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.

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.