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Building Your Photography Business for under $3,000

Lesson 32 of 41

Website Tools to Create a Great Sale


Building Your Photography Business for under $3,000

Lesson 32 of 41

Website Tools to Create a Great Sale


Lesson Info

Website Tools to Create a Great Sale

Alright, so here we are, now we've got this portraits tab, I should look here, our portraits tab here. And so, these are the clients that I want to reach out to me, if it's a commercial client, I'm reaching out to them, I'm doing pitches to them. But for my wedding, and portrait, and private clients this is a resource that I use through the sales process that we talked about earlier. So, under my portraits tab I have the portrait gallery, that's going to be my best portrait images, I have session information as an option, I have a location guide, and then I have session videos. And so, if we click on the portrait gallery, this is Pinterest style, where I can just scroll through and show them all different kinds of portraits that we've done. All of these images align with my brand. Some of them are me and my family, some of them are our portrait clients, but they all have that adventure, outdoor, authentic element that we talked about earlier. So, there's lots of different options to in...

spire people and excite them. The next option is session information. Remember earlier when I talked about setting up clients' expectations, your session, the first thing I want them to expect is value. Tug at the heartstrings a little bit, how are you gonna remember your children. What's that gonna be like, this is my kid this, this is my family. And then it is a lot of text about all the things that I want them to know about our business. Talks about planning, what do you want to do with the images is the first thing, remember how important that was when I talked about that earlier, that's the big question, what do you want to do with the images. And then I offer them lots of suggestions about different options, so if this is a person that really likes to read to gain information it's all right here. The stuff that I went through in detail with the sales session, it's written out in my website, if it's a person that likes to read they're gonna do it here. If it's a person that likes to talk I'm gonna do it over the phone. Lots and lots of information, what should you consider when choosing a location for your session. I'm saying it right here, I'm gonna take you someplace neat, this isn't a studio kind of experience. So, it's giving them tips to think about, and the reason that's on there is because for a while we had clients that said, oh I know this great place, can we do images, can we do the session there, and always it was a beautiful place that wasn't conducive to creating a beautiful image. There weren't rocks to stack people on, or it was this beautiful view if you were looking down, but there was no way to shoot down, there were some pretty difficult logistics associated with the locations that our clients recommended. So, I have a whole section in here, if someone suggests a location I'll say absolutely, we can go scout it. There is a section on our website that talks about choosing a location, and we have lots to choose from. What should you expect at your portrait session is the next section, and you guys can read this on our website. But, what comes next in this process, I want those people that are really hungry for information to have an opportunity to learn that before they even make the effort to contact me. What should you wear to the session. So, when I book a session I can direct our clients to this area if they're in a hurry, and say all of this information is on our website, although I would love to walk you through it in person, that way I have different learning types accommodated through my system. When will you see the images, this is part of our policies, this walks people through the entire process step-by-step. When is your payment due, typically we ask for payment in full when you place your order, we also offer no interest payment plans, if needed, right there on the website. And then, when will you receive your products. So, this guides our clients through our sales strategy step-by-step, if they're interested in learning it this way on our website. Then, the next tab is our location guide. And I use this all the time, so when we come back to Colorado every year we always book a handful of portrait sessions, and so I want our Colorado clients to be able to scroll through all of these locations, and it says below it's located 15 minutes from Boulder, or two hours from Boulder, which is where we were based, and that's where we have core group of clients that remain. So that they can decide how far they're willing to go to achieve this look, and so we can get in the mountains right outside, or we can look at all different kinds of location options. I also use this as a tool to direct my clients to for clothing choices, take a look at these images, what do you think of the clothes that are in there, do you like things that are in the same color tone, do you like things that match, do you like something that's more vibrant so that you stand out in the images, what are you drawn to. And we started doing this because we were tired of people looking at Pinterest and telling us what we need to do. So, I would much rather have an option of stuff that we've done that they can get inspired and excited about, so that we can do what we do best. And then, the last section on this is our session videos, and you guys saw a couple of these yesterday. And it's what can you expect at a session, because our sessions are a little bit different than the typical portrait session. We want them to know that we're probably gonna be in the mountains, you're definitely gonna be walking around on rocks, you might even be standing on the edge of a cliff. It could be gailing winds, it might be raining, and this gives people a feel for that rugged, remote environment, so that when I say be sure to bring a hat, and gloves, and a coat even though it's July, they'll say oh, yeah I probably should, because it can get really cold in the mountains in the evening time. It also shows us shooting at sunset, whenever people say oh, I can't do that that's too late for my kids, well you know, really that's the only time that we photograph, and this is why. Look at these settings at sunset, it's when the light's the best, we can't create these images any other way. So, it gives me a resource to direct our clients to to get them to understand what the session is actually going to be like. Okay, so that's how we use our website in that constructivist phase of the buying psychology, so that they can take all of this information that I've told them on the phone, they can review it online at their convenience, they can show it to their spouse and say yes, I want to do this, here's what you need to know and here's why, all of it is there with our recommendation. How does this display on a phone versus on a computer? On a phone, it's scalable, so it has a whole different way that it displays on a phone, it looks great. That's super important, that's a really good question, because that's where a lot of the research is happening right now, or a tablet. And when you went and changed the name from Holcombe Photography to Famagogo, I'd like to know a little bit more about the thought process there, and how you've dealt with kinda the rebranding, and how that's maybe affected your overall brand, if at all. Absolutely, that's a really good question, and it's one that we agonized over, and agonized over, and it's another one of those things that really wasn't that big of a deal. And the reason it wasn't a big deal is because we didn't have a super strong brand as Holcombe Photography. So, it was branded as Peter Holcombe Photography for a while, Holcombe Photography when I came in there, but we didn't have that tie to our personality through Holcombe Photography, and I would be willing to say that we didn't even actually have a brand until we started Famagogo. We had a business without an identity, we were anonymous, we were vague, we had clients, but the only reason that they connected with us is because they connected with Peter and I. Online, there wasn't a brand associated with it, and I didn't even actually understand what a brand was until we launched Famagogo, and Famagogo started out as telling our personal family story to our friends when we started traveling in the RV. We wanted to share our adventures with our friends, and it grew, and it grew, and all of a sudden I was like oh, people are actually interested in this. And so, Famagogo developed very authentically as we let ourselves shine through, and it actually consumed Holcombe Photography. There are way more people that know about Famagogo than there are that know about Holcombe Photography. The way we managed dealing with the two, we just consolidated all of this into our new website. And so, the way we balanced the two is directs to Famagogo, okay. And all of our past clients follow us on social media, so they've seen Famagog, we've hashtagged it, we've built this with our past clients, so that they understand it as well, we shared that story across our social media to bring that together for our clients. This is from Andre Salek who says, would you get recommendations from clients to put on the about us section. So, how effective can testimonials be. Oh, testimonials are huge, in fact, anytime I go to a restaurant now I always look at what people are saying about it before I try something new, and I think we are all conditioned to shop that way. And so, if you can get testimonials from your clients it absolutely needs to be a piece of that, and often you just send out an email and say hey, would you guys mind sharing a little bit about us so that we can post it on our website. Absolutely, you can collect them on social media as well, so it's very, very important to include those. It can be really powerful in motivating people to take the risk to try you as a new company. And do you think that about us would be a good place for that on your site, or bring it forward. It really depends, it depends on the look and feel of your website. I think if you have a lot of press, or you have a lot of testimonials, or you have a lot of information that you can share from others about their experience with you, put it front and center, you might even make a whole separate tab for it, so that people can easily see that everybody wants to do business with you. Do you get model release from clients to use the images on your website. Always, so anytime we do business with a client we always get a model release, it's built into our wedding contract, it's built into our session documentation. We always have them sign it so that we can use them, definitely.

