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Setting Yourself Up for Success

Lesson 4 from: Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Lesson 4 from: Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

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Lesson Info

4. Setting Yourself Up for Success


Lesson Info

Setting Yourself Up for Success

You guys should know by now that my goal is to teach you at least one thing in every segment in utah it's illegal to fish off the back of a horse so there's that okay? S so this segment let's go over what we're gonna go over in this thing, but there's so much information I jammed into this, so I really need to go fast, get your notebooks out, get ready to write because there's going to be a ton of information, we're going to go over setting up sessions. Where did you go over different options that you have for showing your clients their images? And we're going to go over marketing, okay? So the first things first, we gotta pick a direction and where we're going, and I understand that when I wrote this course when I sat down to do this, my assumption was that most of the people who this course is written for is existing businesses to get bigger and to do more work, but now that we're picking the direction, if you're at home and you're just trying to figure this out and you aren't an est...

ablished business and you don't have that done, I really think that, like, I want to encourage you strongly to sit down and figure out a business plan. And we could do a whole creative live on writing a business plan it would get like two viewers to be my wife and my mom but don't know don't want to sit through it, but we really want you to make sure that you guys take and sit down and do that do the work set up a business plan, make sure you're running right all right, but let's start putting things in motion once you have your business plan and you kind of we talked about writing out your process, figuring out your workflow I think that this is just kind of a side note uh, running a business for forty years like having a business that's going to even run a business for forty years but having a business that runs for over forty years it's similar to a marathon all right, thank you gotta run your business has to be set up to run a marathon and a good work flow is the training obviously not marathon runner ah, good work flow is the training that you do it's the necessary steps to run a marathon it's going to set you down the course you're going to run the path without a good work flow without having your system without understanding every step in your process you're running here there and everywhere and it's not just a marathon it's just your run in circles and so once we have encourage you all to sit down and write out your process and I assume that no one could do that in fifteen minutes, you probably just wanted got a diet coke, and you're hanging out now watching the segment once you do that and you understand your process, you understand how much time you're spending on these sessions, that's one pricing and figuring out your sessions becomes pretty easy because you're going to know what you need to make for the amount of time that you're going to be putting it okay. And once we figure out our plan once the fear out, not just our business plan but our workflow point plan it's really, really important that we stick to it like there shouldn't be variations if I book you for a session and I book your gold package, I should have the same number of shots as my buddy who came in and got the gold package. It should take the same amount of time, and they should be the same quality. So once you understand your systems, you understand that stuff, you have to stick to it because giving inconsistent er experiences will come back and bite you in the behind, because if someone finds out someone else got something better. They're going to feel like they got the short end of the stick, even if they got what they're supposed to if you hook their friend up, but not them, they got short changed, so I won't encourage guys to set up your business, set up your workflow, figure that stuff out or to devise a plan, and now we're going to stick to it. So let's, talk about our sessions, sessions are going to be your this can make or break a business, okay, how many sessions you? How you set up your sessions is going to factor me. People are gonna book you because they get turned off by the price and it's also going to effect how much they spend afterwards, because if you have a really, really high session fee and you're going to get all your money on the front end, and then maybe you do included this let's say, you're seven hundred fifty bucks for a session, but you get a high res disc, you probably going to so much after that, so all your money came in on the front end, so you might turn people off with a really high front and purchase, but you've also determined that no one's gonna spend money at the back, and they spend all their money initially, and they get all the product they want follow me so once we set it up like you gotta figure out what you're you're sweet point is what the balances between getting a bunch of people to book and being able to sell a lot of product on the back end, and it really comes down to your goals as a business. Our primary goal is to get in the studio, anyone? If I get you into my studio, I'm going to be able to sell you something, okay? I take good enough pictures and give you an environment that is good in court. You're gonna buy something every one of you and you might know other photographers they're way cheaper than me, but I'm gonna get you just you're going to spend some money, I get him in you khun cell if you get people to your studio and you give them a great experience and you give them good images, selling is not hard, you have what they want. They had a great experience that I want to do it again. Now you have finished probably have finished images that are great, you gotta be able to sell it's, not hard. So our goal is to get him in, get him and I'm going to make money, so because of that, we've set up our sessions to stand out in the marketplace now. I already mentioned we talked about this a little bit in the last segment, but we do everything based on minimum orders, okay, minimum order does not it's not a session fee. You don't pay anything to get your pictures taken by me, which is actually a really, really it's an easy way for me to sell more and it's an easy way to get people the book, and but if everyone in my market did it he's in my market now, I'm probably gonna have some competition and they're doing it. I'm not going to be able to run my business is the only guy in town, so they're probably be too. No, if everyone in my market was minimum orders and allah card sales, I would be packages and session peace, I would be different. Being different is huge, like when it comes down to how people perceive your work right now, and we're gonna talk about this a bit later, too. But if I buy a dvd from target and it's twenty two bucks and I could get the same