Sarah's SPIKE Formula
Looking back at the sports analogy, we have to learn to pass the ball we have to learn to set the ball before we can go in and spike the ball and I played taliban, I was one of the shortest I'm six feet tall, we had six three twins and way were kind of some animals, you know? We just want our whole and, uh, marco, we got a new coach, we were all recruited and then our coach left, so we're like, lovely, we got this new coach and he's like, all right, we're in, he came in he's like, wow have this giant team, they're going to be terrible on defense and all we did was play defense, play defense, play defense because he knew we all can spike or six foot tall and taller. He knew that we could do that just like I know you guys are great photographers. You guys have great photographers, you're going to do that, you're gonna work on that that's all we did it, we just wanted practice spiking because that was our passion. We loved it just like you guys will learn the photography, ok? And so the s...
pike formula is what setting you up the bomb thiss set the spike is the promotional plane where you go in for the kill ok and that's what allows you to run the kind of business and be profitable ok so we're going to go through these five letters of spike excited are you guys excited? Okay we like to put give names to things because we feel like it can help you get your arms around it promotional planning is so big and again we talked about yesterday how people think marketing is advertising and really what I'm going to talk about traditional advertising so much different than that so what this is is this is a way for you to start being proactive okay, so that's what the spike formula is all about how to spend your marketing dollars and how to be proactive when it comes to attracting clients and not just sitting around waiting for that phone to ring so it starts with setting objectives ok? And we talked about this a little bit yesterday when we talked about business plan you're setting objectives in this piece is how many sessions do I need to have and at what average? So with my marketing who am I trying to attract and what average do I want to have them that yes so what we would like you guys to do is we start this spike product program by going up really, really high case of pretend you're in an airplane and you're looking down at your business and your business is a line in the sand that's twelve months long ok, so you guys cannot draw a line on your page if you want twelve little notches so you're looking like a bird airplane high level because as we go along the spike formula we're going to go lower lower lower because people eyes go well what is my auction display say well that way back up let's go back up high and look at what we want to accomplish and this is really interesting because we have people from all over the country here we have people from all over the world watching and it's so different because we're affected by our you know, our climate, our seasonality holidays on the other end of the world you know, we talked about us going into our busy season now all of us in the united states but in the on the other side of the world you know, when we're in first quarter and it's quiet and it's dead in australia they're busy because it's their summer and it's nice there and things are popping and happening so it definitely makes a difference what part of the country or in what part of the world you're in and I could sit here and say okay, everybody here's what I do and you can go do this but we like to teach the why so you understand why we're making these decisions we make you run through your filter of your goals your lifestyle where you what you want to accomplish in your business and you're looking down at this twelve months and your big picture saying things like I want to start high school senior market I don't do seniors but I really want to do that in my climate that's going to be may, june, july or in my climate it's so hot then they wait till school starts august, september, october maybe it's first quarter so you're just going to put, you know, a big circle there is like seniors and just write seniors this is when I wantto get the seniors in, you may say weddings, weddings, very the seasonality to weddings by climate, we're both in various that were but two hours apart matt night and I don't do weddings, but I know if I what if I was doing with things that I would not want to do a wedding in july would not want to do a wedding in august, but then we have these other seasons that air probably very peak, so you know, when those people are booking, you know, when those times are going to be busy, okay, so you know, there's two different philosophies you just heard there was a second we're going the same place so there's the philosophy of you can shoot when the ducks are flying right, so when everybody's getting engaged that's when you need to be there and that's when you need to be out drumming it up because you know they're certain seasons, you know, a lot of people get engaged or, you know, christmas and over valentine's day so you know, that's when you really want to be in there and on the ground so you could go that route that's the shoot wouldn't ducks are flying or you can go there out of, you know, create that, you know, make the ducks come out to you, so then you can get them because in my business like many crazy october november december what are we doing here in october? Not sleeping hall? Next thing I know it already, but we're busy at trouble number member december so in a pro phobia proverbially the ducks are flying in my market because that's when people they're off summer the kids are back in school people thinking photos for the holidays were all tan but my studio is about it capacity just with a few things that we dio I can't go out there with a big ad campaign and attract because otherwise I'm working day and night and I don't want that but I need the ducks to be flying january february, march that's when I need to put my budget there so you have to look to yourself of the ducks a flying valentine's day you need to be out there talking to them. It's like weight watchers, you know, they they reach out back to school. September, october, january jack, they're crazy not to be flooding the airwaves with the message of new you new here. Yeah, so they're