30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business

Lesson 16 of 53

Day 9: Networking

 

30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business

Lesson 16 of 53

Day 9: Networking

 

Lesson Info

Day 9: Networking

Nine ugo and we are talking about networking and talking to some of you guys over the break I know this is a biggie for everybody you know, a lot of times we've got all these great marketing ideas but it is you know, how do I implement them and and its many times just finding the help making those connections and networking with the right people that can help you spread the word and so networking is definitely definitely built my business from the beginning and is really it's my biggest form of marketing is networking networking to me is an extension of word of mouth because I am working very closely with either another business or individual who I'm partnered up with and we're going to do cooperative marketing together and so they are, you know, telling other people about my business it is word of mouth even displays are word of mouth you know, that's another business willing to hang my portrait in their business and, you know, excited to share what I do so I love love networking and ...

I'm excited to share some of this with you. I know a lot of times we don't know really who we're going to be networking with and, you know, look at first that target client worksheet that you put together go through each one of your you know, if your target client one of the questions on there is even down to who does her landscaping, who built her home? Where does where her kids go to school? You're working through all those things, and when we do, we not only know more about that client's needs and expectations and what motivates them, what they're excited about, but we also have a list of networking partners built in for us, and so I think through that whole list and all the people that are really available to you that are serving your target client as well, and those are the people that we want to be networked with, and don't forget to look around at what's available to you, and there is a huge list here in your workbook and the workbook, there's all kind of just like, you know, brain starters, you know, just ideas for you to start thinking about, you know, it's, just starting, even with your neighbors, who is there a target client in your neighborhood? Who do you know? And then just, you know, working down through it, who works with your spouse? Is there a target client there that you need to be networking with marketing to, ah, whole list here, and and look at just what's available right to you a lot of times where, you know, we get bogged down and I'm like gosh, I don't know I don't know where to find these people I know who I want to be marketing too and selling too and working with but where are they and don't forget to just look around you you know we would call that low hanging fruit what is right available to you to grab so don't forget teo you know look at just the groups that you're already involved into the places that you already do business with maybe it is even a past client that you know that has a small business that you'd like to partner up with you know there's a lot of people that are right there available to you and then a scheduled time for it and we'll talk a little bit more about this when we talk about scheduling and have that day but you really think about making a plan for networking and you know we talked about the marketing monday we've got that on the calendar but how are we going to divide up that day? No part of that might be that you want to take thirty minutes and say for thirty minutes I'm gonna be making phone calls to new business partnerships and I'll talk to you about how you're going to make that phone call and what you're going to say on that phone call but put those times on your calendar and think about that and set some little mini goals for yourself I want it I want to contact six people this month so I'm gonna but two on each of these days and actually schedule it in your calendar put their names down, do some research find out a little bit more about those businesses and how you can start building the relationship with them so phone calls are a great way to just begin that networking and again in your workbook you've got a whole phone script for talking too that networking partner but one of the things that I want to do when I make those phone calls I really I really do just want to start a relationship I want to build a relationship and so I do stock these people high google them if it's a it's a it's a local publication I'm reading the letters that the editor right so that I can find out more about them personally and with your local publications even with big magazines, the editor's usually write personal things they talk about their family vacation, they talk about their dog, they talk about their kids and we can find out so much by just investing a little time and really, you know, figuring out what they're into and starting a conversation that way I also always when I'm calling somebody I want to praise them if I can I want the toe let them know I love what you're doing you know, whatever it is, maybe I saw a business in a local publication or I saw somebody who was featured in the news or, you know, however it was I was introduced to this person when I call them I want to let them know, you know, I'm I'm so excited to meet with you I love what you're doing I want to you know, I want to praise them and everybody likes that and so it's a foot in the door when we can do those things people also love when you're interested in them and, you know, you don't have to do that in a creepy way I know everything about you, but just butt reference something you know, I love the article that you wrote for x y z, you know, I'm all I'm constantly looking through our local publications for