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Children's Portrait Photography

Lesson 25 of 29

The Business of Kids Photography

 

Children's Portrait Photography

Lesson 25 of 29

The Business of Kids Photography

 

Lesson Info

The Business of Kids Photography

were to start out right away. Just going ahead and thinking about If you have a business and you want to start it or grow it or make it more efficient or make it more profitable, what are the things you have to consider? So if we're looking at a business we've got What what are the things you're doing? Basically, in a portrait photography business and not just portrait, but we're gonna focus on that. You are shooting, right? You're editing slash. Um, whether you do post processing or you're just backing them up or whatever the case may be, um, you are selling them and you're delivering. Okay, so these are the things that you're doing as a portrait photographer? Yes, but what else? We're gonna step through this like, exactly what else? Because this and I love that we have time for this because normally if I'm doing workshops, I say yes, these are the main things, your business. But look at all the other things you have to dio and what I suggested. You go home, get a white board and make...

this more efficient. I say it longer than that with more detail, and it's usually just very well said No, But what we get to do here is actually white. Board it out and I would love, especially if you're watching at home. If you can follow along and think about your own business as we go through this, because we're going to step through kind of everything that has to happen and figure out how to make it more efficient. Smarter, faster, less redundant effort. Um, and more profitable. So one of first things you're doing, let's see. Okay, you're shooting. But what were you doing before you're shooting? You have to get the client. So your marketing, you're go ahead, throw these. Exactly. I'm gonna say them as I'm thinking them to gather your gathering enquiries. You're responding. So then you have to send out pricing, right? They're developing pricing. And then do you make one Priceless when you start a business and leave it that way, So you're constantly updating pricing and products. Can anybody read my horrible handwriting? Yes. Okay. I was so proud. We had my, um, third graders first review. And when I was growing up in school, I got I did very well in school, but I always failed handwriting. Like I just said she can't write. And she did all the way across beautifully, except for handwriting. Oh, okay. So you're shooting. Your editing is you're doing your backup, right? You're doing very safe backup. So you're backing up? I would strongly suggest to a minimum of three places. And what I do is I backed everything up to my photo server, which we have gone ahead and purchased a studio white photo server that is wireless and that you can back up every single thing you dio, whether it's all the pricing models, we do all the documents we sent out to our clients. The contracts we create, the photographs we take their all backed up originally as well as the final images we delivered to the client. Then we also back them up to external hard drives. Of course, they're going onto a laptop for a limited amount of time because you keep them on their too long. They kill your ram to kill your memory. And then we're putting them on to DVDs and storing those either in the studio or off site for your disaster recovery. I know other people who upload all their work to a cloud of some sort so they can have an additional source of disaster recovery system. That's another thing that everybody should be doing is some sort of disaster disaster recovery program. The first time I thought that I had to do a disaster recovery program, I thought involved, like drills and some sort of orange jacket or something like This is gonna be a lot of work. No, that's just store something somewhere else, so that if something happens, there's a flood. There's a fire, you get robbed. There's a major, some sort of computer crash. You have either DVDs in a box in your home or your friend Tomer wherever, or you have them backed up to some sort of third party cloud where you can save them on an FTP server somewhere. So back up minimum of three times before I ever clear them from the card. You see, we're going to hear we're going to kind of make this all involved, so we're gonna talk about the steps and then I give you suggestions at IDEO, and I would love it if you guys could shout out suggestions that you have are things that have worked for you or questions you have as we're going through this. So what else? When you're selling and delivering, you've got to think about packaging, right? How are you packaging your products? Did you have something? Oh, yeah. I was just gonna say they're things coming in from the Internet as well. Um, going back to marketing within that. But branding, uh, specifically Brandon Yet with regard to the pre shooting yet s CEO brand building, huh? On and then from Monica Insight from Monica in the chat room is working on workflow processes for the client experience from First contact to delivery and follow up. So time for Monica on the chat room, working on workflow processes for the client experience from first contact to delivery and follow up. So maybe that's just a client CRM or client? How do you track your client throughout the whole thing? Yeah, So that is basically yeah, your customer management system. What kind of client? Management or customer management system do you have in place? I've talked to people who say this and they hold up a notebook with a spiral and pencil. I was like, oh, was faster you're gonna grow. That's gonna become exhausting to track. I strongly suggest one central repository for, um, everything where you can track the client. See, call the includes that. Come in. Anybody that you're gonna add to your database, the invoices that you're going to send out all the purchases they make the history that you have with this client, any sort of data you have about the client in terms of kids and their names and their ages. You can dio either that separately from some sort of financial system, like a QuickBooks, or you can have it all in one program. Um, good customer management systems that are out there include I'm just gonna list them that I know of. And as I list them, I'm going to say that not one of these systems that I'm about to announce is like the one I think is awesome. There's just there's ones I use. There's ones I've checked out. There's ones I've tried. Um, I don't know. I think that we're still working on a system that has it all smooth, you know? But so there's success where, which is the system that we've used to date in our studio, Um, and, ah, the pros and cons. The pros of it is that you have all that information I just talked about in one central location. You can use it in a multi client environment, which means that if there's eight people or 10 people in your studio, everybody can access that software and share data then, which is how we use it. Then you could also have ah, financial reporting system built into that which has a bookkeeping function. So any of the invoices you sent out in the expenses that come in any sort of reconciliation you do it year in which I should be writing down. Could somebody jump up in here and right for me? Joy, when you jump in here right for me. Job Yankee Brown. Okay, Joy. I never found. I thought, this is working out. You're gonna see the transition from like, uh, we're talking about financial systems. All the things you've got to think about. Something else, All the financial stuff you've got to think about. Whether it comes to invoicing reporting sales tax, quarterly payments to federal tax. Um, any sort of expense tracking, bank statement, reconciliation. We're gonna throw all this down. I'm not trying to overwhelm with all the details. We're gonna throw it all down so we can smooth it out as a quick comment from Jules Joy sister in the chat room. She's saying she loves your dress on. Do you have Ah, um, software that you recommend? So, yes, So it's going back to That's a success. Where is the one that we use that has a lot of this put together? The cons I find is there's sometimes so much to system, and you've got a look at what kind of support you have. So if you need, you know, kind of to build a circle back and things like that. And, um, you also have from, ah, bookkeeping perspective any sort of proprietary system that's in place is gonna a hard time keeping up with an accounting only software. It's just because they're doing 40 things and there can't be incredibly robust and every specific part of the application. And so it's not the same. You don't have the same flexibility with maybe just a quick book system where you can report, you know, a cross section of information. 100 different ways. So there are things that you kind of give up a little bit. So if you're a business that you want to outsource the bookkeeping, which I strongly recommend unless you have an obsession with numbers and bookkeeping and tracking, we put book. But keeping accounting in there. Um, the other thing I want to say is paying your, uh, quarterly federal taxes as well as your monthly or quarterly state taxes and being able to count for that appropriately. Oh, there's an eraser here. Um, so the So the thing that you sacrifice with some sort of proprietary accounting system is that when you hire it, extent you know, bookkeeper from another service or an individual they have to come in and learn your system, as opposed to adding you onto the books with five or six other clients and working remotely via very popular accounting software like by QuickBooks. When you're looking at something like QuickBooks, there's two ways you can go. One is on the package that you have installed. It is right for you. The other is a Web based QuickBooks. That's a nice solution. If you're hiring a bookkeeper and you want to be able to manage your business and have them do the bookkeeping remotely and not have to worry about transition back and forth. Or I made these changes here and you made these changes here. They can all be done kind of virtually on the fly with a Web based system. Um, the downside is that the Web based QuickBooks is not as robust as the package QuickBooks yet. So just little things to keep in mind that QuickBooks is not supported on a Mac in Canada. QuickBooks is not supported on a Mac in Canada does not make a Mac program in Canada. They're Canadian. They are. They are all right. Run parallels on your Mac and then run QuickBooks on that, and it's not very stable. So we actually have what we call our QuickBooks machine, which is a PC laptop. And it's like a $300 PC laptop. It is our QuickBooks machine. That's not fair to you. It is not. You're a victim. It's true. Yeah, and also, for that matter, back candidate. Also, stuff like thinking like insurance on your own in your equipment, liability insurance, business licenses, all that kind of stuff. Absolutely Yeah, as you guys are saying thing, how do you set up? Your company is in an LLC. Is it a sole proprietorship? Is it a C? Corp? You've got to think about all that right away. That something I wouldn't suggest putting off too long. Unless, of course, you're very comfortable with so proprietorship and are planning to hang out there. Um, the other accounting Softwares that are out there are, um let's see, what else is there? There's shoot que, which I believe is more wedding based than portrait does it. OK, because I've heard maybe people can weigh in on that. There's a shoe Q. And then, um, I like the people behind shook you, which was just bought out by Pick Taj as well. I mean, they're working in tandem. I liked people behind Natasha. I've literally the people I really like. Um, somebody in the chat room has mentioned light blue software light blue software. Okay, we're talking about There's also a top, um, studio cloud studio clouds. That sounds like approximately the price point on on a program like that. Like you were being hundreds or the thousands. What's your is it? It's a monthly. So everybody does it different. Summer purchase, summer subscription. Most of subscription success for subscription. So should you. And we're talking about 75 bucks a month. $120 a month. Yeah, Somewhere around there she goes. What, 60 months partnership with you? Yes, we have that going on. So sugar was sugar crm sugar serum. Okay. Yeah. And then if you want to do something that's even stepped up and not necessarily industry specific, if you have a large studio and have a lot going on, you could look at something like a sales force, which is ah, massive CRM system that can be kind of size down based on your industry needs. There is also, um, I'm sure people going right in with us. Um, other studio management options. Se Tabish accused to do cloud success where, um, blink, blink bits bid. I think bed family talk a little bit about the function of the software for folks who haven't heard about what? What does it do? So this is basically the housing for all your customer data. So if you are on the phone, you taken inquiry and somebody says yes, my name is, um, Leslie Mann. And I am. I like her. She's, um and I want to do a portrait session with my family, and I might say, pull up. You know, it all truth. My studio manageable. Do this. Pull up the application and say, OK, great. Leslie, um, so excited that you called our studio. Just out of curiosity, How did you hear about us? Who referred you to us or whatever? Then you have a section there where you could do a drop down box of, um I saw an ad. I was at a friend's house. You heard you on the radio. Whatever the case may be, and you immediately now have a tracking system to see how your marketing is working. You meet, we have a track existence. He was, I think, shiny. Uh, and you're able Teoh, Uh, the oh that on everything eso you have away basically of. And the reason I think this is important is because if you this goes back to marketing, like, what kind of marketing idea? What kind of, um what kind of plan do you have in place? It's not very helpful to put a marketing plan out and then fly blind like what worked? You know, this is a great way to find out what's working If I put an ad in a regional parent magazine and everybody I ask 100% is this is not never, ever referenced it never comes up. Nobody's ever seen it. I'm not gonna continue that ad. So this is one of the great ways of having a central repository, so you can not only track their their specific information. You know what your names you was your phone number. What's your email? How many Children do you have? One of their names or their birthdates? All that's where stuff. You have additional marketing information. Now you can say it pops up the system that Jimmy's turns three tomorrow. Let me send out maybe a tailored marketing message saying Congratulations, Jimmy's third birthday time for port or however you want to do it. Um, you also have a ability to track where that client is in the process. So right now you're at the increased age, then you're at the client session book stage. Then you're at the did the shoot and waiting for the sales Consul. Now I've ordered these items and ex of them are in and Xom or not in So just that it adds a whole order to what you're doing and whether you're a single person working out of one space completely on your own or your shared environment. This is a great tracking information. Have another place where you can keep it. It's photo, one photo want, really prefer that. But it is one of them. Okay, yeah. I mean, keep it coming. Any suggestions from the Internet or here really, like my husband's like Mr Like systems Person. So we use Google apse with our Gmail. Okay, because there's so many absolute in there that are free, like I used Tunggal for all my booking. So people just sign it if they want to book a session. I have, like, all my times available, and I have Windows to get their built in and stuff right, and they just sign in and look at my calendar and come book their time in themselves. And so, like, it's all free right for me. That's what we use that works for their pricing because my prices have $150 a lot of free stuff Yeah, saying that maybe I would like a little more, right? Yeah, that's the other thing, too, is you can have websites that are modified to have your calendars online and have the booking sent for you and put into some sort of central repository free to access the thing that I The reason why I believe some sort of system in place is important regardless of which one you choose is because if you're tracking, tracking things on pencil and paper or just by memory or seeing a lot of people do it with excel spreadsheets, um, it's you're gonna basically lose all your ability to really access that information on and cross reference it to get the data that you want to grow your business and solidify and keep your costs down And make sure your marketing the right places and and being able to look at something altogether and say Okay, yeah, this is why it works. This is why I'm gonna go forward here. This is why I'm not gonna do that. That's why Mata prices product at this level. I know that