Baby Plan Overhaul
All right, so let's talk about overhaul and actually changing the baby program and it's kind of good that you gave that way because really, we're going to kind of go into the branding mode and how to create a unique and distinct style because there are a million people with baby programs out there and so it's not a matter of should you shouldn't should you or shouldn't you? Because no matter what you should, babies are a great market. Um, it's just how you wanted to find yourself, do you want to make it a big program or just want to keep it as something as a side item that works this? Well? Um the new the new mom of today is very different than, say, mom's of old I mean mom's a really cool they're looking for variety. They don't want to be stuck and they want to be unique. In fact, if you really go back in time and think about our moms, even how many of you guys know what a muumuu is? Anybody remember what a muumuu is. Thank you. You're my change. Yeah, you have to be a certain age to ...
know what a muumuu is, but like when I think of my mom when I was young, I literally and don't kill me, mom. Sorry about that, but I'd like to see the back of a muumuu. You know, because my mom, I grew up on a farm, a very big working farm and so very different lifestyle than my own children. For us. We were literally up at six a, m out milking cows. We were in cherry trees by seven in july, you know, picking cherries all day long. Our idea of the best day ever was we would cash in those cherries and we would make for we got ten cents a pound. So for about we could make about a dollar twenty nine for a good day's work and for a dollar twenty nine, you could actually hike about a mile to taco bell and get talk one taco pit does and cheese and a small sprite. And that was like, our big deal is that, you know, that was my summer, those kind of memories. And then you could actually jump in a ditch and float all the way home. So, you know, I had this incredible life growing up. But I was always an entrepreneur I mean, from the time I was six I was selling gladiolas with your flowers door to doors that time I was ten I was selling we would collect worms and sell worms to fisherman I mean, we've always I've always been able to sell things and so, you know, lifestyle wise when we think of yesteryear's mom moms were workers, they were the stay at home work force my mom was the most charitable person you've ever met in your life I mean just a beautiful person but I remember her is always being involved in church always being the giver always working really hard up a crack of dawn the last one to go to bed kind of a thing and so that really was who she was now look at today's mom today's mom is very fashionable she's got cool jeans and clothes, shoes and boots and now not only does she care about how she looks her hair, her makeup, her looks she also cares about how her children look they are dressed to the nines they've got the great out there and the shoes and, you know, so it's a very different person that we're really working with in fact women who track all of the latest trends they freely spend for the latest and greatest and they happily recommend you or brag to you about their friends that's the client that you're looking for now, interestingly, enough, women between the ages of thirty and forty five represent the single largest spending group in the world, and they're not necessarily the highest income earners. Now, that's a really important fact to know, because that woman there is your client, that is, that your typical client and your typical spender, and what that quote, this is it statistic? What it's telling you is that even if she doesn't have the money, if she wants it, she's going to find a way to get the money now, this is the most powerful group, because they are the single most important demographic right now. Every single marketing group in the world is looking for that woman, because, gino, what, no matter what it is, if they're selling watches, if they're selling pocket knife, so they're selling tractors, they know that if she wants it, and if she wants it for her man, then he's going to get it and they are marketing don't think about the ads, the commercials that you look at today, they're very appealing to the female brand, it doesn't mean guys don't shop, and they don't want but girls, honestly, when they want something, they make it happen and that's, and that is the woman that we're looking for, so that's important to note when you're going to start out in the branding force now always say marketing when your average you're just as close to the bottom as you are to the top and you know what that is the brake point you have to decide how you can excel how can you be closer to the top? And average is not good enough anymore in this industry for sure I got so lucky because I came in so strong as a child a female child photographer literally nobody could touch us for the first ten years of the industry. Now I am one of a million female photographers and even my own work I have trouble. I sometimes look at other people's ads and think that I shoot that kid still thinks I mean because the style and the look is very, very similar. So you have to separate yourself. The playing field is never level be prepared for competition. But you know what question is competition good or bad? Honestly, I think it's good. I think it's imperative that we have a benchmark and and a goal to reach. I