Business, Branding, and Marketing Q&A Part 1
We are doing a lot of questions from you for jared about marketing about branding and we're just going to keep going through and we're gonna get through as many as we can in an hour and you're ready for this year and I don't know what the questions are so these air all just off the top of my head whatever he throws at me you get the honest answer beautiful first one son fall general business question I live in a rural town out west and have a hard time getting people to pay me what I'm worth it seems like they only want to pay two hundred four hundred dollars total and what digital files not prince it's a more financially depressed area how do I get my business to flourish in this kind of financial climate? It's a tough one and has said I mean it is a tough one because I don't think there's an aunt a full on secret answer to make it to make it work but if the clientele is on ly capable of paying x amount of dollars and you have to find out what you're worth what you can give them that ...
is worth your time so if you go in and you overdeliver and you think that it's twelve that well you think it's a thousand dollars worth of stuff that you're giving them then work it down to show them make package level things this is what you get for two hundred dollars, this is what you get for four hundred dollars, this is what you're going to get five for five or a thousand dollars almost a thousand hundred that wouldn't be good, but what you're going to get for a thousand dollars, then you're showing them that there's different options if they want the digital files, so be it. Limit them to. I'm going to give you three digital files when it comes to two to three hundred dollars. When it comes to you, you want more digital files, then you're going to pay more to do it. You just have to ask for the sale, and if it is a depressed area, it is what it is. If you can get out of that area and start flourishing and other places, which is what you can do by being successful online by upping your value online, seeing getting clientele from around the world are around the country, then you have a better chance of stepping out of your comfort zone to make more money there. But I think that the tiered pricing and showing people what they can get and at least delivering something is good, all right, you're gonna start saying, no, I filled it in for you, because I know you were just fighting it it's it's a physical reaction at this point don has a question about branding to incorporate interest is part of your online presence or your friend I have a pinterest and it's one thing that I don't fully understand honestly how to use properly it's a platform that would be very good for what I did what I take my glasses off and now I can't see anything it's like all blurry so they did a great job making these glasses right I would like somebody to run pinchers for me I think that that what it comes down to is I have to focus on certain areas too because I can't spread myself too thin but if I had a real good understanding or a crash court do you have a crash course on pinterest you guys have a crash course on pinterest we do we have a couple maybe I should probably watch one because sometimes you don't do the things you don't fully understand but I want to be fully educate educated on certain things before I do them that's one thing I may have to pick up and watch so that I do get it but that is something that would rather have somebody take care of me some summit in an intern or somebody that's an expert in that type of field that can focus on taking the content that I create and pinning it where it needs to go so I can focus where I need to be its is its delegation, she finally what do you say the customers if they asked for the color copy and, you know, the photo looks terrible in color. We did that a lot here where we just color wasn't adding to it or was a problems we changed the black and white I know I wouldn't want my name on something that looked bad. Well, like I say all the time, if you think it's a piece of crap, don't put it out there if there's a reason why you went to black and white because the color just didn't work. It's your photograph it's your photo, you took it, they don't. Just because they paid you to take the photo doesn't mean that it needs to be the color you're the artist behind you deliver the product that you want to deliver, so if that means that it has to be black and white and that's the way to do it, then keep it that way. You just tell them, look it it looked better in black and white didn't really like the color you can also, if you really wanted, if you really, really they push you. You say I shot it in black and white and there's no color detail at all, so that's just how it is and that's if they don't know what I don't think I've ever done that, but you really could get away with that. A lot of what I think with a lot of clients, a good yeah, tim cubic, should one put pricing on their website? Yeah, no, that was a simple answer there. No, I'm going to go into detail about that. I think that pricing is pigeonholing you to something you should have pricing that you know what you want it to be for whatever you're shooting, I don't think you should put wedding prices online. I don't think you should put portrait session pricings online. I think that what what happens there's if somebody doesn't understand that your three thousand or four thousand dollars package includes eight trillion things, but you do offer something for the less expensive packages, then somebody may just pass you by without asking a question, so I want to get people to contact me, so they're going to contact me on the phone or mostly via email and my goal is to try to get them on the phone. I won't even send them pricing in the email because if all they're doing is price shopping, I don't want to talk to them about that. I want to make sure that they understand the quality that I'm going to tow to deliver and why that holds the price that it holds, but absolutely I don't I'm not a fan of putting pricing online because then also your competition will go ahead and look at it and try toe match you, but it should come down the quality and then the other thing that you can do if your competition doesn't put their pricing online and you really want to know, you call them from another number and ask alex medic, how