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How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 54 of 87

Content Marketing Q&A

Pye Jirsa

How to Start a Photography Business

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

54. Content Marketing Q&A
Gain additional insight into building your website content through questions from students during the live session, from how long web content should be to blogging tips.


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1 Class Introduction Duration:13:12
3 The Road Ahead Duration:13:03
4 Find Your Passion Duration:06:06
5 The Lin & Jirsa Journey Duration:13:54
7 Stop Wasting Time & Money Duration:06:07
8 Your 12 Week Roadmap Duration:04:33
9 Great Plans Still Fail Duration:06:01
10 Strategy Vs. Planning Duration:04:16
11 Mind Mapping Duration:07:25
12 Select a Focus Duration:14:16
13 Competitor Research Duration:09:34
14 S.W.O.T. Analysis Duration:13:54
15 Strategy & Long Term Goals Duration:03:50
16 Values, Vision & Mission Duration:27:49
17 Effectively Managing Your Time Duration:15:05
18 Artistic Development Duration:07:30
19 Create Your Plan Duration:13:12
20 What's Your Product Duration:10:51
22 Quick Break for Econ 101 Duration:16:31
24 What's in a Name Duration:09:20
25 Your Client 'Why' Duration:05:43
26 Crafting the Why Experience Duration:24:17
27 Document the Client Experience Duration:08:29
28 Business Administration Basics Duration:27:03
29 Book Keeping Management Duration:06:51
30 Create the Logo & Branding Duration:07:04
31 Portfolio Design Duration:15:11
33 Pricing Fears & Myths Duration:08:46
34 Three Pricing Methods Duration:25:39
36 Psychology of Numbers Duration:07:29
37 Pricing Q&A Duration:23:51
38 Grass Roots Marketing Duration:09:36
39 The Empty Party Duration:07:03
40 Friends & Family Test Shoots Duration:16:28
41 Join Groups Duration:04:32
42 Second Shooting Etiquette Duration:07:44
44 Make Instagram Simple Duration:13:55
45 Your Automated Pinterest Plan Duration:08:01
46 Facebook Because You Must Duration:07:37
47 Giveaway & Styled Shoots Duration:12:17
48 Content Marketing & SEO Duration:08:12
49 The Monster: SEO Duration:07:26
50 Selecting Your Keywords Duration:05:45
51 Testing Your Keywords Duration:07:53
52 Grouping Main & Niche Goals Duration:12:39
53 Your Content Road Map Duration:11:47
54 Content Marketing Q&A Duration:10:45
55 Inspiration to Keep Working Duration:07:45
56 How to Craft Your Content Duration:15:03
57 Internal Linking Basics Duration:05:30
58 Back Link Building Basics Duration:04:55
59 Link Value Factos Duration:14:38
60 Measuring Link Value Duration:04:24
61 Link Building Strategy & Plan Duration:06:10
65 What is Sales? Show Me! Duration:12:58
66 Your First Massive Failure Duration:05:17
67 The Sales Process Duration:07:31
68 Your Second Massive Failure Duration:05:23
69 Understand Buyer Psychology Duration:10:00
71 Step 1: Identify Need or Want Duration:15:39
72 Cognitive Dissonance Duration:12:01
74 Step 4 : Close, Make the Ask Duration:04:32
76 Family Photography Hot Seat Duration:12:06
77 Business Example Hot Seat Duration:15:52
78 Boudoir Photography Hot Seat Duration:16:09
79 The Best Sales Person Duration:07:45
83 Chumming the Price Waters Duration:03:57
84 Creating Want or Scarcity Duration:09:54
86 Selling Over The Phone Duration:10:59
87 Forbidden Words in Sales Duration:11:40

Lesson Info

Content Marketing Q&A

So, do you recommend to create educative content on your blog or on specific pages? Well, a lot of times you can actually, so you want them to be housed on the main website. You want them to have a home. Things that are just on your blog, don't really have a home, right? They don't have a place to get to from that main menu. So you generally want these things to be searchable. That's not to say that often times these blogs and things that you purchase, whenever you publish a new page, you can actually give it a home on your website, and you can serve it to your blog. Does that make sense? Your blog basically serves up all new content, whereas you gave it a direct link and a permanent home on this spot. So it does both. I expect it to hit your blog, if you write something about new venues, I hope it hits your blog, it needs to. I have a question from Danny, who says, for example, for five tips every new bride should know, or newborn safety tips, I love that. her question is, can s...

