Selling the Experience
One of the one of the things I talk about, in fact, our very first workshop, we talked years ago for years, we we called it selling experience and really what that means to me is teo under promise and over deliver to exceed your client's expectations in every aspect of your business. So for me, that especially my business was larger. That meant, you know, all these people who were involved had to be representing my company in the way I wanted it to be represented. The person answering the phone, making sure, you know, toilet paper rolls were filled in the bathroom. I mean, all these things affected the experience my clients were having, and I experienced that actually firsthand. Andi, I think you'll see that when I'm shooting puts this weekend to, like, if I'm just being really loving to my clients, to the children, to the pets and letting them kind of have there have there space get comfortable, you know, most animals most children will be a little antsy and nervous the first time tha...
t come into your studio. So taking that time and think about it is ok. How can I give these people the best experience, you know, allow enough time for their session, you know? Do what you tell me going to dio you know, if you say that you're going to see their image is in two weeks make sure you have their images in hopefully a week and a half position yourself too that's why I say under promise and over deliver, but position yourself where you know you can fulfill what you're promising your clients because unfortunately, andi, I've seen this and I've experienced this because I've actually gotten clients from another photographer, and I'm sure there's been times where I've failed and I've lost clients for this reason where I have done something beautiful for them, my client would say to you, wow, I had a I had a really beautiful portrait I got from the gallery, but now maybe they go somewhere else because something else happened maybe was away and employees treated them or, you know, I've actually had clients come to me from other photographers and like, I just feel so loved on and like, no, I can't believe you, you know, just took that much time with me with my pet with my child, I've always said the best compliment my studio can get hands down ever is a high school senior guy or a dad leaving the studio saying that wasn't very bad that was okay like that's like the best compliment I can get ever in studio because typically and I don't want to like just stereotype this, but typically ah lot of those, you know, the high school senior guys and the husbands are doing this for their mom and their wife, and so I can have fun with them, and they're actually excited to see the images and they don't even know if I had a card, my camera, maybe I never even shot anything? No, I'm kidding, but, you know, like there, like, I can't wait to see these, I know they're so great, like they really have no idea, but they feel so good about it. Um, that that's actually going to boost your sales if there already are coming in to your sales, excited about what you've done for them, a few other things I want to kind of talk about, um, explain what this means. Thiss actually, what you're looking at is our very first marketing piece that we did when I was actually photography by vicky um, I was only in business the first year I thought I have to do a mailer everybody does mailers, right? Um, I paid a high school girl minimum wage to cut refrigerator boxes into cardboard rectangles and had a stamp made with my website and that's all I wanna know imagery nothing beautiful, but we're talking maybe eleven years ago, so a lot of people didn't even have websites back then. So what I want to explain just like how you can literally no pun intended, but like, think outside of the box like it doesn't have to be what everybody else is doing, it doesn't have to be cookie cutter, some of the marketing stuff I'm gonna talk to you guys about later today, we literally created from scratch like it didn't come from anywhere. It was just kind of okay, like let's try this hasn't been done, and people jumped on it because it was new because it was different. So that's, where, you know, we'll talk about, you know, how can you to be unique? And how can you put yourself out there to your community, into your clients, that you can offer them something unique that you are going to give him a great experience? And the biggest thing I can say to you is be true to yourself with that, like, don't create um this is where you think I want to be, but this isn't really me kind of a scenario because you're not gonna be happy like I again, I've been guilty of that, like I thought. That's what I wanted with the big huge studio and all this stuff and it wasn't and it's like not worth it at that point I'm actually enjoying photographing my clients more than ever now and it's because I'm actually doing it less but I'm loving those clients I'm working with even more um and I know you all want to know about one hundred thousand dollars seminar right? I have to put that in the beginning because I think it's really important I'm going to be talking you guys over the next three days about all the incredible vendors that I use all the cool stuff you know that we have and that we use an equipment which I do love you and I do use and I have a couch fetish I have like thirtysomething couches and as my spaces shrunk it's gotten a little crowded I've had to give up a few of them but why I show this is we went through a scenario in the last couple years in our business with me being out of the country for six months that weigh almost lost everything and it was almost like comical and that for years I've been teaching saying this two people say I could do this like I could get rid of everything I don't need all this stuff I don't need my thirty couches like I could do this out of my house again and still have a good business and I almost had to do that so it's almost like you know it was somebody saying okay let's see, you know, put theo put this to the test thankfully we didn't we still do have our studio space but what what I heard in this thought one hundred thousand dollars seminar um and I don't think this is by accident, but I went to my very first program or a state association in illinois um ten years ago, probably very first program I walk into I don't know anything I am so impressionable at this point some of you guys watching this I'm like probably so determined that I want to do this I want to be a photographer I don't care whatever you know vicky or whoever the other speakers are whatever they say I am going to do to a tee I'm goingto by whatever they tell me to buy I literally was that in position back then not financially but mentally where I was going to come home from that seminar and tell my husband like so and so said, I need this this and this is going to cost a hundred thousand dollars we got to do it like that it was just like how determined I wass and I am so grateful that someone I went into was darting drake um he's got a wisconsin now he's I think in illinois but I walked in there and not known it to expect in his whole program was about you could just do this with the window light and white piece of cardboard as a reflector like all that stuff is not what's important it's about your subject you're photographing and that connection with your subject that is what is like what is the most important thing that you can do for your client and for your business and so that is totally crosses over to your pet clients too it really does like the way I photograph my pets and you'll see this and you've already seen this in my work a lot of these images you actually are looking at in the side shows are done during my dog days of summer very quick shooting like twenty ten, fifteen minutes with these clients but I still want to give them that amazing experience I want even variety I don't want a cookie cutter everything the same I want to still take care of them and so uh what I walked away from in that seminar though is that I was already a photographer like I went there thinking someday someday when I buy this when I have this when I do this someday and I walked away from there like empowered of no I'm already doing this and being okay with it knowing you know I could charge more and when we talk about charging appropriately in knowing that you're worth it what you're charging you have to really get yourself in the mind sex and a lot of people struggle with this for yourself in the mind set of I'm realizing what it is your clients are paying for like their pain for you as the artist and your education like you're going to go home from this hopefully or from watching this and have picked up some different tidbits and this cost you money to be here you know flights and hotels or no if you purchase the the course like there's an investment there and it is actually our clients who should be paying for that because you want these clients for life you want to keep being better and doing cooler things for him and and that's how you're gonna do it is by education. So um that's why this someone was amazing so I did walk home from it and I did not spend hundred thousand dollars in a few years ago I saw darden and I told him like, I'm not going to give it to you, but I owe you one hundred thousand dollars because I did not go out and just spend a ton of money on stuff I really didn't need, so you know, just doing things in that appropriate order of, you know it goes side by side like learning my craft on my skills and and improving on that. Of course, I'm not saying go on charge a million dollars, but like, you don't have your technical skills down. But they can kind of do this like, okay, I'm getting better, and I'm charging more, and I'm getting better, and I'm charging more. But don't position yourself where you're so inexpensive upfront. If your goal is to to be lower volume, high end, like it's going to be really hard to reposition yourself there, and I'm not there's, nothing wrong with doing volume, like maybe your goal is to actually do more volume. I'm not charged as much you can still make have a great business model with that.