opportunities of people that I need to be networking with, it might be a new business that's in town, it might be somebody that spent featured for something that they did for a charity or just, you know, something that they've been awarded for for whatever, maybe it's the top forty under forty in your area and you want to start touching base with those people and saying, you know, congratulations on your award I loved reading your story and I'd like to give to you with the portrait session maybe you do corporate head shots and that's your thing that's a great way to just start communicating with people and get in those circles by calling and talking to them starting the relationship doing their headshot for them and then when that headshots published you ask for a byline you know you can do that with ads with you know so many different things where you're asking for a byline and that's great great marketing for you that you don't have to pay for you've been published in different ways so think about just picking up the phone we wantto call we want to build a relationship first typically when I'm calling somebody for the first time I'm just going to say no hi my name's laurie nordstrom I'm gonna let them know where I saw them or how I heard about them so that we have that common ground started and then you know I would love to get together with you and pick your brain a little bit I've got some ideas I want to throw at you for some ways that we might mark it together. I've got some ideas and are going to cost you anything and you know maybe we can brainstorm together and and see if we can come up with some things when we meet I really want just five minutes of their time because honestly in five minutes I'm going to noah for a fit and you know, you guys don't know this too if you sit down for five minutes and it is not a fit for you if you don't connect thank them for their time and move on you know you still want to send a thank you note back and thank them for again for their time we handwrite those but you know usually in five minutes you know there you start that connection you've started at relationship and you can continue the conversation about different ways that you might mark it together for me it's not always going to end in a display although I love getting displays and other businesses but you know, it might be a gift basket or a contest that we're going to do together or a cooperative newsletter there's lots of different ways that I can partner up with other businesses so we're going to throw those ideas around and it does not matter what the size of the businesses everyone has to think about marketing it doesn't matter you know, I even went into when I when I got my hospital display I went and talked to the board at the hospital about what their marketing objectives were you know tell me a little bit about your target client and what your marketing objects it objectives are I want to see how I can help you reach those and they were very impressed with that you know, here is a board of the hospital in no other photographer that they're interviewing to hang artwork in their hospital is going to talk to them in that way, you know and and and it's the same with a small business they have to think about marketing they have to think about reaching out to there, you know, perfect target client just like you d'oh and so by sitting down and brainstorming with them, you can come up with a lot of fun things and, you know, figure out ways that you can be partnered in network together and so I want to make that phone call and make that first initial contact and just get five minutes of their time that's what I'm asking for oh thinking about those different partnerships you know, go through again through that target client worksheet and think about all those different places and people and organizations and groups and businesses that you need to be tied to those air I do consider them partnerships in my business and I will let them know you know, let's network together let's, you know, partner together on the on marketing and reaching out to our target clients so you know, those people that are going to actually be marketing and getting your business out there for you displays are definitely something that I, you know, I love level of getting displays and so you know, years ago when I would go and meet with somebody that was like my main goal was to have the display. Now I have realized that there's so many other ways that I can network with people and work with them, but the display itself when I am calling this and I'll I'm gonna just show this little video quick and then I'll tell you a little bit more about this place, but this video is just a walking through the eye care center where I have a display and just showing you just a couple of things that we do there were have hanging there so just simple, but all all the way down their hallway it's exactly what I want to be photographing, which is kids and families, but but basically the way that we're getting displays is I'm first building the relationship we're just talking through, you know, we've got the same type of clients let's throw some ideas around together, we're building the connection, communicating and then when the time is right, I am letting them know I would love to do something really special for your office or for your business. And what if we pull together your five favorite clients or your ten favorite clients and called them and let them know that we want them to be the models for a display of artwork in your business and most businesses can get pretty excited about that. I will let them know that this is going to build community and their market this is going to get people excited about doing business with them they're going to be specially chosen and featured in the artwork and so you know, we're then making phone calls to these people and every month so I'll I'll be working