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12 Month Plan

Lesson 9 from: High School Senior Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

9. 12 Month Plan

Lesson Info

12 Month Plan

This is the part that my wife and I we will sit down literally every three or four months and reevaluate where we are and where we want to be because no matter where you say you want to be sometimes you just don't get there and if you didn't get there you've got to step back reassess right we need that what's called a feedback loop so did we get there we said we wanted ten weddings did we get to ten weddings no why not we've got to ask that question why didn't we get there and so while we didn't get there because we going after the wrong clients we didn't get there because we didn't do the right marketing we didn't get there x y z so if you're not asking that question and that's a tough question for people to ask then you're never going to know exactly where you are so let's go through your twelve month plan all right so twelve month plan drama put you on the spot getting mike so twelve month plan for you you know I know you want seniors and weddings and everybody at home I want you do...

ing this little exercise with us what is your twelve month plan you want seniors you want weddings what are you going to do to get after those seniors so we're in july of twenty twelve how many seniors every shot so far five five so five today okay, how many do you want to shoot this year? Wait toby read twenty five okay, so twenty five more twenty five or twenty five more okay weddings how many do you have on the books? Uh two two weddings how many do you reasonably want to get this year this tough? You're going after the wrong client this year by the way somebody who didn't see photography as a priority because there in july and don't have a wedding photographer yet so I'm concerned about this wedding number but how many do you want to go after this year? I think reasonably you're only going to get another two to four weddings. Yeah okay, so these are some targets were going to set for you. So the next plan the next question I have in the spirit of seniors what are we doing in this twelve month window to go after more seniors? Are you guys thinking about this for all your respective businesses, right? Start thinking about what we're writing down here how money what are we going to do to go after those twenty five more seniors? You do a direct mail piece for from now until the end of december. Yeah, because we want twenty five more seniors how the hell are we getting? Yeah, direct marketing now facebook and you know I'm gonna hold you to this I know I'm checking on you um so we're going to direct mail what about your portfolio? Do you have a portfolio? I just did. Ambassador program just shot so I'm shot too is that right? Yes case you only have two so I would say not only do you need direct mail I would say we need to shoot one mohr model one more senior model to build your portfolio what about your website where's that is it ready? It's ready? It's ready okay. What about facebook? You told me earlier you split your facebook and weddings up so that's ready, right? Correct. Okay, what about eh? So now we've got direct mail that we're going to get out. I would say we need to target one for, um third week of july I want to see you do third week of july and then uh second week of august okay, so I want you to get out to fliers before the end of the year going after these twenty five seniors the next thing I want to see you doing is finding a way for others wraps. Do they have rep cards? Yes. Okay, how is that going? Well, they got him like a week before they got out of school, okay, so so I was I was behind the eight ball on that, okay, is there anything locally in your market is goes for everybody anything locally in your market that is tied to the kids that you could advertise your brand um, sports are over there, they're all they're all in sports, but where are all the kids hang out, by the way? Online anywhere? The mall? Yeah, kids are all at the mall, right? What about where do they shop? Forever? Twenty one. So how about giving everybody here a giant idea? How about we create some marketing flyers and do some cross promotion with forever twenty one? How about we approach the manager of forever twenty one and say, hey, I don't know what your store policy is, but what I love to do is get maybe ten or fifteen of your outfit and work with some of our senior models to create some portrait and then run some specials on my facebook site so that all the seniors get a discount code to come shop in your store. Well, you think about that hopefully everybody likes it because they're looking down cost you nothing, right? What is this store thinking? Stores thinking that's brilliant, because now I'm getting my product, I'm getting pictures taken and it's in front of people. What about local prom shops, boutique shops, maybe, maybe forever twenty one's not going to be responsive that's ok, find the next door abercrombie find the next door banana republic find the next door there's a million stores in that mall that might be interested in bringing some teen traffic to their store. You see where I'm going with this? Yeah, so this is a huge opportunity and something that can happen in the next twelve months there's nothing holding any of you back from exploring this as an opportunity. So that's number one, how about this? Guys, I'm going to share this idea with everybody I think there's a really good idea if you're an established shooter, I think if you're just starting out, this might be tough to pull off. If you're an established shooter, have you considered having a fashion show at your local mall runway? Everything. If you buy into the concept that we're selling a senior experience and selling an experience of a lifetime or a model experience, I'm sorry and selling experience of a lifetime. Can you imagine if you went to the mall and said, I want to put on a fashion show here at the end of that catwalk that's there is you is the photographer photographing and above you as the photographer photographing with big strobes going off? Why? Because it's a fashion shoot there's a tv screen showing tethered what's pop what you're taking showing up right over your head showing those images will parents be there they're baby girl's gonna be a model in a contest with their parents be there oh yes they will we'll all their friends be there oh yes they will will you be handing out giveaway cards for discounted session fees oh yes you will so now in front of hundreds and hundreds of kids who are your target audience you're running a fashion show showcasing your work and handing out promotional specials aware to the clothes come from for this fashion show banana republic uh forever twenty one abercrombie no I gotta do is get one of them to agree and then all the others will agree why because they're not gonna let anybody be part of it right there competitors be part of it and so they're walking down the runways showing showing off clothes from from from those stores what's at stake okay not a republic listen we want you to be a sponsor of this would you be willing to give us ah two hundred dollar gift certificate to your store abercrombie a two hundred dollar gift certificate someone so a two hundred dollar gift so now the next thing you know you've got a thousand dollars worth of giveaways to the winner of this fashion show what do you think online what do they think I guess good question from hey jude is what if you don't have a local mall or or forever twenty one is there some other lower levels type of yeah look look for look for boutique stores I mean if you don't have a mall that's local if you don't have a mall that's local I would make the argument you probably don't have a whole lot of teens which may or may not be the case I don't know if they're in a sparse area or not but find them all travel to him all coordinate this veum all because that's the only way this is going to work or find a booty clothing store but you might not insane traffic a question in the audience oh, just this year we implemented exactly that and although it hasn't turned into anything the second show is is with an anchor store um and it's in there promenade with everybody else on board the other thing with the booty thing because we're actually a downtown studio they did something else you don't need you don't need a studio get a restaurant to going with the boutique have the women and the ladies sit down for appetizers drinks whatever pay twenty five dollars give to a charity involve a charity five oh one c three local everybody will love to give him money and you're the event you know video facebook you'll blow up yeah it's brilliant I love it anything online yes, I have another question from gen hall seventy seven south how did you get the funding to put all of this marketing um into place when you're nearing bankruptcy, I feel like I've been in limbo for a couple of years now and from lack of adequate finances so that get back to getting started yeah, it is in fact a catch twenty two so the truth is when you're starting out it's a scary time there's no doubt about it, I took a lot of risk my mentality with my business has been no risk, no reward, and so if you truly want this and you're passionate about it and you want to go after it, the one thing you're gonna have to do is take a little risk or else you're going to find yourself in the exact situation she's in floundering where you're not making any progress, you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards