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Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients

Lesson 32 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients

Lesson 32 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

32. Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


The Agenda


Why You Will Fail


The Changing World We Live In


Biggest Competitors For Weddings and Portraits


Day 2


Defining, Understanding, and Connecting to Your Clients


Day 3


Legal Issues


Day 4


Shoot and Share vs Shoot and Sell


Day 5


Pricing Your Work Part 1


Day 6


Pricing Your Work Part 2


Day 7


The New World of SEO


Day 8


Social Media - Facebook


Day 9


Social Media - Instagram & Pinterest


Day 10


Building a Better Portfolio & Attracting the Right Clients


Day 11


Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships


Day 12


Get More Publicity


Day 13


Booking More Portrait Sessions


Day 14


Booking More Weddings


Day 15


Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)


Day 16


The Engagement Shoot - Shoot To Make Money.


Day 17


Engagement Pricing and Sales


Day 18


Destination Shoots


Day 19


Working With & Training Second Shooters


Day 20


Growing An Alternate Brand


Day 21


The Wedding Day Timeline


Day 22


Managing The Wedding Day


Day 23


Post Wedding Sales and Pricing


Day 24


Post Production - A Real World Workflow


Day 25


Wedding Albums - Their Importance, New trends & Selling Them


Day 26


Ways Not To Suck At Customer Service


Day 27


Video - The Future of Story Telling for the Photographer


Day 28


Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients


Day 29


Lessons Learned - Where I Have Failed Over The Last 8 Years


Day 30


The Journey Of You


The Journey Of You: 30 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 60 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 90 Day Plan


Student Examples


Interview with Warren McCormack


Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo


General Q&A


Lesson Info

Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients

Think about it from a perspective of where you currently are with your brand and where you want to be with your brand first starting from square one right that's not what I want to talk about anymore we're getting to the point if you guys have been following our system for the last year and a half two years we're getting to a point in your careers we've really got to start stepping back and looking at have I presented a cohesive brand that's where a lot of people are missing the boat not in that oh I got a new logo oh I got a new website great I'm glad you got new logo I'm glad you got new website but that's not your brand the brand is everything else that goes into that and so that's the part I really kind of want to dig into a little bit today think of it is kind of like a checkpoint for you so branding the importance of bringing it all together what your brand says about you both today and in the future so a lot of the conversation we've been having up into this point has really bee...

