30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business

Lesson 15 of 53

Day 8 Bonus: "Marketing Part 2"

 

30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business

Lesson 15 of 53

Day 8 Bonus: "Marketing Part 2"

 

Lesson Info

Day 8 Bonus: "Marketing Part 2"

In our last segment together we talked about different marketing ideas that you have and most of them just right in front of you and available to you without a whole lot of extra money or effort put involved just a matter of seeing what's around you and taking advantage of what's around you you know, we talked about stop marketing and start hanging out get involved network make yourself available to your community and today we're going to talk about putting some of those ideas together in a way of a campaign and everything that I do in the studio I want to think about as an entire campaign so it's not just you know, hey, we want to do a vintage valentine's event it's what all is it going to take to put that event together? What pieces do we need to create? What marketing do we need to create? And so we're going to go through some of those and some of those different projects? I also want to talk through some different events that you could host at your studio and just away toe bring mo...

re people in and up that revenue for you. When we started thinking about campaigns, we want to think about all of the different elements that it's going to take to put that campaign together so we're going to go through each thing and the first of course is the marketing itself we want to think about what it's gonna take to market the event and what pieces we need to put together in order to market. How are we going to communicate to our target client what we're doing? What it's all about so that's first is the marketing and in the next segment will be talking about actually putting a marketing calendar together so I'm not going to go through that timeline just yet, but let's, think about the marketing pieces so that's step number one step number two is an appointment card that's just a little car that you're going to be able to send out once the the session is booked and it's just another little step of communication with the client. You may want to send out the appointment card electronically and that's ok, if you communicate to your client, I'm going to send over a reminder to you via email maybe you work with google calendars and so you're going to send over a google appointment where they can click on it and actually confirm their time where it may be a physical card that you send in the mail along with a little no that says, I'm so excited to photograph you for our vintage valentine session and so think about that a appointment card and how you're going to remind your client about their appointment time so a thank you card is your third piece and that is going to go out thinking the client after your session telling them we were so excited to work with you, the kids were fabulous. We can't wait for you to see the images it might go out again after the order appointment it's placed. It might go out out in the very beginning when you book the session, telling them thanks for calling and you're so excited to photograph them, but that's going to be that peace to tie in at that is branded to the event and goes out to thank your client in different ways. I also want the events schedule to tie in, and this kind of seems like a simple thing that really does the schedule need to be branded, but in my opinion, if we've got a brand for the event got a theme, yes, let's make sure all the pieces work together, even the schedule, so we're going to have a printed schedule for the event where let's say, we're doing a thirty minute session time, so I've got a schedule worked out with thirty minute increments and just at the top, we're gonna have the logo for the event or the studio logo with a little branded element that ties into the event so all that's going to work together. The next piece is going to be the order form and the event schedule on the order form we're just going to print in house just on our xerox and but we still want them to have that logo or that brand the next piece that's also going to be printed in houses the client profile and model release and we do print this on the same sheet of paper the client profile just has information about the client it's gonna have their address phone number kidsday names and birthdates let's just got all that client information and then we're going to have a model release on that piece of paper and then the last thing is our notice of copyright when a client comes in or whether it's an event or regular studio session we want every single client to sign our model release that is number one before I will even photograph and so we're going to pull out that client profile sheet and I would suggest to you that you fill out as much information on that sheet is you can just as a service to your client but that part's gonna be filled hour you can have him fill it out either way but when they come in you're going to sit down with them and show them the model release and go through it with them and this is going to be this is just some information on you guys for our hard copies we want to make sure that we have all your information correct so go ahead and check over those things add the kid's birthday it's if that's not something we got um whatever we need them to ad and then we let them know this is a model release and this is that you're okay with us photographing you today and you give us our permission to do that so they're going to sign that model release and then I can go on further and let them know if we use your images for marketing for the website or the blogged we will let you know first, but this takes care