Skip to main content

SWOT Analysis

Lesson 24 from: Marketing Your Photography Business

Sal Cincotta

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

24. SWOT Analysis

Lesson Info

SWOT Analysis

In a nutshell, we've kind of highlighted it. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are your opportunities that lie ahead of you? Right? Strength or easy? What do you doing? Right. What makes you good? You guys hear better start thinking cause I'm gonna pick on all right. What do your weaknesses where you weak. Don't tell me you don't have any weaknesses. You have to what opportunities do you believe? Lie ahead of you. This is going to start helping you formulate your roadmap. What threats lie out there for you? If you're five, ten years studio, I know one of your threats right out of the gate shooting burners, erosion of the market share, right? And so we have to understand this this becomes your blueprint, your marching orders for the team. And so every six months, my team sits down and we have this incredibly critical conversation with each other where we're att the point of arguing with each other about what our strengths about what our swat analysis is, this becom...

es very important. Man, this is there's no fluff there's. No way. You guys are blown wind and just, you know, not being honest with each other if you can't surround yourself with people who are honest, get rid of him. They're no good to you so my team we are honest if nothing else, you may not like what I'm saying I mean not like what they're saying, but I know it's honest you have got to surround yourself with people who were going to tell you where it's at not be like oh, my god, that idea's amazing that's not what I want to hear. Okay, that's not gonna help me that's gonna help me fail. I want somebody to go you know what? That's not too bad of an idea, but did you think about this this in this that is going to help me grow? That doesn't mean I'm always gonna agree with them or that you're always gonna agree with them, but you should definitely have people like that in your life. You need those people to be successful. So I am sharing with you my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. So this came out of our last meeting in two thousand twelve, right? The latter part of the year. So just one quarter ago and this was what we identified and we're taking action on his part of twenty thirteen so I don't know how to be any more transparent for you than to share with you what minor and so you guys, I want you to start thinking about what your strengths are because we're going to talk about those next and back home. I want you writing this down, man. This is a golden opportunity to put this together side by side with me to get this to work. So what are we doing? Right, first thing, I think we're doing right imagery we produce great imagery for our clients. They love our work. We're attracting the right clients. They get it. That is not an area where week on I'm not weaken composition. I'm not weak on using my camera. I'm not weak on flash. I get it in my practice. And I'm not saying I'm an expert on perfect it's. Just a strength of ours. Okay? There's always room for improvement another strength preview turnaround time can't be beat man. Two weeks there last clients are seeing their images that is perfect. And can I pull it into four days? There's no point. Two weeks is perfect, so we're spot on with our turnaround time. Of course, we outsource it. I don't care. All I care about is that my clients are seeing their imagery. Our product offerings are albums are second to none. In my opinion, our albums are top notch not because I say so, but because my clients say so, my clients come in there interviewing a ton of photographers all of them say the same thing. Our leathers are completely unique when you open up our album instead of that crappy paper liner that's in most albums, ours is crushed velvet. Okay, so that's a unique product that makes it a high end album. That's one thing I know we're doing right. The overall experience. That's another one of our strengths were not selling. Just pictures were not getting those clients who are looking for just the photograph. I'm looking for a picture. They don't come to us. Our clients get an appreciate the experience. That cool factor, bottom line, man, perception is reality. Our clients love us because of the way we dress because of the way we present ourselves because of the cars we drive. Guys, we live in a superficial world. I should be should not be news to anyone when clients go. The clients that go to a, uh, plastic surgeon kind of a superficial thing to be doing. Do we not agree on that? Okay, thes air people care about their image. They care about the way they look. They're vain that's. Okay, I'm a photographer. I'm okay. If you're a little vein, I want you to care about the way you look, you're my client. I want you to care about looking beautiful that's my job but if I show up and I'm sporting a frickin fanny pack and clothes that haven't fit in two years and some black shirts that I've been faded because they've been washed too much what message am I sending to my clients? So there is that cool factor when we're bridal shows I've had brides come up to me and go I love your jeans because I'm wearing a parachute religion jeans they'll go up to taylor and be like, oh my god are those made by someone so because they know the manufacturer okay, you have to understand that that cool factor brides are deciding that when they're working with somebody who would you rather work with somebody that you can connect to and relate to on a personal level or somebody you just can't get at all right? You want most of my brides don't want to hire their dad to photograph their wedding that's not what they're looking for it's not who they want around for eight