long do you jab before the right hook? How long do you give before you ask? Is hitting every single gary vaynerchuk reference there? Give, give, give, give asked, jab, jab, jab, right hook! Before I sold my actual first beginner guide was over two and a half years, so that's like a two, two and a half year jab going on there? It depends what you're asking for if you're in my situation and you're and you're educating people it's nice to have something. To ask for the sale I gives so much that it's ok, I think people understand that because I have almost sixteen hundred videos that are free on youtube that if I put out a camera strap or a t shirt or a video guide and I ask for the sale that you guys understand that you understand it because I've given you so much free content and it's that it's that what else does he say it's that thank you economy is one of his books and I never fully finished sorry guy, I never finished your book, but when I personally talked to you I think it's worth more than reading the book the thank you economy makes sense people will thank you for giving stuff away I think a lot of the model where creative life has a great model here where you can watch it for free and then purchase it to thank people that's a great thing there's a lot of people out there that want you just tow just to pay for stuff without knowing what's behind the curtain. Yet if you don't know what's back there where you going to pay for it? S so I think that you earn you earn the right to ask for the sale I think I answered that question yeah, because you have to actually put the effort out there people see the value and then we're watching today but there's so many people trying to do the same things you have to stand out and if you prove it to somebody if you if you there is nothing the easiest sale is made when you could just prove it when you throw your portfolio on the table and it speaks for itself or you let something you don't have to tell you want to sell your work to somebody if it speaks for itself that don't make the sale when they look at it casey croft if a client asked not just for the digital files but the actual raw files themselves is that an option? Yes it's a weird it's an interesting option I had I had a wedding client asked for the digital files because the guy was a photographer or he took pictures he had a five d mark two or something or five d mark three and he was a photographer and he's like can I get the raw files? Okay I already charged them an extra five hundred or seven hundred fifty dollars for whatever files I was going to give them I am not going to do anything with those files after the fact I'm going to edit them I'm going to tweak all of the ones that I want to give I only delivered him the final the final raw file when I say final the edited down to the ones that I wanted to show him I didn't give him all say two thousand images from the two photographers that shot I gave him the four hundred or so keepers that I meant was meant to deliver I also made it easy for my exported gave the high rez j peg so they're ready to go given the low res that he could share online and gave him the raw files I said supply me with a hard driving but I would be very happy to give him to you a four thousand dollars wedding are you going to turn it down for ethical standards of no you can have my raw files is like you think back to the olden times when I mean olden times the eighties and the nineties and the seventies and probably the sixties when everybody held their negatives like they were the liquor was fort knox you had them locked away no you can't have my negatives because I need to extort the money out of you to make those files to make those prints and back then it's like all right you made your money off the prints but what you going to sit there for twenty years with those negatives in your cabinet let the people's print them and love them and that's my answer a rest my case kevin thomas do you attend any networking events to get the name out there or do you just ask people you shoot to spread the word about your business shouldn't even need to ask them to spread the word I don't think you ask people to do those things it's okay to say you know what? If you post this, please use my please use my link to facebook or my website I don't think you explicitly go out of your way to say oh, please share this I think in this day and age if something is good enough, people are going to share it automatically it's the same thing on twitter it's like saying please retweet well that's cheap asking for that or after I do an interview when somebody sends me a message and just because I did an interview and goes, hey, can you share this out with everybody? If I wanted to share it out with everybody, I would I think you shouldn't ask like I sat and interviewed gary vaynerchuk this is a guy that makes a lot of money to go speak in his time is worth a lot of money I didn't after the fact that gary, can you share this out with your readers because that I'm not asking for that if he chose to do that that's great, but I I it's not right because I also know that people ask me all the time hey like my facebook page, why am I gonna like your facebook page? I don't know you let me see awesome work and I may follow you just but don't don't flat out asked me to toe just like and share your page for no reason. That's a personal one for may, I just get tired of people trying tio get that it's like put the work out there, and if I want to see it, then I will follow it and make work that I want to see and then I will follow your work, make work that is interesting and I will share it same thing on same thing on instagram, I will follow people just because they have cool photos. People leave comments on my stuff all the time, so I go in and I see their comments on like and I click on it and if the first couple images look pretty cool, I'm like, all right, I'll follow you for a while just don't have too many selfies because then I may not follow you for much longer, but but that the asking thing it's like we got trevor here, trevor ended up assisting last night on the front of sword over all talk that we did because we always have somebody that helps reset the cameras and I think you did a good job, I haven't heard that the footage didn't turn out or you didn't hit the buttons properly. But by being here in the situation and by all