really shooting when the ducks are flying. So you have to look at your business from up high and say, can I shoot when the ducks are flying? Oh, do I need to get those ducks to fly in my slower time? And I think for everyone, it's a balance of both, you have to be doing both. So looking at that line in the sand and saying, ok, here, I know there's going to be a big hole the ducks are not flying here, so I know I know that I can't just pick up my phone and there's going to be a great client on the other end because last year, january, february, march in every year, january, february, march, it just doesn't happen. So what am I going to do in that time to get my phone ringing? Because it's not gonna happen otherwise, in like high school seniors, those air, the ducks flying went around the corner after the hot after the new year of their junior year and they're into her yeah they're into their second semester of their junior year for most of us so that's when those ducks are flying if you're going to create a high school senior business, you need to shoot then and create the campaign and the buzz then and then there are some of you saying a lot of you out there watching saying we don't new high school see here's where we live and that's a whole another opportunity but you're like I want to do these high school seniors I think it's beautiful I think it's wonderful we've worked with a lot of people who are creating different kinds of senior business models it's not like in the midwest, you know they want the mantle photo they want the wall it's it's a big deal but I know california out here on the west coast it's not quite as big of a deal you guys to seize it is here in seattle area okay, but I know east coast, new york I mean, those guys nothing in canada and a lot of the other countries I know a lot of our ireland friends are our starting that and they're educating, which is a lot bigger deal, but just you're looking down at your business saying when do I want which kind of business? Baby's air great through the winter because they're born there's, newborn babies in january and february and march, if you I mean, I guess people can shoot babies outside, we never dio to shoot him in their home, but you could shoot him in their home, but, I mean, in the hot summer, I love babies because it's so hot outside if a mom sweaty and I'm sweating nobody's happy saying, with the high school kids, so we try to do indoor things during that time, some pet things, things like that, you know, pets, a a little niche that everybody can create in a slower season. So when you're looking down at your year and use, you kind of look big picture, okay? I'm a nude photograph, baby's first quarter senior spring and summer families fall and gifts the holiday season. Weddings will peak june and october when the wedding's speak for you kind there, may, june it's kind of shifted in this hot, hot weather. It almost seems like october still is a little september used to be big month, and now it's kind of moved, I think october you were a little bit more a little more guaranteed of pretty weather, so you're putting little circles there, so and that's going back again, going back to that business plan that we talked about yesterday and you said, how many sessions do I want to do this year? Okay, and so you've got that number in your head, and then you're looking down above and going ok, I said I wanted to do seniors this year and I said I wanted to do five senior sessions, so wind is my marketing need to be happening so that I can get those five senior sessions looking down and identifying what month you need to be doing that and what's really cool. We work with a student right now, actually, who doesn't want to work she's a single gal and she works really hard and she doesn't want to work in january in february very, very little I don't even think at all, actually, but if she has to do something, I'm sure she does, but she builds her year with the cash flow october november, december payment plans those kind of things so she can take off january, february, she works her wear off and she she wants to take off those two months and that's cool is we have the flexibility to do that. I created my business so that I have a second shooter who shoots seniors in the summer so I can be with my kids I want to be the mom that can go to the pool this is like a seven day I just want to say, hey, kids, let's go the pool and I know my business is still rocking and making money, and so everyone can do that high level any questions here on objectives for you moved to the next face. You guys got clear on what is my objective? I know people with that agency remember we had a client wants going well, I want to make money like, okay, we're assuming that with everybody right, you want to make money, but we've got to get lower down to the ground of objectives within the year each month how we're going to do that because as we go and we get lower to the ground, we're going to have to start making budget decisions of what goes where and if we don't know what we want to happen in that year, we're not going to know where to put that budget. So what happens with most people is you get a phone call from someone saying we donate to my school auction, for example, or whatever the idea is and you say, sure, so you're dropping money here and you're dropping money here and you're dropping many here in I see it every day we look at financials and people have spent money, but they haven't spent it on any specific thing. It's just been reactive. I'll do this, I'll do this, I'll do this and because they didn't have a plan, it didn't work. So we start with those objectives. K p planning this is my favorite one. You've probably heard this story of the professor who came into his students and anyhow to jar he had rocks and he had a student come up and he said, fill the jar with rocks. We should tell it's ball till it's well, yeah, you know, we should have a visual. I know. And I was going to say, watch one here way you guys weren't here, so fill the jar with iraq so the student filled all the way to the complete top and he said, class is the jar full and the class and yes, the jars full. So he reaches down and he pulls up marbles, and they're all like, oh, you tricked us. So the next student filled with marbles and then little pebbles and then sand. And then