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Student Examples

Lesson 38 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

38. Student Examples


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

Student Examples

So let's kind of dig into this and I'm gonna cue you guys here first on, talk about it and go from there so game tell us in the thirty days what have you done since the course? Because we've had kind of a thirty day break I think since the course what have you done that is work for you because you're not a wedding photographer, right? I am trying to get into wedding photographer more more of the weddings that I'm getting have been just kind of word of word of mouth and just like friends or family, you know, they refer me, and so since then I spent, like a total of forty dollars in facebook, you know, advertisement and it's like, just narrowed it down like, you know, got into the, uh, you know, the needy gritty there and just found the actual people that I'm looking for, um, the demographic d I thank you and, uh, with the camera on it, it changes things a little bit, but since then I book more weddings already for two thousand fifteen than I've done in, like the last two years and it's ...

you know, michael, I too, that facebook all tied to that exactly, and my goal this year is twenty, twenty five weddings, and so I've got ten on the books already that's huge and it's like it was so easy it was it was really kind of embarrassed that I hadn't like applied this like when I first heard it like in the very beginning, the first south classes, you know, like all this stuff it's just like, why don't I just apply it right now? You know, it's so easy to just be like, okay, as soon as I'm ready, I've got to get all this stuff but it's, just because you were doing it in the course when we were recording, you're walking away, a bunch of the students were walking away, I was like, on my phone and break like that was for someone else, I ran something for headshots and I'd book like, I think eight or nine head shots before I'd even gotten back home, you know? And it was just, you know, they weren't big big money makers or anything, but from that, I've gotten referrals from, like, other, like, you know, like law office, air firms and like, just other businesses and four shots, head shots, and just like now, I've been doing a little bit of commercial photography. It's really, we're just kind of spiraling out of control, but in control yeah, it's organized chaos exactly uh, no, and the interesting part there is, I think you know, when I look back on the course and I think what was that? Ah ha moment for most people, the facebook marketing idea was by foreign away, one of the most incredible ideas and it's one of those things where it's not it's brilliant, but it's not that brilliant, right it's like it's common sense, but it's it's so simple things where you just need someone like me to go do this and the minute you do it and you start seeing those results, you're blowing your mind. And so that's that's awesome those air, those air great results! What about you, let's? Talk about some of the results you've had? I'm excited for because obviously I know the answer already. Um well, the big thing waiting this year's, we're moving in torrance studio space, so I'm super excited about that, but the reason we pause you there because for people at home were watching, I don't know if they remember your story. One of the things you were struggling with, right? Correct me if I'm wrong was getting your husband to go along with getting you into the studio space and you really think that that was necessary? We kind of strong armed him on the brakes and made him do it, but he's well, he's home now dry walling dr wally under new studio space so I think there's a lot of people out there who are jealous of how you've managed to pull that off so but go ahead so you the biggest challenge for you was really around getting that professional space and now you're doing it so what was your mindset? How did you get to that point? I think everybody out there and please stay tuned because the reason I'm doing this exercise so you're hearing from your peers what was the challenge for you and how did you overcome it? Right? What what's your goal? My biggest struggle was sales I can put the wedding but then that after the wedding we were done so I try to do in person sales at that house and that there was always chaos going on and they would I just want to shoot me out the door and they think about it book a package later and then I never hear from them again they steal my images if I put him up on smugmug and then just print off the eight by tens that errol grady so that was my biggest struggle. So that's what pushed us into the studio because I wanna have a space having pictures on the wall I was subleasing a studio before that, so I couldn't have my pictures up on the wall, so I'm excited for you of all the stories that I hear and the people I get to help with their business, all of them are important, but I think your stats are monumental steps because the changes you're making right now you start doing those in person sales, you're going to start team thousands of dollars come in the door that you never had access to before because like you said, people were either stealing your images, posting them online and things like that, which, by the way, for those of you at home that tends to be what