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The Agenda

Lesson 2 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

2. The Agenda

Next Lesson: Why You Will Fail


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

The Agenda

The first thing we're going to open up with and we're going to cover this today is why you're going to fail as a business owner I'm going to tell you exactly why you're going to fail and this is funny because I shared this story on and a segment I talked about it last night at a college professor and was an english class if I remember correctly on he the course was judging a bell curve and so a lot of colleges depending on the size of the classroom it's usually those intro courses like psychology or english they're all judged on on a bell curve and so the course was judging about carpets before mid terms all of us had our kind of we've been taking quizzes and things like that we walk in for the pre midterm class and the professor has all the answers on the board all the answers were on the board, he said. Here's the answers for your midterm half the class starts losing their mind right? Because if you're sitting with an a or a b and all of a sudden everybody scores an a on that midterm...

exam that everybody having in a becomes average, it becomes a bee, right? So if you don't know how bell curves work that's pretty much how they work so everybody kind of starts losing their mind in the course professor doesn't really say anything he just lets it be ok. If we come in, everybody takes exam and here were the answers is going to be five questions on your midterm. The first question the answer is on page seventy seven, seventy eight that's all he told us and tell us what the question was and tell us any of that stuff. But he told us where the answer was gonna be to whatever that first question is going to be paid. Seventy seven, seventy eight if you've ever been in college or oh, I had to study for a big exam knowing that the answer is going to come from within two pages. I just saved you from reading right chapter upon chapter of useless information. You now know exactly where that answer's coming from. So question one seventy seven, seventy eight. Question to two hundred two two o five. So we now heard everything down. It comes in, they take the midterm, we coming after the midterm, he puts the grades up on the board, shows the curve. Most of you would would probably sit there and think everyone scored and the whole curve shifted. Nope. The curve only moved by two points, okay? Meaning it only shifted to points people still felt this exam, and so this was a life lesson for me. The professor said he went back and he said all you guys lost your minds he goes here's a life lesson one on one the people who are gonna be in six who were going to be successful in life are going to succeed no matter what and the people who are going to fail are going to fail whether they have the answers or not is that you? Is that you out there watching right now are you that person who is going to fail even though I'm sitting here right now giving you all the answers that's on you I'm bringing to the water I can't make you drink I'm showing you this is the way to do it this is the path to success if you continue to resist by not doing it or even worse telling me that'll never work in my market if that's your answer and you're sitting there right now you're on your path to failure enjoy that journey I can't go there with you I'm not going on the journey to failure there's only one path I want to be on it's the path to success I want to succeed at all costs that's my number one mission in life I don't want to fail I'm super competitive I don't care what it is man well I mean we could we could be working at clearing our plate first I mean if anyone who's been around the nose I will find a way to compete at just about anything that's who I am uh keeps me motivated so we're gonna talk about why you're gonna fail we're gonna talk about the world of photography and how it's changes will impact you unbelievable changes just in the last year and a half to two years on the demographics your bride's there trends what they're looking for the average amount spent on wedding all that stuff is happening right now before our very eyes it's incredible to watch we're gonna talk about understanding your clients if there's one consistent theme through this entire course it's understanding your clients who they are who is your client if you pre registered for the course you've got that doc that five page or are five ways to connect with your client and understand who your client is start paying attention to that and so ultimately if we don't understand who our client is, how cooling market to them correctly because your client is not somebody everybody who's getting married just because you're getting married doesn't make you my client just because you want family portrait doesn't make you my client just because you're having you have a baby doesn't make you my clients I don't connect with that person because really everything we do is tied to that our logo our branding our website has to be honed in to who our client is we're gonna talk about legal issues this is something that I don't know why people continue to ignore it but we're gonna dive heavier into contracts model releases copyright we're going to talk about some real world situations that have happened to me here recently where we've had to enforce our copyright thes air the kind of things we've got to pay attention to in our business what do you going to do when your bride steals your pictures takes him off facebook prince summoned has him at the thie reception they take their engagement pictures seal dzemal facebook prints them you walk into the reception and there there I literally just had that happen we're going to talk to