finally, the last june came up and filled it with water in everyone agreed pretty much other than a few air bubbles that jar was full agree well, what we do in our business is we take our jar and we fill it up with water first and we're nickel and dime ing our budget, we're on facebook all day we think that's marketing and we're giving we're doing half off, we're doing whatever we dio and we don't have any budget left for the rocks and if you put the rocks in a jar that's full of water what's gonna happen it's going to spill out all over the place, which we would do that to you guys, I'll spill all over myself. So the planning phase is where we look at, what activities are rock activities, what activities are the middle size activities? What activities are the end of the day activities, the water activities and to start with that water activities a little bit that's writing personal notes and being in facebook to engage those are things that some people think is their whole marketing campaign and really that's the water that you fill in when you have thirty minutes before lunch and you don't want to start something new, you go in and facebook and you engage with some people, okay? That's the water and I think that's what we see when people don't plan, they don't have the rocks in the fan and they're just filling it with water and water is money, so you're spending money here and his money yeah, and you get to the end of the year and you've spent a bunch of money but you didn't get the right clients your calendar isn't booked you got some somewhere right? Some iran you're working all the time case it really goes to this planning phase so let's talk about what is iraq? What rock? So your rocks you want to have one two big things in your plan over the course of the year. So maybe you're going to do a charitable marketing event with a couple other businesses in your community and these are the things that are going to take more of your budget more of your time and it doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to see a huge immediate return from them. But they're the things that you need to do to establish yourself as a player in your market as somebody that you know has it together that is a professional and it really does a lot for you throughout the year when you put these rock activities in because I think sometimes people think why have a budget whether budgets a thousand dollars or fifty thousand dollars you khun do fewer things better or you could do more things less well okay, so you can do one cool mailing or you can do a bunch of postcards you could do one big event with other businesses who share your target market or you go into a bunch of little things that don't really build your business, and there you don't have the time to really do a good job on them, so you're doing them really half way you're not attracting some of the right clients because you were sloppy forgot some of the details because again, if you do ten activities it's ten times as hard as doing one activity and and that's I think that's the hardest thing to get for creatives is like, oh, great, I don't know you're here, I want to do this oh, somebody once to do this and it's funny because I was just going through a promotional plan of one of the clients that we work with and, you know, and she's, this is you were on her second generation, and they're still just a lot of things that she wants to do she's got so many ideas and she's, like I'd like to partner with this frozen yogurt shop, and I'd liketo, you know, I want to do this here and I want to have an event here and, you know, I know I need to do my fault direct mail because that's that's it foundational piece and that's, my rock and and it is hard, but it gave going back to what we talked about yesterday with that museum of really forcing yourself to narrow down those activities so you could do a really awesome job if those things those marketing things that are going to do that I have the most returned for you so that's what? I'm going to get clear on what these rocks are, she was one or two rocks that you're going to do and you're going to throw your yourself into and I know your favorite is is direct mail. Yeah, yeah, I love direct mail marketing because you know who your target audience is. You have their name, you can put something gorgeous and beautiful in their hands and we're going to talk more about that later this morning and show you some of the cool things that we've done. But that is one of my favorite things because it gives people something to brag on me with instead of me having to put ads in paper, best photographer or stopping people saying I'm a great fit over you should come to me, my clients are walking around going look at this look at this look at this look at this, okay, but that's takes an investment I'm not talking about postcards talking about something really cool, another big rock would be having an event, so erin, it said it kind of quickly but to slow it down a little in more detail what she's talking about is I own a photography studio you own, uh, make a bakery and you own a flower shop and we're all in the same streets. We create an event where everybody that comes in during a certain day or a week, whenever probably a day, if we're really driving traffic during a smaller amount of time, we have giveaways, we have prizes every we're helping raise money for charity. So the charity's promoting for everyone to come to these three businesses, the bakeries mailing to their list, the flower shops mailing to their list, I'm mailing to milosz. We're introducing our clients to each other instead of just renting a mailing list to strangers they have or your client have a relationship with you. Your clients have a relationship with you, and my clients have a relationship with me, so when I say, hey, guys, come check out what she's doing what she's doing, and we're having sampling all the food and everyone gets a flower flower arrangements when you buy, when that day so much money goes to the charity and any sessions you book that day go to the charity, so we're just creating this exciting thing. We're teaching them how to do flower arrangement. We're showing them how to arrange artwork on their wall you're showing them how to make stuff with their kids so you have a little station where they bring their kids who wouldn't want