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Marketing Your Photography Business

Lesson 23 of 24

60/90/1 Year Plan

Sal Cincotta

Marketing Your Photography Business

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

23. 60/90/1 Year Plan

Lesson Info

60/90/1 Year Plan

Sixty days a plan a new website sixty days we need to get on our new website you understand how long that is two months it's a long time but yet not a long time we cannot procrastinate what is your solution? Is it a brand new website? Is it an out of the box website? I don't care what you do right where all the different points of our career have you been in business ten or fifteen years your website is probably in need of an overhaul step back take a look at it be honest about it ask the people around you and get some feedback about your website is it dated have the picture's been updated on if you're just starting out let's get on that new website that's branded based on what we're doing from the thirty days prior so identify and work on technical aspects so I asked you what do you weak on if you're weak on flash if you're weak on understanding your camera settings moving your focus point hey by the way creative life has courses that will walk you through how to use your camera okay ...

but if that's not the way you learn or pick up the book that came with it with your camera right figure out what your weak out and start working on it man there's no reason why in the next sixty days you're not working on this stuff start building your portfolio start scheduling the shoots we've got to get all this stuff together just yesterday we were talking about easy ways to start building your portfolio on get things going so start that sixty daysnotice that's not in your thirty days. So if I flip back to this thirty day slide, this is all geared on a lot of heavy business stuff. We cannot underestimate the business stuff. Yes, and we want to get out there and start tinkering with our cameras and shooting and playing around. But at the end of the day, we've got to get the business stuff lined up. Now, just because I say it's the sixty a plan, that doesn't mean you can't do it, pull it in sooner. I just want to see the sixty days be that deadline it's gotta happen by then. Okay? So start building your portfolio. What about a cr m system? Nobody even know what that means. Customer relationship management what tools are you using? We talked about it on day one. I use a tool called studio cloud absolutely loved studio cloud and by the way, there's no perfect system out there. We all run our businesses differently. We have to understand that when we're looking at customer relationship management tools, there is no silver bullet, unfortunately, unless somebody's going to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to customize it so we may have to tweak our business to match the way the customer the c r m system works. So go check him out. I'm sure they have a free trial but we use studio cloud absolutely love him. Sixty days you need to become an s corp. We need to take your business seriously. Someone trips and falls hurts themselves. Somebody breaks into your car, steals their wedding photos off the memory cards what's your recourse what's your plan of attack business insurance do you have business insurance to all of you? Have business insurance? No lie who doesn't know? No, robbie, you do. Okay, I hope you're shaking your head like yeah, I do. Alright, ugo, you guys got to go get it. You got to get into it. It only takes one accident. We're talking about something that's going to cost you three hundred bucks four hundred bucks a year. It's not expensive. Okay in depending on where you are, we had a photo shoot. I forget where it wasn't too long ago I had to show proof of having up to three million dollars a coverage in case somebody got hurt on set and so you're talking about something that could be rolled up into maybe homeowner's insurance or just a plain straight business policy you should also be ensuring your equipment you know what I mean what would happen if somebody legit broken your car stole all your equipment? That stuff happens it's not crazy so you need to have insurance and coverage for all that now the people eh has a has a program that they offer but I found better coverage through rolling it into my homeowner's on everything else so all my equipment is covered that we have in the case of emergency of flood or you get stolen so just look into that um flush out plan for the w in your swat analysis so the w is your weaknesses strengths, weaknesses, opportunities strikes were going to cover that so again, if you're at home printout that cheat but the w what do your top five weaknesses? First of all, we're going to identify him here today, but whatever those top five are, we've got to start addressing them in the next sixty days, okay? We can't wait we've gotta flush out a plan for the opportunities the o in swat what are the top five opportunities that lie ahead for you, right? We're not gonna wait for a year to start thinking about what opportunities are there let's start thinking about those now new samples sixty days if not sooner you cannot sell it if you don't show it it becomes almost impossible people have to see it in order to purchase it, especially when we're talking about larger prints, guys, almost every lab virtuoso bay photo w h e c. Any lab out there? They all offer some sale. Some discount of promotion for your first order. Take advantage of it. Get samples in your studio. Now that being said, let me give you a perfect example even though I know you can't sell it if you don't show it. Okay, we've had this thirty by forty size on our pricing sheet. It was it was probably three and a half to four years before I ever sold a single thirty by forty that's a big print, right? Never had one in my studio because my studio was in my home. It wasn't until I opened an actual studio space that I had room for thirty by forty and once we have that thirty by forty on the wall, we were able to start selling it consistently as a size, because now people could see it and visualize it. Remember, while we may be visual artists, our clients are not. So we've got to be able to show the sizes we want to sell and the product, for that matter, how do you expect to sell a two and a half inch campus? If all you're showing is an inch and a half campus what's the difference oh it's just wider got to see it man you've got to show them that two and a half inch campus standing off the wall so that they understand it has bigger presence but bigger impact and it looks more high end and you will get clients that will upgrade to that two and a half inch campus identify bridal shows that you want to participate in if you're looking to getting the wedding photography you have got to do bridal shows you are gonna