Applying the System
Applying the System
23. Applying the System
Class Introduction18:43 2
Creating Systems and the State of the Industry37:18 3
The Digital File Dilemma12:34 4
Host Moms and Portrait Events18:40 5
Defining your Niche44:05 6
Defining Your Niche Q&A25:18 7
Marketing Your Business and Events54:47
Planning the Event1:02:41 11
Pre-Shoot with Q&A1:00:28 12
Photo Shoot #118:30 13
Sales Session #134:21 14
Photo Shoot #219:01 15
Sales Session #2 and Q&A1:09:11 16
Shoot: Family Portraits21:55 17
Family Shoot Q&A11:44 18
Fusion Packages07:24 19
Pricing and Objections32:05 21
Pricing and General Q&A1:18:15 23
Applying the System56:13
Applying the System
So all right, well, I want to tell you guys a little bit about donald more, and that is my charity. We go, um three times a year take groups there. Another photographer and travis gugelmin started dondo more a couple years ago. And, uh, it's been a really special journey, being able to be a part of this. And it started because travis went with another, uh, went to photograph for a group that does volunteer work there. And he went photographs and he came back and flew in almost immediately had to come to a convention to teach and happened to be a place where I was teaching. And travis and I have been friends for a while, and we met together with about five or six of us, and he told us all about what had happened on this trip and what all he had seen and just, you know, you guys have to come, you have to go back with me, and so we did. We went back pretty soon, right after, like, the the next month, we all packed it up and went and while we were there when it was just amazing trip, but t...
he more and more that travis and I talked, the more we decided we we really need to be here, we want to be here and um, just be doing more. And we went back the next time together. Took another group, and it's just kind of grown from there. But we go about every three to four months and work with the orphanage is there. And I want to share with you a video. And this is just a quick little video josh peterson put together. He was one of the photographers friend of mine that came on one of the the, um I think the trip previous to this last one. I just got back right before I came here. So he was on the one before. So that's gonna play here for you area cities near this beautiful countryside. There is a growing problem. Children are going hungry. They need medicine and schools repaired. But despite the circumstances, love can still be found. Many people are giving their lives to help. These children have a small chance at a better life. Like nancy. She thought she had a thing for eight children and now cares for over forty. But there's still so much work to be done, don door more visits orphanages in ecuador three times a year to assess needs and make immediate differences in the lives of hundreds of children. Kitchen appliances have been repaired. And literally tons of food have been delivered. Beds have been built so that these children can go to sleep at night. No, there, please visit don or more dot com and make your donation today. Oh, that was ah, little video that josh put together for us. And really, every single trip I've been there probably ten times now, and every trip means that much more and getting to involve other people and and, you know, obviously were my reaches, his photographers. So we take groups of photographers and not not to do workshops or teo even photograph. We all do photograph, but we go to work with the children and to be with the children in part of what I do and bringing groups is help the people that I bring to do fundraising in their own studios or in their own business. And when I say studios, I mean your photography business, even if you don't have a studio, um but one of the things that we do is we incorporate the little angels program that I've been doing for so long. And the first year travis and I started our five twenty three in march, and we set a goal to raise a hundred thousand dollars that first year, and we had hit that goal by november first of that year. So we're pretty proud of the efforts there we've been ableto do that again this year this is our second full year and and really you know and it's it's one of those things where we get there a lot of times and we're doing so much but you know, not making a dent and there's times when you kind of you know, you beat yourself up over that like what really can I d'oh um but travis always tell us the story about the the starfish or the sea fish on the on the ocean and a man was there and he was throwing them back in and tossing and one at a time and throwing that at them back in and another man came walking down the beach and he said, what are you doing there's so many of them you know you can't make a difference and the man stopped and he picked another one up and he threw it in and he said I made a difference to that one so you know, so that's kind of our philosophy when we're there is you know, if we can touch the life of one child and make one child's life different um it's worth it you know what? We have to keep going and we're not you know we're not just just in ecuador we both do lots of work at home or both involved in a lot of charities at home what? Ecuador has just become kind of second home for both of us. We you know, we love being there and love love these kids. We go back to some of the same orphanage is every time one in particular that we just we would take every one of those boys home if we could. And then we tried to visit new ones as well. Um, in ki tto alone there, seventy five orphanages. So, it's, just, you know, it's ah it's, a poverty stricken area. However, everything is very expensive. It's, very hard to understand the way the government runs in these kind of places. Um, because you, you know, we employ a couple of social workers, and they employ a couple of english teachers and some different people that we pay their salary for the whole entire year, and their salary for a year is like eight thousand dollars. But you go to the grocery store to buy food, and food is the same price it is here. So it's it's a really it's a hard thing to understand, you know? And and these kids are amazing. The kids at this boy's home that we've kind of adopted, um, we've done everything there from replace their sewer systems and build chicken coops so that they can have food and have you know a way to learn a trade in tow work you know we're going to be planting gardens there when we go back in the spring we built a whole second building uh for this place and you know we've just done all these things that we really become a part of their lives and they look forward is to us coming back every time but we were there one time and now when we go we take we take at least enough rice we usually take about ten, uh thousand pounds of rice I think is what it is because we take thousand pound bags one hundred pound bag sorry one hundred pound bags but you