happens, we're handing that cd over of images we're afraid of in person sales either we don't know how to do it, we don't understand it, we're not wired that way. We started as weekend warriors, but if you want to make that next logical step, that next transition of being a full time professional meaning this is where you make your income, you have to bring them into the studio. You leaving too much money on the table so that's that's awesome where's sometime a push on spot where some goals for twenty fifteen my goal was the beginning of this course to book twenty weddings and wear it fifteen now, so there's your goal change? I'm maybe much twenty five twenty five that's good that's like that's like another, what twenty twenty five percent growth. That's, that's pretty good. So I think any business in the world at this point would take, like, five, ten percent year over year growth. So you're like, I'm gonna be greedy. At the beginning of the course of a month ago, I was at twenty weddings try fifteen and now you're looking for twenty five and I want everybody to follow your story, so make sure you're constantly telling it whether it's in the shutter fest group or something like that because I really believe in teaching through inspiration. I think if people see that it can be done suddenly, they feel like they can do it. So you've got you've got a great story where? Yeah, eso since then we started totally rebranding the entire studio have a studio space and I do adore in wedding so we just I I took it all apart. I just like completely innovated. Everything is totally different. I redid our website, I redid our packaging. I moved all the studio spaces like really nice looking now before I had, like, new word and stuff in there for whatever reason, that I have no idea our studio, you're showing you still like back in the day I did divorce, I just never moved it out of the studio and it was they looked horrible so I moved everything out sexy like a rabbit it's just all those big bean bags they're awesome because I just got rid of all of it and immediately like the most about like a perception or something because as soon as I did that our sales just like started like going so much higher than what I had before I can be there for a second because I love what you're saying you said the word perception what is it that happened that made you understand or do you think you've figured it out haphazardly? That perception becomes reality that if you want to make money you have to act like somebody who right? Yeah. No, definitely I think it was partly me like I probably felt sort of like hendon by everything. So when I like moved in my space like super sexy and put on my samples up on the wall I think I was just like that's the price is you just take that these are products you should buy him. They look absolutely orjust were you scared of first? Yeah, I wass yeah, I was kind of terrified actually, my assistant is like the common sense person at our studio and she is also my mom and she's just like yeah, I know that's not gonna work like those sounds so does a little be okay like it'll happen and so it has happened, and it happened, like so that we want your mom being like, I told you, I really screwed up on that one, yeah, so but it has happened, right? Yeah, and actually, we're going to a bridal show, I do weddings, too, so we're going to a potential next weekend, and I'm like launching all of our new samples. I did some portfolio building shoots for boudoir and weddings, so we're like we're launching everything, and that is really so I want to pause there because I want to kind of bring a lesson around to that many of you if you're watching this course, and as I've seen on the facebook groups and user groups, everybody has that same problem, by the way, I want to raise my prices, but I'm afraid I'm gonna lose my existing clients. I want to raise my prices, but I'm afraid no one will book me proof positive yet again, she raised the prices. Not only did business come in, people are spending more money and so perception becomes reality. Everyone has money for what they want to have money for. You've heard me say this for years and it's true, you as the consumer have money for whatever you want to have money for, whether it's a new car, a new flat screen tv you want to go on vacation? All you're looking for as business owners are the people who have money for photography and those people are out there that's where the marketing plan comes in that's where all these things come together but if you keep telling yourself it can't be done can't be done you become your own worst enemy and that is the key to all this working the minute you believe it will work it will start working I promise you it is very much that easy if you start using the formula that I've taught over the last thirty days uh s o going back I actually do for the last several years I've done a few holiday boutique shows so I already had those like the next day after I got back so I was just jumping educate everyone wants a holiday I just there's ah there's a few local groups like a mom's group and my husband's company. So a few of these things they just kind of have like vendor fares people are selling their crow shade hats and salad for the holidays people where they're shopping you know and so I went and showed showed my stuff so I had my samples um and and I had a few had a new album on order for in time for one of them, so so when I was