Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

 

Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

 

Lesson Info

Marketing Your Baby Plan

Marketing your baby plan. Okay, where is the single best resource for clients when it comes to baby plans? Remember, eighty percent of your income comes from twenty percent of your customers. Yes, referrals? Yes. Referrals. Newborns. If you're shooting newborns, you're in luck. Thes, people are a ripe for the pickin market for your baby plan. Okay, if you're not shooting newborns, it's okay, I'm going to give you strategies for launching your baby plan outside of the newborn market to help bring people through the door. Okay? It's actually easier to find there between plants than it is to necessarily find newborn clients. I shouldn't say easier, it's on par with because you have strategic places that you can go to market with. Okay, pediatricians over julian's thinks like that. So there is a place for you to go where his family photographers have a lot harder time marketing their work because families are everywhere, right? How do you get a family? Where do you go to market? To a famil...

y it's not as easy as babies and children who have a very nation specific needs for their age bracket. Okay, so tap into this resource you already know in love these are clients you've worked with before they're already pre qualified. You know who they are and what they do. You know how much money they've spent with you. These are amazing people to go back and get to join your baby plan. That's the first place you should go because it's easy. They know you and it's prequalified. Okay? They are more likely than anyone really to join your baby plan. But a lot of people complain to me, there's like, but I can never get my clients to join the frustrated photographer. Okay, well, chances are you're dropping the ball somewhere and not communicating well enough. Remember, audio visual kinetic. They have to hear it. They have to see it. They have to do it. Remember this? We talked about this the only way your clients are really going. Tto learn and know about your baby plans. You touch if you is if you touch all the senses with your efforts to to enlist them in the baby plan. So most people have to see or hear something seven times to remember it. So if you two say all we have a baby plan love to have you join like it the very first touch point with them. When you first get him a client, they won't remember they had a baby. You kidding me? You're gonna touch him at least six more times in order for it to stick and go yeah, we could do that thing and also consider how overwhelmed your client is already they just had a baby hormones are raging there confused that I slept I mean, use you know what it's like when you if you shoot newborns you see them come in the door for the new board session of the moms just like glazed over I see it every single time they come to the door there like hi hi yeah here's our baby I couldn't they just are so I feel bad for him. They're just so emotionally exhausted and draining its a very trying process it's a total throws your life upside down to have a baby so be cognizant of that they're not going to get the fact that you have a baby plan right away if you just say oh yeah we have a baby plan join it one time okay, so talk it up. This is the single most effective thing I have ever done to get babies to join the baby plan talking about it during the explain experience in the newborn session throughout their entire client process note the key places where you are able to talk about the baby plan okay the email the initial booking a meal that we send out says a two very end, it says, and if you're interested in continuing to have us photograph your baby, please have a look at our first year baby plan he's your baby is a wonderful way to mark the memories of the first year and let us know if you'd like to join that's it the end of the email then when they come in for the session, I'm totally chatting about it. Oh my god, she's so cute! So if you wanted to baby plan, let us know when we'll get you signed up for it. Newborns who do it create a collection with us gets a joint baby plan for only a hundred dollars I'll give you some information on it when you leave, I hand them over for sure when they leave, then at the newborn ordering session, I talk about it again give him the chance to join for one hundred bucks that's where most people joined. I've only talked about it probably three or four times at that point and usually sticks by then but in the industry, says it's seven times before people will remember things so talking it up and be enthusiastic about it and showing these products in your studio, in your space or in your product catalog if you're on location only, then you can make a product catalog have a section of it devoted to baby plan so that when people see it, look at the products you offer you knowhow catalogs do this like oh gosh, like pottery barn even separates it out they have like a pottery barn kids catalog and a regular party barn catalog, but like l l bean, you'll get the l l bean catalog and I'll have the clothes for adults and then a little section for kids at the end. Why can't you do that with baby plan? Do your product line and then oh, baby plans extra cute little thing that you could do that special, so push it, show it, sell it here it do it maybe in your newborn questionnaire your initial client inquiry questionnaire you say we offer first year baby plan to clients, newborns can enter for a hundred dollars with this something that you may be interested in. If so, we will give you more information about it. When you come into the studio yes or no, they have to touch it. They have to actually say yes, I'm interested in seeing