he use content from a magazine if she is crediting them, so how much can you be sort of curating other content that's out there and putting it on your own site? I would very much advise against that. There's a fine line between what's called curating of content and plagiarism. So, yeah, don't go there. And the other thing is, it doesn't benefit you from an SEO standpoint. The reason why is, if you pull content from some other place, if it's been up there for 24 hours or more, what's the likelihood that Google or all the other search engines have already crawled it? Raise your hands if you think that it's already been crawled and searched and looked. The engine has already found that content. That's bad news when you take that content and you publish it on your own page. Because then the search engine itself dings you. Ooh, bad practice, you just plagiarized someone else's stuff, your ranking is gonna drop. So, these are things that are very legitimate, and any time you publish non-organic content, the SEO benefit is minimal, meaning that if you're not creating the content yourself, if it's not new content, if you're taking somebody else's stuff, the benefit is either minimal to damaging, depending on what it is that you exactly did. So avoid it, don't take other things, that's why I say look to the Lin and Jirsa site as an example of what to do, go take it and make it your own. Adapt it, put it in your own voice, make it your own, write your pages. Cool? Alright cool, and Chris chimed in and said, "Google penalizes duplicate content." So there you go, you got it. Yes! Look at that. How long should blog posts be, is there sort of an ideal length, or is does it really kinda depend on your genre, or I know people don't like to read on the internet sometimes, they just wanna look at pictures, but... This is a great question, I'm gonna answer this from the standpoint of, I used to be the editor in chief for SLR Lounge, so our writers would come in and write stuff, usually 500 words, 800 words, is great. You don't need to go and write page long essays and in fact, what I would say is, the more you write, it better be so damn good that people are gonna keep on reading. Because beyond a certain point, Google's not looking at the keywords 10 pages down in an article, they're looking, what's closer to the top. Is that making sense? So they're gonna look at, that's actually one of the search factors, is what are the closest things to the top of the page? Those are the more relevant things. You're better off with to the point articles, easily digestible, because even though we are, we're gonna cover this in the next segment, even though we're writing, with keywording and content, kinda this categorization and SEO in mind, we're not writing for the search engine. We're writing for the end user. We're writing for the consumer who's gonna come and read it. It needs to be good content, it needs to be valuable. It needs to serve all those things, and in fact, if it's not, if Google feels like you wrote this for Google, bam, knock you down, it's that good. It's that good at detecting how you're writing. And if you say things like, we're gonna talk about keyword stuffing, like, I really love being a wedding photographer in Los Angeles. Being a wedding photographer in Los Angeles means the world to me. That is a keyword stuffed sentence. It has absolutely no value to the person reading it, and Google knows it. So, keep it shorter, keep them targeted, the easiest way to write beautiful content is list format content that follows a popular keyword term. Newborn safety is your keyword term. Five tips on newborn safety. As I'm saying this, do you hear Gizmodo, and all these other sites popping up in your head? Buzzfeed, and every single other site that uses these frameworks? This is where it comes from, okay? You just take it and adapt it to what you do. Boudoir. What do I wear for a boudoir shoot? What to wear... My boudoir shoot, what to wear, 10 ideas. And you have 10 simple ideas that guide them through. This way, Haldis, you don't need to be the best writer in the world, you just need to come up with interesting ideas. And two or three lines here or there to explain them. You don't need to write an essay for any of these things. Got it? Follow up question from Kate Garen, If your blog posts are too short, and people aren't staying on your site very long, is that bad, are you considering how long people should be staying on your site? I believe that's one of the tracking metrics, that Google would use, or a search engine would use is how long do people stay on the site. The key there is it's an important thing to understand, but the problem there is that the content itself is not valuable enough to stay. So you're pulling somebody in somehow, you got them there, but for some reason whatever they're seeing is not enough to keep them there. Which would lead me back to what keywords are you targeting, are you getting the right people on the page in the first place? Because if it's somebody that's interested in what you do, they should be willing to look around a little bit. It's like walking into a store and browsing. Imagine this. Let's go back to Louis Vuitton. We're standing in Louis Vuitton, and I wanna get people in the door. So I put ice cream on a cone, I'm like, "I got free ice cream for anybody who wants free ice cream, just come on in!" You could probably get a lot of people to walk into Louis Vuitton with some free ice cream on your cone, right? And you just hand out free ice cream. Free ice cream, one for you, one for you, Sharon you want some, what's your favorite flavor? Salted caramel. Ooh, I love salted caramel. You got some salted caramel, but then after you've had that salted caramel Sharon, are you gonna stick around and buy a bag? Nah. You're good, you got your salted caramel, you're out. (audience laughing) And that's the problem that we have, when people are coming into a site and frequently bouncing, is that we're either engaging the wrong audience, or the content is not valid to that audience. So pick one or the other, and then adapt it. Question from MPD Photo Guy, who's wondering about how you find out, how you track how algorithms are changing when it comes to SEO, so he's mentioning that some of the bigger ones have announced that some of the algorithms don't work anymore, and so how do you keep up with that? Okay, I'm gonna channel Chris right now. SEO Moz. SEO Moz is kind of the foremost authority on search engine ranking, everything search engine, they have a blog that you guys can follow. Keeping up to date on it is a good thing, don't drive yourself crazy with it. Don't let SEO drive yourself nuts, this is where your main thing, if you're too focused on that main SEO keyword term, you can drive yourself nuts, because one day you're at first, one day you're third. One day you're second, one day you're sixth. And it'll keep bouncing around, don't worry about it. Worry about your niches. Those are honestly the gold mines. Because those are things where somebody's considering something specific in your area, and it's a direct lead to you. That's your bread and butter, your niches should be your bread and butter. And then the organic ranking of the overall site will come a time. And we have more factors, the next segment is gonna talk about all the other factors and how to build that authority. Which sucks, because it used to be called page rank, and Google deleted that. There's no more page rank. So now we're just stuck saying authority. Because nobody knows. That make sense? It's a non-stop game. I wanna break this down in the simplest way possible. Don't think about what do you do for a search engine. Okay, if you go that route, all of you are gonna drive yourselves crazy. Think about this. Let me use my search engine to dictate what keywords, what category to be using. Then from there, just put out great content. From there, just put out good articles, good education. Okay? We're gonna teach you some back lane stuff, we're gonna teach you, but that is the big piece of it. Because if you're putting out good stuff, that people like and people read, that's the end goal of a search engine, right? The algorithm constantly changes because they're trying to figure out what is the most relevant thing to be serving up? So don't think about what do I need to do to please them, think about what is the most relevant thing you could serve up to your target market. Just use some good practices along the way, and it'll automatically rank.