n about who your client is today right again we keep going back to that that I think that's really the anchor of this entire courses understanding who our client is and in the spirit of all that and understanding more client is we really have to understand is does our brand connect with the client the client we have today I would say more likely you are connecting with your bryant client of today but are you going to connect with your client of the future what is that client look like what is your brand look like as it approaches that and I'll show you on example I think that will really drive that home we'll talk a little bit about packaging and your brand I'm gonna show you my packaging just is kind of a refresh we'll talk about where to start and then of course I'm gonna show you all my vendors and so if you've wondered who our vendors are where we're getting everything from I'm going to share with you exactly where we're getting everything everything from because I get that e mail all the time where do you get your this from and it's like here we go it's all here for you right now maybe you're sorry so bring it all together here's the reality when it comes to branding everything absolutely matters it's all interconnected if you're operating under the pretense that it's not all connected and the way you dress and the way you present yourself in the way you answer your phone and the way you speak if you think that stuff's not interconnected you are living in la la land you have to understand that this stuff is all related and so the way you dress the way and shoot the way the car you drive if you don't think the car you drive is representing of your brand again, you're significantly underestimating how important that stuff is and I know a lot of you might be thinking like wasn't matter what kind of car drives all about my pictures it's not all about your pictures it's all about everything everything represents the brain how about we do it this way? Let's talk starbucks if you walked into a starbucks, okay, and it was they had finger painting on the wall, okay? And the store was dirty ride was unclean without what without experience be with the brand wouldn't it be negative would be a negative experience with the brand, would it? Not yet I didn't mention anything about the coffee they make great coffee. What do you mean? So it's? Not just about that it's about the music they're playing in the store it's aboutthe sounds that are in the store it's about the way you feel when you walk in that store. All of that has nothing to do with coffee yet it's all interconnected to the brand. So why are you under the impression that it's not the same thing for you let's talk louis vuitton let's talk mercedes benz when you walk into a louis vuitton, you're walking into a well it's store it's a pleasant smell it's a good temperature right? The temperature of the store is something they actually pay attention to you don't want to walk into a store you ever walk into a store and you're completely just start sweating the minute you walk in you ever walk into those stores what do you want to do the minute you walk into a store like that leave I want to leave I walk into a store I'm like I can't do it I can't stay I cannot sit here and think about spending money when all I want to do is think about getting out of here it's all part of the brand you have to start understanding that so the car you drive is absolutely related to your brand you understand this I don't care if you got a lease a car what you got to do okay, but you better get a car that's matching the brand you're not going to go photograph of five, six, seven thousand dollar wedding and show up right in a beater rusted out back in the car some of you are laughing so I'm wondering what I'm gonna put you on the spot what car are you driving? You don't want to announce the oh you gotta tell us now we all want to know what you drive you know she's seen better days she she's thie fact that you're identifying with your car as a she and you guys have, like this relationship going on? I'm going to say you've had that car way too right? My cars are disposable, I don't care they're collateral damage every two, three years gone get a new one ah that's how I'm doing it? Oh, my gosh! Do you have a name for your car? You do? Oh, god, this is really, really bad. Okay, here's, the measuring stick out there in the world of the internet. If you have named your car, it is time to get rid of it. Okay? Um my goodness uh, this is really, really bad. Okay, so clearly the car you drive on your wedding day is sending that message, so I'm not advocating. You go out and go into debt to get a car, but just understand, please, that if you if you want to move into this high end realm of charging more money for a wedding, what you're rolling up in on that wedding day, people are judging you that's the reality, you know, and here's a good example. I don't know how many of you do this. Maybe this says a lot about me maybe I'm a shallow person, I don't know, but I love city in airports people watching anybody enjoy doing that so it's just fun, right? And I make up all sorts of shit about people. I have no idea what they do for a living, right? But we'll sit there at the airport, we're bored when we start looking at people were like, what do you think they do for a living? You just start making things up on what they do for a living, right? You just start playing this game and you have fun with it. What do you think their voice sounds like? What do you think they say in this situation? Right? So we'll just start making stuff up, we have fun, don't you think people are judging you? They're judging you the minute you walk in the room, that's the reality, you have to understand that when they walk in to a sales meeting there, jumping all sorts of conclusions about you based on the way you dress based on the way you're presenting yourself based on your jewelry, based on your wedding ring based based on your necklace, based on everything they're absolutely doing that I'll never forget. I had my camera sitting there and have a louis vuitton camera strap, okay, so really the time camera strap there was, like four of them made this company, I think, it's riley, g they bought a louis vuitton bag cut it up uh made four five camera straps out of it right before they start got threatened with legal action from louis vuitton leave it on the on the copper you cannot destroy our material so it's pretty interesting we have this commerce trumped bride walks in my camera sitting there and she's like is that a louis vuitton camera strap and I'm like yeah I love louis vuitton and then we start having this entire conversation about louis vuitton that was awesome she was judging me based on my camera strap for crying out loud that was something that caught her attention taylor has been judged based on the shoe she's wearing bride's will connect with taylor based on what shoes she's wearing so random random stains that's what I'm trying to tell you and don't listen to me don't go like oh that sounds making this up I don't agree with this think about yourself says a consumer when you walk into a store you immediately snapped to a judgment when you walk into a hotel you immediately snapped to judgment right? Several of you are staying across the street at the holiday inn right across the street from here immediately when you walked into that lobby you came to a judgment on whether your