How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 27/87 - Document the Client Experience


How to Launch a Photography Business


Lesson Info

Document the Client Experience

Once it's mind mapped, this is where we wanna eventually end. This is, like, at the end of the 12 weeks, because it's gonna change and adapt, and it's okay that, you know, we kept the same message for five, six years until we adapted it to a new message and then to finally where it is now. It's changed several times over the course of our business. At each point when it changes, I want you to document it. This is called a standard operating procedure. Okay? A standard operating procedure, or SOP. This is, in accounting terms, the bane of my existence. These were what we wrote for companies all day long. Accounting procedures, all this. Where could things go wrong, all that kinda stuff. But you know what? They're pretty darn effective for you in your business. I'm gonna show you what an example of one might look like from the context of a table of contents, because they're too long to go over. But your first SOP should do this. By the end of this course, document your sales and client e...

xperience and process. Why? Because once you have your message and your vision down, I don't care if it's you or if it's your partner or if it's your employees or anybody in your company, you'd better deliver that message to every single client. That's who you are and that is your product. And without documenting it and putting it down on paper, everybody that walks in your door is gonna get something just a little bit different, right? When you go to... I hate conveying this to this, but, like, this is literally my heart right here. In-N-Out Burgers. Oh yeah. Yeah. I know. I don't miss it 'cause it's, like, right down the street, and I know every single location around me. But In-N-Out Burgers is a burger joint who have prided themselves, their core values, their core vision. It's amazing. Go look at it. They have turned down franchising opportunities, public company opportunities, everything in this family-owned business, they have turned down millions upon millions of dollars. Do you know why? Because in their core values and their vision statement states that they are about deliver quality product with the best sourced food ingredients and everything, which they fear that they would not be able to do with a rapid expansion model. How is that to turn down what would probably be these days billions of dollars because of a core value that you hold? Now, the end result is go to any In-N-Out and you have to stand in a what kind of line to get your burger? It's a line. And it's a fast food burger. That's the crazy part about it is it's a $4 burger, but they're fantastic. And the beauty is it tastes exactly the same when you get it in California, in Vegas, in every place. In every place you know exactly what you're getting. Now, my question to you is if In-N-Out in California tasted better and it was very different from In-N-Out in Las Vegas, when you went to Las Vegas, would you go? Would you have a different brand perception? Don't we all know restaurants where one spot tastes better than the other exact same restaurant? Yeah, we do. And that's the question I have, is if one of your clients goes to another client and says, "I had this amazing experience with them," and the next client comes back and is like, "So I don't feel like you gave me that experience." They're gonna compare and you're gonna get a bad review. So I know we all think of these things. Documentation and, like, taking the artistry out of it. I'm doing exactly the opposite. I'm trying to make it so that every one of your clients gets the exact same artistry. It doesn't mean that you have to read a script. Every time it should come from the heart. Every time it should vary. But it should be documented. That's an SOP. This is our Life Belongs in Print exercise. Then it goes into building a relationship of trust. This is the general outline. We perform the W.A.V.E., which we're gonna talk about in the sales chapter. We continue building value. We don't feature dump. Talking to you about how I lit something and how I shot this and using this megapixel camera and a full frame camera and all this kinda stuff, that's feature dumping. If you don't expect that in a Louis Vuitton store, in a Bentley dealership, you shouldn't be doing it with a luxury. That's why we talked about what kind of product do we sell? Do we sell a Honda Accord where we talk about the features and what you're getting, or do you sell a luxury product where it's assumed that you're using the best stuff, it's assumed that your product is good. You extend the offer, you resolve concerns, and then you follow up. This is an outline of our sales SOP. This is how it looks as an actual SOP. This is the service consultant SOP. You can see the level of detail. It's a 37-page document that outlays everything. We have this for every department, for every function, for everything that we do. And if you wanna save your own sanity, start creating this at the beginning of your business. Because there's gonna be one day, if you said I would love to have a multi-shooter studio, there's gonna be one day where you eventually hire somebody, and then what? You wanna train them ground up? What about when they quit? What if it's just your partner or your spouse that wants to come into the company? You wanna train them on every single thing that you've already done? Or do you wanna have a standard process that you follow that everyone else can follow in your company? You know what? It's also a great excuse when it comes to clients, because if a client wants a certain thing, you don't have to say no to them. You simply say, inside of our values and our vision, this is how we like to do things. And it's literally documented. You're going according to it. So for any organizational documents, I'm gonna say to you guys put them into Google Drive. It's simple. It's free. It has fantastic spreadsheets, Google Docs, everything. And for organizational documents, you can share them throughout your entire company. Anybody can potentially use them. You can use them yourself from an iPad, from your computer, from anywhere you want without having to install software and, like, do Word and all those kinda things. So it's much, much easier just to go via... Is everybody familiar with Google Docs, I assume? Yeah, it's kind of pretty ubiquitous for that. So this is where you're gonna draft your client experience. And I say draft because don't expect perfection right now. This is the first stage of putting together an experience that you wanna create for your clients. And I hope when you heard me talking about these things you heard the conviction in what I was saying to you all, because that's what I believe. That's what I've seen personally from my own children, from my own happiness in seeing these photographs on a daily basis as opposed to leaving them on a hard drive. Do you have any questions? How often do you update your documents? Like SOPs? Yeah. SOPs, once they're to that state, they're updated by the process owner. So once they've been drafted to a point where they're good, the process owner, the person that's, like, basically managing that area, would them update it as needed. But, like, once a partner, we'll, partners will generally create the SOPs for our company, and then we hand it off to somebody to handle from that point. So for individual studios, you shouldn't need to change it that often. You know... So, like, every time my process changes as it... Yeah, like, if you... I would expect your client experience to not change more than every few years. Like, your draft is gonna change, because this is a draft, right? In your first year, it might change several times as you formulate what you want to convey and the message you wanna give and your brand message and your identity and your vision, it's gonna change a few times. Once you get to that place where you have your product dialed in, you lock it and you keep it there, and that's who you are, basically. And re-evaluate it in three or five years, but not, don't change your experience every six months.