have a very difficult time getting to thirty forty weddings a year even twenty five weddings a year if you're not doing bridal shows don't get me wrong referrals are great I love referrals but ultimately at the end of the day I've still have to go to bridal shows a good forty to fifty percent of our business is coming from bridal shows and there's definitely a high percentage that comes from referrals but bridal shows there there what about high schools what local schools they're gonna go after if you want to get any seniors where the schools what does the list looked like right so start exploring that stuff this is your sixty day plan guys I promise you you six you start doing this stuff I'm telling you here for your thirty sixty ninety day plan you will change your lives I promise you ninety days we're in the new space I am tasking you in the next ninety days to get into that space. That doesn't mean you're going to sign off for some six hundred dollars a month in rent that's not what I'm suggesting to you, but you are not going to be able to do in studio selling without having a space to to meet them with so if you wanna bring into your house that's fine, but if you can't bring him to your house for whatever reason houses in nice enough, you've got kids running around your husband or spouses and in the business with you, whatever your reasoning is, I don't care it's all fine and good, but where these meetings going to start taking place let's try and find a place we can rent out for an hour and you'll be by the hour and you'll be surprised there are actually photographers who will lease sub lease their space so maybe that's an option for you but let's get creative let's start doing this ninety days I want to see this happen for you I want you to start reaching out to vendors making connections, so if you're going after senior, start making connections with the dress shop, start making connections right with flores for prom if you're in the wedding, start making connections with the reception halls, the churches, the planners start getting busy if you're not busy right now you're not working on photography. You're not out shooting your time should be spent doing this so what's more what's, more valuable doing this or color correcting it's not where I want to see you spending your time we get to sucked into it spend your time on this stuff. This is what's gonna make you money thinking about a senior and family plan what is your plan of attack for both seniors and families? How are you going to get there? What are you gonna do? What has to happen next? What is the plan? I want to formalize marketing plan for the next twelve months. By the time we get ninety days out, I expect you to fully have a twelve month plan for your marketing efforts for each niche you're going after. I should never, ever have a conversation with you guys again and ask you what's the plan and you don't know the answer. You can have whatever plan you wanna have and I will help you craft that plan. I will work with you on that plan but for you to sit there starry eyed looking at me not knowing the answer that is going to be unacceptable what is your plan to get to your dream to get to your destination? How are we going to get you there? Let's get demographic data info yusa is a great place to get demographic data for both seniors and families, so info use a dotcom go out there and you could start buying segmented list based on a mile radius around your house based on household income, based on how many kids they have in the house. Very similar to what we saw on facebook except from info you say I can actually buy the list of names and addresses to go after on a direct mail campaign. Lisa, you said you did a lot. You did direct mount worked. Where do you get your list from? Um, I don't mean to put you on the spot I buy, like three years ago. I don't I just online, I just I just googled until I found a reasonable price. They're pretty reasonable. Yeah, I'm sorry. I don't mean to put you on spot. I don't know if you were using it for info you say that's where I was going with that so info yusa is a great place there's. Obviously, other resource is for those list on the list are pretty economical. You can usually by ah, couple of thousand names for one hundred box, one hundred fifty bucks I think I got seven thousand names for seventy dollars that's also, yeah, yeah, that's great and that's good because I want everybody to know it home it does it's not expensive to get that list that's the least your words expense comes in the production of the cards in the direct mail okay practice sales process you have got to practice right if you're weak it sails practice let's get going what's the sales process gonna look like how are you gonna walk them through it? How are you going to send them an email? How are you going to get them scheduled sit down practice on friends practice on family the last thing I want to do is when you sit down in that sales room is to get nervous now that doesn't mean you won't get nervous it's okay if you're a little nervous but don't let it screw up your sales process and you will build confidence that's the ultimate word that's what we're looking for the more you practice so get in there practice on friends and family on get used to be in that environment and what you're saying so let me give you a perfect example when taylor and I first started in home selling or in studio selling after every single meeting she and I would go through a debriefing and what I mean by that is we would sit back and go ok why in the world did you say this? Okay, you ever have those sales meeting and you're just you know as soon as the words come out of your mouth man you're like I can not believe I just said that ok, I do it all the time I say dumb stuff all the time so there's this checkpoint for me and taylor where in the beginning the client would raise an objection okay? And for those of you here and who purchase of course we're giving you the top ten objections and we're giving you the answers to those objections the answers to those objections came from experience because client would go well we really don't want an engagement shoot of each other and then taylor would say, oh well that's our chance to get to know you and then they would say something that just totally ended the conversation because that's not the answer that's the wrong answer when the client says to you I don't want an engagement session your answer isn't that's our chance to get to know each other they don't care they're not looking for a new b f f that's what we're here for the answer is a little bit different hey guys, I totally understand that you might not think you need engagement session but it really gets us usedto working with each other I want you to be comfortable on your wedding day not only that you came to us for artwork for your