Four Main Goals for Workflow Management
So that was my key focus, right? Being efficient and effective. And then I decided I need some goals to be efficiently and effectively working towards. So this was basically what it boiled down to. I decided that I wanted to simplify, simplify, simplify. I wanted to work less and make more. I mean, who doesn't want that? Um and I also wanted to strengthen my brand because obviously that's important. And and I put it last here, but not because it's least so last. But certainly not least, I wantedto add value to what I was providing for my clients. And when I say add value, I don't necessarily mean up the package price and throw in a bunch of stuff to make it look good. I wanted to give them not just perceived value, but riel value. So we'll talk about what that means. OK, so we're going to start with simplifying. And that was something that just sounded really good, right? Who? I mean, why would you ever be like, complicated? I wanna complicate things. You want to simplify things usuall...
y. So about this time I had some ideas what I was going to start doing to my work flow to simplify it, but I didn't like I don't know where these ideas came from besides here. So I was kind of like, What am I really on the right path? Like, What is this doing? And then I came across Ah, book and actually attend talk by psychologist Barry Schwartz. I don't know if us are familiar with Ted at all. Ted dot com Some of you, yes, love ted dot com For those of you who maybe haven't checked out ted dot com Internet people, I can't see you raving your hands or nodding if you haven't checked out ted dot com It is amazing. It's a really great resource, with tons of talks about every subject under the sun on beyond the Other Side of the Sun. So everything on Ted and I came across buries talk on Ted, and it was called The Paradox of Choice, and I thought that's so compelling. What is that about? And what he says is that less is actually more. And he says, This whole book talks about how in our society we tend to think that the more choices we have, the more freedom that we have, right? We we sort of demand that and we fight for that. And we say, I want the freedom to choose and I want the freedom to choose between lots of things. I want choice. But Barry says that that amount of all those choices doesn't actually give us freedom. Counterintuitively, it actually causes paralysis and dis satisfaction. Think about that. That is really counter to what we are top, really And what we even fight for, I guess, right? So I thought, Oh, this is getting good. I think I can see something coming here and he says, You know, for example, if you go to your grocery store right, this is very very says You know, there's 285 types of cookies, 75 different teas, 230 soups, 175 salad dressings and, like 40 ransom toothpaste or whatever and I don't know about you, but I think that that's kind of bunkers. And if you go and you're standing is particularly in the toothpaste aisle, I mean, really, what is the difference between like pro white and super y? And just, you know, healthy health, white, whatever and then three d whitening. You guys remember that If that breath I think that was a marketing buzzword, right? Like three d whitening of your teeth. Think about it. So I mean, I would stand there looking for toothpaste that I'm like. This is complicated, so I was immediately resonating with this. And so the first effect that Barry says that it causes paralysis K and he actually quotes in his Ted talk. He quotes a study that was done with an employer and their employees and their 401 k offering. So the study showed that for every 10 funds that the employer offered for the employees to invest in for every 10 funds, the rate of participation dropped by 2%. So if you do math, that means that if the employer offered 50 funds instead of just 10 funds, the rate of participation would drop by 10%. So that's I don't know. Maybe that's not surprising. You know, if you have worked in a job where you had it, you know you had an employer who offered you funds. That's kind of an overwhelming thing to deal with. So a lot of people put it off of course, which is tragic, because that's important. But what's really interesting is that the study found it to be true, that it caused paralysis and people didn't participate. The more funds there were, even when the employer would offer $5000 to just do the paperwork and pick something. Okay, so in that scenario, the employer is like, I will pay you to just make a decision. It doesn't matter what, Just pick some funds and here's $5000 to start with. It didn't change the rate of participation. Is that bananas? I mean, wow. And I thought, if it's that hard to get people to make choices when you are paying them $5000 how hard do you think it might be when you're asking them to pay you $5000 and make a choice right, so we'll come back to that. But that's the paralysis. The other effect that that he mentions is less satisfaction. And that's for two reasons. He says, that you experience regret at your alternative choices, and that eventually you also come to have unrealistic expectations. So, for example, when my husband and I were preparing for this bike trip. We knew nothing. We didn't have bikes. So we went to the bikes, you shop and we were like, Hey, we're going to ride our bikes across the country. What do we What do we get? And they were like, Well, let's look at all these models and do you want a road bike? Do you want a touring by? Do you want, you know, a mountain bike? Do you want all these different options? And I was struggling with that big time, and eventually we sort of narrowed it down. And then, you know, then it's a question of what tires do you want. Do you want to change your handlebars? Do you want to change your seat? How do you want to configure all of this stuff? And I was going bananas, and we eventually, you know, got a bike and, um, pieces that you start to have that regret because you start envisioning all of those alternative choices. And I was experiencing that as we're preparing to leave and we're going on test rides, and I'm thinking behind my back hurts. Maybe I should have gotten this other bike or, you know, my bottom hurts. I should have gotten a different seat. Or maybe this isn't I mean, it was just, uh, awful. It was dreadful. Teoh do that. And I was constantly thinking we should've bought this instead. On the other thing is that you start to have those unrealistic expectations. So apparently, when you get bikes and you get outfitted with all this stuff, there is a period of time where you're just going to be making adjustments. Your whatever bike you get, you're gonna have toe change the seat, change the handlebars like all these things to make it fit you right. But I started thinking one of those bikes should have just fit me perfectly like I shouldn't have to be tweaking it. If I would have picks a different bike, it could have been perfect. And my expectations were through the roof. And the reality is, it's a bike. You adjust it. There's a period of time, you know, you have to put in some miles. It's gonna take time. But I was thinking that bike stop was full of bikes in every conceivable, you know, color, size, whatever. One of them should have been perfect. So that's what Mary is talking about when it comes to the idea of less satisfaction. So at this point, you may be thinking, Okay, How does this actually relate to photography? Well, it turns out, I think it relates in a lot of ways. First thing is, when we talk about, for example, weddings and wedding packages, what do we typically see? You can jump in? We see. No, I don't know. I guess we see a lot of you to see packages three packages. It's just a standard what people expect exactly. And clients expect that in fact, they'll even what? Email or call and say, Send me your packages. Yes, right. I got that all the time, all the time. So this is what tends to happen. We we are offering, and clients are trained to expect, like, sort of a gold silver bronze type situation. So they're having to choose not only who they're going to hire, but when and whenever they decide that they're now deciding what package said we get. And not usually just packages. There's usually also all kinds of album options, right? Like what size book