How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 39/87 - The Empty Party


How to Launch a Photography Business


Lesson Info

The Empty Party

So this is the empty party. This is the first goal with network marketing is how do you, well, which one of these places do you want to be? I had a friend who saw this and he was like well the red door is kind of intriguing. I'm wondering what's inside of there. Yeah, no, no thanks. No thanks one friend. I'd rather be here, right. Obviously we want to be at the party that's already crackin'. This is the purpose. You guys have been to a night club or at least seen one, driven by one. They have a line outside, don't they? You get inside the club, there's not that many people. (laughing) You're laughing cause it's true. You get inside and you're like why the F did they make us wait outside for thirty minutes? I don't understand this. That's why. Because you thought it was going to be more crackin' than it actually was but now you're in and you're gonna make, have a good time anyway. This is essentially what we're gonna do with our business. And step one of this process is content. We need...

content. How do you get the content? We need to fill the party or at least make it look full. This is why I tell you all to get off social media cause I'm literally gonna tell you all right now how to make yourselves look busy. How many photographers out there are gonna be doing this or are already doing this? Don't feed into each others bullshiz. This is our marketing. This is what every company, every business does is this type of marking. Don't buy into it ourselves. Understand what we're doing, we're marketing. Don't go and say just because they're posting this and doing this and doing that and doing this, they're so much more successful than I am. And don't go making those comparisons, it's just not true. We're gonna fill the party with test shoots. We're gonna use friends and family and we're gonna target friends and family that fit our client personas. Which means if my client persona is somebody getting married I'm gonna target younger, engaged friends and family. And I'm gonna say hey I'd love to take you guys out on a shoot. Hey I'd love to do something. I'd love to just offer my time, no charge. Just let me bring you out. And we're gonna start doing those test shoots. Style shoots is gonna come 12 weeks into your business or if you're at a place right now a lot of you are so far ahead of where we were when we started in this industry in terms of the quality of product that you're creating right now. Don't get me wrong, if you're creating a great quality product right now. If you're at the car, if you're online, and you're creating a great quality product right now, start styled shoots right now. That's all that matters when it comes to a styled shoot is that you can deliver a good product for the vendors that are gonna be involved in making that product. Okay, but for most people I'm going to say wait 12 weeks or even a little bit later until you're confident that you're delivering a good set of images. Because the vendors that are gonna volunteer their time and we're gonna have a full talk about styled shoots. They're gonna expect something out of it for that time. Yes? Just a quick question, what is the difference between a test shoot and a styled shoot? So a test shoot you can dick up. For lack of better words. (laughing) Right, like a test shoot you can screw up and you're all right. A styled shoot, you mess up and you just did it in front of all your vendors. It doesn't mean that you're not gonna get great images out of the test shoot. That's not what a test shoot, a test shoot simply means that there's no pressure. There's no pressure to deliver. You're shooting for yourself. You're shooting in the hopes that you're going to get great stuff. But if it doesn't happen, worse case scenario, you only have a few images to give your model or your friends. Does that make sense? Purposeful, free, unpaid shoots. That's what we're aiming to do. Okay, this, what we just described fits into this section of our four prong approach. The goal after that is to pack the line. We need to get them talking. So once we fill up the club and get this party going, that's where we need to pack the line. Like lets now get these people expecting when they drive by to see this great experience. We're gonna do that, we're gonna pick these people up. Getting them talking through SEO, content marketing, and additional networking. Referrals, that type of stuff. Okay, so the first piece is immediate, this is the next year of time is gonna be, well this is all gonna be the next year of time, but this is immediate right now. This is future. The problem that all of us get into this with is that we start with the immediate right now, and we forget about how we're gonna bring in leads in the future. You need to divide your time equally between those two. Understand that there's not gonna be a yield right now for the next six months on this side. So this is where we start. Okay? I'm gonna say plan each shoot and opportunity wisely. While time is the asset that you have the most of, it's still a limited resource. So just don't go into each of these things blind. So what we wanna do is, we're gonna avoid non-purposeful unpaid shoots. Wanna avoid portfolio building workshops until you're established because honestly there's not a huge reason to attend a workshop to create images that A, don't fit your personas, that B, don't match the quality of product that you can do on your own, that C, don't really give you any educational value beyond just giving you a model to shoot. Those don't hold much water for your business. Does that make sense? One of these big things, I'm gonna encourage you guys to get out and second shoot or find other people to shoot with. If you're in the wedding industry, it's second shooting or third shooting. If you're outside of that industry, it's holding someones bags or helping them light. So if you are assisting on a boudoir set with a photographer, you are assisting them. You're helping to hold things, you're helping to do things. Same thing with newborns, same thing with maternity, same thing with all these different areas. You're gonna assist. But those are important opportunities to get out and do those things. When you are out from those things, understand that generally the rule is if you take a single photograph on that shoot, whether it's with your iPhone or your camera you do not post it on your own, anything without permission. With permission, fine.

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.