to go to that I'd want to go to that maybe it's holidays in its holiday floral direct decorating you leave with a wreath so that is a rock and that takes time and budget and effort and so how I look at this if you're looking back down at your year, did you want to tell you I was just going to say that's high touch and that's what everything that we've been talking about with this boutique business model over the last three days is that sarah wants high touch with her clients she wants to have that interaction with them so you know what these events are built around are a way to interact with your client s and get to know them better and give them an experience that so cool and that's what that boutique business model is about. So if you're if you're just driving high traffic which is fine that's that's another business model you want to drive a lot of traffic through studio you're doing sports for that aspect it may be wouldn't be something that you'd want to do, but this is this is for those clients who want to attract fewer clients and have it being really high touch yes, so if you're looking down at your year and you're saying ok, I know I need some rocks I'm gonna put these rocks in my year how how many and where exactly do they go and what my rule of thumb is? We've had a lot of questions I know on the in our internet crowd we've had a lot of questions too on how do I know how many tug it markets you know? I want to do babies I want to do seniors I want to do weddings, I want to do all of these things how I know which one to focus on do I focus on them all equally? Well, the thing is my philosophy is pick the one that you are the best at and rocket and then when you can justify doing something cool, adding a second rock pick the second one that you're great at and rocket ok, because if you're taking one budget especially you knew or guys you're taking one budget and you're spreading it and you're trying to reach out to seniors and you're trying to reach out to babies you're trying to reach out to what is you don't have enough budget to really rock at one thing, so even if you're still offering, I'm not saying quit offering everything but focus on what your passion is and I say like if you if you could be alone and you were, it wasn't about making money and you could do photography all day. What would you photograph for me and be toddlers and babies all day? Crazy toddlers and babies more the merrier. So that's, what I should focus on and if you're not sure what that isthe, you know, that's where you gotta pick one, you know, you know you're better, you like working with seniors more because you can light them and you can move them versus you don't love working with the toddler, so figure out what it is, start with that one rock and figure out what the best time to put that rocket isthe the beginning of the fall, where the ducks are flying, so you want to capture all of those ducks and get them in early beginning of senior season. It's bridal time, valentine's day you tie in with all the valentine, the whole love event that's, a big rock, and as you're doing this, you're building your database. Your database is one of your biggest assets, okay, every business, whether you're high volume, low volume, you've gotta have a database because they're the people who love you and who will refer you and we'll talk this afternoon even about what to do when you you know, sit there and you don't have sales and you're you're you're slow you go to your database and we talked a little bit about it even yesterday with the cold metal images that you we presented you from white house, you can go home and call probably a bunch of clients and all of us can get a sample and say, oh my gosh, you got the coolest new product you've got to see this and boom, we've got clients okay, so so get those big rocks just draw rocks where you think they're going to go and don't worry about how much should I spend on each of these what's it gonna cost what's my budget? We're getting remember we're starting high, we're bringing that plane down a little as we're getting closer now we're starting to see promotional activities happening through the year in the form of our big rocks. All right, so then we've got a big rocks in yet, so now we want to look at the smaller things, the things like auctions, the things like partnering with a another local business owner who shares your target audience and maybe gifting something to their best clients you have these smaller activities that don't take as much of your budget but that you also need to account for because, you know again otherwise you've got these two big rocks and then you're sitting around waiting for stuff to happen the whole rest of the air right? This is why I like the direct marketing that direct mail really cool piece because you can put them overrun a bunch and then when times are slow you go out there and make something happen okay that's scary when we're slow and we don't have a budget but if we have a stack of gorgeous printed pieces I could make every single one of your phones ring with very little money because I go to your best friend who's running the junior league and I'd say hey what if we do a fundraising effort this month where we can mail this piece here to your whole crew and when they purchase a session I donate that whole money back to you no then no time nothing it's just a little it's a little marble or piece of sand that fills in between those rocks because you have that piece you go to school auctions um you go to the your your brother in law who has a bakery bakery morning we're all thinking doughnuts and you say, hey, I will gift all of your clients who invest in catering you know they're investing a little bit more for some photography or maybe they only kids clothing store they only gift shop they invested a certain level they'd get a gift certificate to me maybe matt, your sister laws there. Real state agent. You tell her this beautiful piece I'm gonna give you. When you sell a house, I'm going to give them a two hundred dollars, get to me and it'll look like you purchased. It looked like a gift that you purchased. A lot of realtors do this and they're out there talking about how great you are. And there and there bragging on you and showing this piece in the value the perceived value of this beautiful piece they come to you excited? They