and what they'll say, but this is going to be a just a set of stationary for you guys and you, they're all layered psd file, so of course you can go in, you could drop in your own logo and change the background paper. What however you want to do to customize it for you all of that and all of those downloads, by the way, these daily downloads that are being mentioned, those air going to be available on the course. Paige, I'm told later today, so hopefully by by the end of the day today we will have all of those up on the course page, but they will be available to you if you purchase the course going forward. So we have time for maybe one or two questions. We've got one from johnny vegas who says when you're talking about setting up a home studio, how much khun someone with a home studio realistically expect to make? Is there a cap on your potential earnings if you don't have a studio space? No, there is not and we're going to spend three days, two days of pricing for profit and another day of projections and projecting your income for two thousand fourteen and no, it absolutely does not matter if you have a home studio or if you have no studio and I have worked all those different ways. I have worked all on location where I didn't even have a home studio, I just had a home office, I worked in a home studio, which I absolutely loved and, you know, five years ago six years ago when I moved back to my building, I had been in a home studio for a couple years and I just got the itch I needed to have that retail space, and I went and bought a very large building and expensive and sold my house and moved upstairs and wanted that retail space so bad. And now I'm back at the point where, you know, really, I would rather be back in a home studio because my first love and working with my clients is actually going to their homes and helping them through the process, you know, talking about where they should hang their portrait's, helping them with clothing suggestions, helping them with personal props and, you know, all the things that we want to include in the session and really the most important thing to being profitable is planning and preparing with their client through the process and then making sure that you're making those suggestions and meeting with them one on one when you're going through ordering process and helping them through that and we'll talk through all those things in depth, but absolutely having a retail space versus a home studio or on location has nothing to do with profitability and actually think then it is going to be time to move on to our next segment. So again, that was a day for and we're talking about your studio image. I wanna make sure you know, if you have been following along with the workbook, if you have joined in and purchased the course, you will have just been able to have gone through the course pages here on again. What image do you want yours to project? And also lori has laid out with all these different items, and you can assess yourself as teo, where do you think you're doing well and then where you think you need some attention so that as you go through the rest of the thirty days, you know the areas of focus that you need specifically to be working on so let's cross off day for lori, is it weird that I like the way the smells? I don't think that's four is complete.

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

  1. Day 1: So You Want to Be a Pro Photographer?
  2. Day 2: Setting Up "Shop"
  3. Day 2 Bonus: "Setting Up Shop"
  4. Day 3: Getting Organized for Success
  5. Day 3 Bonus: "Planning"
  6. Day 4: Studio Image
  7. Day 4 Bonus: "Studio Image"
  8. Day 5: Defining Your Niche
  9. Day 5 Bonus: "Your Niche"
  10. Day 6: Defining Your Target Client
  11. Day 6 Bonus: "Your Target Client"
  12. Day 7: Marketing Part 1
  13. Day 7 Bonus: "Marketing - Part 1"
  14. Day 8: Marketing Part 2 Ideas For implementation
  15. Day 8 Bonus: "Marketing Part 2"
  16. Day 9: Networking
  17. Day 9 Bonus: "Networking"
  18. Day 10: Pricing For Profit Part 1
  19. Day 10 Bonus: "Pricing Part 1"
  20. Day 11: Pricing For Profit Part 2
  21. Day 11 Bonus:"Pricing part 2"
  22. Day 12: Projections for 2014
  23. Day 12 Bonus: "Projections"
  24. Day 13: Scheduling and Planning
  25. Day 13 Bonus: "Scheduling & Planning"
  26. Day 14: The Inquiry: Handling Emails & the First Phone Call
  27. Day 14 Bonus: "Initial Inquiry"
  28. Day 15: Client Education & Customer Service
  29. Day 16: Defining Your Product Line
  30. Day 16 Bonus: "Product Line"
  31. Day 17: Packaging Your Product
  32. Day 17 Bonus: "Packaging"
  33. Day 18: The Portrait Consultation: Designing & Planning Session
  34. Day 18 Bonus: "Consultation"
  35. Day 19: Photographing at the Client's Home: Shooting for the Wall
  36. Day 19 Bonus: "Wall Concept Shoot"
  37. Day 20: Shooting On Location: Client's Home with Older Kids
  38. Day 20 Bonus: "Mandi Shoot"
  39. Day 21: Shooting On Location: Client's Home
  40. Day 21 Bonus: "Dryden Shoot"
  41. Day 22: Adding Video to Your Portrait Sessions
  42. Day 22 Bonus: "Adding Video"
  43. Day 23: Shooting with Studio Light
  44. Day 23 Bonus: "Studio Lighting"
  45. Day 24: Portrait Workflow
  46. Day 25: Sales
  47. Day 26: Handling Objections: Finding Your "Yes" Answers
  48. Day 27: Special Events & Mini Sessions
  49. Day 28: Charitable Events: Give & Get Day
  50. Day 28 Bonus: "Charitable Marketing"
  51. 29: When Should I Hire Help? When Should I Go Retail?
  52. Day 29 Bonus: Skype call with Lori & Carly
  53. Day 30: Goal Setting & Motivation

Reviews

fcaisp
 

This course is amazing! Lori covers so many essential things to have a successful photography business. She goes through everything in a very methodical way. I also appreciate ALL the free stuff she gave to help make my business successful. I also love how she shared how she gives back in her community and worldwide. Thanks Lori!

a Creativelive Student
 

I cannot say enough GREAT things about this course!!! I've been in business for over 10 years now, but still need to check in on the business side of things periodically. This class reminds us just how much fun marketing, sales, and planning can be. It has rejuvenated my passion for the BUSINESS side of this business. In fact, I'm so inspired by what Lori has to say, I think I will recommend this class to my COMPETITORS down the street. We will all be better for it and the industry will be better too! This is perfect for those just starting out AND seasoned pros :)

a Creativelive Student
 

I have loved so many creativeLIVE courses but I have to say this has been THE BEST for me. Lori thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge! I am feeling more confident and excited about moving forward and making my photography a real business finally. I have been crippled by insecurity and fear and with this course I feel like I have finally been given the ok and the KNOWLEDGE to do what I need to do. Thank you!