Skip to main content

How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 43 of 87

The Listing & Classified Hustle

Pye Jirsa

How to Start a Photography Business

Pye Jirsa

Starting under

$13/month

Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

43. The Listing & Classified Hustle
Directory listings and online classifieds are a simple, inexpensive way to get your name out there when you are getting started. Master some best practices for using online classifieds and similar options.

Lessons

  Class Trailer
Now Playing
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

The Listing & Classified Hustle

You guys ready for this? This is the early stuff that you're going to be doing. This is one of, this is that wedding that I told you about, in Cabo. The first wedding that we got that was somewhere around the three to $4,000 range that came from a Craigslist listing. Like tied two, three lines back. So I put their image in there. Not a fan, like, I wasn't that good, I was just okay, it's fine. They got more than they were expecting, I'll tell you that. So, in terms of our roadmap focus, now we're in marketing, we're in week nine, we're in Getting Out There, like this is getting out there. So we're posting directory listings weekly. We're still looking at the five target locations post daily or as often those networks will allow. That should just become part of your schedule, your routine in the morning. Spend 10 minutes, 15 minutes, you already have all the templates up and guess what, I even helped you out there. You have a section of templates. See this, how it says zero nine templat...

es? You've got to example classified templates that you can use to alternate. And you're just going to take a template, dump it in, and post daily. Okay, so you have all these different things going on. List everywhere, take whatever you can get. So here's what we did. It's time to hustle. This is the part where most people quit, okay. I'm going to be blunt and just flat out say that most people just didn't expect this when they got into this industry. Which is weird, because literally in any single place that you want to be successful, you need to work your tail off. You want to be a pro basketball player, you want to be a pro racer, you want to be a great accountant, it doesn't matter. You've got to work your tail off sometime. Just expect it. So, you can do Craigslist, you can do forums, you can pick anything you can find. I would first start with Craigslist still, we did this nine years ago. It worked then, can I guarantee it's going to work now, I don't know. Try it in your, it's going to vary based on everybody's locations. But I actually went on just before the class and I searched, people are still posting. People are still doing it. Seems good to me. So we would target specific locations, we would post daily. We would price accordingly, based on those areas. This was cost based pricing, 500 to 1,000 bucks. Prices don't need to match your site. That's the big key there. Because in those templates, you never mention the name of your business. Does that make sense? If you mention the name of your business, and somebody Google's Lin and Jirsa and Google pulls up Craigslist and the website, where the website shows one price and Craigslist shows another, then you shot yourself in the foot, and you have a really bad brand perception, right? But instead, the templates tell you to say I would love to shoot your wedding. Prices start at $500, call me. Here's a few of my images. That's it. And you post that over and over to these different locations. Julie. Do you have the logo on your images? No, we didn't put logos on anything. Because again, it's okay once they, if they've reached out from Craigslist to our studio at that point, it's okay at that point that they know who we are. We don't want them to go backwards from knowing Lin and Jirsa and then finding it on Craigslist and then seeing our images over there. If they just happen to see images on Craigslist and they're not really watermarked, they're not anything, there's no tying it back until they reach out. Does that make sense? The goal is to keep those two things separated from each other. So then, wouldn't that be kind of, fall on the line of a deceptive practice? For if you're, alter your prices like that? If they're two different prices? No because, all we are doing on Craigslist is you're saying prices start at this, and what you've don't on your website if you've designed the packages that you want to sell, the Craigslist stuff is $500. We get Craigslist stuff that would come to us saying, like starting at $500, right? Okay, well, I think the exact listing that we used was like engagement sessions, portraits, and events starting at $500. And we did, we had stuff at $500. And if they went to the website, then the website wouldn't be priced at $4,000, the website would be 750, 1,200, $1,600. So, it's simple to say, oh yes, this is a special promotion on Craigslist that we're running. This is a promotional offer, this is this. I'm not saying that, oh yeah, if you come to Craigslist, it's 500, if you go to my site, it's 3,000. Does that make sense? It would be the same as like running Groupons. Is Groupons deceptive? People have prices on their site, and then they go on Groupon and list there. Groupon's another place that you can do the exact same thing. It's a promotion. But you need people in the door. Slowly raise the prices. You need to get a spark, get a flame, and then you discontinue. You don't need to do this after getting things started. So, our process to get the first few clients, we selected local regions. We chose Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Inland Empire. We posted daily for each of the multiple locations. And if you have to, you can even set up a few different accounts to do it. Because sometimes they put you on limitations in terms of how many you can post. You can only post once a day in this location, so have two accounts. We use multiple add variations. So just, so that the text isn't identical every single time, I gave you guys two different templates. We'd use like door buster products. Like the this is the promotions to get people in the door. You saying that it's deceptive is like somebody saying that a Black Friday deal is deceptive. It's a deal. And how many times have you bought something, and then found a coupon for it five minutes later. That to me is not deceptive. And especially if what you're promoting on Craigslist is just a little bit different than what you're promoting on your site. Does that make sense? Yeah. Don't include wedding pricing. So, we actually would say that the, and you can look at the exact template format. But we didn't tell them that we'll shoot your entire wedding for $500, we gave them a, like we shoot weddings this, this, this, starting at $500. So they would always call us and get more information. So, the very first few that we did, yeah, we did one for 250, we did one fore 500 bucks. But within like four or five we're doing them for our low cost method pricing that we have, which is like 1,200 bucks. And then we're slowly raising those prices. Don't include the studio brand in the ad. We want to avoid the SEO side. So just don't let them tie back to each other. So here's, please see samples of our portfolio, Lin and Jirsa, call this for details. We know we have a couple of different price ranges, we'd love to customize a package that will satisfy your needs. 