Defining your Niche
Yes, this is a port your party basically and will it work for me and my answer is that too this is it will work for anyone and you know and I don't want that to sound like you know cliche at hall or like I'm you know blowing over anything but it really can work for anybody and you know, like I said in the beginning for me it was a second product line to what I do in the studio but for others it can be this is the only thing that you do you only want to work certain number of days per month um it's very scheduled it's very organized and so you really can plan you know I want to stay home with my kids and I want I really want to do photography but I want a life um you can play in these portrait events and do a couple days a month um I choose to do one of them a month in my business and a lot of the ones that I do now I'm not even the shooter anymore and with a system in place and they're very easy to bring in a second shooter to be ableto handle different product lines in your business a...
nd we'll talk about some of that as well but but the answer is yes a portrait event is going to work for you no matter what your product line is and whether it's a second thing or you're the main thing or, you know how you want to incorporate it, we'll talk about some different ways that you can make it a part of your business. All right, why should I even have a system? Does anybody wonder about that? Um, and I think we've talked about it a little bit, but systems really are the key to running a business efficiently, and I don't know if any of you guys have read the book the myth, but years ago and way back when I was first in my in my real business, I had done photography for for five years, but I opened up those that first studio and in two thousand and not to say that the business before that wasn't a real business, but I was all on location and at home with my kids and doing it part time, and in two thousand I made that decision and, you know, getting into the burn out quickly and all those things, and someone recommended the myth to me and the east answer entrepreneur, and we all go into business thinking we're in entrepreneur because, well, we've got a business, we started a business, and what the reality is is that most of us are are not entrepreneurs most of us in, especially in photography. Our artists were creatives um, you know, there's, we have a different mindset really, than the business owner than the entrepreneur. And the true entrepreneur is someone who actually has multiple streams of income, so it may be home to core along with your portrait studio. It maybe children's clothing if you I work with kids, you know, maybe jewelry, way cell, a couple of lines of jewelry in my studio, and one of them is strictly photo jewelry. It's katori and they're amazing super great quality photo jewelry, but I also sell another line of jewelry that's called jewel, cade and it's, a multi level things like pampered chef, and the reason that I do that is because as an opera entrepreneur, I want access to a cz many people as I can have access to. That doesn't mean that all those people are going to be the right person for my business, but I at least want them to know who I am and because if they're not right, they make america meant someone else who is and so, by offering jule cade, which is something that's, they do have a photo charm, but it's in general, not even related to the photography business, but it relates to my target client, who is, you know, laura is my target client um you totally fit the profile and if you came into my studio I know you would love joel k jewellery so it's something that you can see on the shelf you can say oh my gosh, I love this tell me about it and I can offer to you teo host a party and do it in my studio um you could do it in your home if you have a home studio and it's just a way to, you know, bring more people into your business and by hosting it in this in my studio I'm allowing other people to see what we have going on and you know, so it's it's just that that more of networking so creating a system is something that no matter what part of your business you're doing if you have a system in place and I handed it off again from the myth but the e myth one of the main things that the myth talks about is running your business as if it is a franchise and that's a very, very hard concept for us a small business owners to wrap our heads around, you know, most of us as photographers would never consider selling our business, our business is us, you know and how do I sell laurie north from studio without laurie nordstrom? It doesn't make sense, but if I can put business practice in the place as if I were to sell it one day then I have a much more streamlined process that I can continually follow if I have a bad day, I've got the system to go back to you if I you know I have a broken leg and I'm in the hospital for three weeks the systems in place so that the people in my other people in my business can do it or step in and that's what happened has happened with real kids is my having a consistent system in place I can now bring another photographer into that area of my business when I really want to concentrate on the high end family and children clients going into homes doing these custom wall designs and different things and and while we've pulled that into this system it is about twenty percent off of a regular prices we have got packages so you know, so that's different it's all it's just kind of a different product line and I'm really enjoying having somebody else that's photographing those events and you know, still be able to manage that and bring in the profit from that so um you know in a nutshell, even if you never plan on bringing another photographer never plan on selling your business a system is going to be great for you for your schedule, for your family, for your profitability, lifestyle, all of it um and I think we should have systems and every over your life and and I'll tell you it's not easy for me and I know it's not easy for a lot people I'm not a rial I don't like planning I like things just happen and so it's a hard thing but when you start you know when you get back to that writing things down and saying what's