success. Where has something built in that allows you to do projections so in the next year. These my goal is I'm gonna have sales this many times. This many portrait sessions don't have this many books. I want to sell this many etcetera. And you can put your projections out there and evaluate that. Okay, in 2011 I'm gonna make this many dollars, and I need to put a marketing plan in place so that I can do it. And I can do checkpoints every month and see how I'm doing. And you know where I'm going, Where my expenses air going? Tracking your expenses is Gigantor. It's a huge, huge thing being able to see where your money is going and recognize that at the end of the month, I just paid $986 a Starbucks. How did I do that? I just you know, these little ones? A to Z expenses, air the worst if you don't see where things were going and you don't understand how you're bleeding them or you don't recognize that, um, some of the products they're buying are too expensive for the market. Um, and I've had relationships with vendors where I've called them and just said, you know, what? I'm recognizing that the pressing I'm paying right now is a little out of line. I just looked at three other vendors, and I realize I'm paying a little bit much in this area. If they care about you and they're gonna want to keep you, you can work with them on things. If not, then you start looking around and seeing you know what other what other options might be better for me and keep my expenses more in line On the flip side, when we're talking about pricing. So developing pricing is up here. Um, specifically, how do you develop your pricing list? I would suggest science. How do you develop your pricing list? How did you guys? One person just volunteer how you built your pricing list? I told you all this, like Okay, Like I need to get people actually want to take their photos. So I, like, started out, like for $200 you get it all. And then I was like, Good Lord, that is not working for me. I am so poor. Um, and then from there I was like, Okay, $300. And then it was like, Well, I want my prices more than that. So instead of so I added something like, I do. Look, my little stop motion videos. It's like my my signature thing. Right? So they Because that takes me, like, an hour put together. So from the hour up, my price $200 was like, Okay, so I I'll do eight hours a workhorse vs seven. So kind of an inter of process. Yeah, And if you didn't ask, you did that she did is ok. OK, um, of Allison. Oh, sorry. Um, a lot of comparing with other people in the market. She looked around and said whatever asked was doing Yes. Okay. I just really common way to do that. Yeah. And then, um just I don't know. I think my pricing needs help. Okay, Sarah, I just looked at what, uh, professional studio photographer in the mall was charging OK on went really low compared to that, because our starting out okay, Andi, I haven't really done anything to it since I really need to look at that. Okay. I went I went high compared toa everybody, right. So high it and went a little bit higher because I felt confident with, like, where are you know? No, But I felt like I put in the time of doing free shoots for people. And do you know what I mean? When I really want to get it together? I'm like, Okay, I'm gonna see what everyone's doing. Kind of judge myself against them. I know that sounds horrible, but and just kind of way. Okay, I'm gonna go in kind of Hayate the market because maybe it's like a perceived value thing. Okay, I don't know and love, those were wrong answers. I think the idea of looking around see what everyone else is doing, and pricing yourself accordingly is a very common way to get started. But the one thing that you miss out on a little bit and I would suggest that maybe when you go back and look at your prices, it sounds like a lot of you are looking to revise. Your pricing is Thank you. Exactly. So if you're sitting down and you're thinking, what's my cost of sales? So maybe a print is $4. An eight by 10 is $4 or whatever at your lab. Um, but if any of my clients are watching. That's not true. No se of yours. A prize. Your eight by 10 is $4. You had a luster coating. Okay, that's maybe another dollar you add amounting. Okay. Now in the $15 range, depending on whatever the product is that you get what you choose to do with it. Then you have to think about, of course, the value of your time. How much time did I spend Get in on that one print. Um, and I don't mean like, the time that you pulled it up in the ordering system. You looked at it and you did your tweaks. And then you send it the those four minutes I mean, the entirety of your time that you worked on that session, Um, and how it relates to the products that were purchased. So, in your analysis, how long is a typical to our shoot take for your studio esos for my announces purposes? I would say that if I'm turning around a, um, a two hour session and again you got to think about the all of it start to finish. Yeah, it's probably about eight hours, Robert. Eight hours, and that's being honest because I want to say it's 34 hours, you know, I knock it out, I get the processing, ended it. But no, I've gotta evaluate the time that I'm paying my studio manager to manage the increase and put all that together and all those efforts. Me. There's a lot of stuff that goes into it, and I want to take a percentage of the mount time I spent on marking on website development on branding, on accounting, everything and that's all gonna be factored in. And then I think, OK, how much time does it come to that one shoot? And if I do less shoots, it's been a lot of time on them then. Obviously, that's extra as well, because you have to one of things you want to go back and look at is decide if your business is low volume and high cost, or is it our high volume and lower costs? We can put that up there making that consideration because you have to know that about your business. Before you can even figure out how to build a brand, you have to know how you're being perceived in your market, so back to the question about your pricing. It that eight by 10 is a cost from your lab of $15. But there's another gosh, I probably spend another of my time and how much money I want to make a Knauer, and I think it's fair. Okay, so that's actually about $40. So it's about $40 for that eight by 10. And if I want to think of a good mark up for my cost of goods sold is about 33% or so. What do I decide for myself? I want it to be. Then you multiple enough, the sake of easy math that say it's 30% times three. So I want that $40 print to be $120 and then that for me, is my price of any by 10 to start with. That's where I feel like okay, I've covered my costs of good souls. I feel like I'm doing good business. I'm making up the expenses I spent and I'm being paid for the immense amount of time and effort I put into this. But then again, the responsible is on me is I have to care about everything I put into that print. That's the part that I don't want missed in this. Because all that stuff I've been talking about for two days, four days for a long time ago we started filming. That's that's where this we're in that kind of final push. You know why you're that much you don't have to justify Why you don't feel weird. And you're like, This is why this causes much Because I put all these things into this because and so it all leads back to the community that your client, as far, yeah, I feel like clients often are like, That's really high for an eight by 10. Okay, so two fold one. I feel really comfortable talking to how much I really care about that print. All the work we put into the only effort we can't put into it. And when we're gonna get into the work life balance, I think the as soon as I had the realization because I did spend the first couple years really under pricing for what I was doing and not doing a very good job of managing the whole process. As soon as I got into, um, really thinking about if I weren't spending time on this print and really perfecting it in making sure that things in place and locking down the framing and all that sort of thing Then every every ounce of time I spend their I'm not with my Children. I'm not with the people I love. I'm not going on date. Uh, that was for you. Stage uh, so, you know, it's it's the idea that you've got to really consider all of that because there's an expense at place here and the expenses your time and spending it with people that you care about. And I feel really comfortable justifying my prices. When I think about it from that angle, you know, I'm like So if someone says to me, really, I have to pay 100 whatever for day by 10. I'm like, Really, I missed an hour at that thing last night cause I stayed up working on this. It's it's I feel really comfortable about that. Did you use when you interact with a client about that? Give me a statement that I would have to give me an honest to say that you think a client would genuinely say Wow, that's expensive. While that's expensive, like, really, I like I don't know that much hate by and I didn't get that at Walgreens for a dollar window. My having that conversation in sales. I don't think I have that conversation sales because they've they've got on my website. They have called. They've talked. They got our pricing sheet before we ever started even talking about putting them on the books. So they have an idea. So if when they get that price and sheet, they say to me, Oh, my gosh, that's really expensive. I can get it eight by 10 for $4 at Walgreens, I'll say, And I don't say go to Walgreens. I don't say that again. I'm respectful of the fact that it has a different mindset about this. I will say to them, Um OK, I understand that well, we put a lot of effort and work and really value the work reproduce, and if you change your mind, you want to come back. We would love to talk to you, but of course, from an efficiency perspective, I understand that that was not the client for me because the last thing I want to do is sit there in justify my efforts every single time when I could be spending it with another client who completely values it. Who dies over the prince, who tells me at the end that this was so important and make sure they book me again and next nine months to a year and has that going and is excited and tell their friends how much they love it. Like, Why would I be spending all this effort here to talk someone into something that's not the right fit for them? So do you send them your Is there any of your pricing information online? Or they have to inquire with me? There's no my pricing information is online, but when the call we say right away, is that the reason it's not online? It just doesn't seem to fit with what I care for them to know about me. You don't say no, No, but we say that immediately when they call. Um, and partly there's that. There's two fold when I say it doesn't fit with what From Know about me is when someone comes Teoh, my website, which is gonna be brand new in two weeks, and I wish it would read new. Now when they come to specifically my galleries and they're looking through and they're stepping through my images and there were seeing them full screen and they see what I'm producing. I want them to be mostly thinking I want those images of my Children of my family in my home. I don't want them thinking that's a nice print. Exactly what's the cost of it to me? Because then again, just like when I'm shooting, I need to nail my technicals and get out of my head so I could be in my heart with them when they're looking at my images. I don't want them to be their head capturing dollars. I want to be their heart thinking. I love that this is a silver don't have office managers or whatever. Like which I did with the first couple of years. My business even now you with my pricing online. I get people calling me like OK, well, my budgets $100. Do you think I could get family photos? That and I'm like, What do you think I like in my price? Yes, of course. You can I am your girl? That so I have. I really wish I didn't have my pricing online, cause I totally grasped the concept behind that. But I don't have time to be fielding phone calls and emails. 12 a day being like so could I get 20 prints and a canvas and all the photos on a disc? $100. Okay, so this goes into wedding asylum and brand development. Um, when and setting expectations. So when you're up here where we were website development. Okay, so we're in website development and brand development. Um, have you ever gone to a website where you look at the images, you look at the branding and it looks just kind of flat, a little efficient and budget friendly. Um, you feel like you have some sort of sense of what that's gonna cost. I have a great website, though. Don't you have said no, But I'm just saying, like, even though I have, like, a great brand and what not like I feel and maybe I'm wrong, um, I still get $100 enquiries at least three times a week. I'm not saying you don't get the incurious. I'm saying that if somebody calls in, they have a sense of what the products may be and where the sales are and stuff from the branding that you put out for the high end kind of rich branding you put out. And let's say, for instance, you're walking on the street and you see a lush, gorgeous spot and it looks very rich and it looks substantial, and it looks you walk in and it feels good. Everything is smooth and there's marble everywhere, and they do you expect they're gonna walk up there? Say yes, massages $8. But that wouldn't kind of fit. But if you're walking past a tent on the side of road and there was a table there and a sheet laid down and somebody you know half naked, just kind of throwing gasoline on your back, you might not. You would be shocked that that would be a $2 or whatever you know. So there's an expectation you set simply by the look and feel of your brand, right? So that's point number one about the fact that this brand development website Development S E. O. Is not where you want to be skimping when you think about weird, I want to put my dollars. I would rather poor all my money into the look and feel my online storefront, then my physical storefront. Okay, so do you think that it's possible when you're working out of your home, that you can have a brand that says, Hey, this is gonna be expensive. It's I'm gonna be putting an investment here, but they're working out of their homes. Yeah, like people ever. I mean, like, I know I could pick of, like, five amazing photographers. Amazing that pulling, you know, crazy, crazy pricing. So the bad where they're crazy, pricing and, um, and work out of their homework in their basement work in their mom's kitchen. But you said that you would not that your online storefront, you wouldn't put as much money into your home store front. I mean, I'm saying, if someone gave me here's $500 so I put it into the look and feel my website or the way my front door of my studio works. It's all on my website, but there is some merit in their ceilings. Were to be looking deal, but if I have to make a choice, and it's one of the other. It's gonna be website people who are starting out. I'm not saying Don't do a thing to the place that your clients visit you. That's a whole different topic. But I'm saying if it's a choice, yeah, that because that's where everybody that's that's where we live now look, where are we in your front line? Web? Yeah, where we were online now. I mean, this is where you are found most of the time. And even if it's a word of mouth referral or an old school marketing effort or a promo card, they find usually there's a call made or there's a website checked out before calls made. What do you say? No, just saying most people who are newer in the business have to make that choice. Yeah, and I would strongly advice that you make that just because I've seen it Reverse. I've seen you guys probably have to where someone has a beautiful studio. Everything's good and they're working on the website. They'll get to it. But the website no way reflects the kind of lushness of their business, and there's a loss there. There's an inconsistent message, and branding is all about consistent messaging. So if you're gonna roll out like a logo on a Web site and, um, you're the look and feel of your space and and you're gonna have an idea of what your persona is with your clients because that's part of your brand, that all needs to be consistent. So if you go to my website and it looks lush and gorgeous and well done, which it will in about two weeks, I now. But I'm gonna I love the one coming out looking, building all this expectation setting expectations. But, you know, if you put and I'm putting my money where my mouth is, I literally spent more on my Web site this year than pretty much anything else I've budgeted for in terms of where the dollars are going. But if you think about the fact that you go to my website and you think it's beautiful, it's carefully done. There's a lot of effort that there's no typos on any my verb ege that I've got my margins in the right spaces and the images air finished when they're up, and all of that sort of thing. Um, And then you see my Perma Cardinal X gorgeous. And then you walk in to my studio and it's wonderful in your in the waiting room, and then I come out and