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Lesson 5 from: High School Senior Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

5. Q&A

Lesson Info


So first question another great one from les w photo what do you say to people when they ask you for the digitals like, what is the wording? What out of the words that you use? Yeah, I think let me step back because that is a very, very good question its understanding what's happening here it's very important you understand it's an objection in any objection this is sales wanna one any objection not correctly addressed will stall the sale so if you're just like uh no, we don't do that that's you install yourself because mentally they can't move past it so if they're asking for the digital negatives here is typically have what we want respond with ah hey guys, unfortunately we don't offer digital negatives were full service studio on we offer you a complete service so rather than giving you these images that you don't know what to do with them, we'd rather offer them to you. I offer you a final product instead and so we just don't offer them at all. So you've got to sell that is it's a ...

complete service question from carla j is what if your ambassadors don't refer anyone or not enough? Yeah and that that can happen typically you want to sit your ambassadors up for success, you don't want them to fail that that's very important and the way we set them up for success is when they come in to be an ambassador, we actually trained them on how to sell if you will, how to get the word out from there we're following up with them within one or two weeks after they've become an ambassador and been out into the school's handing out their pictures don't wait six months to find out the end of summer's here, and they still haven't gotten you the number, so we're working with them hand in hand. Now chance your question directly. What happens if they miss the number? If they miss the number, they do not get their free product or service it's that simple? What we will do that on occasion to say, hey, mom, you know, looks like susie wasn't able to hit our number will offer you those pictures at twenty percent off all right, so still it's a win win all the way around, okay? Michelet, davies had asked, does your makeup artist do all your seniors? Or is that an added expense? I'm just wondering, how much do you usually charge or how much do you pay your makeup artists? Yeah, that's a great question the it's offered to every session it's not included are ambassadors get it for free, but every senior it's an add on and we charge for make up sixty five dollars that goes directly to the make up artist, by the way so they don't pay me I don't collect that money I let the parents know hey guys, we offer a makeup artist, you pay them directly, but it adds to the experience and so what ends up happening is I'm not really selling makeup or the makeup experience the kids or selling it, so when susie comes in, her friend rebecca came in and rebecca told her you have to get the makeup done, so we're not really even selling it hair, eyes, hair and makeup combined is ninety nine dollars that's why it works well, if you find a makeup artist that you can work with year after year after year because now you've got some negotiating power rather than them pain hundreds of dollars every time somebody new comes in, I can say I sent you one hundred twenty five sessions last year I want a better rate for my seniors because I'm giving you more volume and something that maybe no one asked, but it's, a good ad on makeup happens at our studio and so we want to own the experience. The experience isn't out of makeup counter at a makeup store experience starts in our studio, the music's playing we got water form, we're helping pick out outfits, thes air all things that are part of owning the experience so for hair and makeup that person gets the hundred dollars just direct write direct to them that I don't take a dime on him now they just in your studio hanging out waiting like all day or no no no it has to be scheduled so good right? You have to book that ahead of time let us know so that the makeup artist is in fact there but it's still happening in our studio and so christine photo p photo had asked if you don't have a studio where would you have your makeup artist work with the seniors are makeup artist did it right in our basement so when we were working out of our home the makeup artist worked right in the basement with us okay actually don't as photography had asked are the parents seniors required to sign a contract outlining their responsibilities? No, we do not where I'm assuming we're talking about ambassadors and four ambassadors we don't have the parents sign a contract and the reason is my opinion is that starts really rubbing people the wrong way they start having commitment phobia uh look, if they don't hit the numbers they don't get the pictures they do get a document outlining here's what we're going to give you and in return here's what you owe us so were very clear on what's happening you should put a document together but we're not forcing anyone to sign anything cool maybe maybe one more question then we'll get going so from a nan velma are t dot net or underscored of how do you keep your ambassadors fired up? You mention that you do check in with him throughout this summer but what else do you do to get them fired up? Well, keeping them fired up is easy because facebook comes into play big time like we're promoting everything on facebook and these kids are plugged into facebook so they do not want to be the one coming in last place I mean that's very important plus for us we're doing a lot of more direct mail pieces so think about it if I'm sending out a direct mail piece every month and we'll talk about the time line in a second but if I'm sending out a direct mail piece every month who's going to be on the cover of that directive helpings it's usually my ambassadors who are in the league right? So when that direct mail piece goes out you want your daughter to be in a thousand or fifteen hundred homes and everyone talking about it I saw your picture so there's this celebrity status if you will for our seniors so that's how we keep motivated all right well let's get going so hopefully guys out there enjoying everything and lots of information I see in here everybody's taken lots of notes and