the most important thing for my business and my family um you know you gotta make yourself and that's that's what happened for me is when I got to the point where you know I don't I don't have an option anymore I have to run this like a business I have to know my numbers I have tio um you know, I understand what it takes to run a business I have to have a system in place or no none of that happens so that's why so that was the end of the last segment and now we'll go into this defining your niche and I threw this image up here because um and I don't know even off you can see it but one of the things that I'm known for is the black and white hand painted fortunes of children and a lot of times these days I get flak about it you know, even these days even though this is where my bread and butter is and I have a very profitable studio I still get nasty comments on facebook and you know different places selective color who you know and you know whatever floats your boat but you know it's it really is the reason we can all be in business we're all good at different things were all known for different things what you know some people love high color contrasts and people like grunts and people are simple black and white you know but my roots are when I started photographing my kids and I was shooting film I was printing those images on every medium that I could possibly find and also painting them with every medium I could find I was using oils and charcoal is and pencils and know everything that I could find to hand paint the images and that's how that's how I fell in love with photography it was with the hand painted portrait so going digital one of the first things that was that I wanted to do and figure out was how to create a black and white hand painted piece that looked like my old stuff and and so and so that's what I've done and even over the years it's gotten even more subtle in even more subtle I like just at a hint of color in the images and um but it's it's still why people come to me and I know that blows some people's minds but but that's my thing so it's I shoot everything in black and white um high school seniors it's about forty sixty and even if I sell a wedding, I'm selling them a black and white wedding. I do shoot color, but that's what they're buying is a black and white wedding, and so it is very, very niche, too, and there's there's some real value to that. And as we go through, I want to encourage you guys to really think about, you know, narrowing down what are your favorite subjects to photograph? Um, think about that and you guys all have these questions in your workbooks um, but really think about what it is you know what gets yet? And I know for me now, you know, I'm enjoying high school seniors more and more um as I go, but I used to when I started my niche was black and white hand painted porches of children the end period I don't do anything else and it was a huge benefit to me at the time I didn't know it, but it is a huge benefit because that's what I became known for and that's what I loved and you know and it's continued on to this day that that's, my love and my passion are those kids after three or four years into the business, I realized I better start photographing newborns or because they turn into kids, you know? And if somebody else photographs the newborn session, I might miss out on the opportunity to photograph the children and so I started my newborn business, and then a few years later I'd been in the business for a while and my babies and children were growing into bigger families. Then all of a sudden they're high schoolers and, you know, so it grew and evolved from there and and I enjoy the whole process of it, but I'm still very niche to the children's market and so that's, why I want you guys to think about is really what you love to photograph and, you know, I know for me a couple of years ago, I would have said, you know, if a high school senior called and I'm sick, I need to cancel reschedule, I'd be two hours of my day, and I have back, you know what? It was no big deal, but if it was a baby or kids session, I was so looking forward to that I'd be disappointed and, you know, and so that's kind of how, you know, you know what? Why? When I get really excited about going out and photographing and and for me, it's, the kids and everybody else is gonna have a different answer, a different story but think about it. Uh, what do your friends tell you? That you're good at and back to that validation thing that kristin mentioned that, you know, we all we all want to feel that and a lot of times that's why we start in the business is because, you know, somebody saw the pictures that we took of our own kids or dog or, you know, somebody. And they said, wow, that's so amazingly, you take pictures of my kids, and so we and we all start that way, and we start into it. And of course, we do it for free and do it all the wrong way. But we'll talk about more about that, but, uh, really, what? What are people telling you? What? Your friends telling you how I love the way you did this? A lot of the way you, you know, did that, um, you know and think about those things, and then this is key. I believe, in defining your niche in your just defining your personality and that turns into what your style becomes. Is it? It becomes a part of you and who you are. So think about three to five words that define your personality, and this is ah, this is a hard thing. It's a hard thing to sometimes to say something good about yourself, and but if you can, if you can sit and think about it and I meant to tell you guys at the break because I wanted somebody, I think, janice, I think you could do it all right on three words, a defined and passionate, I'm fun, and I love to develop relationships and that's why I love working with kids, even when photographing so, um, just that intensity in that relationship, and then that I'd get to connect with them and make them feel good, they love the one photographing a child if a parent is photographing your child, they're like, oh moans with the camera when another person that's photographing a child there like, wait, I'm special this person's paying attention to me, and I love that reaction so that I think that's, my