Let me just first of all say I've been overwhelmed and just humbled greatly by the feedback I've received on social media and from you guys there were several times last night when I teared up in my hotel room reading some of the comments and I just can't tell you what it means to me on a very deep personal level and I am so passionate about teaching and there's nothing like when a student rises above you and does better than you and there's nothing when a student that light bulb goes on and you see it and thank goodness for social media I've been able to see that light bulb from around the world and that is the most rewarding thing any instructor can ask for so I thank you from the bottom of my heart very very much on by a lot of people have emailed me or are sent messages on facebook I'm trying to get back to everyone as quickly as I can I promise I'm going I'm going to get back to you but in the middle of all this it's been a challenge so if you haven't heard back from you I will do...
my best to get back to you here in the next few days so again thank you so much so we're going to review a little bit first what we talked about yesterday and I know I give you guys some homework you are such good sports the questions in the packet that eye you can download are really intense I mean did you guys find yourself digging deep and spending some time doing it having to think really hard yeah definitely there are a couple questions that were really tricky you know, some I could answer easily then there're a couple like oh boy yeah that's a big one yeah things were a little vague weren't they? They were a little vague because I wanted you to answer it how you felt what you felt deep inside not what I was leading you to ask so I want to just go over briefly and talk a little if you guys are interested in sharing it some of your just kind of highlight what you loved about the questions and what questions really resonated with you and what your answers were and those of you who kind of follow along with the exercise at home you can do this as well and I don't want to I know some of the questions are really psychologically deep and they get into who you are as a person so if you don't want to share those please don't feel free to not but if you have something a question there that resonated with you and he really discovered something about yourself share it with us first all right? Stephanie will go first all right? Well, this was really tricky I mean there are five pages or so of questions, and some of them were really easy to answer, like what triggered your love of photography, fi, you know, those were those were ones like, okay, I remember the day that I have learned how to see light that was so great, like I was taught in a course, like how to see it, it was like being given another sense that was really amazing experience, so drawing on that, you know, going out leading into the other questions, it was interesting the who pooh poohed the idea of being a pro question on what was interesting is that nobody did, but my friends and family were, like, super supportive, like, oh, sure, you can do that. I bet you'd be great at that, and then I was the one you're in your I should have my own way, and I realized that, like all my friends and family, my husband, my kids, everybody's like, of course you could do it, like go for it, you'll be great, and then I'm like, well, wait a minute, you know, this is a lot of business stuff. This is a lot of unfamiliar territory, you know, those kinds of things, but then as I went through the questions the one that really stuck with me the one that was like oh boy this is a really hard question was what experiences have you had in your own life relating to the subject of what what makes your heart sing when you photograph like everybody has a subject that they love to shoot but if you dig deep and realize that there's a reason you love to shoot that subject and why is that? Is that a positive or negative reason how did you answer that I really had to dig deep on that one because I was really trying to wrap my brain like why do I love photographing portrait's of women so much why do I want to make them feel beautiful and give them that emotion and you know the um the crux of it is that it's that transformation that feeling of looking at your portrait's and like oh my gosh is that me like that feeling you know I learned that at the knee of soup rice and you know that watching her courses and seeing how she makes women feel when they see their portrait's like I wanted that and that's the reason I started my business because I wanted to give women that feeling but the hard part was like why yeah, that was the oh boy you know that's like getting like super burning in my heart I know my brain like I said yesterday, you're why may take a few years to develop don't be surprised if it's a slow process, but right now, this exercise was just getting the focus was to really make you think about it, okay? What about you, felicia? Where what question really resonated with you? I was the same about, like, who kind of said he couldn't do it, and it was just me. It was you, me like years to you and say, I'm a photographer without being like, like have I don't know so, but everybody around me has been super supportive, did you? All of you guys answer the same to that question, or did someone knock you down and tell you you couldn't do it? You guys all answer that you were the one holding you back. I don't think I was holding, I don't know I was going to go for it. Yeah, yeah, so you have that confidence to just do it, and people dio I was the same way I had the confidence to just do it and go for it, but on susan and I were discussing this this morning, and I really want to get into this sum point today's particular when we get the topic of pricing, because today's she's kind of syllabus, so to speak we're going talk about products and branding this morning and then we're going to talk about pricing and they were going to get into the projection appointment itself and then this afternoon we're actually going to do a live sash sale session with the family we photographed yesterday that's kind of the syllabus of today, but like I said, susan, I were talking about this morning that you are you're you are your enemy that inner critic in your head is the one telling you that you