Master the Business of Photography

Lesson 39 of 41

Interview with Warren McCormack

 

Master the Business of Photography

Lesson 39 of 41

Interview with Warren McCormack

 

Lesson Info

Interview with Warren McCormack

All right, so I want to talk to you about warren mccormick and so warren is someone and just so those of you out there know I do a lot of one on one consulting that's always an option, you can obviously do a workshop, you can obviously do a creative live there's many ways you have an opportunity to kind of learn from me and have me coach you. Whatever you're looking for, we'll warn somebody I've been coaching for about two years now and so developed a personal relationship with him. I consider him a friend he's based in north carolina uh this is what has happened in the last year and a half to two years he's moved his studio out of his home they're used to run it out of his home. We got it out of there, he's now moving into a new location, he's completely re branded on he's about to launch his new brand new logo new packaging he used to focus on mid level brides and he wasn't happy with the money he was making. So the question became how do we rebrand this studio is a great photographe...

r, by the way, so it's not about his photography, you'll find that when you're dealing with me and I'm trying to coach you guys, I'm not really overly concerned about your photography I mean, we can all improve on photography don't get me wrong you're going to realize that ninety percent of what we do is business related the marketing the branding, the strategies those things matter well his average is air going up and so here's his website so this is kind of branding and marketing he's trending very high on seo on I just did a screen shot here you go check it out it's war mccormick dot com now here's what I've done and I think that's just barely knew we did a skype call with warrants about ten minutes watch it pay attention to it and then I'm gonna dissect it for you so that you understand what he's done on how you can do that in your business so let's kind of watch what warren's got to say all right everyone I'm here with warren mccormick I've known warren for several years been working with him in his business and rather than talking about him I'm gonna let you hear from warren in his own words so warren introduce yourself and welcome hey guys this is warn warm uncle mac from warmer combat photography basing raleigh north carolina and as you can tell, I'm english so uh twelve years living in north carolina I'm loving it and so warn talk a little bit because obviously this is all about the thirty day course in how you know people hear from me I think sometimes and I'm not sure quite quite sure that they believe everything that I'm saying you know they think like maybe I'm exaggerating things and and so what I try to do is khun consistently bring in people like you who have taken what we've taught and seen results mostly because I don't want our peers my peers your peers to believe that oh that'll only work for salary that'll only work for them it won't work for me can we go back before we start can we go back to your mindset when you and I first met and I was coaching you and taking you through this you had a little bit of that mindset didn't you so you know I met you first way back in atlanta georgia I drove for six hours because I wanted to hear you talk and I knew that I knew direction I have no idea I was doing my business was really struggling you know during the recession I thought this guy seems to know what he's talking about you know? So I need to go hear him and talk to you face to face and right after that to our meeting I said you know the seminal robber I said you know I need some are coaching itself first year you pick my business up you said I was scared you go let me go to trust me or let me do what I do on make those changes in the first quarter I made twenty thousand dollars in sales um I remember writing teo towards christmas said do recite some words and now you know where it started and it was wide it just blew my mind on dh so soon saying we've just bean working but you know it's it's not being I think you have moments where you just kind of let go of you business and and then you suddenly bring it back when you realize okay, I've just been drifting on dh so twenty fourteen was definitely that year when I pulled the reins on the business way started coaching again on dh you know, going out to st louis for two days I really did see kind of ecosystem that cycle um I never realized I had to understand where and when you say ecosystem just to clarify if everybody you're talking about seeing the actual way we run salvador sink out of photography andi I think you're right on something like that and you used the word I like what you say focus or structure or direction and I think that's a good word because as artists and creative is a lot of people are lacking that direction they know what they want to do but how do I get there in a digestible plan always becomes a challenge and I think you're right I saw that light bulb go off go on for you when you were here and seeing how that that salvatore's in qatar photography is not just about sal running around taking pictures you've gotto present those pictures sell those pictures, educate your clients you saw sales presentations things like that but I