state was going to be a good stare or a bad state whether this was a nice hotel or a bad hotel right people are doing the same thing with you they're judging you the same way I'm not saying you have to accept it you just have to understand it's happening you due to a certain extent have to just come to the realization that you have to accept this is the world we live in john with going into the hotel holiday inn has a signature scent at all holiday ends a smell that they pump into the hotel is home to the hotel right to create that experience these are companies that have spent millions and millions of dollars on research around consumer behavior they understand how the consumer feels when they walk into a hotel let's continue across that I've told this story before or along those lines I should say I've told this story before starbucks, starbucks at one point in time they were researching getting quieter machines coffee grinders so they would grind the coffee and there was no noise whatsoever if you go to a starbucks or any coffee shop for that matter right, you just hear that way that grinding noise right? Starbuck started replacing these grinders and these espresso machines with quieter machines they found out after they had replaced I don't know how many hundreds of machines and these were expensive machines like I'm talking thousands of dollars to replace him after they started replacing them after so many stores same set same store sales started declining they couldn't explain it if they start doing some research on it turns out people for whatever reason we're connecting with the sound of the grinder and the espresso machine and the noise in the store that was becoming part of the starbucks experience if you will and so they immediately canceled all those machines all those orders and went back to the regular noisier machines is not interesting so as an exercise and improving the customer experience that I think about it when I'm in starbucks and I'm trying to have a conversation with somebody my my my volume is constantly going up and down based on the noise that's going on behind me the coffee grinder the people talking the espresso machines billy soft cup latte grande eh whatever fruit from drink you're getting right there yelling it all out that's all part of the starbucks experience that's the realization way have to come too what's your experience with your client and it all comes down to the most random things I eat what car you're driving well clothes you're wearing on the wedding day how do you show up if I were to show up to a wedding let's play this game if I show up to a wedding and I'm dressed in a tuxedo like a legit tuxedo bowtie at a wedding what would be your how would you judge me what would you think you don't know me what would you say where three descriptors you would get from stuffy what else uh michael uh old school old school okay what gimme one game not my photographer not my photographer okay, so those are three things you would do let's let's take it to complete other extreme let's say I show up to a wedding and I'm wearing jeans I'm wearing chucks right and I got on just a black t shirt what if I'm just dressed like this and I show up to a wedding day what would the descriptor be hip into tar for I said more life photographer but so you start seeing what ends up happening just based on the way I'm dressing when I'm presenting myself that is impacting my brand as well I'm not suggesting you go out you now by you know, two thousand dollars suits so that you look snazzy I'm not suggesting you of the other extreme and you're you know look I'm forty four years old I'm getting older I'm not getting younger so there's going to come a point time where I'm going to be that guy that older guy that's just trying to be hip that's not what I'm suggesting you do right? You just got to be you you've gotta operate within your own skin but you still can't ignore trends that are going on around us okay that's really what what I'm advocating here and I don't wanna be that guy was like bro that's not me. I don't talk that way. So if I suddenly start walking into an event and I'm like, yeah, that's dope you ever see those people right? My mom does that all the time. My mom is hilarious. She'll start saying things like, well, where do you even know what you're saying, mom? Like, I don't think she did she's like, oh, I heard it on the tv. I'm sure you did, but you shouldn't be saying it stop saying it, you're weirding me out and so those are the kind of things we've gotta operate within our skin and understand all this stuff is related to the brand your logo, your website, but most importantly, your delivery these are the areas in previous course is that I've spent a lot of time on talking about your logo, talking about your website, talking about your delivery of those things and it's really been interesting to me to watch the progression of some of your brands and how you're kind of you start off, you start off really excited you got this momentum you're like, yeah, I'm gonna get a new website. Yeah, I'm gonna get a new logo on it's like a year later and you still haven't made that transition it's time to do it, you got to do it it starts with your logo, your brand, your website all these things have to start happening immediately, right? So if you're following at home and you're writing down in your workbook what how long's it gonna take you to make this change what's the plan once the thirty, sixty, ninety on this when when is this going to happen? There's no reason your new logo if you don't have one hasn't happened in the next thirty days or it's not happening in the next thirty days money is not a good enough reason it's gotta happen you've got to start getting moving on this um we talked a little bit about this we don't have toe really dig into it too much, but what does your brand say about you that's the question do you know and it's different than those three that three word exercise that I said you know I said, hey, pick three words previously uh said pick three words that best describe your brand right creative, stylish award winning was the three words that we've used in the begining to describe our brand what are the three words that describe your brand? I want you writing this down uh actually I want all of you writing this down right now I want to know what you believe you are the three words are that describe your brand and if the three words you're picking you got to be honest with yourself, if the three words you're picking to describe your brand don't match across everything your car, your your website, your logo, the way you dress, you can't use a word for your brand that even implies your hip, and then you're not dressing him, right? It does these things don't make sense. You can't claim to be ico friendly, but then everything you're doing is not ico friendly, so you've gotta you've gotta operate within that, right? You can't be an earth earthy business, and then you're doing things that aren't earth tone that don't make you feel right that open airiness and mind you all tied to this is also the way you edit and present your imagery. So if you really wanted to be, if I were on the west coast and I really wanted to be into into, you know, earth and openness and airiness and earth tones and all along these things, right, my logo just talking out loud, my logo would include something that is very much ofthe earth, right? I would want it to