Skip to main content

Why You Will Fail

Lesson 3 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

3. 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

Why You Will Fail

Let's dive into quite simply why you will fail uh the odds as entrepreneurs the odds are stacked against us believe it or not there there's there was a university of tennessee study okay they went out there and they looked at at businesses so they looked at business metrics they work with small business association so they got data from all over all over the country the statistics are should be horrifying for you they should be just nauseated toe look out when you think about the money you're investing into your business and how much risk you're absorbing as an entrepreneur so forty percent of all businesses will fail in the first two years here's what I want you to know wherever you are home I want you think mentally where you and your business are in your first two years are you in three to five? Are you in six plus years and business take take kind of inventory of where you are in your business for a second because these numbers are staggering and you need to take him on a heart for...

ty percent of all businesses will fail in the first two years fifty five percent of all businesses will fail in the first five years fifty five percent half the businesses that start this isn't photography by the way this is all businesses half the businesses that starting five years will be out of business it's crazy seventy one percent of all businesses will fail in the first ten years. Seven of ten businesses will fail. That scares the crap out of me. I'm in business, I'm going on eight, nine years now, seeing this number haunts me. So that means off the companies that started around when I did. I'm now in the twenty nine percent that I'm still in business, right? That means we're doing something right, but the minute I get comfortable the minute I get confident, cocky, arrogant, whatever word you want to plug in there, that's when I start this vicious spiral downward so you want to talk about fire in your belly, you want to talk about being motivated? I don't want to be a statistic not on that side of it. I don't want to go out of business because I got lazy because I got sloppy because I wasn't paying attention to detail, so every day I wake up, I want to be better than the last I want to keep growing. Your business is either growing or it's dying, there is really no neutrality, so you've got to figure out how do I continue to grow my business? What we need to don't do different this year than I did last year, what we need to do to outmaneuver my competitors, competitors are everywhere. Get it, get it! Just get it out of your head that we're ever gonna wake up and I'm going to suddenly be the on ly photographer in o'fallon, illinois I'm gonna be the only photographer in new york city. Competition is good it's healthy, but you've got embrace it. Don't be afraid of it embrace it. Keep this in the back your head. This is crazy though they did this entire study and the reason that these businesses fail forty six percent incompetence, incompetence it means you don't know what the hell you're doing. It means somebody told you oh, my god! You took two pictures in your baby. You should be a photographer. Yeah, that doesn't mean you're a business owner. It just means you know how to operate a camera and don't get me wrong. I am not hating on newbies that's part of my message I think everyone everyone should enjoy photography. Photography is an amazing thing. We get to express ourselves, we get to document moments but not everyone should be a professional photographer. You understand the difference. Everybody should enjoy photography. Not everyone should be a professional photographer. I love my mom to death she's deadly with her iphone, but she should not be a professional photographer she should enjoy for tired feet you with me gas at weddings guess that weddings should enjoy photography have at it take all the iphone pictures you want I am the professional photographer you with me that's the that's the difference but it gets even better they dig into it even more than okay half the people who failed it's because of incompetence off that incompetence specifically emotional pricing did I tell you this had nothing to do with photography this has nothing to do with photography this's all businesses yet photographers we are notorious for not knowing how to price our goods and it's telling you that's the number one reason you're going to go out of business I just gave you the answers to the test and it reads up top stop being stupid right that's what it reads stopping stupid learned how to price your work it's that simple and forty nine dollars for a cd is not smart that is dumb it doesn't work you're going to go out of business we're telling you hear the small business association is telling you this is going to lead to your demise okay and so when you realize that it's tied to emotional pricing that sounds like for tarver's I just want everybody to love me I want everybody to have their work I'm really not good at sales and the answers and the excuses go on and on and on this is the reason you're going to fail not because south said so right? This is statistical data we're looking at, it gets even better non payment of taxes it's wrapped up in that why? Because we're not business people we're artists will have to pay