of you guys putting yourself here and taking your time to get associated with me gave you a lifeline to talk to me not saying that it's worth a lot of whatever I'm not just trying to float my own boat here it's just saying that if you say hey can you critique my wedding that I just shot why would I say no because I personally know you you took the time to be here you reached out to me in this way trevor made himself indispensable so that if I came out here so working and sort of you as well back there you guys are people that I would if I needed help out here I'd call you and say can you guys help I was sitting there photographing maxwell behind the sofa and I needed a lens I didn't want to get up there is on like trevor can you grab my seventy two two hundred he knows what the seventy two two hundred was he made sure he put the other lens down he made sure I was able to grab it and it worked out very well so that was that was really cool so you put yourself in this do I go to networking groups was actually the question when I first well the answer is pretty much no I don't like network meetings what I love doing it network things if I ever do go is that you see the people how people wear name tags, I go up to them, check your levels, guys, because I'm about to get loud. They walked down the hall when you're like bob what's up it's good to see you again and keep walking and they go who the hell was that guy and it's? Just like I just like messing with the people that got these name tags on networking groups is just I almost used another term. It wasn't a curse, but it's just it's it's ego inflation for people. I got twenty business cards today. So the hell what what are you going to do with those business cards? Cold call people see that's. Another thing is like business cards. I have business cards. It's nice to have business cards and it's good to have something to give somebody. I also have a phone, I can hand you my phone, you can type your information in there. I could take your picture and do and do all of that, but you have the interaction. If you're in somebody's face, give them a reason to remember you're not just a a crappy business card that you handed in passing, and also if somebody made an impression or trying to make an impression with somebody give them something maybe take their business card but send them of a written note thanking them for the time that they spent. That means a lot more than sending an email in today's, day and age not a lot of people do that stuff go back and do things that are different you write a hand written note somebody said something interesting there into x, y or z, and then that personal gifts shows up on their desk in a couple of days and I'm not talking about spending thousands of dollars to do that stuff I'm just saying, you know that they're into to something because you read it online, do your research about these people you want to get in, get introduced to and if you meet them in person, use that time wisely don't ask them for something most of time that you hand people your business card it's going to go into a pile somewhere and usually it ends up into the trash unless you make an impression unless you give somebody a reason to become aware of you. Yeah, I will say there are occasionally and I'm not in any way saying anything negative about people who didn't but there have been some students who have come to, of course, here who, you know a week or two later there will be a card sitting on my desk that's a personal hand written. Thank you just for being here, like for hosting or just whatever it is and those people I remember every single one of them and it's it's very like meaningful to get those thank you's, especially when it's hand written and again, I don't think it's a bad thing not to. I don't assume that everyone who didn't is ungrateful, but it stands out so much when you make that extra effort. Yeah, that and here's another thing that's not even a question? That's asked, we had the if you miss the photo shoot this morning, which was honestly fantastic with with the family one you could buy the course to check that out, but two if I was done with that shoot, I am going to going to deliver them something to remember me by they're going to, but they're going to buy whatever they're going to want to buy and say that they only wanted the digital files and that's all they wanted and that's what they paid me for, they're going to end up with eight photo book, a coffee table book that cost me one hundred bucks or less. You won't say at around the picks, right? I get I get photo books there, I'm sure they'll give me some kind of code at some point to share with you guys, but those photo books I haven't found many places that have made things that air such amazing leave behind. When I shot modest yahoo a couple years ago and handed him, sent him mailed him a photo book. When I got to l a a couple about six months ago for a photo shoot, where I flew out to work with him, the on ly in his on his coffee table was the photo book I gave him two years ago, he said, if the if there was a fire in my house, there's two things I'm grabbing, we're going to think that the kids weren't in the house at this time, it was just he's, like, I'm going to take that coffee table book and that microphone, because that left an impression so little things, things that add value, you buy something from my merch store, you buy a t shirt, you end up with added value, because I'm giving you something weird, like a hair pick in the mail, that's coming with it, it's things that people did not expect that don't cost you a lot of money, but go a long way to saying thank you. Leaving that photo book, giving that to the family that's going to live on their coffee table, whether you get a job out of it or not? Doesn't matter, but you know, people are going to look at it and that's something that they're going to remember every time they open it up, drops the microphone and walks away. Miss a marie burr team. How should I price my photography as an amateur photographer? And I think let's, just open up the pandora's box and say, throw talk about pricing your work you have to see what your value is worth. So you have a day job and you consider yourself an amateur photographer. What? What is your hourly wage at work? What is your time worth? And you have to start figuring that out. Is your time worth twenty