to ten hours a day so we have to we can not ignore that we can't ignore it it's reality accessibility return e mails and phone calls within twenty four hours that is a competitive advantage that's something we're doing right perceived value the client holds our products in high regards the clients see our products as unique again that is a strength force we offer unique sessions we offer on location and different cities for no additional charge I cannot tell you how many weddings I've booked for clients because I've told them I will photograph their engagement session in another city free of charge blows their minds every time and so that's just something we work into our product offering it helped me build my portfolio I love shooting in other cities taylor and I love travelling so it just works out perfectly adaptability we are quick to change the market trends so when we see something happening when we see a new product coming out we can evaluate it quickly and incorporated into our offering sticky albums is one of those products it's a brand new product we jumped on it and we're already offering it to our clients right that's just one product acrylics are another that's brand new right thes framed acrylics are brand new framed our canvas framed medals these are products that someone you can't get anyplace else there's no place else to get the framed acrylics and framed medals those air unique so we're jumping on that and incorporating that into our product line so that our clients see them and are blown away by them our energy and passion guys you've been around me my energy this is me all the time I love what I do I'm passionate about what I do not only do I hope that that comes across to you but it comes across to my clients my bride's mike rooms my high school seniors this is me this is who I am all the time you are you write your personality is part of what they're hiring you have to be aware of that that's either a strength or weakness for you and then of course our high end packaging the way we deliver final product or clients that is part of one of our strengths I truly see that as a competitive advantage for us people love that now that being said I'm curious online start hitting me what do you think some of your strengths are? I don't want to spend a lot of time and I just want to hear what you think your strengths are we're gonna go down this road rachel one strength you can't copy off each other um we've been told the artwork the imagery so people see your work and they think it's beyond just a photograph it's artwork I love it jules ah lot of mine are the same as yours but I think one of mine that stands out is that it's a consistent team it's always jeff honey, we don't have associates that's awesome I love that is a strength right because uh at one point that used to be a strength for me and taylor that we were a team and you are always working with us once we split up that was no longer a strength of our so you're absolutely right that is danielle my bride's always appreciate my prominence and e mails and my turnaround time is two weeks as well. Awesome I think my connection with people is really strong and that's good that's a great strength tohave right? You're understanding what you're doing right? Um I feel like mine's the same I'm pretty easygoing so not only like my connection with people like I have a lot of connections with people that I can use for help and then used to get into markets your network you're saying yeah, I understand the rights you're networking is really what your strength is yeah, I'm with you I'm just really good looking no, I understand it's actually her sometimes people understand no, I'm completely kidding I think one of my big strength is when people don't really know what they want I kind of get crafty in that moment like they're like, well, we don't really know what you want to be like how about this this and that and I think that comes across as you know our profession. We are designers by trade wedding planners phrase that in a couple of words in a word, your ability to improvise yes is that right that's the way I want you to start thinking I don't want you start writing the strengths down and they turn into these long drawn out sentences, right? In a nutshell, it's your ability to improvise and that's a great strength tohave all of you are our understanding what your strengths are back home. What do we have for some strength? Give me just like three or four that are coming in. Yeah, d style says that is a good listener. He makes the session funds that's definitely a strength. I mean, having a good time is extremely got have a good time. Yeah, uh, someone else says, ah, compassion show cherries as compassion and personality is master, and so we're getting back to personality and d still says, good, I'm a good listener and I make the session fun. All right, so so this is good stuff, right? So those are the those are their strengths, okay? And I love how personality keeps coming up. I hope everyone here and everyone back home understands that clients are absolutely hiring you for who you are as a person. You have to understand that a lot of artists don't quite get that, and so they're hiring us. They're willing to spend more money sometimes to be around somebody that they can envision themselves with eight, ten, twelve hours when we're talking about weddings, but families babies, they wanna have fun on the sessions that's what it's all about people don't want to spend a lot of money and then they're dreading the photo shoot so we have to understand that all right, now it's time to be hard we got to be honest with ourselves about our business what are our weaknesses? What are we doing wrong? I love talking to people that don't think they ever do anything wrong way got its really the client there they're the ones that are challenged, not