How to Launch a Photography Business

 

 

Lesson Info

Step 1: Identify Need or Want

Step number one comes the identification of the need or the want, and I'm first gonna ask you guys to make sure that everybody understands this. Need or want? Which one do we want? Which one do we probably need? Okay. Is this a need or a want? We all understand that these are wants, right? Photographs are luxuries. These are wants. Then what do you clients want? This is my favorite part 'cause welcome to the W.A.V.E. I want to have every one of you, everyone, take this and make it your own, okay? Rephrase it, do whatever you need to do to make it your own and then put it into a script so that you can practice and rehearse it. We call it the Wall Art Vision Exercise, and it's based on a simple series of questions. Imagine your home, pick a location where, knowing the cost, four, understand you're gonna see it daily, and what single image. These are our opening lines for our script for each of these things. So here we go. I'm gonna pick one of you. Who do I want, who do I want? Lee. Get ...

'er miked, buddy. For the rest of you, I want you to imagine as if I'm actually asking you the question. Lee, imagine your home. I want you to think of a place where you might hang some wall art. What place do you think you're thinking of right now? I was thinking either the hallway when you first walk in so you'll see it when you're coming and going, or just on the middle of the living room area. Rad, okay. Yeah. So that space is maybe five feet wide? Sure, yeah, close enough. I have a question that I wanna ask you, and you'll understand where I'm going with this but first, I need you to know something. Wall art like what you see in our studio, like what you see here, the wall art that you see inside of here and something that would fit that space is gonna cost probably around two to three thousand dollars. Not a big deal, just understand that it's expensive, okay? So the point is wall art is expensive, and it's an investment. It needs to be something that you love. You're gonna see it every single day. So I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna limit you to one single image from your engagement shoot. What one single photograph do you value enough to spend that kind of money on to put up on that wall and to see every single day? So the hypothetical engagement shoot that, okay. I mean, I think it's gonna be a personal picture and probably be a close-up, and it's gonna show the kind of connection or the emotion between my partner and I, so it'd be a, I don't know. It's kinda hard to think through and see what it looks like. It is. Yeah, I mean it's gonna be at a special place so it'll be a special moment. I don't know what it looks like, but I'll bet it's nice. Yeah, so this is one of those questions that, I mean, you said that want something romantic, so I'm thinking in a special place. What we might do is, can you think of that special place that you two might go often? Because if so, I would love to take you there, and I would love to grab that photograph there. Now Lee, don't you think it's important that as your photographer, I know what you actually value? Yeah. This is the Wall Art Vision Exercise. Now every single one of you here, we can switch the genre, switch anything out, and run the same thing, and I bet while I said that, you guys were thinking of other things. At the beginning you're probably thinking of your homes. You're probably thinking of a space that you would actually hang something. Then you're probably thinking about what kind of photo shoot would I wanna do, and what is the one single image that I wanna hang up from that thing? So from there, I'm gonna play in deeper to it. I'm gonna play in deeper, I'm gonna use words to help them visualize it, and we're gonna set a premise for this where we actually will set an example and do it again, but what do we achieve through this exercise? Without ever selling you ... You know what, I'm gonna ask you guys. What did we do through this? I didn't yet sell him anything. Do you all have an idea of my price points of wall art? Raise your hands if you know how much it was. How much was it? Two thousand. Two to three thousand dollars, right? But when did I ever sell him a piece of wall art? Okay. What else did I do? Grab the mic. You made him visualize the piece already on his wall. I made him visualize hanging up something on his wall so not only is he thinking about the photograph that he wants to put there, but he's now starting to accept the belief of actually hanging up photographs. Does this play back into my original vision, life belongs in print? Oh, heck yeah it does. You also got a lot of information about him and what he wants. A lot of information about him. And in fact, I can use his exact words now in describing that information. He now knows, or should know whether he can connect with you. Yes. Because anybody could take a picture. Does anybody care about the picture other than the F-stop? Absolutely. I think you established a very emotional connection between us because I associated the ... You put me in an emotional place and then connected personally at the same time, so it was What system did I hold you in? (audience murmurs) The limbic system. I held you there the entire time. And one of the biggest things to remember during this process, did you see the pauses that I inserted in that script? Some of our salespeople feel uncomfortable with pauses, so I put it into the script so they'd understand you have to. This is a dialogue and you think it's odd, but I'm literally using the exact same techniques in this entire class and the way that I'm talking to every single one of you. You'll see them unfold right in front of your eyes as we explain the psychology of all of it. But between it I'm sitting here and pausing so that I can make sure that you have time to accept and understand the words that I just said, and I'm nodding through it because I know that if I give affirmative, positive nods, most of you are gonna process and then nod back. And you're doing it subconsciously, like right now. (audience laughs) But we get you on that level where we have a deeper understanding now of your wants and needs, I know you better as a person, I held you in the limbic system, I visually had you think to the exact photograph that you wanted documented. This is what I'm saying about becoming a better photographer, because if you knew the exact photographs that meant the most to your clients before walking into the photo shoot, how many of you feel a little more at ease about getting the shots that you need to get? A lot more, right? We know exactly what they value, and it's something that a mood board can't just do for us. A mood board can dictate