of the paperwork and that kind of just gets that out of the way we do want to have that model really sign at all times, and we will let them know if they're going to be used in marketing or on the blob on the website. In fact, that just creates good relationships with your client when you let them know first, but we're goingto get that paperwork out of the way we want them to sign that. And then the third component of that profile is the notice of copyright and what this says is it's just a little notice of copyright that says that they understand that the images that we take today cannot be used or copied or reproduced in any way other than what the studio gives the rights for and, you know, this is something that we have to be really careful about, you know, I still just today heard somebody complaining about, you know, I put my images on facebook from a client session, only the ones that were purchased, but I put them on and, you know, aunt mary jumped on and said, oh, I love this, I don't even care if the photographer's water mark is on it, I'm gonna I'm printing this to put in a little frame, and, you know, we hear that all the time and that's, just something in our digital rule that we have to expect, but I also want to encourage you to take the extra step to educate your client, you know, when these things are happening, it's a cz much our fault as anyone, else's, because we're not educating our clients, and, you know, just having it on your website or in your policies and procedures is not enough if you're not verbally communicating it. So this just gives us the opportunity with the client profile model, release and copyright release that they're just going to initial that so it's super easy, but it just gives us the opportunity to verbally communicate with the client that this is a notice of copyright, and this says that, you understand x y z now we are offering digital files I'm sure you are too, and we'll talk more about that when we get to pricing. But, you know, with the digital files we want to make really, really sure that we are not released and copyright. We are releasing a print release for our clients, we give them permission to print and it's printing for personal use only. It's not, you know, print however you want it's not sent to grandma, aunt mary and uncle fred, it is printing for personal use only, and that, again is an education point that we want to communicate with our clients. They have purchased the right to print, we will retain copyright of those images. The seventh component of the campaign is to think about how we're going to package everything once spent ordered so I want to think about packaging and a way to keep your costs down when you're putting packaging together, especially in the beginning is too just you go out and after christmas and after easter ever after any holiday, just go and hunt for bags tissue bo's box is anything that's just in your colors, and it could be patterns and just, you know, all kinds of things that mix in as long as it goes with your colors and that's something that I did in the beginning to package things was just go out after those sales and that way I wasn't having to stock up on a ton of things. Now we do stock up and we have cabinets and cabinets of packaging, but and now we get things from whole different places we get things for marathon press, we get things from bags and bows nashville wraps there's all kinds of places and now must the labs as well have boutique packaging for your business if you prefer to go that way and not stock anything, you can just order the boutique packaging one at a time and you have to plan for that and preparing your pricing and and plan that in but it's a great option for you if you have a home studio and don't want to stock a lot of things but with the packaging whether you're purchasing things in advance or you're going and picking up an expensive things after the sales. One of the ways to personalize and brand those things is just with stickers and tags and so number seven for us is to create a tag that can hang from the packages and then a label a sticker that khun go want two boxes and bags and, you know, tie everything together and make everything looked great as part of the campaign next we want to make sure that we're ready to blast things out via social media whether it's a facebook timeline that were pre building a template for that's going to go together so everybody's timelines, they're goingto look cohesive. We're just going to drop that clients images in it and that's something that right now we aren't promoting necessarily, but we're just sending out as a free gift after the order's been placed. It could be definitely something thatyou market within your within your event, because it is very valuable to people people love having those facebook timelines. I sent it as a gift, but we do pre build a template, so it's already done, and we build these for every single campaign, so it's, cohesive, and it looks nice, and they're easy to just develop and incorporate the other piece of the social media that we wanna have ready are those block and website cards that we talked about on our last segment, we want to have those ready to send out, so that when we post someone's images on the blogger on the website, we've got that little card to send via email to our client so she can blast out the news to her friends and family and market. For us, the last thing we want to do is to create a gift card for a future session and that's something that is really important to me for all of our special events, because with our special events it's usually shorter sessions it's a different pricing structure, we've got packages and, you know, usually cem, maybe some discounted pricing or specialty products it's gonna look