us, right? We've got to look inward this is where you have to surround yourself because I could have anybody around me to tell me what my shrinks are all right but who's going to really be honest with me who is going to really be honest with you and tell you what your weaknesses are? And are you willing to listen to them or you gonna make some excuses? So here's what our weaknesses, our customer service and look that note there was no transparency here I copied and pasted right into this document. This is without a doubt where we are failing triple exclamation mark I am disgusted with the level of customer service coming out of scp in two thousand twelve and the reason that was happening is we were growing too quick and so that happens with almost any business that grows quickly service is usually one of the first things to start falling through the cracks I had mohr pissed off client emails in two thousand twelve the night had in four years total before that that's on me man that's not on anybody else that's not my client's fault they came to me expecting an amazing experience and I dropped the ball okay, so I had to let I had to fix that when we sat down in december, we knew we had to fix this quality control product is going out the door damaged or incomplete okay or just flat out wrong so this is to my client's I'm not talking about professional photography I'm talking about to my bright we were sending out orders to them because we grew so no longer was taylor checking in orders, right? We had somebody else checking in orders they've since been fired, okay? But we had someone else checking in orders who wasn't paying attention to detail. So the quarter let's say the client order ten five by sevens she's counting eight prints and she's packaging this up and going so what would happen is maybe the lab ok didn't get get us the right amount of prince maybe when we ordered them we missed them, it doesn't matter you need somebody there only final quality control before it goes out the door right there the last line of defense so labs are gonna make mistake labs they're gonna print things and they're the wrong colors somebody's got to be checking them right or it got cropped wrong workout bent when he got shipped who's checking that you need somebody owning the final quality control check so here we were way send out one order it was like the wrong couple we delivered the wrong wedding album to a client can you imagine my business is built on this personal aspect now my client opens the book they're like wow they uh they don't know what we look like okay that's what's going through their mind so these were that's why said this person has since been fired right they're gone but these are the things that happen when you when your business starts growing so I wasn't gonna tolerate man this to me these are the top things that we were being we got and at one point in time in our career these were strength for us so now we've got to stay on top of that that's why the swat analysis is so important to keep doing callin doring calendar ring was a nightmare in our studio I mean an absolute nightmare I was scheduling photo shoots that were scheduled on top of taylor having sales meetings for me right and it's like it's four o'clock where are you? I'm like I'm in my sales meeting she's like you have a photo shoot now okay, so all these things were starting to have happened because as we were growing there were no processes in place guys learn from our mistakes this is going to happen as your business grows so you don't grow with the pace we've grown out and not have growing pains, but if you just keep having these pains and don't fix him, you will go out of business and so we are very committed to fixing these issues the video turnaround time, right? So we jumped in the video, we loved it and then all of a sudden we weren't turning video around for eight to twelve months, right? So we had a couple of video editors that weren't quite cutting the mustard then they were taking too long, right? So these are all issues that we've had to fix product turnaround time inconsistent some clients would come in, they get their orders in two weeks. Who printed pictures two weeks then if we got busy during the year right? I'm shooting and things like that I was becoming the bottleneck so suddenly would take six weeks to get their product no excuse they don't care that we're busy, they just want their product that they just spent two thousand dollars for that, so these are things we have to fix ordering process is riddled with mistakes, not streamline again as we were growing who was doing what taylor was doing one thing. I'm doing another no workflow on the back end, right? Canvases were coming in, and eight weeks prints were getting here in four days. There was no rhyme or reason for what was going on. It was very inconsistent. Okay, how everybody here appreciates I am completely being transparent and sharing riel weaknesses of our business team communication. The team was not in sync it all okay? Taylor was assigning a task to elissa that was in complete contradiction to a task I was assigning to elissa. Okay, eliza would tell me one thing. I would then re communicate the message back to taylor and it would be wrong. So the team wasn't in sync. We had to fix communication with the team. What did we do to fix that? We start having team meetings every monday morning. So every monday morning, the team is all sitting together at my house, and we're getting in sync on this stuff. Okay, since we started doing that, having those team meetings that problem's gone away, so now the team is in complete sync, right? If he's the little things, um, inability to create invoices so we weren't even created, able create invoices at one point that's since been fixed. Website, not updated with current images or staff in phone hey, partner