How to Launch a Photography Business


Lesson Info

Link Value Factos

Link Value Factors, okay. So these are link value factors. These are all the things that Google's looking at, in terms of what's that link worth? Getting a link from another site linking to yours, the distance, the linking website quality, the page, the everything, it's all this stuff. Don't worry about it again. Because we can think about it intuitively. Intuitively, if you've got this friend that's very established, they are successful in everything that they do. They are wonderful in their home lives. They are a great person; they are honest and upright. That's who this person is. If that person says, "You really need to hire Paige," where's Paige, "You really need to hire Paige, "she's amazing," that probably means more than your other buddy who's kind of weeded out all the time. Y'all got one, okay, and he's like, "Dude, "Paige knows how to party." Paige doesn't know how to party. Let's move on Paige, it's fine, don't worry about it. But those two word-of-mouth referrals mean two ...

completely different things, do they not? Google's the same way, which simply means, if we think about this just logically, CNN, a government educational site, sites that have major amounts of authority and stand for this constant kind of thing, those links will mean a lot more than your weeded out websites that are like our buddy that really are kind of fly-by-night, not reliable, not anything. That's what this is dictating, that's it. So this is what Chris says to everybody that he teaches SEO to in our studio, that links in and out are like your word and your reputation so treat them as such, meaning are you guys gonna hand links to people that you don't know? No, that'll damage your reputation. Just like if I hired someone that, Shell, you recommended, and that person was not a good fit, and they didn't meet that recommendation, I'm gonna come back and say, "Shell, your reputation "just took a little dive in my book." And Google's gonna do the same thing to you. So the distance from the trusted source actually matters. Distance means, remember when we talked about the home page has the most value, does it not? Tier two pages have the next most value. Tier three next, tier four, tier five, tier six. So getting a back link from somebody's tier four page means a lot less than getting a back link from someone's tier two page. Okay, it's just good to know. Good to know. But the thing is ultra trusted site like CNN to your website, I'm gonna say that's tough. I'm gonna say if I told you guys to go out and get a link back from CNN, most of you are gonna be like that's not doable. But what you can do is look to other reputable sites like let's say, I don't know if we have a lot of links from CNN going to SLR Lounge, but let's say an industry publication gets a link from Huffpost, like we have links from Huffpost, we have them from all sorts of different sites that have major authority. They link over to us; they send us their juice. Then you write an article for us, or for another educational blog, for one that maybe focuses on maternity, for one that focuses on critiques, I don't know, pick one. But then, you kind of become the third reference down that line. So we're targeting sites that have a little more authority, specifically in our industry and area of expertise, to give us some juice. Non-trusted websites to your site, yes, these are easy, but they're worth little to nothing. So anybody ever trying to sell you a link, drop it. If you get an email saying, "we can sell you back links," let it go. So essentially the more quality inbound links to your domain the better, the stronger your domain, the less, the weaker your domain, easy. Is this simplifying the process a little bit? Good. So keep one thing in mind that if you're talking about a blog post, or you're talking about any page in general, the more outbound links that are going out from that page, the less juice they have to give. Again, you only have so much juice on a page, right? You give it out to two people, they get more juice each. You give it out to fifty, they get less. Which means, should we go after sites that allow commenting just to get link backs? No, most times commenting is actually a no-follow reference. But even when it's not, there's fifty other people taking juice, and it's going to other places that are random. There's no value in it. That's not the kind of links we're looking for. I want you guys to understand this stuff, because understanding this means you will know where to put your time. You don't need to put your time into a lot of these areas, you need to put your time into a few that are effective. Okay, we got that. So we know this, the higher the link coming out is closer to the home page, the more value it has, right? Links up here are worth more than links down here, easy. Diversity and uniqueness, this means that once you get published on SLR Lounge, by all means, write more, we love it, great. It's just not gonna do much for you from an SEO standpoint. Once you have one, good, move on; go to the next place. Go to Fstoppers, go to another place that has, again, think relevance. If you're maternity, Clickinmoms might be a really great place for you to get a link back. We'll talk about why in a second. But you want diversity in those sources. The anchor text, this has just changed recently. So anchor text, an external site with this whole thing. So if they said this, Los Angeles Wedding Photographer, and notice that this is what's hyperlinked, right? This anchor text is what's hyperlinked there. Lin and Jirsa photography have made a splash creating images that dot dot dot. This is their opening entry to a blog post. This used to mean a lot in terms of if the anchor text was the same thing as your keyword, your main keyword, that meant a little bit more than if the anchor text was just the name of your business. Now, Google penalizes you if all of your incoming links are your keywords, because they say, "You're trying to game the system." So the kind of thought here is don't worry about it. If they link using your name, or if they link using your area and what you do, it's fine. As long as it's a balance between the two, you're good. But don't just focus on anchor text equaling the keywords anymore, cause you'll get dinged for it. So the linking site's relevance, this is the other big thing. Now, we're talking about a wedding photography business, but