How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 86/87 - Selling Over The Phone


How to Launch a Photography Business


Lesson Info

Selling Over The Phone

Let's take it to the phone because this is one of the last pieces in terms of verbal communication. I think most of us are going to get comfortable in in-person meetings a lot quicker then we're going to be comfortable over the phone. 'Cause the phone kind of brings in a whole new set of challenges along with it. Julie. So the phone for me is kind of difficult because of my accent and when you're on the phone the accident is stronger, and when you face to face. So is there a way I can avoid it? Not really, but I know one thing you can do right now. My second major in college was actually linguistics. And if you just talked louder, Okay. It would actually come through less. So if you open and try to enunciate with everything and talk louder, it would actually come through a lot clearer. So, Okay. (laughter) That's, that is the first thing, yeah! So that's a linguistics thing. I majored in Chinese linguistics and accounting. Isn't that odd? (laughter) How would that be at all...

useful? It's pretty useful, sure, why not. Yeah, but get good on the phone. You need to get good on the phone. And accents, honestly, they're totally fine. So, your first objective on the phone. This is number one. First objective is to get them in person. Second objective is to disrupt, and then convey value. Third objective, which is totally doable, is to close. If you feel like you can get them to close over the phone, do it. Now this is the big thing is that when it comes to body language it still matters on the phone. That's why I told you guys earlier, when you're going to go into these phone calls, sit in a place that's not relaxed on your couch. Sit forward on a chair. Okay? You're going to lack visuals, meaning right now I can convey a sense of presence and charisma to you. Jason, if I call you by name, I can pull you right to me. I can bring my hands, and I can use all this to help me convey a message to you. But then when I am behind the TV, Jason, I'm still talking to you with the same emphasis and the same everything, but do you feel like I'm getting my message across to you the same way? (laughter) No. (laughter) No. It was literally the exact same voice. It was the exact same everything. I even did my hand gestures from behind the TV, but when you pull the visuals out of the meeting you lose, what is the, you know, funny thing about studies is that every study is so different. And the other thing that's funny about studies, when you repeatedly say, "Studies have been done, studies have been done," I feel like I'm saying things that are very cliché. But either way, Some studies say that body language is 90% of your communication. I think that that's BS. More reasonable numbers is more like 50%, because this is where I get back to the fact that no matter what my hands are doing, all this, if I say, "Go screw yourself," it doesn't matter how loving I do that. It mattered what I said, right? So obviously the words that we're saying have a huge impact. But probably 50%, 50% what I say is from my mouth, the other 50% is from my body language. Either way, when you take that away, generally we require 30% more effort, more energy, more tone, to convey the same language through the phone than we do in person. So just bring everything up a notch, up 30% on the phone. So Jason, I would love to talk to you right now and this time I'm going to bring my volume up and bring my tone up by 30%. Was that a little better? I mean, don't yell at your clients, okay? (laughter) But he's really far away. The point is, I might talk to you, Julie, like this when we are in person, okay? But when I pick up the phone, this is my phone, "Hey Julie, how are you doing?" We all do that kind of naturally, don't we? You all pick up, I know you all have this where you are talking to your friend, you've all heard it, and me and Lee are having a conversation, "Hey Lee, what's going on? Dude, are you gonna get that picture of me and the salmon? That's gonna be awesome, I can't wait to put my frushi in your photos. (laughter) And then Kenna calls in, and I'm like, "Yo Kenna, what's up?" (laughter) And Lee's like, "Man, why he's not that excited to talk to me? You know that actually, like we, that's how people respond to the phone, but I want you to carry that through your phone conversation. Carry that same energy, bring it up 30% through a phone dialogue and smile throughout the entire thing because it's actually detectable in your voice. If you're smiling through what you're saying you can actually hear it on the other side. Sit forward and this is my last tip, this is a personal one. If you sit at home in your sweats you're going to call somebody as if you're sitting home in your sweats. (laughter) Okay? A lot of you are smiling right now because the way