want to pull this back because I find that photographers they're scared scared of the unknown how did you overcome that? You know you've hit the nail on the head and every is there's a lot of fear you so I came from corporate world, you know, it's a software designer for almost twenty years I'm in a cube I'm not talking to people talking to a computer and now you're in front of people they're expecting you to guide them through the whole process on dh to make him look great, you know? And they're looking to you to guide them through that whole experience so there was something that you know as an artist that's how I came into this industry had this artist head that words I can't want to be creative I want to make great photos, but I have no idea how to run a business I mean literally none yeah, and you need to know that actually I'd say that eighty percent of my week is about running a business that's the mind that's the change that for tigers have to make is understanding that eighty percent of our day ninety percent or day is not clicking and taking pictures eighty to ninety percent of the day's business and I think that's the part you saw when you were here and I want to keep this moving forward as well as I have another interview we're doing, um in the spirit of that, because I think that is the fear that there's two things you we've highlighted fear and then direction, you know, in focus, but let's get to the thirty day course, even though we've been working together for a couple of years now, you still got stuff out of the thirty day course, absolutely what are what are two things just focus on two things that you've gotten out of the thirty day course and put and you're immediately putting into practice, okay, so I have an assistant now, which was actually from the mentoring say she because you can't do it alone war and you can't do it along fine, actually, and I realized, like weeping, we sit down digging on the way and we plan out the entire week, and this is something that was a stimulus from the thirty day course words we needed that structure that that direction so we realized it was a lot of work to be done, you know, picking the business up from a non directional, just survival type made of this is mind ah, well, artist, mind really, and then having that dark, so we've looked at the different areas in one area that we've been focusing on one website I've got a square space website is tracking quite well in google, we've actually sat down and done different google searches to see exactly where we oppositions before we started any word, look, and then each week we're going to keep on looking to see, okay, where are we? Are we on page one yet? You know, awesome. So that's actually all driven from that thirty day course, whereas we need to understand the metrics we need to understand where we are now and track it. So we've been going through the entire website, we've gone through the block, a swell, making sure everything kids, the way that you've described, and lizzie, we were sitting there looking at your video, causing you replaying that are some notes on, like, all right, this is exactly what he's asking us today, and I've even written squarespace asking it if we can make changes, which there are some limitations, I have to say, wordpress love squares face, but I think wordpress is part of the way that we wouldn't get in the eventually, um, next thing is a pinterest we're actually looking at making sure we're very active interest it's a great idea, isn't it? I, uh, everybody who's starting to do it because I've been getting e mails during the course of the thirty days on everybody who's implementing it is seeing immediate success with it and and I love those kinds of ideas where it's like this is so easy, why aren't we doing it? And I love it. So tell me, what's going on without howyou implementing it what's going on, so we pinterest way and she I had a lady helping me earlier in the year last year, and we got a booking s we found some pinterest when they booked us that's awesome on dso we're like, you know what? I need to do more with out and then when you start talking about us, okay, we totally need to pick this up and start running with us. So we're looking at doing themes, looking at venues vendor's just yesterday, she was working on some suggestion boards, you know, for shoes, but really is putting in all the different photos that we have from the different venues and highlight in those and actually this is kind of like a segway in tow. Um, you're awesome idea on sticky albums, we are totally buzzing about this idea ofthe creating a sticky album for sale florist that we've worked with for many years and then highlight in all the work that we've done for them creating the album and then tracking that in google dad to see how that's gonna work love trying to track all this stuff you know well the tracking of it all I think is what makes it so exciting because it's no longer like you're just throwing this stuff into a black box and you don't know what's going to come out your now actually monitoring this and scene daly the results of your of your hard work and those results aren't always immediate dollars it's it's more okay, I've got more traffic I've got more traction and then that ultimately leads to more two more dollars I'm sorry one I do have to get close to wrapping this up I have one more question