with a business that doesn't want me to make the phone call and that's okay, I'll write them a script and I want them to go through the same exact thing with each one of their people tell them what's going on and then at the end of that call they're going to say, would it be okay with you if I passed the information along to lori so that she could give you a personal call and get your session set up? And so you know that that's how that works, but if I'm calling, I'm gonna let them know, you know? Hey, my name's laurie nordstrom, I'm working with the eye care center and we're going to do some new artwork there in their offices and they have told me how much they have loved working with you and your family and they really would love it if your family would be the models for their display there and when we do that, I have been doing this now for well, thirteen years for my own business I did it for the business that I worked for before before even that and in all the years of doing this, I can't even remember anybody ever telling me no everyone gets excited everybody's super thrilled that they were chosen and you know, a display is supposed to get us new business and I see photographers over and over taking stuff off of their walls that they already have hanging and go putting it in the business or they pull from old files old sessions that they photographed and get stuff printed and take it to the business instead of actually getting new clients you know and that's what we want out of a display and so I want that that business owner to choose their favorite people that were going to feature in the display and when I do that I call call the family I'll let them know what we're gonna do, we're gonna hang a new artwork we'd love to feature their family, they've been chosen his models and then be quiet they are going to ask me, you know, back to the question that we got asked yesterday, you know, well, what else do they get with that? I don't need to say anything else they're going to ask me at some point almost always right on that call if not, they will ask me at the next time that we're communicating on the consultation call or on the session call, but they're going to say to me, am I going to get to see everything that you photograph? Am I going to get to buy anything? You know, how does this work? They're going to ask the question, even ifit's, do I get anything with this? You know, my answer is the same every single time, and my answer is, you know what? I'm gonna walk you through the process, just like a regular client and, you know, and if you'd like to purchase anything that's great, if not that's, okay, too, and that's, you know, part of the conversation, but I want to let them know I'm gonna walk them through it just like a regular client and, you know, let me tell you how what's gonna happen next, we're going to do your session, and then about a week after your session, you're going to come back to the studio or if I go to them that's fine, too. We're gonna get back together for you to view your images and you know, you're going to get to see everything, and if there's anything you'd like to purchase that's okay there that's great, if not that's, okay, too, and, in fact, what we specialize in is doing something really special for your home and I'm gonna ask you to walk through your home and just take snapshots for me anyplace you'd even consider hanging a portrait I want you take the snapshots and send him over to me and when you do that will be planning and designing your session because I want to do something special for you as well a something for the eye care center and so in the eye care center I maybe suggesting started certain clothing teo so that everything you know kind of goes with the decor style the family's home might be something completely different and so I'm gonna be photographing two different things for this family I'm going to treat them just like a regular client I'm gonna walk them through the process, I'm gonna ask him for the snapshots of their home I'm gonna design something for them and preview, I'm gonna do a consultation call, they're literally going through the process and just like a regular client. And in all the years of doing this, I can honestly say there has never been anybody to sat in my order appointment room and not ordered I have had orders that I didn't think should have been, you know, I thought should have been more, but there is nobody that hasn't ordered from me and because of that I can then take that profit from the sales of however many sessions I did for the display and then purchased my display from those sales and so I don't ever want to take money out of my pocket to go and hang a display that doesn't make any sense to me all I want to photograph new clients I want to take them to that through the process like a regular client and really, even if somebody did come in and not purchase anything for me it's ok with me, I want them to go through the experience with me and I want to treat them like a regular client because I want them to come back as a regular client, you know, the next time so it's okay, if you if you do this and you have somebody that actually doesn't purchase from you, don't beat yourself up. The goal is to have that client for life, you want that client come back again and again, but with processes in place, you know, and being confident and telling that your client I'm gonna this is gonna be just like a regular client for you, you're gonna get the full meal deal, you're gonna get the entire experience, I'm gonna hold your hand through the whole thing, we're gonna plan a design your session together, and we're gonna create something really special for your home and so it is you know, it's bringing these new targeted clients I'm specifically choosing the businesses that were displaying in and so you know they are marketing teo and serving serving my target client and so I know