think they get very complaisant when we don't have competition, so my theory is this you should look at it, you should know about it and then stop looking at it I have panic attacks when my local competition, I see a marketing campaign come out that's brilliant, and I'm literally like, oh, my gosh, I'm gonna go out of business! Oh, my gosh, that was so awesome! They're gonna kill me, you know, and I go into panic attacks, and I realized a long time ago, if I never saw that piece of paper, I'd be happily plugging along. I like a little kick in the butt every once in a while, I want to go. Hey, you're better stay on top of your game, but I'm not going to dwell on it too long, because honestly, it really doesn't matter. Your competition really doesn't matter. You're not selling your not selling a product, you're selling you, and that is important. We don't want a certain client. We want any type of client when we start in the photography industry, correct? I mean, I know when I started, I would photograph anything dogs, kids, family, you know, neighbors, parents, uncles, it didn't matter. I just wanted anybody but eventually gonna qualify your clients through pricing, you're gonna be able to elevate your price list. Your look, your brand, your style and you're going to take yourself to the neck. Level so it's about specializing it's, about deciding what you're good at and working towards that my favorite ad is when I go to the phone book, which we don't use very often anymore. But when you go there and you see somebody that has a photography ad that says specializes in weddings babies, children, pets, business head shots you know there's about after about fourteen specializations that's really not specializing and to me it's almost more of a desperate attempt to do anything, and so you will eventually target your brand and you'll start to work towards it now we're building a business here, these air foundation points asshole next series is all about marketing and building a business. Now I know I speak fast and I have to continue to do so because in order for you, teo, in order for me to get all of the pieces in, we have to just keep going, so bear with me my personal goal when rebuilding the brand, the baby brand was really to create a boutique feel I wanted a very high end exclusive like the shabby chic, the cute, the clever, different nobody else is doing it, and you know what that's impossible to say in this industry everybody's doing it, it's just how you do it and how you brand it that matters so we're going to start at the bottom. This is important information because for those of you out there that don't have a business yet, you're either starting out, you're struggling, or I've never photographed a baby or on ly photographed a few babies, I'm talking primarily for you, uh, for those of you who are looking to build a baby program or maybe already have won, but want to change your look, I'm also speaking to you one of the best programs that we ever teach and it's a marketing program is our model search program. This is the foundation of my company this is also the programme that has saved me every single recession I've ever been through model the keyword in the word model searches model because model is an ego based word um, any parent out there how many of you have clients that think they're baby so cute they should model right? Everybody that's a hundred thousand people that think that we know that, and we capitalize on that word the word model search appeals teo une ego type and it's not a bad thing, but we all love our children, and we literally all have the most beautiful children in the world it's those rose colored glasses that we were given because sometimes babies come in and I'm like, really I'm not sure you're done yet. E I don't say it, I think it okay, so but to that mom she's talking to me about agencies and where can she find an agency? And you know, so it's, like totally different glasses were wearing, so we need to create a program to get people in the door, to get them to actually be able to get them in, to give you the experiences you need. The second key to our model search that makes it so special is that by using models, they're technically not paying clients. So therefore you have the artistic license is to do what you want. You can get out there and be creative. And you know what? Try things that might not work different lighting techniques or fabrics or things that maybe that client will never see it because it didn't work out. But you know what? You got to know that without doing it on a paying klein and that's why we love them as well, in fact. With our clients will tell them you know that some of these things you're going to see some of them he won't and it's awesome because you have that creative control this is a license for you to be an artist not to be a cookie cutter got to be a mechanic, you know? S o ah model search I'm going to read to you kind of how we do ours, but I do want explain the process this is a printed piece that we send out to our explained to who in a minute but it's basically appealing to hey, we're looking for babies if you've got a cute baby, we want to work with you now when I first started doing this and if you're out there and you don't have ah lot of money to put into marketing and printed pieces is that a great way to start out is your friends and family to get those people in the door they're not the best spenders in the world, as you