we know they're in the right target market because they just bought a home in your demographic. And so we're going out there were making these things happen all year. What did all those activities cost me? Time, time and relationships we've learned with all the activities over the last three days. That's why I encourage everyone to invest in this training? Because even if you've watched it once, I know use miss stuff, same thing you've got to lay the foundation with your business. It doesn't happen in a vacuum you can't just promote and sixteen, you've got to do all these other things, same thing when we get to the promotional part you can't run of. Business in a vacuum without having relationships with other people that's why this afternoon conversation is going to help everyone how to talk to people on the phone what to say what to say when you meet someone how do you how do you go about asking for a display in a store you've got to be able to have those conversations and I know it's scary I know it's scary it's very scary and I think one of the main things that we talk about a lot is you have an option to shop locally in your in your markets all of its student matter what size of of city you live in you've got an option tio choose to shop with a local store owner who's like you or you have an option to go to the big chain and person things you know you need to go the big change but for any opportunity you have to support your local business owners that is so key because there are there the people that are going to support you back as a local business owner and for me in my city whenever I need to send flowers I go to the coolest flower shop I have an account there my credit cards on file they know what I like I call say he send us here boom done I have a relationship with them I know them I talk talk to them when I go in there, how you know, who are your audiences when he what can I do? What can I do to help you? And so we can all learn a lesson from that. You need a baby gift. Don't hop online and order from a national chain find a local place to buy a gift even if it's not a baby store, get them a basket with wine and fresh bread from the bakery or b creative with it because that's, how we build those relationships okay, so we gotta rocks. We've got our marbles. One of the marvels that we'll be talking about in a minute in detail is auctions every single one of you you guys that are bringing new and you don't have a client yet. This is going to tell you exactly how to get a client, okay? School auctions so give shooting when the ducks are flying, you cannot go home, call every school, every charity do have options, you have options and you're going to donate to them and it's going to get you a client that's this marble, middle act, middle size activity and then we've got the water activities that fill in again this is going on facebook. I get this is my rant for the day. Okay? We don't go on facebook to put its sales. Okay. I mean, you can choose to do that if you want and you can see your business do this. In my opinion, we go on facebook to build relationships toe have friends to listen to what's happening in our client's lives. I haven't really awesome client one day talking about how she just signed up to run her child's school auction. Hey, if I got a client running the school auction, I'm given something big because she wants to see it succeed she's telling everybody to bid on my stuff and we get big every year. She keeps running it every year, so I found that out on facebook. That's a water activity. We had another amazing client that our favorite kind of client who comes back every year and has another child. E I think we have our sixth coming this fall. The six baby in like six or seven years, but one of the middle aged middle age middle ages. The little girl jumped off the second balcony and broke. Both of her legs so we can reach out we can send flowers we khun b hike oh my gosh, sometimes we've had clients who love us and went through this thing and then we can get them to pick up you know, come pick up their order and we'll go on facebook to see if something's going on and inevitably there's some tragedy or something in their life and we were like, ok, stop calling way get it! We'll put him in storage and will reach back out we can send a card if it's something public or whatever. So it's our relationship tool it's not a sales tool, ok, but those water activities are a marketing tool, so we're writing notes I mean, I put say, put on your list, right? Five notes every week get the newspaper you know, it's this big I don't know you guys may be seen when they're big they're white pieces of paper with words army hope they come to your door we've seen on the opening kid, especially the younger generation they're like what's that need paper but there's so many leads in there give stack of those press pretty cards from white house that we are addicted to write notes every day review the paper hey, I saw you want an award that is awesome congratulations sign your name you think they're not going to remember go oh it's a photographer that was so thoughtful this's building your brand this is getting people to fall in love with you and your logo looks like you're building that looks like the car that looks like everything's so they recognize you they're starting to have a relationship with you by school seniors mean they do that whole page of these really smart seniors in the news that our valedictorians mean freshman send to tell all of them because they're going to be dragging your kids in student of the month all those people one of my favorite clint or sports people we've read the sports page and I don't always but I got away from reading the paper in this weekend I read it on like a full page article on one of my really awesome clients and I'm like why am I not read this every single day? But I wrote a note there was on the sports page of an article about one of I have a family that I photograph they have four kids and one of the girls was in softball and pitched a no hitter something picture of her in all this and I couldn't run or not I'm like that is so awesome I don't have a sales training I mean I've genuinely thought it was awesome anytime you're a kid and you're in the paper that's really awesome ah couple months later the mom called and said my daughter pushed me she