taxes shit's overrated, right? I'm just a weekend warrior nobody's going to know? Okay, good luck with that. No knowledge of pricing tied to emotional pricing we don't understand pricing it's the number one area I see photographer struggle with how much should I charge? What should my price point b when do I raise prices? These are all valid questions, but if we don't have the answers to these questions, we run the risk of being at another statistic lack of planning, no knowledge of financing no experience in record keeping are you catching on there's? Nothing here that says the reason they went out of business is because they didn't know how to make cupcakes nobody went out of business because they didn't know how to take a picture that's not why they're going out of business it's not technically related it's business business acumen is the number one reason and it's the same for everybody almost everybody I know sole proprietor who started a business, they start this business as a sole proprietor because of a passion right? If you love to paint suddenly you should start a business where your painting if you love to be to take pictures suddenly you're starting a business to take pictures if you love kids suddenly you're a baby sitter I don't know like it's great but you gotta have the business took to follow it and what you're gonna find through this course you're not gonna have any love loss for me it's going to be ninety percent of what you do is business related ten percent is photography that's reality and that's the part I'm gonna thump you one the head over and over again through this entire course and so in this questions about this everybody feel good I want to talk about disruptors for a second in understanding is and what we're doing here is we're laying the foundation for everything that we're going to talk about disruptors it's a process that occurs over time some of you may or may not know what this what a disruptor is when it comes to business and I'm gonna kind of like a stair step in for you it's targeting your business their disruptors right now today that are targeting your business it's devastating to your business disruptors can be devastating to your business but most importantly it's foreseeable you can predict the disrupter and so let's go to the real world real world how many of you remember an eight track tape? We all remember the eight track tape people at home right now probably going what's any track tape if you're young younger than probably thirty maybe thirty five you're not going to really know what an eight track tape is. Okay? We're showing our age here when when we raise our hand and we know what it is eight track tape is this thing who knows how big was it was like this big and he would slide it into your my dad's car and that's how you would listen to music and was tape I would actually go through there's this big clunky thing you'd opened them you know, I still remember we'd open the glove box and be like these eight track tapes everywhere that you would punch in that was music and then what came that replace that the cassette tape the cassette tape was a disrupter off the eight track so if you were an eight track tape manufacturer and you didn't see the writing on the wall and you didn't adapt to the changing market that that cassette tape put out of business you were done what disrupted the cassette tape the cd just guys who got it the cd disrupts the cassette tape okay, what disrupts the cd mp three players ipods, iphones what's going to disrupt the mp three no, not mp for that's video that's good it seems logical right would be the next logical thing and then it's empty five um totally everybody knows it what would what's going to disrupt it? Streaming music so streaming music is now going to disrupt the need for mp three players to a certain extent and in the future something else will disrupt that that is a disrupter, ok, most people can't figure this out because they just keep getting stuck in doing what we do every single day we're talking businessman, we're not talking for tower v. We're talking business, and so look at it now apply to our industry, your kodak you're producing film. What was a disrupter to that digital and they missed it. Kodak missed the boat. Big time nobody's going to dispute that they missed the boat. This digital thing was a fad that anything that was coming some companies can pit. Okay. True story. I used to work in microsoft. Noah. No hidden knowledge. Er, what was a disrupter at microsoft? This internet thing popped up. Okay, do you know microsoft was actually one of the last companies to move on the internet? I don't know how many people remember this when the internet first happened, if you will, right? Um, when the internet first happened, the browser was netscape and you actually had to buy the browser. I don't know if anybody remembers that you'd go to the store and you buy the browser and was forty nine dollars and netscape had this massive market share on internet access and browsers okay they were the only ones who had it at the time or at least they were the dominant player and in one day microsoft wakes up and they go holy crap this is a disrupter this is actually going to change the face of computing and then microsoft goes yeah we'll offer it for free they create internet explorer doesn't matter what you think in your next bore not they created for free they drop it on the on the computer