ripped off, you know, cut off Daisy Dukes on, like, you know, some sort of really, you know, to top. And I have, like, an instamatic I'm like, What's up? I mean, that's gonna be very confusing. It's not gonna fit. So I'm just saying you need to kind of take it all the way across. What I think about your persona, that's part of it is kind of buying into it, you know? Don't forget the cowboy hat and cowboy hat with a straw. No piece of hay. Budweiser? No, I think you're a a Twizzlers. Twizzlers. Twizzlers. Absolutely. Twizzlers cigar. You don't have a sort of a place in your studio in your house or somewhere to do your business meeting and you go to a coffee shop. What would you take as your portfolio? Would you take like a printed book with all your images? Or that's what I did? That's exactly what I did. Nowadays I take an IPad, but what I did in the past was take a physical portfolio and kind of flipped through it and kind of talked a little bit my work. And and then I upgraded Teoh, a Cyprus show box. You ever seen a Cyprus has these fine art show boxes where they're, they're they're fitted for 11 by 14 mats, and it's his linen beautiful box with a ribbon around it that you open up and you pull out a matted prints so they're eight by 10 images on 11 by 14 matting, and you take them out one at a time. And I found early on that by speaking to my work was the same thing I get now where my websites in a place that I like and I'll still do some of that with client consultations, especially with weddings and stuff, is I'll show a print and I'll talk to how it was made, and I'll talk to the experience of making it the interaction with the child or the family. What I was looking for when I made it, why I composed it the way I composed it, why I treated it the way I treated it. And by the end of that, like, five or six minute over. You looking at this one image? They may initially say I like that at the end, like I love that because you're showing them everything that goes into it. And if I have done that several times in a row and I'm talking about, you know, I kind of carry that through the entire relationship and it feels professional. It feels like an honest exchange. It feels like I truly, truly want to give them these beautiful images. When I sit down the sales console, it's gonna be very strange for them to say, Why is this so expensive? You know, it goes back to setting client expectations. I guess I'm not so much worried about like the surprise. It's expensive as much as I'm worried about how to get someone in to begin with, like I don't know how to do it market generations. But none of my friends, especially cause I'm a little younger, would ever spend $120 on eight by 10 even though you don't democracy friends, I know, but I was saying, like in general, like the people that I know, like I think it's hard to find people that are willing to spend that much money. But they still value good photos of their family. They just literally can't do it. Okay, so think about a few strategies that you might want to consider from a market perspective from a marketing building up my business, bringing in clients, you know, kind of starting from either ground zero r zero level that you don't want to be at. You're looking to move into a new level. So one of the first things to consider if you have no money because I know that came in a lot Lead generation stuff. Okay, Yeah. Um, one of the things to consider when you have no money or very, very little money and you're in a tough economy is, um, the age old guerrilla marketing. Anybody do a lot of studying about guerilla marketing. Yeah, and I'll be gorilla Craig. You want to jump in and talk to it? No, You seem very excited about that. He likes marketing. He loves what you're good at. Marketing. Guerilla marketing is the adage that just like when we went out and did the budget design challenge and we spent a lot of time and physical effort, um, and thought process and creativity, building things so we could save money. There was a trade off there. You could have spent a lot of money and buy it done. Or have someone do it for you or you do it yourself or you got to figure out what the middle ground is. It's the same thing with marketing. You can either pay a marketing agency to go out and put together a really beautiful plan that's got a digital strategy in place. It's got everything locked down, and it's about $240,000 for Phase one. You could do that, or you could say That's not really where my budget is and I want to do this myself. A lot of great Grillo marketing tactics involve things like really pushing the word of mouth referrals. Eso telling everybody you know what you dio handing out use for your business card. Now I'd say you bump your IPhone or whatever whatever the case may be, Um, word of word of mouth were to get back to that cause that's just so Gigantor that's such a massive, massive component of brilliant marketing It's the number one source of referrals I have is word of mouth, um, number another option in terms of that. Excuse me, The four AM wake up in the sub 30 degree terrain of my hotel room, you might be settling into my chest a bit fab. The that didn't work Great. Is working with, like, charity auctions, that kind of thing contributing your time because you all have a talent that you can contribute, and that is a great way to get in front of people that you would not normally get in front of. So if you're doing anything like charity, a fundraiser getting involved in that level and then those people will also promote you. So cross marketing yourself that way. Great way for lead generation. I have a question about that. Okay. Joy Bianchi Brown. If you guys didn't notice, I mean, she's like were jokingly assistant referring to her. I'm again. We're jokingly referring to her as my assistant, but she and Jules Bianchi run a very successful business, and she's incredibly business minded woman in her own right, Absolutely. If you don't already know that about her, so she is in no way my assistant. She's just like my friend who's helping me out, giving me hugs when I'm cold and then obviously has a flood of incredibly smart business advice to offer this conversation. So thank you for being here and always, um, yes. So on the on the chair, on the charitable marketing on the auctions, I think we do something like an average of 30 to 35 auctions a year. At least that we don't want to. You can decide what kind of packages that you want to donate. It's completely up to you what we found and vigorously or years to. But we found our sweet spot is a wave session be. My session fee is $500 a waived session fee that for the client and a one it's includes 18 It's not. Business includes 18 by 10. And so the package, of course, is valued at, you know, whatever the amount is 6 or something. Um, and that means that when you're at the physical auction and that whether it's ah black tie affair for the American Heart Association or a a fund raiser for some wonderful, credible cause that you love um, you have something where people walk through and do a silent auction or their bid on a piece of paper for your product. Um, one thing to keep in mind is that you then show some sort of representation of your work. The last thing I would do at an auction like this is send in a picture of family sitting in the grass like I would not send in any sort of piece of of of my work, which I may love and enjoy and have done a great sale with the client and be really proud of, but I'm not going to send something in. That's gonna be an auction police. Its gonna be displayed that might be sitting next to two or three other photographers, work and look kind of like just a similar kind of composition and subject. And this and that. I'm gonna send something in that's a little bit more daring. Little more bold, a little more striking. I want to stand out. I want someone to be walking past and stop for a second and look, and that may not be the representation of all the work I ever do, but it certainly is a sample of some of the work I do and that I'm excited about. My and I get a lot of joy out and stands out from market. So auctions can be very, very average to sub poor in terms of what kind of return you get from them. Or they could be outstanding if you if you put a few extra considerations into it like I want to put in a standout piece that people really see. I want to get some sort of buzz going that a few people are bidding and they're outbidding and they're competing for it and they're talking about it. I want to have something where that client comes in and she's got a lot of good feeling associated with me because I support an organization that they obviously care about in some way. And by the time they bought that session, or they bought that auction piece or one, that auction piece to the time they get in to see me has been usually a good amount of time, and as far as they're concerned that that were starting fresh like it's not like they already put some money into this this was something they gave to charitable organization was a terrible thing. They're starting fresh with me, and they're coming in with a lot of good feeling. So I have a new client who typically, I would love to hear your experience, But my experience I find that I have higher than average sales from my auction pieces. So I gave something away, as long as they feel like what they got was valuable and not like, Oh, I just got this free photo session that they have to know. Yeah, this was a $650 value. The whole thing on their that they get so that then they're you know, even though they didn't maybe paid how much for depending? Oh, maybe they paid more, depending on how the auction? Yeah, a lot of times when it runs up and things like that. So the coming in fresh, they've got some good feeling. I've got a brand new client. Plus another X amount of eyes who have seen my work may not have been familiar with it before. Um, we do the session and now I've got all the flood of word of mouth after that when the session goes well and they buy their pieces and they're happy. So to me, it's always been kind of a win win. Not always. I've definitely had some auction things where I'm like That wasn't a win, but it was a win in the respect that you supported a great organization, your your your organization is then associated with that organization, and that's really positive. Just while we're on that tomorrow, have a couple questions and chat related specifically to auction donations? Yes, and Robert Years to From Nick Ray is, can you deduct those auction items from your taxes? No, no, no. Well, you can. You didn't deduct. And this may very per state. In North Carolina, you can deduct the cost of the print that you spend money on the amount you spend on that print. You can't deduct the cost of any services at all, Okay, and do you require a minimum bid? Yes, yes, require minimum bend. It varies per organization. I don't know what todo helps create the value to that. There's a minimum bid required yes, if they're walking around there seeing all these other things for $10. dollars center and boom, you're starts at 300 or whatever. There's some value there. How do you guys do with auctions? I think also what we do, something very similar. Where it's the Our price point is about the same as yours. But we also do credits. We don't do a free eight by 10. We just do a credit towards products. It makes people have a hard time leaving money on the table. So any time you offer a credit, people want to use that credit, and it encourages them to buy more. So the other idea that you could do with an auction is you can also hold a raffle. And if you think win win for whatever organization you're working with that you're going to give this money from the raffle to that organization. But two things happen is one. People are giving you the raffle tickets, so you're getting their contact information because on that raffle there writing down all their contact information and then you can give each person in the raffle ICS they can win a sitting, but everybody else is gonna win a gift certificate from you, so you have a reason to contact all those people. And again, you're leaving money on the table for them. So you're giving them maybe $100 gift certificate towards a sitting with you. So you're giving them a reason to call you. And so great idea. Just one idea like that. How many use that? Sarah Studio manager. Can you write that down If you heard that, thank you. Give, um, gift certificates. Let's write that, too. If you're not offering gift certificates with your business, you're missing out a massive revenue generator. And you could be promoting gift certificates all year long because there's that many holidays. All you're wrong. There's Mother's Day. There's Christmas. There's every reason to contact languages. Holiday. Any reason to come tackling? Yeah. I mean, there's always something like that. Um, we upgraded gift certificates to be one of the header bars on are now far because I wanted to move them that much. Um, you could do gift certificates which are physical, like, written things, or you could do a gift card so much like a any sort of gift card didn't get at at a major retailer. Um, you could do it all kinds of ways, but The one thing to keep in mind is have a one your expectation expiration date on it so that you can get the movement on it in the traction on it. Um, technically, you can always let it expire and just say sorry. You lost the value of the gift that was given to you. We always accept the gift certificates were given again. It's the the good feeling in its respectful of dollars spent and such. But we find that if you can do things, here's another really good marketing idea. If you can do things where you set it up that you have a registry in place. So we use all we use Pick, pick. Um, for our gallery pick pick is now a subsidiary of White House Custom color and basically what we had decided there's all kinds of things that because I know you guys use pick Taj. Um, I used to pick pick because I wanted to be able to completely, um, sounds so controlling. But I wanted to control how my prints were coming in. How my orders were coming in. I wanted to make sure I was completely owning the quality of the prince. So if I did something where somebody comes to so a normal sales process will be. I will take the photographs. I will process them. I'll put a slideshow out, have my client seat for a little bit on Ben. I'll have them come in, will pick through everything they want will put their order together. And after the order is together, I will put that slide show back up for them to play it for friends of family and they want. And then I'll put a link to a pick pick gallery. Now, picture gallery is basically the way we use it is the ability to view your image is much more large screen. Be able to zoom in and see some more detail about the prince versus some slide shows, which could be smaller. Or we might more have more problems accessing them via, you know, depending on the side of your screen of the resolution or such on Ben. You can place an order directly in order your issues, your credit card and buy a print online, and we include this as an option for friends and family and grand parents and all that sort of stuff. So this is now like, basically another channel of sales after I have had the session with my clients because a lot of times will say, Well, I know my mom. My mother in law wants to buy something, but I don't have her order yet and maybe I'll just wait until I get that. And, um and I don't want to delay the sale and have one more thing from a business perspective hanging out on my plate. I would like to close that sale up, have that sent to them and then know that we have this additional revenue channel coming in with sales. Good bye. That could be indefinite. I don't have a limit with that, because to me, that's the gravy sales. I can put a whole little Army into that, like try to really push those sales, too. That's another way to go. If you want to really put revenue generation on their A zahhar driver, um, indefinite, you just leave. We leave the pick pick galleries up for a while because there's also something about a sense of urgency. If they know they can only write. This is different. We put the slide show up super fast. No, no, I mean sense of urgency that yet they don't buy by the end of the month. Otherwise, we'll just, like all do that later. I'll do that later. And then it might never happen where you can, like you could. That's why I'm saying you could put someone hard and fast on that and own that, which means that you have, like, Okay, it's gonna get for three months. We're gonna take it down. You want to back up, contact us, We'll do. You mean you could do that? If you really want to drive it, I probably don't take it that far. Um and that might be mostly because I feel really good when I meet. Met my sales that everything else coming in gravy and that's great. But you can run it so that you're just like, I'm gonna get all you could do that. I don't really do that, but you Good. You could definitely do that. The other thing to keep in mind with e picnic gallery is that you could do something where you have a gift registry and they have this built into their system as the functionality