How to Launch a Photography Business



Lesson Info

Stop Wasting Time & Money

I'm going to say this respect yourself stop wasting time and money. This is a big one for me. Which of your clients can tell these apart? Raise your hands if you think they can. F2 F1.4 F1.2 you guys are laughing why are you laughing? Which of your clients can tell these apart raise your hands. Which of you guys have a hard time telling these apart? Okay so what's all the fuss again. How about the D800 versus the D850. I can't tell. 50 versus 36 versus 28 megapixels. Who knows like seriously. Yet online discussion of photography and in person discussion of photography and workshop discussion of photography, how big of a focus is gear and the gear that you have and what you have. If I can only get that lens then I can do this. If I had an 85-12 I could shoot and be really successful. I've heard that exact argument I can't tell you how many times, I want to deliver that for my clients I can't find clients unless I have an 85-12. Oh my goodness, really? How about this, what if I give you ...

extremes, which of you can tell which is the $500 Rebel Kit versus the $ Full-Frame and Lens combo. This is an example from Photography 101 we actually blow them up so you can see them side by side, it's so difficult to tell, this was a $99 prime on the left side versus a $2000 prime on the right side. If you're having a hard time with it, what do your clients think? How about this. How many of your clients can tell the difference between good communication versus poor, raise your hands. Yeah we're all good at knowing that. How about great poses and flattering expressions versus just average ones, that'll show through in a photograph. Good experiences versus not so good ones, that's something that they can differentiate. Guys there's nothing on the imagery side that they can differentiate, what we're talking about on our side, this is for photographers only. What they differentiate is the experience and they'll talk about that, but you bring your, tell me your name. Lee. Lee, I'm Pye nice to meet you. So you've got an 85-12 I'm sorry brother they're just not going to talk about it you know what I mean, that's fine but we're all brainwashed to spend thousands on gear and nothing on education. This is one of those things that I wanted to talk about because these are all things that have happened to us. So I want to tell you the cost of failure. Time this is your most valuable asset, this is all you've got the one thing you can't make more of. Okay so wasted time that's on the small side of things that you could potentially fail at. How about money? We have had refunds, not a lot, but think about this for one second. If we've shot over the last five, six years 300 plus weddings, let's say it's 1500 clients. It would be doing great if you had less than 1% refunds which we do, we have in something like ten years we've given two. Even those two let's say they were $6000 in total, compare that to how much money you spent on your education. $6000 how much could you spend on education and never even come close to $6000? Isn't that kind of a stupid thought to think of like oh my goodness if I could've done something to prepare for that, so unhappy clients, negative reviews and negative word of mouth oh my goodness those can cost you big time. Because it's not going to effect one future client it's going to effect multiple, so if you're booking at two 3000 a negative review can effect the next $20, of income, those are huge. Future clients, if you get enough negative reviews, if you get enough negative word of mouth out there you could potentially take the entire business. And we've seen it happen, multiple times and it all goes back to simply don't shortcut yourself, don't shortcut the process, don't buy into this whole oh yeah you're going to be shooting a $10,000 wedding, here's how to shoot $10,000 weddings next week. Maybe you'll get one, maybe you'll get two and then you'll tank your business right afterwards because you're not yet there ruined it. Here's the cost of education. Audible my favorite place to, I listen to books constantly I go through about a book a week on Audible. So that costs me $250 bucks a year for an entire subscription, cheap. Online classes I spend personally at least $800 to bucks on online classes per year, I budget that into what I'm going to be spending. And in person experiences, I spend money on too. But the one thing I caution about that is just go off word of mouth, don't buy into what the hype is, ask people who attended those classes because a lot of those can be hit or miss and they're a lot of money. But still if you added all these things up together over the course of five years it still wouldn't come close to losing a client or potential clients in the future correct, that's the cost difference I want you guys to think about when you guys are thinking about this. Learn from other people's mistakes, life's too short to make them all yourself.

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