for you maybe two more what are if you don't mind sharing with the group think over the last year and a half two years what have percentage wise what growth have you seen from your business by converting tow our model that we're doing there so um in no way am I exaggerating this um three years consistent we have the same number of bookings so weddings I'm mainly a wedding photographer on dweeb got some destination growth as well twenty fourteen was double the amount of booking that awesome double I mean crazy busy numbers actually the hottest thing with that was from a manage that's that's a good problem to have warren, is there a problem on dso that's actually mean that outsource everything? I don't do anything unless I have tio I kind of enjoy it, but I don't do any anything and only any album signed so it's actually encouraged me to grow and to outsource you the things that need to be outsourced. Yeah, and you're you're spot on and that's something I covered just how are you going to manage the growth? Uh, who are you partnering with? Who? Your trusted people and I'm happy to be that that person for you, I love the growth number and then sew one last question before we wrap as you're talking to your to your peers, what piece of advice would you give them to find success? What? What? What's you're in your own words. What advice would you give him? You totally need to understand where you want to go, if you don't know. I mean, this sounds kind of hear people if you I really don't know where you want to go to how you gonna get there on that you will be scared out of your mind I as an artist, going into a business mindset, the idea of having structure on a plan will just scare you crazy that, believe it or not, it will pay off. On dh we're still working on our long term goals because I can't shake off the artist part, but we're going to get there and we're going to make sure that you knew that having that plan you have somewhere you have more belief in yourself on more belief in what you want to succeed with. Well, said my friend well said warren thank you for your time today I truly appreciate it and let me where can people learn more about you online what's your website? Uh great. Yes. Um it's been a pleasure. Sell uh, my website is warren mccall mac dot com and that's to be a r v n and c c o r a c k yeah, let them let them come check it out and again more and thank you so much for your time. Continued success twenty fifteen uh big things that she double digit growth again. Brother it's gonna rock man by man francis ciao later. Alright. Wow, look at that. You see that smile on warren's face can't fake that smile right? Anybody you know, money makes people happy. Anybody who says money is not everything has no money, okay? That's that's reality because money makes people happy you cannot fake that smile you're seeing on warren's face s oh, did you hear his growth numbers? This is not like somebody I paid to come on here, and this is again, the reason we're doing all this is because any of you out there who were like I don't like south, it won't work, it won't work for me, it will work in my market. I don't like him he's an ass, whatever you whatever you want to say, guys, this stuff works. We have changed lives of businesses all over the world by implementing this strategy. What did he tell you? His first year? Implementing our model after doing one on one consulting twenty thousand dollars in his first quarter? What? Who doesn't want an extra twenty k? Okay, then he tells you he's been double digit growth for the last two years, right? I think he said he doubled his amount of weddings. I can't remember off the top of my head, and now he's had to hire an assistant to help him with that growth. This is the ultimate success story. This is what you want to hear. This is what you want to see he's in north carolina, and so these are the kind of things I'm trying to share with you, so you understand the messaging from what I'm saying. Toe what people are implementing, right? So you understand he's doing his own kind of thing, he's implementing and seeing different results and can I know we got some people who were sharing their their results? I want to hear a couple of one's coming through let's see here's one from free go photo who has been active in the chat rooms today, who says I created a single page price list and met with my first clients that were not my friends or family and they picked the middle package worked like a charm talk a little bit about that middle package and that segment yeah, so on the segment on pricing and packaging we and this is where, by the way, I see most photographers make the mistake they're like, yes, al, we're going to everything you're saying except for pricing, right? For some reason, you stopped believing me when it comes to pricing in packaging, I have no idea why the reality is consumer behavior they love to feel like they're getting a deal. Nobody wants to be in your worst package, right makes him feel cheap like they're not getting the best, but a lot of people don't want to be in the top package either they feel like they're wasting too much money uh they're being too frivolous right? It's just consumer behavior that middle package has to be the most compelling package on the table, meaning that's where all the meat is off your packages and by the way, wedding seniors families babies