five dollars an hour? Is it worth fifty dollars an hour? Does your work stand out into into such a place that you can? You can charge a higher price, a premium on that? The way that I look at it excuse me, is if you have a photo shoot that you're going to do that's going to be four hours is one hundred dollars for four hours worth it for all of the effort that you put into it, it may not be. It may not be the right price, maybe fifty dollars an hour, something for, like, four hours shoot. And keep in mind you've got a half hour of travel one way and a half an hour travel back that's one hour, you've got the actual shoot an hour and a half or so you've got another hour of of editing or hour to an hour and a half for that last half an hour could be spent dealing with the customer and delivering the final product. What is your four hoursworth? Four hours worth two hundred twenty five dollars, that cz not a bad little thing if you're an amateur and you're adding two hundred twenty five dollars to your bottom line and you're doing a photo, shoot four hundred bucks here two fifty there and then also ultimately those free shoots still can go a long way. We didn't talk about that, but free shoots khun go a long way if you do charitable events, I always say this if you if you believe in in a cause there's always a charity behind it, and there's local organizations that put on events usually people that donate money to charitable events, what does that mean if they're donating? A lot of money means that they have a lot of money, so by donating your time, you're getting access to people that may be able to pay you your value or pay you in general, too. Do photo shoots especially if you do two or three of these events for free you're donating your time to a cause that you like but you're getting access to people that may be able to turn into jobs they see the second they see the first time they go ok that's somebody cool the second time they go I saw them the first time the third time like they must be good they've been here three times doing this and maybe they need you to do a shoot so pricing is is subjective is also depending upon where you are in the world and you can't be afraid to ask for the sale but you can't be asa nine and what you asked for but I gave I think a good starting point what is your time worth and what just feels right go with your gut what I remember before college or when I got out of college I would I think what I would want to charge for a photo shoot in the night email my professors and I'd be like what do you think I should charge and they would come back with the pretty much the same thing that I felt that my time was worth and then if somebody sometimes people can't afford certain things and today I will do I will do shoots people that reach out to me a lot of times friends because I don't really like charging friends terribly too much and I know that's I should but it depends on who they are. It depends if it's if it's a shoot that I want to do I'll go for it and a friend of mine needed a band shoot done they didn't have a lot of money to spend it was something that I wanted to do and I said take a white envelope put a check in it and give it to me whatever you think my time is worth and what you think this is worth to you then that's fine to pay me I won't complain about it sometimes you win with that sometimes you lose with that but my concern wasn't the money because I could parlay it into something else for me I can turn that concert shoot into content for my website you can build your portfolio I hate the term it's a portfolio builder I don't have money to pay you that only goes so far it's like I don't have money to pay you for the car it's a it looks good on your resume that I stole your car you know it's you get the people that say well why should I pay for pictures? I could take it why should I pay for that oil change? You know when I go to your wash I pay for gas when I go to the gas pump it's the same thing. This is my commodity, this is what I offer. I'm going in circles or I'm not going in circles. I just keep going off task, but that's what I do, where was I going? Somebody throw that back in the rust. I think that that's a good start like you, said it's, it's, it's going to be so dependent on where you are, it's going to be so dependent on your level of skill and your professionalism because some people you're paying them for the experience, I think rather than even necessarily the final product, it's a big part of it and there's a lot to do it, and we've got a lot of workshops on pricing if you want to check those out business of stuff, so but I think that that's a great I think it's a great start, do those go three days on pricing? I don't think we've done a full three days on pricing now because that would be a lot so one thing we forgot to mention at the end of the last segment. If anybody's picking up and pushing that blue button or is already purchased the guide there's going to be some extra bonuses that end up coming later, I like to add. Value, you know, added value that you didn't know you were going to get you khun definitely expect to find raw files coming so that you can see the files that I took from this some from the d thirty two hundred. Sorry, thirty, three hundred I don't own a d thirty two hundred stuff from the d six ten just a nice assortment of the images that you can process on your own just don't try to sell them because they're not yours they're mine, but you can do whatever you want tow edit with to see how they were captured and there's extra bonuses like that. I don't know. Maybe I'll create something more that you end up getting when I get home I'll think of something but there's always some extra goodies that end up being there. Thank you for playing that. Please be spaced. Do we have any questions in here? Oh, my gosh, we do ok, really quick. I just was gonna prime you guys. You guys were already ready. So I'm gonna ask a quick follow up from the mall folly in and then we'll get to you all feeling follow up question the business card. Would you put a portfolio photo on the back of the card to help the person remember your work? I used to do that I think a strong image is good, but you may not want to pigeonhole yourself into whatever that one image is. I still think a strong image is important tohave on it don't put multiple images on a little three and