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Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships

Lesson 15 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships

Lesson 15 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

15. Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships

Next Lesson: Get More Publicity


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

Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships

We are going to dive into vendor relationships right and developing those relationships and you have to understand we can't operate in a vacuum we can't operate in a bubble all too often, I think, as business owners rights not just photographers, his business owners we tend to just operate in isolation thinking there's no ecosystem beyond us but man there's a huge ecosystem around you whether it's dresses, whether it's flowers, whether it's catering halls, there's always ways for you to get business and what is that business worth like what's it worth to get one lead right? If it means sitting down and having lunch with somebody I'm willing to do that I'm going to sit down and have lunch with somebody and, you know, previously we were looking at an image like this, right? I didn't just happen to get lucky and get a dress in brazil I didn't happen this dress came from the united states with me down to brazil from one of my vendors, someone I have a partnership with and this I cannot exp...

ress the importance enough for you. If you want to grow your business, you don't want to go out and buy a ten thousand dollar dress every time I'm gonna do a photo shoot and you're not gonna get featured in a magazine showing ah ninety nine dollars david's bridal dress either right? So you've got a you gotta understand that these relationships are really, really important. And so let's talk about that. First of all, they're valuable source of referrals. Partnerships are going to yield more than just referrals. Okay, there's, a lot of stuff that can come from that from that relationship, we're gonna talk about that, I think it's crucial to your growth? Absolutely. If you want to grow the business, those relationships are paramount to your growth. You cannot do it alone. You cannot do it in a bubble on. You have to be willing to invest that sweat equity. And so what I want to also do here is talk about some real world scenarios again, I think that's the only way to teach, I think that's how you can learn to see what we actually did to get vendor relationships and referrals going. So in the spirit of that, these people can provide massive leads and referral. So, you know, what I want you to think about is florist djs, catering halls, dress shops, planners. Now, clearly, this is slanted on the wedding side, but we can also take it and go after it from a family, seniors all that kind of stuff. If you're a senior photographer, where did they get their prom dresses from? Right? So almost every city has something like that in illinois just even in my small town they have a dress shop that's all for the kids for prom's in tuxedos and things like that well, if you wanted to why not partner with somebody like that and do the same thing I'm telling you to do here right is connect with these people and what I want you to do is in your mind identifying this will come up later in this segment is identified five in each one of these categories in your market we're five floors you want to align yourself with four five djs you want to align yourself with catering halls, dress shops, planners these are the people you have to figure out this needs to be if you're following along at home you have your workbook your road map if you will uh that's the part that you need to start writing down write it down right now who are these people don't wait the longer you wait you just probably prolonging what needs to happen here. So who are these people that you need to connect with and every markets different? Maybe you don't have five djs you know in in st louis there are not five djs I'm willing to work with there's actually only one is one d j company I'm willing to work with the rest or complete I mean just garbage and not garbage because you know, they don't play the right music or anything like that. There's a deejay company in st louis the guy one wedding he hit on my wife three times. Uh, like, dude, just tj just play your music. You don't need to be hitting on my wife. Uh, another wedding. We did different guy, same company. The deejay was out on the dance floor drinking and dancing instead of being a d j this is this is not a company I want to align myself with. This is not a company that I want to say to my bride's here's here's who you want a book. So think carefully about who you want to align yourself with. Who you want a partner with, right? Because if you're telling your bride yeah, I recommend x y z d j she trusts you she's already committed to you my bride spending ten thousand dollars with me. So if I tell her, use this d j he's going to say will sound gave me the recommendation, I'm going to use it kind of like you trust me, right? When it comes to photography. If I give you some advice and I say yeah, here's, what you need to do need to get your hands on this, you guys trust me so I don't want to refer people, I don't believe him, and so I don't want to do that to you, and I would never want to do that to my bridegroom. You have to