a little bit different than it does day to day in the studio, but I want to encourage those people to come back for a regular session, a regular family session in the studio, so we're gonna incorporate a gift card that goes to them at the end that thanks them for doing the event with us and we have so much fun with their child and then here is a gift card towards your next session, so it might be one hundred dollar gift card it might be for free family session, depending on what type of event it wass if it's targeted to my right client, then we're going to just give them with a family portrait session at another time. So think about how you want to tie in at the end and then with those gift cards, you may also want teo include some referral cards and that's just going to refer people let your clients refer people and let them send them in and then you're going to course, thank them for that the first event I want to share with you is a model campaign, a model event, and this is something I highly recommend, whether you're building your portfolio or you've moved to a new location or maybe you've just raised your pricing and it's just time to reach out to a new target client, but whenever that time is that you need to fill slots, you know, don't go out and just offer free sessions to people and that's a trap that a lot of us get in when we're portfolio building, you know, especially in the beginning when we're going out, I'm saying I really need to photograph some cute kids and your kids are cute. Can I photograph them? And then we get into this trap of now we've offered this free session, and then we think we need to give them even more because we're asking them to do something for us instead of really believing that we're giving them a gift, you know, we're doing something for them. And so a way to put a little twist on that is too work work on it as if it were a model campaign, so you're doing. I call for models it's like a casting call, so with the coffer models were asking them to fill out a form for us and apply to be models so it's kind of like a little contest almost where they're having to fill out a form and tell us why they should be chosen as the family that we will be videoing for this project. And then they're also going to send in a snapshot of their family, and so they're needing to tell us, you know, not only show us what they're family looks like and say, yeah, pick me, but then tell us why they should be chosen, so it does feel more like a contest, it's something that they're applying for, not something that we're going in begging for and so it's a whole different feeling when it comes to portfolio building our, you know, for even maybe marketing pieces, maybe it's just time that you took a new direction and planned a theme event or planned a charity event, and you just you need those models to create the marketing and create the collateral for that. And so put out a model call instead of just bringing in people that you feel you owe something, tio put out this model call and let people come to you, let people get excited about working with you and, you know, have the pick me choose me mentality. And so what happens when we do something like this is e I do the same thing, and we'll talk about this when we talk about displays, but uh, when I go and I'm doing a free session like this, one of the things that I've learned over the years is that I never have to say to the client you know, this is what you're going to get out of this or this is how you're going to see your images I never have to bring it up usually they will write on that first phone call whether it's me calling them for doing images for display or them calling me for this model call you know they're the ones that are going to ask at some point am I gonna get to see all these images or am I going to purchase get to purchase anything they are gonna ask me and they're gonna ask you so I've learned to you know, talk about the event and what we're planning what we're thinking and then shut up you know, they are going to ask you how they can see or purchase the images and so at that time I'm going to say to them, you know what? I'm gonna take you through our entire process just like a regular client and when we get through the process and you see all your images, if there's anything you'd like to purchase that's great and if not that's okay too there's absolutely no pressure and so you can do this if you're just needing marketing if you're just needing new images for your website, whatever the purposes you can, you can still market that and it's okay to say I'm building my portfolio or I'm creating new marketing pieces for next year or I'm expanding my website and needs some new images put out a model calm that people work at it to get to you planning themed events for your business is another way to keep revenue coming in even during the slow times and I recommend when you're planning themed events to make sure it's something different than you do day to day in your business there shouldn't really be competition between scheduling a regular portrait session with you our scheduling a themed event with you unless that's really all you do and that's ok too I have worked with photographers before that just do one event a month and those events are their bread and butter that's all they photograph and that's okay if that's your plan and we'll be working that plan later and if that's what you decide for you perfect but if you're like most of us you've gotta shoot during the week and at other times a cz well and so you're going to want to make sure your events are something very different than what you do day to day and in your business so let's go through some different themes and fun ideas there's ports in the park which is a really easy thing to