know, we bring truckloads of them in because we try to feed them at least rice until we get back the next time and um but we we were there at one point and we were we had just gotten there were running around playing with the kids and we noticed this truck coming in and some boys jumped in the back of it and they drove back out of the orphanage. And so we looked at pablo, who is the who runs the orphanage and we said, you know where the boy's going what's going on? And he said, do you want to see and said come with me? So we got in a van with him and we drove a couple miles down the road, and we got out and already, by the time we got there, we saw people running downhill with bowls and spoons, mock mothers and children, lots of other children and our boys were in this schoolhouse, and they were feeding rice to the community, and we got there, we said, pablo, sometimes you don't have any food, how can you feed the community? And he said, it is our responsibility to take care of people less fortunate than us, and we want to teach the boys this lesson, and they once a week go and feed the community and our teaching these boys to take care of people less fortunate than them. These kids who have no parents, a lot of them have ended up here because either they've been abandoned, they've been abused, they've been left in dumpsters and tied the trees, and I mean the stories, they're just unbelievable, and yet they're being taught these wonderful things to be a part of their community to serve their community. They're all taught, um in this one particular orphanage that we've come, teo love so much. I mean, they are learning to love the lord they're I mean, they're I mean, it's a it's, a special place, so so I want to talk to you guys about charitable marketing events and how to turn this event system into something that you can do as a fundraiser and this is where it all began for me I started in two thousand won working with the leukemia lymphoma society and at the time I really wanted to do something for a charity and so I had just kind of made that decision and you know, a lot of times we'll go and we'll listen to something and it's like, oh yeah, I got to do that I got to do that and then we go the next time oh yeah, I better I better do that I need to get home and put this into place um and then it takes that, you know, maybe third time or even four time before you finally go and get it done and I know you all know this from even like watching creative live and whatever we've been too you know? You gotta kind of hear it pounded in a couple times before you make that decision so I had gone back tio had to herd it herd a lecture and I don't even know if it was a photographer convention but somewhere someone was talking about charity and and my family everybody's been healthy, you know, we haven't really had a reason to be tied to a charity that doesn't something we've been fortunate with and so I had no idea who we were going to work with or what we were going to do, but I knew I needed to make a commitment to do that. And so I went back to the studio on a monday morning and called everybody together and said, I want to come and make a commitment to this that we're going to do start fundraising for a charity I don't know what charity I don't know who, but this is just something that has been, you know, pressed upon me that we need to be giving back. And so we all formulated some ideas and decided, you know, through some ideas around, and then it was about two days later when my office manager sure came in and she said, brought everybody together and she said, my niece was just dying, diagnosed with leukemia, and we've been given our charity, so we started working with the leukemia lymphoma society at that time called them asked them to come in and sit down with us and really explain to us the child blood related cancers and, you know, so that we can nobody could ever understand. But just so we could have, you know, an idea of what would be we'd be working with and what we'd be asking people to fundraise for. And so when we did it, we decided, and as they came to talk to us, they actually presented me with the idea of, you know, we know this other chapter in another part of the country that does a calendar every year would you be willing to do a calendar? And I said, you have to be, you know, I would love that that'd be awesome. And so in my mind, the first thing that I was going to do was just I was going to do session fees and donate them to charity so was going to be a hundred dollars session fee. It was all going to go for fundraising. I was going to make the money from the print sales. Well, once we started this this calendar we decided that we were going to do voting on it was gonna be a dollar a vote and all that was gonna be fundraising. So now we not only make one hundred dollars from the session, go to fundraising, it's the you know, you if if I photographed your child and you want your child in the calendar, you're going to get all your friends to go and donate a dollar per vote to try to get to be in the calendar that make sense so it that's how this whole thing started of doing these portrait events this is gonna look real familiar to you. This is the same exact pricing and packages that I started with when I started real kids so same thing four packages from four, eighty two, nine, sixty I've had the same pricing for many years on the this event thing and that's why, when we when I took it to an actual product line in the studio, I knew that it would work. I've been doing this for quite a while. Um, it is just, you know, it's, the prince that's, the storyboards, I am not going to be taking this too the framed portrait level that's going to be a completely separate thing, so we're going to keep this like it is it's still basically the same prices, but I'm not going to meet with each one of these people. I photograph so many kids during these events that I'm not making the personal consultation calls and that's, ok, it doesn't, you know, we don't need to do that. Um, we do this in march is when we photograph all the sessions for little angels, and usually voting is the whole entire month of april or may this year because I ran behind on everything typically, we like to have our calendars printed before september first because that's, when they can go on shelves. And if you if you if they're after september first, people don't want him anymore because they've already gotten the counters out, they started selling them so so that's how that goes and kind of how this whole thing began so it's one way that even without the voting, if you decide that you want to do fundraising for a charity, I did this for the leukemia lymphoma society for ten years now I'm doing it for don to, um, or this was actually the first year last year, I still wasn't ready to tell l s that, you know, I thought I'm going to finish out your number ten I still want to be involved with them and do whatever I