dvd at best buy for eighteen box, we get a best buy because my experience is the same it's the same movie, it's the same exact thing, I just paid four bucks less, okay, now we are in a commodity if they hire me, they're going to get something differently if they hear you, they hear you they hire you they hire you experience is different how we interact the fun that you have you might have way more fun with him you know you might get better hair care tips for me you know it's a it's different there's a fundamental difference that's gonna happen when I give you when I deliver you my images over anyone else's it's not better worse it's just always going to be different so try to fight being a commodity as much as you can because jared bellman said in one of his presentations I love it that we saw a sophisticated product to an unsophisticated client and that's not a dig it your clients it's not saying that they're dumb and something I don't get it but I'm saying you guys think this is this is our lives I understand the difference in photography I can go to an expensive photographers website I can see a lot of the difference is that my father in law won't he's a smart dude, he said he said dennis he's got something I mean smart guy, he doesn't get the experience quite a swell so we're selling to people that don't understand the subtle nuances like we do so avoid becoming a commodity and do that by standing out and open go back you've got to make it so easy to do business with you I mean, it's got to be so easy for me to come in and order and have my session done and go through this process that I have to struggle for a reason to not want to come back to you like we do a lot of kids sessions where we'll do one of the first questions I ask a parent when they come in iss okay, so is joey your oldest youngest middle? Have we don't work for you before, so I don't know, I always ask. And then oh, he's the middle kid and I say, okay, cool, what did you do for his big, big brother's senior pictures and a lot of times sometimes they just move all we came up from dallas, okay, fine, whatever, but a lot of times I find out I get photographers, other photographers have done the work people I know people maybe I don't know well, but at least know of their businesses and these photographers, when I ask the clients I say, why didn't you go back to someone? So I'll ask that question, and then at that point you got to shut up because you never want to talk bad about another photographer you never want talked bad about a client so that's, how you can ask, what would why are you here? And then shut up, but I rarely hear that it was because they didn't like the pictures. I rarely hear that I almost never hear that it's concerned with work, it's almost always. It took me like six weeks here, my wallets, we never got our we didn't get our campus rap until christmas. We hated that I had to buy a package that had a bunch of stuff in it I didn't want because I wanted this other product. And so what happens is it's it's, if your work is great, if they love your work, make sure your business doesn't stand in the way of them coming back, so we're different. We are really different and with no session fees and the no packages and we work in the minimum orders, this is something that we drive home on everything it's in our marketing, it's on our brochures, it's in our interactions, it's in the phone calls it's just we pushed this as a reason why you should come to us like you need to come to us because it is so much better than going somewhere else is to be so much easier, we're gonna make it the easiest time you've ever had to do business with a photographer. Question yes just a quick question on the session because you're saying that you do a minimum or you asked that they do a minimum but if they come and say you know I don't really want to spend that much money I mean how did you come back that as faras I'd say we're about to tell me I know I will tell you I will tell you this so remember it's the validity and the speed and the conviction that you answer the question affects how validate this so I would say to you you know what's so I completely understand that but our minimum orders are based on the smallest amount of money that I can make toe happily do your session and since I want to be in business when you're next he comes to that's the smallest amount of money I can make for that session ah and that's really what it is and it might not from a financial point of view I maybe could do it for a smaller minimum order but that's my happy to do it price it's my happy to do a price I can't charge you I can't sell less than that and be happy because it's not I feel like a tte that point I'm being taken advantage of and our minimum order stars of one ninety nine and they don't pay anything to get the session feet that is cheap that is cheap like I told you we do pizza at my studio on fridays that's like forty bucks just repeats it you're going to buy a you're gonna pay to have your kids senior pictures done this is gonna be something that's gonna hang on your wall until they get married this is going to be like with one of the most important photo shoots of their life this is a milestone image you confined two hundred bucks now if you're asking me I want this this this this this but I only want to spend two hundred bucks I'm sorry this this this this this means it's going to take me way more time to do your session and it's gonna take me more more time it's gonna cost you more money so and that is something and you'll get asked that'll happen it's just the way that you answer and you don't want to you know obviously don't ever want to come off like a jerk to your clients so you gotta kind of know I'm sorry that's that's that's the least I can make to do your session if I'm gonna stay in business when do you collect at minimum three over that because I'm gonna walk you through the whole phone call to booking process so all right like I said, we run it because people do shop on price they do and I talked about not being a commodity essentially what happens by doing our having her business set up this way is if they call me let's say they call you and they say how much is your session fee I want to go inside and outside to this park and I want an eight by ten okay well your session fees the hundred bucks and your eight by tens fifty so then they call david and they say how much is it for me to go to europe to go to a parking getting eight by ten and he charges fifty bucks for a session fee but he charges seventy five for need by ten well there's a little spreadsheet that they can make and it's easy to figure out ok, well, this guy is gonna save me twenty five bucks to go with this guy now they call me and they say okay what's your session fee how much is an eight by ten said oh what's a session fee we will I'm going to charge you just to come in and let me take your pictures oh no we're gonna do that for free it instantly changes the formula to figure out how much it's gonna cost to do business with me and it allows me to engage you in a conversation that you won't