our girls and guys switch sides, so but you're still not mixed. So maybe after the next break you khun mixed with each other. All right, so let's, talk about the interview. You have to conduct a full interview, four year ambassadors. Everyone cannot be an ambassador. This is something I watch my competitors make a huge mistake on back home. Everyone's an ambassador. They'll just send an e mail and say, I want to be an ambassador and you're magically ambassador that's a mistake, you need to interview them like you're interviewing them for a job. Because in essence, it is a job has to happen to create exclusivity. Everyone can't be an ambassador and make no mistake. The parents have to be part of the interview process. So in the november december time frame we have them in to interview. They come in with their parents. These kids will fill out an application form. Okay, we'll talk a little bit about what should be on that application form, but it's nothing overly formal it's just to give get some perspective. But they fill out this application form. They have to come in with their parents. Why? Because the parent has to be responsible. For what the kid is agreeing to right? The kid can't say yeah, I'm gonna sell him to salomon salomon the mom doesn't understand what her kid is just agreed to and where these free pictures you promised me well, now mom's there and I'm looking mom in the eye and I'm saying mom here's your responsibility I need you guys to get us five referrals x y z and in return I'm gonna give you this so now there's that agreement with the mom because when the daughter is not selling gets us to step up himself mom when susie goes to school and is handing out all these flyers in school and now rebecca goes home and goes I want sal to take my senior pictures I love him I want him mom goes who sounds? I never heard of this sal guy so who do you think rebecca's mom is going to talk to to find out more susie's mom? Well suzie's mom wasn't part of the process she can't explain anything to her she can't help her so I don't know it's something my daughter's doing instead what happens for us is susie's mom is like, oh my god it's an amazing experience you have to go they have this makeup artists and they were standing in the middle of st oh my god it was great that's what I want I want the mom I want this thing to become viral but you've got to keep it casual meaning don't intimidate these kids remember there's seventeen years old so now they're walking into your home your studio they've never this pride their first job interview I've got these kids coming in they're coming in suits I'm amazed at how serious they take this because I'm standing there and jeans and chalks and they're walking in and they're making you know this is all official yes, sir, they got a clipboard there taking notes I'm like I better say some good stuff because if not, you know what are they writing down but that's how important it is to them because they know what's at stake they know that scholarships at stake they know the promotional, the celebrity aspect of it for them at stake. So they're taking this thing very, very seriously, but at the end of the day, you need to get to know them don't grill them okay, so get to know them. I see you're chomping at the bit with the question I just want to know if you're saying mom is telling them about this great experience so mom is obviously at the shoot you are absolutely mom should be at the shoot yeah, do you not have parents at the shoot no, I do. But some people are like and mom's picking at it. I actually grill mom and say your job here is to make them feel special. I don't want you telling her she looks stupid eaters that's not her real smile or what? Because I have had that happen where? Mom, I needed to relax. I'm gonna make a recommendation to you maybe a little softer approach so you know not not like alright, mom now here's how it is italian too. So you know, I understand you want you want to lay down the law, right? You got a little subtle about it. All right, so there's times tio what I call find your inner sal where you're in somebody's face, right? And then there's times where you just got me a little bit more hands off. So what I've learned over the years is that this is just a cz much and experience for the daughter or for the mom as it is for the daughter, the moms what do you see our photo shoot tomorrow mom is going to have just as much fun as her daughter and I guarantee you tomorrow something's probably gonna happen, mom, whether she's talking to me or the producers or something she's going to say, well, I'm just going to stay back here she's gonna want to disengage mom come on in here get in here because mom's part of the experience think about it you guys have teenage daughters out there how many of you have teenage daughters? Uh they don't like you right as a teenager they really don't like you right? So let's be honest right? Maybe there's that one person was like you get along with a kid that's awesome, but when I was seventeen I couldn't stand my mom she was the dumbest person in the world. Well, now my mom is the smartest person in the world I don't know how that happened if she went to school for that but now she's smart okay, but it's that age it's that age where they don't want to be part of their parent. Okay, I am now responsible on this photo shoot for creating an experience of a lifetime for both a mom and her daughter they will never forget that they will never forget that experience that's how powerful it is and they will spend money on that experience. Um two questions like you said these people like it when they take it very seriously do you notify the people that don't make it don't notify them that they didn't coming ambassador yes, I'll talk about all that for sure and then like you said your first year was horrible are first years it's gonna be very bad since you you play this up really big and we need to how do you play up the fact that like you said you told mom it's like mom, I don't know if we have a spot for how do you then plow the fact that they don't see other ambassadors out there? Well they will know who the other ambassadors are you could be a very my first year we only had four ambassadors for all they know I interviewed forty kids, right? I'm going I'm not going to promote we never promote publicly who didn't make it right that would be that would