told me every day have you called sarah petty he called therapy because they come about every three or four years and get huge seven had been about four years whatever she's like she drugged me in here so I mean the power of a personal connection and look with that cost me of the dollar for that card in a few minutes of my time I'm reading the paper anyway I ripped those out and sometimes I'll rip him out and at the end of the week when I have a half an hour I'll sit right those notes so I literally have this cool accordion file on my desk with no cards of like several different images and obel ope so I mean there's no excuse for me not to do that so you guys that are new and we're going to talk about budget next but you guys that are new that are saying but I don't have any budget I need to make this work without a budget you know what? Get no cards and write notes I want to jump in here because way had an interesting guy as one of our cafe joy experts a few months ago and he was a wine broker and he he talked about how he grew his wine broker business because he wasn't in a market where he mean it was a national thing you know he's in a unit so you can't just go sell wine to people locally he's gotta have you know, clients all over the world and they're expensive so he's gotta have the clients that are hard to get into their ceo is there there higher income and so hot? One of the things that he did is he saw in the newspaper like in the home section this prominent businessmen man and his community had built this new house and they were featuring his home there was just reading the newspaper and sees this and he happens to see that they have a wine cellar in their home and so he picks up the phone and he calls them and he said, hey, I just I just was reading the paper and I noticed you guys have a wine you know, big huge wine cellar in your home and you know, I was just wondering what what type of wind you like because I'd like to send you a bottle you know, it's selfish you know, selfishly I have I'm a wine broker but you know, I just you have an awesome wine cellar and you know, hey it's, my pitch I want I want to try to find something unique for you that you've never heard of and I would like to send you something and the wife and answered the phone and she said you know she said my husband's really the one that does that you know let me you know see if he wants to talk to you or not and you know I'll get back to you well it turns out the husband actually he didn't even know the husband was like a ceo of a major city and so it turns out the husband did calling back and suddenly now he's provided winds with this whole entire company you know their best clients and not just his guys own personal wine broker but also doing it for everyone yes because he saw it in the newspaper and he picked up the phone and he called them so you know, I just you know, writing no pick up the phone whatever it may be you may not be practical on the phone but you know it doesn't have to be that hard no and we're all looking for quick I need the phone to ring ring ring when you start writing five notes a week and call me in three months and tell me you know it's the drip it's the consistency that builds that brand okay so spike identify and allocate your budget ok again we're coming down lower getting closer to the ground and now is when we have to figure out ok when I put my money which rock how much do I put here? How much do I put here and how much do I spent? I think that's, the big question of watching my budget be yeah, I figure out how much I have to spend before I can even look at those. So from our years being in the advertising agency and the benchmark study that people did, we know that a healthy business invests between eight and ten, sometimes twelve percent, but we use eight to ten percent as a rule of your projected gross sales, because if you're saying this year I'm in, I'm going to bring in one hundred thousand dollars in business. So that's what? You are not your net income, but this this is what you're selling to your clients is one hundred thousand dollars you have eight to ten thousand dollars to invest in all this stuff, okay? I mean that's eight to ten thousand dollars can do to rocks one big rock and a lot of awesome marbles mean that's, not a small budget. Now, if you're saying ok, I only had three clients last year, and maybe it added up to the seven thousand dollars you have seven hundred dollars, okay, maybe this year, you're projecting to double that, so you have fifteen hundred dollars, so you have to be you, this is where this afternoon and those sales skills air coming in okay because you cannot be afraid to pick up the phone you cannot be afraid to go to every activity in your market you cannot be afraid to speak that's another little marble activity that we didn't talk about go to the hospital to the mom group and speak about photography go to the if you do business portrait's go to the business meetings and talk about the importance of a professional business portrait for your brand get in front of groups of five ten people and get a client because if you don't have the money to spend and investing in doing some of these bigger activities until you d'oh you've got to get out there and hustle and we're going to teach you this afternoon how to talk to people and how to do that but if you're saying I'm too scared to talk to people and I don't have any budget within there's not a lot that we can do for you right now and I know that's hard to hear s's milik suzie orman coming out you know but but I feel like part of our responsibility is to be honest with people and say you've gotta have money to invest eight to ten percent so if you have clients you have money to invest this is where that bootstrapping comes in not going to ever tell any of you to go get alone ever okay, I may tell you to go get a job to fund it if that's what you want to dio but but I'm not alone person because if you don't have the skills and you get a loan you're going to be a person without skills and a big big debt so get the skills build your business as your business grows you your eight to ten percent growth year after year after year and then you can do cooler things sorry chat room hosts sorry because I'm sure we're getting hate mail there but sometimes it's hard to hear those things but especially if