netscape's done out of business because they didn't innovate they didn't think what happens if somebody comes along and offers something for free they missed it and now because of that right there gone microsoft still here love or hate him they're still here we have to start thinking that way about our business I would make the argument that shooting burners could be that disruptive for our industry okay but I think it goes it goes bigger than that what do you think the disrupter might be for our business just a word yeah I was just a iphones or just that everyone has a camera with him iphones somebody's always got a camera with him let's keep talking through it what do you think and at home I want you right in the chat room what you think disrupters would be one word good enough good enough keep going video instant photos and they also want take a guess okay, chat room. We got anything kind of cool in their their big saying, there's that little delay south so they'll start coming in. All right, internet. We're waiting for you right now. I'm kind of holding me off and trying to go catch up you're disrupting my flow. All right, I'm gonna keep going if something good comes lemke photographer everyone is a photographer. Everyone's if it's all the same things yeah, if it's one thing I've learned a good photographer is subjectivity of the client so clients wants and needs this is perfect. I'm gonna give it to one answer. Indifference that's the disrupter it's good enough. I think jonathan was the one who said it. It's good enough. Today the clients do not know the difference between too much magenta and too much green. They do not understand hdr. They do not understand off camera lighting. They wouldn't know if you let them with a frickin flashlight. They do not understand this. They are indifferent. They're all about instagram pictures and facebook pictures and living in the moment in the here and now. And so the biggest disrupter to us in our business is indifference that's the number one disrupter its indifference, and if you don't overcome that level of indifference, you're done. We're all done because we have no way of differentiating ourselves from our competitors because people are gonna go it's just a picture it's good enough somewhere on the internet said the difference between a good for tire for an average doctorates objective yes it is one hundred percent subjective now yes us as artists we can go there and look at me like that that's no good I'll look at the posing look at the way her arm is laying oh it's making it look heavy writing all these technical terms to make us feel better about who we are as artists but if your business isn't growing it's your fault because the client sees no perceivable difference that is the number one disrupter to my business right now and we're going to talk about how to overcome those things. Is this making sense everybody out there it's making sense to you guys so how do we reset that if we all agree and buy into that the number one difference is indifference okay? We're the number one destructor I should say is indifference how did we do something about it? Do we just stand back and go screw it? That's kind of what kodak did didn't work out for him so I'm not going to stand back I want to control my own destiny if I'm going to fail I'm going to fail on my terms if I'm going to succeed, I'm going to do it by doing things my way and so here's what I believe we have to do to be successful we have to reset expectations with the clients always reset expectations let me tell you a story and I'm gonna talk technical for a second don't get bored when I was at microsoft we had competitors to write microsoft has competitors that you can call him you call it oracle pick a company they've got a competitive okay, so now you walk in and you're going into a sales meeting at microsoft and I'm going into the ceo's office and I'm trying to convince him why he needs this thermos this watermark here's why you needed a silver got a black capped beautiful on the water comes out say what it comes out amazingly well, you really like it's refreshing you need this okay? And that ceo was going to say something to me like yeah, but you know what? I don't like silver shit I didn't practice for that one. What do I do? Right you start panicking. Well, I need to top that snaps off, not screws off oh, boy, here we go. I'm screwed I got to screw off cap it's not gonna work right? I want digital negatives are you making the connection here you walk in, you sit down with a client they go. I need digital negatives. I need that chinese thing. You get me. You know, the cd, that shiny thing. We're gonna hang that on our wall. It's going to be really nice. I need that. How do you deal with that? If you just say no, we don't offer that right? You're you're screwed. It's over game over. You start panicking, you start introverted. You don't know what you're saying. You start rambling. Ah, what it's out tell me saying meant meant they'll melt down. You don't know what to do, right? You start panicking. That's not what I'm telling you do. We've got to reset expectations. We gotta explain to them why what we're offering is better than a cd. I gotta explain to that ceo why this thermos is better then the thermostat he thinks he wants. And why does he think he wants this? And I hope I'm not losing everyone in this analogy make the connection to what our clients are doing. Why does my