Class Description

When starting a new business, you will make hundreds of decisions, and many of those can be costly and affect the future of your business. Most photographers have little direction available on how to take these critical first steps to set themselves up for success.

Kathy Holcombe and her husband Peter have built multiple photography businesses over the last 15 years. Kathy will share what they have learned so that you won’t waste time, money and resources trying to find the perfect formula.

You will learn how to:

  • Define your brand
  • Set up social media channels and a business website to support the vision of your brand
  • Develop an effective strategy for marketing to your ideal client
  • Develop a product line and profitable pricing structure
  • Develop a sales strategy to maximize your time and sales average

This class is for anyone who is standing at a crossroads, wanting to start a photography business, but not sure exactly how to go about it. You’ll not only learn how to get you started but also how to turn a profit through your photography in your very first year of business. Skip years of trial and error and invest your precious startup dollars in strategies, tools, and equipment that will immediately start making you money.


Amanda Beck

Kathy was a wonderful instructor. She was engaging and someone who was precise and incredibly helpful. We have a full time photography business and are always looking for new ways of running our business. Her information was insightful and forced us to have conversations about our business that we have haven't had in several years. She is fantastic and someone who has the information needed to help you start or expand your business. Thank you for a wonderful class!!


Thank you Kathy for yet again another very thought provoking class. You are such an inspiration, teaching us the right questions to ask ourselves so we too can be brilliant photographers / entrepreneurs. I was a fulltime RVer for seven years, traversing 44 states and seeing some of the most beautiful places on our planet. It gave me a great opportunity to meet some extraordinary people and to hone my photography skills. Now I have put down roots in Stapleton - Denver, CO and am soon to launch my own Family Lifestyle Photography business. Your course has definitely given me the courage to just charge ahead and go for it!

Tristanne Endrina

I am VERY impressed with this class! The structure of the class is well done. Each segment was thorough and backed up some knowledge from the previous segments. Kathy breaks everything down into understandable knowledge and also makes it very enjoyable to watch. I HIGHLY recommend this class if you're unsure about what to do to start your photography business. $3000 may sound like a lot of money, but you'll going to find yourself in a determined state to raise that money if you're REALLY passionate and serious about starting your photography business. Thank you, Kathy & Creativelive, for this class. I'm excited to get the ball rolling and build my photography business.