can for them, but I'm going to put that my charity efforts where my heart is, and so that's what don omar more so now I've helped other people do that as well. Um, that was a two thousand seven calendar, so that's, that's untold cover there on the right, but with the voting it's a dollar per vote, the top twelve, the top one gets the cover, and in the next twelve, get the twelve calendar pages, and then we have a notes page that we can put anywhere from one teo as many as we want to on there, and I usually try to include quite a few if we have votes that were pretty close, you know, to getting up there, so we like to get us many people included is possible because that gets more calendars out. One of the other things that it's done is it's tied me into a lot of local businesses, and when we do the events, I don't do the events at my studio, I always want to tie in another business, and the reason is is because I'm going to go where the people are and the people are not in winterset, iowa, and so I wantto, um, I'll give you this kind of as ah tip if you're going to do something like this and this is a big tip, um, when you're partnering with another business, look at your local publications and find out who is placing like full page ads in the newspaper who is taking out ads on the local tv stations during the evening news, and those businesses are people that you want to be tied into and that's because if I have, I'll do go do it angel session at a bank or at a car dealership or at a jeweler, it doesn't matter if they're somebody that is in the media and in the marketplace. Then that's going to be my power going back to that media so if I'm doing an event at a car dealership they're they're going to advertise for me as being part of, you know, um holmes otto's is giving back, you know, that's the way that they can promote that they're giving back is that they're hosting the little angels event for the two thousand thirteen calendar so they can promote it that way. I also have the power than to go to the media and say laurie north from studio has partnered with homes auto to present the two thousand thirteen little angels fundraising campaign and with the power of homes otto, who advertises and does full page ads or they do uh, you know, have media coverage on tv, they're not going to tell me know when I go to them with a press release or a news release, so so that's going to be a lot of power in the media, which is something that is only going to grow your business. And we talked a little bit about that monday and he asked about, you know how I want to give back and I want to do this, but I've got a I've got to do business and make money and absolutely we have to be business people we have to make money so that we can give money and that's one really quick great way that you can do it and you can partner up with another business even if you don't have a studio if you're on location whatever your circumstances and you can use the power of that other business as your marketing so do you keep do you keep print sales and then you donate session fees? I don't hate the session fees and all the voting okay? Yep and so and even if you don't do a calendar if you don't do it voting if anybody is interested in doing fundraising for don doa more I'm so happy to help you get set up and do this we can also host your counter voting on our website so so that's the way that we can help you with that as well. We have a little angels this year on on the donald your website and people just go there and it's set up like a shopping cart where they can do one vote for one dollars, five votes for five dollars, ten votes for ten dollars and we have it all the way up to one hundred dollars so um you know so they go there and it's it's just a straight donation and they know that so it's a it's a really it's a powerful thing and people like getting involved in something that they feel is a charity we have people come through that you know they'll get just a couple of prints and then we have people that go out all out every single year and get that package I have one area of people that I do in event with every year and almost every one of them gets that top package so you know it's it's all very very variable when you're doing something like this you'll have some people that all just coming to have their kids photographed and doing the calendar they just want their kids in that calendar so they're not even buying prints for me so it's kind of all over the place but I knew the model of it was something that would work and I told you guys thea other day about how the progression went with doing the sales in person and then doing them online which bombed and then you know our first trying to do and bring them all back to the studio which was workflow craziness and then putting them all on line which bomb and then I went back teo immediately the sales following a session and because that model was the one that worked that's the one that I plugged into the real kids events so this is where all began all right that's where that video was gonna go but that we'd already did it s so now you guys do you have any questions about doing it for a charity for remove on every again I think we're good. We got happen our left alright, half an hour let's do this. Um, and if anybody wants any information, we do go to ecuador three, four times a year. So email me, send me a message on the donald more sight and we'll get you plugged in if if anybody's interested in coming, I'll get get you that information. It's a great trip. All right, so who is up for some goal setting? Hey, hey, all right. Setting goals, you know, it's all it is all about challenging yourself and really pushing things to the next level. You know, right now, there's a lot out about, you know, dream boards and, you know, the secret and all these other things, and, you know, all of that is great, but you got to do the work to make something happen. We can't just sit and wishing dreamin I believe, um, you've gotta have those things too. But you gotta take the steps to make it happen. And writing things down is key. That's, you know, key number one making that list of goals. This is kind of the list of goals that I go through when I'm writing out my goals. And during the first of the year is always a great time because that's kind of when we feel like we've got a clean slate and that time is coming up so you know, take some time in december first of january where you can just take a couple days for yourself and just do some writing and and think about really what you want for the next for this coming year um faith family fellowship, friendship find freedom, fulfillment and financial and you know, all those things are important to all of us for different reasons they're all going to mean something different to each one of us and financial is there at the end not because it's the least important but because it takes the longest it really does to sit down and really