does not matter that middle package make it compelling and that's where you will end up getting people so it sounds like he put it out there you don't have to be a sales person you don't have to convince them you don't have to twist their arms just make that package the most compelling money is like water it will follow the path of least resistance so if you make it easy for them to select that package I promise you they will select that package and it worked like a charm worked like a charm he's quote what do we have questions coming in? I love the success stories, by the way, so we've been talking a lot about this register to win a free engagement session on facebook, okay? And we've seen successes, so I just want to clarify for people this is for andre, who said I did five dollars a day in two cities after one hundred dollars I had roughly twenty plus sign ups, which is awesome that's awesome question is to avoid last minute cancelations would you suggest requiring a retainer toe lock in the date that is what I'm currently doing but just looking teo your expertise for the best solution yeah so let's talk about that and I'm really hoping that we get more questions so it's jim right gyms and andre andre no questions yeah so when you guys were hitting the questions I think there should be a lot of questions around facebook so you're doing it I want to know what some of the hiccups air hitting our I know what they should be I just want to hear from you so let's talk about this andre for a second you're gonna get your going one hundred names right? How many names you get and then you're gonna get a percentage of them call it fifteen twenty percent that will actually commit to a session and then there's going to be a percentage of that that you don't show up just accept it I think by forcing them to make a deposit or something like that might might rub a lot of people the wrong way especially because you're telling him hey, this is something you've won or is free or things like that so I wouldn't go that route I would just mentally except the numbers because this is a numbers game by the way you're basically looking out okay I'm gonna run this facebook ad let's just keep it simple I'm gonna spend a hundred dollars on this facebook at and I'm gonna get one hundred leads so what is your cost per lead one dollar right? I'm doing simple math here whatever that ends up being you're going take how much you paid how many leads you're paying a dollar per lead that's those were amazing numbers by the way if you can get any number like that take it because that is incredible now you're going to look at what's your lead conversion rate meaning okay I got a hundred names but ten came in she converting about ten percent that also would be a very good number if you're converting fifteen percent twenty percent bravo man those air great numbers but would you pay one hundred dollars have ten possible sales yes all day long I would pay that money and so just understand there's gonna be people who don't buy anything they're going to come in and not buy anything that's okay you're gonna be pissed off you're going to like what's wrong with people you're gonna get angry I spent all this time accepted we're looking at total revenue generated and that's what matters those are the numbers you should be looking at so just understand what you're getting yourself into some people are not going to show up some people are going to cancel last minute some people are gonna buy zero it's okay? Because if you have five people that do spend money and those five people to convert to booking their wedding this is a promo I would do for the rest of my life because those numbers work out good question I think that's it's a great one to keep talking about so thanks you guys okay, this is a question from linda at what point in time to show the client your product pricing some are saying when you do the sale some are saying in the pre console clarification yeah so great question let's talk weddings for one second and then I'll talk about like seniors, families, babies, let's say we're doing weddings, weddings, there's three touch points with your client there's the initial consultation at which point in the initial consultation all I'm showing them is the price to book the wedding and ala carte prices, meaning if you want to book me for your wedding day, it's five thousand dollars here's what it comes with, we don't have to get into all that that's in the pricing packaging segment, but I'm gonna show you that pricing and in that pricing is the cost of here's what an eight by ten would cause here's what a canvas would cost but only allah card right? Because packages for the engagement session packages for the post wedding session aren't even assembled yet their post wedding is a year away, right? Eight months to a year away and so in the spirit of that they're being eight months to a year away I don't want to put packages in front of them that take a year to come to fruition does that make sense because you might change what's in that package you might change the pricing my change from from your vendors so you've got to keep that stuff in mind we can't do that so now you do the engagement session and let's just say for argument's sake you do the engagement session june first they still haven't seen packages for the engagement meaning print packages okay and this