that when I'm working with them and I'm calling them they're going to be a good fit for my business yes and ninety nine times out of one hundred they are really going to be I actually had one mom at one time and it has been several years ago but when I called her she said oh wow, I wish this would have been a couple months ago we just had our family portrait is done and they're amazing and at that time you know, you kind of feel like how my stealing her from you know somebody else I really don't want to do that and but I did let her know you know, I was like yeah, I'm I'm so glad to hear that you had a great experience you know, with your photographer and was it somebody local and she said, oh no we flew to such and such and I'm like oh yeah this is my target client you know? But we flew to such and such and we uh on vacation and we hired a photographer there and we love them and she did amazing things for me and as I went through the process with and she basically was telling me I'm not going to buy anything because we just did this, but I told her, you know what that is, okay? I was like, I know this is going to be my target client in the future. It's okay, so I said, I'm gonna walk you through the process just like a regular client, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah I want to do something really special for your home got her into our order session and she was one of my largest orders ever, and the reason why is because it was a completely different experience than she had just had she loved her images, but she didn't know she was on vacation. She didn't get final product too, bring home and hang on our walls and didn't even understand all those options that were available to her until I suggested them to her, you know? And so, you know, don't not go through what you know, you know, you know what? You know, and if you know the process and you go through the process, you will be surprised at what can happen from that, and so displays have been super super value valuable for me, um, networking in general, we just want teo continue the conversation, we want to make sure that we're communicating the right things to our target client and what's a value to our to our client target client and you know, going through the exercises so so valuable for your business because you are finding out where there's money time and where they're spending money and who you should be connected with and you are finding out what's valuable to them and expectations that they are experiencing the experience is that they're having that they're excited about and talking about and you know and I always want to think about too you know what businesses do I want to go back to over and over and really think about you know, the experience that I have there and how can I have I can then give that to my clients and I'm gonna know a lot of those things by researching some of these businesses that my target client is using and so it's great with these partnerships as well even just learning little things about what they're doing for marketing or what they're doing for exceptional customer service you know, how do clients keep coming back to them and why? And so there are a lot of people that I partnered with over the years that we've become friends and we start sharing trade secrets and marketing secrets and you know when we worked together on so many different things just by keeping this communication going and building this relationship and so you know keep it consistent we've got thes bone scripts and I would highly highly encourage you you know, whether ugo verbatim from what's in the workbook or you know, twisted to your own have something that is consistent every single time have those phone scripts that you know you're you're saying the same thing this is a system in a process every single time and if if you are working with a business that needs to make the phone call themselves than write a phone script for them and that's in your workbook also if you need to do that so um all of that is there but you know, just the main thing with phone scripts is to just make sure that you're consistent and you know if you've got a process in place then you're going to be successful because you're going to tweak things as ugo things that are working things that aren't working and make it fit and make it right for your business and your target client and it's going to be the same every time it's going to be consistent. So whether it's networking displays you have her working with those people it's all about relationships you know that is the beginning of all of it is relationships we have such a relationship oriented business not only with our clients but with these business partnerships and so build a relationship and that's you know, that's what I want to do from that first phone call with them is to just start building the relationship and it's the same thing on calls with our clients. I want to find that common ground first and so whether that's stalking them beforehand and finding out a little bit more about them, or maybe I was referred to them from another business or another client, and so I can say, you know, oh, my client, janet jones, uh, loves working with you, and I wanted to be sure to connect with you and just see if we could sit down for five minutes. I loved by a cup of coffee and just come over and chat don't even drink coffee, but I say that a lot and because it's something that people can relate to, you know, let's, just get together for five minutes and chat and so find that coming around and make sure that that's, you know, you're what you're basing it on and building on, because that's, they can connect to you in that way. All right? One of the things that I want teo talk to people about when I meet with them when I'm meeting with a new business partnership, how are they currently marketing and that's a, you know, a question that whether it's the