So if I'm doing a session with the family and I don't think that necessarily are gonna be a very high average sales, I think it's probably coming a little low. But I do my best not to do a great session. I delivered to them this. Answer your question from a while ago on Die. Deliver the session to them they may say to make we love these photographs. If it were up to me, I would buy every single one of them. But it's you are filling up the refrigerator next week. So what you might want to do is say, Do you have any holidays coming up any birthdays that maybe the grandparents would buy things for the kids? Why don't we create a registry for you? And if people say, OK, what do you want for the holidays, or what do you want for this anniversary? What do you want for a son says birthday party. Just say, Well, we have a registry at Nikki MacArthur, Doctor epic Danger Photography Way have ah registry there that you could just send them the link and then they can buy things for you, and it can all compile into a gift. This works really well. I never heard that's a good idea. Were on fire. Julia, this really are thes work for really well for weddings, especially to so after a lot of people wouldn't know what to get. And if you could team up with your wedding clients in advance and let them know that this is coming and they can consider this as opposed to something else for one of the other registries, that's phenomenal for you. So you know, same thing. Newborns, babies, first year, all that sort of stuff. Let's talk registry Quick question for you on the picnic gallery. You do sell all of the same products, Be a pick pick, Or is it just that you sell in, studio any products you want everything. You have to be albums. You're gonna have it be. Prints will be campuses. And what you do is you just have an image that shows what it iss along with a description and pricing and all that sort of thing. And you could put in, you know, again, you can work with them to customize a zoo, much as you want. I could see they might even be doing this. Maybe a pit picks around. They can answer this, but they might already be doing this. But I could see something where you could put upload a short little movie describing what the product is flipped through the pages, show it in the home. You know, really make it like a fool, like I'm almost there and have your site be selling it for you. You know, that's something That's another strong suggestion for your regular site about your products, but it's nice to have that tied to a shopping cart as far as always go. Do you, um, do you design the album's yourself, or do you just like, hey, kiss wedding books or whatever? Can you just create this because they a lot of places have, like a custom for you? You're asking about design? Yeah, designed to do that yourself? Or did you put that up? You're just their albums. One for page, Do you? How do you let me answer that? Put up album design and please put up card design. Although design all the dining were expected, Teoh photographers are expected to be graphic designers now, so those air one of things that we have to really consider is what? How do you design all these things? Whether it's your website, whether it's your cards, whether it's your album, whether it's the layout for the next canvas creation that you're gonna put up on their wall, there's a design component to it. That's really heavy. So, um, I have found that in my own work, some of the things I want to design and I want to put together, and I get really excited and fired up and lay it all out and share with the client. Other things I'm like, You know what? I would love to get to that, but it's my daughter's school recital, and I cant miss that, so I'm gonna outsource it. So in my business, some of the things I outsourced her because I absolutely can't stand to do them or I might like to do them, but I'm terrible at it, or it's something that I think is better done in the hands of somebody else, even though it's something I like to do something cause I don't have the time to do it. And so album designed exactly fits into that category. I work with a company in California called modern Album designs. They are in no way supported by them. And but, I mean, I'm no have meant to stay did not sponsoring it anyway. But IM supported by them because Chung, who is think I we talked to a lot as they're really good about. We've got a price in place and we give them the images. They get a really good feel for what my design style is and what I like to see. We look through the design when they come back and check out basically the various options on each paid in each spread, and I can take notes and send it back to him. And sometimes I'll go back and forth with them three times on an album. In terms of any revisions. I want to see our design and elements that I would like included well before my client ever sees it so and that respect, I don't feel like I'm sending it away, and it just shows up in my client store. I feel like I'm getting a great head start. I'm getting it sent back to me, and then I'm able to do anything I want to it so I can send it to my fine. So I feel like I have everything that I picked up in terms of the session and the experience with them. I can then have reflected in the design because I think that's important. You know, if I have something where I really caught on the fact that Daddy and daughter have just this beautiful, sweet, sweet bond and I want that to be showcase and I want that to be a full spread across and I don't want that to be missed on, make sure that it's not a generic auto design that sent to my clients. I just because Craig likes to throw these things in their of a comment from Nick Ray in the chat room that we've crashed the pick pick website way. But they're that good, you know, have a lot of fun with their there. And they're just really nice people, too. I mean, honestly, I talked earlier about how you want to keep your expenses. You won't be able to manage the expenses. You want to look around a lot and see what other vendors are out there and you want toe be smart about where you're spending your dollars and make sure that you're not over paying. When you think about other products and services available to you, that is true. But in addition, if you're working with somebody that's making your life easier and they're friendly and they bring a good sweet energy to the conversations that you're having and they're a little bit more costly, I think to me I budget that in, You know, I'm willing. Sometimes Teoh pay for a service that may not be the cheapest one on the market. If I feel like the interactions I have are careful and considerate and kind. I mean, I don't want to work with a very, very cheap vendor who treat me like crap because that's also part of my day in part of my experience, you know, So that goes into I like working with nice people. But I think we I was going to say What you said is really key is that you budget it in and so into your best and the you know you're gonna work with I am vendor than you have to budget that it Yeah, I mean, tying into the life work, balance. We all know that costs of sales are not always dollars. They're like tears. And I'm tired. And why am I still doing this? And yeah, budgeting. Okay, so, um Okay. So, uh, what was that last part? About two Member was I finished with it. The books album designed. So Yeah, I work with modern designs, but I feel like it's a really, um a collaborative process. And I like that. And one of the other things I like about them is that you can dio unlimited changes. So that helps now, too. So just kind of recapping Yes. Um, we talked about word of mouth being probably the most important to you. Yes. And then we talked about volunteering, um, or auctions? Yes. And charitable charitable causes, internal causes and community events. So, you know, I think the phrase paying it forward or giving it back sometimes can be used so casually that no one's even hearing it anymore. You know, speaking of, there's a great website out there. Pay it forward. Um, pf photo dot com You get a chance to check it out. They do a great job profiling people who are doing good in this industry and really trying to help people out. Lee Flor de Lee on Twitter She she and I had a great conversation where they put forward. She does a lot of block post for them. She's fabulous. She's just such a sweet person. I love her highly, but you know, I think there are people out there who are really care a lot about trying to get out the message that it's not just all about you, you know, like, what can we do for each other? How can we build each other as a community now has a cumulative artists, but as a community of people you know in any sort of environment we're living in And so, um, charitable causes air a huge deal. So some of the things that we do as a studio for the last seven years we've sponsored, I think it's eight Children now through World vision and Save the Children. It's just a monthly payment that we send out to them. That's just right off our credit card. Onda A couple things to think about as an individual who owns a company. If you can have a lot of expenses a charitable credits come out of your business versus your personal expenses. There's an upside to that in terms of taxation. So think about that as you're going into it. I'm not gonna give texts advice, because I just don't may be liable for that. But look into that because I think that's a transition we made because as a family, we were doing a lot of charitable donating. But you know, kind of moving that over. I think it's very helpful. Um, here's another thing about tax. I'm gonna I'm gonna share the story because it it was awful. And it's so important that people know this. When I moved into our new studio space, we were working from home. We moved into the studio and something about the business change of address triggered an audit. So we had a sales tax audit and remember hearing about thinking what a pain. I have spent a couple days getting them my receipts in opening my books, and but it will be over soon, and I'm doing everything by the books. I'm doing everything right. So have nothing to worry about with six months long. In the end, I had to write a check for $26,000 which I ended up getting knocked down to 13 8 I think. Andi, let me tell you why I live in North Carolina and I moved there from San Francisco when I lived in San Francisco. If you remember talking about the business Iran in San Francisco, we'd start up a business. And I knew all about the fact that we charged taxes for products and not for services. So I moved to North Carolina. I walked into the N. C. Department of Revenue and I said, How would I do that here? I'm starting a business here, and I just wanna make sure I'm doing everything right. So it came in not only with the best of intentions, but also the actions to follow. The woman said. It's really easy. You make sure you put a tax of I think the time is like 6.75% on any products to sell and anything that isn't a product involved. It is just a service. There's no text, so just make sure you make them different line items in your invoice and you're fine. So that is how I did it from day one. Fast forward to 3.5 years later of being in business. I sit down. She says I want to see every single transaction that you've ever done your business for the last three solid years. So I'm pulling everything together. And of course, during that process, we had moved accounting systems and we had so receipts and pulling all that in and she camped in my studio. I mean, it felt so invasive and frustrating. And it was so, um, business pace numbing. I mean, everything became about the conversations I was having with this agent, and it became something that I am not gonna make a statement about the North Carolina Tax Board here. But it was incredibly subjective experience. I didn't feel like we were talking about rules anymore. I think I felt we got a conversations about, um, preferences and feelings that day and what I want to cover and how much I want to drill down on. Even though you just showed it all to me, let's go over it again. It became exhausting. And so we did this for six months, and in the end, she said that there's a two line statement in the North Carolina tax code, and somebody could probably look it up and find it. That was basically saying Ah, line that I read very clearly and explained to me very clearly that you tax for products and that services, she said. The way she read that was that you tax for products and services that may lead to products need to be taxed as well. And she said it was completely up to the personal interpretation of the agent, and that was her interpretation. So every single session fee that never taxed had to be taxed retroactively. Every single wedding I'd shot that had been delivered virtually and there's no products, especially because the first year I was doing a lot of that virtually, um, had to be taxed and and she came up with this total bill for those three years of 26 whatever 1000. And I said, How am I supposed to do that? And she was just fell back and send a bill to everybody like you mean obliterate my client list. So I, of course, made the decision immediately that there's no way I was gonna go back until clients. I'm taxing them differently. Now on what we had to do was go line by line by line and discover that, Okay, this bride had actually come in from Texas, and she had her brought her wedding in North Carolina. But she lives in Texas. Okay, so that one's out and we don't have to charge tax on that and had to go one by one by one by one. And in the end, I had to actually negotiate similar to, like, if I were buying a car, I had to negotiate with her. Um, that okay, because, oh, it was three years. We're not just all those back tax. It was now penalties and interest. So I had to go back and say, looking at all the last three years, even talking about this, I'm like, you know, getting frustrated again because it's so, um, it was like if you're somebody who's staying up to three in the morning and you're exhausted and you're wiped out and you're putting everything into this, it's so jarring because you're like, I'm making all this money that I'm giving to this state tax organization, and they're basically killing the golden Goose golden goose layer yet building, building, egg producer. I mean, it's like, Why would you want to put me out of business? And why would you want to do this to multiple business? It doesn't make business sense to me like, why would you do that? And yet that was really what the purpose seemed to be. Eso my understandings. I found out later that the photography industry being targeted and I knew about six of the people just in my area had the same experience and we hadn't negotiate down that. If I were to check that day like seriously was like by your car everywhere to check that day, they would wave the penalties and just have the way of the interest and just charge fallacies. And so I wrote a check that day with the intention of going to court, but to go ahead and knock it down to that amount that we'd agreed on. Um And then I spent the next two weeks kind of sitting there thinking this kill this was so exhausting. If I hadn't had the revenue built up to date in my business, it would have put put me out of business because it wasn't just the money. It was the opportunity cost of how much time I spent on it in the last six months. And I had the realization and I had the realization that going to court now meant an unlimited amount of time that was gonna have to continue to deal with this. And I just kind of did the less than for what they have time to move on, you know? But I think it's really, really, really important for photographers to know this. Check in with your state and here's the thing. When I told her, I walked in and they told me this and she said, Show me where it's in writing and signed and stamped. Get a good account. No, the moral is Get everything right written in the finance damn it! And stamping what your what your local county rules are your state rules are And make sure it's documented for you because if she'd walked in, said that I should of the paper would have been done. Got a minute? I'm so glad I live in a tax free country. Oh, that is nice. To live in a tax free country is How much easy in Canada you have to charge GST. A lot of people don't know that, cause it's as long as your revenue is under. I think like $12,000 a year profit don't need to charge GSD or if you're in a province that has HST at the charge that, um But if it's a soon as you if you make $12,001 you need Hub GST on all of that stuff So just charge. Suzie Suzie both photo and Twitter is saying the tax talk is freaking her out. The tax stock is freaking her. Well, it was freaky. Yeah, I remember thinking because you know what else it is? It's demoralizing. No, it's demoralizing because you put so much energy and effort and, um and so I just listed a 1,000,000 negative things from experience, right? Here's the upside. That'll never happen again. I'm incredibly careful about that now, Um, Number two is I got a really, really, really, really great opportunity to see just how much I love my business because I fought for it and I care and every line