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Pricing Your Work Part 2

Lesson 10 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

Pricing Your Work Part 2

Lesson 10 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

10. Pricing Your Work Part 2


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

Pricing Your Work Part 2

Tackled pricing now we want to go into kind of part two little more in depth on pricing on we're going we're gonna look at my package is is kind of a framework and really try and talk about where you should be now in the beginning middle of your career and progression so and I think it will all start making sense as it comes together so package basics no matter what your level is trying stick to the framework we talked about the value of no package verse a package I think it's really, really important on then we're gonna explore different options for different pricing eso how do how do I change my prices? How don't move from level to level what do I need to change as we grow right? So in the last segment I talked a lot about okay when I was in the beginning it was ninety nine for a base package how do you make that transition? What do you need to change to go from ninety nine to twenty nine ninety nine in your base package what's that path look like what's your you know, five year plan...

look like and for those of you home and anyone who's bought the course you guys are getting worksheet workbook to follow along so you got to be taken copious notes is you're going through this on really thinking about how you going to grow your business? That workbook is really the blueprint by well propagated for you guys here is, well, I's a blueprint for where you're going with your business and it really allows you to really bring it all together, right? So you're not just taking crazy notes, you understand that what we taught in day one and what we're teaching on the last day, it's all interconnected to get you to that next level and what I'm what I'm really begging you to do here is process the subtleties of the packages, so the package is in and of themselves nothing exciting. I don't I don't think there's anything magical in it, but I've been looking at these packages for the last seventy years. What again? What? I'm really surprised by the when you guys start shrinking from the formula, straying from the package, what it starts doing that ripple effect to your own business, you've got to get into this system so I just process the subtleties no matter where you are in your career. Even if you've watched me five times talk about pricing and packaging, look for that one nugget where you're going, I miss that I didn't see it before. High level we've got three packages don't worry about trying to process this there's a lot of information on the screen I'm gonna go through package by package the most important part here is as you're looking at this is no know that all the packages are on one sheet of paper okay, so that's the first most important thing notice we are going from top to bottom most expensive package of top least expensive on the bottom but the magic number once again this is where I see people missing and making the mistake right next to it that number that says value that value number is actually really, really important showing that you're already discounting the package you're rewarding good behavior hey by being a package by being a bundle I'm saving you money that does not happen when you're ala carte when your allah card people just focusing about things adding up like a cash register right a cash register is very much ala carte okay two ninety nine plus for ninety nine plus six ninety nine I don't know we don't need that pull it away. However when you're in this package you can't really pull away and the reason is simple the packages discounted twenty five forty, fifty percent off that ala carte price this is how it's all working together if you don't put that value number there I'm telling you your clients are gonna add it up money is like water is going to follow the path of least resistance they don't want to come into my studio and spend eighty five hundred dollars just on a wedding package no one ever comes to my studio is like hey you want to piss away as much money as possible at your studio nobody ever does that right they're always coming in going ok we're probably gonna go on his base package I mean, all the time they walk in and they go I'm gonna buy the forty four hundred prices started forty for ninety nine great that's where we're ending that groom I told you about who went up to new york city with me told me he don't want to hire me he would have been much happier excuse me hiring me a forty four ninety nine thing hiring me at eighty for ninety nine not including engagement pictures not including wedding video that he's added he'd made much happier there okay so how do I get them from one package to the next if I had to be allow my client to be the human cash register and keep adding things up there's no scenario I get them to that price point ever it's just not possible that's why the package is so powerful it shows the value of bundling and how much money they're saving that value number right next to it is stressing the importance of saving money you're saving money by being in the package now what does that number come from it's not just some arbitrary number that I've picked out that number is derived from all the ala carte prices hence statement in the previous segment everything in your package has tohave an associative ala carte price you with me? Okay so now in the spirit of that let's actually look at each package so remember they can come down in price super easy for them to come down so but for the spirit of this I want to build the package bottom up I want to show you what's in each package and so in our base package we call it the gold collection come up with something creative don't just be like package one package too be creative where artists like be creative with your words so we call it the gold collection forty for ninety nine sixty eight hundred dollar value let's start with a few things that we learned in the last segment first that forty for ninety nine number is fluid meaning it will change over time so if I'm super busy so right now that price being pushed out when somebody contacts me thank you for contacting us our prices started forty four ninety nine that's what's going out to them as I become more and more busy that number will stay at that level if I become slow and I'm not booking as many weddings I want that number will drop to thirty nine ninety nine right it's five hundred dollars last but I know I'm going to make that money up in an engagement sal I'm going to make that money up post wedding sale I want both um I just want to get him into the studio I know if I can get to the meeting I'm going to be able to book them so I have to have that thirty nine at whatever that number is to get them in the studio okay, so that's that number then you've got the ten by ten capri siri's album thirty pages that's that bay album thie zouk a book it's a press printed book bottom line it can't be too good if it's too good they're going to buy it so I intentionally want this album to be average it's not it's, not a true hand crafted album it can't be good enough and whenever your clients or to that point where that's good enough that's where they're gonna end up it's got engagement session now when I was nine ninety nine it never had the engagement session the engagement session was an up cell, but now at this point I can't charge forty five hundred dollars and not given engagement session I also can't not include two photographers, so when we were starting out it had one photographer one photographer, no engagement session and six hours of coverage. So if you're that nine, ninety nine photographer that's probably what's got to be in that base package, right? And so, no, you can't have eight hours of covered, definitely never all day coverage that should never be in your base package. In fact, I would make the argument should be in no package. There should be no package you offer that includes all day coverage. You are setting yourself up for a nightmare. What is all day coverage anyway? What is it? Is it nine to five? Is it from the minute the bride wakes up and gets in the makeup chair at six a m all the way till the last stance at two a m I don't want to be there. None of those pictures are going to get used, so that should never be in in that package and so you've got up to eight hours of coverage. Dvd proofing, no digital negatives. Dvd proofing is we used a company called e motion media to deliver those to our clients and so there's no digital negatives they cannot print from it. They can only see it on their tv screen nice and big hit. Next it chose the image number. They can even play music incorporate music to it it's a great way of delivering proofs okay, so where in the days where it used to be the printed proof that you deliver to your clients for hundred six hundred printed proves those days are gone it's too expensive now we're doing this emotion medium very very select tool ate up to eight hours of coverage is the other thing I want you to take away the language we're using up too that is not accidental once again this is where I'm seeing some of you make subtle mistakes up to whatever the hours are here's the thing if I've gotten everything I need and I'm at six hours why do I need to stay there for eight just to stay there right just to keep shooting what what am I shooting? I got the first and I got the bouquet garner I've got drunk people dancing on the dance for it's time to go I got other things to do you have other things