How to Launch a Photography Business


Lesson Info

Grouping Main & Niche Goals

Now we get to grouping our main and our niche goals. So again, this is just categorizing. We're just talking about the content that we're putting up. We just need to fill it with keywords that categorize our website for Google. All we're gonna do, and this goes back to your question, is we're gonna identify the main and the niche goals. We're gonna keep things on the list, and what we're gonna do is we're gonna separate them. We're gonna group terms into synonyms. Because guess what? San Francisco wedding photography, San Francisco wedding photographer, San Francisco wedding photographers, wedding photographers in San Francisco, all those are what you said, those are identical. Google will take those and treat them as identical. We don't need those to be something different. So we group them. This is a synonym. Fremont wedding venues versus wedding venues in Fremont. Synonyms. Is that making sense? Synonyms and like search terms get treated the same way. Google's gonna interpret that a...

nd try and take you to where you wanna go. And then we select one ideally, to focus in on, for our main SEO goal. This is the main search term that you're trying to get. The one that is the difficult to achieve, that might take six to 12 months to rank for. Okay? Chris says you can do up to two max. I still say focus on one, but you can do up to two max. These are highly searched, highly competitive, they require time and effort to rank well, and you wanna finalize it early in your business, because the sooner you get that finalized, and the sooner you get it into your content, time is a very big piece of that equation of ranking, so get it done. Yes. So does it mean that every blog post you are creating, you need to use these keywords? We're gonna get to that. Okay. We're gonna get to that. We're gonna tell you, right now we're still selecting it. We're still figuring out what it even should be. And then I'm gonna show you where it's gonna go everywhere on your site. Okay? So, a sample main keyword. These are just formulas for main keyword phrases. The formula is the largest city or region in your area, the type of photography you do, plus photographer. Simple formula to get to a general place of what a main goal would be. Examples: San Francisco weddings, Salt Lake City wedding, Orange County wedding, Orange County newborn photographer, Seattle, Tacoma, what, boudoir? Bellevue, Bellevue boudoir photographer. That has a nice ring to it. These are all main search terms, okay? Pick one. Then we're gonna pick five to ten niche goals. These are gonna be your initial bread and butter. These are the city halls. City hall wedding photographer. These are whatever niche of say, newborn photography, or boudoir photography. Like, maybe there's a particular style of boudoir that's very popular right now that people are searching right now. That's a niche goal. What might that be, Julie? Is there a certain like, dark, moody? I know there's like this dark vibe right now with boudoir. I do more colorful, romantic boudoir. So my question then for you would be do people search that? I don't know. You should probably do a keyword test and see do people search these terms? Because if you can identify a niche term that people are searching, maybe the volume is low, 20 to 30 a month. How many people do you need to sustain a business? Three to four a month? If you have 20 to 30 that are looking for something specific in your area, and, can you imagine the competition for that keyword? Do you think it's high or low? It's gonna be a lot lower. And you can probably rank well for it quickly. And you can probably get those 20 to 30 people looking at your site within just a few months. Does that make sense? And they're looking for exactly what you're doing. So that's what I mean, is like, looking into each of your companies, each of your individual businesses, what you provide as a service and what people are searching. These become your niche goals. They're less searched, they're less competitive, you can rank quicker, and they're gonna evolve over time, and that's okay. Because if I saw that San Francisco Wedding Hall, or city hall wedding photographer got views, guess what page I'm gonna go create? I'm gonna create a venue page for my tier two pages, that's the one that's gonna link from the homepage, and under venues, I'm gonna make a page called San Francisco Wedding Hall photographer. And I'm gonna go to Wedding Hall, and I'm gonna take some pictures. I'm gonna go write about my experience about that place and I'm gonna fill the entire copy of the page with I really enjoyed San Francisco Wedding Hall. I think it's a perfect, or San Francisco City Hall. I think it's a perfect place for wedding photos. Check out some of these angles. Look at this. I'm gonna go and create content that targets that spot. That make sense? That's literally all we're doing right now. One is primary target. Overreaching, large mission objective that's gonna last maybe a couple years to get to that ranking. One are niches. Quickly, you can get there. Quickly, you can start getting leads coming in. So sample niche goals we have here. So here's formulas. Venue name plus wedding photography. Popular photography location engagement. Small city name wedding. Ask a frequent question. Okay, let me guess. In the arena of boudoir. Julia, do your clients ask a particular, frequently asked question? What to wear? I wonder if you searched what to wear boudoir photography if you might find a whole bunch of keywords that you could write about. Right? And you would simply name the article whatever the most commonly searched thing is. Every one of you will have that for your businesses. Frequently asked questions that apply to your genre of what it is that you do, and what you're gonna do is create education around it. 'Cause this is the important fact. That you can still succeed without ever ranking for one of your main keywords. Your main keywords, that's that far object off in the distance, and you know what? It's okay if you never get there. If you never list on the front page of Google for that one keyword, not a biggie. We didn't for many, many years. But we ranked well for all the other stuff. All the niches and all the targets and all the other places? We got those real quick. Pye, we do have a question from Dani Hamm, who says that she lives in an area with three tiny cities right next to each other, so does she need to put all three of those, can she put all three of those in her keywords, or would people have to use all three of those to pull up her listing? So, if you're, can you kind of stack keywords on top of each other, people don't have to be searching for all of those things? Well, what I would do is in your possible keyword combinations, list out each of those areas, and see if one of those areas got more traction than another. And if they did, I would pick that one first. And then I would make the other ones your sub or your niche categories. If that makes sense. Aim for, your main goal should always be the biggest local market that you want to frequently serve. It should be the place that if you did get a lot of clients and you had to drive to every single day or however often it was, you'd be okay with that. Which is why like, you generally set destinations. Like for example, if you're a destination photographer. You do adventure photography, couples adventure stuff, like all that kinda cool stuff. You definitely want to set up niches around the places that you want to go. 'Cause you will go to those places. So you set up ten different niches for, you know, all the countries and all the places that are popular destinations that you like going to, 'cause otherwise you're gonna spend your time going to places you don't like, and we experienced this when we targeted Los Angeles for a long time. Do you know how often we were driving to Los Angeles to do engagement shoots? And that becomes very burden. I know it sounds like a first world problem right now, it's like, oh my god, you have to drive, life's hard. That's not what it is. It's like, dude, if you gotta do that 50 times in a year to do a portrait session which only lasts maybe an hour or two, that's a huge hit on the overall profitability of that shoot, because you're driving three hours each, like both there and back to get there. So it's targeting the places that one, you can serve easily, two, the ones that get the most visibility for the main, and making the other ones the outside areas, the niche topics. Uh, so what if you have a studio in one city, but you wanna target families that might live in surrounding cities, so for instance, in Orange County. If I have a studio in Orange, city of Orange, but I wanna target Yorba Linda, Anaheim Hills, how would you go about doing that if they're coming to you rather than you're doing a shoot in, say, Anaheim Hills? On location? You would do exactly what you just said. You would target those local cities as Yorba Linda family photographer. Like, that would be a, you'd, again, focus on one area as your main, the surrounding areas would become niche goals, and these become, they're not basically, on your homepage. The main objective, the main keyword, is for your homepage, which you'll see soon. The niche ones, that's why you can have a lot of them, because those are for sub-pages. Those are for secondary pages on your site, third, tertiary pages on your site. There's no limit to those. You guys want an example of this? Go to and look at venues. And you'll see, we've targeted every single venue that we wanna work at. I have a question on keywords from Eric who says do sites created from Squarespace, Wix, some of the things that you mentioned earlier, do those rank as well as some custom sites? Do you know if that matters, or is it mostly keywords in terms of SEO? Yeah, so it can matter. Generally, Squarespace, Wix, all these publishers that are putting out good stuff now. They know. They know the importance of SEO. They know the importance of content. And you can see that it says like, SEO-ready. You can see that it says SEO-optimized. You can see that it says all that. That doesn't mean that they did the work for you. That just means that the site itself will serve content in a way that can be searched by search engines. What was the kind of, bane of SEO was flash. Where you have Windows, JavaScript, all that kind of stuff where everything was embedded inside. Remember those flash templates and flash everything? Those weren't searchable from Google site. So whatever you did in that was invisible. Those days are kind of long and gone. Most everybody's using HTML5 right now or something beyond, everything comes SEO-ready, you can see the stamp of approval. SEO-optimized, SEO-ready. That's what you're looking at. What you wanna make sure is that it's easy to add pages. Easy to add secondary pages, easy to add third-layer pages, which we're gonna talk about. So when you're looking at the particular website that you're looking at, you wanna make sure it's easy to add more and more content and to organize that content. And that's where at some point, having a custom designed website, can be a benefit, but it's down the road. You don't need to worry about it right now.