item I fought for because it wasn't about the money anymore. It became about the point of like, No, you're not gonna do this to me in my business and my client list. Um, And so I got to really appreciate just how much effort and carried put in this business and how much I want to keep it and how much effort I want to get into keeping growing it, which transitions us really well. Back to this. Well, can I just put any cap again? Sagan. Good job for getting through. Thank you. Thank you. I mean, I honestly like it reduced me to tears on multiple occasions. And I'm like, Why am I crying over that tax agent? I don't like her. She's not invited to any of my party's. So I have a request. More information about bringing people in. So I'm kind of just recapping what you said about word of mouth and then you said okay, back to marketing tactics. Well, you said charitable causes, and then you said gift certificates. And then I guess I'm wondering other ways. What else is on that list? Yeah, I think this is on purpose that I know. We know. Yeah, ok, well, here we have volunteer charity, pay it forward. Auctions. Uh, word of mouth community involvement is a big one. Get certificates and it's here. A Ghoshal cards. Okay, emotional cars, I think. I think primal cards are a little bit of a dying marketing effort. People are more, more just kind of not bothering, and they're still really valuable. They're still really cool because a lot of people walk into artistic cool vendors and you still see the problem cards delivered in a nicer way. I would put a lot of effort into looking filled your primal car. I always pick those up, too. Yeah, I love that. You walk through and you see that I want to see a beautiful find out image. Me like I might just pick that up and frame it. I think people tell me a little time. Do you have any thoughts about direct mail? Yes, I don't love direct mail. I know people who say good things about it. I think maybe it's the environmentalist to me who just cringes a little bit and putting all those up in Malin them all out. That might be it, but I also think that you could do achieve very similar results and very similar targeting with Elektronik male Elektronik promo cards and newsletters. And so you have. What I was going to say is that all of these are great things, but they're still very, very broad. How do you get that money abroad? I e e something shiny. You know, I really do, cause I wasn't listening, okay? All these things are great, but they're still They can be very broad. How do I make a promotional card? Are already these things they target taken target somebody at a low price point or at a high price? You're saying, how do you get specific about reaching? You're talking during that point. Fine. Yes. Okay, I'd love to answer that. Did you have something like that? Just do you have a like an email blast? Uh, company that you we use My Emma is our newsletter thing. There's also constant contact. There's eye contact. There's Say it again, mad me, me things to look at when you're getting and I'm gonna go back to you in a second. But this actually ties in things to look at when you're deciding on who you want as your kind of newsletter. email blast. Sort of thing tracking. You want really, really good tracking. You want to see that? The stuff you sent out, where who opened it up, how long they were checking it out? What percentage of people opened it up in one amount of time, depending on if I sent a Met newsletter out at five PM on a Friday. What were the results versus if I sent it out? Maybe a 10 a.m. On a Tuesday. Who did they ford it to? What links did they click on? What links did they ignore? That's really valuable information on continuing to target market better and cleaner and sharper and really hone in on who you want to reach in the best way you can reach them. So consider that strongly, Um, the question about how do you reach your target market then that So that's one way is think about, you know, when our Windsor target market routing these sort of things. I did a whole thing a walk through in my one of things I did where I talked about really getting to know your target market, and that comes down to this comes back. Teoh kind of some of the one of one marketing things. But apply a lot right now to business is if you actually visualize who your target market is like What? What is it? A family. Um, what's his name? What's her name about? How old are they? How many kids they have? Where do they live? What kind of car do they drive? What neighborhood? A man. What functions do they go to where they spend their leisure time? What things do they watch? What things do they read? Like, really think about it. If you sit there and you write a whole story about this fictional family that you want to be made riel and you want to have a relationship with and you want, you know, photograph them, you want to sell to them, they want them to tell all their friends at the next cocktail party. You can start really honing in on exactly who your target market is, because you can figure out the ways to reach them, you know? And if you break that down even further, what they watch, what they listen to Do they listen to NPR? Okay, let me consider maybe doing a small spot on NPR for some sort of future advertising. Do they go to cocktail parties? Do they support certain fundraisers? Okay, that's a fundraiser that when I have an auction at, um, where do they shop? Okay, I want to get some promo cards in those stores. That's rooms. You start kind of really nailing down t that person. What if they drive? Maybe I want to drive something that looks kind of like that as best I can. I can't drive a BMW, but maybe a Jetta looks kind of cool. What were some of the steps that brought you from that starting point of? What did you start at eight years ago? $75 to, I mean, some of the key key things out. Year 12 and three doing this because you were I went from a $100 to 125 to 152 1 70 I was like, Okay, it was like getting in the pool when it's kind of cold. Okay, I'm or move OK and more. I kind of did it that way. Um, and then I brought myself up, so I think that was at 450 for the last two years. You know, up until months ago, I have no concept of time anymore, some certain amount of time. And, uh, and for me, because I wanted to find again. But when I set my session fee, this is what I care about. I don't care what anybody else to such envious, because that's the other thing. I find that when I look around or whatever else is doing from from the purpose of trying to set myself apart as a competitors or the purpose of seeing how are they all doing it so I can see how to do it? What I'm doing is putting all my energy on them, putting all my energy here, and I'm draining it from my business and what I want to do, what I would have grown what I want to envision as a success. And I really believe that strongly on. But that doesn't mean you can't gain inspiration like, see a beautiful shot out there. And you're like, Ah, something about they were the way that use that sun flare. I'm gonna go out and try that. I want to keep that in mind. I think that's really cool. Gaining inspiration is so different than copying like it's not the same thing, and some people may use some words to describe the other action on. But I think I need to get clean about that, because again, you're not being fair to you as an artist if you're trying to be somebody else because you're not giving yourself enough credit to grow and really see who you are. And it's the same thing with business. If you're seeing how everybody else does business and try to set your prices and make your look look like that, you're not getting a chance to figure out who you are, what kind of brand you want to develop. So what was the question about finding the right kind of clients and how you have targeting them very specifically that way, Going the things that I like to shoot. I feel as though if I wanted to make a lot of Lenny doing photography, which, ideally to Yeah, um, I feel like you know your target client for the whole, like being able to make a good profit on on price Point is, you know, a little bit of the older established families. So, like moms in their thirties, Mom's guys in their thirties usually probably. But I feel like the shots that I want to take a lot of the time the war established clients aren't the ones that are really wanting to do that type of photography there, more looking like a really nice like everyone smiled. Believe other pants. But you're helping to move them in the direction of your work by showing them some of what? Maybe they're used to. Okay, some of what's a compromise with your cells in some of just your style. You know, I definitely have clients that I worked with for years. The first time I met them, everything. Their house was like an oil painting, and they were wearing the long dress in the huge bow, and they were standing just like this. Or they're sitting on a couch next to a fireplace or a vase. There's nothing wrong with that kind of talk of you, but it's absolutely not the kind of tart FIA dio. So what I would do is you some sort of shots that I thought were a little more traditional in keeping with the look that they're comfortable with. And then, you know, it's the same thing about getting in the pool of ease them in by showing up some of my work and in some of the stuff that I think is really funny, impactful I'd like to go to if I walk into their home now it's like all the stuff I love. But what if the stuff that they originally have it like it steals my soul? It takes it and it steps on it like that? I like, you know, like that Really traditional. Like I just hate it. I just It's not what I want to shoot. But why was that matter? What does it matter that I shoot it anyway? No. Like, what is it? What is that you're saying? To even do a couple shots like that would steal your soul. I guess I could do a couple. Let me ask you question. Who's the session for? Not me. No, no, really, I guess. No, it's both of you. I guess it is. It is because you're doing some things for them and some things for you, right? You know? And if you could intermingle that in a way that makes everybody happy. It's like any sort of relationship. Either I win and you lose. What if we both kind of figured a way to mostly Win or Princess Di had this great quote, she said. They say it's better to be happy than rich. But what about like, moderately rich and kind of movie? You know, like that there's Yeah, there's compromises that play here that doesn't strip your soul out. Okay, you know, and I hear if doctors say that, like, you know, talk about the client, that they want that shots and oh, my God wasn't a puke and threw up and it's not going to I'm not saying you would, but think about the fact that, like we all have different styles and different things we love. And for me, I don't shoot traditional shots, but I I will look at certain traditional shots now and, um, and just kind of be blown away at the perfection of them. And that's not high felt. Eight years ago, I would look at them like, Oh my God, how boring and lifeless that I hate it now I'm like, Look how well that that that subject was modeled by the light. And look how precise that hair light is right exactly there and how it's skimming right off the edge of the ear and look at how the fingers air so delicate and the poses just completely complimentary to this child. That's still not what I want to shoot. But I want to use a lot of those rules to make my images look better. And parents who have got these photos, which I think are great But they Yeah, he wasn't smiling. Side it, Like it. It's like, Well, your baby's not old enough to smile yet. What am I supposed to do? They just want the smiling photos. How do you get around there? Um well, other than making the babies, I thought they were great photos. Yeah, but they just obviously didn't because I wanted this mining photo. Let me show you an image. Let me tell you, this little story that's exactly this is exactly this this'll image. That and I think I may end up doing is just have you zoom in on my laptop unless I can court it up real quick. I caught up in a mental quick to the TV with that, You know, the TV's over there. I'm gonna turn around. So, um, and then maybe just be ready to show this. But let me just tell you two seconds about this story. This is, like, she one of my, um and this ties into sales very nicely. So we're not actually getting off business at all? I had an experience with, um this family. Where have you ever seen me talk before? You've probably heard this story because it's one of my favorites, But, um, I had this experience with this family where it was mom, dad and little girl and, um, but don't show yet. Okay? Promise? Promise. Nico hasn't got much sleep. We have to talk about, um, inside this experience of this family where we spent the whole morning in the park and we were having so much fun, and she was skipping and dancing and playing, and she had, on the cue to south it where it was just, like, just so cool put together. She had the kind of like the little girl we photographed with the family who's now on the cover of this thing. Where was just put together really well and her hair was up in pigtails and she's just adorable and fun. And the whole shoot we did about two or three outfit changes, and the whole shoot is just her laughing and playing at snuggle with Mommy and Daddy was like, the perfect shoot. So we're getting done. We're tying down and stuff. And the whole time we kept telling her about how we're done, we're gonna go the ice cream parlor. Not we me, But then they're going to the ice cream parlor, and she's gonna get her ice cream. And that was became, like, a fun thing I'm talking about like, guy get shot, playing at two scoops. What kind of toppings going to get? We get to the end of the shoot and we're about to start packing up and leaving. And I'm telling them about when they're going to get their session and back and what to expect and all that sort of thing. And then, um, as red to go. Her mom says, 00 totally forgot. We want to put that one dress on you that we got from Aunt Mabel, and she will just be so mad if we don't get one image of the new. She sent it just so you could have the picture of her in that dress. So this little girl's about three years old hears that. And she's just like but I'm done. But she was done. Um, and she my my, my, my Pampers, my treat. So we pull the clothing off the little girl in the park, you know, she puts the dress on her and shoved it all inserts button up the back, and it's like it's actually a wool dress and it's long sleeve, and it's like a warm day. And the little girl was just like, Well, that's not fair, you know? And she got really upset, and she end up throwing yourself on the ground. Having one of those temper tantrums were like, She loses, you know, everything. Everyone of her limbs and, you know, and she just goes nuts. Noticed her stuff. Where did you take my computer? Am I gonna have it to show? Are you doing something top secret ish? Are you buying me a gift camera? They're using my pass code to buy things on my site. Um, so anyway, she ends up having this major major fit, and, um and I pause until I have a practice, show you about it. But let me skip forward a little bit to say when we're in the sale session and we're sitting down and going through everything. We're looking at all these fun, happy, cute, adorable images and they're smiling. And this and that, like, got 11. You caught our baby. She's so sweet. And get the family images and we have this really nice sale. I was really happy with the sale because it's a combination of a whole bunch of things. And when we end the sale session on like and I've got one more image to show you and it's my favorite of all time. I mean, I love this image, and to this day it's still one of my favorite images I've ever shot. Um, and I said, I have to show you this, but I had to save it till last and like, Okay? And I'm thinking I'm making this great presentation, you know, like this is gonna blow them away because they thought they saw the good stuff. I pull up this image. Can I show it. I love the suspense built into this. Can I show it better be a really good image. Okay, give me a controller. Yep. Well, it's not that one. It wait for it. Legend for biliary being. Do we get to see it? Do we could show it. Hold on the audience, exit the live audience. Uh, and it's when she completely lost Every Boehner body fell to the ground was so miserable, and her dad says That's it. No ice cream. So she stands up and she looks at me and she looks at me like I will suck it up for one more shot. And I love this image and I'm showing it to them. And I'm like, Oh, my God, look at her out. Great. She is. You know, she's got, like, these huge round cheeks and she's got, like, no ankle. She's all Kangol, and she's fantastic, and her little lip is popping out just so I'm thinking they're going to go nuts and, like, wallpaper their house with us and they go Thank I mean, like ISS. That's all right. We're really happy with what we got that we're good and I just like from a business perspective and artistic perspective standing like stole your soul, right? So I just grabbed it up and, like, mixed in