you're new if it's cheap and easy everybody everybody do it and you guys are here investing in yourselves you guys came here for three days you left your kids you left your businesses you left everything to come here to learn this stuff and you're going to excel but you have to know that you have to do certain things and it's not cheap and it's not easy but again I'm not saying you have to go into debt and you have to mortgage your life away. You can do this by using the skills that we're teaching you so we're talking about identifying and allocating your budget you've got eight to ten percent so let's just play with one hundred thousand dollars budget I think I did that my second year in business k six figures in two years you guys can do this okay maybe it's two and a half I started at the end of the year so second full year in business and very part time I have two little babies at home I have a sitter two to three days a week for the first couple years of my business so you guys know you khun do this same thing as well so let's play with that hundred thousand number so you have eight to ten thousand dollars so we're looking down at our year and we're saying ok, can I can I get two rocks in for this until we talked about iraq being and direct mail piece yet so my first couple of years when my budget was smaller I put the whole budget like I think it was three or four thousand dollars into one cool promotional piece that lasted me two years so I was getting two or three years I was getting clients for several years in the budget was already spent so the next year I still have this pile of promotional pieces and I had another budget that I could do other things but so the second year I could add a second rock and it was several years before I added the senior component because I still had to keep those clients coming in so in my business I do it a a big mailing in the fall to get my bit my great database of my databases and big one of our idols and mentors and actually get to be with him in a couple weeks so we're very excited his name is seth code and he is just you guys are all not and I love you guys of course you're both your car is full of books he is amazing and we actually get to go be with him in a workshop were always investing in ourselves tio but again, where was going with my story that all excited about seth go not can't talk so what's it says is rather than going out and trying to expand by finding more audiences so you know I'm not getting enough kid family business so that must mean I need to do weddings and I need to dio pets and I need to do seniors what he says is you need to create more products it before for that market that you're that you're that you're sweet spot and his thing with the database is a thousand is a healthy database I mean I think my database would keep it clean eight hundred um six seven, eight hundred so you don't have to have tens of thousands of people who know you and love you so a good healthy little database can do a lot for you so one of my big rocks is the fall communicating to my audience to come in I put a senior rock in there we've done fashion show events where we read out a huge hall and we tied with the radio stations, we create hoopla, we've done modeling programs, we've done big, cool marketing campaigns on tour, we did a home tour for my kid family business, where I tied in with a local bakery in flower shop, which is why that came to mind, we I did a painting of fanta, people could get a copy of it, we only did one hundred they could get a copy of it if they came to the home tour and they made a twenty five dollars donation, so we raised twenty five hundred dollars in one day, and then we did a series of four, so it was a ten thousand dollars endowment that we created for the nick you where my paid babies were born says, see how these rocks can be all these different cool things, but you can't just do a home tour, be like, look next week, let's have a home tour, I mean, that's a cell for a month out planning process of ok the week before, we're not scheduling clients because it's going to take a whole staff are whole family to get this done, and the week after, we're going to be recovering, and then we're going to be busy, so no family vacations, no traveling, we we plan our whole my whole life, I look down at this year when when is my studio crazy? When can I take my kids on vacation? Can I take off around christmas mean, for those of you who celebrate christmas that's, a big decision or any religious holiday, especially in the jewish faith, there's a lot of holidays where if you are a jewish, you want to say, I am closing my business during this time and that's a knauss, um, decision. So when you're looking at your year that's like the black line, you know, book closed for business, so how do those rocks fit in around that right? And in with holidays it's hard, isn't it with kids and in those priorities, but that's, why we work and that's why we do what we do so we're looking at your budget, and we're saying that for the rock activities you're probably gonna want going to want to put, you know, seventy five percent or so of your budget into these rock activities, I would say, I mean, sara jewelry, I would say, if not more, because you still need a little budget for displays in other businesses, but there are ways to stretch your budget. I could talk for an hour about those ways, but let me throw one of my favorites out you need a display you get a family member you know friends and family I get so many questions about that getting your friends and family photographing them and having them pay for those displays trading with a graphic designer you know you photograph them they trade for you so a lot of ways to stretch that budget but you've gotta have you've gotta have a display at least one great display in your town so you've got to pay for frames you've got to do the you know, the gallery rap campuses, those big giant ones that are going to bring the right clients they're not cheap, you know? So you've got a plan for some of those things but if you can sell it, what happens? You guys are now all financial gurus it goes from marketing expense to what cost of sales right? So then your marketing budget is opened back up case you say with holiday cards you get your clients to send out all these holiday cards they're marketing for