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.


Class Introduction
Common Myths & Unknown Truths
The Road Ahead
Find Your Passion
The Lin & Jirsa Journey
Part-time, Full-time, Employed, Partners?
Stop Wasting Time & Money
Your 12 Week Roadmap
Great Plans Still Fail
Strategy Vs. Planning
Mind Mapping
Select a Focus
Competitor Research
S.W.O.T. Analysis
Strategy & Long Term Goals
Values, Vision & Mission
Effectively Managing Your Time
Artistic Development
Create Your Plan
What's Your Product
Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences
Quick Break for Econ 101
Your Target Market & Brand Message
What's in a Name
Your Client 'Why'
Crafting the Why Experience
Document the Client Experience
Business Administration Basics
Book Keeping Management
Create the Logo & Branding
Portfolio Design
Design Your Services & Packages
Pricing Fears & Myths
Three Pricing Methods
Package Pricing Psychology & Design
Psychology of Numbers
Pricing Q&A
Grass Roots Marketing
The Empty Party
Friends & Family Test Shoots
Join Groups
Second Shooting Etiquette
The Listing & Classified Hustle
Make Instagram Simple
Your Automated Pinterest Plan
Facebook Because You Must
Giveaway & Styled Shoots
Content Marketing & SEO
The Monster: SEO
Selecting Your Keywords
Testing Your Keywords
Grouping Main & Niche Goals
Your Content Road Map
Content Marketing Q&A
Inspiration to Keep Working
How to Craft Your Content
Internal Linking Basics
Back Link Building Basics
Link Value Factos
Measuring Link Value
Link Building Strategy & Plan
Link Building Plan: Vendors & Guest Writing
Link Building Plan: Features, Directories, Comments
Link Building: Shortcuts & One Simple Tool
What is Sales? Show Me!
Your First Massive Failure
The Sales Process
Your Second Massive Failure
Understand Buyer Psychology
Step 0: Building Rapport & Trust
Step 1: Identify Need or Want
Cognitive Dissonance
Steps 2 & 3: Value Proposition & The Solution
Step 4 : Close, Make the Ask
Step 5: Follow Up & Resolve Concerns
Family Photography Hot Seat
Business Example Hot Seat
Boudoir Photography Hot Seat
The Best Sales Person
Your Mindset, Vibrations & Frequency
Always Positive, Always Affirming
The Second Money & Dual Process
Chumming the Price Waters
Creating Want or Scarcity
Timeless Advice on Being Likable
Selling Over The Phone
Forbidden Words in Sales


  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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.