passionate fan and how do you know? I don't know how to say that for the relationship building a relationship driven is, yeah, I guess, and I'm going to say a little intense and so, you know, so when when janice is able to define that and and I knew you would be able to, because you have, you do have that personality, you know, and when you're able to define that and write down those key cores those key words you can pull from those words when you're putting your marketing together when you're putting together your phone scripts in your communication process with someone when I'm working with kids I'm quiet and you know I'm down on their level and I'm not jumping all over the room so my marketing and my communication to a mom is gonna be different from yours you know you're going to say your kid's gonna have so much fun we're gonna have a great time together, you know? Do you think that scares them because I do like, you know have like we party together yeah way have like all sometimes and I think that's awesome and that that means that you are using your personality strengths in your message I can and that's the point of this and I I feel that is so important and you know any time somebody asked me you know well how do I know when I have a style how do I you know it's when somebody can look at your work and say that is this person you know that this person photographed that and that hit me hard years ago I was in a room with um several photographers it was ah thinking ta for has been here before um sarah petty who's been here before cin cin put choose men here before who else was there? Julia woods definitely would um that may have been the group of us but anyway we were sitting and we were a defining product lines for each of us for marathon press we each had a little you know, product line within marathon press for bella grafica and as we were sitting there we all had to pick one word that was going to define our product line and we all went around and it was so easy tio point out to each person you know, this should be your product line and the name the word that described it and all of a sudden it dawns on me this isn't just the name of the product line this is the definition of this person this is who they are and it's it's their work it's their marketing it's their message you know, it's all of it and it really hit me how how powerful that is to really be able to define what your strengths are, what your personality is and then use those things as you market as you communicate so anybody else want to go? I was a lung same lines really passionate about this I'm really driven um when I'm shooting kids, I'm working with kids I mean, I have two kids and when we when we're raising them I mean are my household was incredibly silly, credibly goofy and so when I'm working with kids that's kind of how I am and you know, it was funny because you mentioned yours and you said that you got down with him and you were kind of quiet with them I'm like wow, I think it works but it's just two or three oh sure approach more along the lines of completely ridiculous and goofy and silly and and also I usually have a congress not with the moms I have a conversation with the kids and I'm just talking to them and maybe being goofy and silly, you know, but and then grabbing that moment when they're really not expecting it and so which is you know, when I'm looking at your pictures I'm like, ok, these aren't staged these are grabbing a moment when they're not you know, when they're ready for it so s oh yes passionate, silly funny you know, I think humor again I'll be hauling the funny so humor thing but then driven, you know, really driven to you know, get that just that shot that just makes you go wow, yeah, I need a doctor I think you are kind somewhere and and probably are and really and I don't want to say that driven part is more of a man thing however I can also see that tying into being technical, you know, really carrying about how your camera works and being a professional in that regard and again not to say that it's a man thing it's a great getting used t o but you know, when you think about that I I haven't seen you guys work but I'm gonna imagine that you know that you janice probably have you know, bright vivid colors and you're you know, you have kids laughing and jumping and you know, doing fun things where for me I ask kids to jump but it's because of the expression that happens when they land you know? And so you know, so it's it's a different thing and working that personality into what you dio and you know and and for you, ernie, I see you know, you probably have very technical images with that driven personality ernie came from the world of being a corporate guy and then went to being a chef and you're probably very have a lot of attention to detail and so that probably comes through and your image is a cz well and even with photographing kids, I imagine that you before you get silly, you make sure all the details are in place, you know, it's funny with kids I want to shoot a lot of sports and there's a lot of similarities, I've just I've I've realized because you're waiting for that moment will happen and then grabbing it and with kids I found it's it's no different you're waiting for them to not just look at the camera but do something react in some way and then and then grabbing that picture so in sports it is exactly the same kind of thing so it's interesting yeah absolutely technical police get it already on then let it rip have fun and get a great picture awesome does over there any internet oh yeah personalities good okay josh ran west said fun friendly and entertaining uh c we also had susan said whimsical quiet and creative we have ah lan e five for one one who says random random people pleaser and sensitive okay so you know and so you can kind of almost get a feel for these people just with those three words you know and um and we're all going to communicate differently our you know our marketing is going to be a little bit different if I got on the phone with the mom and you know talked about an experience like janice is going to give I'd be giving the wrong message when she comes into my studio where I come to her home she's going to be thinking I'm this