some sort of porter. And so I ended up saying, Do you have to get a five by seven? That's what I got. That's what I've reduced it to. So they went out with their floppy five by seven, with everything else done. I was just like man. So I held out of that image. I made it into a huge campus, put it up in my studio, put it on the website, and and And when Range finder did, I profiled me like, two years later, I gave him a handful. My images that my favorite And this is the one they chose to do a full page in the job. Get your soul back thistles. The one they chose to do. Ah, full page, image of and call Appear. I said I want to see Oh, I went to their house. They were actually a nearby, and I showed them I just wanted you to get a copy. This magazine look and I showed it. And again, it been a couple of years later. So when that had happened. She was in a tantrum E stage like she'd been great that day, but they were so emotionally tied to the annoyance of a tantrum and how fresh ring that was that they couldn't see that image and think, That's awesome. They saw that image instead. A There she goes again. I can't stand that now. Two years later, I shouldn't the image and they haven't looked at she Mom told me that they took the five by seven through the desk. They basically bought it to appease me because I can't apartment on how great this image eyes And um now they looked at her. Dad says, like, Remember that like now she's got, you know, a face with structure and it and and she goes legs that don't just go in one line and and she goes on, I can't so I don't see that anymore. She's like a little girl now and then that buying a huge bread a couple of years later. So when you think about sales and you think about things like, I only want to see the smiles and this and that, sometimes what you're dealing with is a parent that's a little too emotionally tied to something, you know. And if you give it some time and you let that emotion died down, you let that attachment to a negative feeling kind of wonder way and nostalgia comes in, you know, if all they want a smiley things now, later, they're gonna be like, we'll see a picture with the baby's not smiling like hey, look so introspective and dreamy. And there's something about that that's so soulful and beautiful that just they just might not have that right now. So I will do that if I have a few favorite images that my clients don't agree with me on how fantastic they are. I'll pull it out later and I'll remind them. And I've had some big sales that way. Just by waiting a little bit and letting them separate themselves from any sort of motion that you know doesn't go into the sale. He loves that. It is a great idea. We were welcomed tomorrow. I just want to let you know that, um I'm sorry. Alison and Jeff Rod Rogers air watching. Hey, Yeah, We're gonna go in a little sales thing. I'm gonna be shared some tips to thank you guys. Oh, asked them since they're there, What the what the discount is and what the giveaways that they want to do for Lobo be OK, So if you check out LeBow be dot com little blogger, big ideas. They have a bunch of photographer tools and like much of tigers, tools and sales products And, um, like, cool, funky things you could do with your images, little framing and textures and stuff. And they're just really again. I keep going back to people. I like there. Probably nice people on. They're very good at sales and running a business. And so check that out. I think we're gonna have a 50% off code that he's gonna tell me what it is and some sort of giveaway that he's gonna tell me what it is right now via uses. Okay, Okay. It will be the first. So releases with plans on today's asked you whether you're those images we're gonna end up on your website or from marketing when clients can you put up legal forms, contracts, any model releases when a um, thank you for setting all that up, by the way that was nice. It was worth. That's a cool image, right? My wrong? Not wrong. Um, when I booked a session initially and someone pays their sessions e they actually sign that they're paying the session fee. It's kind of a receipt combo, Burbage that says, understanding that I can use these images for any sort of marketing purposes on my blawg, any sort of thing I do. It's basically a catch all phrase. It says you understand that these images are mine. I own them on and, of course, would love to have you have the rights to reproduce them or by the prints from them. But the understanding is that this is the artist's work, you know, So I kind of cover myself for everything. When I wrote my book, we had to get everybody to sign additional model release. Same thing with the DVD inside intemperate Children photography. When we did that, I had to go back and some of us we put my time again. I still want to use that picture on just you know, but I technically, according to the verb, a job, my document, which I should probably triple check technically don't need Teoh but I do that anyway, just out of consideration and such. So that's another thing you have to think when you're building your business is all the legal stuff like not only how are you setting up your company in terms of what you know, set up? Are you using, whether it's an LSE or a partnership or sole proprietorship? But also how are you going to do transactions with your clients and what do you liable for and what do you not liable for? And how are you protecting yourself legally when it comes to any sort of thing, especially when you get into weddings but also with Portrait's? So to make sure that you have Burbage in place, that takes care of you, too. So we just crashed. Um, Allison, that's hilarious. So let's just touch on cost of goods sold like what kind of products? To use a lot of people. Product selection isn't. Should I go over here? Yeah, let's go over here. Look at this. We haven't even got I know fired a click yet. Nobody's shooting. This is all happening, and nobody's shooting yet. This is just what we're so starting with. We're talking about what you need todo to run, maintain and take care and grow a successful business. You we should all of our prices. I'm serious. It's a lot of work. That's a lot of stuff. Were not even were like 1/4 in, um, so cost of sales. What kind of products do you want to select? I would suggest a couple things you could go just on the products you love. You can go just in the products that are great cost savings for you. You can go adjust on products that are an absolute fantastic cost of goods sold versus a price to your client ratio. Or you can find some sort of middle ground there. But the the point is to tracked what track? What? Your cost of goods sold. Track what you're paying for. We carry a super books. We've been doing that since years before. Ever met Kevin Kevin Cambodia Who? Um, he's the right base of the rep. First book. Yeah, yeah, but another ridiculously nice person. But a single book for me has been a really brilliant client option because it allows me toe have those sale sessions where the client's sake, I can't fit one more thing on my wall. And I say, Well, you don't have Teoh because we have this book on. Then you can do some sort things with the design is 100% up to you, you know, And you can do layouts where the design is completely just image, image, image, image and really almost kind of traditional in that respect. Or you could do funky things with swirling and background and textures or whatever the case may be. We have several different design options in our studios to the client can look and tell me what their stylists I don't want to fly in blind on this. They either love this kind of look or that they have a designer to read boot designed a bit design as well. Yep. Um, and of course, you can always get There's a whole bunch of different design options you can do with layouts and stuff. But the big thing about that I find at least with the Asuka books, is the markup ratio S s. No, you're right. That's it. Yeah, I think you say Luca, but it's spelled, um the big markup. The thing you could do with the Asuka books is if you are sitting down and designing page by page yourself, you have to factor in the time that you're putting in and think about whether the cost of goods sale sold is worth it to you. What I do is I outsource the design. Um and then I take that and the cost of the product. And I put all that together and the cost. Of course, of the time that I put into that portion of the product portrait session on, I come up with a figure that I go ahead, multiply times three and then charged my clients. So my sticker book something The temple tens or about 12. 50 50 13 50 Something like that. Um, the physical process cost of that book is significantly less. But the design time you have to think about So, um, what you could do in that situation specifically with a superb book? Because when you order one thing and you have it printed and you do specific that you do secondary printings of it, um, they become significantly cheaper. And for you, you can then sit your client. Okay, It's 13 50 for by 10. But if you want to get another book for the grand parents, it's half the price and then so on and so forth so you can make. And that that's again, that's all gravy. That the additional revenue comes in is just completely flat on top. Because the cost of the book is not that high. It's your design efforts and you designed time. And if you already put that out there and you can reproduce it, that's great business. Anything that you're building in your business, that's scalable. You do it one time, and you get multiple levels of income and revenue and sales from it. It's something that you wanna be paying a lot of attention to. How many things in my business can I spend all this time and effort and focus on and know that I can hand it off and it can constantly be resold? Grandma book is a great idea. I'm gonna put that one in this. That's a good idea. What fell it many time? Yeah, yeah, and they're really good for that. And also, I find that if I have a problem or I'm running late, or, um, I'm like I have definitely done the call to seek a book where I'm like. Okay, first of all, it's not you, it's May. I was supposed to order this four weeks ago, and now it's excess X's birthday and I need this in two weeks. Uh um, And to be able to have those relationships where your vendors can save your Patika, you know, And I've had that multiple times where I've had a situation where, like I should have done this. It's not my fault. It's your fault. Can you help me on and talk to the right person? How can put things in place to help you? That's what your product work flows will help you to your product. Workflow. So you're not forgetting something that yeah yeah, absolutely. What you said It's not my fault. It's your fault. Did you mean the opposite? I told him at the office. OK, I was blaming. I meant to say the other way, but I really thought it's still not my fault. It's not you, it's me, isn't it? Started and I do start conversations like that a lot like I should have done this. That's why I think vendor relationships to be say that about managing vendor relationships and caring for vendor relationships. That's really, really important because it's a little bit more than just like, who do you pick to do what great go out source of them. These vendors, You build relationship with them because they're your team there, your studio staff, by extension and anything that they do right or do wrong reflects on you, and that really is a big deal. So if I send a print out four times to a lab and it comes back four times all messed up, my client thinks I'm slow or I don't know how to print anything or did a terrible job, even though it's not my fault. So I want to be really careful about who I choose to do my printing, on what kind of response time I have and how much they care about any sort of issues we have, how much they're going to really jump through hoops to fix things and turn them around on time. So I, you know, I think also, honestly, your FedEx or ups, anybody who's that person is delivering products to you. That's a really good relationship to care for two because they will go the extra mile when things are lost or you can't find them or you need them to come in sooner or whatever. Just realize that everybody that you're doing business with from a vendor relationship perspective, really has an effect on your image when it comes to your client. And I didn't mean that, like, literally. Tamara Yes, bench photo in Twitter would like to know if there's a sweet spot for the number of products you carry so clients don't get overwhelmed. Yes, yes, I think there's two things in place. I want to offer my clients a good variety of products. For some reason, they say, I don't do this or don't do this. I have this. I don't want to overwhelm them and have them walk in and say, Have you guys ever eaten at Cheesecake Factory? Uh, look at that menu and I am full like I'm like, I don't even know where to start. This is exhausting. I I think I need to buy a watch now because there's not gonna have on Page six and everything is fried. Um, thank you a great thing to get a cheesecake factory, by the way, is the have those chicken lettuce wraps. But I'm a vegetarian. I don't eat chicken and you get portabello mushroom instead. Very light Good product to get when you're overwhelmed by the menu. Yeah, but the same thing when you and everybody is different. But for me, if I walk up to an all you can eat buffet and somebody hands me a plate and it's all you can eat and there's all those products, I feel so intimidated by how many choices I have. My stomach close up with nerves and I can't eat anything like I want you. Just give me a little something on plating. Thank you very much, especially when you don't know about photography or you you're not. You have no idea what you want any these products are. You don't know what the differentiation is between them. You don't notice what's a good value are poor value. Are eso by that? My pricing list is a card that looks like this. That's my entire priceless. What my pricing less used to be about six or 55 years ago was something that looked like Santa's list of who's good and bad. I mean, it was just like Okay, here's every option you can ever get and let me show you because I want you to know I can do anything you need. Instead, what I was saying is like, OK, make these choices from a 1,000,000 different products and tell me what you want. So my pricing structure is such that instead of saying a seven by 10 process an eight by 10 crosses an eight by 12 cost this a 12 by 16 Costas 88 to and under. What's your next price break? 12 by 16 and under two are 60 by 20 and under 20 by 24 under. Whatever the case may be, because the cost differences within those are so slight and then I have and most people that will get images little larger. And I like them to get images a little larger because it shows off the work more and then leads to more referrals and people see them in their home. Eso I have an incentive for them to go a little bit larger and the cost differences so slight that I'm excited about that cost difference between my cost her cost of because again, all those costs of my time and effort and physical labor is already accounted for. No matter what is it going to his prices on? And then it's the cost of the product. And decision making is one of the highest anxiety producing things that humans experience. So the less decisions you make your clients make, the more decisions you can make for them. It'll result in better sales. Perfect example. After we finish that lighting snare yesterday and everything they walked up to didn't work and we had to go back and assemble it properly and make it all work. Um, at the end of the day, I was like, Where you wanna go dinner. I'm like, Oh, my God, that just freaked me out. I can't decide that somebody would just tell me where I'm going and I'll fall into a car. Please. That would be great, because you get maxed out. You know you can't make decisions properly and guess what else that's doing. Guess what else it is when you have a budget choices in front of you. Where is your decision coming from? From here or from here? I'm here and do I want people looking at their images thinking here now I want it all here. So I want to take that off the place and you'll see that when we do the little mini sale session, I want it to be about like the images. You know, that's what they're buying, and that's what I want them to think about and care about and not even just the images. It's more like the emotion tied into it, the experience and relationships they're having all that sort of thing. I recently had a client where, and I have too many products, but they were only looking at collectors. A handful of really simple products, like five by sevens and four by six is and so on and so forth. And the woman had gone toe to my site to do the purchasing, and it was very simple in a brilliant person that I was dealing with. And she I looked at the stuff and then wrote back to me and just like, you know, what I just looked at. It was like just a little bit too confusing. Can you just send me a disc cause I'm used to going to this one side and making books and building books myself as a very busy