hospital or a small boutique or the eye care center or whatever it is you know what are you doing currently for your marketing because they're going to tell me ways that I could get involved with them and so if they're currently marketing through a newsletter you know great let's partner up on a newsletter I'll send out a newsletter to my database houston at one to your database all right an article about you were your business or one of your favorite clients and you know you could do the same I'll do all the photography for it I'll make it easy on you I've even written other people's articles that look like they wrote them just because I want to make it super simple and easy for them and if it's the right person that I need to be partnered up with I will give them everything they need it's just to me it's just like sending a press release to the radio station or the news station I am going to make it so easy for them to republish whatever I've sent local publications same thing they're gonna have text they're gonna have images, descriptions everything that they need is all going to be there and ready to go they don't even have to contact me back if they don't want teo and so same thing with the networking partnerships I want to make everything very very easy on them so if it's a cooperative newsletter if I know that there, if I'm asking them how you currently marketing and they're telling me, you know we've got this newsletter database and we love and, you know, we send out little tidbits about I care once a week, you know, whatever it might be, I know that that's a powerful newsletter that I want to be a part of, and so I'm gonna figure out how how can I be a part of it? You know, maybe they have a great direct mail campaign, you know that they're doing and they're sending out direct mail pieces well, how can I be a part of that? Well, I could photograph for them I could come in either do head shots for the business owners I could photograph them working in their store, I could photograph little girl and an outfit from the store there's all kinds of ways that you can use what you love, use your job to do something for them. I've even created ads for people and done the whole ad design ad and put my byline on it. It says you know, images norton photo dot com so same thing with a direct mail piece if I know that they are currently marketing teo a their you know, their target client base and that's a powerful former marketing for them I want to know how I can get involved with that, and the way we can get involved with the different things that they're doing currently is to offer value to them. I always want to ask them, what can I do for you? How can I help you? And I want to give them ideas for that? Because just by asking them, they may not know right off hand. And so you know what? How would you feel about me coming in and photographing your staff together and giving you something beautiful for that marketing piece that you're sending out for that direct mail campaign for that newsletter, whatever it is, and plant those seeds and that's the way that I could be tied into two current marketing that's already working on and, you know, and have my byline on it have my tagline in on it, and so it's also, you know, again it's that word of mouth it's that extension of word of mouth by that business than saying, you know, we love this photographer now we're blasting it out to our database. So, you know, think about all the ways that you are right in front of you that low hanging fruit again, you know, if you made a connection with somebody how are you marketing now what's working for you what's not working for you and maybe something's not working for them same thing that you could say you know what? Let's figure out what we could do together how can I help you? And, uh all kinds of ideas that you can come up with just by sitting down in and brainstorming one of the things in ways that I want to tie in with them that they may already be doing is on the block and we've talked a little bit about that but I you know whether it's my blogger, their blogged I always want to be talking about other people and I want to keep it to my target client I want to keep it themed and of a certain interest, but if I know that my target client it has this business and they're reaching out to my target client through their blogged I want to provide an article for them and you know, blogging is huge huge huge right now and for any block, any newsletter, any article, anything people have to have content that's just how it works, you know they've got tow, have content and so provide content and, you know that's a great way to be involved in their block in their newsletter and that's the next thing here in articles that they may be putting out to local publications and even your local publications they have to have articles and so just by providing articles a lot of times these photographers we think oh well such and such is featured in this magazine and we think you know, when's my day going to come you're probably isn't going to come unless you make your day come you know call those people and you get in front of them let them know I loved override images for any editorial thatyou're doing I'd love too fried provide images for your magazine you know, one of the things that with local publications uh you know, they most of them are going to only use photographers that advertise with them and that's it the answer that I get a lot of times I'm calling a local publication and I'm gonna call him I'm gonna do the same thing I'm gonna look through their editor column as to talk to the editor I just want a few minutes of their time and when I talk to the editor, I'm going to say, you know my name's laurie nordstrom I love what you're doing I love teo stay connected I could provide you with images for editorial, anything that you need and you know if there is a new business that you're