do you want? How many pages? What kind of paper? What kind of cover What kind of material? You know. Sometimes people will say, Like, what kind of layout? Style? I mean, there's all different things. Print grouping Sometimes photographers offer different groupings of you know, if you get this package, you get this many eight by tens. This many are canvasses or, you know, groupings of things and other. There's other add ons, maybe guestbook, maybe parent options. Parent copies. Maybe you have the engagement session, Azan, add on. Maybe you have photo booths or second shooters or you know all of these things. That's a lot of stuff. Um, and when we're asking clients to do all of that, So the other thing that I think is really interesting. So Barry's telling this and I'm going, Yes, I'm with you. Paradox of choice. I get it. Then he came to this part and he said, You know what else we're doing? We are passing the buck in our society. Um, and I'd be curious to see if you feel this to be true in India as well. But here, Anyway, I know that I've experienced this firsthand in Bari says that we're passing the buck. The decision making the burden of decision making, he says, is being passed from the professional. Who knows what they're doing. We hope way we cross our fingers. We hope from the professional who knows what they're doing to someone who doesn't being the client, right? And um, that's kind of a dangerous thing. But I think that as service providers, we think that that's how we provide the service. We think that we're like, Hey, you're the customer. I am here to please you make all these choices, make all these decisions, tell me what you want and I'll just do it And we think that that makes it easier. Like we just do what you know what we're told or what they want or we try to please everyone and we let them. We pass that burden onto them because we often don't want to make the decision and then if they're unhappy with it, they would say maybe that it was our fault and I don't know if you feel like you've experienced that on the other end, maybe as the consumer, but I A few years ago, I found myself in the emergency room and I was craving a photo of course. Right. And like a big dummy, I thought I'll do it myself. And I had the glass. Someone else cut the glass, and they told me Be careful with it. And I was like, I got this and I brought it home, and I'm putting. It was huge putting the print in there, and I was holding the glass and I turned to get something. Whatever. And then I turned back and just sliced my hand right across. I mean, it was beautiful. Beautiful cuts. So big old slice in my hand. And I was home alone at the time, so I drove myself to the hospital. Um, and I needed stitches, like a lot of them. So I'm in the er and I'm bleeding and they get me cleaned up. And before they stitched me up the er Doc says, Do you want an X ray? And I'm like, What? What do you mean, what an x ray. It was kind of like he was like, Would you like a soda? You know, would you like a ginger ale? He didn't ask me that. He was asking me if I wanted an X ray, like just anything and I'm like, nobody wants an X ray. I don't even want to be here right now. And I looked at him and I said, Do I need an exit? I mean, that's the logical question. And he actually said to me, I am not making this up. He said, I can't tell you that, right? And I was like, Wait a minute. You went to that school, Not me. Um, what? You know. And he was like, Well, you know, just I'll be right back. Think about it. And he left. So I'm sitting there bleeding with my hand in the air like this. So I am calling my mom going. What should ideally do? I don't What should I do? Get an X ray. What? And she, you know, is not a doctor either. So that was silly. But eventually I'm calling my insurance company. And I'm like, What is this cost? Like, what's my deductible like? Is this you know, and he comes back and I'm asking him what's involved with this by what I might worrying about costs and deductible and whether whatever. When I'm bleeding and he's asking me if I want this and eventually he proceeded to tell me that they wanted Maybe I would want one. Maybe because there could be pieces of glass stuck in my hand and that would be bad if they stitch me up with glass. So I am thinking it wasn't a car accident. Like there's not shattered glass. The glass was in one piece. I was not. So I think we're okay there. Maybe that's the logical thing. And I'm, you know, worried about this. And he says, Yeah, you're probably right because the glass wouldn't show up on an X ray anyway, so it was kind of a crazy inner, you know, change exchange like us. But I at that moment I mean, sitting there, I was thinking, Why are you asking me this? You are the doctor. You went to med school. I came here for help. Six me. Don't ask me what you should do or if I want an X ray. And I felt literally burdened with that decision right then, because, you know, you're I mean, thankfully, it was just a cut, but imagine if it had been a little more traumatic. I mean, I guess if I was unconscious, they might have just done it anyway, But I did not enjoy being burdened with that. So when Barry said this, I O said, Yes, I know what you're talking about and here is an embarrassing. This is embarrassing. So I'm sharing this now with the whole Internet. Thank you. I'm here for you and with my embarrassment. So when I first started offering album, I like many people. Perhaps I thought that if an album company offered it, I needed to offer it so. And, you know, album companies have all kinds of offerings, and they're they're amazing. They're so beautiful in their delicious and it's wonderful. It's also makes your head spin right. And I think sometimes those photographers, people are scared of albums because they can't even deal with figuring it out. So I committed myself. Of course, I was like I could do this. So I sat down and, like, made a chart of album offerings, and I mean, when I look at this, it actually looks pretty clean, like it's not super scary, but it's kind of ridiculous. So I was asking people like here, you know, here's like your book. So pick, pick a shape of your book Vertical square or horizontal. I had this, like plan and then I was like and pick how many pages you want and what type of paper? Um, no. Here's pricing. And if it's smooth, it's this Much of its photo paper is this much. And then let's talk about covers. And what do you think happened when I was like here? You know, your wedding planning And why don't you look at my chart that I made? Let's look at a chart. People were like, Yeah, um, later. So getting getting around to people like deciding on an album was really a struggle, and it was my fault. And I thought I was being helpful and courteous and making this beautiful thing to help the clients. But really, they were like, That's a chart and I just want pretty pictures. So that's kind of embarrassing, and we'll talk about how I clean this all up later. But I just thought I would share that, cause maybe you can relate, but I no longer use this. This is very, very, very old. So I dug it out from the archives, just there with you. Um, so let's talk back again. We're here, right? The goal is to simplify too simple, right to simplify. So now that we know what we talked about with the paradox of choice and how that can be burdensome and overwhelming and cause paralysis in dissatisfaction, here's how I decided to simplify everything with a single package. Just one. That's it. And we'll talk about that. Great, right? We'll talk about what that means in excruciating detail. Exquisite detail, exquisite detail. But why doesn't it just feel good to just say like one package? Eso for me? What the word package meant is full coverage within limits, right? So full coverage within limits. And don't that a an album, which is non negotiable Day. I just dropped that out their web. I dropped that out there. So full coverage plus album non negotiable. Done. Okay, so at this point, you might be thinking, Are you crazy? You will be taken advantage of. I have to say that I've been operating with this new mode now for, I think three years I had the honor and privilege of shooting hand his wedding on, and I went with this right. This was yeah. She lived this firsthand of the client so she can attest that