start thinking that way. And so what should your goals be when you're dealing with, uh, with vendors? Your ultimate goal should be to get on their preferred vendor list. Nobody knows what this is, right? Kind of the holy grail of ah, of wedding photography is to be on that preferred vendor list, you know? What would it be for seniors? You know, seniors, can you get in their store? Can you get them to put your you know your stuff at a point of sale display? Uh, families might be a little bit tougher, but seniors, that there's definitely a niche. You can go after their pricing and marketing package. We want to leave that at their facility. So there's a couple of venues in in st louis there's, a couple of venues in st louis where they actually have our pricing and marketing sitting out nice that's. Nice. Right. Makes it easy for me because brides are grabbing that marketing material right? There is kind of the point of sale so that's that should be another one of your goals bleed share. Having them share leads with you you sharing leads with them this could happen a multitude of ways right you can you can I would never just hand over email addresses that's not what I'm suggesting but they could definitely drive traffic your way that khun definitely introduce you to hey sound susie just booked us here she's looking at she's looking for a wedding for tyre for she'd love to set up a meeting with you just something like that you could do the same thing for them right it's more personal than just them handing the business card over and saying yeah here's here you go, here's five photographers we would recommend that's not very personal now you're not gonna walk in tomorrow and establish that kind of relationship takes time but that should be your plan what's your plan what's your ninety day what's your one year plan can you get one vendor just one toe operate that way with you and you can I'm here to tell you you absolutely can you should create a ah vendor packet there should be a vendor packet that has your in your vendor pocket from you you should have your own preferred vendor list now I've talked about this in the past not sure how many of you have actually done it, but we do it when we hand over our contract store clients okay, we're handing over the contract and in the paperwork is all our preferred vendors. So the left side of the folder is our contract the right side all our preferred vendor, the deejay the floors on things like that we would recommend so that's to give get right think about it all too often you walk into a vendor of any when you go hey I want you to do ah I want you to hand out my card I want to be on your preferred vendor list so give me give me give me it's all your doing you know, many times a day they here give me give me give me so they're numb to you they're numb to photographers instead you need to say, hey here's, what we can do for you if we're on here's how I would phrase it if we're on your preferred vendor list here's what we can do for you that's the way it should be it should be presented making sense and so the real question is because becomes how ultimately it's about sweat equity even to this day were all about sweat equity so I'm gonna establish studio and I'm still doing stuff for free so if I can do stuff for free as an established studio, you can do stuff for free as an up and comer and it has been that way for me since day one I'm about hustling. You've got to be a hustler. If you want money, think about it. What we here talking about, man? We're talking about business at the end of the day. There's money sitting out there for you and there's, fifty vultures standing around this table wanting a piece of that pie. I mean, is that I am I being too brutally honest about about how the world of business works. We all want that money that's standing there. The question is, who's gonna have the balls to step up and go out and get it. Is it going to be you? And if you're just going to stand out there and be like, oh, gosh, am I let that other buzzard get that food? He's he looks kind of more hungry than me. Nonsense. Man, you've got to get hungry. You gotta hustle. You gotta go out and grab it. No one is going to hand you success. I mean, no one. It is not gone routine for any of us. Not here. Not out there. Not me, not you. Every day I wake up and I realized there's someone chasing me. Someone chasing what I'm doing, whether it's what I'm doing on the professional photographer side and shutter magazine or behind the shutter or what I'm doing in the world of of wedding photography or senior photography, I've got competitors coming up all around me, so if you just take your lazy ass time moving along to get to something, dude, your competitors are passing you by, you've got to get aggressive with all this you tellem passionate about business is my thing. So what are you willing to do that becomes the key here? You've got to be willing to put some skin in the game, and so what about promotional photo shoots for them? There's no reason we can't do promotional photo shoots for aught for everybody out there, right? It's easy, that takes time working into your schedule, but we can totally do it. And now if you feel like someone's taking advantage of you, then don't do it, but most of the time, I've never really felt like I'm being taken advantage of maybe once in my career I can point to a time where somebody was just taking from