think about what your financial goals are for the next one year the next three years the next five years and what that's gonna look like but take some time to really sit and figure that all those things out be specific with your goals and I'm not going to spend a lot of time on these things because I wanna get through this but it is the more specific that you can be the better it's going to be for your end result make a plan that means put action steps in place so if I know you know that I want to have this happen what are the steps that it's going to take teo get there, make a plan for that track those results and reward yourself you always want to look for something that you can say ok when I hit this goal at this step you know, not this one out here but this you know, when I hit step three I'm gonna I'm gonna reward myself with x and write it down and set that goal for yourself a swell be accountable to someone telling somebody else what your goals is gets you that much closer to making them happen free daily a huge part of personal growth and development write it all down what was that? Read anything sure bring anything I mean, you know anything that's going to get you closer to that goal any one of those girls? This is a statistic from the american society for training in development, and they found that when you consciously decide to act on a night idea you're gonna be twenty five percent there's going to be twenty five percent chance that you're gonna hit that goal but you're going to make it happen just by deciding if you set a time frame and give yourself a a deadline you're at forty percent likelihood teo make that happen if you put a plan in place with those action steps in place you go to fifty percent if you commit it to someone else it takes you to sixty five percent likelihood that you're going to make it happen and if you make an appointment with that person that you've committed tio and say hold me accountable, we're going to talk again on this date and I want you to make sure that I'm on track that I'm staying on schedule, you take your chances of achieving that goal to ninety five percent and I think that is huge I mean, that is such a powerful thing to really stop and think about even, you know, I mean, why why do you think that isthe anybody want to guess because you're saying well for may I look at that and go okay, I'm writing I have, um, you know, the acting on an idea timeframe develop a plan, commit just committing to someone, andi, I don't think it can be probably anyone, it probably has to be something that you that you trust probably who's somewhat maybe somebody who loves you and somebody who's close to you. So, you know, I just think when you're when you're when you're being held accountable, um, to hitting a goal, I just think there's there's more pressure, you know, there's more pressure to do it and, um, you know, for me personally, I'm not type that's going to sit back and just go I mean, I'm gonna like winning and say I'm going to go after eating maybe a little bit more aggressive than if it was you know, relax o in a relaxed kind of situations well, we all I mean, we've heard from the internet I've heard from all of you I know for myself, you know, were we will let ourselves down, you know, a lot of times we I don't feel good enough teo really, you know, to get ourselves to that place and, you know, janice said earlier it's that truth, that really hurts, you know, its its hard tio tio I mean, do I even deserve to reach that goal? You know, I mean, sometimes that's even there, but once I've committed it to somebody else and I've asked him to hold me accountable, I don't want to let that person down, we're willing to let ourselves down, but not this person that I just committed teo and so that's the power of that and you really think that through and once you get your goals written down, you know, read him to somebody make make yourself accountable to someone I think that's that that is just so powerful that you're looking at that number, there was a study that was done and we know that now and I'm going to tell you if you write down a goal, talk to somebody about it and asked them to hold you accountable, you're almost guaranteed to make it happen. So tell me if you want before you leave way have already all like me the other day that rico we made, you know, this pact with each other, we're so you have changed our lives were so great, laurie and afraid abi, because you've been so inspired and you've made us believe that we can do it and we are all going to be in reporting to you and wade did awesome thrill just dollar signs on her ipad. All right, that's awesome. This is a quote from timothy ferriss who was just here but I love this tim said someday is a disease that will take you take your dreams to the grave with you I mean, that is powerful. Um, you know, powerful statement that when we keep saying we'll someday I'll get that done someday I'll get to that someday I'm going to make more money. Someday I'll be able to raise my prices someday I'm gonna feel like I'm worth it, you know, that's a disease that's going to take that dream to the grave with you someday is never gonna happen when that's your you know, your lack of goal not your goal, but your lack of it all right, some things to do for fun before we get into the business plan for fifteen minutes. Um, I always like to just throw out just little personal assignments, and part of that is because I am so streamlined, so nish and so stylized in my on stylized, maybe simple in my my photography that, you know, I've got to do things to kind of stretch here and there in that little video that you saw lucy, you know, I don't mind doing those things, even for clients every once in a while, if it's going to get me toe jump out of my box here and there, um, this was a project that I've been wanting to do for a long time, and it was photographing a baby every single month of this first year and did that a while back. And now this is a product line in our studio so they can choose to purchase the in the first year collection by the month, and we do it, their albums included, they have to purchase that kind of to do it, and then we photograph them, and then they they get a giant canvas at the end of that and it's a, um it's, a forty inch campus, so and I have this hanging in my studio above a couch and it's everybody stops and talks about it but it was you know, it started with that personal thing that I just wanted to do is an assignment for myself and to make that happen and I love it it's the evolution of man everybody I says that without a monkey but I love it love it love it so lots of different things that you could just do for fun and that's in your workbook to you guys so we don't do there um all right so getting into the business plan and hopefully everybody's downloaded this by now but eh? So I'm not going to go through every single thing particularly but I just want to flip through a little