500 is the price of an engagement shoot and a bridal shoot, as well as print packages for both. If you enjoy you enjoy your experience and work during these sessions, the 500 would go directly to the down payment of your selected wedding package. Tell me what's deceptive about this. Sounds like a type of promotional offer, okay. I just don't want someone searching in Google, like because, we become very smart consumers, right. Have you heard of, I think it's called Honey. Honey Book. It's an extension that you can get from Chrome now, or for whatever browser, and it will instantly, while you're on a website buying something, search the entire web for coupons to plug in to that site. This is how smart consumers are now. And so we just, we don't want to tie these two things together and put ourselves in a position where we have to like constantly debate pricing with people, if that makes sense. And it also doesn't necessarily feel good when you buy something and then find a coupon for it ten minutes later. So we're trying to kind of try and stay away from that route, if that makes sense. So you can go see the ad examples, it's in templates. There's a couple in there for you guys. We use a link to the images. So it's just a, like, you can host the images anywhere and they just show like a link to them. Does that all make sense? Any directories will work, local listings. Find a place where people are at. Post something promotional. You can use Group, you can use Craigslist, you can do whatever, but post something there that appeals to that target market to get people coming through the door, that's a little bit different from what you offer on your site. That way, when people come in, because we would get people that would come in, and then said I'd love to do a bridal shoot. You're saying, okay. And I can apply that towards my wedding, like so if my wedding is 1,500 bucks, I get 500 bucks off that. Yeah you do. Groupon, Craigslist, these are not places for sustained business models. These are places to get somebody coming, to get word of mouth generated, to get things going. Have you noticed that every new massage place, every new place that comes out, they always list first in Groupon, they always list first in these different sites, and then once they have enough people, once they have the reviews, once everybody knows their service is good, they discontinue. This was the schedule that Chris used, actually. And these are just an example of the confirmation that he would get, daily confirmations, and he would post through. Okay, and this is what I'm going to say, is that going out and shooting for 1,000 bucks, 500 bucks, 250 bucks, 0 bucks. If they are a person that's in your persona's that you've created, that's in your target market, getting out and shooting for not matter the range is worth your time. Just take the opportunity and go do it, get the experience. And then we're going to discontinue the deals side around 12 to 18 months. Now why do we, so, when you say the linking side, between the two, right, I say don't link between the two. The main reason here is we don't want to build a perception across client side to only buy when there's a deal. That's a problem that a lot of us run into. Once a company has offered enough deals and coupons, you only buy when there are deals and coupons. You train your financial clients. This is the reason for separating the two. Avoiding the price conversation, avoiding all that stuff. Because we do want to offer promotions later down the road, we want those to be in and of themselves, we don't want them to have nothing to do with anything we've done in the past. So again, with the ads, and you know trying to get people in the door. You know, I've heard a lot of stigmatisms with if you are a cheap photographer, you know, they're going to look at you as the deal, you know. And if you raise your prices, they won't go to you anymore. You know, you can't get that referral. So if you've put yourself in a certain status, how do you make sure you don't stay stuck in that status. Like, constantly giving discounts, promotions, you know, gimmicks. So you're standing asking this question to the guy that started out doing the $250 weddings and is now doing the luxury weddings. Well how did you pass that? So, that's where we get back to like, first don't worry about other photographers and what they're saying. Okay. That's the separation that we're talking about. We separate the deals and the promotions from the name of the business, okay. That's the price increases that we're talking about. Remember all the price increases that we talked about? They're slow, incremental increases that happen frequently. Three months, three months, three months. You know what happens when you raise your price by 500 bucks every three months? In two years, you've raise your price by $2,000. And now at 1,000, you're now at 3,000. And in another year, you're up to, what, 4,500 bucks. Like it can be anywhere in that range. Like, in a couple years, actually in two years, if you went 500 bucks every single quarter, that's $4,000 increase. It's not happening so fast that you're pricing yourself out. And this is where you be careful. Like, we have made several pricing errors in the course of our business. Here's what happens. We raise our price a little bit too much, bookings go down a little bit. We lower our price back down to find that equilibrium. Right, that's where our reporting and our analytics came in. Where we need to sit down and actually look at our bookings and see what's happening. You just keep adjusting. None of those things are going to tank your business unless you start making wide, sweeping changes. You've been shooting 20 different people, and they fell into that $1,000 price range, and now you jumped to five. None of that network applies over to the $5,000 network. But even if you jump to two, you're going to see some good drop off, but there's still probably quite a few people inside of that $1,000 network willing to go to $2,000. If you make it a little more incremental than that, and make each person feel like they're getting a good deal as they come through the door, then you slowly keep increasing, until five years down the road, you're charging $8,000. For whatever it is that you want to do. Or you're doing IPS sessions and you're selling portrait sessions and making $4, after each portrait session.

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.

AFTER THIS CLASS YOU’LL BE ABLE TO:

  • 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

ABOUT PYE'S CLASS:

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.

WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR:

  • 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

ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR:

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.

Reviews

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!