a half by two inch or whatever size business two and a half, two and a half by three I think don't put weird stuff on there just make a personal impression with somebody more so than worrying that the business card is going to do it, but you do want something unique on there that they're going to remember. I mean, I the way that the first time I met gary vaynerchuk, I was donating my time to get into an event to foot I was donated my time to be the photographer for an event that was three thousand dollars to get into, and I didn't want to pay for it, and I like trading, so I reached out to the people I needed to reach out to. And I said, I would like to take your photographs for free so that I can get this three days of education of whoever speaking at this event, and I kind of never want to pay three thousand dollars to go to an event, but I went to this event, and that opened up a lot of doors because one I was working for the guy who put on the event, who was extremely successful entrepreneur. I got to meet so many other successful entrepreneurs. I got to sit in front of gary v who I thought was an obnoxious new yorker before I heard him speak because he's in, um, not just new yorker that's it still owned that. But when I heard him speak, what I loved about what he had to say was the fact that it was no b s and he wouldn't you know, he may do a creative live one day he was on chase jarvis live. You can see that there's a lot of curses because that's what gary does, I think he just he went and he owned and that's what he did. But I got to hear him speak and he talks about making an impression on somebody. And I pull out of the pocket my hair pick with my with my web there's hair on it with my web address on it. And that was my business card, and I handed it to him, and he ended up speaking about it when he was up on stage. He's like this is unique. I will not forget that, and we've stayed in touch for four years, I can email him. Oh, and by the way, this is maureen from I don't remember the question, but this is this brings up something else because I just brain dump on this if you're going to he email somebody that you know is extremely busy. You want to email a question? Email a question, don't email a a memoir it's very difficult and though I like reading people's personal stories and personal experiences and things that I've helped them with, if you want to get a quick response, one of the easiest ways to get a quick response for me is twitter it's one hundred forty characters, it gives me an easy way to respond back to people, but if you're going to leave messages and comments get to the point, same with everybody out there you want to reach out to somebody to get something hi, my name is here's my question done thank you for your time not I'm the biggest fan in the world and I've been following you since day one that's great thank you what's the point save me the time asked the question I rather have bluntness then have a long thing to try to cycle through and read it. What was the question again? Do you put a photo on a business card? Oh wow, so I have been dealing with this like, uh yes, I don't like those move cards I think they're overly expensive I think you're going to do a business card, you do something that is the regular size those little mini move things get stuck in my pocket and end up breaking in the texas extremely small business cards aren't meant to be expensive I don't have an affiliate with any of them I've used a place called got print dot com fright leap for ten years now, it said my account was formed in two thousand four for twenty six bucks you get a thousand four color front four color back and that includes shipping at least it did shipping to me for ground I don't know twenty six buck investment to have a thousand cards just make sure that the card looks pretty good in this memorable so photo or not photo just make sure it's a good photo please um when using a business plan and spread sheet when you include the cost of goods themselves. Ah, what is a good profit margin for your services? And I ask this because they drove this and business school and they always mentioned what's your proper margins keep it organized everything someone that wants to use the spreadsheet or for this for the business side so I didn't go to business school for that reason um you just get stuck I mean you want to make money okay, you want to make more than you spent and more than what you put out, right? You want to make more profit? I can't give you no, I can't get. I'm not yelling at you, okay? I'm not yelling at you. This is just me pontificating on that whole thing. All I know is that I want to make more so I want my percentage to be higher within reason. I can't tell you percentages what? Your profit difference between spending money and not you need to make money enough money to live and that's different for each person. Spreadsheets. I'll make spreadsheets, business plans. I did not make a business plan for photos photo. I had an idea. I had thoughts for what direction I wanted to take it, and and I executed and pivoted where I needed to pivot. All I knew is I needed. I needed to make money or make money to survive in the way I did as I shot weddings for two years, which afforded me the ability to not make his much money. Plus I was living at home at the time to focus in on concentrating. Focusing in on concentrating is the same thing to focus in on putting all I could into the into the website. I just try not to get stuck in that stuff like that. And you want to talk about planning by planning for this thing? I told you two minutes before we went live to shoot the concert. I started writing stuff on a piece of paper and crushed it. So don't get stuck in the technical stuff like that. You need to make more than your spending. Does that? Does that make sense, sir? Or do you really want me to dig down on it? No. No, I just wanted kind. Take your take on the whole situation. That's, my take on it. Okay, thank you. Need to make more than you spend. You need to make enough to live. And if that means you, you can't. I mean it's, it's, simple profit and loss stuff. I don't. I don't think you need to get into that. I use quickbooks. So you want to spread sheet quickbooks that keeps track of how much money I have. I do my invoicing. I keep track of all that in there and and I make sure I'm not in the in the red.