style. We know the exact images to capture, we have set an expectation of wall art and wall art price. I don't need to talk about it again. This is what I mean by setting you up for IPS. IPS is beyond the scope of your first 12 weeks in running a business, and it might even be beyond the first year, but this is the process of setting up for that expectation and understanding so that when they come back to your studio or when they meet you in that coffee shop and you present the price point of $1, that's not a shock, because there was an expectation set a long time ago, one that you'll actually repeat throughout the process. Now take this and make it your own, and the fun part of this becomes where you get to become the Jedi Master, because here's what we're gonna do about continuing the meeting. So we're gonna understand their wants, I'm gonna now, I know what it is that he's looking for. I'm gonna use his words and his language. I'm gonna build upon those desires that he said he wanted. I'm gonna show my understanding, and then finally I'm gonna use cognitive dissonance to lock him into it. From that series of questions from the W.A.V.E., I can get to what Julie values, what Angela values, what Shel values, what Erin values, and it doesn't matter what line of service you provide, I can figure out what you want. And if I can provide you a service that you want, Erin, what am I selling? I'm giving you what you want. Is that different from the concept of sales that you all learned a long time ago? I hope so. It should be dramatically different because now you're providing somebody something that they want. I do have a question for you that came from Scott who says "When you're asking all these questions, "are you taking notes?" And Scott says, "I always feel weird writing down notes "and keeping the conversation going, "so do you just have a knack "for remembering all these things, "or what are you doing?" I don't necessarily write down notes 'cause I do agree with Scott that it's difficult to stay present when you're writing. The trick here is, I've practiced things like remembering names, so I can remember everybody's names in the audience. When you do those kinds of things enough your memory will actually get better, and there's elasticity practices for brain memory that you can do, but the main thing that's maybe simpler that you can do right now is repeat their dialogue. It's parroting. By parroting and by repeating back the things that they're saying, it gives you enough to hold on to until the end of the meeting or until the end of that moment when you then right it down. But writing it down mid-process will take them out of the whole emotional aspect of the W.A.V.E. Another question from Jose Alvarado. We talked about that we need to get people on the phone as the beginning of their inquiry and he says, "How do you start the W.A.V.E. process "when they send that initial email or phone call? "I understand once you've got them in a meeting, "but how about that initial point of contact?" That's beautiful. So remember when we talked about, and we're gonna do this over the phone. I've set you guys up for the W.A.V.E. repeatedly by saying over the phone, what did we give them, we gave them a bone, the price point, right? And then I said if you have a minute, do you have a minute that I can talk to you about what we do? Then you kick off the W.A.V.E. I have an odd question that I wanna ask you. Bear with me for just a moment. Think about your home. I know this is weird. We're over the phone, you don't even know me, I know it's odd, but think about your home and a place that you might hang up a piece of wall art. And we just drop straight into the W.A.V.E. The W.A.V.E. always ends with this when you have established that correlation. Who here can think of that image that they want for anything? Erin, what is it? It's my son jumping in the desert with this giant grin at sunset. Perfect. So this will take us into the next segment, because your son jumping in the desert behind a sun, Erin, if I can capture your son jumping in a desert behind a sunset, would that be a photograph that you would value? Would that be something you might hang up on the wall of your home? Do you feel like that's important that I as your photographer understand that? Perfect. Three affirmations, and you can do that on the phone or in person, but those three affirmations that she just gave me right now are gonna play back to when you complete the W.A.V.E. We're gonna go to Erin, this is what we do here. Now I understand that you're comparing prices across different studios, but those prices, they're not apples to apples. You're comparing apples to oranges, I want you to understand what we do because our goal is to create imagery that matters to you. And I can end the phone call right there. I mean, the goal is to invite her in the studio, right? My next thing is I'd love for you come in and meet with us. Okay? If she says no, that's okay. She says "I don't have time" or "You're out of my budget" or whatever, that's fine. Let her go. At that point, it's five minutes in, cut your loss, let her go because you've planted a seed, which is cognitive dissonance and that's gonna come back and bite her in the butt later and she'll call you back. Julie. What about boudoir and woman portraiture, because it's hard for women to, it's like there's a complex about putting your own portraits on your walls, so how do you do the W.A.V.E. in this situation? This is where I want you to flip it. The W.A.V.E. is ours, and I remember meeting with Andrew Fundy with Fundy Software and Andrew gave me his version of this whole thing which I just tied into our "life belongs in print" thing and the wall art and that thing. But could you not do the W.A.V.E., what is the product that you end up with? Maybe 8x11 prints, a box set, okay. Could you not do the exact same thing by playing into, if you saw a photograph of yourself looking amazing and beautiful and confident, and that's something that you saw every single day, how would you feel? Do you think you might feel a little bit differently about yourself and your self-image? That's my goal. I wanna capture you in that way so that when you have that book of 8x10s, you can look at every single one of those images and remember how beautiful you are. That's literally why I got into this in the first place. You've just taken the W.A.V.E. and now you've adapted it to you. The main thing is identifying that need and then working back and presenting it back to them, that you understand what it is they're looking for and then getting them to agree that you understand what it is that they're looking 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.

Lessons

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