I'm not making this up really does did happen. It does happen. Um, but I haven't been taken advantage of. So if you're thinking Oh, my gosh, you're gonna have to start at 6 a.m. and be there till two. In the morning. I haven't had that experience. And the way that I do that when I tell people that I'm going to provide full coverage, is I tell them that means define it, right? I don't let them define it, I to find it. I see. I'm going to show up about an hour before you get in your dress, and I will stay through the main events of the reception. That's how I defined it. And we'll talk about ways that you could tweak what I'm sharing with you to make it work for you. But this is what I have found to work for me and it just it just hasn't been a problem. Um, you might be thinking albums are more work. And I thought this this whole workflow workshop was supposed to make everything easier and faster. Why are you telling me I have to include an album, but I'm gonna show you how to do it painlessly so painlessly that it's It's almost I don't know. It's crazy. Okay, so it's going to be painless, I promise. So why would I do this? And how does offering full coverage simplify? That's my goal, right? How does offering full coverage simplify everything? Well, for one thing, it's easy decisions for the client. Okay, that means when they're planning their wedding and they're faced with all of these other things I have to plan and decisions they have to make. I want when they work with me, I want it to be the easiest part of their entire experience. In fact, the Onley decision I want them toe have to make is to hire me. That's it. It's all just repeat that. I think it's key, right? The only decision I want my clients toe have to make in regards to their wedding photography is to hire me, period. Okay, So simple, so easy for clients, and I have to say that when they come in, they meet with me and I. So my package to them and I explained because I know that they're used to seeing other packages, so I know that they're kind of going to be like, where the other pages or where's the other, you know, options. So I explained to them, Hey, you know what? I'm here to simplify your whole wedding, and I only want you to have to worry about whether or not you want me there and they're like, Oh, that's awesome, Like you can just see weights fall off their shoulders So that's been a great a great part of it. The other reason why I really like this as I really feel that if something's worth doing, it's worth doing right, and that means being they're going all out being part of the experience for the whole day. Andi, I'll never forget. The moment that crystallized this for me was when I was shooting a wedding where I had smaller packages. So it was a four hour wedding, and I you know, I thought that was great because I thought I was gonna please everyone. I thought that's what I need to do because people have different budgets and I need to be, you know, available and accessible for everyone at every budget, and that's just not the case and we'll talk more about it. But I thought I was doing this client a favor by saying Sure, all come and shoot for four hours And I was also thinking, Awesome. I'm gonna have an easy Saturday of only four hours, which is always a delusion we put on ourselves because we know your whole Saturday's spoken for anyway. But I was under the delusion. So I'm outside the church and here they like. I'm waiting for the couple to come out and and by the get away car. And here comes one of the bridesmaids. And I was like, Hey, it was so great to work with you today. I hope you guys have a really great time at the reception because I wasn't going okay And she looks at me and just went What? You're not coming to the reception and her face. Just I had this horrible look of disappointment and I felt like does knife in my heart and I wanted to just drop to the ground, and part of me was thinking, No, I'm not coming to the reception because your friend was too cheap and to pay for the bigger baggage. So it's not my fault, you know, it's not my fault. But when I thought about it, I realized, you know what is my fault? Because I offered a package where I wouldn't go to the reception. So even though I could blame the client and say, Well, they only hired me for, you know, the morning it was my fault. And that bridesmaid was not gonna think of my response as Oh, yeah, my friend was too cheap like you were just trying to please her accommodate her, Know her friend. Her bridesmaid is thinking, Well, I'm not hiring you for my wedding. You don't even come to the reception right? And so I wanted to hide. I just like that. I just think when she said that to me and I thought never again. I am never doing that again. And so I changed things right after that. So I feel like if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. Thea other thing that's really nice is that I don't have to be the bad guy anymore or have a hostage situation at the reception. So that means that if I'm there and the buffet line is going slowly and, you know, sometimes the D Day or the band is not always holding it together as well as we would like. So, um, sometimes things get behind. And what I really love is that I don't have to go up to the bride and say, If you want me to capture your first dance, I'm gonna need a couple $100 more or whatever, right? I don't have to hit them up for more money because to me that situations just gross. It's kind of an ugly situation. I don't like to be handling money on wedding day and reminding them like now you owe me more and and sort of taking advantage of that. I've got your first dance and if you ever want to see it again, you better cough up some cash, right? That's so ugly. And I don't like that. And I felt like I was holding their first dance hostage and is gross. So now I don't have to do that because I'm not worried about Oh my God, the buffet line, like we only have 15 minutes to do toast and get the thunder. I don't worry about it. I want to be able to be at that reception and just hang out, and I mean, do my job. But we have enough things to be stressed about besides the speed of the buffet line, right? So I wanted to just enjoy the day, enjoy the reception and not worry about it. So I don't have to worry about that now. And the other thing, the flip side of that coin is when I'm done, I go home, and that doesn't always happen. If you are on it like an hourly contract. I'm sure you've been in a situation where you're supposed to be there for 10 hours or whatever. And now, like you're at the dance, it's done like it's pretty much over. And you have an hour and 1/2 left, right? You can relate to this, I'm sure. And you're standing there. You've already shot everything there is to shoot. You have been creative and brilliant all day, and now you're just like this is done like they're, you know, only like the one drunk last drunk guys on the dance floor you photographed in 100 times. You're just trying to look busy because you want to make sure your clients not like, Why did I book that gold package instead of silver? And they're having regret and those things. So the nice thing is, now when I'm done, I go up to the couple and I'm like, Hey, guys, is there anything else that you wanted or needed or what am I forgetting? And, you know, then they're usually like, Oh, no, this was great. Thank you so much. And I'm gone. So whether that means that, you know, maybe Sundays I'm there till a little later. Sometimes I'm home crazy early. And it's just because that was their day. That was their event. That was the flow of their thing. And I was truly done. I've got what I need to make them a great book to capture their memories. And I can just go. Does that make sense? Do you have questions? No, not yet. Yeah. So do we need a mike? Yes. So sometimes the claims are like they're not sure what's going up in next rate. Like when you go up to them and say, Okay, I think everything's done. Yeah, thing amazing happens, and I might say, Yeah, they think that but nothing is happening. Actually there, Right? But the claim, they're not sure what's gonna happen. And they always assume that there is something something more. Well, I think part of it is to just manage that expectation up front. So they know I'm going to be there through the main events, and