me and not really giving anything in return, and then I stopped. I stopped working with that person lesson learned, but for the most part most people want a relationship, and if you're willing to hustle and put some skin in the game, they'll reciprocate, I promise they can use that you can help them with their website images from marketing, networking events, groups. You could be part of these networking events in groups. They have them all over the place. Now, what is it like being I br I anybody ever heard of those? What do you call being so it's, like business networking? Something right? I hate those groups right away. So don't do those because it just takes up too much time, right? They want you there like, every tuesday nine a m you have to be there. I don't want to be bothered with any of that stuff. I want a one on one relationship. That's. Not a paid relationship. I don't have to pay to be somewhere. And so find these groups that you could be part of, uh, networking with these people. Walk in cold call. Hey, my name is south and cottam a photographer in the area. I just want introduce myself. Meet you face to face. Anything you ever need. From a photography perspective. Feel free to reach out to me. You got any projects going on? What about your website? You need to update some of your pictures now when I tell you to ask that question, you b foolish if you don't think I already did the research I already know they need pictures on their website right so do the research before you walk in the door and I'm cold calling but I'm not even selling anything I'm not like hey I'm trying to tell you vacuum cleaners here I'm kind I'm trying to give you something for free right that's how the conversation starts don't send emails emails in this day and age I mean I get I get two hundred two hundred fifty emails per day and I respond to every single one of them okay it is in you will get an answer from me some of you may have emailed me you get answers from me on facebook social media you might email me someone might get no I do this one sentence answers very very impersonal because I'm getting so many well so so where your people you're trying to sell to face to face go meet them go shake their hand be different stand out from the crowd don't do the same thing everybody else is doing uh is this making sense on that kind of how what about some ideas that's the part I wantto talk about here right so it's let's really get into it for floors how much for your florist you offer to show up on a date by the way these are things you can do right now if you're following along at home and your workbook start putting this stuff down on paper. The reason I want you to put it down on paper is because I don't know what it is it's again, just human behavior when we write stuff down just nags at us, right? You just know it's there and so start thinking this way, these air ideas you can walk out of here tomorrow and start executing on your local florist remember, I'm telling you to put a list together, flores that you go after? How about offering to show up on a friday or saturday morning to photograph every bouquet going out the door as after an idea nobody here has ever done that? Guaranteed, my dear, now you connect with them, okay, remember that idea we talked about with pinterest that new ideas shared with you? Many of you are going, but I don't have any image is how I'm gonna do it this how you going to do it? You can go home and do it immediately, so now you can call them up. And by the way, if you don't realize this most, flores don't wait till saturday ten a m to start putting bouquets together for their brides. They're working on it the day before, and then they put him in a nice freezer, so now you can call them up and go hey I will come in photograph every bouquet you got going out the door now if you recall if in your top five is a florist that's not busy get them off your top five they shouldn't be there you're looking for the big dogs the big players okay, I will come in and photograph every bouquet going out the door it's probably gonna be in the realm of fifteen toe thirty bouquets they're going out the door depending on what florist you're dealing with so maybe you do it two weeks in a row for them, right? Maybe after doing that and now they realize you're reliable, okay, you convince them to do hey, do you have any specialty bouquets that you've been wanting to try out? Because I want to do a photo shoot and you know, since I've already done all these pictures for you, you trust me? I trust you don't you put this specialty bouquet together and I'll use it on my next photo shoot and I'll give you pictures of it in the bride's hands now we're part now we're collaborating now we have a partnership now we're becoming the trusted advisor now they're not going to tell, you know, you know why they're not gonna tell, you know, because no other retired for has offered to do this in your market nobody because they're lazy this is skin in the game this is you getting your ass up on a friday on a saturday when you don't want to work when you want to stay at home when you want to stay in bed when you want to sleep but guess what? All the buzzards are hovering around the pot of gold you got to go up and grab it and that's what this idea is all about, man don't wait, you don't have to wait anymore. You have a real bonafide reason to go out and talk to those force here's your