just set up at a local park and photograph all day you just do one session after another at the park and that's not even super themed but it gives you a location and a reason and that was one of the first themed events that I ever did was portrait's in the park and you know I could contact back past clients always for our events I always give our clients and incentive for inviting their friends and so it's going to be a fifty dollars credit towards their order for any friend that they get scheduled and so I want to encourage them always, you know, hey, we're doing torches in the park we'd love for you to come and be involved it's fifty dollars per child is usually how I planned those and then you're going to get fifty dollars in credit for anybody that you refer my way for this event so that's the first one is porter's in the park next one is spring flowers another thing that's just available to you when it's spring you can usually find a while wildflower field or um, you know, if you're if you're are a home studio, if you're home, business may be you can even plant a wildflower garden at your house and that could be something that only you have access to, so that makes it a really cool themed event if only you have access to the props that you're using or to the location that you're using so spring flowers flower child is kind of just a different take on that where it may even be that you have kids dressed kind of seventies and with the peace sign and you know, peace symbols and flowers and maybe big hats you know, there's all kinds of fun things that you could do with that bubbles and balloons are great all kids love them and you can create a really fun easy atmosphere with bubbles and balloons you can do you know either one you could do inside, I wouldn't necessarily take the balloons outside unless you've got a helium tank and you can blow them up but you could do have the kids with balloons outside as well with the with the balloons floating beside them or even, you know, pretend like there being lifted off the ground inside you don't even have to have helium you can blow up tons of balloons and just let kids play in them. They will, you know, float a little even without helium and they can kick him around and bad him around and just makes a really fun easy images and the same thing with bubbles that's something we can get mom involved let mom just blow bubbles and let kids play and you've got great easy fun images that make a fun little siri's or even a book that you could sell two twos and ties is a super fun kind of dress up event for little ones and you know two twos is an easy thing with the with the little girls and you know even if you don't have to to stocked and you don't want to invest in those just creating the event and asking your clients too go ahead and bring their kids dressed or with the little boys it could be ties even with no shirts and just wear one of dad's big ties and just have some fun with it could throw on some top hats on the boys and just make some suggestions for big flowers in the hair for the little girls pearls always looked great strings of pearls with the two twos and so there's fun ideas you can throw in there for not very expensive if you're a little crafty you could even make your two twos and we've done that in the studio before as well but now we do get most of them we buy them and have them stocked but can you don't have to you could ask people toe to come dress and that's perfectly fine mud madness is a super fun event and really you can create this anywhere where there's ground and dirt and you know if you're if you have a home studio ask your husband first before you dig up a little patch of the yard but if you dig up a spot it's it makes mud super quick you just have the hose ready and actually, the water hose or a sprinkler is a great weight to end the bud session because you can have dad or mom just scored the kids with the water hose and let them run through it, and they're going to get cleaned off a cz well, but for whatever reason, the mud sessions are always super popular, and it really helps to be able to make suggestions from the med sessions for places that people would normally never think to hang their portrait, because we're going to make suggestions for those in the mud room, in the laundry room, even in the kitchen, you know, there's places the back entryway, there's places where we can hang those portrait's from the med sessions that people normally would go. I'm not gonna hang a fortune in my laundry room, but when it's mud, it makes perfect sense, and so we're selling for space is in the home that we wouldn't normally sell, and so my sessions are super fun, and again, you can do it anywhere. One of the best places that I ever did. It was a house that was being built, and a mom hosted sessions there where she invited her friends and we did a portrait party, but her house was being built so there was no yard yet, and so we, you know, sprayed that down and you could cooperate with, you know, with a landscape or our home builder developer there's lots of people that you could partner up with on that or maybe there's a vacant lot in your town or your neighborhood that you could ask tio tio use for your mud sessions, but they're super fun. We've also done a med session at the playground before where it's just you know it's it's playground, it's dirt and so again, just hose it up a little bit and you've got great mud and great fun for the kids they love it and everyone smile, you'll get a kid that won't like it but screaming and the mud is justice fun going fishing is another themed event that I actually haven't personally done, but I've seen some really great cute sets done uh that with a fishing theme and that's a great theme to put on your calendar