they usually know what those are because their plants. And so then when I and checking in, they're like, No, you've got it. You know, usually if they do have anything for me at that point, it's usually like, Oh, I want one quick picture with my girlfriend's really quick Or, you know, we forgot this one thing really quick. And so I don't usually put away my camera until I checked in, because sometimes they'll hit me with one more shot. But that might take five minutes and then, you know, then it's lots of hugs and everything, and then I'm done. So it's worked out really well, but I think you know, prepping them for that is important. So, um oh, yeah, you ever find with offering Onley one option that you have clients that are being bombarded by other photographers and other choices that they feel like they're not getting, um I'm not getting word. They're not getting more choices. And so they're like, Well, that doesn't fit me. So I'm going to go somewhere else, even though it is exactly what they need. They just don't know it. That's a great question on. I would have to say. I've never had anyone voiced that concern to me. Usually they're like, Oh, this is so easy, Like, I don't want to mess with it. You know what you're doing. But the other thing is, and what kind of will get into this? I think when we talk about pricing and stuff, but I think that it's important and branding. Um, I think that it strengthens my brand rather than weaken and it. But the trick is you have to own it, right? Like you can't just be like I only have one package and then they're like, Well, I want this and if you're like OK, I'll just read it You know, whatever. I'm totally like. This is what I offer because I believe in it and I'll explain to them what we're we'll get into here in a minute. But I explain to them. Why I do things the way that I dio and I've never had anyone voice to me like they feel like they're not getting. Sometimes people will say and we'll talk about They might say, You know, I don't want to pay that much for what You're for those things and they want to Maybe cut. Maybe they say, But I only want you for four hours or I only you know and we'll talk about that. But that's where it's important. Teoh, Um, Teoh own what you're doing and be OK with that, and we'll get to that. So good question. Good question. A quick question to bring it on. I was in a state like it was interesting being on a client. See employees, because I think sometimes it's photographers really stressed. So we're all the meticulous little details like you were saying and then from a bride standpoint, I think likely hard you for your personality. And then I mean for the knowledge that you had, like, just the fact that you are an expert E and sometimes you forget that it's mostly about it was all about you, so I mean all those little details or sometimes with the photographer worries, right? And I and I also think which also that brings up a good point. Is that me having a definitive plan? Positions mean also as an expert, if they air coming and saying, Oh, what should we dio? And if I'm like, Well, it's up to you, Here's all your choices. They're going to be like I don't know what's right like maybe you don't know either. But if they come to me and I'm like, Here's what you should dio here's what we're going to dio Here's how it works. Then they're like, Oh, you seem to really know what you're doing. I trust that and that's a big we're getting. We're getting ahead, but you're asking good questions, so we're gonna talk more about it. But those are awesome. That's super often. Okay, so So with my other goal, the next goal on the list was to work less and make more. So how does the single package answer that dilemma? And the thing is that it because it's just the one package right? It maximizes the earnings that I make on every contract. Every time I'm out shooting a wedding I'm earning exactly what I want to be earning, which means I'm not shooting a four hour. I don't book a four hour gig, and then two days later, someone else calls and wants my gold super plus package on the same day that I booked a little leg bronze for our nothing. Right, So that would be a major opportunity cost. Like, Oh, I booked this little package when I could've booked this package. So now, if I'm booking, I'm booking this always. And that's kind of that whole. If I want to do what I want to do it right, I want to take care of my clients. If I'm going to give up my weekend, it's gonna be awesome and it's gonna be worth it. And otherwise I'm going to be with my family or my friends, or I'm gonna do my thing right. So that means that when I am working, I'm earning this. I think that makes a big difference. The other thing is, once we get into the workflow stuff, you'll see that we save a lot of time in a lot of areas, particularly with the album design. And of course, time is money, right? Part of what we charge for is our time. So if we can decrease the amount of time we're spending, that also will boost our hourly profit. So that's another way that we can make make more but work less. And the other thing that was big for me is selling his work right. Like if you when you sit down and sell with your clients, you're selling them one to book you. You're selling them that whole thing, and then you know, everyone kind of does it different, But some people then go into, like, the post shoot sell mode. So for some people that's in home consultations, or maybe you do like a studio presentation or whatever, and I know that a lot of people love that, and it's very it can be very lucrative. But I also know that it's a lot of work to set up those appointments. It's worked to ask your clients to come back and clear their schedule and be with you and coordinate, and for me personally, I just I just don't like all that extra selling leg, so I wanted to consolidate that, and I wanted t cell my clients once, so that does not mean I don't make money on the back end. We will talk about that. But I didn't want to have Teoh do that. So I wanted to prioritise everything to be up front. Um, and just consolidate. Does that make sense? Yeah. Question about albums in general. That is such a great question. And we are going to talk about it. I know you guys are like, I just don't get it. What's up with album? Baloney. I promise we will get in. We will get into that. It's coming up here shortly, but the sort of it is because I think it's important toe actually deliver something to our clients besides digital there than one. Right. So we'll get into that with some very colorful examples. Um, all right, so that's how we're gonna work less. Make more makes sense, huh? The strengthen, my brand part. That was the third goal on the list on DTI me. That really meant setting myself apart, right? And we sort of talked about that already. But if everyone's having all these packages and all these things and they're all doing literally the same thing in the same kind of way. And of course, those photographers are personalities set us apart. Our style sets us apart. I wanted the experience of working with me toe also set me apart. And I just feel like you know that saying that if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything you've ever heard that I think that's really powerful. And I think we are passing that burden of decision making and letting our clients walk all over us and all of those things when we just push it on them and were like, You figure it out. Here's all these choices. Deal with it, right? And I thought, I don't I don't like that I want to stand for something and I'm going to do this with passion and I'm going to really mean it. And this sort of is like what you were saying, Sarah, about how you know what, what if people are like, where are those other options? And I really think that by me so strongly, saying this is what I dio that really establishes credibility and trust with the clients, and I think that really makes my brand strong. You know, it's kind of like, If you think about big brands in the world like Apple, for example, they're like we're doing it this way. And how long have people been like? We need to have flash on the IPhones and Apple with, like No and guess what's happening now. Like developers and coders and all of that. They moved past Flash. In some ways, of course, it's still