person, very busy. But yet that was her comfort zone of, like just submitted a disc of the images. Because I build my own books. I know that's gotta be time consuming for her. What's my best tool to combat that mentality? Okay, so there's two things there. Um Do you know whether she enjoys building around books? Um, that's a great question. I think there there is some enjoyment. Probably. Okay, maybe that might be something that you choose necessary. Want taking off her plate that she enjoys doing that. I had a bride who, when it came down to dinner album, one of things she was most looking forward to and all of her wedding was building around. And she said to me, Would you mind if I did all that myself? I said, I love you. Here you go. Just respecting the fact that some people get enjoyment out of it and they want to start from somewhere and do the rest themselves. And that's one of the reasons I do have a buy the rights to reproduce DVD is an option of my price list. And I said this the other day, but just to be very clear, I don't ever sell the rights. The rights belong to me. I saw the rights to reproduce Andi, I'm really straightforward about that. When I do hand over a DVD, I make sure I let the clients know verbally which labs are good options in which I would stay away from. And I do that verbally cause I don't want to put it in writing in case labs change management. I also don't be insulting or rude to current labs that just don't have the standards I want in place and they'll sell them the rights to reproduce. And I have that sold at a price that when I do make that sound, that if that were to be the only thing I sold, I'm pretty excited about It s sweet. That works for me. Okay. So inversely. What if it is a comfort zone issue, right. We posit on that question. I just want one last things. I don't miss it. Miss saying this is that when I do sell the rights to reproduce, I also have an option in my pricing packages that once you reach a certain amount of revenue that I feel is like, Okay, I'm feeling really good about this. Then we'll include the rights produce as an option. And and for that reason, it's like I'll have people that are, you know, within $1000 we'll buy more products. They know they're gonna get that too. Okay, so please tell me your sexual diversity if this person doesn't really that much enjoy making the books that just okay, Right? So you're asking, like, what do you do about combat? I would make this. I'm used to Walgreens on. Yeah, I would then make sure that when you're selling those DVDs and you make that purchase, it's your completely content with the price. I would make the price something that you feel really reflects the value that you put in that work. And I think that's something that when I talk to people and they feel like they're gonna you know Well, I'm not really gonna do a lot. I'm just gonna put on DVD and I'm gonna hand it to them. Well, you know how much you just did. Let's talk about what you just did. You just did this and then you say, Well, I'm not really given them anything. I mean, you just gave them all that time and consideration and thought and strategy and decision making, and you got stressed out. You know, you just did a time. You just did a time. And that's the thing. When it comes to sales, I'm gonna just jump starting. Say this now, before we get our sales that everything that you're doing here, where's your profit coming in from your cells? This part? Everything you're going to do with every session you do, you're going to do every time, regardless of how much you sell at the end. So why would you do 90% of all the work and then detect last 10% and say, Oh, whatever. Okay, here you go. You know, I sat down a few years ago and looked at a spreadsheet and thought, Let me calculate all my session fees and see what I get at the end of the year by the average amount of sales I've done this year. The average amount sessions I had this year. What did that session if you come to and then let me take my average sales and tally that up. And the session fees collected all the way across the board were like a drop in the bucket. They were nothing compared to the revenue brought in by the sales. So the session fee for me is not where I'm making my money. The session fee for me. I don't mean to say that arrogantly like that. That's not what I mean. I mean, in comparison, Where you making your money? If you feel like, Well, they paid me the sessions. He already So I got that or something. Um, you're still gonna be doing all that effort. And that's what convinced me to make sure I sat down with every client when it comes to sales. Because before that, I didn't before that I was so underwater with all of this. By the time I got to the sales, I was exhausted. I was exhausted, and I was just like, you know, it just place an order online, and, um and we're good, you know? And what that did is that made me an order taker, not a sales consultant. Not, you know, not somebody who actually sat down and discuss the art with them and talked about what was best for them. I just took the order, whatever it might be. And I ran it through and they got the prince. Um and that meant in 90% of the work I did. I was leaving on the table regardless. And that 10% is where I should have kicked it in and said OK, ever he'd done all this, You know, we're in. We're in the fourth quarter of the game, and this is gonna win it or lose it. And I have done everything it took to get here. Why would I just kind of sit down on the bench and say whatever you know, the digital files? So I know that there's a lot of their some photographers that because the world is so digital now that they will sell like they sell all their prints and then they'll have the rights to reproduce or at work for a lesser price, Um, like smaller resolution files just for people to share online? Uh huh. Do you think it would be? Do you think it's worth it til, like, have you know the big files. You could buy them this for this much. Or for $200 you can have all smaller, low resolution files just for facebooking. That, like I know for me. I would when I when I pay my photographer for my family, only around I don't like. So for us, it's all about sharing things online. So without those files, it's not even almost worked me taking the photos of them for my own documentation of my family. Right? Um, s 02 things. One when it comes to a Facebook. So as a whole, I mean, obviously, I think a lot of you may know where if you don't know, you should know that you can now print from Facebook. So any image that you put online on Facebook, somebody can actually print that. Did you guys know that? But if you make the yeah, that's a resolution that if they printed, they would look right. But I want to make sure people do you know that because that's actually critically important. They have a service now that you click. Yes, I want to print this. And so any image that you're uploading when you think I'm just uploading at regular image. And, of course, Facebook's gonna resize it. It's going to look like this. No, they can download an image and print it so realize that that's now a relatively new functionality. Think it's just a couple months old? Six weeks old or something? Um And so the first thing I would consider is what you said about making sure it's low resolution, and you have some sort of watermark on it. So you do. They do print it. They have that consideration. Sorry. You do watermark. Everything okay? Well, first, let me ask you because a question from Trevor Morse in Twitter do you recommend using social media, Facebook, Twitter Use all these things. We put that on their social media as a marketing tool because after Twitter, you now have one hour left in your day. If that to go on Facebook, right? Yes. I your only recommend social media in my business for marketing because, um, the nearly all my clients on Facebook, like nearly all my clients, a few that are not on Facebook are very, very proud about the fact they're not. I think one in 13 people in the world is on fix, but one and 13 in the world and face. I think that's the last. Why does that sound like a low ratio? To me, that seems low. 500 million people in the world have that Dieter are low, but then if you think about it, there's almost people. There's seven billion people on their 500 million. That's crazy. That's great. I'm so glad I got on the ground up with Facebook and invest all that money early on. So do you watermark all of your images that you put on Facebook? I don't I don't upload anything to Facebook anymore, OK, But that's not a conscious decision so much as a very busy person. I didn't want to do anything else until I figured out the best way to do it. And I think I know the best way to do it now, which is basically run in action. When you want a mark, you resize. You've got a small scale in small scale, not just low resolution, but small scale, because you obviously still print Ah lo rez file is a four by six just fine. So what do you What would you suggest for small scale. Like what are you What numbers are you talking? The exact number somebody weigh in. On what? A small scale in the thousands. Yet that's not my area of expertise. Someone wants Teoh weigh in on what the safe size is to upload to Facebook in terms of resolution. DP I, um scalability that that wouldn't be printed as ah, pretty good looking for by six. Please let us now. And I'm wondering if you could turn off that feature on Facebook. There is. There is something that you can dio where you can on and I saw this post by, um I think it was, um, covered. I see it. I saw a post that had an action that you can run to make sure that that wasn't something that happened. Your images tablets up. Can I ask you, Would you consider kind of what they were talking about before just selling the image so that if you do put it on Facebook rather than running the risk that they're going to print it regardless and print it really poorly, just have it online and like you've made your money on that image And if you put it online, you sort of concede to the fact that it will get printed. Anything you put on your block, you're conceding to the fact that anybody could copy and paste it and print it. The question here is, what is the quality that print gonna be and the value put on that? You know. So you're making that decision any time you show any image on your bog. I mean, and I think everything is 72 d p I on, you know, online. So although there will upload threaded FBI images to Facebook all the time, you dio, um, someone saying 7 20 long edge to the by 600. Okay, 400 by 600. Well, yeah, yeah. I mean those air considerations. But all in all, social media, mostly What I'm doing is I'm linking. I'm linking two images and block posts and such them. I think I spoke earlier about comment aggregators how we're needing to get into a place where if you're online and you're on Facebook or on Twitter and you're on LinkedIn and you're on instagram and you're all over the place and you're on your bog and you're put up letting an image to all of these resources and you have basically five different audiences commenting Your fragmenting any sort of base you have in terms of that will help galvanized and excited response in one collective area. You don't have that anymore. You've got a is supposed to Yea, you know. And so I think some sort of I think some sort of comment aggregator system, those air what's coming? And I have that on my new blawg coming in. And I think that you're going to see more and more of that coming about because I think we need new solutions to social media to be able to consolidate all the places we are absolutely social media, I think, is incredibly important. And again, a lot of it is like, you know, I've had clients like I did a post on my website, um, about probably maybe a month ago, three weeks ago about a client I photographed who also is a friend, Lindsay and Steve Wojciechowski. And I did a post about how she had had this crazy experience where she got cancer and they had a test back and I was terrible. But then it was not. It was a bad read. And like, just the incredible, tumultuous world wind experience of her life. And I included some images because immediately after we found out that she was actually going to be okay, um, we we went out and did this photo shoot as my You know what? We must do this. And actually, she called me and she said I when it was in the worst of it, and she's like, any deception as soon as possible. Um, and I was like, Please let me this be my gift. And we went out and did a session, and it's so, um, it was so amazing because it was it was really And it was literally celebrating life. We were genuinely out there photographing their life and their family because she just had a little baby and he was months old. You know, when all this was happening, when she went in for this major surgery and everything, Um, and you know, you put I put a post like that on my block, and then I put a link to it on Twitter and Facebook. It was a celebration of them. I was excited to be able to celebrate them. And I heard from like her relatives and her best friends and the French hadn't talked to from high school and it or whatever. It was not high school, but sometime that she hadn't seen a long time and then the National Association for Professional Child Photography and NAP CP. Um, it's a great little organization, that about organizations, organizations. Yeah, it's a great organization about consolidating child photographers. They ran, ah, link on their blogged about it about, you know, with kind of an overview. And this post ended up getting all this traction, Um, and all these sweet, loving comments and a lot of people saying they're praying for Lindsay and, you know, regardless of your beliefs in that regard, I truly believe collective energy is is impactful on dso you think about like Okay, so I just put up host about photographs, and now we have all this goodwill and harmony and beautiful feelings for Lindsay, and people cried for her. That's that's incredible. And that and that's by reaching via social media. So it's still keeping it all in one location. Yeah, I mentioned Nap CPP Nap CP. If you guys get a check chance taking about? It's a really sweet, lovely organization of child photographers. Um, if you like, for people that are just starting out and they can't really afford to go and be in every one of these organizations. What? I think I just list it was free by the way I've talked about was just talking about social media. Oh, no. But like nap CPI and A and W V Island, which one do you think would be the best to join? Like if you had to choose one e like if you can only afford to be in one of them? I mean, is there one and not copping out? It really depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for only business minded advice where you get classes and certifications. You know, I would say this if you're looking for support and people Teoh commiserates with, I would say this if you're looking for, you know, kick ass convention. Oops, you're fine. Sleep. If you're looking for, like a super duper convention, I would check out. I would check out. You know, this it really is about what you're looking for. So if you ask that question. The context of what's the best resource for this? I could tell you, but just like what's the best? It's like, What's the best flavor of ice cream? Depends on, if you like. Mustache. Your chocolate. Yeah, well, clearly. Nutella, Nutella. Gelato, gelato. Hello. Um, all right. I'll get back to you. Yeah. Yeah, that really is specific. Have you ever experimented with our wanna comment on social purchasing? That's happening. And here in Seattle, group on companies, Right, Right, right. What's my comment about? Groupon. They had a great deal in a horse riding thing. That was fantastic. You're So I've actually just gotten into the group on thing lately on and like, things like online like deals. Plus, we have, like, a one day deal and all its her stuff. Some of them are fantastic, you know, something really good. And they're meant to be introductory offers of sorts. But you can get a lot of value out of that, um, as to whether or not I would associate that with my business. No, because I want my business to be about lower volume and an understanding that there's gonna be more of a cost associate with that. I actually have never done a coupon for my business. I don't do kind of like specials or something like that on, and it's not that I don't think and I've seen or again I keep having to say this because I've seen photographers who do that to great effect, and they have a really high end name and they do fantastic and all sort of stuff. But, um, firstly, for my business, it didn't fit my business model. So I don't I don't go in that direction in terms of taking advantage of kind of like I don't want to be associated with, because the branded build I don't associate with, like you could get me for free or I'm 1/2 off today are you know, it just doesn't really fit with my business model and have branded. And again, it's not to say that I don't see an opportunity like that come up and it's fabulous and I think it be really smart for my business. But I have to make that second decision of Is this consistent with my branding