you about how we dealt with that um what about what about shooting and sharing for shooting and selling this is a hot topic wherever you go right? We blame the shooting burners you know I would think we would burn them at the stake if possible that's how photographers feel they get all worked up about the new group on for forty nine dollars in the hand over a cd yes, I agree problematic but not for the reasons you might think and so what we're gonna do is I have if I have empathy for any group it's the people who were just handing over a cd I really do because I feel like they're leaving so much money on the table that is not a business model you are almost guaranteed to go out of business if that's what you're doing and anybody out there advocating that you can operate your business just by shooting and handing over cd is probably not somebody who's running a real studio. You have to offer certain products to your clients and in the wedding world, let's. Just call it a wedding album, it's that simple. You can't just hand over a thumb drive of images and think you're going to stay in business. It's not it's, just not possible if you want to stay a weekend warrior for the rest of your life. Yeah, absolutely. But you can only saw our charge so much for that cd for that thumb drive we only charge so much is only so much value there, right? We have to start offering things that carrying more value. We're gonna talk about pricing and it's not what you think pricing is. One of this is the part where it's like the missing manual pricing you've heard me talk about over and over and over again and every single time when we get enterprising and somebody comes to me, I swear to you, I have people come to me from all over the country, they'll spend two or three days in our studio. Doing a reboot of their business pricing always comes up we put pricing out and they're like salome doing everything you're telling me to do and then I start going through pricing and I immediately find the problem with why people are not in the package that they're supposed to be into so let's come back to this if you followed our pricing model but you're finding that clients are not ending up where you want them to end up you're doing something wrong it's that simple we're gonna dive into what it is you're what I believe you're doing wrong because it's the same siri's of mistakes that I've seen from people we're gonna talk about the new world of seo google has changed things we are still to this day number two and three when you google go do it st louis wedding photographer st louis wedding photography we still come up two and three on google how is that possible? Because we're adapting things are changing and so it's free referrals man if I can get five referrals just a month from the internet that's worth it to me because they're free referrals first going to a bridal show versed going in handing out flyers so seo cannot be ignored where is your website showing on seo so if you go to your local market and you're like city wedding photographer, city senior photographer whatever your city is okay where you coming up if you're on page four and five and six or non existent even worse pay attention because that's what we're going in depth on in this segment then we're going to dig into just social media in general that's why I'm telling you guys to follow us on online social media in general how are we using facebook? This is the part I'm telling you we could probably talk to michael here a little bit I'm not gonna tell you exactly what we did, but we've given you ideas five ideas that you can put into practice immediately using social media on dh so do you want I want I want michael to talk a little about it so michael you don't give away what it is yeah right way to tell him but then we'd have to kill everybody is watching and so we talked a little bit about that strategy tell me what you did you walked away from the course yeah immediately first thing I did after we got out of one of the sessions I went home got on my computer said okay, this is what I'm doing we talked about this in the session threw it up on facebook got over forty hits on it within two days in two days and so I want to let you know when he's saying forty hits it's not forty kliks to his website forty leads he got forty leads on a facebook ad how much did you spend on the facebook at did five dollars a day so not much at all so ten dollars right? Two days ten dollars he got forty leads so if if you I don't know what else I got to show you to get it through your head that this course is going to change the world right there he spent he spent ten dollars got forty leads names, email addresses off clients for his business based on that it's on it's unheard of michael where can people connect with you so they could find out more about how you did that? Absolutely. My website is picture michael anthony dot com on you confined man instagram michael takes pics px I just I just want to give a shout out to this group here sal because they have done the program they have already been putting it into work and the fact that just like you said one thing makes it worth the whole you know, being here and being part of the program for that's just one of the days yeah it's just one of the one hour segments and it is true you know, when we when we pushed out for this course we were talking about you know who wants to be in the studio audience and it was crazy the producer of the show were like we're seeing a level of interest in your course that we've never seen with other courses because we had you know, somewhere in the neighborhood of like ninety two hundred people want to be in this studio on and so thank you all of you not only for being here but for paying attention to what we're talking about right? I don't want people in my audience who were just here to be