to do that's why it will never say all day coverage and so you've got to keep that in mind up to is a very, very powerful thing also we offer video we'll talk video on another segment but twenty percent off any video package so we're rewarding good behavior hey the more you do with us, the more will discount other items and so about twenty five percent of our wedding's thirty percent of our weddings are adding video to the mix this is a lot of extra money into the studio for a event I'm already at I'm already working on that saturday it's nothing for me to add the rest of my team to that same event very very powerful is this making sense face package super simple no product in it no digital negatives in it on average album at best okay, we're not looking to offer this high end product or understanding where you should be at where if you're nine and what's in your base package, my base package is very close to this it's a prince press printed book it's just me solo six hours of coverage on the website gallery party exactly so you're gonna have that web gallery they're great and your profit margin you should be actually it about fifteen percent cost of goods based on just knowing what you're telling me is that about right exactly so perfect that's what should be in that base package that's the package that's going to make the phone ring now as you're growing your business, all you're going to do is raise that package by five hundred dollars right as you're getting busier and busier you raise that package you lower that package by five hundred dollars now in the spirit of all that once you've raised your prices enough there comes a point where you're gonna have to evaluate hey how much can I charge and still only be one photographer in that package how much could I charge and only off for six hours of coverage that's where you're gonna have that becomes the transitional point with me that middle package that platinum collection okay this is your middle pocket should be the place you want clients and eighty percent of the time all of you who are booking weddings off you were booking weddings and it's not just weddings it could be families baby seniors the middle package is where you want them to end up all the time psychological not about we all want them in the top package let make no mistake right way want to spend as much money as possible but psychologically human behavior they end up in the middle that being said this has to be the most compelling package on the table doesn't matter if it's a portrait session a wedding whatever the case may be that's the fundamentals when I'm saying fundamentals when I'm saying framework thats what I'm referring to they have to end up in the middle and so in order to do that you've got to figure out that that number now notice forty four ninety nine he's a gold collection fifty for ninety nine is the middle package okay? So that's going to be that's going to be that jump it's a thousand dollars price bump I don't care where you are in your career thousand dollar price bump again there's psychology to it let's talk weddings for a second average wedding budget remember, we started one segment two point one million weddings in the united states every year average wedding is about twenty eight thousand dollars total budget for the wedding that ceremony reception creatives well, guess what I want as much of that budget as I can possibly get that's why I don't define my bride with demographic data saying the wedding is three hundred thousand dollars they make one hundred thousand dollars I don't care what they make I know the average wedding is twenty seven two twenty eight thousand dollars meaning taken more than pay my price point, they can more than afford it when they come in their drawn into that teaser rate forty four ninety nine whatever your teaser rate is nine ninety nine but what's the pole through pull through be more time a better album digital negatives time album negatives I've found out that that price point of a thousand dollars in the budget of twenty eight thousand dollars getting a bride to spend one thousand dollars maur if you have what she wants is a no brainer she'll do it every time without even blinking you understand what bride spend money on if you don't, then you don't understand your target because they're spending money on the most ridiculous things flowers for the church coming down coming down the aisle on every pew what's that costing them four five, six hundred dollars for the stupid flowers coming down the church hey man no offense to floris out there but in the day I want that thousand dollars it's me against you so I'm gonna come up with a more compelling reason who gives a crap if there's flowers coming down the aisle as she's walking down I don't they always fall anywhere they're stupid on dso at the I want I want that thousand dollars so let that bride make the decision on what's more important her again who's our client our client sees photography is a priority therefore it's easy to get them to spend that thousand dollars mohr because they see for tar visa priority she doesn't see flowers as a priority they see photography is a priority they don't see fancy foil stamped napkins as a priority they don't see eminem's with their faces stamped on it as a priority these air all things they're spending four five, seven hundred dollars on you understand thousand dollars is easy if you make it easy for me get out of the way make it easy for them to spend money with you and this is how we do it way have a bigger album there so it's a ten by ten leather album signature collection albums thirty pages metal cover one leather option black leather that's it they can't have all the options that air they're no different sizes one size size and quality album quality or leather quality is the pull through to the top package get an engagement session and a bridal session bridal session can be done before the wedding or after the wedding it just depends on where you are in the country and in the world down south bridal sessions actually happened before the wedding uh up north in st louis in those areas north east it happens after the wedding it's a more creative session you're going to go off and do something different with him okay we throw that into the package two photographers high resolution digital negatives from your wedding day from your wedding day not from your engagement session your glamour session your baby session and any other session you come up with just your wedding day it's that simple were crystal clear on what we're including here learn from our mistakes we used to say digital negatives and then it turned into we had clients coming in going well do I get my glamour session do I get my engagement session so I get my bridal session no you get your wedding day that's what you're going to get is a delivery up to eight hours of coverage day of events slide show this is absolutely incredible to me this the slideshow thing I've been teaching this for five years now easily five years this same day slot show and for the life of me I would say less than one percent of you have listened to what I've taught on this here's what this is some of you know what it is and just don't care and you don't do anything with it and others others know what it is and you've tried we're shooting all day I'm shooting raw plus j peg small j peg two cards all the small j pegs going one card when we arrived to cocktail hour okay we I go sit in the corner I take out like room I download all the images and I select about one hundred to one hundred twenty images from the day from that day fully edit them all small j pegs we then bring up a slide show so right after dinner on the dance floor we pull out ah big screen probably bigger than this it's probably the size of one of these walls opens up okay in the middle of the dance floor we have our we work with the deejay to play music for it on dh then we pull out two chairs projector so we bring our own projector two chairs pull out into the dance for the deejay comes on the market he says hey everybody I would encourage you to gather around in about five minutes we're going to start a slideshow of pictures from today everybody starts talking right then we get the venue to turn the lights down make them turn the lights down because if they don't turn the lights down everybody's still talking and walking around but the minute so those lights come down everybody starts gathering around the dance floor because they see the bride and groom in their room kind of comes to hush and then we play this slide show about one hundred to one hundred twenty images I've got my bride crime I've got the mother crying despite shows over the last slide is my logo I'm standing up hugging people the bride is hugging me she's thanking me all her guests for the rest of the night the rest of the night are saying oh my god your pictures were amazing oh my god your pictures were amazing what does that do for you? Post wedding sales no brainer you've just had two hundred, three hundred of her guests reinforce her investment right? Because she paid an arm and a leg to have me there and so now all her guests are going oh my god, that was amazing oh my god, that was amazing! So now when she comes in after the wedding she is feeling good about all that money she spent. Have you ever had buyer's remorse when you buy something we all have right? One former fashion we've had buyer's remorse I do not want my bride to have buyer's remorse because then when she comes in after the wedding she's on lock down she's not spending any money on anything because she already feels like she's wasted our money it's the opposite now when she comes in after a wedding she's excited our friends