How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 9/87 - Great Plans Still Fail


How to Launch a Photography Business


Lesson Info

Great Plans Still Fail

Great let's get started with strategy and planning. Now we are in this section of our roadmap before we can actually know what to do, what competitiveness and analyze. All that stuff we needed to find our focus, and I wanna talk about that for just a little bit. So why do we need a strategy and a plan? Because great plans, they still fail, constantly. And I've by the way selected images that kind of correspond to the topic that we're learning. This is a family shoot and maternity session where well like every single one of them your plan fails, and the kids go off playing with their little toys and doing their thing. But there's kind of a beauty in these imperfect moments, right? There's a beauty in the fact that great plans still fail as well because it leads you somewhere, and each of those failures take you somewhere. Don't feel like that's a bad thing. I'm gonna show you. Jivejive, this was actually what we quit Ernst and Young for. This was a web startup that we had funding for, c...

lose to a million dollars, and it got pulled right when the recession started. So we quit Ernst and Young, three weeks later we had our team ready and in place, funding was gone, investors said they didn't wanna do it any more, and we were just left kind of holding our website in our hands, and like what do we do now? Okay, and the recession was starting if you guys remember that time. So that failed. Haha we have more. Meebi tag, Indieworks Corps, Echozen, there's a lot of comedy in this, Frooshi, Undfind, so we ended up, you know you own like some of these registered names. So IW actually became our parent holding company for all of our... Cause we had it already, it was a failed business, we had all the legal work done. Same thing with Undfined. We started as a creative studio for web design, and then when that... We were like we're not gonna do that anymore. Then we're like let's make bags for photography. So that became Undfined. So like all these things just... We reused the names. It's fine. Meebi tag was actually a great idea. This was a way to actually tag products within YouTube videos when YouTube was just coming up. Another idea that was on the verge of funding that we lost. These are all failures. Frooshie was probably my favorite failure because it tasted the best. It was really good. So we invented Frooshie. I kid you not nobody else had this. This was back in college. This was like our very first startup. We got $100,000 from the city. We developed Frooshie. I was in charge of all the beautiful design assets you see and the logos and that kind of stuff, and eventually the company tanked. They hired the wrong person to manage it, and it went down. But again one of my startups that failed, and Frooshie was really delicious. Have you guys ever fruit sushi? It sounds terrible, but it's really good. We had this problem in every market. (audience laughing) Fruit sushi sounds terrible, but it's really good. It was. It was like this coconut milk rice and you roll fruits inside of it and it had like a sugary strawberry drizzle on it. It was really delicious. There was no seaweed or fish involved, which was problematic because it was fruit sushi and people expected that. Who'd a thunk? You know? We had taste test ratings that put it up there with ice cream. Just saying. That's a big deal. Undfined, this was our... We had photography bags we made for quite a while. It was actually a profitable venture. We still cut it, because it just wasn't comparable to all of our other stuff. My point is if you look on our server this is underscore zero zero killed projects. Boom, these are all the things that we have started and at one point either failed or stopped. The best of all of them was our boy band. (speaker laughing) I kid you not. (audience laughing) You think it's funny, we actually had a contract in Taiwan as a boy band. The only problem was when we got the deal, we got a record deal, when we got the deal it was expense only for the first year, and this is Eric, Eric was graduating from dental school, we're all CPAs, and we're like I think we're about 10 years past this boy band startup phase. Maybe we should move on. But I love this picture because I'm like the only brown man in a sea of Chinese, Asian, Taiwanese boys. These are all brothers, and I'm like in the background. like hiding with my hat, don't look at me. We knew our market. Our market was Taiwan. That's what we're aiming for. We got it, but we eventually left it. Our music is still online, hint hint, just in case anybody... (audience laughing) Our track record. Would you bet on these odds? 23 of 25 of our businesses we've either failed or exited. I'm hoping that helps to relieve you a little bit, because that everyone of those failures led to us doing the next thing better. So it's gonna be this process that you're gonna through. Two of the 25 were successful. Well successful enough that we kept. That's Lin and Jirsa and that's SLR Lounge. On average, we currently start a new project every other year. So that's kind of like our pace of starting things, and now it's Line and Roots. And it's okay to start something and put a pause on it. Say I'm going to start this, you know what I'm not quit ready yet, and let's go back and focus on this thing and put a pause on it. That's totally fine too. If the majority of great plans fail though, are you willing to have no plan, because every one of the things that you just saw had full business plans. Meebi tag had a 20 page write-up documenting out the exact plan of what it was, how much funding we needed, who were gonna be the developers, everything. Every one of those had plans.

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.