client think they need a seeding? Because they read it in martha stewart or there was some block post that said top five things you should tell your photographer to do number one, tell you retire for what pictures to take. And now we get these beautiful shot list that come off pinterest and our brides wanted to take all these these shots that they saw on pinchers I won't even take that cheat by the way right? They side that over to me at the initial consultation I slide it right back basically saying, hey, you're hiring me to do this I can't do that you gotta you gotta let me do my thing why you hired me but why do they want that cd? We have to reset those expectations so the first thing I recommend we do is so tell me a little bit about what you're looking for a photographer in the first question I have when I'm sitting in a consultation what you looking for? That conversation immediately takes control I'm now driving the conversation I'm now becoming the trusted advisor versus here's our pricing here's how expensive everything is two thousand dollars it comes with a cd everything everything on it everything you could ever need it's beautiful we'll come to your house will cook dinner for you it's free it's one of our services we do it right that's not what we can do what you have just asked him the question point blank what you looking for a photographer if they say to you right then and there while we're just looking for a cd of images what do you do you panic you say? Well, it's not my client. How do you have that conversation? You've got to reset the discussion. You've gotta offer up the value proposition. What is the difference between your product or service and your competitors? That is your value proposition again. We're having business one on one conversation, not photography conversation. What is the value statement of your business? What makes you different? What makes you unique? Only, you know, the answer. And by the way, all of us are different. Every single one of us in this room should have a different value proposition. If you're just gonna try and copy whatever I would say that's not gonna do you any good, because you're not gonna be able to deliver it the way I would deliver it. So what is it that makes you unique? You know, when I look back internally to me and taylor, the way we run our business, if I'm sitting in a sales meeting, I'm having a completely different conversation than she is, right? My personality is very much a type a personality. I will have a conversation with anyone about anything anywhere, right? I can come across his abrasive. Sometimes taylor is gonna have a completely different conversation, she's more reserved, more quiet, she'll actually use that to her advantage against me. She will say in a sales meeting with me sitting right there should be like, listen he's a loud mouth new yorker I'm going to be a fly on the wall I'm going to sit in a corner and I'm gonna document your day as an unfolds some people I love the thought of that that doesn't offend me I'm not for everyone right every everybody can't love you it's okay, but I know that and so we kind of yin and yang this thing I let her go out of her way and I'm going to go out of my way that's part of the value proposition we have are you looking to create artwork for your home? Not to me is how I reset expectations, so when somebody's telling me what they're looking for a photographer if they haven't already said it, I'm going to jump into that and say, are you looking for artwork in your home? And then I'm gonna point to my walls and say here's what we do and I showed them shots that are on my wall. My goal out of your wedding day is to get you one signature shot I want to tell the story of your day in one shot it's an interesting conversation now with the client because it forces them to rethink what they're looking for prior to that they thought they were just looking for a photographer I'm trying to get them to start thinking about they're looking for an artist. They're looking for a creative director. They're looking for someone who's going to give them that artwork for their home. I'm trying to reset expectations. I'm gonna talk about the album. This is your first family heirloom guys, this is the one thing you're going to take away from your day. So when your wedding day's over and the band closes up in you and you poop out all the food that you ate and the m and m's are gone and the chair covers poop, is that the problem said poop it's reality man right? They're going to pay all this money for food and it's gone in twenty four hours and they're gonna spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on something that is gone. I'm just having a real conversation with them guys, I'm gonna give you something you're gonna have forever I'm gonna give you something your grandchildren are gonna look at on the walls. It's a reality check for them it's a moment for them to go. Yeah. Do I really need to have filet mignon? Do I really need to have a filet mignon chicken and salmon? Can we make cuts someplace else? If photography is important to him they will, but if no one's willing to have that conversation with him they never think twice about it. They're only going to go off what they're reading online on the nod or martha stewart. I don't want that. I want to control my own destiny. We're gonna talk about the value of the engagement session with him. What are you looking