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

Build a business and get people to spend money on your photography. Award-winning photographer and co-founder of Lin and Jirsa Photography Pye Jirsa will walk you through the first 12 weeks of building your business. With his relatable and actionable teaching style, he’ll explain how to define your product as a photographer and determine where it fits into a consumer mindset. You’ll learn the steps to creating a brand, pricing yourself confidently, sales techniques, and basic marketing practices. This class covers everything you’ll need if you’re considering photography as a job, including:

  • Where to position yourself in the market
  • Branding your business to attract your ideal client
  • Pricing and basic financing
  • Creating a business plan
  • Setting up a portfolio
  • How to get your first customer in the door
  • Getting leads on new clients
  • Understanding sales
  • The psychology of a buyer

Pye has built multiple successful businesses from the ground up and this course includes your 12 week road map to launching your business.


1Class Introduction 2Common Myths & Unknown Truths 3The Road Ahead 4Find Your Passion 5The Lin & Jirsa Journey 6Part-time, Full-time, Employed, Partners? 7Stop Wasting Time & Money 8Your 12 Week Roadmap 9Great Plans Still Fail 10Strategy Vs. Planning 11Mind Mapping 12Select a Focus 13Competitor Research 14S.W.O.T. Analysis 15Strategy & Long Term Goals 16Values, Vision & Mission 17Effectively Managing Your Time 18Artistic Development 19Create Your Plan 20What's Your Product 21Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences 22Quick Break for Econ 101 23Your Target Market & Brand Message 24What's in a Name 25Your Client 'Why' 26Crafting the Why Experience 27Document the Client Experience 28Business Administration Basics 29Book Keeping Management 30Create the Logo & Branding 31Portfolio Design 32Design Your Services & Packages 33Pricing Fears & Myths 34Three Pricing Methods 35Package Pricing Psychology & Design 36Psychology of Numbers 37Pricing Q&A 38Grass Roots Marketing 39The Empty Party 40Friends & Family Test Shoots 41Join Groups 42Second Shooting Etiquette 43The Listing & Classified Hustle 44Make Instagram Simple 45Your Automated Pinterest Plan 46Facebook Because You Must 47Giveaway & Styled Shoots 48Content Marketing & SEO 49The Monster: SEO 50Selecting Your Keywords 51Testing Your Keywords 52Grouping Main & Niche Goals 53Your Content Road Map 54Content Marketing Q&A 55Inspiration to Keep Working 56How to Craft Your Content 57Internal Linking Basics 58Back Link Building Basics 59Link Value Factos 60Measuring Link Value 61Link Building Strategy & Plan 62Link Building Plan: Vendors & Guest Writing 63Link Building Plan: Features, Directories, Comments 64Link Building: Shortcuts & One Simple Tool 65What is Sales? Show Me! 66Your First Massive Failure 67The Sales Process 68Your Second Massive Failure 69Understand Buyer Psychology 70Step 0: Building Rapport & Trust 71Step 1: Identify Need or Want 72Cognitive Dissonance 73Steps 2 & 3: Value Proposition & The Solution 74Step 4 : Close, Make the Ask 75Step 5: Follow Up & Resolve Concerns 76Family Photography Hot Seat 77Business Example Hot Seat 78Boudoir Photography Hot Seat 79The Best Sales Person 80Your Mindset, Vibrations & Frequency 81Always Positive, Always Affirming 82The Second Money & Dual Process 83Chumming the Price Waters 84Creating Want or Scarcity 85Timeless Advice on Being Likable 86Selling Over The Phone 87Forbidden Words in Sales


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!

Tai Hsin

I saw the live broadcast and it was amazing. Pye is one of the best instructors and inspirational photographers.. there are two type of ppl.. one who has the knowledge and doesn’t know to teach another who has the knowledge and knows how to get it through.... I still didn’t purchase this as I am saving for my daughters entrance fee for collage... :) Anyways he’s one of the best instructors and a good friend.... very humble and always cracks jokes.... Keep inspiring and keep teaching.... my blessings are always with you pye.