Sales Strategies Overview


Creating Your Ideal Photography Business


Lesson Info

Sales Strategies Overview

Alright, sales. This is the best thing. If you do nothing else out of this class, do in-person sales. Give yourself a goal. Try it three times and see what happens, and I promise you, you are gonna be blown away. Just follow these steps. It's really easy. So, the sale. I'm gonna give you everything you need to do and say to make this feel like you are helping your clients through the entire process. So, we've seen this before, pricing is more than calculating the amount you must charge for your products. It's a sales strategy. So we've talked about how to implement strategies in our pricing structure. When we're building our prices list, that's really important. The sales strategy in person is also a complete system that supports that price list that you're working on. So, I want you to think about two different incredibly successful businesses. We're gonna talk about Walmart and we're gonna talk about Apple. So I want you to think about your experience whenever you go into a Walmart. ...

You walk in, somebody says, "Hello, welcome!" And then you go to, let's say it's the Fourth of July, and I'm going to buy supplies for a picnic that I'm having. And I walk in and I'm going to go get plastic cups for my picnic. And I walk down the aisle and I see a beach towel, and I'm like, "Oh my gosh, Abby needs "a new beach towel for the pool." Throw that in the basket. It's only $5. And then I keep walking by and I see a cute little picture, that "Oh that would be "really neat for my picnic, and it's only $3." And I throw it in the basket, and I keep walking, and oh my gosh, I forgot I'm out of dish soap, I need to get that too. I throw that in the basket. So while I walked into Walmart needing to buy plastic cups for my picnic, I walk out and I have $100 worth of things in my basket. Right? That $3 sale turned into $100 sale, and it happens every single time. And when I get to the cash register, and they're ringing me up, and I'm looking at all this stuff, I'm like, "Ugh, $100 again." Every time, without fail. And I go to my car and I'm like, "Argh!" I go back to my house and I put all junk away and I'm like "Ugh, alright." But, it happens every time. It is a brilliant sales strategy. They put little inexpensive items in convenient places and it's just suggestive selling, and you walk in and you're like, "Oh, I can't live without a new beach towel," right? It's brilliant. They're very, very successful at doing that. And we can use that strategy in our business. But I want to point out another very incredibly successful selling strategy, and that's Apple. So the new iPhone comes out, and you're like "Aw man, my phone "has been out of storage for six months. "I can't take another picture because "it sends me a stupid message, "and I've got to get a new phone. "Plus, it's really cool and I want one anyway," right? And they build up the hype, and you're like "Okay, as soon as it comes out." People are waiting for days, weeks, months, for this new phone to come out. Really excited about it. And you go in, and of course there's three different options, the different storage sizes for the phones, right? So, you go in, and you think it's gonna be $699 or $799 for the new phone. And then you get there, and they're like, "Oh, which storage size would you like?" And you think about that message that's on your phone, "You can't take any more pictures, "because your phone is full." And you're like, "Okay, well I can't get the base "level of storage, because that's what I have right now, "and it's not working." So you automatically move up in the pricing structure, so you automatically add, it's just $100 more. When you're talking about $700, $800, another $100 so you can take a picture whenever you want? No-brainer sale, right? So you get the middle level of storage. So you've already increased your sale by $100. Then, as you go to check out, they say, "Oh, would you like the insurance? "Cause if you crack your screen, it's no big deal. "We'll just replace it." Another $100, and you're like, "Ugh, yeah my screen's been cracked for "like three years," right? And so you're like, "Okay, yeah, "I've gotta have the storage, "or the insurance, it's really important." And so, now you've invested another $100. Okay? So you do this, you've spent several hundred dollars more than what you're expecting, and you walk out of the store, and what do you do? Facebook, "I just got a new iPhone, woohoo!" Right? Totally different experience. Both of those experiences work. How you feel about those experiences as a buyer are very, very different. One of em, you're on your own, you're going through the sales process deciding what you want. One of them, someone is there guiding you through every step of the way and you feel great about the purchase at the end. It's something you're really excited about. Okay? So as we talk about selling our own work, keep those two examples in mind.

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



I started my business a year ago with little formal technical photography education. It's hard to admit but I've been winging it, figuring out each small task that goes with photographing a session, editing one, and working with clients as I go. I may be doing things backwards, but now that I feel like I'm more comfortable in those small, specific parts of business, I need to figure out how to make this business sustainable and profitable. Kathy's class felt perfect for this time in my business to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of what I want to focus on and where I want to go (and how much I want to pay myself!). She uses realistic, specific numbers: something that's SO helpful and I feel like I rarely see in the photography community. And she breaks everything down in an organized and easy to understand way. The classes were easy to follow along with and Kathy's positivity and patient manner is inspiring and motivating. The fact that she used to be a school teacher is clear. Thank you so much Kathy (and the rest of the Holcombes)!

Jenny Farrell

I am so glad I was able to attend this course in person and receive all the wonderful and practical information Kathy shared with us. I also really enjoyed the connections with other audience members and side conversations with Creative Live peeps as well as the Holcombe family. What an inspiration this family is--lots of practical info, but also a great pep talk to not sell yourself short and get out there and do what you love, but use sound business practice while doing it. Thanks so much for these incredible two days.


Fantastic course! Very helpful instruction and how-to guide for anyone considering starting up a photography business. Kathy was an excellent instructor, with a wealth of knowledge and experience. I gained a good understanding of the practical everyday aspects of running this kind of business, and how to create my own vision.