Meet the Mentors: Joanna Ziemlewski
Joanna I first met at a workshop three years ago. Joanna did one of my very first workshops before I did CreativeLive. So I got to connect with her way back when. She's based in New York City in Long Island and her super power ... and it's very easy. I wrote down the girls' super powers based on meeting them and finding out what they love to do and where there super power is in their business, is personal developments and personal relationships. So, Joanna's done a lot of training with Tiny Robbins and one of the most kindred things her and I have is we're the first people that are gonna look at you as mentors and go, "It's you doing this. This is coming from you." Your core beliefs around money, your core beliefs around healing, your core beliefs around your relationship, are coming from you. They're not happening to you. And so her and I connect on that level because that's the first place I'm gonna go as a mentor. Now, each mentor is incredibly different and each mentor will suit so...
mebody differently. If you wanna get your back kicked with sales, you can definitely go to Tammy. But if you need to heal a life path or if you need to heal something ... Like I had to actually heal the idea that I could not make money and I wasn't worth making money, and I wasn't worth owning my own home and I didn't value myself. That is a very deeply personal issue. That is an issue that has nothing to do with photography and everything to do with business. So that's why I connect with Joanna in this way. Right now, Joanna is traveling, mentoring and shooting. So she is not shooting in a location and she does not have a set location. Joanna's gonna challenge you, obviously, that you can do this without a studio. This is probably one of the most asked questions in Vid with Sue. It's, "how do I get that?", "how do I make that happen?", "why is that so hard?" And it's quite funny because when I asked all the mentors, "How hard was it for you to get into a studio?" the mentors were actually telling me that it was quite easy. However, you said it was hard. I think, Nicki, you struggled a little bit. You finally found a space, but you were paying with it, with your weddings and, you know, you found a space, Shauna, and then went back home again because we've gotta work out what works for us and we've gotta work out if we can pay for it. So I find that's what unique about Joanna and tell me about not working with a studio. Do you want to have a studio space or would you rather travel and work?
I'd actually like to have a balance of both. There's definitely times when not knowing the space that I'm gonna have can be a challenge because I don't know what I'm gonna be shooting and until I'm actually there and I see it and then I have about maybe an hour or two of set up time where I can figure out, "Okay," right now I shoot mainly at a hotel room so I always look at the space that I have around me and I look, "Okay, there's a mirror here, there's a bed here, "there's a flat wall here that I can use, "there's the window there. "Is there any floor space that I can use?" And I--
Hang on. This is Wedding Photography 101.
Because the first thing you learn as a wedding photographer is, "I do not know what the venue looks like "and did she scout it? "I do not know what the family looks like," because you're never gonna find that out until you get there. "I do not know how much sunshine I'm gonna have. "I do not know what the weather is gonna be. "I don't know whether it's gonna be "112 degrees with zero humidity, "or it's gonna be 36 degrees and pouring with rain." So that to me is Wedding Photography 101. The first thing you learn as a wedding photographer is how to shoot in any situation, any moment. If anything, that plan that you've got working right now is gonna make you a really better photographer. Because you're gonna be faced with just about every situation. You could be faced with with in terms of light, in terms of weather, in terms of bringing lights in, hiring hotels, yeah.
The other biggest challenge that I have is, especially in New York City, everything is public transportation. I don't drive my car. So that means I'm also limited on the gear and everything else that I can take. So I only have my ice light, I have a reflector, and I have my camera and my computer. That's all I bring with me. So everything else I have to use what's around me and figure out a way to use it. I can't go in there and be like, "Oh my god, what am I gonna do?" because I have to figure it out. I don't have time.
So the good thing is motels always have white sheets and white towels and you can pretty much clip them up anywhere. So you'd be better putting a whole lot of hair clips, you know, alligator clips, in your bag over anything and using them. Okay, so, one thing I wanna ask you is do you sell a la carte or package?
Kind of a mix of both, but everyone always buys a package anyway. And I started out at 1000, 1700, and 2400. And I, honestly, I had no idea. I wasn't even expecting to sell. I was thinking maybe I'll sell the 1000, and I was consistently selling the 17 and the 2400.
Yeah. And I couldn't believe it and then I started thinking about it, I'm like, "Well, why am I doing this and other people aren't?" And I figured out it was all the training that I had over the years of doing the work on myself. And with Tony and figuring out ... I knew the value that I brought to the table. I knew how to establish that connection and the rapport with my client. I knew that my sale was made from the very first touchpoint that I had with them through social media, or email, or anything and then every step along the way. So I was always tryna--
Every step along the way is just service.
Exactly. It just comes down to service and keeping them happy
and offering that service.
What do you struggle the most with and now and what did you struggle most with?
It was the same thing then and now which is basically getting ... People don't know who I am. They don't know what I do. And so it's bringing in more leads and just really just putting myself out there more and what I do more and having a clear explanation of what it is. Because I know once I get them in the door, then it's kind of like a breeze for me. It's just a matter of bringing in more in the beginning.
Okay, Laurie, marketing yourself, selling yourself. Nicki, marketing and design, selling yourself. Hica, selling yourself, selling your product when you're overseas in location. Joanna, selling yourself, selling your service, selling your experience. Everybody to me can tell me the same thing, but these girls are already up their averages to actual buying clients and they're still struggling with selling themselves. That's why the next two segments, pricing and selling yourself, tomorrow, I feel like will be the biggest eyeopeners for you. Because there is a whole lot here. Thank you, that's awesome and I'm gonna show you some of her stuff because Joanna also ... I'll go back, sorry I didn't say. Joanna shoots boudoir, glamour and business head-shots as well.