feel and look like earth. It would be earth tones might have, like. The logo might embrace like maybe tree branches or leaves or something like that where it's bringing it together my website would have more of that earth tone rather than being text on a white background maybe the text is more on a on a cream color background, right? So more getting to the browns right? The way I would dress would be more maybe that don't know bohemian style or something that just feels like it all comes together right that's that to me would be a complete brand that's the way it should work and when I look at salvador cincotti photography is a brand I've tried to keep the logo somewhat neutral if you look at my logo, I don't think it's anything outrageous one way or the other I think it's neutral you know when you look at a logo like nike the nineties, the nike logo is neutral it's pretty much stood the test of time on that's what I'm looking for the logo a lot of times I look at your logos on from your brainy perspective and you date yourselves immediately the minute that goes out there you commit too hard to one way right? The pendulum swings one way too far right even if you're going to say hey knowing teo, you know an edgy, gritty logo or brand that's great, but now everything you do has to match that I'd rather see you keep your logo and your website neutral if you keep your logo on website neutral all your your imagery will always match your logan website that's why my website right now is black black background white logo just real simple and what I'm allowing to have happened is my imagery jump off the page that's what I want now we're in the process of rebranding I guess you can say salvador cincotti photography right my website's been up for a number of years I've been really reluctant to change it because of my ranking on the site so I don't really want to change too many things in risk losing my my ranking but um we're in the process of re branding in the rebrand we're moving away from black so the black background right is too hard right now so I want to come back so white and so the rebranding the website is gonna have lighter colors not is contrast and come backto ah white background that's part of our re brand so I'm going I'm doing the same exercise I'm encouraging you guys to do I'm going through for my own my own business I'm just getting away from some of those things this is making sense what do you guys think you are in your own brand curious wants to talk about it where you been what's your journey been robin would put you on spot again what's your journey well, obviously we know changed changed names of the company but talking about that what is that? Something else I talked to a lot of tire was about I don't want to hear from me I want to hear from you your business is growing you're following what we're telling you to do what what what was your business before the name why'd you change it what led you to change it? Well because it was just a generic name was called sharp five photography and it was a very, very simplistic logo there wasn't really much to it, but obviously you know, after talking to you, I wanted to make more personal and I thought it was a good idea to use my name s so I went with robert signal photography that rob not rob robert robert I just thought that it pushed it up a level a little bit little bit sound a little more sufficiently but more sophisticated that must mean you're a better photographer because you're logo's more you're instantly right exactly. I tried to keep the logo when I had the logo designed to try to keep the logo, you know, pretty simplistic I didn't want to go in any specific style direction, so kind of like what you were saying, you know, it's just basic it's a basic black and white logo ok, so everybody back home right? Is you're sitting here listening to this there's probably a decision you have to make right from a branding perspective do I stick with my name? Do I go with a generic name for my business? Rob went the other direction he had a generic name right sharp five who is sharp five that was the question I had. I had no idea who sharp five wass is that a person? Is it a male is in a female isat a you know, a consortium of people this becomes really important. You have to ask yourself that question no matter where you are right now, who is the brand and when you have that generic name that doesn't necessarily match with a high end brand you with me lot of high end brands have a very clear name they have a clear figurehead uh these are the kind of things I would think if you want a high end brand that's ultimately what you're looking to have accomplished now if you want an exit strategy sharp five the name of that probably would have worked you know at ten for tigers under there under their build this huge brand sell it exit strategy life is good all right, but if that's not where you're looking to be and you want your brand you to be the figurehead of that brand he's the kind of things you got to start thinking about but I'm gonna keep hammering you because all these things have to be interconnected your website has to be related to it and match where you're going with it now in the spirit of all that I don't want to beat you up too much in the spirit of all that where do you where do you want to be? Where do you see yourself in two years? That's actually the more important question I really don't care where any of you are today in the spirit of this conversation I'm always concerned with as I'm sitting here talking to you on your trying to grow your business it's more along the lines of where do you want to be that's the question I ask all of you because to sit here and talk about today we're really talking about the past on dh that's I don't want to dwell in the past I always want to look forward all of you as as business owners should be looking forward right by we talked about that in previous segments. If you're thinking about today right here we sit november twenty fourteen I'm not thinking about november, I'm not thinking about december, I'm thinking about february march april of twenty fifteen that's where my mind is right now is an owner I'm thinking about new initiatives we have thinking about sales and promotions, I want to run that you have to start operating that far out. If you're not, you're really going to miss the boat. So from a re branding perspective, when do you think the right time to rebrand is now? It's november businesses going too slow? This is a beautiful time of the year and in your business life cycle rebrand, redo your website, push it out to your client's, announced the rebranding you're going to get their attention right? You can have you could have a grand opening for the new brand we've redecorated we put up new modern right? If you if you've got a can't if you're a studio owner and you've got a campus hanging on your wall that's been up there for more than a year and a half it's time to refresh, you got to start replacing these things were constantly swapping out sample prints in our studio constantly. I look back at some of the work I did three years ago, and I'm I'm not horrified, I can't believe that came off my camera. More importantly, I can't believe I edited more importantly, I can't even believe I thought it looked good, right when he looked back in our work three years ago when I look at my work, I was like, yeah, that's, good and then I look at that now I'm like that is