you they're paying for it that doesn't come out of your marketing budget. Okay, so big picture we're going to go in and a sign say five thousand dollars to this rock three thousand dollars to this rock and then we have two thousand dollars for marble activities like an auction display and and thank you cards and things like that that are going to come along throughout the year then as we go lower the next step, let's, just jump to the next step, we knuckle down on the details that's where we get in deep and we say, ok, if I could put five thousand dollars to this activity or two thousand dollars what's that going to get me and how do you know how many am I get a print or what businesses am I going to tie in with? Can we share costs? They're bringing traffic to that business in this business? Can we share costs? I mean, when we tie in with other small business owners, we try to give as much as we can so that they'd be crazy to work with another photographer and they see the benefit of working together, they see it grow so the next time they may want to put in budget remember when you're going to other businesses, that's, what can I do for you? Not what can you do for me? So we're not going down on the details, and we're starting to put numbers to what we're doing, and I mean, to show an example of that here in a second, okay, so we keep getting closer to the ground, getting more tactical, so we don't want to get tactical up here, that's, why I think people get off the track. So once we go through, we figured out all our rocks and budget and everything we figure out how to execute everything we come back at the end of the year and we have to execute everything that happens and we have to evaluate and I know aaron is awesome at this because she's a numbers person she wants to make decisions based on numbers and I know sometimes is creatives were like that was fun let's do it again. Well, then they're in saying but did you get a new client from it didn't build grow your studio? Did you get publicity for what did it do for your studios? So she's all which is why it's great that we have this this dynamic within our businesses because she runs the joint marketing but her brain is also on sarah petty photography because that's how you know that's my livelihood and that's how we teach you guys what to do is because I run a riel brick and mortar business so one of the things that I think it's super simple, you know, you could just get out your note, bat your note pad and you make a list of the activity that you did, so for example, you didn't auction display and so you have a column that says, where did this client come from so auction you have their name and then the next column is how much did they spend ok in the next column is how much did it cost you to be in that auction? How much did that donation to that particular charity you know, fund cost you what did that event cost you? Ok, so then you start looking and it's just a super easy way to track where every single client is coming from, you know, again just have a separate notebook even you know by your phone that after you know after you process the order you know, from that session you can take you can take note of where exactly that client came from, what their order wass and then that, like I said what's so important is how much did that activity that you did to get them cost you? So you're looking at this direct mail campaign that you did that's going to last you you know, the piece that you printed that's going to last you two, maybe three years ok? So maybe spent five thousand dollars on this, okay? And let's say you got two new clients from it and hear this all the time from people I only got two clients and I mailed out a thousand of these thanks, but if you have your sales skills down which we're going to talk about this afternoon, those two clients that you got you know, if you get twenty five hundred dollars sales from each of those two clients now you're looking at ok, I broke even on this particular activity I broke even here, right? Which is good, but you still have these pieces that you're using for auctions that you're using with displays that you're using for the next two years, hours. So you just you can't look at it from a perspective of I only got two clients for this that's not what you're measuring what you're measuring is ok, I've got these two clients and now they brought me another client. So you know, another new line on the paper is ok now. Mary beth came, how did mary beth here about me? Mary beth heard about me from this person who heard about me from an auction or who got my direct mail so it's it's tracking all of that stuff, and it doesn't have to be a big, big deal, and we have a form in the product that helps you do all this and, you know, formula, but it really it's it's making sure that, like sarah said, what did that auction get? You okay, no one ever called from it or the person that called on lee spent, you know, my minimum, and so what I found from it is that they just really, that auction or that particular school doesn't attract the right type of client that I want, so when they call next year, you don't do it instead of being under the gun and being like I need to do this again because they did it last year, you're really actually tracking how these things are working for you and we tell people when we're going to give the example of the school auction so what we're talking about it we tell them sure would love to donate to your school, but we get asked this a lot, so if we, you know, we do this to get a client's of no one, you know, makes the donation to get it and no one comes to us that next year we probably won't be able to say yes, we'll go with another school, so you've got to do things all along your process to make sure you're getting the response you want. We call that return on investment arli we try not to use like big business the words that we were speaking once and said that in a girl came up and she said, I did google what that was and I was like, oh gosh, you know, I forget that we use words and words are inherent in our brains because we our marketing thinkers but it doesn't matter what you call it you have teo. The money you invest, have tio bring you clients. And if you don't track it, and you don't know how it brings you clients, then you're not making a good decision next year.