that's been fixed we don't have our staff up there yet but our cp site we do have our our portfolio is up today. Okay? How many of you have a portfolio that's not up to date on your website to me that's a weakness I want to show my current work album designed turnaround time and tracking we would submit albums for design just disappear into a black hole unacceptable on acceptable we want to turn our autumn designs around in three to four weeks for our clients we want to get their arms in their hands and a four to six week window after they give us the green light and what was happening was the initial design would get out, but then the client would write back and be like a change this change. This thing changed this and it was like in a dark hole it should've been turned around in twenty four hours, but it wasn't it was going to this black hole and then the client was what getting pissed off and then we had to go on apologize and figure out what was going on. So these are all workflow related issues. As your business grows, you're going face he's growing pains and they can destroy you if you don't address them correctly so seems like a lot of weaknesses for a studio that's pretty damn busy but all businesses have these weaknesses the question is are you willing to be honest about it? So rachel weaknesses um I would say I'm helping the client to relax during the shoot like we can relate while I'm talking to them all the way up to the shoot and then they kind of sometimes they freeze up a little bit in that smiling through the eyes is hard a little bit so you're if I understand your weakness correctly it's communication with the client yes posing, guiding that kind of stuff posing we got it's the them being able to relax while they're in the post yeah, and that is on you that's on us is the photographer, right? So that is a weakness that you have to fix because when the client comes in and sees their images, if they don't look comfortable, they'll be the first to recognize it by the way on they won't buy that image I've seen it happen over and over again, so we gotta work on that right, jules for me personally it's, time management and organization just staying focus to finish one thing before I get distracted on five other things little lady d a little city it's good so how are you going to fix that? By the way? There's a lot of photographers a lot of artists have a little lady di well, I'm really excited to look at your workflow document to start. I tried to put my own together, and it was a nightmare. So let me teach you a little trick that I learned just coming out of corporate america put together a to do list ok live by this document, by the way, so I have a master to do list for every business I own for all the things we got going on it's a six page do it it's daunting, but everything I have to do, and we're all guilty of this, right? I got to send that client and email write it down on your list. These list can be, uh, there's tools like wonder list if you don't know what checking out things w u n d e r l I s t it's an app for your phone so you can actually create it on your phone and it syncs up with all your computers, but more importantly, it syncs up with your team so I can actually sign elissa a task and have her right get that task immediately from the phone. But what I'm telling what I'm suggesting you do, all of you out there is get together, one giant list, everything you need to do live off this list it's always open on my computer. And then every day put together little micro list so every day I signed myself five tasks you're never really going to get more than five things done in a day okay it's just not reality but sign yourself five tasks from your master list every day so here's what I can do on monday here's what I want you on tuesday now if you finish those five tasks on monday you still have more time start pulling tasks up from tuesday and that'll give you more time on tuesday to do things I've talked to every member of my team and they have become more productive overnight when they don't do this and they're not following their list they're all over the place so if you talk to jenny or you talk to eliza making that change has gotten them or organized because I've got graphics people and they've got jenny is all over the place right she's super creative she's all over the place though if I don't get her focus so every day I get her on this and she functions better because of that yeah an internet start I will hear your weaknesses um right now I would say my biggest weakness I have a lot I have a lot I just want to want it and I know okay no logo on my branding no logo on your branding that's a monster weekends but let's talk about that for a second once you get your logo right, check that's. No longer weakness. Okay. And maybe as your brand gets stronger, your brand actually becomes a strength. Okay. That's. Why it's so important that this swat analysis is done? Ah, consistently. Not just once a year when you've got some free time, this is a great exercise for your business. My biggest weakness is going to be the thing that's going to take me the longest to overcome is I am just really afraid to put myself out there and ask for the business. Confidence. Yeah, yeah. So let me let me let me get like, all dr phil on you, man. Um, why are you, um, why are you afraid to ask for the business? What is it that is causing you to have that fear? Because I would imagine other people have that seeing fear. Well, you could probably charge me for a lot just asking me that question and have me dump on you. I think it's just that you and when you get your couch and simple and some tissue. Yeah, high level. What what is it that you believe just it's a self confidence thing of feeling not good enough like and I'm so afraid for somebody to actually say that I mean yeah what's