and nothing's happened and all of a sudden one day before you know it there's gonna be a hiccup in your business and you're gonna have no funding to make anything happen, so I don't want you to risk going bankrupt, but I'm telling you you've got to make the investment and some of that marking in advertising. Okay, um, I know you probably be discussing this. I'm not really sure another question from tim tim see bring are going to discuss at some point, how do you maintain the relationships with the clients for the following years like thank you cars and birthday cards and newsletters when you're going over the business plan are you incorporating a percentage of your plan that lock's about re occurring customers what I thought what happens for us is we do it's very simple we don't spend a lot of time money and resources on it all we do to touch our clients is we send them a thank you card every year so I wasn't going to cover this so let's talk about it we send them a thank you card uh after their photo shoot so the first thing we'll do is, um let's write this down fine interactions so what happens is for a wedding a senior family, anybody as soon as the shoot's over they get accustomed thank you card so that is a hand written thank you. We get these printed branded with our logo foil stamped so it's a branded experience our colors or black and white so that card is a black piece of kraft paper with a silver marker so every time the client sees something black coming front in their mailbox they know it's from us so that's again a branded experience so right after the shoot whether it's a wedding senior family baby custom thankyou card hey guys, thank you so much for working with us we can't wait for you to see your pictures that's number one then at the end of the year they get a christmas card and they will be on our list our christmas card list for ever I mean pretty much once you're on our list we always want to just touch you wish you know, merry christmas happy holidays, that sort of stuff we don't do a lot of forming on our internal list, so we don't run specials to our clients oh, or anything like that hitting them up for promotions. We used facebook to push out our promotions. The other thing that will happen here is our top twenty five clients will get a gift end of year so our top twenty five clients they might get a bottle of wine if their wedding client we'll send them a bottle of wine. And how do I know who our top twenty five clients are? That spreadsheet that you have so you know, when that client calls and they're giving you a hard time or maybe there paying about something really quickly I can see I better pay attention. This is my number one spending client for the last five years or wow, funny, this is the least this person spent no money with us and they're driving me crazy so I want to know this stuff and so our top twenty five clients they will get a gift signor client um you know, it might be something that we heard in in their photo session that they told us. They like we take notes things along those lines before our wedding clients. They all get a bottle of wine sometimes will actually do travel pictures. So I get to travel a lot. New york, chicago. Right, san francisco. I'll print it on a piece of art paper, have it matted hand delivered at the end of the year. A travel pictures, a very personal touch. Maybe I signed the back. Just something that really sells, you know, art to their home, so they're not answer that question. All right, so we have five minutes to break. All right, give me one or two more questions before the break. Okay, great. So we had some more pricing questions. And this is an interesting one from abby. Sal. How do we find the clients to see our value and pay more when they normally only want to pay as little as possible, but get as much as possible. And so going back to the shooting burns like how to wait. Do you just look for clients who value photography? Or do you have tio educate clients to value photography, I think it's a little bit of both, um, let's, do this for a second. So how do you find your client's right let's do this? This is cool because when I'm on tour I always talk about this bell curve and I never have a white board with me so this bell curve represents the economy if you will represent income it's used for a lot of things so this is about ten percent this's eighty percent and this is ten percent and so what this is these are your maybe, you know, even in here this ten percent could be broken down even your top two percent maybe these your celebrity weddings or six figure weddings people spending two, three hundred thousand dollars even if we're talking high school seniors this is eighty percent of the economy of people's income demographic is going to fall into this part of the bell curve, okay, what we do with our businesses we've priced ourselves so that we can play in this part of the market now what's that going to do that's how we've grown our business, by the way in a down economy so our business has grown in the midst of a recession because what we've done here is we have were priced in such a way that we can get that two, three hundred thousand dollars uh income household income to go you know, I see the value of photography I love his work man there at a great price point okay, and then I can get that client who's rolling up in a pickup truck, that's beat up and it's all rusted out, and they, you know, they live in a trailer park, but photography is a priority for him. I can pull them up into here, and so in order to find your client, you have to develop your brand, your style, your pricing, you cannot attract this caliber of client charging five hundred dollars for a session. You can't do it charging one hundred dollars, you know, five hundred dollars for a wedding. If you're charging five hundred dollars for a wedding or one hundred dollars, and you're giving away dvd for your high school seniors, you're not going to track the high inclined to you know why. Perception's reality from there, you know, I hate saying that's, so cliche, but it's true from their perspective, the person who's got two hundred fifty two, three hundred thousand dollars of household income. They're going to look at your studio, go well, they can't possibly be that good if they're only charging that they perceive your price point as being good, even if you're not really good. I mean, come on well, no, for tigers out there who are charging a fortune, and they're just not that good, but it's perceived value and so you've got to get your price point here and that's the most that's the scariest part I'm assuming it's going to the scariest part for you is to get your pricing up into this level where it's you're uncomfortable you don't play here right now, right? You're playing maybe down in here and so now I'm telling you take a leap of faith raise these prices and you will attract it completely different client I promise so one more question before break right we'll take it we'll take one more back to the small boutiques uh deena joanna had said I like the idea of cross promoting with boot boutiques but consol elaborate more on how that would work please I like the idea of cross promoting boutiques well how you had said you know if you don't have a big from a small town and you khun use boutiques like how would you go about oh I got your tail she lost me for a second so yes we don't have ah you know um all in all these other good stuff how do I go after those local boutique so let me share again I'm always big on learning from sharing my personal experiences we went we did this for babies but this would totally work for, you know, dress shops, prom shops, things like that we went into a local toy store so go into your local boutique, and we offered them to decorate their entire space with pictures ofthe children playing with their toys, okay? And we would sponsor the photo shoot. This actually turned out to be ended up being brilliant at the time. I didn't see it making that much money for us. It was just more about exposure. We photographed, we put out a casting call on craigslist at the time because that was kind of that was bigger than you know, I don't even know facebook really existed back in oh seven o a s o we ran this casting call friends, family, everybody want to be part of the shoot. No, no, no fee, right? Because you're going to let us give us the copyright to post these images in the store and we'll give you a free eleven by sixteen portrait we had somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty five to thirty sessions we photographed all of these gave the prints to the store with our logo on it, and they were all over the store's window. We got amazing publicity out of this. And then the store agreed to put a five by seven card with a discount special at the cash register, so we were there as well. From there we were able to up sell eighty percent. Off the kids, families, additional pictures. So we actually made a ton of money doing this. I would do the same thing for seniors, and those boutiques go to those boutiques who have no advertising budget, typically and offer them the option to say, I will photograph three to five seniors in your outfits. You give us the wardrobe, um, and then we'll put up. Our pictures here will pay for the prince, don't make them pay for the prince. You pay for the prince on dh, then from there, you might actually be able to up sell the seniors because you're going, you're going to push this out. Casting call is, we need models. We need senior, you know, senior models, so that's, the way I would go about it.