you know wild crazy chick that's gonna you know tio while crazy I don't know but you know it almost reminds me going back to that room that we ran with those people it kind of reminds me of the sarah petty sort of personality and work and marketing it's the bold fund colors and the you know, bright limbs ical frame she uses wild survey as well but even more with the just the bright colors and fun um you know she's marketing to her clients your kid's gonna have a great time they're having so much fun we've got a trampoline in the studio you know and where if I gave that message it would be the wrong message you know, I want to let my my clients know your your child is going to feel very at home they're gonna have a really wonderful time and you know when I take great pride in the fact that um you know, my my mom's will call me or they'll email me your facebook me and they'll tell me, you know, you know jacqueline wants to know she gets to come back to see lori you know, um I also want to instill in them that you know, if they even tried to take their kids to somewhere else, you know, they're going to say wait that's not worry way and we should all have that kind of goal with our clients, but but different personalities are going to project different things so think about that and that's in your workbook again so you can really think about that that's a little homework for you guys tonight maybe um to sit in that and think that there was we're planning marketing and client communication and your style and I think I long with all that patient helps a lot, I think even like, for someone that is very technical are very entertaining. I'm like something around going crazy to having fun, but being patient is I have found that it's a key to working with kids. Yeah, I get that all the time from you're so patient well, and even if even if that's not one of your top three or even top five, yes, we have to incorporate different things into the work that we do. I know for a lot of people, they have no patients and other areas of their lives, but you get into the camera room and that patient's comes because you are technical or you are driven or you are yeah, we want a shot because I want that shop. I don't keep going until I know I've got it, so it might not even be the patient word that fits it might be one of those other things that allows you to be, you know, to appear to be patient. So but that's great, and I can see you being a very patient person. May lee so you know, and that that's great, too, if you're photographing newborns. That's definitely something to communicate to your client you know, I've got all the patients in the world this is gonna take a while and you don't have to worry about a thing I will take care of everything you can take a nap you know um you know and really and communicate those strengths good um so there's a strengths and you know, when I mentioned this before, you know, I'm just another thing to think about as you're thinking about strings really think about the strength and not the weaknesses and a lot of times we dwell too much on those weaknesses or we give our strength um that I'm you know, it's my strength to the what did I say to a fault to appall thank you. Um and, you know, and it's a normal thing I think a lot of times for people to say, you know, I'm this to a fault and that too a fault um get rid of that that language and think about what your strengths are. So, laurie, would it be considered a strength if you're called miss bossy pants, but because I was there the day I thought, you know, just take control of having fun with it, but miss bossy pants was kind of and that was an actual parent that's it in a loving kind sensitive way loving kind wants it away well yeah then it then that's a positive thing right now um but you know and I think at you know, to give that a word um you don't want it have bossy or controlling to be your word however you know, sometimes we have to pull from those areas as well to have control of the situation you know and tio not be run over or you know, a lot of things that can happen so I do think that can be a very positive thing. Um and then what makes you happy? You know, and that's that's the that's the last part of that but um no, I'm gonna go to that back to that um, you know, all of us get burnout and drug down and, you know, in the digital world we're all you know I mean it's a it's a crazy place to be, I know for sure. But, you know, one of the things that happened to me several years ago I way back and probably two thousand two or three made the decision that I was not going to work weekends anymore and now we do these portrait events once a month but other than our portrait events, my schedule in the studio is tuesday wednesday thursday at eleven and one that's the only time I shoot and I make those those times available it's, my client. A very specific about it. Would eleven on tuesday be better? Or thursday at one? How about school? A school times. Um, when they come back with school times and again, this is all finding a yes answer for your client. But making it be a yes for as well for me. Um, so when we're talking to a client, we get them excited about booking a session and we go to the calendar and I let them know, um, we've got tuesday eleven available or thursday one, which would be better. Well, you know, my kids are in school. Do you? Do you have any weekends? You know, genesis, um once the last time you had a family portrait done, I was pregnant with my daughter on how long ago was that? Years ago. Five years ago. So this is pretty important to your family. Would you consider taking the kids late one day to school or getting them out early? One day. I guess we do it for dennis. Disappointment, disappointment. What a revolution. And that is, that is actually the exact way the conversation goes, because what happens is in someone's mind when they call well, my kids are in school, yeah, and so can't you do a saturday don't you do it thursday night? Well that's what I'm struggling with this because I can hear a pin the northwest it gets too dark now by four thirty so I'm like how do I get that appointment done? The shot shoot done before four thirty that's so you decide you decide when you're going