have by calling him and calling him and calling him and calling her because it's this answer this answer this ants are totally different so start be funny, be charismatic and walk people why doing business with you is a better option obviously don't talk bad about people's work but say I say all the time like I know what that doesn't sound like a good deal you've to pay one hundred dollars just to get your pictures taken you don't get anything for that what's the way we did ever free don't worry about it come on in now you spend money with me, but it it breaks down that barrier it makes it way harder to make me a commodity so open that's what we just went over basically, how much is the session you know have to pay me just get by a lot and that's not what we actually say that you don't get paid me anything he could get by a lot and like I told you earlier, the more time I spend with you the more money you spend with me that's it. And when I start walking guys through our sessions, I'm going to talk to you about how much we make guaranteed an hour for gross sales. We have a guaranteed amount. I can't give you profit margins just because of the way our businesses set up our profit margins are different if they spend the minimum order on campus prince than what it would be if they buy four by fives and since our minimum order since we don't have packages they can spend on anything so the margins can vary but I can tell you exactly what we make per hour in gross sales okay all right, so I I'm I'm a planner so even playing my tangents so this is tangent one alright overshooting is the worst thing in the whole entire world ever seriously I hate it I hate everything about it it's like my favorite thing is and I used to be an over shooter like I suffered from this just like most of you out there and I can laugh at myself for holding the camera and going click click click click click perfect click click click it's perfect why did I just take more? I just it's perfect overshooting will increase the amount of time you spend shooting it will increase the time you spend downloading it will increase the time you spend sorting it'll make you get bigger hard drives bigger cf cards it's getting everything sucks about overshooting there's nothing good about it there's nothing good about it except for the fact that over shooting is kind of like your binky it makes you feel good you wanna cuddle with it over shooting is going to make you feel safe at night it is not your friend kick it out the door it's wrecking so much of what you're doing so I hate it hate it, and I went on, I bought one of my photographers, she has all of our boudoir work and she was shooting a lot of sessions, so she was saying that the high jessica you should be watching, you should be working on so s so she was saying that, like the five d three with the big two eight, seventy, two hundred lands she's saying, like, I don't like carrying that around during the session. It's too heavy. So when I bought her a sixty and I bought her f four lends because we shoot in a studio, so depth of field didn't matter and it's way lighter. So about of this cameron, it came in and it really I knew, but I didn't really know that I needed buy all new memory cards because the sixty runs off of stds and everything else runs off of cfc. So I went out to buy memory cards for her, and I spent mohr money buying two gig cards than I could have spent getting eight gin cards. I spent more money on less towards space on the basic principle that you should be able to get this session in seventy pictures, you get it in seventy shots, if you can't get it in seventy shots, we need to work on your workflow. Like all right, so I spent more money to make sure it wasn't an option that's how much I hate over shooting and I don't like spending money unless it's on jeans all right, my second tangent showing your client's unretouched work is mega ultra super unprofessional okay, we're professional photographers and my job is a professional photographer is to give you the best looking image I can have you got to do it that's my job I don't believe in showing one hundred fifty images and saying I'll retouch anyone that you want if you have a gorgeous girl come in and you crush her session and she looks so pretty in all the pictures but she's got a big zit right here and you can have a company that don't worry about it I'm going to take that out on anything you order you're never going to know it was there guess what she sees in every picture big fans it she hates her pictures it affect how you're pointing your clients feel about their image now fixing it later is great but they still know what it looked like and all I could go on a real tear about boudoir photography in this but where does that senior stuff? This is like people self esteem this is you want them to think and we re touch everything and I love it when people I like these retouched yes, honey, your skin has pores in real life. But, yes, this is retouch. Yes, but we I haven't seen an image that I can't make look bit better in photo shop on one side of the camera, not saying that you should try to get it as close to perfect in cameras possible, because that's necessary. But you could make it all look better in photo shop, so retouch all your work and don't get lost. Don't lose your life doing it.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lightroom Start to Finish Guide
Order Catalog
Step by Step LR5 and PS Workflow
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Jen's Design
Lightroom Templates for Ordering
Keynote 3
Syllabus and Keystroke Shortcuts
Order Catalog PSDs

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I decided to listen in on the free course of Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business w/ Matthew Kemmentmueller...I thought it would be good to have the skill sets even if I chose to do another photography forum other than seniors. And I was laughing thru the whole thing...he is one funny guy!! So, I decided to buy it...not only is this course full of great tips/advice/ and "did you know facts" but it's really informative and again, he is down right funny. I'm learning lots. Thanks for having him on Creative Live...this one is a keeper.

Diane Yvon

I absolutely loved this course. I am primarily a maternity and newborn shooter and to my surprise what I learned here applies to my current work as well as developing my senior work. I thoroughly enjoyed Matthews delivery of each topic as it was clear, precise, fun and non intimidating. I will watch this over and over and the course downloads were amazing! 100% satisfied with this course


Matthew's class is excellent! I watched it live, but decided to buy it since it's so foundational. I think his information and materials are excellent, whether someone wants to be "high volume" or not. I love how he continually drove the point home about how so many photographers overwork themselves and gave excellent ways to resolve this issue. CL does such a great job of covering the gamut in education of all types. Thanks!

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