be horrible you only promote who did make it so they have no idea how many girls you interviewed does that make sense? All right, so let's talk about the interview process and move on what's on this application form on the application form should be their name you should require a picture I want to see what these kids look like all right, maybe I'm shallow but at the end of the day image is everything and so I'm not going to hire ugly kids to represent the studio, right? I mean I'm sorry if that makes me shallow I'm sorry in advance I don't know what to tell you it's just reality okay, so this these are the kids you want these kids in the face of your brand and so you're going to want them to submit a picture there. Name what hobbies they're into this should all be a formal word. Document. Put your logo on it. Name, hobbies, interests, extracurricular activities. Um, you know what charity's air they involved in. Learn as much as you can from the kid will. Now that kid comes into the interview, they're gonna hand you this piece of paper. This piece of paper's for reference only what I don't want to see you do is look at this paper. Okay, susie, I see you're into horseback riding. No, that's not the point is just to give you some bullets. Okay? Because, you know, when I'm interviewing kids, I think a little differently. So, suzy, are you nervous? First question I ask you as soon as they get in. Yeah, I'm a little nervous. Don't be nervous. This is just my my opportunity get to know you. It will not be painful at all. I just want to know a little bit about you. So tell me, susie. What? What do you into? What? I haven't even looked at this paper yet? Because write on the paper tells me what she's into that's not what I'm looking at eye contact. I'm developing a relationship a report I've got five minutes or less to develop a report with her. Okay, so tell me tell me a little bit about what you're into susie well, you know I'm into you know, horseback riding, horseback running really? Oh yeah way have a farm you have a farm we have is a there's a barn, a farm and a horse yes, you're going to be an ambassador suzie, right? You see what I'm saying that's how my mind's working I'm looking for kids that are into stuff oh, you're into dance great you have access to a dance studio I'm looking to create art work I'm looking to create pieces that are different than anything else out there that may be every kid who comes in doesn't have a horse they don't have a pond that we can go into the horse with, you know, with the horse into the palm but they have unique items that are going to make these pictures very, very distinctive does that make sense? That's what I'm looking for in that interview that's all I'm looking for guys with me on this final selections we talked a little bit about this we have to choose kids that best represent my studio and my energy level I don't want dead kids inside okay? I need energy I need passion I need I need them to be able to match the face of my brand we use social media to announce the winners this creates a huge competitive spirit congratulations suzy you you know suzy rebecca you know jonathan whoever you're our four althoff high school ambassadors we make that announcement on facebook within minutes it's viral true story this year remember I told you we hired our first boy ambassador his name's ryan he became on ambassador and we announced it along with everyone else while his girlfriend who's at another school she didn't get selected but she did get selected I'm sorry but we didn't announce her by accident we left her name off the list by by accident. So what do you think the first thing is that ryan does he calls his girlfriend goes, huh? I got selected you didn't all right that's how competitive this this has become now it turns out she did get selected we just forgot to put her name out there but her mom called me she said she was devastated that she didn't get selected how did she not get selected so I had to go online real quick like crap we screwed this up she did get selected mom, I'm so sorry so that's how important this is to those kids you have to make it competitive think about it they're just you're going after not librarian's not you know book club people you're going after cheerleaders athletes volleyball players, softball players their competitive by nature those are the people and that's to your question how you keep them motivated they're they're internally motivated they're athletes they want to win somebody here going I just had a quick question about the application form do you do it online? Do they fill it out online or how do you get it to them? They have to call us and tell us they're interested in being ambassador but remember they have to be referred from one of our previous years and bashers and then that form is email toe females so we don't leave that form online at all and then of course we're going to select three to five reps per school now on the final selections let's talk about the kids that don't get selected when they're not selected we don't post that online instead what we do is we send an email to the family hey guys thank you so much for interviewing with us as you know it's a very competitive process as much as we would love to select every child we could only select a handful however we'd still love to offer you an opportunity to work with our studio if you choose to book a session with us we'll give you fifty percent off your session fee now why am I doing this? We interviewed this year for nineteen or twenty spots we interviewed over forty kids so conservatively, that's, twenty, kids, who are fans of our studio, want to be part of our studio. I don't want to lose those twenty kids, right? I want it. I want to get them into our studio, their fans. So why lose them? I'm gonna give them a reason to book our studio. I'm gonna give him fifty percent off that session. Now we lost two kids whose parents were completely annoyed that their daughters didn't get selected. Such is life there's, nothing you can do, you're going to lose those, but the rest of them book immediately. So here I am, sitting in december, and I've already got over twenty sessions boat just from that, you with me, so that create some buzz.

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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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