part of everything. But by saying no to putting flash on the phones and everything, Apple actually spurred the industry to change. I mean, I don't know how geeked out you guys get with that, but I'm married to a developer. Okay, so I get the starting of these stories. But Alba actually spurred the industry to change because they believed in that in keeping it off. Not because they were like we just don't want Flash. They had reasons for efficiency and the way the phone operates and the technicals stuff. They had reasons. And I think that if we have reasons for what we're doing and they're legit, like my reason for including albums is not just I want more money, I want to charge more. I have legitimate reasons, and they're very much client focused as well, get Teoh, But I think that all of that stuff strengthens my brand. You have another question. We were talking about this last night that the majority of my business is like 60% just educating them about what they want. And it's so hard sometimes because you feel like you're just like filling. I come from ST Louis, Missouri, but I live outside ST Louis and I live in a very small area of where I have photographers that are $50 session fee and you get a whole CD and then they look at me and they're going what? And so they're like, I love your photos, but I just can't afford it. And so sometimes that hurts because you like, you're not going to be happy with that person. That's just throwing a CD at you, and it's going to stay in your desk drawer forever and ever. So, um, I just love this, that I love that you said that because it actually reminds me. I don't know if you guys have read Seth Godin's books or read his block, but he had a block post recently that I was reading about. I think it was called like How Toe Get Paid as a freelancer or something and essentially, I mean, we're business owners, but it's kind of like freelance labor, you know, for hire. And what he was saying in this block post is that it's not enough anymore to have the tools right. We know this because there are $50 photographers with the DSLR who put up a business card and are in business, and you know, everyone has to start somewhere, and I think that's great. But anyone can start, and what he's saying is, as a professional, it's not enough to to say you're a professional just because you have the tools because anyone can have the tools, whether it's a camera or a guitar or you know, the software or whatever. But you have to up the game, and what he actually says in this post is you know, we can't we can't get mad and be like, Well, how dare you hire that $50 photographer? We can't just scoff it that what we have to actually do is give them a reason to hire us instead, and those $50 photographers and and other folks out there are just giving disks and not, or maybe not even maybe just shooting whatever, who knows? But what he suggested in this block post is that we have to actually redefine the very nature of what it means to be a professional. And so that's what I really stand by. When I'm presenting this, I'm setting myself apart. And I'm basically saying, I don't care what ex studio down the street is doing. That's awesome, and maybe that works for them. But if you want to work with me, this is what I believe in. And this is what we're going to dio, and that means it won't work for everyone, and we'll talk more about that. But that means you bet some clients are like your too expensive, whatever they walk away. And I'm like, all right, all books, somebody else or I'll have the day off, you know, and if you when we get into pricing, you'll see if you plan appropriately and you structure appropriately, it's OK. You know, you can have a day off. You should have lots of days off, so we'll talk about that stuff. But I think it's important. That's a really good point. Which brings me really too this, too, that it makes you boutique. So you are a boutique studio offering a professional service, and you're not like, you know, just for higher $50. I'll do anything, you know, you have to stand for something. So okay, here's the whole album stuff, right? So this really hits on the fourth goal, which was to add value, riel value, not just perceived value. Okay, so that means for me. I'm saying albums for everyone, period. And I don't just mean weddings. I mean, portrait's, you know, my engagement sessions. Get an album on, we'll talk about the albums and what that really means. Like we're going to do it all. You guys were going to do it all. Um, we'll talk about it, but everybody gets an album. And if that means that they say, Well, we want to hire you, but we don't want one. Then I say, you know, here's some referrals for them Friends of mine. You can maybe check with them, but period for me, I believe it. And here's the thing. When I when I was going through my goals and I put forth. Last, but not least, is to add value for the clients. I really was thinking about what's gonna happen at the end of not the day, not the just when they see their photos. But how are they going to feel a year later? How are they going to feel? Five years later, 10 years, 50 years later, when they're having their 50th anniversary, I want them to still feel really good about what they got from me. And here's what I was thinking when you ask clients like when their friends asked them about. What are they? What are they getting? Where are their photos? Let me see your wedding album. Here's my clients. Do not same. They do not say, Oh, an album way. Don't have one silly us. We were too cheap to pay for one, and we totally dropped the ball on picking our photos or making our edits. So it's obviously our fault, right? That's so funny. That was my dramatic interpretation. I don't think clients all talk just like that, but that's what they don't say, right? That's ridiculous. That's what we say. We say they dropped the ball. They didn't pick their photos. They don't have an album, but clients don't say this. I thought, What did they really say or what might they actually feel? And here's the little upset. She's sad bride and she said and way don't have one And we didn't order our prince and time So now our gallery is expired and all we have to show for our big dollars are the pics that our Todd posted on Facebook. Burn right, Our That's awful. I mean, they may not use those words precisely, but I thought, really, in the end of it, when their girlfriends air saying, Hey, where's your stuff? Like let me see what? Like they have nothing, often nothing literally. And they paid thousands of dollars, possibly to get kind of nothing. And we know it's a service. We've provided the service, and obviously that's paramount. But I really wanted to leave people with something at the end of this remarkable service. I wanted them to have something now you might be thinking, but Kara I already include albums, and no one comes back to get them, or it's like pulling teeth. Anybody relate to that, maybe have included albums and clients forget you even did it. They never like, follow up with you to get their album. People are laughing. I don't know you. Does that mean you relate? I did it to my wedding photographer. Oh, boo way. You know, I will also say from personal experience I was also kind of dumb on this aside, and I wouldn't be hired Our photographer, we were like, Yeah, yeah, yeah, Just give us the disc will do it ourselves We just got our album cause I felt so bad I was like I better make it So we for our six year anniversary I'm knocked out our album but that's what happens, right? It's terrible. So you might think you already do that. Nobody comes back, and it turns out that they're sort of like a phrase for this. I've heard it referred to as the Hope Album, and the Hope album means that you included in the package because you wanna up the perceived value and the price point. And then you sort of hope the client forgets and doesn't really come back and deal with it exactly horrible. So here's our sad Bryant, because that is so horrible. And that means that your client literally has the sense of being unfulfilled. Like you literally didn't mean if that situation were toe happen. If you allow that to happen or even encourage that horrible toe happen, you are literally creating a situation where you are not fulfilling your obligation. So that's a