for? Out of your engagement session? Guys, I want to give you some diversity. I want you to have pictures from not only your your wedding day in your dress in tuxedo. But I want you to have pictures someplace else in your normal clothes so that everything on your wall doesn't look the same. I told you earlier on it just came back from new york city. We came back from new york city, and we we didn't engagement couple up there, they came in from st louis. That particular couple came in because they wanted something different from their day. So now they're gonna have engagement pictures from new york wedding pictures from st louis that's my value proposition. And we'll talk about how we run that how we sell it. We charge for it, but that's my value proposition. When I start having that conversation during the initial consultation, I stand out from the crowd immediately immediately stand out from the crowd. We're talking about you gotta reset using your post production you have to create artwork look and today artwork it's got you've got to work on the image it can't be just what comes out of camera I'm all for this purest mentality but here's the challenge you're fighting an uphill battle you're fighting people who are taking pictures on instagram and one touch filtering their images to get something they believe looks amazing we might look at that and be like uh all the blacks are crushed you can't even see the shadows all the shadow details are gone no one cares literally no one cares but us and I'm not saying we should stop caring I'm just saying we have to understand the landscape that we're living in right now and so we've gotta work hard at our post production scales and if you can't do it yourself, you need to offload it to someone who can but you've got to be able to produce that signature level at it for your clients we're going to talk with him about what to expect so this is all happening in that initial consultation they haven't even signed with me yet, so at this point they've not signed with me but I'm establishing myself as the expert in all this, so now what I'm doing is I'm walking through their timeline I'm telling them here's how your wedding day should flow what time is your ceremony? Oh, it's at one o'clock we'll typically we like to start shooting three hours before here's. Why we're going to cover that in the timeline sag here's why you you want to do that? What time is your reception? Are you gonna allow enough time for pictures? I'm having that conversation with them. Have you ever booked a wedding where the ceremony's at like four cocktail hour starts at five wins your time for pictures or anything like that? Where it is crazy timeline if you're waiting until three months before the wedding to have this conversation you've already lost I'm having that conversation literally a year before the wedding and establishing myself I'm resetting expectations and I'm establishing myself is that expert with my bride and groom makes sense? They're very good, very good alright very declared it, we're not we're not having a whole lot of interaction at this point. Here's what I need you to focus on as business owners focus on the things that matter, do you know what matters in your business revenue revenue matters? Making damn money matters marketing matters advertising matters focus on those things don't focus on things that don't matter it's noise you're going to find that there is a lot of noise in the world around you that noise could be kids sorry that noise khun b the tv that noise can be dogs that noise khun b facebook that noise can come in many forms in fashions tune out the noise you've got to invest in your business you've gotta invest in learning you've gotta invest in growing anything else that's distracting from that or detracting from that is just noise and you've got to cut it out all of us are distracted very very easily including myself man sometimes I try and get work done and I'm sitting there and like two hours will go by and literally nothing's done it's taking me away from the task at hand I've got to focus on those things that matter and look at the end of the day here's what I believe when we talk about focusing on the things that matter certifications don't matter I know nobody wants to hear that I know my friends if the people don't want to hear that I don't believe in certification mind you I'm going to preface that with understanding that I came from the world of microsoft where certifications did matter I had my microsoft certified database administrator certification on my microsoft certified developer certification took me years upon years to get it but here's why it matters my employers told me it mattered because I made thirty percent more twenty percent more because I had my certification can any of you honestly tell me that you're booking or not booking weddings because of that certification no, I'm a master craftsman. Whatever certification have from the people that I've never had a single bright in my life ask me about not one doesn't care if it's good enough and that becomes part of the problem. We have to understand that now. Do I look forward to a day when it does matter? Yes, I would love for it to matter, but I'm having a real talk with you right now. Nobody cares and that's unfortunate we can with each other or look how many medals he's got. He must be good, right? No, no, just because I'm being around thinking being being my