the worst that they're going to say is you're not really that good, okay? And I should I should say ok and we're on but what can I share something with you? You know, we all have that I don't you and I know right? I feel like I'm not good enough all right everybody here fears feels that same thing we all have that fear inside we just cope with it a little differently, okay? But I have that same that same fear to am I good enough right? And my worth what I'm charging but if you follow what I'm telling you to do and go after the right clients, the fact that they're coming to you means they're choosing you see that's what you got to start understanding my clients were spending this level of money with me they think I'm good enough, but if I were charging five hundred bucks then they're settling for me it's a different mindset not only for them but for me I don't wanna be settled for I want you to choose me I want you to select me to be part of your day it's a completely different mindset and you're right that will take time to work on but it will build as your building confidence in your brand in your shooting and everything else you're doing, you're going to get where you want to be. I promise you all right? Uh, mine's expressing ideas, which then relates to another weakness, which would be the client experience. So help me understand what you say. Expressing ideas is part of your weakness. What does that mean? I'm trying to get across to the client. Like what I want them to do for posing kind of stumble with it, and it takes me a few minutes to actually get it out like the words together. Just kind of articulate what you're what you're looking for. Yeah. So then affects the experience for them because it's not like a a flow it's kind of choppy. Yeah. Why do you think? Why do you think that is? Well, maybe let me ask the question. Well, differently. What do you think you could do better toe to fix that practice? I just want make sure yu said, what would you say, there's? Only one way to do it. Get out there in practice and the more you do it, the more confident you ll be. When I started off posing, I was like, freak out trying to tell somebody how to pose and it was just one day it clicked for me, and I'm like, I don't care. In fact, sometimes I'll go up to people and just grab their foot and put it where I needed to be, because I don't have time to be messing around so that confidence will come. But I'm glad you're identifying these weaknesses, robbie keeping track of sales receipts, making invoices, all the paperwork, it's kind of important body. We have got to figure out when the paperwork that, you know comes behind the scenes. Yeah, so the back end part of the business that behind the scenes part, right? You've gotta have that look, you've got a great girl you're with, she wants to help you, she wants to be part of this let her if you know, your weak it that she's got to be strong in it because on the last break she was going out looking for places for you, so she seems pretty organized in helping with that, so engage her, let her be part of that because I have taylor for that if not for taylor, I wouldn't know half the stats about our business. I know she's tracking all this stuff, I'm asking the questions, but you can't possibly think I'm the one in putting receipts every day, right? She's handling that for me so if you know that's a weakness that's one that can easily be fixed, okay, so when we have this conversation again in ninety days, that shouldn't be a weakness anymore, right? Because we're making progress, all right, weaknesses online, you know, it's fascinating, go ahead was going to rob, you are not alone in that because just still says business savvy is a weakness for them as well, and they're going to hire a bookkeeper to do their taxes and keep track of all of those receipts, capability, plan that's the scale bit of scale, billy plan. You've gotta have your partner network around you to support you, that you're outsourcing in a sense you're outsourcing the bookkeeping there's nothing wrong with that it's when you don't recognize by writing this stuff down, man, I'm telling you, there's a lot of power to putting pen to paper and seeing this stuff as damn I can't believe those are my weaknesses. I mean, having this this my list of weakness is on the board. I'm like cringing right now because I don't wanna have weaknesses I want my business is to be strong and healthy, but by writing it down and articulating it, it forces me to take action and what's fascinating is people online are sharing some of their not just the strengths as well, but they're weak and says how much I guess similarities with folks they're here in the studio audience I'll share a few right now and I know lorraine has a few more as well first time availabilities lunatic with full time job that's all weakness for them time management, another person mission that confidence most will people on this or mentioning confidence and one maura's my choke sherry says my lack of courage and inability to be firm firm with people yet that and deb also had the exact same thing she said weakness ability to stand firm on prices specifically that's a confidence thing though, isn't it right if you have to believe that your your product or service is worth what you're charging that confidence issue is what holds a lot of us back and there's a difference between being confident and being arrogant, right? It's not it's not about being arrogant it's just about believing in what you're doing, what you're offering and that it's worth it and you stand by your pricing and hopefully after the last three days I've convinced you to just believe in yourself all right? And julia julia says her weakness is partnering with vendors think julian really was is it legit? Julia julia that's what is that and in case list says ah weaknesses a t