Creating Your Ideal Photography Business


Creating Your Ideal Photography Business


Lesson Info

Know Your Sales Average

So here's how you calculate your sales average. It's a really simple formula, sales average equals all of the dollars for a particular product line. So all you have to do is look at your invoices for weddings, add those dollar amounts up, not including sales tax, and divide it by the total number of sessions. K? It's really simple. And then you know what your sessions are worth. Whatever sessions you've done this year, if you don't know what your sales average is, put that on your hot salsa list, you gotta know that. You gotta know what it's worth. You never take a job not knowing what you're gonna get paid. This is how you know what you get paid. Okay. So... Every week, I call it happy hour Friday, (laughs) every week you need to go in and you need to track each product line's sales average. Just make it before you can go do something fun on the weekend, or maybe Monday morning, whatever time is best for you, you need to go in and you need to run your numbers. For Peter, who doesn't g...

et to go kayaking, until he knows his numbers and that's his reward, right? For me, there are all kinds of things. I don't get to go kayaking either. So, you've got to keep a running total for each product line category by the month and by the year-to-date. So what that tells you, if you know your sales average by the month, if you change something in your pricing strategy, and you compare the next month, you can see if it worked or if it didn't. It gives you power to know what's working. So you track it by the month and you track it by the year. You want to know cumulatively over the year how this is working. And it will tell you how to proceed in your business. Do you need to try a different strategy? Or are things working? Are they going up or down? Trends are what tell us information in business. And then, you need to go back to what you thought you needed, your projections, and compare what's happening in real life to what you planned to happen. So as you're building your sales list, you have that target sales average, we know that, now you have to compare that to what you're actually collecting in real life. Hopefully they're the same or what's happening in real life is better than what you projected. Mkay? If they're the other way around, you better be careful because you're not going to be able to pay yourself what you thought. So here's what it looks like. So this is just one particular product line. You would have a sheet that would look similar to this. A lot of accounting softwares do this for you, QuickBooks, and things like that, will run all these numbers for you if you entered the data correctly. But you can do it on paper, it's really not that hard. So the way it works, you have your product line and you have your product line category. I like to break it down by product line category so I can get the numbers that we talked about earlier. You add up the total number of dollars that you collected for that product line category, and you look at the number of sessions, we've got happy math here again. So if you brought in $35,000 dollars for weddings, and you did 10 weddings, that means that you averaged $3500 per wedding. Mkay? Pretty easy, and that it's 35% of $100,000 dollars total. So if you had a bunch of product lines, you would add it all up to this total dollar amount at the bottom, and that's how you could calculate the percentage. Remember the percentages that I showed you on our business? We did 40% commercial partnerships. That's how I calculated that number. And what that tells me, the first time I ran these numbers, it was probably our second year in business, and somebody told me I needed to do this, and I was like, oh, okay, of course I gotta go do that. And I ran the numbers on our business, and we were spending about the same amount of time doing weddings, portraits, and seniors, we were pretty balanced in our workload. And the first time I ran our numbers, I realized that 80% of our income was coming from weddings. But we were only spending a fourth of our time working on weddings. That's huge! From that day forward, every bit of energy we put into marketing our business went to weddings. Less time spent, more dollars brought in and we loved them. If that had been the case and we hated doing weddings, we would have gone a different course. But that gave us a huge amount of power and where to divert our dollars and our energy to bring the best bang for our buck, or our time. Right? Best buck for our time? (laughs) So it's just a really simple sheet like this that can tell you so much information about where you are and where you wanna go. Can everybody do this? Yeah! This isn't hard math. I promise, even when the numbers aren't happy numbers. So at the end of this, when you fill out that sheet for your business that looks like that, which is included in your bonus materials by the way, you don't even have to make the sheet, you'll write down your own product line, your own product line category, and then you just fill in the dollar amounts, and then you can compare where the dollars are coming in for your business, and then you can make those decisions. Do you wanna go after weddings? Do you wanna go after portraits? Do you wanna go after commercial work? What do you wanna do? See if what makes your eyes sparkle in the work that you love matches where the dollars are coming from. And if not, why not? Can you see the power of this? You know, everybody always goes into numbers and business like, ugh, gotta go figure out my whatever. I mean, when you get these numbers and you're like, yes, I'm on track! Yes, I'm doing what I love! Yes, I'm making a great living! Wine Wednesday is awesome! (laughs) So... Figure out a system in your business, whatever it is that makes you happy, do this right before that. Make sure you're on track and make any changes that you need to, and just make it a part of your daily business life, at least your weekly, or monthly, business life. It's really critical.

Class Description

"If you're struggling to figure out the business process of photography, this class is one of the clearest and most concise I've ever seen. If you're experienced but the business side and pricing are eluding you, you will find clarity here. I own at least twenty CreativeLive courses and hands down, this one explains pricing and strategy better than any others I've purchased or watched live." - Julie, CreativeLive Student 
Join Kathy Holcombe as she shares techniques and strategies to develop the photography business you desire. Whether you’re making the leap from part-time to full-time or starting your very first business, the amount of work can be overwhelming. From what products to offer, how much to charge, how to pay yourself or the legal considerations - start ups often sink before clients are even booked. Kathy will show you the ways to grow your business from the start. This class will cover: 

  • Defining what product you are selling and how much you should charge to make a living 
  • Photography business basics and how to track your income compared to other businesses 
  • How to write and create your business plan 
Kathy Holcombe and her husband Peter built one of the top wedding portrait studios in Colorado, then jumped in an RV with the entire family and began traveling the country full-time, and added a successful commercial division. Together they have built multiple successful businesses and have honed in on the important factors that every photographer should consider when building a business. 


1Class Introduction
2How To Price Your Products
3Which Products Will You Offer
4Methods For Pricing
5Mark Up Factors On Products
6What Is Your Per Hour Figure
7What Is The Feasibility Of A Product
8Target Sales Average
9Session Fees Pricing Strategy
10Minimum Purchase And Incentives Pricing Strategy
11Bundling Pricing Strategy
12Pre-Design Pricing Strategy
13Album Pricing Strategies
14Example Pricing List
15Business Basics Overview
16Tracking Product Lines In Your Business
17Track Your Session Counts
18Know Your Sales Average
19Importance Of Data Analysis
20Overview Of Costs
21Professional Photographers Of America Benchmark Survey
22Creating A Vision For Your Business
23What Do You Want To Accomplish
24Take A Leap Of Faith
25Refine Your Vision
26Products That Sell
27Identify Pricing Strategies
28Portrait Pricing Strategy Example
29Album Pricing Strategy Example
30Online Pricing Strategy Example
31Fine Art Prints Pricing Strategy Example
32Packages Pricing Strategy Example
33Sales Strategies Overview
34Portrait Sales Session Overview
35Sales Strategy for Portrait Sales
36How to Present Images to Client
37Sales Strategy for Wedding Sales
38Album Pre-Design
39Marketing: Define Yourself
40Who is Your Ideal Client?
41Who is Your Ideal Partner?
42How to Start a Partner Business Relationship
43Marketing Strategies that Work
44Product Lines: Business Plan Part One
45Workload: Business Plan Part Two
46Sessions: Business Plan Part Three
47Expenses: Business Plan Part Four
48Clients: Business Plan Part Five