know, and I have a great theory on dealing with your friends and family we can cover that later but that's a good starting point for you but understand as faras financially it's probably going to do you a lot but getyou some good samples this second person that you would approach this with if it's new to you would actually be your client it's because your clients they would love an opportunity to have a complimentary session with use of course they're going to take you up on it. I will recommend. However, this is a one time on lee event. I would not I would not be giving this out. I would not do this more than once every two or three, I would say three or four years with my clients because if you did this every year in january, half your clients would wait until the model search comes and it loses validity. So keep that in mind, it's just not really something that I would utilize with my client. My goal is to get new people that have never been to. We specifically used this model search for clients that have never been in the door before. Now let me explain what the process is. The client's if somebody got this in the mail, they would actually contact us. We would tell them that this is a complimentary session and it includes a credit, a portrait credit. Now they do have to come in for a consultation. The credit I want before you all write this down because I want to make sure that everyone doesn't do what I do because you have to understand my price point before you can make this work for you, we give one hundred dollar model credit now, before you go in right down, one hundred dollars is what you're supposed to do. I wanna explain something our eight by ten start at one hundred fifty dollars, so one hundred dollar model credit is going to get you about a five by seven if that's all you want, correct, but if you're eight by tens or twenty dollars, don't give one hundred dollar model credit you just given entire pakistan away. Does that make sense so it's? Not about the number it's about the concept now it's important to understand? Never, ever, ever, ever promise me never give a product away, never do a session and a free eight by ten or a session and a free five by seven everybody that has done that nose that you have a chance six out of ten people are going to walk away with that free product, aren't they? They're going to say, okay, I got my five by seven good enough to go. This is a technique we used to make money, and so you have to make sure we're not giving free session are it's complimentary session is fine, no free products, let's talk about why that credit works so well, this is a sales theory that we've put to test a million times when I have a client walk in with a session and a free five by seven. Like I said, ups, a half of them will take that free product when I have a client that walks in with a credit it's. A totally different feel. All of a sudden, that client sits down and there's some little mechanical thing that starts kicking in. They'll look at that one hundred dollars, and they go. Oh, ok, well, I could get, um, I could get a five by seven. Or I could take this hundred dollars, and I could put it towards a package. Even if it's a small package three or four hundred dollars in their minds will say I could put it towards this package. And you know what? For only a couple hundred dollars more, I get to eight by tens to five by seven state. While it's I get so much more value out of it. So we watched people every day walk in with these credits or during these sessions, walking with these credits and mechanically they realize that the better value is to invest and that's why the credit is so important. But again, it's not one hundred dollars, it's, what is your price point that's going to put you there? Yes, you going like this, you you actually give them they have this physical, physical. In this case they would not have a physical certificate there are other things that I do that will explain later with that but this is not a physical certificate they basically have a credit to use towards anything it's explained that's a great question thank you so sandy a question from jack's creations would you recommend a model search for someone relocating to a new town? A new client luli oh my gosh this is exactly how we save business isn't how we build businesses honestly because this is a great way to build your portfolio or to re create your own entity this is where you're gonna get all those fun shots, those little babies doing the cool stuff this is where we do that because we have freedom to do this the parent is not walking in what does not walk in with any expectations so if that's a good question now I'm going to read to you um this and this is also if you go to my facebook page one of the things we're gonna be giving away these templates they're all available on you can do dot com, but we're going to give one of these away just go to my facebook page and tell me that you want it um this is how ours is worded now don't write this down exactly its way because I'll tell you how to change it make it for you, I have written several photography books and books s o r says. Author portrait artist sandy coach is looking for women who were in their fifth, eighth month of pregnancy, and infants twelve weeks and youngers to serve as models for her next photography book. When I created this one I was actually writing, eh the last book I wrote on children's photography so I needed pregnant