shit that is I should not be producing that I don't even want my name on it get that off the wall were constantly going through this kind of pruning of our work so you should be doing it to you should be if you go to your website right now all of you go to your website look up there and if you're not in love with every picture you're seeing on your website taken down it's gotta come down if you're neutral about it it should come down immediately guys with me yeah wendy so we're gonna ask me about your different styles again you were when you and jonathan I'm gonna put you guys in like a padded room big gloves and we're going to duke out that's not hold on when you stand up for me you told me thea other day that you were going to go with jonathan and you guys we're not going to bed until you came to agreement on what your style was going to be. Does everybody remember this conversation? Hold her accountable? What is the result of that conversation? So we're working towards that we actually did have the conversation we did not come upon agreement just yet and we did just go through the entire rebranding re logo in the last year and a half assed you know and we're finding some of the same things that that you have found is that we're actually now looking at the client, that we really want to happen our door because it's, not so much that we're four looking is that we're getting really clear as to what we want, and what we're realizing is, too, as we get more clear, our current brand is really not describing who you are, who we are, and so my question for you is how quickly do you really want to change that? Because we don't want to go home and totally disconnect with all of our clients that we have currently, but we do want to build the client that we really want to be servicing in our in our future in our future, exactly, with the brand that we end up settling on. I want to say, first of all, awesome, right? I want to say that what you've just stood up and said, I'm gonna guess eighty percent of the audience watching here feels and can connect with what you just said there's somewhere in that range kudos to you, though, both for now, knowing who you believe you want to go after, I think that's the biggest challenge for most business owners is truly understanding who that client is it's, not always easy. And you know, I kind of thumped everybody in the beginning your client's not somebody who's getting just getting married your client's not somebody who just wants pictures your client's not somebody who has money those are not the things that would describe traditionally scribe used to describe your client that's what a lot of times you will if you want pictures, I'm a photographer you're my client that allows your brand to be scattered you guys as you're maturing in revamping your business maturing, you're you're getting closer and closer to honing in and now you know, at least the two of you know who you want that client to be, and you're coming to the realization that the brand you have out there right now does not match that that bride so to answer your question, when do I think you should do it immediately? If you believe in your heart, you have clear vision on who your client is and you're both in agreement on who that person is, I think you've gotta walk out of here and do it now it's got to be part of your thirty sixty because the longer you wait, the longer it's gonna take to start bringing those clients in the door now, teo, to drill more into your question you go, do we want to abandon the current clients that we're bringing in yes, one hundred percent. Yes. Get it's far away from them as quickly as you can. And I'll share with you my story. When we were coming up two thousand seven, two thousand eight many of, you know, almost bankrupted my business, and it was because I didn't know or understand who my client was. I thought I knew who my client was, but I realized I had no understanding of who they were in the spirit of that, not once I started, I continued to work on that, uh and hone in, and I realized my client was over here and I was over here and I realized if I'm gonna be successful, I don't put my business out of this hole that it's in. I've got to jump immediately to this client. When I made that jump, I alienated everybody over here. My old clients, nobody could afford me referrals wouldn't come in. So yes, I'm going to tell you to jump leap, get to where your clients are. But with that comes other work that has to happen. It's not a simple it's just changing your logo. Changing your website, changing your shooting style, it's changing your marketing if you don't back up that jump. With the marketing to market to this new set of clients you're going to sit in this and you guys are going to panic I know you well enough to know you're gonna panic you're going to jump and you're gonna go it's not working let's go back you can't do that you got to make that jump but you have to support it with marketing the marketing is the parachute so if we're jumping out of a plane which is what I'm telling you to do jump trust me you will get there if you don't have that marketing parachute you're not gonna get there you're gonna fall and you're gonna burn you're gonna hit that ground hard and it's gonna hurt this is making sense what I'm saying you so when you make that jump when you walk out of here when you guys go home tonight and you're working on your workbook your worksheet and you're putting down what we have to do the jump is fine you're going hey, I know who my client is got it check I know what we got to do with our website or logo are shooting roger that check but how am I going to connect with him that's the one? What are the five things you're going to do when you walk out here to connect with that new client base is at facebook advertising is it new bridal shows new bridal shows not the same ones you been going to if you keep going to the same bridal show that you've always been going to you're gonna connect with the same client just slapping a new logo on your business isn't going to stop that client from stopping by your booth, right? Is it new sample albums right that's another way to differentiate when I made that jump from that when I was charging my base package was nine, ninety nine ninety nine nineteen, ninety nine and then, like twenty nine, ninety nine those were my base packages I was offering all press printed books okay? And then my top package was like a ah ten by ten just graphic album that's not that's not gonna work if I want to get into that for five thousand dollars range they want mohr they want bigger, they want better quality, they want more leather options. So then I jumped and I made sure everything supported that jump you with me. All right, everybody feel good, right? So in the spirit of that let's talk about somebody that I've been mentoring for a couple of years now and all sorts of cool things going on with their business but they were facing the same branding struggle, right? So this is lenny built his wife melissa had been working with them for a number of years now they've become close personal friends and I want nothing more than success for them and so in the spirit of this exercise this was their their website maybe six months ago this was their website they call their company park avenue photography let's talk out loud about this what is this brand say that's set to do this don't be nice tony right but what is it what