How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 67 of 87

The Sales Process


How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 67 of 87

The Sales Process


Lesson Info

The Sales Process

Let's talk about the sales process. This is where I want you guys to mentally take yourselves, okay? The sales process is one, identify the customer's problem and need. Two, develop a value proposition. Three, present how the solution fits. Four, close by making the ask, and, Haldis, bless your heart, but where did we hit any of these? (audience laughing) It's, don't feel bad, like, this is literally every single one of us. You were just bold enough and brave enough to stand up here, which means that you're gonna be the first person that takes all this to heart so, kudos. The sales process, this is 100 years unchanged. This goes back to John Henry Patterson. He's considered the pioneer, the father of sales. I have a story to tell you guys. So, this is back in the 1890s when this sales training that he developed came out. That's what this is from. And all of us learn sales incorrectly. Like this has been out forever, yet all of us don't understand it. That's funny. "Don't sell the steak...

. Sell the sizzle." Elmer Wheeler, love you. I'm gonna tell you about actually selling the steak. 'Cause I did it when I was 22 years old. I drove a truck with a refrigerator in the back around rural areas of Utah. Now, I know what you're thinking, "Isn't Utah all?" Yeah, all of Utah is pretty rural compared to Seattle, Los Angeles, whatever. But Salt Lake is a decently sized city. Now, I would drive around the outskirts of Salt Lake with my refrigerator, take it to places like Tooele, and Farmington. And I would take my truck, and I would go and sell meat. I kid you not, I did this for almost a year in college. Now, you're laughing. I would go up, and I would knock on a door to people who had no clue who I was. I would go and knock on a door, "Hey, hi." I didn't use my southern accent then. I just, normal, normal Utah accent. We do have accents. "Hey, my name is Pye. "I got some meat." (audience laughing) That's my favorite line, "I got meat." You can't say that without a southern accent. "I got some meat." You have to put a southern accent on that. I don't know why. My southern friends, I love you all. My mom's from Oklahoma. I love you, and that's where I get my accent from. So, I would introduce myself, and I'd say, "Look, I'm just driving by. "I know this is kind of odd, but I have "some really great meat in the back of my truck. "I'd love to come and show you. "Let me go grab it." And I'd just go start walking back to the truck (laughing). Now, you guys are laughing right now. I get it, it's funny. It's funny up until I tell you that I put myself and my family through college with no debt because I made $1200 a day selling meat from the back of a truck. This is not revenue. This is how much I took home. Meat from the back of a truck. And now all of you are like, "Hmm, okay." (audience laughing) Where's that meat truck? (audience laughing) Where's that meat truck? Haldis wants to sell some meat. Who else wants to sell some meat? (audience laughing) So, that's the thing about it is, like, this is the beauty of sales. It can really be anything. Now, I'll tell you this, it's depressing selling meat out of the back of a truck. There's no joy in that. There's no nothing. There's simply a paycheck at the end of the day. And I would work, I worked one day a week, making 50, $60,000 a year. And that's how I went through college without any debt. So, it worked for me, it was fine. But I learned a whole heck of a lot doing that. And this line was like the meat seller's motto. (audience chuckling) "You don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle." And I mean literally, do you know how many times I would grab a steak out and be like, "Hey, you got a grill? "Let's fire this up." I would actually take the steak out and grill it for them. I literally sold the sizzle. And they would taste it, and they'd be like, "Yeah, that's really good steak." You're damn right it is, Julie. You can get a box for just $300. The boxes were large and expensive, and we would move a lot of them at a time. And there was money in it. Now, here's the thing. Any of you, who talked the most up here in our little quick role play? You did, we do, right? We, the sales people, talk the most. So, my question is, "How do you hear the sizzle "of the steak when you keep talking over it?" Okay, we're gonna go back to the sales process. I'm gonna add two simple points. We're gonna put two minor tweaks into this. Step zero, because this shouldn't have to be said, so it's step zero. It's to build a rapport to create trust. Now, I have done the door-to-door sales thing two times in my life for a total of almost four years. One time it was selling religion. I was a missionary for two years. One time it was selling steaks. One time, knives. I've sold a lot of things door-to-door. And step zero is always number one. By the way, you know what the toughest sale of anything is? Religion, that is by far harder to sell than anything else in this entire world. But, man, I learned a lot about people and relationships and understanding and love. And no matter what happened, no matter what is said on the other side of that table or on the other side of that door, you show love. That's the only proper response to any result. Whether it's a client saying, "no," whether it's a door shut in your face, whether it's someone asking if they can get a better deal, the proper response is love. Number one, build that rapport, build trust. So, that's zero. Number one is then identify what the hell it is you're selling. Like, what is their need, and what do I want? And that's where I want Erin, you, to ask, "Tell me something about yourself. "Or tell me something about what you're looking for." Figure out, like, pull them out of that. You are there to serve them. And guess what? They're meeting with you because you have a service that they freakin' want. It's not about you. At that point, we're gonna develop a value proposition. We're gonna present the solution. Then, we're gonna close by making the ask. And this is the other one I'm gonna add in there, which is follow up because so often that's forgotten. And follow up is a necessary piece. Already, can you think of how you might do that meeting differently right now? Yeah. Yeah, we haven't even learned the psychology of anything. We haven't learned anything else. We just simply learned a process, and now we can go, "Okay, I can "already reframe that to go very differently."

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.