that or no, I'm not that gives you another way to say them there's another opportunity for you to be photographed even if they say no it's okay, when they come into your studio and see all those cute baby plan products and the experience and how fun it is, they might go maybe we should have said no because they might just say no immediately because the money you know but it doesn't matter what I want them to know is that we have a baby plan at that point not whether or not they want to join it. I just want you to know that I have an awesome rocket baby plan and that it's super cute and you should join it okay? By just being purely passionate about it that in itself is contagious. Ok? Authentic passion is super contagious when you see it here with me I get all passion about stuff people like you're so excited about it that's also I'm it's just this true authentic passion sometimes I have to apologize for myself because I get a little too crazy um, you know, try to be self aware about it but really talk it up, do it in your newborn welcom e mail in the pre consultation on the phone with them do it again in your questionnaire talk about it again at the session talk about it again in your ordering collateral talk about it again and at the ordering appointment talk about it again you may feel like a parrot repeating yourself constantly, but trust me your client is just starting to get it by the time they get to the ordering appointment okay, this is truly the single most effective way I have booked babies in the baby plan, and when we get too many babies in the baby plan and I stopped talking about it, I stopped getting bookings. It's funny how it works, it really is, but I promise you, if you do the internal planning first and then start talking about it to your newborn clients, you'll be very pleasantly surprised at how many people want to join your baby plan. You'll be very surprised. I bet you very few of you right now are talking about it to your newborn clients aboutyou very few. Okay, so let's keep moving on here, maya. The other way to do it, of course, is to show it up ok showing on your website on your client information website when you send collateral information digitally to the client when they book put it in their studio samples, of course you're printed collateral when they go home from the ordering session, make sure they take something home so they're actually looking and touching it something okay? So show it up in ways that are effective at displaying the visual aesthetics of what baby plan khun d'oh okay, outside promotion let's talk about that ways to get new clients in the door, but wind your baby plan if you don't have a lot of newborns. Okay? And it might be worth it even if you do have newborns to kind of do a one two punch, so we're gonna discuss these kinds of things. There are several ways to bring clients in the door, and honestly, these methods will work with newborns or with baby planners. It's really? I mean it's kind of ah, blanket thing that you could really use an almost any type of children's photography relationship, building with your clients with your current clients and other people in your community marketing partnerships with businesses, referrals clearly right, effective promotions, so that would be, um, perhaps promotions that you do in a marketing partnership so those could too, could be combined or even advertising, and you may say I can't afford advertising. I'll tell you how to afford advertising in just a second, okay? Because you can get it for free. Charitable events and social media connection are all super important as faras cheap, inexpensive ways that you can get to your name out there and actually bring clients in the door. So let's talk about building relationships, how and with whom? Well, your current clients, of course, don't be afraid to be friends with your clients, especially if they have kids, because they know other people having kids who know other people having kids, it's, country, etcetera, etcetera a personal connection with your clients will truly be one of the best ways to bring other clients into your door. It really will. Okay, marketing partnerships help me help you how can I help you? Okay, this is all about helping each other so pairing up with businesses, other businesses in your market that share your same target market. Okay, this is a vendor vendor that you would employ in a marketing partnership with you is someone is a business in your market who shares your same target demographic that you guys can partner together too produce a common goal of getting clients through both of your doors. Okay, you obviously both have a common marketing goal so what kind of vendor can do that for you? Well in the baby world it's things like o b g y n cz okay mama's still going to the doctor after she gives birth so that's a great place to get babies in and newborns for that matter lactation consultants mama needs help breastfeeding that's a beautiful place to get babies in the door dualism midwives doulas come and birth assistance come after the baby is born tto help maan transition there are fantastic resource baby retail stores birthing centers daycares mom, I put my son and some feel guilty over this but I put my son started in day care at two months old two days a week, okay isn't it funny how god isn't funny humping a mom like you say those things you know like why did I do that? I think the mommy guilt was like kicking and right now I need to like let it go let it go let it go let it go okay, I don't think but I do watch frozen movie sorry okay squirrel maturity stores daycares moms they're sending their kids to daycare and they're doing so early on especially if they're working moms but working moms or who you want, right? Because they have