can't do it nine times out of ten the whole world around you is supportive and believes in you, but you don't believe in yourself people don't buy what you do, they buy what you believe and how would they buy into you if you don't believe in you? I mean, really if you don't believe in you and you don't believe you could do a good job, why would someone by that and it's all a mental game taking olympics? Susan, I were talking about this this morning it's a great example sport is mental racing down the ski slope she was susan was telling me about how you know these athletes would do so great in the in the heat in the first round and they get to the final for the metals and the favorite chokes why did he choke shaun white classic example he was totally expected to win the gold medal in the half pipe and he didn't even medal yet he won the heat. Why it's a mental game, tiger woods? Sometimes you've just nailed it across the entire pit, and then when he's not mentally there, when he was going to the whole drama with with his wife and everything he choked over and over again because his mind was not in the game, he didn't believe in himself and it's the same thing with the sports nice to compete figure skating and when my mind went, oh boy, I was in trouble, but if I believed in myself that yeah, I could do it but truly believed in myself down here deep, you know, the feeling, you know, the feeling when you're really did a good job and, you know, you know what? I can do this? I can do this if you falter on that and let your inner critic the little devil on your shoulder tell you you're bad tell you you're not worth it then that's when you get in trouble when we talk about pricing today, I want to really get into this because some of the biggest questions I received on facebook is I'm beginning, I'm not good enough to charge that much what you are good enough we're going to visit that in pricing today, okay? So just sit there ok? So let's review a little bit we talked about pre consultations yesterday and today we're going to get into products the second p consultations obviously I think great on that way off the force did the shoot and gave a good overview of the five piece and got into some deep inspirational stuff and I hope that was motivating to you all because sometimes business can be really boring but the calls to try to make it not that way and business can be really fun it can be enjoyable and it can be an art you can get very creative and how you conduct your business. So what you learn in this segment stays we're going talk about how to define your product mix and what is a product mix? You guys know what the product mix well albums and prince and widgets and everything that you carry in your studio that is your brand okay, so kind when someone walks into your studio the things that you have on your wall the things that you offer your product catalog are your product mix. Okay, tunisair not to me you all know that I need heavily I'm a newborn photographer do you think I shoot families? Do you think I should kids? Do you think I shoot pets? Do you think I shoot seniors put it up exactly I don't put it out there and I actually increased my business almost doubling it by nation bye specializing I increased and we'll talk about that in a few minutes the value of merchandising we spoke briefly about this yesterday how you display products, whether you're on location photographer or you have a meeting space there's ways you can do this effectively very effectively and I have a good analogy for that that will talk about should you sell the kitchen think I mean that you know as a pun is playful on words, but no, and we'll talk about why and it's so hard you goto like v p I and all these trade shows and you see these amazing products and you get super excited I gotta carry that and before you know it, you've got ten different labs you're trying to order products from and you're stretched thin in every different direction we're going to talk about what you should carry, what you shouldn't carry on top of why it's important to not carry everything because it overwhelm your client how your brand influences what you carry does everybody know what branding is that's gonna kind of be what we get into now and I'd like to talk about it cause a lot of people confuse marketing and branding and there's a big difference between the two what is the brand tough question it's more who you are and what you represent in how you show yourself to the world rather than how you tell scream to the world about yourself we on it, man, you rock it, I love it exactly and we're going to get into the details of that and I have some wonderful quotes from some people and I didn't think of this stuff stuff I pulled from people who are smarter than me, but we'll talk about the differences between marketing, branding and once you nailed branding, your marketing becomes ten times easier. Oh, it's like everything just falls into place this mantra we've all heard show what you want to sell I mean it's it's like a broken record and you have in your head, but you also should know that what you sell should reflect your brand who you are is a studio, I'm a newborn photographer, I have a very organic textural style that I try to be timeless with, okay? So I'm not going to sell products that are trendy that are going to be out of date in a few years. I'm gonna sell things that stand the test of time and you know we're going toe kind of visit some of the products I brought lots of things from my studio, not everything of course I couldn't I couldn't quite bring the whole enchilada, but we're going to talk about the key products that I do carry and provide to my customers, but you can see this is the majority of it over here and there's not a lot is there it's not the whole farm it's not everything that my labs carrie okay, it's a big things that are chosen very selectively and in that worksheet tonight's homework is going to be to complete that table in the worksheet about products, and I'll show you exactly and tell you exactly how you need to think about that as we go along on the course here but that'll really make you narrow down your choices and focus, and once you have focused, things become easier because you're not so overwhelmed. Okay, yeah, try a bunch of different products or try and try a bunch of different