and family have already reinforced what a great investment it wass it's really, really funny elissa my second shooter her sister got married recently and so we give her a discount right? But she still had to pay I mean it's a prime season she had to pay for her wedding day her fiance colin great guy was like how much are we paid for pictures? Right? Typical guy didn't want to do it we get to the wedding obviously I didn't make elissa shoot that day I gave her the day off. It was not I thought it was nice to me you're welcome. We'll find a way for you to work that off, but so me and taylor photographed the wedding and, uh we bring out the slide show and we're just sitting back and letting it let me go melissa's sister balling colin's getting choked up mom melissa's mom crying can't believe it. After that slide show was over, colin the groom went up to elissa and said that was the best money we've ever spent that's awesome you think I would have had that same reaction from him if it took him eight weeks to see these pictures there's no way we live in the world of now and I don't know how to deliver now right? I'm not going I'm not going to go home at all the pictures and show up the next day with you know, eight hundred edited images I don't know how to get to that world or now this is the closest thing I have found to deliver in that world of instant gratification and I'm telling you I've been doing this for damn near five years this slide show and it blows people away at one point my creates a pain in the ass make no mistake you got to be quick you got to sit in a corner you gotta have your light room down but men the end results from when this happens and when this place priceless we tried pulling it out of our package is about three years ago and we realize so quickly the momentum shift that started happening remember how I told you everything's interconnected this is one of those things that drive sales when you get home so you have got to figure out a way I have talked to photographers around the country who've tried it you're in a stumble in the beginning there is no doubt about it it's a hard process took me a while to learn but they're doing it now and they go people are going crazy because nobody else is doing it st louis no one else is doing it if they do it they put their laptop up and then they show like five or ten images that's lane don't even bother just leave your laptop in the car do it right or don't do it at all and so I want you guys to try something like this you got nobody here is doing to you you're doing it rob and not the way I do it how's it going above it I actually watch their reactions more than anything else I don't watch the pictures you've gotta watch that I love watching the I keep turning around to see and I don't want anybody to see me looking around to see what's going on but the reaction from the guest is what to me seals the deal when those gas see the bride crying or the family just hugging and laughing and remembering that day that's the same that's the part that that sells it what was the as you started doing it what was the biggest hiccup because I'm five years into it it's easy for me now but I would imagine it's what happened in the beginning it's hiccup was my heart going like that like a million miles an hour during the cocktail hour as I'm frantically trying to go through all the images? I mean my first one that I did I think I ended up with like eighty eighty five images yeah well sometimes I'm at ninety sometimes about one hundred twenty so it's just the way it is you have to be an adrenaline junkie ah little bit it's not for the faint of heart if you're if you just want like your day to go smooth and stuff like that don't do this side show you're gonna be in panic mode because you've got this brief thirty or forty minute window to pull something like this off but I couldn't pay enough money you guys want talk about like ok sal what are some marketing tips to drive new business this is it right here and it cost you zero literally to produce it on the actual day there's no cost except the palpitation you know in your heart for doing it but it's powerful so that was a big thing just getting over that home understands like photography inception but are you shooting during that time to get those motive photos of the people really to the video so this is where your second shooter comes in the place a very good question when this is going on yeah I'm not I'm not like doing photography and then coming back and we're doing time shifting and all that other stuff no elissa at that point is out covering cocktail hour she's out shooting room details she's also shooting the entrance people coming into the reception while you're showing your saint a slideshow are you photographing those reactions oh no no no I'm not I'm sorry I misunderstood the question no so as I'm showing this I'm not photographing any of the reactions to it I try and let them just enjoy it first getting up in their face and taking pictures in fact I had a second shooter work with me once who wasn't part of my original team and he started taking pictures of everyone reacting and he got a death stare from me like I just sit down let everybody enjoy uh this I don't want anybody have to kind of feel like they're curtailing their their response tomorrow do you do that through another kind of a program and you also incorporate the engagement sessions with that yeah great question so this part of the day is not done with an emoto there's no way to turn it because you're going to need internet access to upload it and turn it this is done right in light room and so it's just very static transitions simple transitions that's all you need at this point in time eso no an emoto what was the next part of question we use light room the engagement yes no engagement pictures are included in this because I want to tell the story of their day do you also then if they want a copy of this because the band's playing the music you know and you were talking about the liability issue of music how do you handle that that's right? So this particular slideshow that we show I'm gonna take you through what that workflow looks like this particular slideshow now keep in mind and I have a segment on workflow this particular site shows done I've got one hundred ten image is completely edited, right? I mean not for prints but edited from a digital perspective so these images when I get home on saturday by sunday afternoon they're already upon my blogged by sunday there in a sticky album by sunday we're going to talk about that work for so that's another thing that this brings to the table remember I told you says everything is connected so by doing this I now come home on a sunday as I'm backing up stuff and just doing our jobs so I have one hundred plus edit in images that I can now push to my block pushed the facebook pushed to a sticky album upload to an an emoto slide show it's all done so it's an amazing work flow so just doing this is just maximising the use of your time, but I'm gonna talk about that work phone another segment, but I cannot stress to you enough the importance of this yeah wendy so when you're shooting, I guess I just need clarification when you're doing thie day of events slide show do you have music playing or not but I'm doing the day of social yeah djs playing music okay okay definitely work he's got the sound system I don't want to bring a speaker when I first started this believe it or not I bought I forget the name of the speaker company they all use their like eons they're called they're about this big so I went out and bought a one thousand dollars leon I was going to be playing my own music bringing a light standing like there's a deejay here why don't I just work with the djs and I just didn't think they'd be willing to do it and they're all willing to do it so it's really nice because once you're in your market and you're established you're gonna realize there's probably like every markets the same there's a couple of well known djs couple of well known bands so we've been doing this so long now when I walk into the event and they see me they're immediately the deejay comes up to me like you do in a slide show tonight they already know that we're doing it that took time right? It doesn't happen overnight so in the beginning we had to go talk to them explain to them work with your client so if you're like if you're hooked on this you know it was a really good idea I want to try it you're gonna have your bride work with the deejay so you don't want to be the one going to the d j hey, I need you to play music for me because then he's gonna push back on you instead have the bride pick five songs that's what we tell the bride to do just pick five songs give it to the d j uh this way when we're playing this hell use your your music makes sense probably have questions about projector using jepsen projector there's I don't want to give you the model number because the projectors literally five or six years old the technology's come so far so just look for something that's probably in the eight hundred to one thousand dollar price range I mean, you could get projectors that are like this big for, you know, two hundred dollars no don't buy him it's all about lumens it's got to be bright enough to overpower the lighting there and so you're going to it's going to be about eight hundred to one thousand dollars for that projector there's tons on the market absence a really good company to work with the screen as well. We got that from being h it's an absent just google absent collapsible screen on it is just one of the it's seriously this big the screen collapses in two seconds and the legs slide into it I mean we are opening up in