come correct so daycares are a fantastic place to promote your baby plan okay maturity store same thing postpartum services diaper service is there's a lot of the cloth diaper movement is huge right now and so you can actually hire service they have one in bend lo and behold in bend a town of eighty eight thousand people. So if I have a diaper service you guys in your market most definitely have a diaper service it's called sweet pea diapers and she will wash your cloth diapers for you. So you use cloth diapers with your baby papa in a bag and once a week she comes, takes your laundry and replaces it with clean stuff how about some of that and you're being good for the environment, especially on the right and left coast where they're very um environmentally conscious thes parents are huge is that there's like a colt of women who are into cloth diapers so that's a great resource for that prenatal post exercise providers pallotti's classes the mom stroller group that goes out exercises the fertility clinic mom's post check up at the fertility clinic and, of course, pediatricians are huge resource, one of the best get in with the pediatrician because you know what that baby has got to go at one week at two weeks, at four weeks, at eight weeks, at four months at six months, there are so many checkups for that baby in the first six months that mom has to take the pediatrician tio, can you imagine if you have a beautiful display of baby planners at the pediatrician's office with marketing promotional materials that can be put into that are all over your images? And if you baby, sit that display and get make friends with the nurses, and every time you go into silver assures you, bring a warm plate of cookies, those nurses are going to think you're god's gift to the planet, and they're going to tell your praises to every single mom who looks at those pictures. Oh, she's, so sweet every time she comes and she brings a cookie, we just love her, but when she does she's gorgeous image, you really should call her I mean, that's what they say here's your card and they want to help you because they like you the rule of reciprocity remember the rule of reciprocity, you do something nice for somebody, they're going to want to return the favor use that to your own advantage. Yeah, I don't have the question just since you're kind of on that topic for some of us who maybe live in a smaller area, how far mileage wise would you reach out to market that's? A really good question? I think it depends on the population of each area you're in. When I first got to bend, I concentrated on two zip codes the two zip codes that were in my main town that encompassed about eighty thousand people. If you don't have eighty thousand people into zip codes, then one eighty thousand isn't a magic number anything it's just kind of the number that happened to be you want to get enough zip code that you feel like you're targeting a large enough demographic, but you don't want to go so far out that you had a driving an hour just to baby sit a display. Does that make sense? And you also have to consider your client? Will your client be willing to drive an hour now in some markets? Yeah, everybody drives an hour, I mean, for goodness sake, texas dallas texas holy cow if you don't have a car in texas you'd be homebodies stuck going nowhere because it takes an hour to get anywhere so some people are willing to drive an hour based on where they live in some are not so that's something you're gonna have to chairman in your own market but I was trying to focus on a few zip codes that are with close within a mile of range but don't go on lee go so far out as you think your clients would be willing to go in that makes sense that answer your question yes not satisfactorily though doesn't it? Oh it's always easier when someone just tells you an exact answer but you know it makes sense what you're saying I know you know what everybody who learns the stuff wants a short answer gosh, we want a short answer be so easy if we could just say this is how you put a baby to sleep right here is the magic pill we're carl and I were talking about getting skinny, you know? Because we're both feeling a bit like we should lose some weight and like ours was there was a pill that would make you in shape I wouldn't that be great wouldn't there be a wonderful if there was a pill that major in business but imagine how detrimental that would be if everybody was successful in business there would be no competition, nobody would be able to excel above the next, and it just it wouldn't work capitalism wouldn't work. Now granted, is capitalism great all the time? You know there are some problems there, but if there wasn't competition, you wouldn't be able to succeed. Does that make sense? If there wasn't competition, you wouldn't be able to win, and that means strategizing figuring it out, working hard practicing and ex selling just like any olympic athlete, they gotta learn how to do it. They've got to be strategic and they're thinking they got to get mentally in the game, they gotta practice their craft like crazy and perform on the day that accounts you're doing the exact same thing in a different way, okay? And there's no easy answer, it takes hard, persistent work and strategic mindset and a mental capacity to handle it, and the people who falter and fail are the ones who cannot mentally handle it is really what it comes down to. Those of you who will fail in business are the ones who can't mentally take on the challenge. So ask yourself if you're going to let your mind takeover and who is it in your mind that loves to cut you down, george and you are the only one who can tell him to shut the hell up no one else could do that for you and that's. The reason most businesses fail is because