at those I did I did a giveaway fill out your name and email and drop it in and let's give away free session what kind of session family families focus on family that's what I that's what I'm focusing on and and so way I did kind of that same facebook ad that we talked about, but in person, you know, because I because I sort of win that's what? I was that's what? I was tossed into you right then, and it was cool, because these people will talk to me that night. They all talk to me and put their name in. So when I was able to email them and say, you're one of our winners, bob loblaw, they knew they knew me. You'd already developing, you know? Yeah. So, I mean, what were the results? How many names you got? Results. I think I collected twenty, twenty, forty. So we're looking at, like, eighty names and and so kind of toss those out there from each one. I heard back from maybe five, two, six people, so fifteen to twenty total. Yeah, and then I I booked solid. So actually did of canvas. Give away for one of them. Okay? And that required them to still pay me the session fee to get that canvas and three of them paid me the session fee like that. Let's do that. That sounds great. So glad I want. Look, yeah. That's great your way. One with your winner. So, so, so authority, like I've already actually shot four of them and done some sales sessions with a couple of them. And then I've got more scheduled for the rest of january. So what are those sales look like? Sell on average, those those sales I've done two of them right now. And those sales ended up eight fifty and three hundred that's. Good. So fine. You know, one this one that let's say you run because you only have two and that'll change, but let's say, it's, you run, you're running a four hundred dollar average. Let's, call it on dh michael, hire michael lower but let's say it's a four hundred dollar average and you push twenty sessions through the door, right? You're looking at about eight thousand dollars that's, good money for doing affair that is just around the holiday time. And so, you know, I hope everybody out there is understanding what we're doing here right now with your peers. You're seeing each one of you actually is a little bit different right on your focus areas and you've taken those principles and applied them in your own unique way, right? But the principle's, the foundations remain the same on your applying them in your own way. And that's that's exciting to see something like that work is normally, if you had told me you were going to one of those fairs, I would've said, I don't I don't see that working so that's really, really good. I'm excited for all of you. Do you have any questions? Or I can keep going share one of the stories that I'm seeing in the chat rooms and give which there several coming in keep those coming in as toe what your successes have been, what you've tried, what either, what challenges you're having or what success is again, this is from, I think, it's geneva simmons is her name, her recent story, she put up the engagement ad and got one hundred and fifty people that applied teo the contest can apology right there, yes, so just in case everyone missed that segment, probably one of the most powerful segments I think was the facebook segment on what I did was I gave you an actual marketing strategy doesn't matter if your family's babies weddings on how to use facebook for minimal investment you've heard some of the stories here you're talking about, like a forty dollar investment, fifty dollar investment and driving riel dollar sale so I want to make sure that we have context behind this story so this she ran our facebook campaign that we taught her exactly and she also said that it was there was information and you're booking more weddings lesson is the one that she spelled right as well okay but she said she got a response out too she sent out a response for about ninety people as winners okay and and she booked fifteen engagement sessions and two weddings while she invested about three hundred dollars and we'll make it back in thousands and then she said because there was a conversation going on yes, I was freaking out because I only had one booking scheduled for january and now I'm booked full through february it works so well I haven't stopped what's her name uh geneva seat simmons geneva's simmons geneva congratulations that is freaking are awesome I got like a little bit of goose bombs hearing that story because I love when I see success from an idea I had you know I can have all the great ideas in the world but I'm your coach right and as your cold you've got to get on the field and execute and geneva did she got on the field executed she spent three hundred dollars and the numbers are just insanity she's going to be looking at a fifteen twenty acts pay back you show me another idea course anything you can spend money on, where I'm literally showing you how to make ten, fifteen, twenty acts, what you invest back into it, it doesn't exist. It almost sounds like an infomercial, right? But here you're having your peers show, you know, this idea works, works in my market, here's, how he did it. So that's, a frickin awesome story, she had one, a job booked for janet has eighteen. Yeah, that's, awesome, dude, I'm excited, that's. Why I asked her name. I want to make sure that she reaches out to me because I want to. I want to hear from her.

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