horrible hold that you would be digging for yourself. And then it also sets up the potential situation for that client to come back two years later in the middle of your holiday rush and be like, not back. Remember me? Yeah, I want an album now and you're like What? You know you're swamped with other stuff and now you have to work in an album from the past. I mean, that's not it. That's awful, Right? So that's a hope album. That's terrible. We don't want to do that. So what is the solution then? What in what the heck? How do we How do we include an album and make it painless? The secret is design it and present it with the proof I feel light bomb come lighting on. Okay, so you design it and present it with the proofs, so that means That means the client has little to no choice at least my way. Well, I'll tell you, you can tweak it, of course, but my situation. The client really good doesn't get a choice about the style of the book, the size of the book, the cover of the book, the shape. None of those things. I basically tell them I'm gonna make you a book is going to be like this, and I leave it up to myself, Aziz faras. Those things go. So when I meet with clients in person and I show them or on Skype, sometimes I show them an album on and also you the same book that I showed them. And it's it's that the book. And then I just say, you know, here's what your book would be like and they're like, Awesome, because I actually I found before I switched to working like this, I found that I would, you know, when I had that monstrosity of a chart, remember that I would show them the chart, and I would show them like some samples from the chart on and then after the wedding, like a year, year and 1/2 later they would be like, Yeah, we don't remember those albums or with our choices were Can we come back and meet with you and talk about it and have a conference call and Luna all this stuff And I was like, That kind of sucks like I don't want to be re passing this old stuff. So what's great now? As I show them this book and I'm like, Here's what your book will be and they're like Oh, great. And then I just make it for them. And if I get a wild hair and I want to do something totally crazy, I'll do it and then they like it or they don't. But I can try it if I want Teoh. But I limit the choice, right? So I'm not asking them how many pages you want. Blah, blah, blah, blah. I meet them what I think is a great album. This does not mean I'm trying to surprise them. I know some people talk about pre designed meaning You didn't sell them an album, but now you're gonna build one and then sell, Sell, sell it to him. I don't like that. I don't do that. That's not with this is this is I told you I'm going to make you a book. Now I'm going to make you a book, right? And you know what it's gonna look like And here it ISS and, um, it's wonderful. It also means I pick the photos, not the clients, and that freaks people out. But I mean, photographers, not clients, not clients, doesn't freak out. Clients freaked out photographers, but I can tell you photographers, you don't have to worry about that because in reality, clients have been like, OK, not a problem. And we'll, we'll go through all the potential objections that you're having right now. We're gonna hit him. OK, so we'll come to those. But right now, basically, all of this stuff is a total home run. It's efficient and effective. It's efficient because I'm not having extra meeting but not reminding people about Oh, here's all your choices and your options and blah, blah, blah. I'm not wasting time waiting for decisions to be made, and it's effective because it's simple for the client, right? It's good for the client because it's so easy that's effective. It builds a good relationship right from the beginning and makes experience with me positive. Right up front. They get their books in record time. And if you don't think that that's buzz worthy for your studio, you got another thing coming because often times I will get brides who will tell me. Oh, and I tell them up front like you're gonna have your book so fast it's gonna blow your mind. And they're like, all that's great because my sister got married like, three years ago, and she still doesn't have her album. You all heard that you've all heard that. So this is the the answer to all of that, and you get to be the hero and the clients and even their parents and their siblings will be talking about you and how you can deliver this so quickly and efficiently and like you really took care of business. And they got their book quick. I just delivered Before I came out here, I just delivered a couple albums to a few clients, and they were like, Oh, this is great because, you know, the in laws air coming in town. And now we can show him this. And it was, you know, it's already finished and I'm like, Yep, done in their hands and finished. So they get their book in record time. They have long term value, right? Because they're disc, of course, ends up nowhere on a shelf. And let's be honest, like a lot of people's computers and don't even have discrete anymore. So that could be moving to us. Bees is the plan, at least for me. But that disk or whatever, is a 10 cent piece of plastic, you know, so that's not really value. And I want them to to not only have a good experience with me, but I'm literally thinking of their 50th wedding anniversary. And even though you know they may like the like, who is our photographer again, by the time they're at that point, they'll still have their album to enjoy. And it's not about me and like having this great memory of me, I want them to literally just have their album and feel good about it. Long term, so long term value and they're literally just hap hap happy hap hap Happy, Um, that just thrilled clients. The other thing is that it's a home run, and it's efficient for me because all that buzz the clients have something tangible so they can literally take it around. And whenever I get the chance, I'll deliver it to the bride at her office and I'll be like dude album calling and I'll come in her office and, you know, drop it off. And then everybody's like, Well, album and it's so much fun. So that's serious, buzz. And then everyone's like You just saw it like your money was just, you know, a month ago. How do you have your book already in their hands so fast? It's beef up the entire process. I have found that I pick the photos for that initial draft of their album, but I let them make changes. We go through a revision process, which will talk about, but this results in faster, faster turnaround. Because there's less changes, there's fewer changes, and that, I think, has to do with. They've already seen the photos on the blogged in their slideshow. I carry it through to their books, so it's very there. They sort of just accepted what I've presented to them as the way it is. So very rarely do they make a ton of changes. I'm spending less time, makes more money, prevents those future or bottlenecks from happening. When clients come back two years later, all it waas preventing that. And it's really a better experience for everyone involved. Andi think that's really important. So here are some tips for how you actually pull this off, because when we talk about this stuff, people are usually like, Yeah, but my clients going to say this or I feel that. So here are some tips for keeping the peace and the pace right. So here's Here's the Brian that says I don't need an album on def. They really like don't want to pay for it. Like I said, I'll refer them to somebody else. But if they're just like, I just I'm not convinced this is what I need. Then I'm like, Hey, um, an album is going to give you long term happiness and value, so explain like it's their first family heirlooms. It's the finished product. That's why we're here. We're going to document this. I tell them. You know, I will not sleep well at night. If I just give you a 10 cent piece of plastic, I don't feel good about that. And who can argue with that, right? I mean, like, we had a shed sided recently at our house. We hired some contractors to shed this our side, this old, dilapidated shed we had and I talked to some contractors who were going to just side over like the rotted OS B that the shade was made out of. They were just going to be like, Yeah, we'll decide over