package you get this canvas and this guest book etcetera etcetera you shoot them on june first by june first or june second they now have those packages that are tied to your vendor specials thes air engagement on ly packages zombie consents get like a little bit of push back at that point because if they feel like I mean I know they expect kind of like what the price range is going to be but I feel like sometimes at that point where I'm like ok yeah you have all your pictures now check this out on there like so let's role play with this right? Because the question you have to guarantee you everybody out there has let's role play with that take me through mentally what the question war with the objection because it's called a jet you're like hey here's our packages what do you believe the objection would be it's not even the there's not even really an objection it's just that silence yes, and I know I'm not supposed to speak first but after a few minutes yeah, I don't know what to say you're supposed to walk them through those package ok now remember you're not just sliding across table going here it is they should have in theory received at two weeks earlier, right? You shoot them on june first june second they get your packages june fourteenth there in your studio looking at the pictures so they've had two weeks to process this and if you really are worried about feeling uncomfortable after one week, you can send them an email and say, hey, just looking forward to your session next week please let me know if you have any questions that's your first kind of temperature gauge on if they're gonna have any questions or not now when they come in they already know how much everything is and by the way there's no sleight of hand here because on the initial consultation they know a sixteen by twenty four is five hundred dollars calling they already know this but in your package you're discounting that price so you're not actually doing anything that's sketchy, you're actually saving them money is that making sense, but if you feel sketchy about it, you're gonna act sketching you see what I'm saying because then you're suddenly like you think I'm not actually sliding across the table like that? I'm just tio you have to look at it when you're selling all of you out there, by the way, there's a good conversation, you have to look at it as they came to you for imagery, right? So if they came to you for imagery, there's, nothing wrong with you selling them imagery and product, you just have to get over that mindset. It's so such a mindset thing when you go to a restaurant to buy food that the maitre d doesn't come over that right? He's not like you guys want any food, you don't have to buy it, I'll just give you the steak cooking outside, right? That doesn't happen, so you have to have that mindset a cz well, rights, just like you came to me to buy prince for your home. I'm here to sell you that s so it's, just a mind shift that I promise you. Then, of course, the same process holds true after the way right? So their wedding date is call it august first august second, they're goingto have post wedding pricing that we showed you in that segment in their hands two weeks before they come in to see their pictures same would hold true for seniors, families, babies now so let's say you have a senior shoot scheduled for the first you shoot her on the first by the second. She's got pricing in her hands by the fourteenth. She's coming in to see. But I know what the objection is gonna be. What if they're sticker shock? What? What? Okay, that's going to come up when they first call you? When that first call comes in for a high school senior a family, a baby. Hi. We'd like to book a family session. Taylor was handling that phone call typically will go into it and say great. Our sessions are our session fees to ninety nine. That includes an hour and a half of time and two locations. The average family spends around a thousand dollars in our studio, but we just let them know what to expect. So as long as that's out there. It's. Fine. However, there's, no minimum orders. We say that your clients as well, because there are no minimum orders. If you want to walk into my studio on by one eight by ten, you absolutely can. But if you do that, that means I failed as a photographer. And I always tell my clients I kid around them. I get my job's great, great images your job is to resist. And we have a good laugh and then they come in and hopefully they spend a thousand or two thousand dollars that's what I'm looking for out of a portrait session and so you've got to just have that mindset and never get hung up on one sale. I have sales just like every photographer out there, people walk in, they spend zero, sometimes people want it makes me crazy, I don't understand why did you come to me? If you're not gonna buy any pictures, it makes no sense, but they still do it. That's fine. Some people come in and buy one eight by ten, and I'm like, really other people come in and dropped four grand. And so from my perspective, I'm just looking at averages what's the average sale, I don't get hung up on the zero and I don't jump for joy because I had a four thousand dollar sale. I mean, I enjoy that moment, I'm excited, and I also get pissed off at the moment where they're zero, but ultimately it's about average is you gotta look at the averages that makes sense.