the next is tea party and that's a really easy thing to create, whether your home studio retail location or partnering up with another business. Whether it's a toy store where children's boutique I mean really it could be any other business that you wanted teo do an event with it could be a coffee shop that you're hosting a little tea party for little girls and so think about partnering up in those ways, but the tea party is a great theme little girls love to play tea party and you can incorporate you know stuffed bears or stuffed animals maybe have dad sit down for a shot or two where he's too big for the table and he's got his little girl on the other side and there is you know, great ways to make fun with that the pumpkin patch is a great fall event and that's another one where you can tie in with a with an actual pumpkin patch and go out and and do a day of photography there and that's something that they would probably even mark it for you so it's away when you're starting out or just you need that string of new business to tie in with other businesses like that pumpkin patch is great because kids of course love pumpkins and usually there's a hayride or even a scarecrow that would be right at the pumpkin patch and you don't have to plan a lot of props winter white is a super easy session to do and of course is just a white background you can use white paper or even a white wall but just encourage your clients to bring their white warm snug lease it might be sweaters or hats or mittens and and you know doesn't even have to be white for me I shot my winter white sessions on black and with black and white and so as long as it's a light color tone then it's totally fine for those black and whites, but, uh, that's, it was a super easy theme for me, and it wasn't property. You could add snowflakes, you could add at a sled. Um, you know, other fun winter toys could be brought in, but it doesn't have to be property at all. Um, really, when we did winter white, it was because someone had a portrait party scheduled and we weren't able to do it. We had to bring it inside because it snowed and we had a lot of little ones. And so we just stood on white paper and called it winter white. It wasn't really even a, you know, a plan to theme with with props or anything like that. So, you know, just think about the different things that you can incorporate into your schedule along the year. Now winterset, iowa does not have a beach, but for beach babies, you know, this image was taken out a river and, you know, we just made it look like a beach and it's just, you know, kind of that beach fun look with summer sun and swimsuits and splashing in the water, and you really could even dio, you know, whether it's a beach baby say more any type of water theme you could even do it with a big baby pool and just put in oversized toys into the little baby pool and and let even big kids playing that and make some fun with it during the summer and of course we don't want to forget the furry friends and that is just something where the kids can bring their pets along and you know have some fun with that and it doesn't have to be furry they could bring their frog or you know they're porky pine whatever it whatever it is I guess porky pine wouldn't be one but my kids had a hedgehog when they're little and so that's what I was thinking about not as quite as prickly as a porky pine but of course they could bring anything and if they don't have an actual pet they can bring their stuff pets and then anything kids can eat makes for great sessions you can do a theme around any food pretty much but some of the ones that we've done in the past or watermelon you can do apples and apple barrels you conduce a simple is lolly pops cupcakes ice cream you know anything really that kids can eat make for really fun sessions and I talked earlier about doing the the series of images so doing like a little storyboard of three images that you could put on the desk or on the wall and then of course books and we always want our clients to be thinking out about books or even image boxes but specialty products that are based around what we're photographing and if we can incorporate those specialty products into our pricing and kind of the whole reason behind the event maybe it's even something that you want to include into your into your session fee so the session fee includes the session and whatever specialty product you're really wanting to promote but what helps with that is that we have something very specific that we're shooting for and so doing things like the themes with you know, whether it's eating or we know any of these things that we've talked about it kind of gives you that little story telling siri's that you can put into a product or an album other events that you khun do our trunk shows or little model sessions and with the trunk shows or the little model sessions you're gonna want to team up with another business that is selling clothing for children and then host those events whether it's a trunk show where like matilda jane is one where they would matilda jane representative would actually bring a trunk full of clothing and you'd set up big mirrors and you know just lots of fun for the little girls to try on their dresses and then you'll set up an area where you'll photograph and just do fun images of the girls and the motility jane dresses and you know, those those representatives and it can be any company, any business that has closed or accessories for kids, but, you know, teaming up with them is a huge benefit for them, and what it does for you is you've got access than to the people they've invited to their mailing list and so it's a win win all the way around, and you can set up a fun atmosphere and photographed the kids or maybe even the kids