reason I'm gonna give you shit for free you don't have to pay me anything. You don't even have to give me anything in return, but yes, my logo is gonna be on every image of course, but you don't think they're going to use those images at the bridal show. They're going to use those images on their website. They're going to use those images in the marketing material. Of course they are. This relationship just got forged by you putting some sweat equity up, get enough images now going back to that segment now you can do the pinterest block post that idea we talked about for a ceo, right? That little experiment we talked about earlier on in this course now you have all the images you need to go do that brilliant deejay early on in my career we associated with a company called millennium we'll talk about that team head shots so we do their team head shots something bad ass we try to do it at least every other year for them go do their team head shots for the deejay company don't brides book t j is no relationship there that can be had is there a referral that can be given back to you it's worth it okay what about catering halls? That's kind of the holy grail right that's that preferred vendor list we all want to be on you don't really care if you have a preferred mentalist of a deejay or flores but there's three places things that get booked first when it comes to weddings anyway right it's usually the catering facility the receptor or the reception hall the church and in the photographer right and it's always in a different order sometimes of tigers book before anything else gets booked so the catering halls where you want to be the catering halls where every photographer wants to be but how about this to a state shoot now work the venue with your other contacts you do a state shoot you say hey, we want to come in on a tuesday we want to decorate the entire ballroom that floor is you've been working with hey you want in on this gig we're gonna work at the car not a ballroom we're going can you give me some centerpieces and flowers for all the tables? We'll get somebody to do lighting usually the deejay cos now we're doing lighting so now you've got that relationship bring him into this to sum up lighting in the room and now you start shooting room shots for free okay? And you can set it up in a way where you don't have to have forty tables in a room to make it look full right? So now you're shooting there maybe if you want to take it to the next level you get a mock bride and groom you're showing a mock bridegroom in an empty ballroom could be really cool these are the kind of things you can start doing everything I'm telling you here I've done I've done this firsthand in my business I'm not giving you advice that I have not practiced myself I want to go back to this questions on this see you guys watching intently but I can't tell if you're processing it where you thought rob what you thought I just think it's a great idea I mean I just just recently ordered an album from you guys that I mean I went a little above and beyond and actually ordered an album for uh a winery that I was working with for the venue because they just they went above and beyond giving me referrals and she the banquet coordinator fell in love with my products and she said, I need to be able to show this and I said that's not a problem and I had an eight by eight made for them that's all and uh and she was just blown away and then what I did, as in a centerfold is I did all like, what you're saying I did all room shots and this is all from a wedding that I that I shot there, I did all the room shots and table shots and everything else, so she had details so she actually uses it also like as a selling peaceful, of course, so that's brilliant that's, brilliant that's the kind of stuff that goes into relationship building. How how easy now, so think about this any venue anywhere, anywhere in the world, they've got their preferred vandalised some venues actually of the very, very high end you have to actually pay to be on their preferred venue is like we're talking like twenty to forty thousand dollars to actually be on their preferred render this kind of insanity, but not all venues operate that way. So other venues just want partnership that they can take care of their bride and make sure they're referring them, you know, quality vendors, so now if you're just on that list because you're a photographer they're gonna hand out five business cards, right? But in rob situation where he's now giving them a sample album, they can't get rid of that use the average target is not willing to make that investment back to the venue, so now they're going to be referring rob for a very, very long time unless he screw something up with him, right? Because every time that album comes up in the showcase, the work it's really rob that's being showcased in that in a way that's not possible by saying here's a business card, here's five tires I recommend hiring uh well, here's, a guy who came in and here's what he can make our venu look like to the difference huge, awesome planner photograph of high end event for them show up to shoot all the details so planners could make or break your career because they're going to feed you, right? I only have one or two planners I work with, I actually despised planners, but don't get me going on that tangent, but there's one or two I work with that I love, okay? They're