to shoot for some people the right day might be saturday here with their kids arrested the week and you you shoot on saturdays when somebody else is with your kids for somebody else it might be you know when you want to do it once a night thursday night sunset shoot that's great but you decide don't let your client decide and again it's a very normal thing especially when you're starting out tio you know you were still excited somebody's calling and you know well when would you like to come and we let them take complete control of our schedule and so you know, so think about that I was not happy anymore going out and shooting on the saturday or a sunday afternoon it actually kind of made me mad and so I decided you know what? That's that's not that doesn't work best for my business and my family interest if I'm not happy doing it I got to figure out what makes me happy so it's eleven and one tuesday wednesday thursday the same thing with the dad a dad is you know well, my husband has to work I'd really like for him to be part of the session, you know, he's got he's very busy and very important e and I'll ask the same question no long has it been since you guys have done a family portrait and that is really honestly typically the answer the minimum time has been a year because nobody comes for another family portrait in less than a year, you know? So even if the answer is you know well it's it's been a year and you know, it's time to do it again, you know, great, this is really important to your family. Do you think your husband would consider and by proposing the question in that way do you think your husband would consider taking a longer lunch one day coming in? You know what, eleven are taking a late lunch and coming at one, you know, I mean, there are not many women who would say absolutely not he's completely inconsiderate, you know, and especially when you just said, you know, this is really important to your family and I think it's so great that he wants to be involved and I, you know, would really love to get him here, would you? You do think he would consider taking an extra long lunch and honestly, for me, if the answer is absolutely not because he's a jerk, then I really don't wanna work with them that's fine so well in the beginning and I will tell you this in the beginning when I made this decision, I did set up two days on my calendar um I've worked with other people to do it once a month let me do whatever works for you to be able to get to your life in your schedule, but for me in the beginning, I did feel like I'm gonna have people are gonna freak out that I'm not doing saturday appointments anymore and so I set up a spring date and a fall date, and when I had that person in my line, I had to have these times so that when somebody said to me, yeah, well, you know, don't you work on a saturday? Can I have a saturday appointment? And I walked through those steps and they still said no? Then I could say, you know what? We have march fifteenth available on a saturday or october seventh, which would be better and then I'm still giving them a yes answer, but it's, yes, for my business after my family and what happened was I needed that in place for me, but nobody took me up on it, you know, they either came during the that time or they don't come and they need teo how how long do you work on those days? I mean, are you doing consecutive shoots like are you just working an entire day from eleven till whenever no eleven and one are the appointment times I take two appointment today so you're the one they their appointments with six apartments we'd get wow, I have three days a week to myself that I I I have three and a half hours a day three, three times a week this year it's my first time I've had alone it's awesome on dh so I've already got my hours in place and just hearing that that's what you're doing I mean I need to jack up my prices and get a studio that's what has to happen well and you know what? And we are and and you don't have to have a studio there are benefits to every single situation but you probably do need you to raise your prices I can tell you that because everybody pretty much is in that boat um but you know, but I'm gonna go back to the situation you know, wanting a studio I'm thinking about I don't feel that feel a huge need for it it's just like it's a novelty that I would like tio eventually my house will become the studio I already have some plans place good but I mean, I'm not I'm not discouraged or I don't feel what's the word I'm looking for I don't feel intimidated by going into people's homes I mean I just that's usually what I do I'll do outdoor home do you shoot in your studio or do you shoot on location? I do both um I, um remind me to get back to schedule but um I I have a large studio again however I went back to having a studio and buying us a building when my older too were out of the house and I had one left at home I am single mom it's just me and jackson left so at that time I made the decision to sell my home by a building and we live upstairs I put an apartment upstairs just you know it's for me and jackson and so so it made sense all on paper and I think that's the biggest thing is when it comes time to add on to the house to buy a retail space from rent a retail space whatever it is it needs to make sense for all the areas of your life not just you know I want I want to be that photographer that's got the studio has the you know pretty this or that and, um you know, like I said before in that in that beginning space I was on location and I learned to communicate the value to my client and that value is goingto sound something like, you know, I'm I'm gonna come right to you I'm going to be there to help you choose clothing and personal props for your session I'm also going to be able to walk around your home and make suggestions for where to hang your portrait and so you can communicate the value of what you're doing um in a home studio I had a home studio for several years and learning to communicate the value of that was a difficult thing for me I had a beautiful home uh one of the things that was so important to me and back when you saw the pictures of my family, my kids and me one of them was by j b salih who you