featuring, I'd love to go out and meet them and photograph them, which is another great way teo, you know, build that that circle but you know I can go out and photograph them let me know what I can do for you well, you know we only use and work with photographers that advertise with us you know sorry thanks for the offer you know my next thing is going to be you know, when I completely understand that I just you know definitely wanted to make the connection would you feel okay about me calling you again in about a month and just ask for that next appointment asked to stay in front of them rarely rarely is somebody just going to say no don't call me again you know they're going to say asher even if they don't want you to call again they're going to say sure put me on your calendar but they're also going to believe that you're never gonna come back because people don't follow through you know? So your next job is then to put that date on your calendar in a month and say call editor ed on you know on this day it's been a month and then just touch back again you know, I talked to you last month and just wanted to stay connected I love the article about such and such the magazine's amazing, you know stay in front of those people that you want to be connected with even if you're told no the first time if it's the right place for you to be then stay on it and you can do that in a you know, in a nice way and a hell of a way and in a way that they'll start remembering you when the time has come now and I have gotten in many publications where I was told no the first time in the second time and sometimes even a third time, and then it was finally the right time, you know, and just being consistent, staying in front of people being positive and always praising something that they're doing, asking them what I can do to help them, what I can do for them are ways to make sure that you're keeping that, keeping the communication process going and keeping that relationship going. So offer photography and video videos another thing if you have a camera that photographs video it's easy for us now to go to a new business owner and say, let me do a little video interview, you know, for you and we'll put it on my block. I'm gonna advertise you out to love what you're doing and just shoot a little three minute video that they're gonna have their you can also give that to them for promotional purposes for themselves and make sure your name's on it branded and that's, you know, going to allow you to mark it in a way that they're super excited about blasting out you know, photography is another thing, whether it's an image for an ad or something for their business, a new headshot you get and stay in front of those people. Gift cards are another great thing with your neck networking partners. This is the gift card, one of them we have several different gift card that we do, but this gift card is actually a hard plastic card that we get at marathon press and that's on this next page. But it's, it looks like a credit card, the hard plastic card, but we give cards like this to a lot of business is that we work with. I know that they are, you know, working with my target client, but I want to have in my business, and so I am fine to do that free session. I always want our gift cards to look like it's coming from the business or the individual and not for me, so it has a lot more value that way. I've even done give gift baskets and like a baby boutique, I did a gift basket at one time that had a session and some little baby gift e items and the store actually sold the gift baskets, but they kept one hundred percent of the profit, and so, yes, they're motivated to sell my sesh. Shins because they keep the profit from that I have done that with a bakery where they could sell for baby's first year session and a cake and they sold a package that included that they kept one hundred percent of the sale but it looked like the client was buying something so it's a value and they're invested in it and then when they came came to the studio it's just like a regular client you know the rest of it but they've already purchased this and it's people that I wouldn't have had access to otherwise and when I was working with the bakery I chose the one year session because I want newborns in my studio but if they get to one year and I don't know them yet then I'm not going to photograph the first year obviously anyway and so I wanted those clients in the door and targeted this high end bakery that could sell those sessions and a cake so you know think about ways that you can tie in that way and those cards again those air from marathon press we also get just you know, paper print cards from our lab from a c I and you could definitely do that before you're ready to invest in you know just a little bit more for those hard plastic cards but that we also do just a little folded card that that has just studio branding on it that we do a little blue dot and stick on the top of with a gift card in it and same thing you know we want those to be given from people who are already in contact with our target client so it could be gift with purchase it can be just them thinking they're they're twenty favorite clients right now you guys is a perfect time for you to call you know five businesses call ten businesses that you know has your target client that they're serving your target client and call them and say I'd like to provide you with twenty gift cards to gift your twenty favorite clients this christmas and provide them that that christmas gift it's a great way they're not going to get until christmas so they're going to start trickling in january february march when we're slow you know and again if it's your target client the sail comes on the back and you don't have to worry about giving away that free session as long as you have a plan in place for here's what's gonna happen next we're gonna bring you