like I'm uncreative life it's amazing ah that's not what I'm looking for right I want to change your lives change your businesses on so it's been awesome just watching you guys just in this kind of like five six seven day window flourish just on these these tips so let's keep going we're gonna talk about using instagram and pinterest I'm going to share with you some stats about instagram that are going to blow your mind right now if you're not using instagram you need to get on instagram I'm going to show you stats that are absolutely gonna blow your mind as to why you have to be there uh we're going to talk about building a better portfolio to attract the right clients how are you going to track the right clients into your business? We're gonna spend time talking about who that damn client is who is it that I'm targeting but then more importantly how do I get to them how do we get to that? That client that's actually more important, right? Once you understand who they are, it's equally is important I should say on how how we connect with them so we're gonna talk about showing the right pictures, but again how to build that portfolio to show them because this year for me has been a year of reinvention. I wanted to make sure that twenty fourteen I was reinvesting back into my own portfolio, working hard and doing well that print competition, working hard at, you know, taking my work to that next level, I don't want to get stale, that's the worst thing that can happen to any business if you've been in business for five, six, seven years you're you're going, you're looking down down the barrel of a gun at this point because all these competitors air coming into your marketplace and their eroding your market share. How do you how do you plan on continuing to compete with them? And so now we're going to talk about developing vendor relationships and a ton of ideas on how to develop those relationships all new stuff that we're talking about for youto go immediately and start building those relationships only show you the tools we're using to do it, we're going to talk about how to get more publicity for your business, how do you do it? You go do something great you're online, you're you're doing a photo shoot maybe you'll get lucky and you do a cover of a photo shoot maybe you get lucky you're here creative live or you doing press release? What are you doing? Anything to promote your business? Who are you telling? How do you tell them? How do you get the word out there that you are different than everyone else that's the key? Uh then we're going teo dig five real time ideas for booking more portrait we're going to so I did tell you when we started this course I'm already thinking about twenty fifteen okay, but I realize some of you there's still sixty days left right to a certain extend my forty five days left in this year and you don't want to give up just yet, right? So I'm giving you ideas that you can actually implement in the next seven days. You can walk away from that segment of the course and in the next seven days just like michael hot, you can have your phone starts ringing with money coming in real money, not fifty dollars sessions money where you've got thousands of dollars coming in before the end of the year I don't know anybody out there, including myself that wouldn't be okay with another three to five thousand dollars coming in in the next thirty days I would love for that money to come in when it's this time of year december, january february it doesn't matter how busy you are unless you're in a different part of the world our country but where I'm at business dies it's holiday season it's cold in st louis there's not a lot of weddings going on so anything I can do to get my phone ringing during that period of time just to bring in a couple extra thousand dollars does mia really big service because it's helping keep the lights on that's kind of how I see things and when do we spend the most money is for tarver's I spend the most money december january february its trade show season right so we got all sorts of trade shows going on so you go when you see your new toys and you gotta have him right? We've got bridal show season so bridal shows air there well, now we gotta reinvest into sample albums paying for the bridal show to book business for twenty fifteen I need money I need something coming in we're gonna talk about real time ideas to get you going that's just the first line that's a full normal creative life course right there but wait there's more alright we're gonna talk about five real time ideas to book more weddings so that's the other thing I want to do is if you are already booking weddings, what a real time ideas beyond bridal shows beyond all the things we've already talked about in our boot camp, what are some real time ideas that we can walk away and start doing now understanding the initial sales consultation? And so as our business has grown, so too has our sales consultation process, how we're selling face to face with our clients and adapting to the changing world more more of our clients are not here with us. We got to deal with them over skype, we got to deal with them in different ways. We're gonna talk about that as well. Understanding the, uh, I'm sorry thie engagement, shoot and shooting to make money. So I'm actually going to show you an entire engagement session, okay? So all too often, all of us speakers, I think you're guilty of this. And as for tigers, we are two really do we show you every single picture that comes off our camera? There's really? No reason to. We're gonna show you the best of the best, right? That's good, but that doesn't really help you. You've heard me talk about tight mentawai type metal y and then I've got all of you and you come to my workshops and I watch you and you're not shooting type metal why'd you think you