let's talk about maternity, right? So maternity example was Clickinmoms. This is saying this, it's simple: if Clickinmoms focus is maternity, and SLR Lounge focus is wedding, but the page rank is equal between the two sites, if their authority, (I'm gonna stop saying page rank cause it's no longer relevant) if their authority is equal, getting a link from Clickinmoms will mean more to a maternity studio because it's inside of your specific genre and field. Again, is that not operating the exact same way a referral would work in real life? Your friend that's in a specific industry referring somebody versus your friend outside of that industry referring somebody, even though you hold them both equally, the one that has the experience is the one that gets more value. That's why SEO is a beautiful thing. Because when you understand the simplicity of what Google and all the engines are trying to do, you actually really don't need to know what's going on on the backside. You just need to follow good practices, which mirror the good practices of sending referrals out to people. So that's what we're saying here, is if these two sites, the not and CNN, if they had the same authority, which they do not, but if they did have the same authority all things held equal, ceteris paribus, isn't that the right, ceteris paribus? Alright, you make me feel like a big nerd right now. (laughter) It's the Latin term for all things held equal. CNN would have less value than the not if we were a wedding photography studio. Because the not would be related to what we do. Makes sense? Good. I got nods, I like my nods, nods are good. The linking site's geographic location, fine. If it's close to you, it's worth more, if it's further away, it's worth less. Again, same thing, word of mouth, the people closest in your circle mean more. Nofollow, we know that; nofollow equals no juice. Don't go commenting on blogs expecting juice, don't go doing things like-- this is when you go online and you start reading things about SEO there's a lot of old practices that I just want you to steer away from. You used to go look for blogs that had nofollows in the comments and stuff. Searches have wizened up to it; they know. Now, most sites, and what you should do on your site, is make sure that your site in your comments is all nofollow, because these are random people commenting on your blog post, you don't know who they are. Do you wanna be telling Google to send them your referral juice? No, and everybody knows this, so most sites are nofollow already in random places where you get link backs. This is why also, do you think paying for directory listings is often times worthless. Because from an SEO standpoint, they give you a nofollow link back to your site. And it's very easy to see the code. You just highlight that link that you're getting, right click, and click inspect source. And if you see that rel=nofollow inside of it, you see this, oh man, you cancel that directory subscription real quick, unless they're doing something else for you. If they're giving you business, if they're giving you a network, if they're doing something that helps you, great. But if you got it just for the sake of SEO, no. These are what kind of back links are generally better. Generally, text back links are better than image back links and image back links are better than Javascript back links. Okay, why do you think that is? Javascript back links, this means like-- Javascript back links are usually things that are dynamic. Sites that are dynamic, that change up links constantly. Text back links are worth more because they're permanent. You change a text back link and once you change it, you have to manually change it again. So it means more if you're giving out permanent links than if you're giving out dynamic ones just because it's a listing of things. Does that kind of make sense? So when a directory listing populates a listing of things, they don't type each one manually, they do some sort of scripting on the back side that says, "populate every single website "from this list of database websites." And when the search engine sees that, they go, "That's a dynamic piece of back link. "It is worth a lot less than something permanent." Flash and iframe, nothing. This is what we talked about yesterday when some of you guys brought up, like, "What about sites that are not SEO friendly?" Most of those are gone. Everybody should be on HTML5 and stuff. So we've made it simple. Everybody understand, like-- have we made it simple enough now? Easy and intuitive to kind of know? I'm gonna give you a plan so you don't feel like you just have to go and get back links from every single person, cause that's not what we have to do. And in fact it's gonna tie back into the entire plan of why we were doing test shoots, styled shoots, networking, everything. Jason. I've heard recently that video ranks pretty high for linking and SEO. It might for right now. I don't specifically know whether video ranks higher than anything else. What I know is this: don't worry about it. Because if you worry about it and you start building-- look, if Google thinks, at any point in time, they're gonna wizen up and say, "That's an SEO strategy." They're gonna ding you for it. That's why I'm telling you to understand these things and understand the purpose of them, so you're not trying to build a strategy, you're trying to build a business authentically, understanding how the engines work. Basing anything off of one thing that temporarily gives you more, will hurt you in the future. Yes, Julie. I have a blog and I have a few pins that went viral on Pinterest. And I noticed that it was also like my posts were showing higher on Google, but here you said that social media, they use nofollow. It depends, like who's picking it up? Where did it go viral? On Pinterest. On Pinterest? Mm-hmm. I think there is, maybe Chris can chime in, but there is, so you get-- like linking in Facebook, for example, creating your page, we talked about having local SEO value. But I would assume from Google's standpoint, or a search engine's standpoint, that if you shoot an image that has viral substance to it, and everybody else picks it up, I'm sure their algorithm can figure that out and send you link juice for that. So that should happen, but it's not a viable strategy for me to tell you, "Go out and shoot viral images." Because how easy is it to do that?

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.