through this too you were bringing I'll come to your home whatever you're doing uh we're going to take you the process just like a regular client and you know have your scripts in place and be able to talk to them and really you know, build that client database and networking with your with these other businesses gift baskets are that's that buzz worthy baby again and I keep using that, but of course you can do gift baskets for whoever your marketing too. If your boudoir photographer you know, maybe you want to do a gift basket for a spa that they're going to give with their top in package, maybe it's a full day experience at the spot and with that they get a gift basket and one of the things in that gift basket is, you know, little framed or even not framed gift certificate to your studio and it doesn't have to be a free session. It could be a gift certificate for one hundred dollars. Excuse me at your studio or whatever value you want to put on it, but it looks like it's coming as a thank you from your business from that business instead of looking like you're out handing away free sessions, okay um, contest or another thing just working with another business and doing a contest together. I did one at one time for almost a year with five different businesses and we all it was five or six, but at each of our businesses we had, like ajar and form to fill out so that they could everybody that came through the business could enter the contest and they all went into that jar and we all got together for breakfast once a month and pulled all of the names and so all the businesses all five business has brought all of their information to the breakfast we built our database mind was always a smallest because I don't have, you know, people just coming through my door every day, but they knew that the people that were coming to me were targeted clients for them, so it was valuable to them as well. We got together pulled all the thing all the info had that data base to work from and then drew one name from all five of the businesses that would win the prize for the month and it was a gift basket that had something from each one of our businesses and so that was a great way years and years ago this has been a long time ago, but just to, you know, build that bet database in the beginning by partnering with other like minded businesses, so contests are great building that database, of course, displays that we talked about this is a hospital display that I have, uh, one of them uh, we do want to tell these clients they were photographing through this, we're going to treat them just like a regular client I want to give them x that experience, and I can't stress that enough that when you're doing those free sessions, whether it's from a gift card or for display that you want to give them the full experience because that's what's going to keep them coming back you know and so don't feel like you have to give stuff away on top of what you're already doing for them which is that free session that's a gift or for the display or however you're doing that be profitable that is, you know, at the end of the day what what is it worth if we're giving away free sessions and then giving away product or digital files or whatever on top of that if we if we're not going to be profitable in the end and if you're doing that if you're giving it away for free and then you're giving away more free stuff on top of it or all your digital files portfolio build or you know reach a new target client then your your you know now you're breeding this market that you don't want you know so breed the market that you do want treat them like regular clients, take them through the experience and really in the beginning if all it does for you is gets you into a system of doing things consistently in the same way getting in front of your clients to show them their images talking about product making suggestions building suggestions for them you know if that's all it does for the first five you do or the first ten you do call it a success because you are putting the plan in motion you know but I want to say to you that if you do it in the right way if you get consistent with it if you're making suggestions and presenting product and meeting with their clients and you know saying the right things going through the phone scripts they are going to buy from you it is going toe you know, work in your favor and your are going to be able to be profitable and then a last little bit of justice tip for working with other businesses and even displays when I've got to display some place years ago I realized that if I give one of my businesses that I'm working with a beautiful marketing piece even if we have built this relationship and they're super excited about working with me and I hand him the stack of beautiful mark any pieces that I expect them to hand in their clients it just doesn't happen you know they either sit and get dust on them or they end up in the trash or whatever if it's a business with employees it really doesn't happen because none of those other people care about me you know I'm built the relationship with the owner I do want to photograph some of those other key players in the business but you know as a as a main thing the more employees I have the less interested they are going to be in your business, and so what I do is I asked each one of the people that I'm working with what information do you want to put in every one of your clients hands, and they all have something? It doesn't matter what kind of business it is. They all have something that they want their clients to have her to know. And so I'll take that idea, and I'll print apiece for that business that's going to have all their information on one side, maybe their top ten ideas for x or, you know, maybe it's a baby booty, and and they want to say, these are our top ten foods to eat while you're pregnant, you know, it could be