are, but you're not really and so we're gonna go through sessions one of my sessions a real engagement session, a real sale tied to it so that you can see really what we're doing in our world over in st louis howe we're shooting how we're delivering and you're gonna see it's not rocket science it's really refreshing? I think you guys enjoyed seeing behind the scenes off here's what we do and you're like yeah there's two or three statement images and then the rest are just good photographs that's it right? Everyone can't be a signature edit that we make uh it doesn't come off my camera that way it's it's just not possible we're gonna talk about engagement pricing in sales you're going to see my sales sheet we're going to go into the actual sale how to present it things we do what products were offering that's the other place I see a lot of you struggling you're not offering the right products if you don't offer the right product again, how are you differentiating yourself from your from your client the two next subject's here? I think a really, really powerful one destination shoots how are we running destination shoots? Meaning I've got clients all the time they're from st louis getting married in another city, getting married in hawaii, getting married in ireland, getting married in chicago. How do we do that? How do we run that? How do we track them? How do we let them know what we're doing? Uh, what about clients who want to do their engagement pictures in another city? So we're gonna talk about it just came back from from new york, and I done an engagement session of a st louis couple flew up to new york, we did their pictures, their first of all, an amazing experience for them great sale from them. Why? Because they're flying to another city. So how do we run that? How do we who pays for travel who's paying for ah hotel? How do we how do we handle all those variables that flip into it? We're gonna cover that on then the second part to this he's working with and training your second shooter's that's actually really, really powerful. If you you're going to see the difference between having just some random person that's helping you on a job verse, having someone that's been trained properly, this is probably one of the most important facets of my business growing because my second shooter is there to compliment my my work and if you don't have a second shooter who's complimenting your style in the right place using the right glass, this is going to be problematic for business, and we're going to cover that and I'm going to show you pictures you're going to actually see the same scene. This is something we've never done. You're going to see the same scene, they're going to see the same scene pictures coming off my second shooter, and if I didn't tell you they were coming from my second shooter, you'd be hard pressed to know that they weren't being shot by the primary photographer that's powerful that's how it should look not look like it came off some random snapshot that's what? I see a lot of second shooters, they get back from a job on lei. You know, if this is what's happening to you, they get back from a job. You look through the images and they looked like snapshots, he's there at the wrong angle, the clients not looking at them, we're going to fix that were to show you how to deal with that. Uh, we're talking about growing an alternate brand. Maybe as you grow your business, you want to start a sub studio? Right for the lower part of the market we're going to talk about that. How do I start a sub brand so I have salvatore cincotti photography what if I wanted to start something called studio c it's a lower and brand right the average wedding frost spain eight to twelve thousand dollars depending on obviously what they're getting in that price range. What about the two thousand dollar wedding? I'm losing those right? So what? What do I start a sub brand that can handle all those lower and weddings but not work with salvador psychotic might work with one of my senior shooters things like that I'm gonna give you the blueprint to doing all that we're going to go into the wedding day timeline. This is yet like I said, they should have been called the missing manual. This is something else where when I'm dealing with photographers there like sal, I can't get the time I need to do the pictures I want because you're not running the timeline right? We're going to show you the timeline and we're gonna walk through the timeline, but most importantly, we're going to talk about howto have the conversation with your client how to deal with it when she's objecting to the time line we're gonna have that entire conversation we're gonna talk about managing the actual wedding day what's my shot list looked like I'm gonna show you what I go into a room and mentally have to accomplish and again I'm going to show you behind the scenes I'm gonna show you an entire wedding that we've shot shot by shot so you understand? Yeah here's what he's doing here is why he's doing it it doesn't mean every shot I take he's gonna be blown up on the walls of thirty by forty right there's only gonna be one, two three of those from a wedding day but these are the images we have to capture to tell the story of the day so we can sit here and go oh, I got a shot list together south I need a shot of the dress got brilliant captain, of course you need a shot of the dress, but what does that shot of the dress need to look like? We're going to go over that. That was a big thing when I was coming up and I was learning I'd get a book I was so hungry to learn about wedding photography and I'd get a book. It was like here's the must have shots and it was just like text, text, text, tax, tax tax to pages of text, right? What do you do? Walk into a wedding day and you're like, okay jude shot of the dress and take it no there's a