less than five seconds with the screen so it's a very, very quick and small footprint, even in your car, so you don't have to have an suv or any of that as soft, usually in the trunk trunk of my car. What do using for ah, screen projector, but I've been really lucky have had some djs that have to bring the screens with them in my market. That's a big thing, perfect big plasmas hd am I right in? And so be careful, like if you're using a chignon my and screens and you're pushing into that, that can also be problematic. So we did. We didn't event where it was at a nightclub a long time ago, but we didnt event it was at a night club for the bridegroom that's where they had the reception on they had all these plasmas around the plasmas at a nightclub. What do you think they play at a nightclub? Writes like all these weird color things thump into the music, right? So the minute we started playing our show, she was orange in one purple and another nothing was color bounce. That was the last time ever let that happen. S o they're like, oh, you can just plug into our system, don't do it! Take her, bring your stuff and control the final look like you wanna be able control the brightness, the colors, the last thing you want us to show images up that you're using for marketing on the client turned is aren't right because the skin tones are just jacked up, so makes a big difference, but I'm telling you, man, if you take one thing away from this segment, try this slide show the first slide show ever did it took me, I think three to four hours to put together I don't know what the hell I was doing, I told my bride I said, hey, I just want to try something different, you'll find that's how I operate with a lot of things, actually with all my businesses, many of you who are part of my companies, I tend to be very fast to market with something, and then I work out the kinks as we go because you're never going to be perfect at anything, and I really believe in moving fast in the marketplace, and so this was, you know, I'm going back five years ago, I said to my bride, I want to try something new, I have no idea, I just want to slide show with your pictures from the day she's like, okay, go for it, we didn't charge her anything for it we brought everything with us didn't quite grasp the concept of shooting raw plus j peg and so I shot the entire day wrong on then I had to go there and download all those raw images, and this was, you know, back when there really wasn't usb three or usb too. So can you imagine downloading all these raw files? You must be one to a computer than your computer running out of hard drive space. So you start getting into this panic mode, but I was supposed to be done, I think in the event it like eight o'clock nine o'clock and here it was eleven thirty and I was still there because that was my fault, right? But I did it. I persevered, I made it through it. And now this is what it is today. So let's, keep going. Ah, personal website, iphone album, right? So we're using sticky albums isa pull through and then a bigger discount on video. So this is a powerful package. I would be happy if all my clients ended up here. This would make me happy. And so you've gotta ask yourself in your base package what's the minimum you're willing to give up a saturday for. I wouldn't be willing to give up a saturday for nine, ninety nine I really wouldn't uh maybe in the beginning of my career but I crew quickly want to get away from there. Why? Because my average portrait session spends more than that so why would I want to give up six, eight, ten hours on a wedding day and my mind you it's not just the wedding day you've got the wedding day you've got the engagement session you've got the sale session so when you start realizing that you're only gonna make ninety nine and hand over cd I would much rather do a portrait session for two hours and then enjoy the rest of my saturday with me. Now the big dog black label collection okay eighty four ninety nine sixteen thousand one hundred dollar value so massive discount for being that package we're rewarding good behaviour. They get that sicilian siri's album that heirloom album box that's that wood box I'm gonna show you that an engagement session and engagement guest book this is really cool so this is from bay photo as well. Uh the engagement kast book is an eight by eight twenty pages ten images one page is full color on the next page that same image is faded maybe fifty percent sixty percent okay, so you want to just rapacity so people consign over it and that's our engagement guestbook clients go nuts for it it's actually a really big pull through and it's not expensive the book itself is like sixty bucks something somewhere in that range and so people are going to go nuts for that guest book it's better than them having a guest book from target reid where people just sign here who wants that this becomes more of a keepsake bridal session two photographers up two ten hours of coverage the average wedding day for me is about ten to twelve hours I don't know about you guys but that's about the average wedding day for for me in the midwest that we're seeing so that time tends to be a big pull through formas well day of events slideshow client for life that client for life program is huge huge pole through here you'd be surprised that scene it costs me nothing right? In fact, if you sign up for client for life, you just guaranteed you're going to spend more money with me and so it's really interesting to see something that has little note to know cost of goods oh are hard cost to it and something that he's gonna encourage him to spend more money later on is a big such a big pull through but it is it's an extremely big pull through question one some curious when it comes to the bridal session I find that most my clients just don't pull the trigger on it even though it's in the package even though they've paid for it I emphasize hey, you paid for this is your money let's do this and most of time there just like that? We're not really that interested yeah that's a really good that's a really good point in question so you got two options with that? We run into the same thing option number one if we have that conversation beforehand they go. Well, we don't really want the bridal session, so can you take that out and can we can we make the package cheaper? We'll know because you can't discount a discount it's already been taken it's already been discounted by fifty percent. However okay, so you never say no you always got to say no why and offer an alternative and so the reason you're the reason we do this is because we're gonna go no, we can't just take it out back story has been discounted. However, what I can do is converted to more time on your wedding day. Okay, right now they feel like we're not just saying no to them all the time we're giving them a logical answer on what we're doing with it can you take out the bridal session and can we get a big twenty by thirty metal unfortunately no the bridal session is time based what I can do is swap something that's time based form or time based uh you know, services again it's a logical answer I'm not just saying no to say no I'm giving them a reason why and I'm offering them an alternative now in the spirit of all that that's great but that does you no good because if they don't do the bridal session you've just lost the sales point so would you have to get better at maybe you're doing it I don't know is when we start talking bridal session I'm painting a picture so I'm creating vision I don't just go hey you guys paid for this already you should take advantage of it I'll be like hey so what do you guys want to in your bridal session first question but what's that oh cool so on your wedding day look it's gonna be chaos there's going to be people everywhere were going to run out of time the weather could be bad what the bridal session is is something creative after your wedding that we can do to really give it that that just personal look and feel you'll see them look up they'll start thinking I have no idea what they're really thinking about right I go you guys travel I start asking questions you guys travel well yeah, you know we're from we're from chicago something okay imagine this we're out by the lakes out on the beach up there, chicago skyline in the background your dress is blowing, your veil is prize are lighting up right? I've already created a shot and a place on her wall for it and we haven't even taken it that's what you have to get better on is creating that vision were the artists they're never gonna have that vision because when you say bridal session there just hearing another photo shoot they don't really understand what the difference is, right? I had another bride here recently, she, uh we talked about her bridal session she's like, well, we own a farm, I go okay, well, we clearly can't get to your farm on the wedding day she's like, well, I don't really understand what would we do is what she asked me to go. Okay, do you have any horses? You have axe few as well, you know, a friend of mine has like a clydesdale and we could there you go. You're in an open field, sunsetting you're on the back of this clydesdale riding through the field, right? She came in spent another twenty, two hundred dollars after her wedding on those bridal pictures that's how you do it and if they don't, if they're not into that, let it go it's okay? You don't have to convert every single one, but if you're finding people are not confirmed converting it's because you're not painting not putting that vision is that a fair statement? Okay, dvd slide shows so that's that anne emoto psycho to the animal to slide shows built right into this package literally