bit and then of course you can go through this yourself and I just want to say one more time where people can download this great photo talk for him yes it's on the photo talk foreign blog's so it's photo talk forum dot com slash flog and then over there on the right you're going to see that the download for the business plan as well as a download for an educational resource guide and both of those has the you know the business plan and the other one has just tons of info in it great and they're free free free free thank you free for everyone um all right so business plan step one is going back through excuse me those goals and aspirations that we just talked about so really thinking about what your goals are for, uh for right now for next year for three years and for five years and to be thinking about those things and I and I did, you know, tell you the story of the other day about dreaming and it's great to dream, but think about your goals as really concrete things that you can take action steps to get to you no, don't set yourself up for failure yes, you want to reach and you want to grow when you wantto get things done but decide, you know I want to do x amount of sessions this year I want my sessions toe average this much this year. Um, I want to do you know I wanted to five portrait events in the next six months, you know, whatever those goals are, I want to make a list of ten people that I can contact find out if they want to be a host mom and someone was asking earlier about, you know, I feel I feel bad asking I would feel bad asking my friends who've been I've been photographing and tio then go ask their friends to come and spend all this money well, maybe one of your friends needs to just be some when you practice on tell that person what your goals are and then sit down with her and say, you know, I'm gonna want to practice with you. I don't I'm not expecting you to do this, but let me practise with you and see how this feels and how this sounds. So, you know, that's the way that that friend can help you instead of asking her to do that, and then maybe that first person is that person that you saw at the gym or you know, that you see every sunday in church and you think, man, is she well put together? Everybody loves her already wants talk to her, um, you know, the gym, the the yoga studio, wherever you know you, we all know somebody that fits the type the target client um, let's see there's little all through this there's action steps there's things to take it a step further things that you can do so step to in your business plan is to describe your business in detail, and you want to describe everything about your business, and if you don't have the business that you want right now, describe the business that you're going to be creating that's what a business plan is all about the business plan started to go to a bank to get money that's where the business plan originated so think about it in that way if I were to be creating the business that I want to create as if I was going to get a loan to start a new business, what would that look like and start and described that your target client we've gotta describe which we did together describe your target market um destroyed your market area your many mission statement oh my many mission statement and when I was taught and went through this we were taught that we need to right our mission statement in eight words or less and so mind became making memories through images and experience so it's not just the image but it's the experience itself it's as we're photographing what we're communicating to the client what were you know how we're describing the product, what I am creating in the home? You know, the speech I gave earlier about really you know those memories and what we're doing them the the images that were capturing the memories that were capturing it's not just the memories it's the experience that's happening as we're creating those those images so so that's my many mission statement you know what's yours um we also we did this last one you know describe the industry and how you will take advantage of the growth that changes et cetera you know we have to evolve and change there was a day when I said I will never sell a digital file never say never you know we've got to grow and adapt with times destroyed describe your strengths that's another thing that we did together why will you succeed that's a big question to ask yourself why will you succeed and you know I propose the question to you why should someone choose your business over the other fifty photographers down the street you know so this is another question why will you succeed you should be able to describe that describe your background experience skills and strengths um you know janice you've worked with kids you worry youth leader write those things down you know that's what should be things that you're really proud of and things that you should be ableto I'm describe to people miley you were a nurse in training you know you should you should be able to use those things in those skills um working with with kids that you're working with um and this goes on to talk about your legal form of ownership and I know some of you are just in that process of trying to figure out which way to go um it's great to talk to an accountant about that and you know don't be afraid if you're not making much money yet tio to sit down and talk to a counter and say where should I be to start heading in this direction I've started a business plan this is where I want to be in a year I want to be set up appropriately and then get set up that way describe your products this is a place to really get into your product lines and really dive deep into really what you want to offer we all have different things obviously for me I'm into the wild survey frames and because I'm excited about it I can get my client's excited about it it might not be your thing what is your thing really describe each one of those those product lines what will be your competitive advantages that's your only what's you're the reason that you uh you're zagging instead of digging what are the disadvantages and this is not a place for you to sit in you know all pour me making those excuses but really think about the things that um that are the disadvantages so that you can think about how you can turn those around so instead of saying you know well I don't have a studio space you know if that's one of your disadvantages think about the value that you have not having a studio space that's it that you can learn to communicate those two things to your client what product lines would be growing chatting, changing adding uh what's the pricing structure of each each of your products and hopefully everybody has a little bit better handle on pricing structure um, we went through each one of those things, but here describe whether packaging makes sense to you whether build a collection makes sense to you, ala carte