anything but whatever it is, I want to print that for them, and then on the other side, I'm gonna print my information so it's still a marketing piece for me, but it's going to get handed all of their clients because that's the information that they want them to have. So that is something that really changed the result of the displays that I was doing and the places that I was partnering up with just by just taking one side of that marketing piece or even creating a folded piece that has information of theirs in it but making sure my information is on it a cz well and that's something that I know is going to get handed out and they're excited about and then make sure that you put a plan in place for updating your displays and so you know, whether it's every six months or every year you know you want to let your your business is know your clients are going to start asking you how they can get to be the models in your display and they will people will come in and say, you know, cool who's at her I know them and you know, how can I be in on the wall and you know, so let him know that we'll be updating the display every x I used to say every six months and six months comes really really fast and so now I try to do yearly but in the beginning when I was doing display's back in two thousand two thousand one, two thousand two, I would literally if I had a week on my calendar where I didn't have clients, I would call a business and say hey it's time to switch out that display let's call five new people and get them excited about being featured and so it's you know, it's literally you know, building that business just through those networks and then taking those clients through the process, just like a regular client and being profitable at the end. So update your displays, get new clients, let your businesses know that this is going to be building community for them, and that is a big thing for small businesses, you know, they want to build that community, they want to build that database, they want to build excitement for people working with them and doing business for them, and I let them know, you know, once this family's portrait's air featured on your wallet, they're gonna be sending people in to see them, which is true, and they're going to get new business just from that so we can tell them of that benefit open houses. We talked a little bit about this before, but open houses are a great thing to partner with another business on where we're actually working with another business, doing an open house for them, we're supplying the, you know, the wine and the cheese or whatever you've got going, but, you know, don't let not having a studio space nor a place that you want teo, bring people teo, be an excuse for you not doing things like this because you can partner up with people with other people. Open houses are great, a couple little things with open houses, one of the things that I like to do is to keep the excitement going through the whole thing, and so we'll do a special prizes and discounts and things and well put well put, put him out on paper and put them in balloons that we do helium on and let the helium balloons float on the ceiling and then as people come through the door that can pull a balloon and pop it and get their price, so it kind of keeps just the buzz and the excitement going all night, and people are talking about it, and one of the things that I've done, what I've done open houses in my studio is that the only way that they can get their prize is to take advantage of it that night, and so they're booking sessions that night and that's a great way to get sessions, but right through and with your open house, look at your current clients, who has small businesses that you need to be tied to, whose part of organizations that you want to be tied to look at that low hanging fruit and then put a networking list together, make sure that you're going back through that target client list. Looking through the list here with all the ideas of places that you might be able to find somebody that's got the same target client that you want and build that uh that networking database so that when it comes to marketing monday you have networking on your schedule and you're just going to go down your schedule and go through the next two people in the next two people and you know that's a great way to keep that all going so and then overall you know make sure that you're being of service to another business and that's really the way to get that business to work with you and to be partnered with that business is by continuing to ask them you know, how can I help you? How can I be of service you and you know and maybe not in those exact words but always letting them know and giving them ideas for ways that they can utilize your photography or use your business and weighs a you're helping them you know you never want to go to another business and say you know, hey here's what I want from you or hey can I put a display up here? This would be awesome for my pictures you know that doesn't work you gotta build the relation ship first and find out what you can do for them, let them know what's in it for them and then if you know it's going to be a benefit to you as well. So our download for today is, uh, it's a gift, that gift card that I showed you and this. This is the plastic gift card that we do from marathon press. But, of course, you can have this printed anywhere, and it could even be paper. It doesn't have to be the hard plastic card, but that's, a template for you to use. You can change the colors. You can change the words. Um, and then we've got one of those marketing cards that I talked about, where you can put your the business information on one side and your information on the other, and have those marketing pieces there for their clients to pick up and market your business right along with it.

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!