How to Launch a Photography Business



Lesson Info

What is Sales? Show Me!

Sales is rad. I know all of us come into sales with this mentality that it's not a fun thing. It's a four letter word, but you're gonna come out of this not feeling that way at all, and the other beautiful part about this is it applies to everything. Aaron told me you're in Law, right? It's gonna apply to you. It's gonna apply to every single genre of photography, inside of photography, outside of it. This is one of those life skills that's something that gives me a lot of joy to be able to share with everyone. So, where are we in this roadmap right now? We are towards week nine through 12. We've kind of gone through the proc of getting some leads in, and now I'm hoping you're starting to get some people that are actually calling you. You're starting to get some people that maybe even towards the end of week 12, want to come and meet you somewhere to get a cup of coffee, to see if you're the right fit. Okay? We're getting to that place, and this is the great part because now, unlike th...

e way most of us think, now it has nothing to do with the photographs that you have taken, in the past. This has to do with simply you, and that's what's wonderful about it. Okay. This is where we are in the plan, and what is sales? Show me! And I have a picture of a handsome groom-to-be. He's actually one of my models for one of our workshops. I thought that looked like business; that looked like, you know, he looked business. What is sales? "Sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves." This is the beloved Chris Farley in Tommy Boy, and I would say that this line probably encompasses most of the way that we think about sales, right? It's selling a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves, which is basically, selling something to somebody who has no desire for that thing. Okay. Let's start with a little basic role play, and I got Haldis. She's gonna come up and do it with me. Everyone give Haldis a hand. (audience applauds) So, that's my word, Haldis. So, talk to me. Tell me about yourself. I'm just kidding. I want you to sell my something. Okay. What do you want to sell? I'm gonna sell you a package, a family package. A family package of photos, yeah? Yes. Artwork. Okay, so this is the first time, artwork? Okay, okay. Got it. My bad. My bad. This is the first time we've met. Okay. We're just sitting down. These are my coffees. Mine, not yours, and we're having a drink and let's take it from the top. Sell me. Pye, so nice to meet you in person. So nice to meet you too. Yeah, hey! So, thanks so much for reaching out. Your family is beautiful, by the way. Thank you. You're kids are just like outstanding. I think this photo shoot is gonna be really super easy for us to just knock out some beautiful artwork. Awesome. So, tell me a little bit about what you're looking for as part of this photo shoot. Well, I wanted to ask, like the pricing for it, 'cause I don't know, what we can necessarily afford, but I really like the work that you do, and I'm hoping we can kind of come up with a deal. Oh, thanks so much. Yeah, I appreciate that. My artwork, I put a lot of pride into my artwork, so I really appreciate the compliment. Cool. My prices start at 450 for a family session. Okay. Awesome. And then they go up from that, and so for 450 you'd get about 10 to 15 pieces of artwork that will be shared with you through digital files that you can then share through social media or any other means you'd like. Oh, rad. Okay, so, I know that... I love your work, but there is another person that we're looking at that's like around 400. Do you think you can match that? Sure. Well, first one's free. I got you! First one's free? You got me? Yeah. Nice! What does that mean, first ones free? First fist bump, 'cause I feel like... (Haldis laughs) Well, if you like my work then you'll hire me on, you know, down the road as well. It's like, you're like a drug dealer. Yes. First ones free. (Hollis laughs) Okay, I got it. In the future, I'll get addicted. That's right. And I'll need more photos. Yes. Okay. Well would you actually give me a deal if I asked for it? If I said, 400 bucks. Would that... I'd do the first one free. (Haldis laughs) Entirely free? You went from 450 to free? (audience laughs) Haldis you've given us so much to talk about. My packages start at 400, but I'm gonna gift you this first one. The whole thing? The whole thing. Never do that! (audience laughs) But high five though, you are amazing. Okay, Haldis you may have a seat for now. Give her a hand guys. (audience applauds) Okay. Haldis we have to say, "Thank you", because that is honestly the way that most scripts are gonna go. That's the way most conversations are gonna go, and if you notice, who was in control of that conversation? You were. Right, okay. Who said the most words in the conversation? Isn't that odd? How did I hold control of the conversation, yet say the least? We didn't practice this, right? Nope. But you can probably venture to bet that this is how most conversations are gonna go. Why could we bet that? Because we know 58% of consumer decisions go back to cost. Now, in reality it's actually probably a lot more than 58%. 