does it say don't be mean to him don't be nice one just lets talk truth we need people here's the thing this exercise I'm taking you all through right now I would do this for my own brand I would want you to do this actually I want every one of you this exercise I'm going to teach you I've talked about it but I don't think anybody really understood uh the exercise so here's what I want to see happen I want to know what's wrong with this I don't care what's right with it if you don't have people like this who are willing to give you this kind of feedback maybe you're like I don't want to hear that about my brand I don't want to hear that about my name I don't want to hear about my baby something I've built okay well then you want to go out out of business because you have to get this kind of feedback to get to that next level this is really really good everything you're saying is completely accurate what do they do? I have no clue the logo lane at best park avenue signals high end but yet nothing that I'm looking at here signal's hot looks high end it doesn't match right this is the kind of exercise if you're if you're home this is the kind of exercise that and and here I want you to go back and surround yourself three four five people that are willing to give you this kind of feedback it's tough to hear it's definitely tough to hear nobody wants to hear this kind of feedback something sometimes something in you wants to argue and defend it if you find yourselves wanting to defend what you're doing you're already on the wrong track don't defend it you're getting really feedback somebody's telling you remember eighty twenty I'm not saying if one person comes up to and he's like your logo looks dated that you do it again I used my mom is a perfect example I asked my mom mom what do you think about this if she says she doesn't like it I actually know I'm going down the right path right it's a good thing my mom is not plugged in two current trends she is not my lover to death she's my mom and super closer there but when I've been this way since I'm a kid if she's like oh I really like that I'm like shit okay, I gotta change right because she's just not plugged into what's going on you've got to surround yourself with people that you trust to give you the right feedback the right feedback I don't want to feel good exercise oh you're so good right my mother in law's again perfect example love my mother in law's death she doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and I love her for that she's great but she's not the person I'd want to be on my little committee to give me brutal feedback about something you said I'm saying we all have people like this in our lives you've got to find the people who are going to give you that level of feedback and then take it collectively on do something with it so in the spirit of this this is where lynn iwas something everybody missed though how do you know where the photographer's park avenue does he have ten for tarver's who's the owner who's the proprietor is I'm not gonna be able to connect with that person so this was the feedback I gave him everything you guys are saying is completely accurate it's the feedback I gave him I told him we had we had to fix this here's his website today new logo new brand is not clean clean website leonardo vulture oh didn't go with lenny didn't go with leo night sounds too casual he went with leonardo leonardo cultural photography he's a tarver he's not doing entertainment there's no d j listen here no neon lights coming back and forth from the logo right if we go back no neon lights going back and forth through the logo and we go to that it's a clean classical image is a story there there's a rowboat they're here I don't know what's happening okay here so much cleaner image ceo enable look at the sea on this site there is no ceo there's no way search engine is going to find this site new site right leonardo literal miami wedding photographer and videographer and so now he's playing to the ceo his website's been completely redesigned right? And now he's doing things I think the right way and so his logo that lv okay very, very cool, very modern uh this is what you should be looking to do and so whether you love his logo is brand or not, it doesn't matter you're seeing the exercise of going from this to me it's indisputable from this to this is night and day absolutely night and day and if you're looking for someone to help you, I don't have a slide for this but he's ah shutter fast speaker justin hung eyes his name is company name is visual laure v I s u l l u r e dot com and he's done over many, many photographers, websites and he's, the guy used for all my graphics, right? So I do a lot of stuff with him on my web stuff with him, and I've trusted him. I've been with the guy for eight years at this point, and so you've really got to start looking at where is your brand today and where you want it to be, and this was a really good exercise, I think, of seeing, you know, one brand being being here in one completely different places, right? If we start talking about who do you think his client is here? I think it's client here is a very low and bride looking for a one stop shop not looking for an artist, they're just looking for somebody to show up with a camera, and then this one is somebody that they're looking at, you know, it becomes more of an artist he's more there's, more personalization to it. His name is involved in the title it's a night and day difference for his, for his brand. You guys with me? All right, so let's, talk a little bit about packaging, and so you've seen some of this before, maybe you have maybe you haven't, uh, all of our packaging comes with these metal tax okay, so these metal tags are on every package you can kind of see what they look like here this is how our packaging is delivered to to our clients everything's wrapped in black kraft paper black we've got ribbon we've got those metal tags comes in silver paper, black bags everything matches that's why? When we were talking the other day I wanted to make sure that wherever you were shipping something from whether it's a lab matches what's coming from you so everything that comes into our studio goes through ah, check in process okay, so it gets checked in and then way inspect everything and then we're hand wrapping everything in our studio to make sure it's presented correctly to the client jonathan is it in the box that they can actually open up or do they have to unwrap everything opening up and then they put it back together and it looks just like crap after yeah, well they're not going to wrap it back up. Yes there's a box inside but it's all wrapped up so even the big prints there that's going to be like a sixteen twenty four fifteen by thirty the canvas gets wrapped, everything gets wrapped once they unwrap it, why would they wrap it back up what you thought well, I'm just because it looks so beautiful I would think that that that point they wanted like back home that way, jonathan I'm hoping they like the picture inside more than they like the rapping I want them to hang the picture I come from a mother in law that used to pull the paint off theo the reason why I think he's asking is because in our delivery process we go through each and every image with the client before they take it out no, no, no, we don't do that at all. Why do you do that? Talk tell me why you don't know what it was the way it was always