Class Description


Business skills are non-negotiable – you must have them to succeed. Develop yours in Master the Business of Photography. Sal Cincotta will teach the business-first approach to photography you need to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.

The viability of your photography business hinges on your plan. In Master the Business of Photography, you’ll get actionable business insights and guidance from Sal, an award-winning photographer, author, and owner of the million-dollar photography brand, Salvatore Cincotta Photography.

Sal will coach you, start to finish, through the process of developing a winning sales, marketing, and business plan and how to implement it. You’ll define your ideal client, learn how to get your price list right, and develop effective responses to sales objections. You’ll examine emerging trends in engagement and wedding photography and learn how to integrate them into your business. Sal will help you re-imagine and energize every aspect of your photography business. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Build a portfolio tailored to your ideal target client
  • Use social media to grow your business and expand your influence
  • Proactively instigate vendor relationships
  • Use marketing to book more sessions
  • Apply the new rules of SEO

You are not entitled to make money – you have to earn it. In this class you’ll develop an action plan for growing your business – no matter how long you’ve been in the business – with 30, 60, 90-day, and 1-year plans for keeping your growth on track.

Photographers work in a competitive industry and everyone can benefit from learning fresh, new marketing, pricing, and sales techniques. Commit to the success of your business and join Sal for Master the Business of Photography.


Reviews

Brandon D
 

Sal isn't disgruntled and angry like someone below said, and he doesn't have time for people constantly whining about why their business isn't going good. He's from Brooklyn, so he can come across as harsh at first, but after watching several of his classes and even getting to meet him in person and talk a bit I can tell you he is a really nice guy who truly does want you to succeed. He was very encouraging to me after I thanked him for helping me and my business get to where it is now. Growing up, I can remember photographers grabbing us and posing how they wished. They are often in a hurry to get things right, such as at a wedding, so I am not sure why one reviewer stated he would dismiss them. Sounds like he is just looking for a reason to feel powerful. Anyway, this is a great class to get you on track with your business. Yes, its a bit wedding heavy, but the concepts are the same no matter what. Just apply them to your niche and you are good to go.

fbuser 0af5cf47
 

I have been a long time fan of Creative Live and have sat on the fence with all of Sal's classes because I already attend Shutterfest every year and get loaded with valuable information there, so it was hard to pull the trigger on a $300 course that was filmed 5 years ago. Also, in my earlier days of hearing about Sal, I'd heard a lot of negative opinions about how he comes across. Still, I'd heard he's a marketing guru, and my background is in marketing as well, so I really wanted to see what this class was all about. Now that I've finally gotten it, I'm completely blown away. There is just SO MUCH MATERIAL in this class that its actually difficult trying to decide what to implement first! It is good stuff too. It is all about marketing, sales, and workflow. If you're looking for a class teaching you how to take better photos, this one is not it. This is the class that teaches you how to get your work where everyone is seeing it and convincing people to book you and tell their friends about you! Now as far as others have already said... this class is definitely geared toward wedding photographers. Yes there are bits of information that work for other types of photography, but it is so heavily wedding oriented that there might be a better fit out there for another type of photographer. If you do weddings though, this is an amazing class! As far as Sal's personality goes.... he's a New Yorker transplanted to St. Louis. So expect that NYC no BS type of attitude. Susan Stripling is another one of my favorites and she is similar in attitude (and also extremely talented), so if you like her, you should like this. If you have a hard time with her, you might have a hard time with this. Regardless, its stuff y'all need to hear and implement to be successful. Obviously because the class is a bit older, you may have to make small tweaks to a few things (even though he says don't jack with the recipe), but the marketing principles are solid and timeless. Shoot this course is worth it for the SEO advice alone. Just buy it already!

Cheryl Callahan
 

Sal Cincotta is yet another outstanding educator that I've discovered on Creative Live. In this course he shows us how to implement things in our own business that will help us grow our businesses in this modern age. Personally I've purchased books and gone to photography business classes for years. In one session he mentions how when he and his wife were starting out business practices were something other photographers seemed to be afraid to share. This resonated with me. Everyone is willing to technical aspects but how many are willing to teach business to us? Personally, I just can't decide whether to buy this course or one of his previous ones first. Thank you Sal for stepping up to the plate and having the integrity to share your business knowledge! I'm an artist first and a business person second. I don't know if that will ever change. I do know that the business person part needs to grow and I think this class is a fantastic opportunity to do that.