and their moms. And then, of course, you'll be selling those packages and profitable, but then you're also gonna have access to those mailing list a cz well, the little model sessions could be done either through your own studio or home studio or again tied in with another business, and we're going to talk so much more about networking and working with other businesses and another segment. But, you know, be thinking about this along the way if you don't have a retail location, do not let that be an excuse for being profitable. There are so many other businesses that you can tie in with that, you know, you're going to help them as much as they're going to help you by tying together and building their community and get people getting people excited about working with them as well. You can even create an event around a specific product that you want to sell, so maybe it's a frame sailor, a campus sale or an album sale, you know, whatever it is, why not create an event if you've got a big frame sale coming up, maybe it's one of the vendors that you work with is doing twenty five percent off framing during a certain month, and so you then can in turn, pass that along to your clients and do an event based on that frame sale or that album sale that your lab is offering. Um, we've done sales based on qatari jewelry, we love katori jewelry and so to our clients, and so, you know, planning an event just based on that hitori jewelry sale that's coming up can be, you know, you're you're passing along your savings to your clients by creating an event around a special product. Now you've planned your themed events, and so we're going to talk about seasonal or holiday events and, of course, there's built in hallmark holidays for you all year long. So check out those hallmark holidays and that's, literally something you, khun google and even something that is not like a serious holiday like easter thanksgiving christmas, if it's on that hallmark holiday list. Make a fun event of it you can, you know, come up with all sorts of things there's never an excuse for not planning something and reaching out to a new segment of people. So I'm gonna share with you some of the holiday events that we've done over the years, and I want to mention that, uh, when when you get towards the end of the year, you want to make sure you're setting deadlines for things, you know, we get teo those fall events and then into thanksgiving and into christmas time and it's so easy to want to make everybody happy, we want everybody to be able to give their portrait's crisp miss games, and we want everybody to have christmas cards, but you know, if you do that and do that and do that, you get to the point where, you know, we'll g I just made everybody else's christmas, mary, and you know what? Nine year tired and sick and unhappy over the christmas holiday when you should be happy and with your family? So I'm set those holiday deadlines, and if that sounds like it's learned from, you know, hard knocks it's heard its learned from hard knocks because I've definitely learned it the hard way, but set those holiday deadlines and for our clients now who don't hit the christmas deadlines we are encouraging them to do new year's cards and even valentine's cards if they're if they aren't in time for new year's cards. So, um, there are other things that you can do throughout the year and it's interesting that you know it all kind of weaves and flows and together we want to encourage people for christmas cards that anything that they had photographed throughout the year any session that they did can be used for their holiday cards and unless it's during a baby's first year, their kids aren't really changing that much between, you know, seo joon session and christmas and so we can use that session that we photographed earlier in the year and that's a great way to create extra revenue at the end of the year is to go back and contact your client starting you know, end of september early october and letting them know hey, we can create your christmas cards from any event that we photographed this year, and we'd love to help you get some christmas gifts together that you can give and, you know, really give people what's most important to you and that's your family let's share that with them so it's a great way to kind of build revenue throughout the year from sessions that you've already photographed, the first theme that we photograph in the year in the new year is valentine's and we do a vintage valentine's event and with this event we do the session and then they get a little framed print as part of their session jeez that's kind of our product that's included and then we do want to sell packages after that but to get them in and get them excited about the event we usually plan something specific that they get with their session purchase and for us this last year and we'll do it again this year we just did a tabletop wild serb a frame and that's actually from their willow fly collection but those are cost or about a twenty to twenty two dollars frame and they look super nice and we put in one of those vintage valentine's portrait and that's going to be their gift with their session purchase of ninety nine dollars and so you know we plan that out so that we have a nice profit point in there and then also planned their packages on top of that so that there were encouraging them tio by more so vintage valentine's is a fun event and it's easy it's themed if people have missed out with us doing christmas cards even if it's a brand new session we might ask them were you able to get christmas cards out this year and a lot of times we're hearing from people if we didn't do them you know so we just got behind me and you christmas came and went we didn't get that done so we're encourage