done. Yeah that's a bad answer yeah was also just confirmed that they're happy with everything that they get called them up and make sure they're happy I don't want to sit there with a client and undo this because here's what ends up happening so he's air delivered a couple of different ways client comes picks it up but she gets it and she's like, oh my god, this is beautiful remember the first time a client sees this? Some of you may have seen this before in different presentations, but when my client sees this it's the first time they've ever seen something like this so she gets this putting her hands and it is like christmas for her she doesn't want even want open it because she wants to do this with her fiance right? And they want that want to have that experience together or her husband, right? So they want to have that experience together so they won't they won't even open it, so I don't want to sit there, open it, look at all the pictures with them and then rewrap it that would be a nightmare, so we just deliver this or we hand deliver it. So sometimes for our high inclines, we're dropping it off at their place of business or at their home, so we're hand delivering it. So from that perspective, this is beautiful. When they open it, we're going to follow up with them. Taylor is going to send them an email and say, hey, guys, I hope you haven't had a chance to look over your pictures hope you love everything. Please let us know if there's any issues, right? Because there could be an issue with the print. Maybe we ordered the wrong print. Uh, anything along those lines could happen, so ah, print if the wrong prints in there well, just reorder it form, right? It's not that expensive. Not enough to get me to sit there and want to re wrap it with him. Questions? Yeah, just to kind of speak to the letdown of that the last time I upgraded my iphone in a t and t story and we talked before like, the big deal is the packaging of apple and the guy brought the thing out, set it down and immediately just grabbed it out of my hands. Start unwrapping. I'm like, oh, like I give a thing like that's really kind of lame, but like that's kind of the cool part of getting their products is because the packaging so yeah, yeah, yeah that's that's why I love letting my clients just open that up and enjoy it because they enjoy this process. It is very, very powerful for them. Now, this is if you place an order in my studio. Anything salvator cicada. Now, remember when we were talking about the sub brand building a sub brand studio c didn't come package this way studio see all the colors matched studio c. So for studio c we had the metal tags, but instead of black paper bags with brown kraft paper bags. So the studio c logo was kind of like a teal and a brown. And so it was that combination of car, so it had a different look and feel being delivered from studio c. These metal tags are really, really powerful to clients love them, they're there they're like metal business cards, but we just had custom slots cutting them on the sides she's here you have you ever seen a middle business card? They hand out that's all this is this is not magical on we just had the slots put in him so that the ribbon I could go through so that we can repurpose them to do stuff like this so that's what you're seeing on every single one of these packages right? So really, really powerful now if you go with ah black label black label has its own tag right um velvet ribbon and then its own card so black label that's why black label in our studio was so important everything that's black label is packaged completely different when I get that from corporate go look too corporate we'll just talk whiskey for a second if you don't talk whiskey there's red label black label gold label whatever they got right they do all these different things okay? Each one of them has their own logo and brand and so we just took it from corporate america. That black label for us signals our highest level in the in the brand and so anybody blocked buying black label is going to get packaged packaging that's completely different logos that are completely different it's worth it you're creating a brand identity inside your own brand toyota lexus right he's beamed volkswagen, audi all sorts of brands sub brands starbucks seattle's best these are the kind of things that were that are going to build this brand sub brand kind of experience it just making sense all right so here's up here's our vendors you guys here don't start don't start trying to write this down we'll get it for you make yourselves crazy but this is literally where we get everything everything we use and uh man take advantage of this this is going to save you I can't even explain to you how much time and energy and when you buy the course you're getting the slide deck so you'll get all these vendors this is the kind of stuff that's going to save you so much time and energy when it comes to you know figuring out who your your vendors are because we had to do all the research on this where did you tons of research to figure out where to get each product from I mean I'm talking about hours upon hours that the girls would have to do like we're looking for if we go back to something like this finding black kraft paper that all matched sounds like it would be easy enough black is black it's not it was a nightmare absolute nightmare to get all that black kraft paper to match because the people were produce the paper is different than the people who produced the card is different than the people who produced the bag it's all completely different it was a nightmare for the girls would come in samples would come in we put it in the bag would be like that looks like garbage we can't let that out part of the brain everything has to match uh so it was really, really important to spend that time doing that and all these companies that are on the list they're gonna have all sorts of different colors and options for you whatever is going to matter ultimately match your brand so where do we start? Right as we wrap up this segment, where exactly do we start when it comes to branding first place you have to start logo whatever else you're doing, just stop doing it it doesn't matter you've got to get a logo, your logo it is foundational to everything else you're doing you can get a logo design from anywhere from like three hundred dollars toe two thousand dollars, but the reality is it should cost you roughly about five hundred to seven hundred dollars for a new logo, right? Somebody who knows what the hell they're doing you don't know what you're doing let me just be the first to tell you you don't understand fonts you don't understand turning you don't understand any of this stuff, so stop playing like a graphic designer and just freakin pay somebody to design your logo it's gonna be on everything everything is gonna have your logo on it this becomes the new blood new face of your business when I look at my original logo I thought I knew what I was doing I got photo shop I can do it right there. A couple of words down there salvador sing cotter photography I look at that logo now and it is horrifying that I was ever become successful with such a horrible, horrible logo it was like multiple colors multiple fonts that didn't complement each other there's an art to it there's an absolute art to putting a logo together. You don't just pick a font you like the font should complement each other. You