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Sal Cincotta Pricing.pdf

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I have been shooting seniors now for 6 years. I have to say this is the best course I have ever had online! My head is still spinning trying to process it all. (luckily I gave in and bought the course :) I was going to be printing my marketing magazine for my seniors this week. After the first day of this series, I completely changed my pricing structure and felt so much better about how it would work for me! That is what is amazing about this series. It has incredible amounts of information that the newest photographer to the seasoned photographer can take and use in the business. I watched all three, took notes like crazy; watched again and still could not get all the info I wanted on paper. So I did the logical thing. I bought it! I was so impressed with the down-to-earth style of teaching that Sal and Taylor use and how open they were to sharing so many helpful aspects of how they do business. I really wanted to buy another backdrop, but I truly believe my $99 for this series will reap way more benefit for my business. Thanks so much Sal and Taylor! Now... to go redo that marketing info. :)

a Creativelive Student

This course is amazing. Sal offers a truly comprehensive path toward success in a step-by-step way that leaves nothing out. You can tell he's very secure in his success and his skills and, therefore, can truly share his knowledge. This workshop is great for amateurs and experienced alike. And, unlike many other presenters, Sal doesn't spend exorbitant amounts of time bemoaning the existence of "shoot and burners" ... instead, he inspired even them to raise their game - benefiting the industry overall. Nice. You must buy this workshop.

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