d with new ideas instead of being consistent and seeing something through I jump to the next thing that is g slot I think a lot of creatives have that problem because like new ideas air like easy that is flood through our minds and we're like let's just do it all you want to talk about a challenge try being me I've got the business acumen but then my brain has got all these ideas that is why I am on business probation this year because there is no shortage of ideas and now I've got this team behind me that can help me execute so I'm like yeah let's do this and then you know I dump it off to my team so I understand but we've got to stay laser focused on the task at hand to grow your business so and the confidence and guys don't worry about it all of us including myself we all struggle with that confidence you've just got to keep getting that experience believing in yourself and surrounding yourself with people who are going to support and believe in you and that confidence will grow so let's keep going here what are the opportunities that lie ahead of us okay now of course and opportunities to improve all the weaknesses we have right that's a given but what are some other legit opportunities for us customer service all the items already listen above but this weakness is without a doubt an opportunity for us to take it to the next level. So all the things I listed from a service level are truly an opportunity because if you can fix all those service issues you have with in your business you have just created an opportunity for yourself to differentiate your business from the rest a referral system for weddings okay, it was there but it was loosely there last year I needed it to be firmer I need us communicate it better to our clients and make sure they're well aware of it. So previously we were just real loose. Hey, here's, our referral program let anybody know if they book us, you get a free sixteen twenty four cameras but now we want to put that flyer in the back for them. Okay, so that was a change we made last year increase brand loyalty that is an opportunity customer only events and specials. How about a client appreciation party in the summer? So we're gonna have a party in the summer right at our facility for our clients? Just the barbecue come in network right? So just our client base a customer appreciation night, how cool would that be for clients? There's an opportunity there to continue to network stress the client for life program we have a client for life program where if you buy into it if you're in our black label package you get this client for life and you get one free photo session every year for the rest of my life right once I die party's over but until men every year you're going to get a free photo session that's a really good opportunity okay to get people back in your studio however over five years people are forgetting they even have that so we need to remind them of that that's a great opportunity to engage our clients again finished display areas in the studio and refresh refresh our prints and campuses right? Look prince campuses all those display products are expensive I get it but I don't want to have pictures on my wall for three four years my style has changed my editing has changed we've got to refresh that I'm going to establish studios all over the country and I look on their walls and I'm like holy cow man they've got pictures on the walls from like fifteen years ago it's time to refresh same if you're doing bridal shows man throw prints away it's time to upgrade finished sell landscape travel prints I love travel photography it's something I do I have pictures from all over the world that I've taken that have my own little slant on him but I don't show him anywhere someday I would love to have a gallery opening and show my travel prints and sell my travel prints. I think that's an opportunity for us, it's an untapped market, so we want to figure out a way to get involved in that strengthen relations with vendors, specifically the halls. So we want to start doing is after every event, send them a print not only with our logo on it, but then send them all the images on a dvd without them ever asking for it. I want to give them all these images for their sales room we print. Okay, so I've got I've got ah, absence seventy nine hundred. It would cost me ten bucks to print and mount something on on a piece of styrene. Why, after every event and my not photographing this local wanted and just delivering it to him because they will use it at bridal shows that will give us more publicity. So that's an opportunity for us to improve those vendor relations opportunity for you to start with you, but, uh, in house sales, yes, that is an opportunity for you, and now sails his monster so great, nothing else to be said their opportunity. Ah, utilizing my network, starting to actually use it, the network you've got exactly lisa, utilizing the network to gain experience and in turn, confidence and exposure, right? Ah, vendor relationships I have a lot of people that I know in the industry I need to go out there and make you know, make friends with them this is amazingly here all you kind of saying the same thing that you've got on I guess people out there is understanding that you already have this amazing network you're not utilizing it yet get out there and be a little more confident and start allowing the people who are close to you in your internet work to help you instead of doing this all on your own that's great jules same kind of thing but my opportunity is the eclectic bridal show that I'm going to dio that is a huge opportunity for moment multiple reasons, right? So talk a little bit about it just give it to me in like four sentences or like everybody know what this bridal show you keep talking about well if my backgrounds in concert production and I know a