Class Description

The content and opinions expressed in this course are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.


  • Start a photography business
  • Develop the ideal business structure and business plan
  • Research competitors and the market in your area
  • Build a short-term and long-term strategy
  • Create a marketing plan and marketing materials on a budget
  • Confidently conduct an in-person or phone sales session
  • Manage small business tasks from accounting to strategy


Professional photographers aren't just people with a knack for photography and a good camera -- because launching a small business on nothing but passion is a sure-fire way to fail spectacularly. Layer business savvy, marketing know-how, professional grit and more onto your existing passion and learn how to start a photography business. Take your hobby, vision, and creativity and build a career -- whether you are looking to run a full-time business or just a side gig.

Led by a photographer that's also a certified public accountant, Pye Jirsa, the class teaches the ins and outs of launching a photography business from the ground up. Along with three full days of instruction, Pye shares a 12-week plan to get your business up and running, a business expense calculator and more inside the class workbook. Understand what gear and skills you need before you launch and how to build a portfolio by photographing family members or organizing a stylized shoot.

Stop feeling overwhelmed by the monumental task and tackle one task a day in a 12-week plan. Brainstorm names for your business and learn the different types of business licenses available. Secure a domain name and build a website that's easily searchable. Develop a marketing plan with little investment. Master in-person sales and book your first session.

Whether you want to venture out in portrait photography, commercial work or any other client-based type of photography, learn the "business" in photography business with Pye Jirsa.


  • Photographers ready to launch a business
  • New professional photographers looking to grow a young business
  • Photographers interested in working in weddings, portraits, newborns, maternity, families, seniors, engagements or commercial photography


Pye Jirsa is a wedding photographer with Lin & Jirsa photography -- but besides running a successful photography business, he also has a background in accounting, creating the perfect blend for teaching the ins and outs of running a photography business. Along with working as a photographer and educator, Pye is also one of the founders of SLR Lounge, an online resource for photographers.

Learn from a founder of a photography business that photographs more than 300 weddings a year. Pye's Los Angeles and Orange County wedding photography business has been named among the top 100 wedding photographers by Brandsmash.


Armstrong Su

This class and materials are to the point and eye-opening on the business side of photography. Pye Jirsa is an amazing and fun teacher as well! Most photographers need more business classes offered to bring us who love to create art back to reality for a more successful business that makes a living on it's own. This course will definately get you started in the right direction and so cheap too! Great investment! armstrong outdoor tv case outdoortvcase Pye Jirsa is one of the best instructors that I have the pleasure to learn from. He and his team have given me so much more than they'll ever realize. Knowledge, wisdom, training, friendship, mentoring, inspiration, joy... I cannot thank Pye enough for changing my life for the better. I owe them more than they'll ever realize. Thank you, Pye Jirsa!!!

Angela Sanchez

This class has been an eye opener for me; a point of change in my vision as photographer. Pye is and AMAZING, INSPIRING, GENEROUS instructor, with an, authentic desire to help people and to share with them the best of his knowledge. I will not have enough words to say thanks to Pye Jirsa, as a teacher and as a human being, and thanks to Creative Live who allows us to benefit from the experience of such a knowledgeable, educated, well-versed photographer and instructor. 1000% recommended!

Yenith LianTy

Been following this guy forever. Pye Jirsa may be well known in the wedding & portrait photography world and if there is something that this guy knows it is how to create a business, a sustainable one. The workbook he provided is comprehensive, and I honestly wish I had this when I first started out as a photographer! I love that he talks about his failures, keeping it real and honest for anyone starting out. He is definitely one of the best instructors around, super humble, down to earth and with a sense of humor to boot. The course is worth it! THE WORKBOOK is AMAZING! SUPER DETAILED!