that. And I was like, Oh, and I didn't know because I don't hire contractors every day. So I was kind of like Oh, I guess Okay, that's probably fine until I talked to another contractor who said, Oh, no, we're gonna tear all of that output on Onley stuff and then fight it. And I thought, Oh, that sounds way better. He's gonna do the job, right? And so, to me, that is, finishing this with an album and I tell clients that don't be site. Sometimes the clients will say, but I want to make my album by myself. I have you know, whatever Web Book placed or whatever. I would go to Walgreens and print my own book. Um, and I just simply say, You know what? I want to make sure you have a really professional book. I think that that's not a big you know, the difference of huge I should say on def. You really wanted to. You could bring, you know, print up a little, not like a book that they might make and show them the difference. So I explained the quality concerns. I also explain to them that it's highly unlikely that they will actually make that book and I can use myself is the example. I had my own stuff. I have the software to build it. I have. I'm fast at it. I'm efficient. I can knock out a book like nobody's business, and it still took me six years to do it for myself. So clients will be like, Yeah, I guess you're right. You know that's not realistic On git leaves them with just nothing finished. And I think that's kind of sad. Um, sometimes clans will say Well, but at least let me pickle the photos. I've never had anyone say that, but you might think that they will say that to what I will say. No, no, no, no, no. That is part of the service that I provide. I will pick some of those for you. I also explain to them, of course, the difference in an album. There's a difference between telling a story of their day and simply including their favorite 60 photos or whatever, right? So explain. You know, there's really there's actually a lot that goes into building an album. You know, you might not have thought about it, and you educate them like you mentioned Sarah. You really educate them. And I also tell them, You know, it's easier than starting with a blank canvas because if you remember back to your school days in maybe like your English composition class, when they would say all right, kids were going to write a paper and then when the groaning would stop, then you would say What is it going to be about? And they would say anything you want and your mind would go completely blank. Exactly. And that's what kind of happens if you're like, hey, clients, figure it out and pick all your photos. They're like, Where do I even start? Plus what? Let's be honest. What are the browsing? All their photos on, probably on the Web somewhere which is great for proofing purposes. Would you want to design an album if you had to click through? You know, at that pace to find all the photos are clients don't necessarily have or know how to use, you know, things like browsing software like bridge or whatever. They don't know how to do that. So it's painful for them, which is what slows them down and makes this whole thing a nightmare so they don't have the right tools. And, um, I just tell them I'm gonna help you out So you don't have that blank canvas. If your teacher, if your English teacher would say, write a paper on this specific kind of framework, then you'd be like, OK, that's an easier assignment now, So I'm going to just help them out. I'll let them make changes, but I'm going to give him something to start with. The other thing here and I put stars next to it is, um and this is kind of another thing I throw at them is I also give my clients a printed proof book and you, you know, may or may not, but I like to be able to tell them, You know, even if we don't put all your favorite stuff, whatever in the album, it will still live on in printed form in your proof book. So it also allows them to not feel like they have to shove every photo that's important to them in their album. And we'll talk about designed tomorrow. But I am a fan of simplicity and letting our photos speak for themselves. And the more we cram into the albums, just the integrity of the design starts to do this. So we want to try to keep it simple and, you know, arming ourselves with this in our back pocket to say It's good, you'll have them in your proof book to the album is a showpiece. It's an art piece. It's not everything they're like, Oh, OK, right, So it's It's simplified. Yeah, So give the choices like I'm doing guys something similar to this. But when you give the charges, when you know I'll do the proof, I'll do the first draft and send it to the client and ask them to check and let me know if there is good and they always come back either. You know, like African is. That's where the delay happens. So how do you reduce them? You guys are so good. You are just leading me right to my next slide. Okay, here's the deal. Don't let the ball drop exactly what you said. Clients often dropped the ball and we as professionals, like to blame them when we get lazy, right, So we get lazy. We're like, Yeah, yeah, major album. It's in the ball in your court now and then we sit twiddle our thumbs and we're like, Oh, my God, I have albums for months ago and they're not answering me and whatever. Um and we get mad at them like they dropped the ball. But it's our fault 100%. Okay, we created the situation where we let them drop the ball. So we prevent that in a couple of ways. One, I tell them up front, we're only gonna have two rounds of proofing. This is not an all you can eat buffet that goes on forever, right to around the proofing on with my portrait clients, they get zero just for those of you who are more skewed, maybe portrait my portrait clients when I make books for them and I'll show you examples they they get zero input, zero anything. I just make their book. I pick the photos I make it. It's done. Okay, so the the revision ing Onley happens with my wedding clients because let's be honest there price points here and the portrait's are also well priced, but it's they're not paying me for that. So I wanted to ask so at, uh, after you do the shoot. At no point do you sit with them and show them all the pictures or I don't personally know. I mean, I put like they look at all the pictures online, but they don't have any input toe. What goes in the book? My portrait clients. No input. What's in the book and the wedding? The wedding. I do the rough draft and then they go through a couple rounds of revisions. Um, and I'll show you examples of all of this, but the key is to not dropping the ball is I tell them. Hey, here's your Here's your proofs. Here's your rough draft of your album design, right and look it over. And because, like I have all these weddings and everything. My clients have their proof than their album design within a week of their wedding without fail. I haven't missed it for three years. Even when I shot three weddings in one weekend. Don't do that. Don't do that. But I did that once and, um, they all about their stuff that fast. So I think actually, the third bride that weekend, it took eight days. It was a holiday weekend, so And she was my company s. So she she had to wait eight days, But they get all their self within a week, so they're often still on their honeymoon. So I know this. So I will email them and say, Here's your stuff. And, um literally I tell them your album is going to be amazing, So to make sure you're able to enjoy it as soon as possible. If I don't hear back from you within three weeks and I give him three weeks, you could do whatever works for you, but they're on their honeymoon still, I know for me. So within three weeks, then I will assume that you love it as much as Ideo and I'm gonna order it as it is thinking, right? I mean, I'll retouch it before I order it, but that's it. So if I don't hear from them, I'm gonna assume that they either love it or they're too busy to really give the give it the attention. So that's what I'm hired for. I'm the professional. I'm not going to burn in them. It's done. And I will say that as long as I have been doing that, that has never happened. Usually what happens is clients message me on there like we love it great, or they're like, Oh, can you just put this other picture on the cover? Done like it's so simple? Um, the