emails are bouncing around doesn't mean I'm a good photographer and I'd rather be a good business person then then just have medals and ribbons and all that stuff. That's what I want I want to go to combat combat his business I'm in the trenches every day that's where I want to win I wanna win the battle of the dollar maybe that's a way to look at it's me against your wallet I want what's in it. Okay, I make no apologies. Should we worry about what other photographers charge? No, who cares what other photographers they're charging, what is your value proposition? What makes you different if all you're doing is chasing what other photographers they're doing? It's a race to the bottom, you are going to go out of business. I'm in a market where we are charging eight to ten thousand dollars for wedding here's the deal, you can go out there and look, you can talk to my competitors in the st louis market, my competitors in the in the illinois market, they know where we are, they hate us, they hate us because we're in their face marketing. We're in their face, stealing weddings from them. I am I'm at bridal shows I'm not you're standing up here making up nonsense to tell you this is the real world don't worry about what other photographers they're charging in my market. You can book a photographer for four hundred ninety nine dollars to cover your wedding day, where the thousand or those to the same clients know you're not the same people. The same bride looking for that five hundred dollar photographer is not the same bride looking for that eight thousand dollars talk for these people are not my competitors other than the sense that they have cameras should I be worried about lame facebook groups going out there and just bitching every day about something? No? Delete yourself from any of those groups where it's just nonsense, you know, part of what I love and and we talk about it. It is shutter fast. If you don't know what shutter fest is, I highly recommend you check it out. There's only one hundred seats left it's an event in st louis it's all about shooting. And what I love about this event is we have ah forum for everybody. Who's part of shutter fast. That forum puts up with no nonsense, no nonsense whatsoever the minute anybody even remotely gets negative in that group that the entire group pounces on him. It's definitely like this village mentality. No one's going to tolerate that and that's top down, right it's my group and so is part of that. Everybody knows the spirit of what I'm looking forward to help the tigers get better. That's got to be the goal when you're just shredding each other and talking negatively about each other who you helping? Is it just making yourself feel good? You got an ego problem, right? You drive a big truck outside? I don't know. Like what? What what? Who are you helping in that situation? And so check your ego and let's make that the industry better remove yourself from those groups. Instead, I want to see you focus on practising that's what matters we know that's what matters that that study I just talked to about tells you that's the reason businesses are failing I only see you focus on the products you're carrying that becomes your value added service that becomes your differentiator. You've got offer better products. You can't go cheap. Everybody can get cheap. Not everyone can get higher in products. They can't afford him that's immediately gonna be your differentiator. I want you to focus on marketing. How are you marketing your business? How you position in your business? What is your branding? What is your logo? What is your? Your whole marketing plan looked like that thirty sixty, ninety day plan that's what I want you to focus on. And then finally I want you to focus on service. Service is the key differentiator. You would be surprised how many weddings I get merely because I respond to email quickly people are blown away. They're like thank you for responding so promptly. I've e mailed three other photographers and I've heard nothing back. That's good service. Okay, that's, what I want you to focus on and so as we're kind of wrapping up this segment, what I want to do is focus on success we have to plan for success, don't we? All too often, we just we don't really plan to be successful. We accept being mediocre and it's. A challenge I hold my own team too is to think differently about success. Stop going into your job. Stop waking up every day and stop just doing things in a mediocre way. Stop doing things that are just good enough. Push yourself. Force yourself that when you think it's. Good enough. I take it that one step further. Look for something to make that experience better. That image better that lighting better something. What can you do to push yourself? Just that little hard, harder. Stop accepting being mediocre. Okay. And so let's define success. I want you to define it if you've got the workbook at home and you're following along right now in the opening sheet. This is what I want you following it's, right there for you. This is your plan. This is your plan for twenty fifteen. I want you to take that sheet of paper. I want you to tape it to your mirror in the bathroom every day. When you wake up, I want you looking at what you said to yourself, what you promised yourself success, wass. And if you said success was ten weddings, five weddings, twenty weddings and every day you get up and you're not doing something to get to