ton of vendors in the industry but I'm not getting the referrals from them. So in order to do a bridal show that relates to what we want to shoot, I'm producing a bridal show to bring all of those things together and give something different too the denver market for brides and vendor so we can stretch our legs and see something new in the industry how many other photographers you letting into the show we'll have debated about it for ever but on ly five others let photographers yeah lock that bad oh man it was such a hard decision would have been like salvador cincotti exclusive photographer of this say I'm going to be the the biggest name on it actually yeah well I love the client for life idea we've had several families that have bought the top packages so throwing a client for life there why lose it? They've come in now well, if you if you did one hundred family sessions a year and you gave away a hundred of those every year you will maybe see ten come back out of that grouping, right? Not the rest of them aren't going to come back and that's okay, but the ones who do come back you're giving them a reason to come back and they know how expensive you are so you know when they come back they're pre qualified that is the best lead you can have our your existing clients so perfect internet what we got opportunities a couple I can shout out immediately is from distill room for a high end senior photography in my area there's room for a high end senior photography everywhere man, this is a midwest thing and so when you go off to new york, if you're in new york or california man, they don't even understand what senior photography is you have a huge opportunity to create demand with the senior photography stuff, so yes for that sure and adrian far says opportunity magazine publications not enough people are doing that, so that is another great one they d'oh and I love it I love the way everybody's thinking on this stuff, right? So everybody's got their head right there writing this stuff down and go home have the same conversation with the people who were there don't don't do this in a bubble, you'd be surprised what kind of feedback you might got get something you don't even think is your strength because you don't have that confidence somebody might tell you no that's absolutely one of your strength on so you've got to do this in a group setting where you've got people who can support you on it. Yeah, a rule like this next one that just came in a preview from a senior session within an hour gets them excited and sharing on facebook with their friends it's perfect for an ambassador program that's incredible yeah that's um sick turnaround time and it's I clicked done her but I love hearing you talk about it think about long term with your customers talking about customer lifetime value of course, when you do engagement photos with their wedding photo went down the road they probably gonna have kids so force the lifetime that customer can provide you tons and tons of more business yeah, and there are great referral injun too, because they're working with you, their homes air decorated with all your images. So not only are you impacting them, you're impacting their network a cz well for referral. So it's absolutely powerful. All right, let's, talk about threats. So what are the threats to your business for me? These are my threats and erosion of market share tied to copycats. Guys in my local market. You know, I get asked this question all time like, well, why do you want to train your competitors? You know what keeps me competitive, man? Ultimately, you're not me esso I have confidence in who I am and my brand, but I have got a ton of copycats. We went to our most recent bridal show and I shared this with you earlier they all their boots were decorated identical to mine. People were walking up to me going high sound so young, creative, live right and that's totally cool, but at the end of the day, I've got to be able to compete and still book brides. And so the erosion of market share is a potential threat to my business, I've got to ensure that I'm continuing to elevate my business right? So I've got to hold back some tips and tricks you can't share everything we're doing, but I've gotta I've gotta ensure that we're continuing to innovate and grow our business, an erosion of market share tied to bad customer service. If we don't improve our service, we're gonna lose customers, we're gonna lose referrals, so that is an absolute bonafide threat to my business client indifference. That is a huge threat to all of us clients just don't care anymore. All right, it's good enough. And so if I don't do something to convince my clients that good enough is not good enough, if I don't re educate them and I don't start showing them something new, okay, that indifference can just destroy my business, so I have to continuously ensure that my sales process is straight. My educational process for the client is straight and the products were offering or enough to make a difference. You know, there's gonna be some things we do that the clients khun say I just don't care about, so I've got to continually make sure every six months that I'm looking r business, looking at our offering and were doing things that do matter to the client, not to us it's got to matter with the client, and as far as I'm concerned, probably the number one weakness or threat, I should say, is a failure to address our weaknesses. That is absolutely the number one threat to the business to any of our business is if we have these weaknesses out there ok and we're in denial about them they're smacking us in the head and we just don't want to acknowledge it we want to blame our clients we want to blame our competitors we want to blame right brides and grooms other photographers guys look inward it's you you own your business you control your