young, they're hip, they're fresh on, they love they love just having a good time that's the kind of planet I want to work with, not the old school stodgy you don't, you know sixtysomething who's just I've been doing this for thirty years great good for you I want to work with somebody who's young, hip energetic and actually likes their job here's the deal again we've done this photograph of high on event for them and what do I mean by that doesn't have to be your event if you've ever had a planner at your ventures you have you ever seen them walking around taking pictures with their iphone they usually do that because they don't trust the photographer to get too many pictures to use and so the relationship builds from that you walk in you talk to this planner hey I'm in this market I'm looking to align with one or two planners in the market I really like your style I like what you're working on here is what I do for my partner's you see what I'm saying here is what I do from my partners but I can do is if you just give me some notice let me know any kind of high end or unique event you're photographing not you're just standard event I'll come out there and photograph it for you for free because I'm available I think about what you're saying usually the events set up well before the bride and groom get there right so you're going to show up you're not encroaching on any other photographers land right so if if the bride and groom are in there yes, I don't expect you to be in there taking pictures of the wedding while the bride and groom is there. I would lose my mind if I walked into a scene and saw another photographer would be like you're out now, but you're in there before the photographer and the bride and groom were ever there you're just photographing details for this planner now she's using those those details in her marketing pieces in her hands out in her promotion in her facebook these are the things that you can do again seemingly overnight if you guys get out there and hustle, this can happen almost immediately um dress shop, shoot their dresses, model's locations, free images for their marketing and purposes or free free print. So again, I'm telling you about things that we've done that shot you saw in brazil on the rocks that was done with a dress flown in from the united states we had a shoot up in new york, the bride is wearing a dress it's ah four five thousand dollar dress that was lent to us from the dress shop we worked with in st louis all because we do this. In fact, the best part of the relationship now that we've been working with him for almost two years is that when they are retiring there old dresses, they actually just give him to us no one addresses no longer being sold in their shop they just called us up okay, we're clearing our racks we got five dresses if you want we go down, we just grab him so that we have dresses that maybe we used for something else that's a relationship these are things that can happen immediately there's no reason not to so what I want to do is talk to you about some real world scenarios and then I expect you guys to have some questions around this we get free dresses for all shoots is a company called simply elegant this is the company I'm talking about there in st louis wherever we go all over the world we get free dresses in return we provide images for them but then we went in and decorated their entire store canvas bust me two thousand dollars to put campus on on the walls and so everywhere you go in there facility are pictures that I took my logo on every image ok? They're not going up on the wall it's campus it's not a print it's not framed it's canvas hung everywhere in their facility every wall so you walk out of the dressing room boom you're looking at my pictures all taken with their dresses this is a huge relationship for me and my studio absolutely huge skin in the game I'm not expecting anything for free I am established I would say in the st louis market when it comes to weddings we are the eight hundred pound gorilla I don't take that for granted on a single day of my life do I take that for granted? I'm still hustling I'm still working I'm still trying to forge those relationships and I don't take my relationships for granted to be very easy for you when you go I don't have to do anything for them they're gonna give us dresses no matter what I never do that never take it for granted thoughts, questions, ideas, everything making sense here want to make sure you guys are walking out here and doing stuff like this man this is real world stuff I'm showing you blini music millennium music we ah there d j company every year we photograph their team head shots for free they're on our preferred vendor list were on theirs but they're the deejay of shutter fist so shutter fast our conference that we produce in st louis they did the deejay work last year and they're doing the deejay this year free they're like we love you guys we love everything you're doing we just want to be part of it and they're doing that deejay work for free so yeah, they're not may be referring me weddings but there's other values in that relationship other value and stuff I'm doing for them right there doing our christmas party this year we have the team cincotti christmas party, right ah they're gonna walk in and we're gonna have a deejay playing that music and it's going to be a really, really cool vibe cool environment so