models and baby model specifically, and the important part is models received portrait art as compensation, and their images may be published in sandy's neck photography book. Now let me change this for most of you who are not writing books out there, it could be a portrait artist, so and so is looking for models to update her gallery for models in her new hospital display for models in his gallery collection. To be very honest with you, your clients absolutely not care. You could put it it's going to go above the bathroom toilet and they would not care. They just want to model honestly. So this is not as important as the credit and the fact that the child's going to get that chance to model. So this is what is on ours, but we changed it all the time, all the time, as you can see now. This is I wanna make sure I didn't miss any points on that because that's ah that's an important one two oh thank you I do remember one we also on lee run campaigns like this during our slow season this is a campaign we run january through april because that's when we need the most buddy and we need to get people in the door we stop running these campaigns after april because that's when our regular clients who invest well come in and this is how I keep you know, up to thirty two people employed at all times you don't even want to know the payroll number on that it would actually make you fall off the chair and so that's important to understand that we utilize these companies this is also the same campaign I used when I hit my first second recession when I had eight employees that saved my ship and this is also the campaign I used when I moved to rebuild my company yeah a question from my bell photography and we'd love it if you guys when you're asking questions tell us where you're joining us from so you can get we can give you a shout out do do you require parents just sign a model release form especially if they're they're going to be amazing booker what happened? A question yes absolutely uh every single client that comes to our studio will sign a model release period I will not photograph anything ever that does not have a full legal model release because we travel all over the world and I do not have time to call every single client that you see in this show everybody signs one that being said there two pieces to that I would never use a client's image without their permission for something that was publicly used if I'm doing a newsletter or something locally, you know that I'm kind of showcasing their baby that's fine, but if it's an ad or you know like can an adder I'm traveling it's going on tv or something like that or a display I'm putting up that's permanent I will always contact them and I always give them a credit as a thank you uh gift certificate for letting me do that so everybody signs that um it's it's a standard form before the session is photographed in twenty four years I've had four people question it all four were lawyers by the way too refused to sign it. I've refused to sessions in my life so I would absolutely rather refuse the session especially when somebody's that adamant about it then do the session so just so you know you do have to choose your standards and stick with that you're going to sam cox has a question and you mentioned advertising in magazines or and whatnot so do you advertise it's a question we do not advertise that I built my company doing some advertising in magazines um our company has always been word of mouth and these types of campaigns and the best way to explain it is there if we in fact it's coming up in the show later we're going to talk about the different types of marketing and media available today but magazines are typically expensive and they're hard to track displays are far more powerful we're gonna cover all of the other things that are better so I'm not going to go too much in that but I don't want people out there running out there spending a lot of money on advertising that way because when I started my company the baby plan I had a lot of time and very little money and I know a lot of you can understand that and so at that point for me it was a matter of I would print out little fliers and I'm not kidding I would go drop them off everywhere restaurants I would, you know, baby stores I didn't usually ask permission I would just kind of set a pile down and I know they worked because the original people that contacted me would say I picked up a flyer somewhere I mean I would go into restaurants and put them in the bathrooms, the women's bathrooms just because I figured you know what people go there right now it was worth it yes things all these out to clients like you haven't normally head how do you get the great thank you that was a piece that was missing. I'm gonna back it up I think they come back it up there when we send these pieces out we do purchase lists and you could do that through cos marathon press is one of our sponsors on our tour a swell as experience you khun by list companies but I want you to know in the baby program I started my baby program I mean back in the day as many of you, if you're my age remember you could go to the sunday paper and every baby that was born was listed there with their all their personal contact information is not like that anymore in the world we live in now everybody's so protective of that it's hard to come by names buying list used to be the mainstay of my company that's how I made all my money is just