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