people don't have the mental capacity to handle it. So are you gonna win? Are you going to be persistent and there's no short answer to that. It takes hard work, dedication, practice and saying to yourself, I know there's a way everything in the universe is telling me that it can't be done, but I know there's a way. Elon musk is one of my favorite entrepreneurs. You guys know who he is. Elon musk is the co founder of paypal, and of course, he now he started tesla motor companies and now he's doing the space sex thing. I can't remember the exact quote, but he said a hundred years ago, going to the moon driving in a car and being able to save megabytes of data on a computer would have seemed magical. Impossible. That's what? He that's what? He's right, but yet, just one hundred years later, here we are doing it. So if you think it's impossible than it is in your mind. But if you say to yourself, there's gotta be a way there's gotta be a way I will find a way no matter what to make this work in my business, you'll find it and that's what journalism I think taught me because when we did stories I would have to I mean I would get my nine am story lauren I know can relate to that were in the nineteen and mid morning meeting the editorial meeting and uh the news director would hand you your assignment for the day right around ten in the morning meeting always went way longer than it should have so she's smiling they're setting you up and you're sitting there tapping your foot going if I don't get out of here soon, I'm not gonna get my story on before five o'clock if I don't get out of here soon, I might get my story on the five o'clock you're stressing you want to go out the door and start working because you basically live four to five hours to make all your source phone calls get people to talk to you on video camera get your b roll, write your story, get back and get it on the air edited by five o'clock do you think I took no for an answer? Oh, I can't go through I'm too busy who can you suggest anybody else I can fit you in my schedule? Where do you need me to be at what time and I mean you need to really like safe there's a way we got to do this let's figure it out and if I couldn't get that person I would find somebody else if I couldn't get that be real I would go somewhere else there's always a way to get it done if you have that mentality and trained me to have that mentality which is a wonderful thing that came out of journalism but if you train yourself to have that mentality you'll be unsellable nobody will be able to touch you because when everyone else is mentally succumbing to george you're gonna be the one who's like ceo wouldn't want teo and that's what I want you guys to achieve okay sorry well attended let's go backto regularly scheduled programming promotion in unexpected places vendor's partnerships like magazines I just partnered up with the ben nest this is my image on last issue's cover of ben nest and I provide the cover imagery imagery inside the magazine etcetera such a for free advertising they give me a full page ad a half page for what I promote called the baby brief and I'll tell you about that in just a second okay? So you constrained to get advertising there's no reason why same with the new station tv new station they all need their little anchor headshots right news at five on the billboard above I five they need that shot who's going to take it should it be you and can you get free advertising on their evening news for it you've got a video camera idea cellar that shoots video, right? Create a beautiful add simple, just like ben showed us earlier and put that on the five o'clock news and an advertising time slot that you traded for photography. Why not there's? Absolutely no way they would love you tv station get some for free all they could give you his air time, your time's cheap. We'll give you that. No problem. Think like a business person. Okay, there's all kinds of ways to pair up with these people to help you in ways you wouldn't necessarily expect. Okay, I know who you are targeting, period. You are targeting mothers. You are targeting them in baby making age. Okay, twenty five to forty years old, they're growing their families. They have a mid to high level income. They don't have to be rich it's more important that they love art, photography and recording family legacy. Okay, they appreciate fine art. They care about home decor in design, they're fairly well educated. They enjoy a custom experience and great customer service. They value that they take pride in family and community and their sensitive to becoming a parent, and they're extremely sentimental. My clients are extremely sentimental, okay, thes air important component, so when you launch your company, launch your business launch your baby plan anything like that if you keep that demographic in mind you're going toe you're going to talk about your message in it in a different way if you keep those goals in the back of your head so fine businesses that share these goals with you that you can partner with local publications other advertising ben ness that parenting magazine has a whole full list of advertisers in there those are all people trying to target bombs right? So find them there join your local chamber of commerce it's a business network group and I know for the guys out there this is a little challenging because they're you know, joining a women's business group might be well challenging unless you dress in drag but that maybe when you have to pass by your guy but there's lots of other places that you could you could go so you're your own obeyed you ryan or doc's office your pediatrician's office okay talk to them about this kind of stuff drive around for pete's sake pound the pavement, get on the