buying his list and you would get about five per cent return is what's pretty statistically average for those list that you would buy so if you bought four hundred names you'd get about five percent of those people now fast forward to now those lister almost useless I still buy them because there is a percentage that we get we also have the financial means to justify it because we have a bigger company in a bigger staff, people who are one man band, you know, when they come to me, tell me, it's not working, I believe them because it's a tough goat, so there are better ways to do that, and I haven't awesome campaign that's coming up on dh it's part of our giveaways too that's coming up that will help you answer that question, because now I've come to the conclusion that it's a referral based way so flyers or great if you confined in expensive media it's great, but for the most part, referrals are goingto rocket and one more quick question about thie model search on that is from tierra que from san diego. Do you ever use facebook for any marketing the model searches? That is a great question, and that whole thing is coming up later about facebook and how to utilize facebook. Yes, we do use facebook, I'm gonna cover it in detail, but any media, especially free media like that is anywhere you can get your work out. There is a good way to go, so marketing is it is multiple items that we're going to talk about, and we're literally going to go through every single one of those. Thank you going right lips they went fast okay, so let's talk about designing a marketing program now we talked about our target market we know who she is we all know that we predominately cell toe women it's no offensive thing it's just mom is the boss and that's the way it is dad's come in literally with the chain attached and you know they're not usually very happy to be there so we know our target market and who she is now the list that you mentioned or that we asked about earlier where do you get it? I do want to cover some of the ways that we, uh access those names we're going to talk about foundations later so I'll explain newsletters and why they're so important but found in our foundations we have three pieces newsletter is one of the top three things we think we do to keep to stay successful so that's a great way is sending that media out to people and doing that yourself using a list company we talked about and then displays and getting your work out in the community that community that's number that's one of the three top things newsletters and displays and we're gonna talk about that so the third thing is a referral program which makes sense so that's kind of where they come from now let's talk a little bit about branding since we gave away a brandon kid already when I had to redo my baby brand, I had to sort of look at the whole structure and try to figure out what who am I now? What does my eye look? What is my stand now? I have a real advantage that you can do dot com our graphics team we have I have a graphic artist at any time that produced marketing campaigns constantly for photographers. So I turned to the whole staff one day, and I said, you guys, I need a new baby program. This was for creative edge kids. And I said, I want something totally new and unique to us, and so I had every single one of them create a unique baby program and as you can see, that gave me a great variety. There was a lot of cool, fun stuff to work with, and I started going through them and each one looks great, and I got it down to my two favorites, which were these milk, which milk to me actually was the strongest lead because it kind of had that ed hardy kind of funky, cool, edgy and a little skull and crossbones cow there. Um and then lulu was also a favorite because it had sort of that baby past they'll feel, and so I got it down to these two, and I was trying to make decisions but because these are products that we sell to photographers I do a lot of research in marketing because I cannot put something out there and then have somebody come back and say this doesn't work and so I started researching were researching how people by how do parents specifically new parents buy items for their babies and the interesting thing and it's across the board no matter where you go people are affected by color very much so and so when I was reading statistics and I was reading information we all know that people who are sad and tends to sometimes favor blew our people were happy like bright yellow colors people who are depressed could like black or dark colors and by the way I'm not depressed I only wear black and this is this is a lot of color for me today I decided to make you all look like they make you think I was a happy chipper person but really I'm really mean but no I mean is this one of those things but they tend to favor those colors will across the board when I was researching baby's baby products and selling baby products the same thing kept coming up anywhere I went and that was of course people who are having babies are very, very attracted to baby pink baby blue and light green period now think about that when you have babies it's really weird? I hate pink. I'm not a big fan, but you know what? When I was pregnant, like the first baby I've been walking down the mall and fifty feet away, I'd see something you'd kind of be like, oh, my gosh, that's so cute. Look at that, you know, and you all the sudden you're attracted the whole