that goal your family, you're failing you, your family, your goals, you're failing your family, do something about it don't just put it is a piece of paper shovel it in a book somewhere and forget about it until june the next time you see me or hear me and you're like, oh shit, I forgot about that no, put it on your mirror challenge yourself every frickin day to go after that that's what this shit is all about. So tell me, how many weddings do you want a book next year? You guys right here I want you writing that down how many frickin weddings you want? I don't care if it's five, ten, twenty whatever your number is, it's, your number success is different for all of us. How much revenue do you want to make you make one hundred thousand dollars next year? You and me two hundred thousand dollars next year I'm not the one who's going to tell you it's not possible because I don't believe it I believe everything is possible I believe whatever you put down on that piece of paper is possible as long as you have right? The gumption to go after it, you're willing t sacrifice anything to achieve those goals, I think it's possible. And so how much revenue do you want? How bad do you want it? You have to want success more than you want anything else in your life? If you are easily distracted, it's kind of like working out every january we all get motivated to work out, don't we? Including myself? I can't. This is a year to do it. Do it I'ma, join the gym. Not paying. I joined a gym membership and then I like I go the first week and I'm like, yeah, I feel great. And then all of a sudden I get lazy one day and then one day slips into two steps in the five slips into a month slips into I want to stop paying this bill that cause I don't use it anymore, right? It's the same concept here that's. Why? I want this thing taped to your mirror. How much do you want it? All of us have that fire burning in our belly where we know we want success for various reasons. We all have different reasons. We want that success there's no right or wrong reason you have to answer that question. If you say you really want it bad if you're out there watching your like I really want this bad I want it more than anything else than every day you've got to ask yourself what am I doing to get that much closer if you said you want twenty five weddings that's great what did you do today to get towards that twenty five weddings nothing then you don't want it bad enough you got to do something it's marketing your website social media it's a whole bunch of things you can do to start getting closer to that when will you go full time, right ifyou're part time now you're not a full time for tyre for you working a part time job when you're gonna go full time write it down when do you want to go? When do you want to get there that becomes the key you have to write that down and say bye june of twenty fifteen I'm gonna quit if the's milestones they're hit what do you need to get there? Okay, well I need to have four weddings on the books that satchel etcetera. When I quit microsoft I was making beautiful six figure income and I knew that once I got to twenty weddings I was going to quit and I hit my number whatever that number is for, you hit my number and I quit. It wasn't equal I wasn't making as much of my photography business is I was making at microsoft, it wasn't even and that's okay, what is that number for you? When can you quit so that you commit full time to this and believe you can grow it more because you can't work two jobs at the same time? Your your your attention is distracted, right? It's segmented, and you just can't do it. You can't focus on the things that need to be focused on and so again as we wrap up this segment. This course is about the next level, it's what's next thes air the things that I've been focusing on, you know, growing you whether it's in our boot camp or you followed along in our senior program. This is that course that gets you over that hump, it's that missing manual, so to speak, all the things that you're getting stuck on right now, which are normal, by the way, I don't feel like you're doing something wrong. We all need continued coaching, continue mentoring, we can't just read a book, go on, implement everything we need somebody to help us with those questions, to get us over that home, that's what this is about him trying to get you to that next level, it's about dealing with the change change and the challenges that you have been facing in your business, we've all been facing challenges as this market has change has been a year to a year and a half since the last time I've been on I faced him change. I face some challenges to grow my business, and I'm gonna share those with you so that you learn that way. And then ultimately I need you to follow long use that workbook to your advantage. There's no point in having this course, having that workbook and not using it is a seventy page workbook. Yeah, right. All right, my friend, I'm ready. I'm ready, folks at home already. But folks at home, some people haven't been with us this whole morning, so I want to take the opportunity to answer everybody's questions about what it is that we're doing and how it works. So starting off south, we've got people in the chat rooms who are not just wedding photographer. So kicks. He says I'm not interested in winning photography. I'm still a generalist. Would this course still be helpful to me to establish