way to take that picture of the dress there's a way to take the picture of the shoes there's a way to take a picture of the jewels jewelry so that people want that in their album want that on their wall when you talk about post wedding sales and postproduction so I'm gonna show you real workflow you know, I know I'm not known a lot for doing photo shop work but believe it or not I'm a pretty good editor and so I'm gonna show you down and dirty where you sh should be spending your time on editing I mean anything is this is this thing it's like this this dirty four letter word do I outsource the y in source so I'd do it myself what should I be working on and all too often it's retired furs we sit there and we obsess about the most ridiculous things were all guilty of it including myself we will sit there and look at an image and it's like no, it needs a little bit more magenta needs a little bit less green okay look at the end of the day you know who doesn't know your client? Your client cannot tell the difference on ly weekend because we're artists and were neurotic but at the end of the day there's a cost there the more time you spend obsessing about things that don't matter to anyone it's time lost in marketing it's time lost in advertising it's time lost in shooting that's where your time has to be spent not obsessing about these ridiculous things doesn't look better and I see it all the time in the forms you guys will take one picture and you'll edit it five different ways and then you'll post it upto a form for feedback. What is wrong with you? Who cares what your peers think? They're not paying the damn bills? Worry about what your clients actually think those air, the one spending the money and they don't need to see an image in black and why see pia hdr d sat for crying out loud man just pick a style and go with it. We're gonna talk about all that. We could talk about wedding albums, their importance, man, if you've heard me talk about wedding albums, you know how passionate I am about this, like let's, just get albums in our client's hand, anything less is an incomplete service saying for senior scene for for families, they want that product in their in their hands they want to do that, they want to showcase this on their living room table, you know what they don't want to put here on the living room table, a thumb drive. You're never going to walk into a home and see just a cd hanging from a fishing wire on there unless they're trying to scare away owls or something, right? That's the only way you'll see it, you're never going to see that hanging on the wall. We've got to give them the product that they're looking for. I think they gave me too much coffee this morning. I'm pretty wired up. I don't know why I shouldn't be because I should be exhausted, but I think they get too much coffee, we're going to talk, you have to take responsibility for that yourself. Yeah, that's, right? I can't blame anyone but myself it's on me that's my problem? All right, then we're going to dig into in the last few days things that are going to bring this all together, we're going to dig into not customer service. We're going to dig into ways to not suck at customer service. Customer service is just this word that's thrown out there all the time. Men gotta give good customer service got to give good customer service. No, you just need to not suck it customer service and I'm going to show you ways, ria world, where we have stocked at customer service, where you guys have socked in customer service and ways for to get better and that's what it's all about, we've gotta have this continuous improvement on there's just things that matter to clients and things that don't matter to clients it's just certain things they don't care about and then there's areas where if you've ever seen like a client, go bonkers in social media, I'm gonna tell you how to avoid that ever happening. So if you've had this happen to you where your clients tear you up in a social way, whether it's on the not whether it's on google reviews or whatever the case may be, how do you deal with that what you're gonna do when that happens? You because at some point in your business, it will we're gonna talk about packaging and final delivery. We're going taking the video video something new man well it's not new it's new for me, it's new for us, we have to be the creative directors of the day we have to be the storytellers off the day and that's where we're going, we're going to dig in on show you what we're working on, why we're working on it. Why I believe this is truly the future off this industry whether you want to hear it or not this is where the industry is going we're then going to jump into just lessons learned what mistakes I've made over the last eight years we all have mistakes, and so for me to stand up here and tell you I have been perfect for the last eight years would be just a straight up lie. We have made many, many mistakes, but every time I make a mistake, I learned from it. And if you guys can learn one thing right this entire month, two things this entire month, success is mine, and if you can learn from where I have failed also success his mind, that's, what you should be looking to do and then we're going to do is we're gonna come back on live and wrap and just talk about the journey of you. Where do you go now? If you've been following of the thirty days and you're going through that workbook and you're writing all this down, you're gonna end with I'm telling you one hundred, one hundred fifty pages of notes this is this is going to be overwhelming for you. I want to bring it all together and show you how to take that step and make twenty fifteen a blow out year for you, your business, your family! Wow!

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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