How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 39 of 87

The Empty Party


How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 39 of 87

The Empty Party


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.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Common Myths & Unknown Truths
  3. The Road Ahead
  4. Find Your Passion
  5. The Lin & Jirsa Journey
  6. Part-time, Full-time, Employed, Partners?
  7. Stop Wasting Time & Money
  8. Your 12 Week Roadmap
  9. Great Plans Still Fail
  10. Strategy Vs. Planning
  11. Mind Mapping
  12. Select a Focus
  13. Competitor Research
  14. S.W.O.T. Analysis
  15. Strategy & Long Term Goals
  16. Values, Vision & Mission
  17. Effectively Managing Your Time
  18. Artistic Development
  19. Create Your Plan
  20. What's Your Product
  21. Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences
  22. Quick Break for Econ 101
  23. Your Target Market & Brand Message
  24. What's in a Name
  25. Your Client 'Why'
  26. Crafting the Why Experience
  27. Document the Client Experience
  28. Business Administration Basics
  29. Book Keeping Management
  30. Create the Logo & Branding
  31. Portfolio Design
  32. Design Your Services & Packages
  33. Pricing Fears & Myths
  34. Three Pricing Methods
  35. Package Pricing Psychology & Design
  36. Psychology of Numbers
  37. Pricing Q&A
  38. Grass Roots Marketing
  39. The Empty Party
  40. Friends & Family Test Shoots
  41. Join Groups
  42. Second Shooting Etiquette
  43. The Listing & Classified Hustle
  44. Make Instagram Simple
  45. Your Automated Pinterest Plan
  46. Facebook Because You Must
  47. Giveaway & Styled Shoots
  48. Content Marketing & SEO
  49. The Monster: SEO
  50. Selecting Your Keywords
  51. Testing Your Keywords
  52. Grouping Main & Niche Goals
  53. Your Content Road Map
  54. Content Marketing Q&A
  55. Inspiration to Keep Working
  56. How to Craft Your Content
  57. Internal Linking Basics
  58. Back Link Building Basics
  59. Link Value Factos
  60. Measuring Link Value
  61. Link Building Strategy & Plan
  62. Link Building Plan: Vendors & Guest Writing
  63. Link Building Plan: Features, Directories, Comments
  64. Link Building: Shortcuts & One Simple Tool
  65. What is Sales? Show Me!
  66. Your First Massive Failure
  67. The Sales Process
  68. Your Second Massive Failure
  69. Understand Buyer Psychology
  70. Step 0: Building Rapport & Trust
  71. Step 1: Identify Need or Want
  72. Cognitive Dissonance
  73. Steps 2 & 3: Value Proposition & The Solution
  74. Step 4 : Close, Make the Ask
  75. Step 5: Follow Up & Resolve Concerns
  76. Family Photography Hot Seat
  77. Business Example Hot Seat
  78. Boudoir Photography Hot Seat
  79. The Best Sales Person
  80. Your Mindset, Vibrations & Frequency
  81. Always Positive, Always Affirming
  82. The Second Money & Dual Process
  83. Chumming the Price Waters
  84. Creating Want or Scarcity
  85. Timeless Advice on Being Likable
  86. Selling Over The Phone
  87. Forbidden 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.