also there needs to be a level of customization if you look at the salvador some kind of logo you can actually see the fonts are actually a font. You can go on by it's not that complicated, but when you type out your name that font will never look that way because my dick graphic designer had to go in the teas for example do you see how the teas that stroke on the team goes through both teas? If you just type a tee down it's gonna have a stroke through it you type the next tea down it's gonna have the very same stroke. This is one stroke through it so my designer had to go in because that looks ridiculous it looks amateur my designer had to go in and tweak stuff like that and that's to be expected he had to tweak the space between the letters to make it look right just little things don't think of a logo design is like were rehabbing an entire building that's not what it's all about sometimes sometimes your logo design is just about tweaking what you're always already doing for those little little subtleties that your client will never be able to explain but it just looks right it looks better and since you're gonna be putting this logo literally on everything you do brain ing packaging website that's where you start right if you're rebuilding a business and you don't have five hundred dollars to put towards the local than you're really not ready to be in business really have to start thinking about that stuff it takes money to run a business totally off on a tangent right now you know the biggest challenge for my business right now is these challenge cash flow it's a big challenge I'm having there's so many things I want to do with my business all of it costs money everything you wanted wrong that's money need new lens that's money the new gopro that's money you want expand into a new market that's money we're just money coming from so cash flow becomes the biggest inhibitor to growth you've got to figure that out maybe it's a line of credit, you know, almost every business in the world has a line of credit associated with it, but so many people give you advice when you're growing your business to never go into debt. Well, I'm not suggesting you go into debt, but how do you deal with cash flow issues? Is a ceo cfo? You better start thinking about that? Are you telling me that as soon as january hits and no money is coming in, you're telling me you're done spending money? You know, january february, when I'm spending the most money in my business because that's what I'm planning for the year ahead signing marketing contracts, magazine advertising ramping up on new gear let's say I want to switch to the new six k camera. When am I switching to that camera in the middle of wedding season? That would be disastrous, so if I'm going to switch to a new camera, I need to do it before the season to get used to it to get comfortable with it, to be confident with it and start doing it that way. You see what I'm saying? This requires cash requires capital where's that capital coming from? Is it family? Is it friends? Is that your credit card again? I'm not advocating going to debt at all, but this is something as a business owner I'm constantly conscious off where is cash coming from when things get tight? And so now salvador cincotti photography we've got a line of credit, right? So I've got a line of credit that I can tap into from my bank as I need the aban flow of my business. That doesn't mean I'm gonna take that line of credit and be like I'm rolling up in a ferrari now and life is good it's not a credit card, okay? It's, just their toe la my business to grow that's something you guys need to think about right now because you start growing that growth train will come to a screeching halt if you don't have capital and cash flow to invest right back into your business. Anybody ever hear the term burn rate? So burn rate is a number in the financial world, right? So remember business school graduate finance major burn rate is how faster burning through capital okay, so a business that's burning through let's just call it a thousand dollars a month to keep things simple if you're burning through a thousand dollars a month, but you only have when you hit your slow season, you only have one hundred dollars a month coming in pretty quickly now you're burning through nine times the amount of capital that's coming in through your doors. So pretty quickly your business people cfo's they're going look at that and go at this burn rate we're going to run out of money by march, right? We can't continue to sustain the business if you wait until you've run out of money to figure out that you're running out of money you're going to go out of business so these are the kind of things now that I'm forced to start thinking about in my business so I'm not looking to be an alarmist here I just want to change the way you guys were thinking we tend to think in pictures and wedding season and things like that we gotta start thinking like cfo's too all right, so where to start logo's number one next up its website again we're going in the wedding show season brides are gonna be hitting your website in january, february march that's when you're doing all these bridal shows, what are they going to see? They're going to see the website that you don't want them to see or they're going to see your new website your new brand, your new logo I'm hoping they're going to see your new stuff well it's november you got about two months to get on this I don't care if you outsource it or you do it yourself somebody's got to do this before your customers air landing on your site it's very, very important you're shooting style that's got to be third there. Okay, so, next up in the queue, if you're telling me you don't want to be that traditional photographer, you want to do something that's a little more edgy, a little more dramatic selling big portrait's what are you waiting for? This has gotta happen relatively quickly. So this is it. These are the four things tied to that. You're editing style, right? Do you want to have a little soft, natural, open area? Look great. Make sure you're doing it. Change your at any style to match that. Do you want by presets that gets you there, right? There's? A lot of pre sets out there that will get you to the look you're you're looking for first. Just sitting there, spending hours upon hours to get there. Simplify your process. Do you want your look to be more gritty? Mohr texturizing, great there's. A lot of pre sets that are out there to help get you there. Thes air the four things right now if I had to pick a place for everybody to start it right here and then this order this is where I want to see you begin your journey or you re brand.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Master the Business of Photography - Workbook
Master the Business of Photography Slides
5 Tips to Finding and Booking Your Client

Ratings and 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.


Amazing course. Sal is such a great photography educator. Terrific course. I'm not usually big on watching business courses, but this course as taught by Sal was terrific. Down to earth, entertaining, packed with real life experiences do's, don'ts and lessons learned. This courses business A to Z and Sal is very entertaining to watch/listen to. Thanks CreativeLive for getting Sal.

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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!

Student Work