sidewalk and start patronising these doors and approach them. Oh, this is getting scary. You want me to what? Do you want me to talk to them? Yes start shopping in their store, be their patient okay, once you develop just try to just look at it from the perspective first of all, just making a friend don't try to push your business if you think about just being friends with them and like getting to know them on a more personal level that is way less scary than trying to promote your business because we have artists when we promote our business, we're promoting us, I'm promoting myself to you, asking youto like it enough to pay for it, which is extremely intimidating, and I think a lot of the reason artists have so much insecurity and evil men on their shoulder telling them they suck, okay, go to charity events after hours get together is the chamber of commerce was a huge resource for me when I first moved to bend because those air all businesses trying to network with other they're trying to do the same thing, okay? No, no, no, no, no on e mails, cold calls suck too don't even try those doesn't work, okay? Cold calls and letters they will not work. I know you so want to do email. Oh, I'm talking about I tried to email the tv station guided the day I got completely ignored, okay? I know I got to go in there, I actually talked to the guy, I just haven't gotten around to do it, I keep trying it, it doesn't work even to this day, it doesn't work it has to be personal. Okay, so what does it mean to partner with a business? Well, it means giving more than you get. It really does. At first, the rule of reciprocity should always be in the back of your mind. You want to figure out how you can help that business owner get more customers? What can you do to help them? What do you say? It is all about them? Asked them who? What? Where? When? Why questions build that report with them. Ask them how you can help them. One of my vendor kit when I go tio, I don't my stuff got put away. Shoot! Sorry, I have, ah vendor marketing kit that I pull out and talk to show it to you in a second, but inside for like baby plan. It has a cardinal in there that says promote your business to our clients as the headline what am I doing? I'm basically handing them my clients on a platter and say, partner with us and I'll give you all my peeps we create, I'm I'm I tell them that we create this little packet that we give t new baby playing clients that offers promotions and gift cards from other businesses in our area that we feel would help them at being parents. And so we say, hey, you promote to our clients, we'll give you our clients if we can display in your in your place have been this being a pediatrician's office, the hospital or whatever they eat that up, they get it, okay? Now, if a business doesn't get it and doesn't want anything to do with you, you will know it right away. Cut your losses and get out of there, okay? Because they some people, some business owners just don't understand marketing partnerships and how beneficial that khun b and chances are you're not going to be the one to educate them on that. Okay, so once you build a report and that means resisting the urge to talk about yourself and your business, then you have to follow through. So when you initially meet them, that could be in a party could be in a charity event, a get together, whatever making friends discussing who they are, your wheels are spinning your going. Okay, this person is a fertility clinic owner or works in the fertility clinic she's a nurse there. How can I help her? How can I get into see the higher ups and get a display at that place will follow through once you meet her follow through, follow through, follow through and most photographers dropped the ball right here okay, they don't follow through with what could be an incredible relationship if they just made a phone call, send an e mail ah, card a letter asking this person toe lunch and saying thank you for their time okay, doing that makes them feel so special. And then once you get that lunch date or coffee date with that person, even if it's just the nurse at the fertility clinic, then you can kind of start talking about yourself and your business and how what you that you have some ideas for helping them, and that, in turn would help you that you don't want to be like all about them all the time, because then they'll think what's in it, you know, like what's the catch you want to eventually say, yeah, you know, I was thinking how I might you know, if I do this for you, we could kind of help each other. I'd really like to get displaying your in your space, and I think it might really help warm up the place, but at the same time, you know, I wantto provide your information to my clients so that you guys can market to our clients as well tit for tat be open about that. And then they go, okay? So she's benefiting out of it too that's a good thing I get why she wants to do this. They start to see the light. So make a beautiful marketing collateral kit that you give to vendors to show them what you can do for their business. Okay, information about you, information about what you provide vendors perhaps display. I have a little trifle that I do that shows other displays I've got in the area like what other businesses like partnered with. Don't you want to be in with me? I'm a tw st charles and baby faces and all these other places to which means I'm connected to these places, which means I can help you grow your business through them to it's all about connections. Okay, how you can help them displays at their location free gift cards for their best clients. This is why I do this all the time, like with baby classes, the birthing classes in the hospital, every single parent who takes a birthing class