them you know this is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends and let's send out send out these vintage valentine's cards mother's day and father's day are great easy events to just plug in to their on your calendar already so you're just going to plan out from them with your marketing and advertising for those and we'll talk about that when we're talking about marketing your marketing calendar so a mother's day of course you could just do mommy and me father's day daddy and me but doing those little specialty many sessions with mom or dad is really going to encourage a complete family session later on in the year because now they've done those themed mommy or theme daddy sessions they've worked with you they're excited about working with you and they're easy to market back to for a family session say late summer early fall easter of course is another built in event that you can have and I know lots of photographers who brought in bunnies and lambs and you know all different things for eastern we haven't ever done anything like that I've never done the the animals with the with the easter session but you can still plan, you know, a spring event or an easter event even if you don't go all out with the animals I do know that there are some rules when you're involved with bringing animals into your even home studio so check out on those rules locally for you and there's just there's livestock uh rules and regulations and sometimes you may have to pay in a little extra feet to be ableto have the right to to bring those animals in and have you have children photographed with them but it's usually pretty nominal so just make sure you check that out and comply with the local rules on that but there's lots of ways to incorporate and easter theme even without animals so think about all those different calendar events that are already right there for you that you can mark it a big time for us in the studio is halloween and we love having the kids come by the studio there's trick or treating on our little downtown square and winterset and we love having the kids come by and one year I just thought you know we've got hundreds of kids coming through the studio during halloween why are we not photographing them and so halloween is a time when we do a charity event and usually we just pick a local charity for this it might be the skate park that they're trying to build you know it's just something local that people can get excited about even if they're not typically are normal target client we can get still get them excited about raising money for something that's local and so we'll do something as simple as come in and get photographed and for a fifteen dollar donation you're going to get a five by seven for free and those five by sevens I actually donate I pay for those all the money that we raise and collected goes towards whatever fund raising that we're doing but that's just something that ties us into the community makes us look good and you know usually something that the chamber will advertise or you know, other local businesses will jump on the bandwagon because we are raising money for a local charity and then for thanksgiving we play in a high end event and most of the events that I've been talking to you about have been special events there have been things that you know we're going to do shorter sessions we're goingto have packages set up to plug people into ordering right away usually almost I would say ninety nine percent of the time when I'm doing events they're going to order immediately following the session they're going to sit down and see other images right away but for thanksgiving we do ah higher end event and that's called are thankful event and what the thankful and event includes is getting images done during the fall season and we're promoting specialty products for this and I would highly encourage you if you're doing a higher end event or really, for any of your events create specialty products that they're only going to get through that event so it makes those products kind of a no brainer to purchase because that's what the event is all about and so far are thankful event our specialty products that we promote our an image box that's gonna have the family portrait on the front of it and then on the inside instead of having a stack of portrait like we normally would in an image box instead we're going toe offer cards that were printing for the client that's gotta family image on the one side and on the other side it just says at the top I am thankful for or my thankful list or, you know could say any little sentiment like that you could add the year to it if you like, but on those cards we want our clients to all throughout the year, maybe they're having a family dinner or, you know, something has happened that the kids are excited about there first report card with straight a's it could be anything but we want the family to be encouraged to go and pull out a card and write down what they're thankful for throughout the year and then start a family tradition so that on thanks giving they're pulling out the thankful box and they're reading through all the things that they've been thankful for through the year and so this does a couple of things it's a specialty product it's something that we can promote over thanksgiving that people can get really excited about something unique and it's something different but it also is going to start a family tradition for our clients and I tell you any time that you can tie in tradition family tradition is so important to people especially these days when families are you know, scattered and kids air distracted and busy and you know, kids as young is seven and eight years old right now are getting cellphones and they've got their video games