this is the value of that relationship it's give get I'm not just looking for stuff from them I'm doing I'm doing stuff for them we refer every bride that comes in we refer to them in fact it's an interesting story have you seen in your local markets? Djs are starting to push into photography has anybody seen that nodding heads yeah this is happening all over the country it's absolutely crazy the owner millennium I thought about doing that thought about starting offer photography there was a massive uproar massive super nice guy guy's name is chris awesome guys business guys an entrepreneur it's why I love him but I had a conversation with him like a man just like you know you start offering photography I will not send you any business it's that simple and there was just such this backlash when wind got out and he just stepped away and he goes his other places I could make money so now they do deejay services, they do up lighting so they do all event lighting they do all this stuff at the event makes sense stay out of the world photography just do your thing I won't play music you don't take pictures will be simple, right? S o thes air the kind of things again though that all come from relationships coronado car not a ballroom very high end in ballroom in st louis twenty five to thirty five thousand dollars to walk in the door at this facility so I want to be on this preferred vendor list. We provide images for their sales room where their preferred vendor but let me tell you the story behind this for two and a half to three years of my career, I couldn't even get him to return. A phone call would even be bothered with me one day we just happen to have a get a wedding that was out this facility not referred by them. We got a wedding that was there, the bride loved us, she brought us in, we photographed the event we show up about a week after the event with a twenty by thirty print for them to display just showed up and gave it to him. We said, hey just want introduce ourselves. We shot the wedding here we could go my name's south and condom of tarver I thought maybe you'd want to see a picture from the event, maybe use it in your sales room blown away, blew the guy away couldn't believe that we did it then we gave them a free wedding album, my cost on the wedding on with seven hundred dollars, but we produce that for their for their sales room. What kind of album do you think these guys want to show it's twenty five to thirty five thousand dollars to book the facility? You think they want to show a press printed book that's not what they want to show, right? They want to show a riel album and that's what we gave them, we gave them a real album to show, so now we're in there and were on their preferred vendor list. We probably shoot four plus weddings there a year now all because of that relationship very, very valuable. We also did a staged photo shoot. This was something I was telling you about, so we went into the ballroom. They called me. They said, hey, we need a new marketing piece for our ah um our ads that are going into magazines this year we don't have a big budget, I go way don't need to talk budget, I got you covered, we did it for free, like your schedule it on a day that I'm here and I could be there and we'll do it for free, and we did, so we did the shoot for free, they brought in table two, core florist all that stuff. I took all the pictures of the ballroom copyright salvador sakata. I took pictures of all the centerpieces and flower pieces that were used in the another magazine at copyright salvator sinkala brand awareness. It's everywhere you're in st louis in the wedding market, you cannot stand seeing my name, and I'm okay with that that's the way I like it. The renaissance renaissance hotel is also in ah, in st louis, and they have a picture case. So when you walk into the hotel and you're going up to the ballroom, which is on the top floor thing it's called the crystal ballroom, ninety percent of the pictures in the case are ours all free of charge. We put all those pictures in that case. Uh, every client walks by it. We also created a video slide show for them. Guy's an emoto is the easiest tool in the world. If you're not using an emoto at this point, I don't know what what you're not processing for all this it's an amazing marketing tool. And so we created a video sideshow for them. Of all the pictures that we've taken there over the last year or two, and now that plays in their sales room, uh, they allowed us to use their facility fourteen shot and I apologize I'll try and find the picture on another segment but we uh it's up in the air with george clooney part of that but I don't know if you saw that movie but anyway it was filmed in st louis parts of st louis and so they have to hotels the renaissance one is actually open and then across the street is one that there that's completely closed now well up in the air was filmed there and so they let us use that for our team picture last year we had a team shot in this old bar really really cool shot that we were able to produce I think we posted it on facebook last year but all part of that relationship and so I'm gonna show you the slide show that we use wait brains just close through may and this way goes waving for this perfect way what you're seeing there is this is these are images that we've been taking over the last year two at their facility right? So the pictures of the reserved