at st charles gets a gift card to our studio, and it looks like the hospital gave it to them where the birthing class people gave it to them. It's a gift that's, incredibly effective promo opportunities at your charity events are you holding a little launch party that's going to benefit the charity invite these vendors to come display their stuff okay many sessions that their locations provide commercial images for them to use advertising their business you know, if there's a baby store take some retail emits take some images of the retail space that she can then use on her website that kind of thing designed for their business do they need collateral designs themselves? If you've got the skill to do that photo shop, you can help them out and give them something they would normally have to have to pay thousands of dollars for cross me social media promotion tag each other's businesses and then of course things like a resource guy, which I'll tell you about in a little bit referrals I hate to admit all my referral for all programs have pretty much bombed okay, people don't send me that referral card you know the little card that says twenty five dollars off your next session if you refer somebody well, I've tried so many different ways and honestly it really hasn't worked I've got one back in the years that I've done it it's nice to have it I still have a referral program but nobody ever turns in the cars it just kind of looks looks fun now let me wrong this could work for a lot of people so you have to decide what works for you and different markets have different effects what does work at least for me is good old fashioned hard work okay customer service ward a mouth referrals come from happy clients they don't need money or reward for it they don't want it if I have an amazing experience and drake the restaurant I tell all my friends about drake they don't have to give me a discount on my next meal for me to do it it's true I love the restaurant so much because of the customer service and what they provide to my family that I just say you got to go to a trade it's an amazing restaurant okay that's such good food and they're so good two kids that's what I say what do you want your client thing about you okay? They really do want to refer good experiences so I challenge you if you're not getting worried mouth referrals your customer service needs work it's slow to start especially when you have a small number of clients. Okay, but if you're not getting word of mouth referrals meaning your clients are not referring you chances are your customer services in the pits? Maybe not in the pits but could use some help. Ok don squiggling on her chair no okay, good, sticky albums this is kind of awesome. I just started using this and it's pretty stinking cool um I actually do get referrals off of this sticky albums is like a nap it's like basically wallets what wallets used to be you could make an app for your clients that shows their gallery and super cute and it's clean and lovely and my clients are showing this to their friends and at the contact they make it so the contact info is on there and you can easily contact the studio from the app so it's working, I'm still young and its infancy for me but it's working so I'd have to recommend trying something like this out because so many people are on their phones or an app for your studio like using co mo dot com and putting your client's images on the block so they can go to the ap and so families there they're images on your blogger whatever through you're up and then you have the advantage of having so much more information on there because there's an app, other images, pricing information all that stuff is right there that they can show their friend okay, so let's see my nose I always provide this as a gift to client to spend at certain levels or use it as a surprise reciprocity as a thing that's kind of that little bonus like oh, we love you so much here you go definitely a good reciprocity type of a type of gift the more your work's seen. Obviously, the more referrals, so use things like sticky albums cards, you know, like a birth announcements and little birthday cards. One year, birthday cards, that kind of stuff. It does work, it's, slow to trickle in, but it does get your name out there. And, of course, social media is always great for that as well.

Class Description


A baby’s first year is a whirlwind of changes – making it the perfect time for photographers to partner with a families to document all of those meaningful milestones. In Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years, Julia Kelleher will teach you how to design a baby plan that highlights a new child’s growth and brings clients back into the studio.

Julia is a portrait photographer who specializes in newborn and family photography and in Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years, she’ll share her hard-won insights on building a baby photography business. You’ll learn how to:

  • Develop a baby plan marketing strategy tailored to new parents
  • Encourage repeat visits throughout the first stages of growth
  • Shoot, light, and design images for each stage of growth
  • Price packages so parents keep coming back
  • Manage your time while maintaining relationships
Julia will share specific pricing, marketing, and selling tactics that will ensure your baby business is profitable and your parents are thrilled with their purchase. You’ll get tips on structuring your sessions so you aren’t throwing money away and learn about baby-specific products parents love to buy.

Learn how you can fill your appointment calendar with clients you know and love and who are willing to pay for your services in Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years with Julia Kelleher.