a business in photography? Yes, absolutely. I firmly believe that this course is all about business about photography and business like anything else I said in the beginning of the course if you've got an aunt who's a baker have our watches course because all the business principles will apply toe whether it's wedding photography I mean there's going to be some fashion photographer yeah totally apply now there will be parts of it of course where we might focus on weddings are focused on portrait's but totally applicant exactly exactly so great for everybody out there we've got a question from not just wedding photographer again not just a wedding photographer but how is this built upon your previous creative life classes so some people out there wondering if this class is for them let's talk about the difference between what you've done before and how this builds upon that yeah for sure so that was what I just said this to me it should have been called the missing manual right like south and kata wedding bootcamp missing manual because you know, the wedding boot camp was five day very very intense course this I think takes it to that next level and I made sure the whole way as we were going through, you weren't here for part of that but I was talking to this audience because everyone sitting in this audience has been part of our wedding boot camp they've been in my workshops or shutter fast and I said to them as we were going through this I said do you guys believe do you feel like all of this is the same? You've heard it? Or do you feel like it's new and almost all of them agreed? Like eighty percent of this stuff I haven't heard in this former fashion, so I took pride just so everybody out there knows that I don't want to come out here and just regurgitate the same thing I've taught before. I wanted to make sure if I was going to come back, I had something new to say, and I think this is very new, okay, rapid fire, but I throw this at you guys top top thing that your biggest aha for from these past days that you guys have been sitting here through because people at home are wondering whether to invest in this class for their business first happened god, rapid fire sorry, the salt next I'm sorry section on the facebook advertising is just is mind blown great, fantastic things are building vendor relationships things I never thought of. It was like, well done that you resonate with and stick with it and follow the recipe one hundred percent tonto branding and honing in on your brandon and finding your clients are kind of side by side, so, you know, find the finder client, find your brand and they're going to mesh together awesome cleaning up the paint bog game of going everywhere and finding things everywhere and getting focused on just one thing and just keep it going jonathan the day we can get you to fulfill that that will be a very exciting day in my life I don't care if I ever teach you how to make money if I could just eat you out of state laser focus success is mine that's when he's mean challenging I love it all right what's the first thing you're going to implement when you'll go home or that you're already implementing for success rather than a mediocre yeah I'm gonna plan for two thousand fifteen refugee awesome awesome fantastic share one more one more so drinking the kool aid for like three years now and like everything you don't laugh, we're going to start ups like every time I hit a little road block you know, alter something and mess with the system and I felt like this course kind of like smooth over all these bumps that I like experience. So I'm like really excited to go home and actually like stick to the plan not jack with it tonight and we'll give you saying yeah don't jack with my recipe like I keep saying that like it's my recipe I copyrighted no cable saying is really at the heart of what we're trying to do with the courses is for people just like him they've been following us for all these years and I would continuously have people call me an email me literally the same questions I could copy and paste answers because they were all getting stuck in the same spot. So this is that I think missing link of it all? Absolutely, absolutely well thanks you guys I do want to pull up if we can if I can have that clicker pull up, get you a sneak peek peak of that workbook you can see what it looks like here we go it's behind me, but again it'll be you could put your thirty day action plan into him into effect. So what are the top obstacles you tell us about how you want people to work through this workbook? Yeah, so that's what we did with this workbook as if they're watching on the screen right now what we did with the workbook wass because this was all pre recorded I had my team sit here and actually put together the the most important aspects of what I was saying and then tied to an action plan because again, we're basing what we're doing on what you've been struggling with as photographers as business owners and so you can sit here and listen all you want all week and get motivated all week but there's no true action plan of ok if I want to do this here, the five steps. I gotta follow. So we made sure that we put this together so that they can go off, implement and be successful, because, ultimately, that's the whole point of this.

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.

fbuser 0af5cf47

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