destiny and so that becomes the number one threat right? What do you think the threat is your threat? Give me a threat um shooting burners thean difference definitely. So for you you think shooting burners or threat to your business? Jules ah lack of marketing bang out more people don't know us yes, that is a great threat to understand and identify right now no one knows who you are, okay, so that becomes very important danielle that was my big one too is not knowing no one knowing me. Um let's make sure way freeze that correctly brand awareness because I want to make sure if you don't phrase it correctly you're going to do things that don't make sense it's not about no one knowing you I'm sure people do know both of you but you understand what I'm saying it's more about brand awareness that's the threat right not being aware of your brand for me it's the brand awareness in an area that's completely oversaturated with photographers thats right so let me ask you what what you going t stand out from the crowd that experience but I've I've gotta work on getting in front of people that's right you've gotta work on that and that is going to trip you up on your right that big weakness you had is gonna help hurt you in these other areas so we gotta work on that lisa um I do feel like a big one is the indifference like people don't they think they want a cd they don't know they want the prince I guess maybe even um let's twist that education yeah we've gotta find a way to educate your client base right? That indifference is the right word clients or indifference but how are you going to fix that it's through education it's educating them that they do need more than a cd perfect yeah, I know is that same thing actually damage is pretty much um mixture of bad clients and trying to educate them why they shouldn't be bad clients how about this the threat is for you is you are attracting today the wrong client because off the branding and the lack of marketing right so that's because we that's something that we can start taking corrective action on that particular threat right? We can say okay so how do we fix that? We start putting the marketing and the branding in place to start connecting with right clients. You agree with that? Perfect all right, so yes let's go online. We got threats. Yep there's touring in their threats they're being awesome right now. Uh threat internews introducing new products and then the competition copying them and then undercutting them with a cheaper price. Yeah, the copycats are never going to end. They're going to be there and I face this challenge probably more than any other photographer out there running an active studio and educating people were facing a massive challenge with our studio. It forces me to be competitive. I love it, it forces me to innovate think differently, but it can be overcome. The copycat syndrome will never end would you have to understand is that you're selling more than in acrylic more than a campus get those anywhere what you're selling is you your experience, your vision once you start understanding and having confidence that your vision is part of what people are buying into your business will continue to thrive in amount of what your competitors are doing. So what else we got you? We got another one and you mention this over the course of the past few days and that that green book you've been talking about someone mentioned not making time to improve my skills and innovate that is a massive weakness for a lot of people out there. So, dude, I love this exercise that everybody's kind of getting involved. It's almost been like a community swat exercise, but I'm glad everybody's been doing it. All right, man. So here's, the question all of you out there. How bad do you want success? How bad do you want it? You've got to know how bad you want it, man, because it ain't gonna come easy. People are not gonna hand this to you people did not hand me success when I first got to st louis, all I was told was it couldn't be done. I was told point blank by another photographer I would never be successful. Can you imagine? Five and a half six years ago, I was told point blank I would not be successful. St louis does not like this kind of photography, my kind of photography, and they would not respond to that that photographers out of business now good for him. Okay, he didn't see the turn. He didn't welcome me. He wasn't willing to help me. He was just one of those negative people who wants to bitch about everything when people tell you it can't be done it's because they can't do it themselves, bottom line, everybody out there. Who's getting out in those user groups who wants to be in your life and tell you we can't be done or those other photographers who were out there at these coffee shops having their little clicking meetings and don't invite you in tow him, screw him when they tell you what can't be done, it's because they can't do it themselves and they have the fear they're afraid of looking inward. Bottom line believe in yourself when no one else will you have to believe in yourself you have to believe you. You can do this, all of you, all of you out there, man, I promise you it can happen and you have to want success more than you want to breathe. You have to want success more than you want to eat more than you want to sleep. There has to be no sacrifice. You khun met your not willing to make toe find success and I promise you you will do it hard work, perseverance, it's gonna pay off guys. And I hope all of you out there over the course of three days have gotten this. You've gotten one or two things out of it and I'm giving you everything I got, man I laid it all out for you and I wish nothing but success for all of you

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


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!!!

Student Work