58% of the first question that you get asked is the cost, the price. So, okay. What do we need to do? I love that; that's gonna be our benchmark. That's gonna be where we talk about, you have set the tone. Don't give your shiz out for free. (audience laughs) I was like, I went from 400 and you give me free? (Pye laugh) That's amazing! I love you, Haldis; that was fantastic. Okay. I have done that exact thing. I sit here, we all laugh at this, and I remember like, I remember presenting one price to somebody and it was so funny to me, 'cause I was like, "I can do $2,500 for your wedding." And then there was silence, and I was like, "But for you guys I'll do two." (Pye and audience laughs) And I was like, I just bargained myself down. They didn't say a word. Okay. So let's get into this. What I want to do is I want to give you a framework, because sales without a framework, without a structure is exactly what just happened right now. It's difficult. It's tough to grab your frame. It's tough to hold control, and you lose it, and you end up kind of going all over the place, right? Now "Sales is uncovering the need," and I have this at the very beginning of this because we have this misconception entirely of what sales is to begin with. "Sales is uncovering the need. "Manipulation is in creating it." Does that make sense? The first quote our perception of sales is manipulation. It's gonna the used car dealership and being sold a car that we really don't want. But, sales based on what Zig Ziglar said in The Secrets of Closing, sales is providing a service. It's uncovering what you need. I'm trying to get to you, and this gives me another thing to say right now, which is, I'm gonna say one curse word, just to get in your heads for one second. You're clients do not give a shit what you're selling. Just buy that. Put it in your heads. But get this, nobody cares. Do you care what company has something to sell you? Like do you honestly care? When you see an advertisement, do you care? See, Steve Jobs was amazing at this. There was a recent article that I read. He understood this better than anybody. Nobody gives a crap. What we give a crap is what are you gonna do for me? I love your vision for the product that you're creating, Shell. I think it's great and I think that needs to be one of your products. You have to now convince the other person why they should care. Okay? That's the uphill battle that we face when it comes to sales, but guess what? The battles won if you understand that from the top. Because understanding that from the top, you no longer need to sell them anything. You need to find out what they want. Great! Okay, what do they want? So here's the issue with sales is when did each of you start learning sales? Because I guarantee all of you started learning it. When did you start learning it? As a child. Yeah, as a kid. As a kid you were selling to your parents, right? When you couldn't sell to one, you sold to another. You had some line. As a teenager, "I really need that phone, Dad. "I'll be able to call you more. "You can stay in touch with me." You get your phone. Do they call their parents when they get their phone? I didn't call mine. Could they keep track of me? No, but you sure sold them really well. Now this is the issues, we started learning this technique of sales, we started learning sales a long, long time ago, and this is another one of my favorite quotes that, "Practice doesn't make perfect. "Perfect practice makes perfect." Because we are really, really good. In fact, all of us are expertly trained at being bad salespeople. Because when you sold to your parents, you sold what you wanted, and our concept of sales is based on what I want. You go into each of these meetings thinking, Aaron, you think, "I want a book. "I want to make that..." It goes back to our childhoods of convincing somebody else to do what I want, and that's not what the process is, or what it should be. So I'm gonna start with this, sales fundamental number one, you are your worst enemy. Everything that you've learned, everything, you are your worst enemy. Now we're gonna do a little game here. I want you guys to write down one of these numbers on a piece of paper and I want you to think to your work, the quality that you do as an artist. As an artist, what are you worth? Write it down. You don't have to tell me; just write it down. And I hope you pick something that is high. I hope you pick a number that represents you. Pick it. We're gonna discuss that a little bit later. Back to you. So, your bias, your experience, your history, your expectations, your sensitivities, your beliefs all of these things are what you take into your sales meetings, right? When you say out loud, "I don't know if a client would pay that." It's not your client speaking, that's you speaking. When you say, "I'm afraid that they're gonna walk." All of the things that you are afraid about, that is you. Your biases in terms of like well, "Is that the right thing to do? "Should I be? "Should I?" If a client comes in, and says, "I want this." and you're like "That's great. "I would recommend this package. "This has everything you need. "It's a little bit less expensive." Who are you to tell them what they need, or what they want? And yet we down sell them, constantly. That's too much. I don't want them to pay that much. No, that's you. I'm not saying to charge people money that's beyond the value of your service. We've talked about this the entire time, how your value needs to be contained within your price point. Your value should be just above what you're actually charging. I'm saying that we need to forget yourself, because this sales process has nothing to do with you. The way that you've learned it, growing up, it's wrong. You guys ready to do that? Ready to kind of push forward into a different way of thinking about sales?

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