no extra cost but high perceived value because the minute I go home from that wedding I already have all those digital files edited an emoto has a plug in right from light room so literally I had export an emoto and it's uploading to the an emotive server it's beautiful couldn't couldn't be easier personal website sixty days sticky album now thirty percent off video so if you're in my black label and you're committed to eighty four, eighty five hundred bucks in our studio and I can now get you to spend another three four five grand on video on top of that it's easy it's easy easy day for us uh it's well worth it is this all making sense? All right, so some typical scenarios punish bad behavior money's like water that's been our motto we should get t shirts made uh, you know, you always hear me say that punishing bad behavior and it really is important to understand this from a pricing model they're going to spend what you make them spend with you you can either make it easy for them to spend money or hard to spend money. You can either make it easy for them to walk out with one or two prints are just digital files or you can make it hard for him. I want to make it hard for him. I want himto walk out at a price level that makes sense for me and my business that's how you have to think about it do you guys think in terms of targets what do your sales targets for the year? I doubt anybody in this room is thinking that way it's just you're not thinking like like business people you've got to start thinking about where do you want to be instead we're thinking about I need more weddings anymore business anymore business right? You like it was just a squirrel you just want to keep getting it I need more. I need more anymore instead I go into a year and I start thinking about ok, what do I want? Twenty fifteen toe look like that should be the question you're asking yourself right here right now. What do you want twenty fifteen to look like by the way. Okay, uh if you don't know what you want twenty fifteen look like and we're sitting here in november you already already behind the eight ball man are you thinking about valentine's day? Yeah every year I find for tarver's wait until like february first they're like ah shit hey boudoir shoots give your balance dude you can't pull that off if you wait till february first you are not getting any marketing out you're not shooting you are not editing you are not turning around printed products and getting them into a settles process you can't do it if you're thinking about valentine's day now is the time to start thinking about it what is your marketing plan that marketing plan should start being pushed out right after christmas right after christmas you should be pushing out holiday thoughts right glamour shoots that's what should be going on right then and there same for next year what are your targets for next year so I'm gonna put pressure on some of you guys here um what do you where do you want next year rob to be for your business? Well, in terms of weddings, weddings all I care about right now what do you want weddings to look like twenty five weddings twenty five weddings what average four thousand dollars four thousand are average what's your average this year uh thirty six so you want to push your pricing up? So how many weddings again? Twenty twenty five twenty five weddings for thousand dollar average right out of the gate that's one hundred thousand dollar line of business you're looking to build I think he could be done at this point, with two point one million weddings, if you can't book twenty winnings, twenty five weddings, I would make the argument you're not really ah, full time photographer, because you're not marketing. If you do any marketing that we're talking about, you will get access to that money clients. But you got to follow the formula you got to do bridal shows you gotta do facebook, you got to do these these things that drive awareness to your brain. Michael, what? What is what do you want next year to look like? I want my next year to be thirty weddings. I really like to be at a three thousand dollar average per wedding. Okay, what was your average this year? My average this year was about twenty, two hundred twenty, two hundred, so that's a big push in average, so that's going to require on dh, by the way, I don't mind, I don't mind the change in where you're looking to go that's fine, we can grow that that as long as you know, right now and you're ramping up and you're going ok, I want to shift in eight hundred dollars average that's an average, that means you're gonna have to shift more than that, right? So we're gonna come in last so we're gonna come in more. So if you're gonna make that shift now november you need to be thinking about sample albums you need to be thinking about bridal shows you need to be thinking about vendor relationships if you wait till january february march, you're screwed, dude, it won't happen and that's what I want to get across that everybody is where do you want to be? In twenty fifteen? I am no longer thinking about twenty fourteen, so I just had a meeting with my team about two weeks ago we do this internally so everything I'm holding you guys too I do and so we sit, we sat back and I said, okay, we're in queue for of right fourth quarter ofthe twenty fourteen our initiatives whatever's gonna happen for twenty fourteen everything's been planned already. What are we doing in twenty fifteen? We've got just whiteboards off here's. What we're doing here is what we're doing here is what we're doing notes everywhere how are we going to get there? So we're launching stuff in twenty fifteen is goingto pale in comparison to what we've done in twenty fourteen major major initiatives that we're going after I can't wait till twenty fifteen to start preparing for him, I'm preparing for him now you guys got to do the same thing so wherever you are in your life wherever you are in your career right now I don't care we can't do anything to really impact than now but what we can do is change where you end up in the future and you might think twelve months from now so far away man it is not that will be here like that and so your destiny you are in complete control of all of you the number you're thrown out of me totally achievable the number you're thrown out of me totally achievable all of you in here I guarantee whatever number you come up with is achievable what's not achievable in future if you just keep sitting on your ass and don't do something different if you walk away from this course and don't change your course of action what will change nothing we have to do something different run into a new wall that's what I always like to say to my team if it didn't work the first time it didn't work the second time you're you're getting your approaching a moron ic stage if you run into that same wall for the third time I run into a new wall and then learn from that all right so typical scenario is never say no I always say no why and offer an alternative you can say no this whole concept of the client's always right is nonsense clients not always right we can't operate on the client's always right the client's always right you'll go out of business really, really quick all of you all of us is for tarver's we've all dealt with one level a former fashion of nonsense in dealing with clients right outrageous request telling us we did things wrong I had a bride that wanted half her money back because I forgot to take a picture of her artichoke centerpiece how do you have that conversation with somebody? How do you tell them they're right it's an artichoke centerpiece sorry I missed it. I was kind of busy doing other things at your wedding but I don't think your wedding day's defined by your artichoke centerpiece thatyou had I'm not making this story up and so finds not always right so we say no we tell them why we offer an alternative that's good service that's the best service you can hope for also let's take it a step further since we're talking about service just for a second what would be a good service? You don't have to stand up I just want to hear numbers from you what would be a good service level in your mind? What do you what do you think if somebody could rate customer satisfaction? What would be a good service? You were saying customer satisfaction it's never gonna happen uh I would say eighty five eighty five eighty, eighty five, eighty five. Okay, let's, go with eighty five per second. Okay, if you did eighty five percent customer service, which hundreds that would never happen. All businesses strive for, right? Sounds great in theory, but conceptually, we have to understand we can't make everyone happy. We're gonna piss someone off. Okay, so if you figure I do fit let's, call it fifty weddings a year. Let's. Just use big round numbers. Fifty weddings here, one hundred fifty portrait sessions a year. Okay, so let's call it two hundred people come through my studio in one former fashion headshots weddings, engagement, let's. Just call it two hundred for round numbers and I achieve eighty five percent customer satisfaction ratio. That means thirty clients are going to be pissed off thirty. That is a horrific right. Suddenly you realize I would be proud I'd be thump my chest. About eighty five percent customer sat hell ninety percent customer sat. That would be a great number wouldn't. But the reality is even at ninety percent customer sat. I'm still going to piss off twenty clients. We can't even afford that. If twenty clients went out on social media and started blasting my business, do you understand how disastrous that would be for our businesses? So it's not incredible when you start putting mathematics behind some of the numbers