styles and a bunch of different and that's subject that's a very good question because when you're still trying to find your brand and have you are, you want to experiment with things and I totally encourage that but don't sell it quite yet sell it when you're sure that it will be part of who you are, and I guess my best best recommendation is stick to the things that is in demand in your studio, things that you know, people want prince canvas, you know, stuff that everybody is pretty much going to carry but you know like the image blocks or the wood prints or things that are connick trendy and new and different those aren't necessarily going to products you're going to keep over the test of time and we'll and we'll discuss which products speak to that and then if you are going to experiment something the questions you need to ask yourself about that product before you decide whether or not to put it in your mix and available to your clients the answer question okay so that begs the question who are you? What is your brand and I think you guys are starting to see why I think purpose is so important why I think your why is critical to what you do right because what you do is who you are and who you are is why you do it say that I mean it's crazy but if you think about it what who you are revolves around why you do it and what you do shows who you are everything inter plays with one another it's like this dance of what why and who all in this in this circle that you have to kind of stir the pot and dig into it and make sure you pull things out that all speak to that which is a challenging thing to do it really requires you to know yourself it requires you to here's me step outside what does that look like who is that? You know you really have to like be self aware and that's one of the most valuable skills my dad taught me he said you know one of those valuable skills you khun know julius to be self aware be able to step outside yourself and ask yourself what am I doing wrong what do I look like? Who am I? Why should anyone care especially as a business so why do I mean an answer this in the chat rooms answer this in your heart why do I do what I do and how does that define who I am and that will help you develop your brand okay and when you really know who you are and why you do it your brand will come so easily and you will decide everything in your studio based upon that brand you dress your brand you shoot your brand your products your brand you market your brand everything that is that about you hear an artiste and that's the reason it's so easy I mean I know it's not easy but it's easier than branding like a tennis shoe like nike because it's a product it's not a person ah personality is so much easier to brand than a product in an inanimate object uru you have feelings you have whyyou have emotion you have inspiration and all that can fit into your brandon who you are as an artist and your business is you simple as that and everybody's you is different so every business will be different and if you really do things according to what's in there in your heart then no one can compete with it they might try and I try to copy I mean tiffany she's, my associate photographer and she's magnificent artist and she shoots are gems line which all described in pricing a bit later she and of course you know, she didn't do a lot of newborns before she came to me and so I was treating her you know, I was teaching her how to do what I do and so now she shoots a lot of very similar to me but it's not me and it never will be and that's a beautiful thing and that defines who she is do you see where I'm going with this? So I know I'm kind of getting all passionate about it, but sometimes I get a report but I really want people to understand that you can do what you do because of you. Another example, my sister she's, a photographer in southern california jenny mason photography if you want to look her up man, I suggest looking her up and looking at our website and compare her website to mind the pictures, the images a wishing thie images ok, we're sisters we photograph very similarly we love each other dearly were super close we bounce business ideas off each other all the time and we have a very similar style we're sisters we have the same genetic dna okay she has a completely different personality than mine okay let's just kind of put this little perspective she got married at twenty I got married at thirty seven she has four children spanning twenty years I have one has two and a half okay I was in career mode my entire life she wanted to be a mom okay she started her business before I did I thought it was great so I copied er if you could do it I can dio classic sibling rivalry right so but she's one of these people who she stands at the edge of the cliff and goes that's a risk should I do it should I not should I do it what's the trajectory how high is it is there water below how deep is it can I swim? I'm not sure it's too rough of a current I mean she analyzes everything before she decides to make a decision jump off the cliff that's her personality and it's beautiful and she has built a business on her personality and her way of doing things and her way of making decisions based on herself me outgoing I'll say it like it is jump off the cliff oh I know there's water down there I'll swim who cares? Just do it. I'll figure it out as I go down, you know, that's kind of my personality, and I have built a successful business based on that kind of risk taking interest in making or two separate people. Yet we run the exact same business model with a very similar style and she's in los angeles, a metropolitan area of seven million, and I'm in bend, oregon, a town of eighty thousand people, yet we still have successful businesses that are six figure income, six figure businesses, so that just goes to show it's you who drives your boat, and there are thousands of businesses in the world with thousands of different personalities and their successful right, based on how they do things, how they make decisions. So who you are, what your brand is and how you make decisions can be unique. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing. You can make it your own and still be incredibly successful. It's just making decisions that are strategic, that our business orient and that plan for the future.