home and so I want to give you diversity in the artwork in your home I don't want every picture in your home to be in your tuxedo undress and not only don't wanna give you diversity in what you're wearing, I want to give you diversity in the time of year, right? So if you're getting married in the winner let's do a spring session for your engagement that's the answer? So that has come over time, the only way you're gonna get confident in that he's through practice and then stepping away talking to each other and, uh, comparing notes, right it's again, it's that inward reflection, we've got to be honest with ourselves what we do, right? What we do wrong, what can we do better the next time we get get there? Um, tweak your packages so the packages as they stand today, you're gonna have ninety days, they need to be tweet you're gonna have sales consultations in the next ninety days. You're gonna have client meetings in the next ninety days. I want you to take that ninety days of experience and tweak your packages when we get to that ninety day mark, meaning I don't care what they look like today, and not only you guys are screwed because we're meeting after this class and I'm gonna tweak your packages immediately they're getting a tweet again in ninety days. Okay, that should happen just so you understand, we tweak our packages every ninety tow hundred twenty days were constantly tweaking what we're doing in our business, so we don't just put a stake in the sand and we go here's what we charge here's what we do, we're adapting to market conditions, so whatever is happening in the market were adapting to it to make sure we remain competitive. One year mark, we're going to step back and we're going to evaluate the prior twelve months what went right? What went wrong? What do we need to adjust? Your business is a living, breathing organism. It is alive. We have to work on it. We have to tweak it. We have to nurture it. That is the only way it will remain healthy. We will create a new swat analysis. So when we talk about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, what they are today is going to be different than what they are. Twelve months from now. When I started out when I started off my business, things that were strength with maybe we've slacked on. So now those strengths have become, in fact, weaknesses, threats even to our business, so every twelve months I'm not gonna lie. I think you should do a swat analysis every six months for your business and this is an exercise that came out of corporate america in corporate this is what we used to, uh used to do all the time within our units. So not only did the organization on the whole have their own swat announces in our units we had swat analysis because each unit had its own set of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with one year mark I expect a plan for what your scalability plan is right? Who are you gonna partner with? How will you grow? That is the ultimate question, right? If you're staying home, mom right now, right? Rachel the one challenge you have right now is how you going to scale how you gonna grow your business now? We don't need to be thinking about that right now, but the minute you quit your job because that is fully what I expect to have happen in one year I've got you on that twelve month plan what's your scale, billy plan who's gonna help you who's gonna help you spend time with the kids. All those objections you told me you had right? When I said to you what's in the way between you and doing and following your dream you came up with a couple of things, how are we gonna overcome those there's going to be mohr along this path in the next twelve months? How are we going to overcome those what is your scalability plan who's going to be around you to help who is going to help you with editing who's gonna help you with packaging whose packaging the products for you was it you or you're gonna be sitting up till twelve am wrapping boxes right or you gonna get an intern of some sort or you're gonna get one of your high school seniors who needs a part time job in the summer what is the scalability plan you rachel have to focus on the business side of what you do all of you eighty percent of your time has to be geared towards business the twenty twenty five percent of the time is on shooting uh if you're not full time now then when if by the one year mark you are not full time when are you gonna be there what you waiting for? I've gotta understand it you've gotta understand it you're telling me this is your dream you're telling me this is your passion this is where you want to be then you tell me what is it going to take to get you there we've got to stop talking about it and start taking steps direct action to get you there and I'm willing to help you every step of the way I'm an open book for you to read but we've got to stop procrastinating we've got to take steps to get there who all right well um get this piece of paper out, guys, do we have questions coming in? I'll start taking those, but next up is your swat analysis. Uh, this was given to you, so, um, printed out start riding on it. We're gonna do this together and understand how this impacts our business. What we got? All right, quite a few people are still they don't have a studio space where they're working out their home with kids and so they don't want to, uh, clients coming home, you know, with the kids there and with our wondering, you know, can you meet in a coffee shop? Turner knew me virtually for clients that are out of town. Can you meet on skype? That is an awesome, awesome question. And the answer is yes to both the first two and a half to three years, I didn't have a studio space think about the competitive disadvantage I was at ninety percent of my client base for weddings are out of st louis. I'm in o'fallon, illinois, so I'm about thirty to forty minutes away from most of my clients. When I first started out, I would mean I had to make it easy for my clients to meet with me so I would drive downtown. To starbucks and I would meet, I'd have a little little tote bag with me that had, like, four five different albums in him on, and I would sit down with them at starbucks, and I would show them everything and have my presentation at starbucks with him so absolutely and let's say your clients are out of town. I've got clients called me from new york from chicago or clients who are getting married in st louis, but they don't live here. Skype is a great solution for that, so I can now jump on a skype call and have that conversation with him. And from their perspective, they're happy with that that's today's client. They're more than willing to jump on a skype call during their lunch hour, or even during the middle of the day to have that conversation, you're making it easier for them to book. You make it as easy as possible.