and you know, bringing family together is really important to parents and so giving them an activity like this to do that it was really valuable for the family and it's something that they can get excited about it sort of it's a tradition and so they're going to come back to you next year for it which is super cool but they're also going to be thinking about you when they're going through this exercise when they're writing out there thank you cards when they're pulling out their box at thanksgiving you're on the top of their mind so I love this kind of event I love creating specialty products like this just you know, teo stay connected and have our clients be thinking about us over and over again holiday events and open houses you know, our holiday portrait events we're going to treat a lot like that thankful event they're going to be higher and events we want people to be thinking about christmas gifts and of course their cards but are still our main focus for the christmas events, the fall events even leading up to christmas our higher end no, we want clients that are excited about working with us with what we normally do on a day to day basis it's just that during christmas time a lot of times were pushing people together and more of a group warren of events style than we normally would throughout the year because we're trying to get more accomplished at one time. But there's someone I think about the specialty products, whether it's holiday framing and you know you would be surprised how many people will purchase christmas themed frames that they're just pulling out between, you know, thanksgiving in new year's if you just offer it to them and a lot of times they just they don't know it's an option until we tell them it is. And so if you're planning those kind of things around your christmas events and offering it to them, you know, hey, we've got this specialty themed framing that we're offering, you know they can get excited about it too, so those were offering through the wild survey frames and people do get really excited about buying just those christmas themed pieces, we also want to create other specialty products they want to create gift packages and really encourage that gift giving and, of course, the christmas cards leading into new year's cards. Ah, holiday event that you can do that's not necessarily session related, not bringing in people for sessions there's just to have a holiday open house, and this may be something that you doing your home if you don't have a read retail location, if you don't want to bring people to your home tie in with another business or time with a great client who has a fantastic home, you could even tie in with your church or another organization that you're involved in, but host an open house, and one of the things that we encourage people to do one year was to bring their toys for tots donations to the studio, and so we just became a drop off location, and for each person that brought in a wrapped gift of twenty five dollars or more, they were given a gift certificate to the studio for a family session for the next year, so that was a great way to just kind of generate community buzz we were a drop off location, people could actually come in and see portrait's in the studio, so that was great for us, too. And then we gave them a reason to come back and to schedule that session after the first of the year. So again, if you don't have a retail location, tie in with somebody else to be able to do that and that's a great way for you to build community and awareness for your for your name, I also wanted to talk to you about designing a marketing campaign based on something that you're excited about promoting in the studio. So it might be that you've got new backgrounds or a new location or a new website, whatever it is, but plan around, you know, based on what you're excited about, so that's one thing, and then the next thing is to design your marketing based on really who you are, what you want your brand to be, what sets you apart. And so it may be that you are a pet photographer, and you are the only one in your area who photographs pets in a certain location, or the only one that has a studio that's photographing pets, and so your marketing needs to be very representative of that. You know, when there's so many other things, there are things that you can really specialize in, and your marketing, your branding should be really based on that, and so for me, for my studio, we really want teo put out the idea that we're focused on designing for the home, and so when I'm planning my marketing, I want it to be very designed based I want all of our marketing to be promoting the idea that we're goingto design something custom for your home. We're going to plan something really special that you can enjoy every single day and it's all focused on what you love the most and that's your family, and so we want to talk about, you know, designing for the home we want to talk about, kind of almost from an interior design sort of point of view and that's what I want our marketing to say, so we call that our design marketing, and I just want to encourage you to really stop and think about what it is that you wantto specialize in. What do you want to be known for, you know, what's your thing? And when you know that you can plan your marketing based on that, I hope you've got some good ideas in this segment for creating your marketing campaigns and what all it takes, what pieces that you need to have put together, and I hope you've written down a few things that resonate with you or maybe even a new idea that you got sparked today, so thanks for joining me, we'll see you next time.

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

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