other thing was the proof book only because I have never done a wedding. So I don't know the process completely. But is the proof book a separate book that has all the images that you Yes, you have the whole online gallery in the proof book so and I can show you an example of that and proof books. There's lots of different ways to do proof books, and some people don't. Some people do loose proofs, you know, like in a nice box set or whatever. I like the book just because it doesn't. First of all, it's an order, Andi. They won't get lost or out of order. And I also like I think about things like their kids are going to dig through there someday. And I know like I dug through my parents album and, um, I can't say it's in the same order anymore that it waas so I want Oh, like I'm really thinking of them later, and I'm thinking, I don't want their kids to even, like, mess it up. I want them to look at it and not have worry about it. So I put it in a bound book, but that's just me. But this has worked out really, really well, so that's the gist of that stuff. So just to go quick, so full coverage with an album, which I define and will define albums okay, albums can be big, huge monster books or they could be tiny little you know, tokens that you give your it's totally up to you. There is a way to make this work. I think, truly, for any anyone style anyone's kind of budget and market area. Then you want to design the book and present it at the same time as the proofs, and I'll show you how I do all of that. Within a week. I really do it all. And usually just one day or 2/2 days are, you know, depends what's going on. Um, and then you want toe not drop the ball and not let your clients dropped the ball. And the results of all of this is that I get a lot of thank you cards about Hey, this is so fast. And it was amazing that we got our stuff so quickly and everyone was shocked, and we can't believe it. And actually, this is kind of funny. This was recent, so I This was just the end of August. This was the mother of the groom. It almost worked too well, she emailed me inside. Carrie just had to tell you how I love my parents album. They ordered a parent copy. I am now trying to find someone to make an album like the one I have for my, um, like that for the one I have for my other two kids at those weddings. The photographer just took pictures and gave them to us to do with what we want. But I don't know how to make that album. I don't know if I read that correctly. Does that make sense? So she's writing me going, Oh, God, you did this and took care of my this son. My other kids got married and the photographer dumped the photos on us, and I think she was, like, sort of sort of asking me like what I do the albums for other kids from the other weddings. And I was like, Oh, no, that's a whole other business model. I'm not going to go there but it always works too well. I mean, that's, you know, what happens in is I get these kind of messages a lot where parents or siblings of, ah, one of my clients are like, Oh, God, can you just take over my for my wedding photographer because they totally bombed. So can you fix this? And you know, maybe that's a whole other business for people, but so increased profit left half old, better experience and everyone wins so cool, and I think that's a perfect time for a break so Thanks, guys. Okay, well, nobody Awesome. Well, we're gonna ask him a couple questions before we take a break. Okay? There's so many people asking questions like, Well, what if I just do this one thing extra? What if I just Do you know, there's so many questions like that? Yeah, well, there's lots of ways to tweak it, so hopefully we can address that. We'll start out with a question from D G. Who says How do you handle clients that don't fit your package? For example, full day cultural weddings that air plus hours or even multi day weddings? Oh, that's a great That's a great thing. And I think it depends like where I live. That would be kind of a special request. And that's something, you know, And business owners. We have the prerogative to be flexible. Andi, I would love to shoot. Ah, fabulous. Like an Indian wedding. And I know they're very time intensive, but so that would be amazing. So if if that were situation that came to me, I would just do a whole separate thing for that, you know? And they would get an album and it would be my same workflow and same offerings, but it would have a probably different price because it's three days or whatever, so that for me would be kind of a special situation. If that's your typical situation, then you would just plan for that. I want to take time off from the work that I had the same question because it's it's always almost, you know, like all the requester, like two days, three days for us. But I want to take it offline. Talk Award because this the kids here like weddings here one day most so I think it's just important to know what you, what kind of market you're in and what your clients typically expect. And if they typically expect two or three days of coverage, then that's what you offer that, you know. But I think I don't think the amount of coverage that you offer will affect the workflow. I think the trick is to just limit the choices. So if you're like typically doing two or three days, then you can define what that means for the three clients. And you know, typically, what part of day one do you show up for what time. What part of day One and day two. And what part do you usually leave by? Um, I think if you just structure and say I'm I'm there for three days. This is my package. You know, I think people like just clean simple service. I mean, on example, I had recently I was at a very well known like burrito chain, and I ordered a veggie burrito and the they rang me up in the person was like, Oh, there's an extra charge for veggies And I was like, It's a veggie burrito. What, you're charging me extra veggies in a veggie burrito? And the thing is, it's not that I had a problem paying 50 cents extra or whatever it is that, of course I want veggies in a veggie burrito. Why don't you just price it in, like add 50 cents to the price and be done with it, right? Like I don't want. I don't want the psychology of having to pay extra, which is why I don't itemize. Here's how much an album costs, so it's not, you know, I figure out my time and we'll talk about the pricing, but you figure out your time and you figure out what you're delivering. And then you put that together and that's what you offer. So you're time would just be more for a three day, you know, for a traditional Indian wedding would be more than what we would traditionally do here. So So maybe one more question before we get a break for a lot of us who are new to the concept of just providing 11 thing to work. A lot of people saying again. But what if they ask you about wall canvases? What if they want all of the images so that they can do more with them? OK, what if What if there's other thing, Let me clarify. Okay, that because I like my package is what it is, It does not mean that people cannot have canvases, that they cannot have these things. I certainly have those things. It's just that I don't I don't ask them to figure it all out into a wedding contract. So I shoot their wedding. I edit their, you know, proofs and their album, and I give it to them. They at that point can then purchase canvases. Thank you cards parent album copies. They can add things to to the wedding like if they want a second shooter, they can higher that if they want more pages in their album. I'm not going to tell them they cannot have more pages in their album. But what I am going to do is not burning them with all of the decision about style and paper. And, you know the time of, like, the time flow of their Dave for coverage perfect. So everyone's bank. That makes a lot of sense, though, just to get in with you. It's just this and that's it. Yeah, and they're in, and then you can you get in. I'm gonna take care of you if you want some, you know, just like when you order that burrito, they're like, Would you like sour cream on top of your veggie burrito? I'm just defining the veggie burrito. And in my world that includes veggies. It includes an album. It includes full coverage, and they can add the spice that they want after the event