baby thing opens up the minute you are having a baby, and so of course I went through the pink phase. I have pictures of me actually pregnant, like a little piggy and a whole pink outfit. So, um, so, so much for hand me downs. Ok, I didn't buy it, but, you know, it's, just one of those things that I I cannot believe I put that on, but for whatever reason that's, what happens? It's a it's, a chemical change in your body that happens? I have since had all my babies grew up, I don't like pink again, and I'm not attracted to it. So the point is, when I read that and I really understood that I started to look at these campaigns and say, you know what? I'm sending out to a market that is unknown, these air unqualified, possibly clients that I don't know if you were a mom and you know how much mail we get, you don't know me from anybody, and you get a stack of mail this thick and your flipping through, and you're pregnant, you are more likely going to stop on the campaign, the lulu campaign, than the milk campaign purely based on the color palette, you will see the pink and blue before you'll even see what it is and be attracted to it. So knowing that information, we actually we actually selected lulu for my studio campaign, because that was the campaign we most recognized. Now, keep in mind all of these air customizable, like these air, all layered photoshopped files, so you could change, uh, them any way you want. Speaking of that, when you're branding, you want to make sure that you're creating a complete brand, branding is a unique style that is all encompassing. So with the loo campaign it's, not just a postcard, we stuck out. It is our price list. It's our brochures, it's, our gift certificates, it's, our business cards, it all has the same look and brand. Now the question is always, how many brands can you have? We have what we call an umbrella brand, which is our main sandy puts photography, and that is the main look, and currently the colors are black, gray and red. Now within that brand, we have sub brands, which would be our baby program, and our high school senior program are probably the two most recognizable baby programs, soft and fluffy and pretty senior pro program, super edgy, funky, you know, just really crazy, and they live underneath my main brand. The logo stays the same, though local placement stays the same and the field stays the same. So keep in mind you can have multiple brands within your brand on it sometimes better to do so. So as people transition through priceless, like going from a baby program to a family priceless, they sort of see the evolution of the look and style as well. Now the reason I'm excited is all of you that are in the room, we already gave it away to the our audience out there on the internet, all of you have the opportunity you could pick the one you want brandon's going to get that information from you, but you're all going to be gifted the get that you like the most and so you can pick and choose, and for those of you in the audience, if you're interested, you could go to you can do dot com dot com, we actually created a creative live tab so that every single thing I'm talking about today is there and you can go check it out so you don't have to do any searching around but you guys all have one of those so you later on you can pick and choose the style that you like that works for you and remember they're customizable as well. All right, so there are lots of types of marketing out there there are lots of different ways that we market now continua continual marketing is the most important this is where as a business owner you create a structure and this is so important to actually create a foundation that you're going to build your company on. There are also things we call special marketing which would be maybe charitable things or you came up with an idea and you said to throw it out there continuous marketing would be a baby plan that is something I do every month year after year and I'll never stop doing it specials model search things like that those are things that pop up that sometimes need to be done and of course the worst type of marketing is emergency marketing and we talked about me I've done that before too where you just have a low session count and you got to get people in the door that's never good because you always make bad choices on what you're willing to give up um sometimes it's better to give up a car payment if you have tio then time with your family if you're really not gonna make any money going out the door so we never want to get you to emergency marketing. We never want you to be in that situation where you're deciding what you're going to pay, so we're going to really focus on especially the continuous marketing that's our goal. Now you have to have a foundation earlier I mentioned yet go ahead. Just wanted to let you know that, uh we just crashed. You can do dot com way love to crash me. I love crashing our side it's like the paper thing. It is a big site to so there must be a lot of you going there. Um, thank you for that whole type. Just peace it out and we'll make it happen. Thank you. That's hospital go, go, fight, win! Hey, you guys, you're gonna get dinner tonight now, so just so you know, okay. So let's talk about the foundation of marketing. I told you, there are three things that I believe are absolutely the most imperative things that we do that I've done from day one really and truly that have built this company.