we already realize that we're all starting out behind the people as business owners it is literally impossible to make every client happy. Impossible now you start dealing with just mathematics behind the whole situation there's people who are going to complain about your business just for the sake of complaining right? Oh, you know, he was so rude, right? Or hey wore a blue shirt I can't believe it have you ever read reviews about like hotels? Right? When you travel I always do that. I don't know why because I never listen to any of the reviews you know these reviews for travel sites and hotels and they're like, you know it's one star this was the worst hotel ever they were out of toothpaste what was it really that bad of a hotel? Because the toothpaste was out or I used to travel and teach you know, around the country we do workshops in every city and there was one lady who came to my workshop in memphis never forget it. She gave me one star and I'm like, oh man, this is gonna be bad I read her whole review sal was amazing his team was so awesome the work with they shared all this great knowledge but the room was really cold you give me one star because the room was cold and I can't even control the room right that just goes to show you can't make everyone happy and so we have to understand how customer service is going to impact us and how we're going to deal with those issues that's really the point I'm trying to make here how are you going to deal with this service level that you're going to find a challenge with as a sole proprietor and the issues you're gonna face we're gonna talk about some of these over the next few segments your face challenges with returning e mails that's a big service issue for us isn't it returning phone calls that's also a big service issue I have clients losing their mind if we don't call them back in a couple hours even though I'm on photo shoots okay um I have one bride I was on a photo shoot posting pictures from a photo shoot she wrote on my post I'm trying to call you no one's answering you know where I am like it's on facebook right now right but how you gonna deal with these situations as you grow your business as you try and charge more money you've got to start understanding the client is not always right it's okay to say no you just have to offer alternatives just making sense don't you say no to say know what a typical clients wanna alter packages pull stuff out lower the price I'm trying to think for you by the way I want you asking these questions you've seen pricing from me before but what I'm trying to figure out is where you running into problems it should be people want to pull stuff out they want to reduce the package okay, great hey, we don't want that heirloom album box can you pull that out? I see on your ala carte it's for ninety nine how much would the package be then? Well, what's your answer because the way you answer that question is going to create a service problem for you if you say no sorry can't no can't do that no south and give me any guidance on that so I'm just going to say no right? You can't do that right? So you've got to say okay here's your answer unfortunately, as you can see, the package has already been discounted by fifty percent uh I can't pull that out for you is there a reason you don't want it? Maybe maybe the answer there you might well, we don't like wood, we don't like what we're very natural we don't we don't like would we like paper anything that comes from trees, right? Whatever I'm making stuff up as we go okay, great, so what if I found you an alternative box what if I found you something that was made from recycled material or something like that? If it ok, right? So now there's a different conversation verse just saying no, you see where I'm going with this? What about? If they want to lower the price? Can we lower prices? No can't lower prices on the packages. Why? Because the package there are discounted by fifty percent and they're tied. Two specials are vendors are running so these are already tied to discounts. The package have been discounted, they cannot be altered or or dropped. What about I want to add? I want to go completely allah card. Can someone come in following our pricing model and go completely on the card? Answer should be us, they can, but they should be punished with bat for bad behaviour, right? If they go out the card, they should be paying more than any package in there. And if you were to look at our allah car prices and compare them to our our package prices, they could get everything in here on the card, but it would cost them sixteen thousand dollars. So who in their right mind would ever do that should be no one that's what that's my point if they're doing it, that means you're all the card is not high enough. Removing the engagement session that's also a popular one. That's come up. What do you say when someone says we don't need engagement? Session? We've we've had a front ah friend, do it. How you answer that question is really important. Elissa elissa, one of melissa's girlfriends came through got married recently, elissa before she worked for me actually had done their engagement pictures. How do I handle this one? Right. So now my second shooter who's. My full time employees did their engagement pictures. But I can't. I can't talk bad about her. I can't be like, well, she's not that good. I should probably your engagement pictures, but I have to come up with an answer. So she comes in and she goes well, we don't need engagement pictures. Ah, lissa has already taken those pictures for us. How I answer that question is gonna dictate where we go from here. And so I said to her, I go, no problem. I know this has already done this here's the thing I have no working relationship with you whatsoever and so what I'd really like to do on this engagement session even if you don't buy a single picture it's what I said even if you don't buy a single picture but I'd like to do is just get that working relationship get comfortable with you and mostly getting get comfortable with your fiance as well who's who I've never worked with she's like okay, no, that makes that makes total sense so it wasn't this hard sell I wasn't trying to sell her on something she came in after her engagement session and spent twenty two hundred dollars from not wanting to even have this session. So what if I just collapsed and said, sure, no problem we'll take out the engagement session I would've just lost in two thousand dollars yeah your packages to your allah cart there's no actual line item for your initial the actual shooting there's a second shooter but not for your own time you adding up just eight hours of your our over ridge? Is that what you're getting that number using or is that just not part of that? No it's part of the package it's that for fifty an hour being so my time's being calculated is part of this value the sixth you're using your your additional hour number ok that's correct yes, yes I see what you're saying there was no line on him that said south time by the hour, right? Yeah that's part of that additional hourly coverage that's how we calculate that number good catch okay, so what if they want to upgrade the album? This is the trickiest part of all. And so they can be in the roma siri's platinum collection fifty for ninety nine. But they want the sicilian siri's album. They absolutely can do that let's. See if I can find that real quick freaking out upstairs. So roma siri's is twenty nine, ninety nine. Okay, the sicilian siri's is fifty nine ninety nine. You see the difference in the price? Three thousand dollars? Correct. So if they wanted to be in my middle package the platinum and upgrade the album to the sicilian, how much would it be? Three thousand dollars, right. So if we look at this, it literally makes no sense. So if somebody says to me, well, we want to go with the platinum, but we really like that big album. Can we get that big album? Absolutely. It's on the second page of the pricing chief, I let them flip to it. I don't even tell him how much it is they flipped to and they realize, well, wait a minute, it's going to be three thousand dollars to upgrade? Yep. So that puts me at eighty for ninety nine. I might as well just go with the black lady, yes, punish bad behavior that is with how pull through should work if you're not price that way so it's happening and by the way, I don't have to say a single word when they say to me, can I do this? I say absolutely the prices on the second page it's the difference between the two albums they look, they look, they go back and forth and then they realized it makes no sense and I don't have to argue with him I don't have to put any pressure on him I let the pricing she dictate where they want to go it's totally up to them, everything else we talked about it there any other scenarios you guys can think of anybody where you're running into objections with this pricing model that maybe I didn't cover because to me this is what I wanted to bring pricing up again because I find you guys we're running into some issues where you don't know how to really handle them. What what is it what's the top objection you're running into if you're implementing this rock. So I had I had a couple who booked back in the day when I was doing the group on the shooting and burning I did there engage in session, I flip them into being my wedding clients so they already had my pictures that I took for an engagement session they didn't want their engagements but what I did was they, uh, they actually had a baby before their wedding, and I swapped out their engagement session for a newborn session on ly because I thought that it was of equal value on I had equal opportunity to get prints