sign on a chair chair table setting you'll never see that on my website doesn't belong there no one's ever going to book me being back man do the way you shot that reserve sign incredible I've never seen artwork like that that's never gonna happen instead that's a shot they want to promote their facility and so this slide show is produced for them it's about them it's about their facility it's about their hotel room right? So you're saying they're going to show their brides understand this's a marketing piece that's produced for them they want to show their brides here's what your day could look like in our facility right that's the value for them what did this cost me to produce nothing this is an an emotive sancho this is super easy and a moto is not just about a slide show for you or for your clients it's about using it for a marketing piece, right? So you start using it as a marketing piece the tool pays for itself so all right, so what about next steps? Here's what I need you to do and I alluded to this a little bit earlier hopefully in this segment I've inspired you um just start thinking a little bit differently to start thinking more like a business person and some of this maybe you've heard before for me. But so what? You're obviously not doing it if you're not growing at the pace you want to grow out there's gotta be a reason in the back of your head you're not doing it and if it's anything along the lines of I just don't have time you're preaching to the wrong person on this planet because if there's somebody who doesn't have time it's me I'm constantly teaching on constantly traveling I'm constantly trying to coach you guys and I'm running a real business so if I can find the time in the day to do it you guys should be able to find the time it's just about being willing to hustle you've got to get out there and wanting you gotta want success more than you want anything else if you don't want success more than you want anything else right and you're like cookie well there's the problem okay uh you've gotta want success you've got to be hungry for it and so what I want you do eyes I want you to truly put this list together at home you've got the worksheet from the course take that worksheet and start writing this stuff down I've got to put pen to paper so you're staring at it every day this becomes your road map this becomes your blueprint to your success your business I'm handing it to you but you gotta be willing to do something with it and the funny part in all this I'm gonna bore you with one of my stories again I was in high school or college I forget where it was but my professor edit out all the answers to an english exam to the class and the class one crazy right class lost their mind like why would you keep out all the answers to the midterm why would you do that and here, here's, what was his philosophy? He said, the people who were going to pass, we're gonna pass, whether they have the answers or not, but people are going to fail are going to fail, whether they have the answers or not, because they're going to procrastinate. The people are going to study, I'm going to study whether you tell them what the answers are are not right. They're gonna go out there, they're going to study, they're gonna get ready for the exam. But the people who have the answers and who are lazy, they're gonna go. I got all day tomorrow I'll do it tomorrow, I'll do it tomorrow, then the exam comes and they score the same that they would've scored how they had he not given out all the answers, it's the same kind of thing here on business. If you're going to be successful here's all the answers I'm giving you all the answers it's up to you now you gotta go out and execute. You got to do what I'm telling you to do it you gotta follow the formula, father recipe stop deviating. Write what I say the other day stop jacking with my recipe I'm telling you it works so here as we wrap up when she identified top five catering halls, top five planners, djs, floor stress shops not only identify them, identify the identifying them is kind of a waste of time. I want you to not only identify them, but I want you to put a plan of attack together. What is your pitch? Right, what's your elevator pitch. You finally get that catering manager on the phone face to face. What you going to say? Uh, um uh no, dude, practice your pitch, what's your pitch. You've gotta practice. You've got to be ready to go in there and be like, hey, I'm south and kata, I'm a photographer. I know fallon and what I'm looking to do is x y z whatever that x y z is that's the part you gotta write down you've gotta know what you're going to pitch to. Each one of these hotels, each one of these djs or floors do your research again. Time is what you have go to their website. Go to the djs website. Take a look at it. You look like you need to head shots. What does it look like? He just had it done last year. Okay, well, he doesn't need headshots. Don't page him. Head shots is a deejay offering up lighting. Now what events that's, what they're starting to do because we have pictures of that, uh, plein air, they good pictures. Okay, then, that's, your pitch, that's, your it. Same thing for the dress shops. The floors go to the dress shops website was it looked like nine out of ten times gonna be outdated. That's, urine, that's, your pitch, it just making sense.

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