guys may have heard of um on the beach in hawaii I was there with the silly family and we traded portrait ce I photographed their family they photographed mind the next one of us and the chair was by a friend of mine photographer patty far and she's in my same town. You know? And I just want to say while I have this moment that if you are a professional photographer and not hiring a professional photographer to photograph your family, you are missing the boat way have to have to communicate to people how valuable we believe portraiture is and so that is one of the huge values of having a home studio is that when somebody walks into your home they can see how important photography is tio and excuse me so that's one of the things that I learned to communicate when I had a home studio was um first I would tell people you know, I would get a little worked up about um you know, maybe everything's not perfect are in place and you know and usually it typically wass but to get out of that mindset that you know if there's something sitting out I have to say I'm sorry for it or whatever I would actually tell people on the phone when I was talking to them you know what you're going to feel right at home when you come in the kids are going to be accountable and have snacks and drinks for them and you know what? I'm not even a clean for you you know? And I would tell him that in a joking way to say you're going to feel so comfortable but it also took all the pressure off you know, if there was a toy out or you know, whatever it's okay I just told them you're gonna feel at home I'm not even gonna clean for you and so you know, just learning the language to be able to communicate the value of where you are you know, so valuable, and, um, and again bringing them into your home, I would also tell them you're going to see how I decorate with portrait ce and, you know, I'm gonna walk you around, show you different areas where I've got images of the kid's displayed and and and that, you know, toe also took off the pressure for me from having to have a bunch of product out of other people's kids in my house that I didn't really want on the walls of my home, you know? And so it was my kids, and I actually communicated that between them before they got there that you're gonna be able to walk and see around and see how I decorate with the portrait is of my own children, so all those things are valuable, and all those things are things you need to communicate and back to schedule. I said it. So I reminded myself, uh, which is what I started out to tell you guys was several years ago, you know, I had made this plan, I was only gonna work tuesday, wednesday, thursday eleven one and I had a gentleman called the studio, and he was all of his kids, he had three kids that were all in different states now, and he was flying them all in with the gran kids for his wife's seventieth birthday or whatever it was I don't remember exactly what the milestone was but he was finding it all in and it was a surprise they were coming in from like new york and you know all these places and s we call and he said the only day that they're all going to be there is on this sunday and and I you know, it's this very special time and they chose me to do this and um they came as a great referral from another family who I've done business with for quite a while that's all I really wanted to do it and and so I made the choice and said, you know absolutely this schedule this well part of what happened was it was going to be a surprise for his wife so he did not want me calling the house normally I'm calling and doing a consultation call and communicating with them or planning designing and all these things and I couldn't do that so not only was that not there for the communication with the client but it also wasn't there for my mindset you know, normally I'm really invested into this session before I get there and so I was driving to this session on a sunday afternoon thinking I don't want to be here like I was in the worst mood ever I don't want to do this is terrible and I got there and I photographed the big family grouping and then I photographed the individual families and grandma grandpa together with grand kids and all that stuff and last thing I was just letting the kids run around do their thing and just photographing kids and I looked over and this grandmother is standing there with tears just running out her face and I was I mean, it was like, I mean, you could have just hit me with a baseball bat I was like, you know, who do you think you are to come into this session? Thes people have planned for and, you know, surprised this mom with and, you know, thiss man and put so much effort into and here I am with a bad attitude, and it really changed my perspective on going into sessions and um, and even though that was a sunday session, it was a really good lesson for me in planning for my daily sessions in that you know, you got to get rid of the junk. You gotta focus on that person that's in front of you and how special and important this session is to them that they would actually hire me to do this, they would hire you to do this, and, you know, if you can really put that into perspective, it also takes away all the weird feelings we get about selling it also takes away all the you know, the time constraints we put on ourselves you know how these things we get into these negative jumbo jumbo's you know, I gave him all my policies and procedures and they still did this, you know, get over it, you know, we're people were building relationships and build that relationship and it will all come back to you um so happiest when, um thinking about really who you want a photograph and what makes you happy and um you know, I knew for me that I'm going to be happy and doing those sessions when my head can be in the game and part of that for me is having a very planned schedule having a calendar that, um my kids know this is when I'm working this is when I'm not this is when I'm you know, out of town whatever and that's what I'm here for you all right? So think about as you thought about what your personalities is your strengths are, um what you're good at what other people are telling you you're good at and to take that one