have them, you know, sell them for a print package, I think that's brilliant know that's a really good thing to do. Um, now you raise an interesting point, everyone, wherever you are in your career, you're going to be transitioning if you buy into my pricing model, you're gonna be transitioning from whatever you're doing today. So whatever you want to do in the future and if you're you're transitioning to that, that transitional period is scary. It's frustrating, it's difficult with your clients, there's not you're not going to have the right answers for some things because you're going to go hey, I solder this on group on what do I do? You got to improvise and so that's ok, as you as you're making this transition, feel free to improvise, you're going to face that same problem, right? Cousin, your packages, you already have a large print, something like that. So in the spirit of that, you've got to figure out how do we get people after the wedding? To spend more money, even though they think they have everything right don't give up on them, don't go ok, everybody in those packages that has something bigger, I'm just going to give up on don't because there was a point in time in my career where my package is included product, and then I realized it was stopping me from having bigger sales, so I had I just had to move on and, like, let go of it. But what I did was I gave them the opportunity to go for bigger sizes, so we put packages together after the wedding, so if you have twenty by thirty or sixteen by twenty four, put a package together after the wedding that says upgrade your sixteen by twenty four two twenty five, thirty don't make sense question question I have is with regards to when you're going over your pricing, and if they're trying to push back on numbers and they'll say, oh, your responses that they're tied to spect under discounts that's, right? I'm certain I'm giving the bride on the couple way too much credit that would never fly with me. So what do you mean, why wouldn't I just I just wouldn't I mean there's a wedding a year out from now, eighteen months from now. I wouldn't believe that there that this is based on a vendor price on an item that's good that the sale is on this side is on sale for eighteen months. I don't say it's on sale I'm not even implying it's on sale it's tied to pricing from our vendors so that is actually a true statement not under discount is where I'm getting like the discomfort event so I'm thinking like, if I'd be pulled something and the vendors having a sale currently on this item that's why it's discounted yeah, I wouldn't necessarily go with sale, but do your vendors is there a vendor you work with in our industry that would guarantee prices for a year? You see, what I'm saying is there is there's nobody I know bay photo would raise prices every company I work with raise prices so for me to say that this is tied to my pricing today, I think that's a reasonable statement you see what you see, where I'm going it's tied to not only the pricing I have available today, it's also tied to the product line I'm carrying today I could you fast forward there's gonna be a point in your career where you stop you upgrade albums so I've got clients for years still don't have their wedding album. Because having pic pictures that's fine if it's not important to you, it's not important to me but they have an album that I don't even carry anymore. And so when they come back in I have no idea how much I'm gonna have to pay to get that album or if it even exists anymore. But that's, my problem I have to absorb that cost because prices do change, I would never go back to my clients say prices went up. You now owe me more money for that album, right? So there is it is reasonable depending on how you presented that it is tied to the pricing you have in front of you today. That to me is reasonable as faras lowering prices, how much pressure can they put on you to lower prices? Give me the scenario. I think actually I was just interpreting it wrong not so much as what the pricing currently is, but I thought I was being pitched as like I said that they're the vendors currently running a sale on this item right now that's not just a normal price, that z I think that I was interpreting it incorrect. That pitch is actually part of our engagement session and post wedding, and that is reasonable because it's a price that's good for that forty eight hour window that does make sense, you're correct pitching that and something that's booked a year and a half out would never make any sense. I'm glad you asked that question. Yeah, one of questions I have in terms of digital natives for engagement sessions. I tend to get a lot of pushback that I have to fight through where I get a lot of. Well, this other person includes the digital negatives from engagement session one of the things that that I kind of struggle with in that arena is addressing it with. I know, I guess. Just undressing in general. Yeah. No, that's perfect. I get that all the time, by the way. So I love that you brought that up. This is this is what this is all about right now, I want to hear the objections you're finding in the field. So does this include the edited digital pictures from my engagement pictures? Does this include the raw files? Does this include all the fully edited pictures? Is this skin softened or they all beauty editor fill in whatever blank you want on what that objection is x y z studio doesn't pay, susie, I totally understand. You're comparing a lot of retiree studios. I couldn't speak to what x y z studio is doing any more than they could speak to what we're doing here is what I believe while they may be doing that, I would believe that we're doing five other things that they're not doing ultimately you have a big decision to make in front of you on hopefully we have enough value that we're presenting to you that we're a good fit for each other. You got to figure out how to deliver that though that confidently right? Because I get that objection all the time I'm not going to sit here and argue because x y z studio is doing something because I know for a fact if you're following my model, my albums, my packaging, my pricing you're doing something that x y z is not and ultimately because I gotta think about it, michael, if it comes down to the only difference between her photography selection, the only difference is who's doing just that one thing she really your clients there's no way dude, my client sees my stuff is artwork she looks at my photography and sees herself in that picture five hundred dollars isn't gonna make a difference and unedited digital files not going difference she's hiring us for the experience that we can provide them right? So don't discount that don't discount the value that each of you bring to the table in this they're not just hiring you for your pictures they're not just hiring you for whatever album you offer their hiring you you mean that's the intangible that's the extractor we all bring to the table that's the x factor that can never be found when you're when you're pitching on line when you just leave your pricing online they have no idea who you are they don't know who you are you're just a guy with a camera girl with the camera on go your thousand dollars for your two thousand dollars I know for a fact that if I can get to a meeting with my bride I can close more business if I can't get to that meeting I'm the most expensive photographer she's ever heard of so what did I tell you you've got to get to that meeting makes sense all right so selling the packages first they should all be prequalified right cause by the time they come into your studio on your website it says prices starting at so they've got to be pre qualified if they're not all man you're setting yourself up for failure so that initial email that goes out I get the same e mails you do email comes in I'm getting married august fifth two thousand fifteen sent prices very impersonal nothing behind it I'm not sending my pricing I sent a template email response hey suzie thanks for reaching out our prices start at x y z they're all inclusive right making a personalized email as much as you can copy paste send it out ninety percent I'll never hear back from you don't hear back I'm too expensive I'm okay that's totally fine but the ten percent I do hear back from that come in and meet with me I've got an eighty five ninety five percent closer it because by the time they get to the studio there's only one thing that can screw this whole thing up and that's me they've seen my work they love the work they've seen the price they're prequalified what's the only other thing left to decide on meat so if they sit down to meet with me or sit down to meet with taylor at that point it's personal guys they have made a personal decision that they do not want to work with you it's that simple so you're gonna have to be in business and being sales is not easy you're gonna have to get stopping you put on your big boy pants right stop ian prima donnas stop worrying about your feelings I don't care how you feel right get down to brass tacks why did they not book me? Ask that question why did they not? Why couldn't I sell them? What happened? Why couldn't I close the deal? You're not gonna like the answers but at the end of the day the results okay if you keep fine tuning his process are going to help you maybe it was the way you dressed maybe had too much coffee got coffee breath maybe you came right from the gym and you were in there and you were all sloppy. Maybe you're a late for your meeting who knows right there's a host of things that can that can go wrong in that I, uh a couple showed up to my studio one time and I was forty minutes late to