makes sense to you. What what's the best way for you to communicate your products to your clients, describe your services in how your unique again I'm all on location, so I'm goingto describe that I'm unique because I'm coming right into my client's home. I'm helping them with personal clothing suggestions with personal props, elections I'm helping them with, uh the their image place men and presentation, you know, all those things can be listed as a service in ways that if I can write those things down, I can then learn tio, communicate them to the client and when they should be communicated got you, man, who is your target client expanded? So we're gonna we're going to talk more here about their characteristics are buying habits or geographic location, you know, dive deep into this well, I talked to you guys about my experience with the dentist office with jackson. You know, ifyou've got someplace where you continued to go back to again and again really think about why and write those things down and how you can put those into your own business and, um, incorporate those with your clients that's more about your target client research your market there's um a couple links there that you can go to to just get statistics on your on your area and it really is this, says it's very surprising you look up this information, you'll find out all kinds of things there's all kinds of things about the demographics about the income level, about average house costs, you know, there's everything you can imagine um, you can find it all online now, so really researcher area and you might be like me where you're in an area where not my target client so I gotta figure out where my target client is and my target client is forty five minutes away. That's ok that's where I'm going to market that's where I'm going to spend the time that I need networking it's all going to be right there, but you know, we gotta put those things up a lot of times instead of saying nobody in winterset, iowa will pay one hundred fifty dollars from eight by ten they're just not going to do it so I can sit there and whine about it or I can figure out where I can go to find those people say set five identify your competitors this is not a call to action to go sit and blawg stock and facebook stock and crab about the photographer who's got the crappy work and is getting five hundred facebook legs you know that's not what this is that's this is to look at what's going on and how you can be different how you could be unique and attract those people to you what are the advantages for using your studio over another studio? How does your product and service compare with your competitors and I have always used the word competitors very loosely to me of somebody's starts copying what I'm doing I gotta figure out something else and that's ok that's a way for me to keep doing the next thing uh right now I think there's a few people around me who are a little bit afraid of me for some reason but it wasn't always that way in the beginning I have literally walked into like a women's trade show where they have products and services for women and I was helping a friend of mine has set up a booth and was just about to leave and a friend of mine someone who had been to one of my workshops in my studio I walked around the corner saw me stood in the middle of the aisle and was completely freaked out turned white I thought she was gonna throw up and you know what I said haidar like what's going on you okay? And she said, well you're here you're going to see it you might as well come over here walked around the next aisle over she had a booth at this women's event her whole entire booth the banners around her booth was she had photographed one of my albums and reproduce it and banners around her booth so not just ripping off image was it off a website like you see happening today but literally in my studio photographing product and claiming it as their own and you know and and that's not an isolated incident thes things have happened to be over and over over the years there was one similar thing that happened in the industry to me very early on it was after one of my very first workshops and I called someone in the industry and said and was bitching about it I mean, it was like this happen I can't leave this person did that and she and uh and he said, you just started speaking dona said, yeah, he said get used to it or get off the platform and that was a huge huge, you know, I mean and I had I did have to make a decision at that time. Am I going to say, you know what it is gonna happen if I'm here sharing it with you it's yours? You know, um and that just didn't you know, I had to accept at that moment that is my that's my movement, you know, if wants it, once it gets out there and gets copied, I'm ready for the next thing. And so it's, that was a great lesson to me in the beginning, and I'm not expecting, you know, that literally toe happen, teo, but, you know, but take those things as your your mo mentum keep it moving forward when somebody copies you or does something do something else, it's time for the next best thing, all right, economics, this is just going through your demographics of your area. Um, all these things start up costs, marketing costs and, you know, this is a great exercise for you to go through when you're really ready to step it up and take it to the next level. It is like you're starting over, you're starting a new business, you're starting a new business model, so, you know, go through all these things where you're looking at your marketing costs and budgeting, typical startup marketing costs in a studio are going to be five to eight percent, and so even up to ten percent, so especially if you're bree knew so you can consider that if you're goingto, um, for example, if you're going to project that you're going to make a thousand dollars on event then you can spend up to one hundred dollars in marketing because you know that you've got that ten percent budget there if you're an existing studio it's more like three to five percent so it goes down a lot further once your once you're rolling and in business but it's good to look at all those those uh different numbers as you're planning describe your products from your customer's point of view a great concept and that's you know that's been a big issue this weekend because we've had a lot of people that have said my clients don't want a frame or whatever I think what if they have their own frames you know really think about it from the other person's perspective if you can put yourself in the other person's shoes be the consumer instead of the cellar you know it takes it's a different mindset and maybe you even want to ask a couple of your favorite clients you know you guys take home your cute wild survey frame and just ask people what do you think about this is something that you would like to display in your home what would you think about something like this larger on your