little step further what makes you the on ly and that is something that is so key in today's marketplace because we all can be photographers and so if you can think about what is, why should somebody come to you and I always want to propose the question that if, if you can't define why someone should choose you over photographers a through z, down the road, you know? And kristen said, there's, a lot of there's a lot of these in my area, you can't just say there are a lot of these in every area e and I don't mean that no, you can't say that I know that's not what I mean, but, you know, that is it's just like the constant battle of, like, defining yourself aside from the masses. Thank you. Um, yes, and so thinking about, um, since we can't say because they're really all sucks and they're honestly is I didn't mean that toward anyone that I know I just want you guys let's do all real is not to be negative, but all about what? What you said about there being so many in your area, but honestly, it doesn't matter if I talked to somebody in ella or michigan or florida or london, it does not matter every single person there are so many photographers in my area. I mean, everybody says that I am in a town of fifty, five hundred people so it's a little little tiny midwestern town, and I live on my little downtown square. That's very, very mayberry, you know, town yeah, people so yeah. So the same same type of thing in my town a fifty, five hundred people, there are three photographers on our town square, so, you know, and those air people that are actually, you know, when one of them's right off the square but, you know, somewhat legit, right? There's also in our town of fifty, five hundred people, a million and fifty two, people who are photographers and a town of fifty, five hundred. Um, and and, you know, and I and I didn't feel that way, and so constantly we have to say, why should anyone choose to come here? You know, you gotta ask yourself that, and if you can't define it, you cannot expect for somebody else to define it. So think about, you know, kind of finishing one of these lines and you don't have to finish them all through, and it may not be one of these things, but, you know, I'm the only photographer that whatever, um, I'm I have the only location that offers this I I have the only one that offers such and such prop, you know, maybe you have a vintage car or, you know, who knows what, but it may be something specific. Um that and honestly a studio these days is ah it's it's not normal so someone with the studio could you know, make that observation that I'm the only one in the area that actually has a studio um that's not enough they're still needs to be exceptional customer service exceptional product except exceptional experience while they're there you know, all those things have to happen but think about the thing that is going to get him talking when they leave and and that's what it's all about, you know, that's how we can all grow our businesses and when somebody leaves and they're so excited that they tell somebody else so what makes you the only, um the, uh there's a book called zag and kind of the premise of the book is when everybody else zigs zag and so look and see what you know back to this look and see what everybody else is doing around you and then do something else you know, what can we do to be completely different and stand out for me? It really has been um the one hundred fifty two dollars photographers down the street are not willing to take the time to frame their clients portrait's there either sending them out with a cd which we've already talked about or they're you know they're expecting them to find their own framing or figure out what to do with it all and they're selling small prints you know and that's that's the other thing selling images online almost one hundred percent of the time it's going to be you know I want a four by six a five by seven and a great big by ten because that's all anybody knows you know if we're not leading them through the process of doing something custom for them that's how they know and so just just offering the framing and the design consultation and those things are really one of the things that that I believe has allowed me to stay in business and be profitable now once every other photographer down the block is framing and you know, doing all these things and going into did you design consultations I got to figure something else out but right now it's really it's that's a studio part right from the first phone call because we are telling them what we specialize in and what we can do for them and there are not many moms no matter what their budget is there are not many moms that can't get excited about decorating their home so you know so it's something to talk about and it's something to stay up on, you know, design trends and get in the magazines I watched the home shows and on all that um so pulling that altogether make that style and that that list of three to five personality traits that define you make that a part of every single thing that you do and you know whether it's fun and crazy and passionate and, you know, um put it into everything, put it into every single part of your business and client communication again, this is this is for me, this is my niche is being ableto and these walls here are just part of preview these aren't client walls, but that's one of the great things about previews that, um, that sales presentation software is that these rooms are built in so even before you ever own a wild survey frame or ever take a picture or have a picture from a client home, you khun build these wall concepts and put him on your block, put him on your facebook and website and give people ideas and let him know this is what I specialize in creating something beautiful for your home that you can see and enjoy every single day and, you know, and and this is exactly how again these air just exported straight from preview. So this is what it looks like in preview as you're designing with them and you can show him right? What what it looks like in their home, the client that we have coming tomorrow, they've actually sent me there, they're home views, and so we'll be able to build these collections for them