the meeting. Big confusion internally my calendar I was on the wrong time zone I was on a photo shoot tailor's calling me up in the middle of my shoot your clients are here s o I come scrambling home and they're standing right outside the studio with note with no way into the studio okay, I'm just apologizing, apologizing, apologizing, apologizing the groom says and he hits me right between the eyes, right? I mean, I haven't even booked him yet, you know? So if we book you for our wedding and you show up on time mike, right? What do you say? We just laughed, right? I had a good time with him I apologized again and I just rolled with it but these are the kind of things because when he was giving me a hard time, right, I didn't get all defensive I didn't get all butt hurt about it, right? At the end of the day, I just laughed with him made a few jokes with him and from his perspective he thought I like this guy I can relate to him, I can connect to him and that's the key to it all but, uh meeting at starbucks on office office space that's fine when I started out, we met it's starbucks man there's no shame in that we did whatever we had to do to book the deal don't let anybody look down on you or browbeat you because you're having meetings in starbucks or coffee shops or anything like that. We did that for the first two or three years of our career that's where we met, we didn't have office space, we didn't have business incubators bias so I would drive to starbucks near wherever the client waas so I was well versed with every starbucks in my area in st louis and that was how I grew my business that's how I started today of course we're at a studio but ultimately remember we all start somewhere we can all start in a ten thousand square foot studio that's not practical that's not real life walk them through the packages top down very important that you walked them through these packages and show them the various products in those packages that's very, very important you've gotta have albums to show man, I am telling you, the one product you have to have is the album the album is the differentiator between you and that weekend warrior. The weekend warrior doesn't have the album the guy handing over the cd doesn't have the album. You can't show them a picture of the album, you have to show them the actual album, let them see touch feel it that is so important that tactile piece eyes really, really important also give them pricing to take with him, let him take it it's important they understand what everything is if they need to make decisions and talk to each other. That's totally fine how do we close the deal? And so ultimately this is where it gets awkward for everybody. How do you ask for the business? So you're sitting there, you're walking through all the packages. This is our black label. This is our platinum. This is our gold and then you're like, what do you say? What do you do? You don't know you guys freeze! Okay, this is salesman. You've got to get never awkward silence if there's awkward silences if your brain is going wow, it's awfully quiet in here, so's your client it's already a problem, so we get to the bottom of that package right, our gold collection, it comes with this, this this and this so that's a whole lot of information I just gave you okay, I did a brain dump on you. Any questions? Shut up, read their body language. Body language is incredible. Are you telling me that you really can't tell if you trust your instinct? Are you telling me you can tell when somebody's uncomfortable or not? And then you're clueless but we got to do is read body language. You can tell if somebody's uncomfortable if you sense that awkwardness, that means they're not ready to make a decision immediately say something. I'll tell you what to say. If you're reading that body language and they look like they're thinking, just shut up, let them get their thought out don't give that nervous energy, you know what I mean? You have people in your life were like that. They just talked to talk, right? I got people like that around me and, like, just shot hop man, stop talking. Okay, don't be that person don't just talk with nervous energy don't do you have any questions? Okay, so here's, where we go from here once you know you want to work with us, see how simple that transition was, I didn't let it sit there awkward, lingering once you know you want to work with us it's a thousand dollar deposit to security date okay now you don't have to decide on one package you want if you know you want to work with us lock your date so we stopped selling it and then we can always select a package at a later date but you guys tell me what do you where do you want to go from here once again shut up that's how we close that is the only way to close some people are going to book you right there some people are gonna walk away and think about it but here's what I want you to think about in my closing what's the number one objection I overcame before never even came up what's the number one objection you hear when you're when you're going through this I know what it is no more objection is I have to talk to my fiance I have to talk to my family I have to talk to someone is not the objection all the time someone has to have to talk to someone now why is that really? They came to meet with you they knew how expensive you are but do they really have to talk with anybody now here's the problem there one likely know if they want to work with you or not right then and there here's what they don't know at least I found this in my experience my bride came in and thought we were going to be forty four ninety nine but then she saw her black label albums she saw our signature collection albums she wants to spend eighty for ninety nine now you know what? She has not been greenlit on spending nearly nine thousand dollars her fiance did not give you the green light to do he gave me the green light to price been four maybe even five thousand dollars but not eight day not nine my closing once you know you want to work with us it's a thousand dollar deposit secure your date we can pick a package at a later time I just talk off that objection to talk to your fiance because you're still going to go talk to him she's probably going to say yeah, I definitely want to work with you guys let me let me put a deposit down and then I can pick my package later absolutely go home, talk to your fiance figure out what you guys want to do and we'll go from there so in the contract we write package tbd to be determined but we're locked in for that day that's the clothes it's not simple it's not smooth don't overcomplicate it don't be a weirdo don't be embarrassed to ask for money we're in business they came to me for you with you they want to book you so make it easy for him the book if they're not booking like I said, something has gone seriously wrong every sale session to these day when I don't book a client that I've met with, we step back and we do an evaluation what went wrong? I'll start looking at email change I'll see if there were any red flags in the emails I'll start having conversations with taylor about what email dialogue they had back and forth where we late to the meeting did they say that I say something in that meeting we start looking at everything we did, we really take a close look at it if you want to be good at this, you've really got to be honest with yourself and look deep inside that's what it's about because there's no one else to blame but you is on us. We're sole proprietors were the one sitting in that meeting if they're not booking it's something you're doing it's not the client it's us typical objections we've already talked to this we need time to talk we're meeting with other photographers will let you know next week I have to talk to my fiance he's air, all normal objections close the way I'm telling you to close it's okay if they go in talk to other photographers because I believe my thing is the fact that they've met face to face with us so that's really to me that to my advantage when I know they're going to go meet other photographers, that helps out more than you would imagine? Rob, they lock in with you their luck in the date and they've given you the deposit and they've signed the contract and you said, you know, you could take some time to decide what package you want, do you give them? Is there a specific amount of time? No. Well, there's not a specific amount of time per se, but what ends up happening is that within, like, forty eight hours taylor's already trying to schedule their engagement session. So now that their books she's taylor forces the process to move forward verse, we just sit there waiting and hoping they contact us to the minute they lock in. Taylor starts reaching out to them in the next forty eight hours and hey, guys, welcome welcome to our family can't wait to be working can't wait to start working with you. Any ideas for your engagement? You so st tail is already starts having this dialogue with him, so it happens relatively quickly you don't want to let that linger don't let that go for another like call it. A month or something. It's. Bad for you. The longer that goes, the worse it is for you. All right, it sounds like you've got a real world scenario there. So all right, so that's, uh, that's this segment, hopefully, even though it's been somewhat of a refresher for some of you, hopefully, like I said, we've caught a few little things that you're doing wrong. Things you can tweak, get better at, I think it's, always especially around pricing. I think it's, always important here and and talk about these new things.

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!

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