walls take your catalogues um you know you guys out there on the internet same thing you know get a catalogue from a frame company wild surveyor otherwise, you know, maybe a traditional frame company and just offer a service it doesn't mean that you have to do packages like me where everybody is getting it but if you don't offer it you'll never know so think about it from the customer's point of view customer service what are the things that you can do given that star experience what's something that you can do over and above? What do your guarantees right down your policies and procedures and again I don't like those words I don't have a lot of policies and procedures another thing that I haven't even mentioned but when you do have quote unquote policies and procedures in your in your business don't ever just give them to your client to read and expect that to be the end of the day always communicate with them verbally anything that you want them to know so if you if you want to have stuff that they can go to and click on your website to get more information or send them to great if you want to give them something printed that's great and make sure first always verbally communicated all right so this is defining your niche and and I really like this exercise and read through this because this is going to give me some good ideas and I'll give you just one but its defining your uniqueness and how you're different and learning to verbalize and communicate that so for example number one if you're home studio and you left photographing children then learn to put in your language I specialize in portrait's of kids being kids in an environment that makes him feel comfortable and carefree so it's just you know it's learning to say very positively what you like to do um looking at looking at all those those positives of every situation home studios tons of value bringing in people making them feel comfortable making him feel at home having stuff ready for kids on location we talked about that value huge value there so don't ever you know, kick yourself around for not having a studio all right step ten is your marketing strategy strategy so you're gonna look at how your clients are gonna find you if it's referrals then think about what your referral campaign is going to look like don't just expect referrals be proactive about it part of your marketing might be actually calling people we talked about cold calling the other day it might be partnering with another business and hopefully everybody's gone through that who my target client is and when we do that we've got those those partners to partner up with when we know where they're spending time in spending money so write those things down how will you advertise advertise is kind of a dead word these days but you might want to think about that is if there's anybody that you want a partner with um one of the places I advertise I do they actually give me the advertising but it's a local radio station that I work with and it's ah it's a christian radio station workshop station and I give them different photography packages to put in the packages that they're giving away and so what happens is is for instance, on mother's day they'll have people that will write in and what mother should win you know, and those people will write their essays on why they're mom should win this package and the package might include a weekend away at a bed and breakfast a dinner at this place a night at the movies or the theater and a portrait from lord or some studio so they do this but every time this is, you know, promoted all through the the contest there saying my name saying their names saying it so a lot of times that's when it's you know, people have to have a third, fourth, fifth, sixth seventh impression ofyou before they finally will pull the trigger. And so a lot of times that's just that additional impression where they say I've heard that name before, you know or they'll meet me and they'll say where if I heard your name and then as we get to talking we figured out that's where it wass so you know, thank those things through and who you might partner up with that way um and there's that statistic new businesses should plan on spending six to ten percent on marketing business is over three years for two seven percent so that was a little different than the numbers that I just said but pretty close um uh your studio image that is your studio image is going to carry into every part of your business it's going to carry into how you answer the phone is going to carry into how you communicate with clients all your printed pieces your website your blogged your newsletter all of it and I know when I started I always thought your image was how you dressed or how your studio looked you know that was to me what your image of us but your image is everything about your business so I think that through not just you know this is talking about logo and branding and that of course I need to tie into your personality and if you can if you're working with a designer on your logo or you're thinking about creating a logo I like to tell photographers to not do that themselves. Most of us are not graphic designers a sma ta gra furs we all think we are but you know when you're working with a designer a good graphic designer is going to ask you about your personality she's going to ask you about your signature color she's gonna you know, talk some of those things through with you and I'm not saying she meaning that a boy can't be a graphic set but uh but you know, good graphic designer is gonna talk those things all right special event okay? And I think we're almost abandoned us excuse me this is planning out special events that you might host and you could even start planning out your portrait events so anything that's different from what you do on a normal day to day basis that's going to be the special events um that also give some tips about raising prices so um read through that little part setting a marketing budget it's going back through all the things that you just did this also has a little freebie from sarah patty's promotional planning webinar um so you can click on that and listen tio that I really haven't heard a better promotional planning webinar than this one she actually goes through every step of the process helping you plan out a marketing plan how to budget for it, how to market it um and how to get all of that on the paper and then step thirteen is going to be a pricing hopefully we've giving enough ideas of that over the last couple days um and just you know, just some good little tips there step fourteen how are you gonna handle your sales? Hopefully everybody is convinced that you need to do your cells in person and hopefully everybody out there is convinced that they needed to their sales in person if nothing else and again, you know, going back to think about what those that one thing is that you could do tomorrow to make a difference in your business