Class Description

Learn actionable and affordable marketing strategies you can use to help grow your business from Sal Cincotta in Marketing Your Photography Business.

In this class, you’ll learn how to generate more site traffic and prospective customers though easy-to-implement digital marketing techniques. Sal will show you how a combination of social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs) and search engine optimization (SEO) can attract leads to your site. He also show you how to build a marketable portfolio that impresses potential clients once they arrive on your page. You’ll also learn how to determine if your marketing plan is working, and how to fix it if it's not.

This course is great for both beginning photographers and established studios. The basic strategies provide a good fundamentals refresher for established studios, and the more advanced information gives less-established photographers a roadmap for the future. There will be advice for ANY genre of photography marketing.

Class Materials

bonus material

Top 10 Objections for Sales

Bride Groom Blog Questions

Setting Client Expectations

SWOT Analysis

Facebook Template Instructions

Sal Presentation

Facebook Template Fonts

5 Facebook Templates


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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I'm currently a business owner in another industry. The business is financally successful, highly respected and the envy of our competitors. In order to market the business how I visualised our brand/customer, I learned how to take a photograph! I then feel in love with photography... I can completely relate to the concepts Sal is offering. This is fantastic advise many of which I have implemented in my own business. It's amazing how this advise can easily transfer to marketing any business or product. Unless like I had done you want to find the time to read countless books on the subject of business marketing, learn from trial and error, then simply fast-track years ahead and buy this course. It's a no-brainer! If only CL had been around when I had literally fought my way through setting up my business I would have found success a lot earlier. Sal's passion, drive, creativity and determination is what he can't teach you however. You are gonna have to do it your own way! Good luck to you all and Happy New Year.

a Creativelive Student

I have been taking Workshops all over the world these past two years. Once CreativeLive was introduced to me I began trying to absorb all the free information and taking notes. You do not always review your pages of notes so it is wonderful to have a video library. Within one hour with Sal I realized he was providing so much information that I just went ahead and bought the course. Happy to have it to refer to and feel that I have a mentor who I will be checking in with. Great teacher, funny and entertaining.. Well worth $99..thank you Sal.

a Creativelive Student

All I have to say is WOW!!!!!!! Well actually there's more. My husband is USC Ulumni, business major and sat in for 45 minutes of day 2 while I was watching and couldn't get away. He was so impressed he told me to buy the course now and listen to it 3 times. He said this guy knows what he's talking about. Says a lot coming from him. Sal, you are amazing and I am so excited to learn everything from this course and I'm already sold on getting your other course as well. Thanks Sal and Creative Live!!!