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How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 86 of 87

Selling Over The Phone

Pye Jirsa

How to Start a Photography Business

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

86. Selling Over The Phone
Many sales start with a phone call. Learn how to start a relationship on the phone and other tricks for working with sales when you're not in an in-person meeting.


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1 Class Introduction Duration:13:12
3 The Road Ahead Duration:13:03
4 Find Your Passion Duration:06:06
5 The Lin & Jirsa Journey Duration:13:54
7 Stop Wasting Time & Money Duration:06:07
8 Your 12 Week Roadmap Duration:04:33
9 Great Plans Still Fail Duration:06:01
10 Strategy Vs. Planning Duration:04:16
11 Mind Mapping Duration:07:25
12 Select a Focus Duration:14:16
13 Competitor Research Duration:09:34
14 S.W.O.T. Analysis Duration:13:54
15 Strategy & Long Term Goals Duration:03:50
16 Values, Vision & Mission Duration:27:49
17 Effectively Managing Your Time Duration:15:05
18 Artistic Development Duration:07:30
19 Create Your Plan Duration:13:12
20 What's Your Product Duration:10:51
22 Quick Break for Econ 101 Duration:16:31
24 What's in a Name Duration:09:20
25 Your Client 'Why' Duration:05:43
26 Crafting the Why Experience Duration:24:17
27 Document the Client Experience Duration:08:29
28 Business Administration Basics Duration:27:03
29 Book Keeping Management Duration:06:51
30 Create the Logo & Branding Duration:07:04
31 Portfolio Design Duration:15:11
33 Pricing Fears & Myths Duration:08:46
34 Three Pricing Methods Duration:25:39
36 Psychology of Numbers Duration:07:29
37 Pricing Q&A Duration:23:51
38 Grass Roots Marketing Duration:09:36
39 The Empty Party Duration:07:03
40 Friends & Family Test Shoots Duration:16:28
41 Join Groups Duration:04:32
42 Second Shooting Etiquette Duration:07:44
44 Make Instagram Simple Duration:13:55
45 Your Automated Pinterest Plan Duration:08:01
46 Facebook Because You Must Duration:07:37
47 Giveaway & Styled Shoots Duration:12:17
48 Content Marketing & SEO Duration:08:12
49 The Monster: SEO Duration:07:26
50 Selecting Your Keywords Duration:05:45
51 Testing Your Keywords Duration:07:53
52 Grouping Main & Niche Goals Duration:12:39
53 Your Content Road Map Duration:11:47
54 Content Marketing Q&A Duration:10:45
55 Inspiration to Keep Working Duration:07:45
56 How to Craft Your Content Duration:15:03
57 Internal Linking Basics Duration:05:30
58 Back Link Building Basics Duration:04:55
59 Link Value Factos Duration:14:38
60 Measuring Link Value Duration:04:24
61 Link Building Strategy & Plan Duration:06:10
65 What is Sales? Show Me! Duration:12:58
66 Your First Massive Failure Duration:05:17
67 The Sales Process Duration:07:31
68 Your Second Massive Failure Duration:05:23
69 Understand Buyer Psychology Duration:10:00
71 Step 1: Identify Need or Want Duration:15:39
72 Cognitive Dissonance Duration:12:01
74 Step 4 : Close, Make the Ask Duration:04:32
76 Family Photography Hot Seat Duration:12:06
77 Business Example Hot Seat Duration:15:52
78 Boudoir Photography Hot Seat Duration:16:09
79 The Best Sales Person Duration:07:45
83 Chumming the Price Waters Duration:03:57
84 Creating Want or Scarcity Duration:09:54
86 Selling Over The Phone Duration:10:59
87 Forbidden Words in Sales Duration:11:40

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

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.


  • Start a photography business
  • Develop the ideal business structure and business plan
  • Research competitors and the market in your area
  • Build a short-term and long-term strategy
  • Create a marketing plan and marketing materials on a budget
  • Confidently conduct an in-person or phone sales session
  • Manage small business tasks from accounting to strategy


Professional photographers aren't just people with a knack for photography and a good camera -- because launching a small business on nothing but passion is a sure-fire way to fail spectacularly. Layer business savvy, marketing know-how, professional grit and more onto your existing passion and learn how to start a photography business. Take your hobby, vision, and creativity and build a career -- whether you are looking to run a full-time business or just a side gig.

Led by a photographer that's also a certified public accountant, Pye Jirsa, the class teaches the ins and outs of launching a photography business from the ground up. Along with three full days of instruction, Pye shares a 12-week plan to get your business up and running, a business expense calculator and more inside the class workbook. Understand what gear and skills you need before you launch and how to build a portfolio by photographing family members or organizing a stylized shoot.

Stop feeling overwhelmed by the monumental task and tackle one task a day in a 12-week plan. Brainstorm names for your business and learn the different types of business licenses available. Secure a domain name and build a website that's easily searchable. Develop a marketing plan with little investment. Master in-person sales and book your first session.

Whether you want to venture out in portrait photography, commercial work or any other client-based type of photography, learn the "business" in photography business with Pye Jirsa.


  • Photographers ready to launch a business
  • New professional photographers looking to grow a young business
  • Photographers interested in working in weddings, portraits, newborns, maternity, families, seniors, engagements or commercial photography


Pye Jirsa is a wedding photographer with Lin & Jirsa photography -- but besides running a successful photography business, he also has a background in accounting, creating the perfect blend for teaching the ins and outs of running a photography business. Along with working as a photographer and educator, Pye is also one of the founders of SLR Lounge, an online resource for photographers.

Learn from a founder of a photography business that photographs more than 300 weddings a year. Pye's Los Angeles and Orange County wedding photography business has been named among the top 100 wedding photographers by Brandsmash.


Armstrong Su

This class and materials are to the point and eye-opening on the business side of photography. Pye Jirsa is an amazing and fun teacher as well! Most photographers need more business classes offered to bring us who love to create art back to reality for a more successful business that makes a living on it's own. This course will definately get you started in the right direction and so cheap too! Great investment! armstrong outdoor tv case outdoortvcase Pye Jirsa is one of the best instructors that I have the pleasure to learn from. He and his team have given me so much more than they'll ever realize. Knowledge, wisdom, training, friendship, mentoring, inspiration, joy... I cannot thank Pye enough for changing my life for the better. I owe them more than they'll ever realize. Thank you, Pye Jirsa!!!

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!