Class Description

Celebrated children's photographer Tamara Lackey leads a special worldwide workshop on the magic, art, and business of child portrait photography. Take a live, front-row seat with Tamara as she works with a wide range of kids. You'll watch as she works to put them at ease, gets them laughing, and coaxes out their natural personality for fun poses and great family portraits. More importantly, you'll be part of an ongoing weekend conversation with fellow photographers around the world about how to grow your own successful portrait photography business, while balancing personal and professional lives.

Reviews

Amy
 

I cannot thank creativeLIVE enough for the opportunity to learn from Tamara in such depth. Not only did we have the chance to see Tamara at work, but she also shared a ton of great business tips as well. I think it is amazing that CreativeLIVE offers photographers such a great opportunity to learn from the best without breaking the bank to do it. Not only is Tamara an inspiring photographer, teacher and businesswoman..she is also an exceptional human being. Her positive energy shines through in everything she does. She reminded me of everything I love about photography and also of how to keep contact with that part of myself. That is a gift that I could not ever put a price on. Thank you so much, creativeLIVE, for the awesome workshop. I am really looking forward to future ones. I highly recommend creativeLIVE!

a Creativelive Student
 

AWESOME! I would (and have already) recommend CreativeLIVE's Tamara Lackey workshop to anyone and everyone. CreativeLIVE has put together a game-changing channel for business owners - the Tamara Lackey workshop not only was fantastic for anyone looking to improve their photography skills - it was a huge eye opener for anyone who is or is considering becoming an entrepreneur. The live audience format was perfect and it was great to have the CreativeLIVE visionaries engaged in the workshop as well. Kudos and thank you!

a Creativelive Student
 

This was a fun, entertaining, insightful, and - no less - highly educational workshop. I really like Tamara's photographic work and was mostly curious to see how she gets to her results. This expectation was fully met by both the on-location and studio sections included in the course. In addition, Tamara is a very good instructor and made the videos a thoroughly enjoyable experience. She is very open and answered honestly and personably to all questions asked. Although I am an amateur photographer, I was intrigued by the business section and could imagine a professional would like to see a deeper dive into the subject. If I were to mention improvements to the course, I think the scope was a bit too wide or, the other way around, the duration was too short: the business section, live shoots, work-life balance part could all have been more in-depth. But they could also be added as stand-alone topics, in my opinion. Overall, I loved this video format and Tamara's presentation. I surely learned a lot and had a good time watching this! Really, really great job!