doing in person sales ke ke ke um what are some other ones we name like three or four that you can do tomorrow don't put pricing online down from paris and I like out of bonus schedule you khun you know, raise those averages right away tomorrow just by doing that um but in person sales this huge all right? And then we're gonna look at sales projections um step fifteen uh and that is the end so this we've got we've gotten to the end of this and obviously I can't go into everything in detail, but this is very detailed for you, so if you'll take the time to sit and do this that or at least put time on your calendar to sit into it um here, maybe over a couple of days there's a lot to read and go through here you guys that have forum memberships there's a whole form thread of people talking about this is all there, but people talking about putting their business plan together in really defining some of these steps so it's kind of nice teo and I have to find some steps they're so it's kind of nice to just see what other people would put um in some of those places so dig into that and and look at that laurie I was quick quick down and dirty run through but well thank you so much for providing that template for everybody on your photo to talk for him the log I do have and it's four o'clock but I do have one final question for you yes because I'm still in all of the fact that you started a business by yourself when you were eighteen and there's a lot of fear in doing that and so I'm wondering now after all of your experience if you were to be talking to yourself eighteen year old laurie and she was saying I don't know if I want to do this what would you say what would you say what are your final words there well that was a whole world ago so I'm not going to talk to eighteen year old laurie but I want to talk tio the rest of you who and I know there's a lot of fear and um you know with photographers in general it's we don't think of ourselves as business people even though that's exactly what we're doing the minute we take a dollar from somebody even if we're not making any money the minute we take a dollar from someone we've put ourselves into the position of this is my business and you know, and it was a very scary thing when you stop and think about it and I saw some of your faces when you started seeing in black and white okay, I need to charge that much or I'm not going to be profitable I mean it's it's scary and so you know, I think the biggest part is to really start believing in the power of of photography, the power of what we do and really what we have to give to people and, you know, and and I have said it a million times, but take yourself out of the equation and it's so so hard because we're so personally tied to our product and what we do, but if you could take you out of the equation and really put that other person first, um, you know, when you're when you're doing a sale, you're not a sales person when you have the other person's best interest um first and foremost before anything that has to do with you so really think about the gift that it is the power that we have his photographers teo really celebrate life and celebrate love and celebrate relationships um, between people and learn to communicate those things that you're seeing in people and just buy, adding that but a value to someone's day, you know, letting a mom see how special I heard that her husband is as a dad letting a dad see how wonderful his wife is and what you know acknowledge the work that she took to get everybody together and everybody looking so cute and then dad stuffs back and says, yeah, I mean, I really didn't realize how much work that was and I really didn't help much you know, um but just communicating those things to people and bringing them together and helping them appreciate each other and uh I'll tell you one more little story if I can excuse me I had someone that worked for me at one time who three beautiful daughters and I photographed the girls every year and photographed the girl's high school senior pictures now and this is a really beautiful family want wonderful family and I was at work one day and she was not in a good mood it was one of those busy days hectic days and I was sitting at my desk and about the session was about to come in and she came over and she said aren't you about to have a photo shoot us that session? Are you about a photograph? And I said, yeah and she said, well, what's going on where you happy and I said, you know, I just kind of stopped and I said, well, what do you mean you know, this is this is this is going on she said lori and she took my hands and held me still like stop you know and she said laurie when my family is together for our portrait sessions it's one of the best days of my entire year and she said we work so hard to get all the girls together to get you know to get us together and to get here we finally stop now we get to be together and we get to enjoy each other and we feel wonderful we feel beautiful you remind us why we love each other and she said when you photographed my girls and I can watch what's happening between them that's you know love just overflows in my heart and she said go into the session happy and go into the session with one hundred percent and everything that you have and and she worked for me part time you know I mean no place to be telling me what to do or how to run my session you know but it did forever has changed the way I look at sessions you know she said this changes things for us when I watch what you do but again my heart is full and you know and that's what she's seeing when she's looking on her wall at those images and so I just want to give that to everyone of you that you have that gift to give believin that cherish it yes price for it but, you know, but but leave, even if you don't believe in yourself. Even if you don't believe that, you know, I'm worth charging this much. Believe in that gift, leaving the gift that you have to give.
Ratings and Reviews
beth hunt ryan
An excellent course, though I wish it had not been over a weekend. Between the craziness of holiday card season (many of us shoot all weekend) and personal activities (kid stuff, church), I could only attend day one live and ended up having to buy the whole thing. Probably will be glad I did because I'm thinking of implementing this program, but that would not necessarily be the case for all webinars I'd be interested in. You guys do an awesome job, and thanks for even offering all this free training!
This was such an exciting class. I can't wait to implement Lori's system into my business. But it is so much more than that. I always thought I was priced well, but Lori made me realize that I was still way under priced! Best all around photography class. I lived it so much I also bought her other class! Please invite her to come back and teach another course!
a Creativelive Student
I second the whole weekend thing and hoping for the $99 price