that you dress kind of dictates the tone of how you feel for the day. And some of us know this to an extent that even when we go to work in our own homes we will dress up. We'll put on our nice shirt, we'll put on our nice pants. You'll dress up just to go work in a home office because you know that the simple act of doing it gives you kind of a different sense of your day and what you're there to do. Okay? So that's a big thing when you start calling people, dress the part. Here's a few things to keep in mind when you're on the phone and again, we're going to practice. I gave you guys a little tool called Rev Recorder. You can use Rev Recorder to call. You call into Rev Recorder and then use Rev Recorder to call out to a client. What this allows you to do is actually record the call and you're going to save it back and you're going to listen to it yourself. So now you can record your client calls and hear yourself speaking and you can hear all the missteps and then you can practice them. Would that help, Shannon? That would help, right? Okay, that should help. Paige, you're smiling, would that help? Yeah. Okay, that should help. What you're going to do here is you're going to, number one, when you call somebody, you're going to respect the timing of the situation. Because that's one thing that you just can't get over. If you call somebody when they're busy, how do you feel when somebody calls you when you're busy? And how do you feel when they don't respect it? Is there any potential of getting past the croc brain in that situation? No. You hit the croc brain like straight on and you're stonewalled. And if you fight it, you're done. That's it. I'm gonna hang up. I'm done with you. Even if it ended cordially, I'm just like, "I just don't like that person. I don't like that photographer." So when you call somebody and they are busy, we go back to our dialogue. Chelle, do you remember it? Um, I don't know. (laughter) Dialogue. That's cool, I'm not going to put you on the spot. That dialogue was when you call someone, Chelle, I called you, you're busy. (imitating phone ringing) Hello? Well, hi! Hey, is this Chelle? Yes. Chelle, this is Pye with Lin and Jirsa Photography. I just got your inquiry, actually. Do you have a minute right now? Sure! Damn it, Chelle! (laughter) Oh, I'm busy! (laughter) No, I don't. Okay. Sorry! No worries! That's just my natural reaction! I always say 'sure'! (laughter) No worries, Chelle! Um, I have a minute tomorrow at 4 pm, Do you have time then? No. No? What a good time for you? Now. (laughter) It's cool, you guys got it. We're good, let's move on! Thank you my dear, I love you. Great! As soon as you get stonewalled on that, I want you guys to just set up a second time. And then give them a time slot. Tomorrow at this time. And that way if they say no, you say "What time works for you?" And they will give you a time. But you give them a time first, okay? But don't try and fight through that. "Hey, I'd just like to chat with you for a minute! Oh, I know you're busy, but just give me a minute." No, it doesn't, there's nothing to be had, nothing good can come from that. Your speed and pace is going to be different, okay? When somebody agrees to come meet with you in person, they're expecting 30 minutes of their time to be taken up, if not a little bit more. But when they get a phone call from you they don't have that expectation. And we're also reaching them at a weird time so everything we do, for example, when I take you through the wave, Erin, if I took you through the wave, I'd do it quicker. Okay? It would be, "Erin, look, this will only take a minute or two. It's an odd question. Can you think of a place in your home where you might--" And it would be a condensed version of whatever wave you set up, okay? But you're going to speed it up to kind of keep everything within a five to 10 minute window. Respect that time. 60% of them are still gonna have that issue with price and that's where we need the disrupter and we need to take them through the wave. Okay? And then an invitation. "I would love to see you in the studio." "I would love to meet you for coffee." "I would love to do this" and then you give the time. Okay. I need, before that phone call ends, before it's done, and this is what I'm going to make you guys go through Rev Recorder for, because before it's done, Matt, you better make sure that before your client leaves your phone that you've established your value and experience. Because if you did, and if you set up the cognitive dissonance by having them agree and understand with what it is that you're providing then you're good. At that point if they choose to not patronize you and your studio they weren't your client. Right? 'Cause they have to make a very big mental leap now to say that what it was that he presented it's still not worth paying a little bit more money for.

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.