Skip to main content

Set Goals & Make an Action Plan

Lesson 11 from: The Business of Commercial Photography: The Survival Guide

John Keatley

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

11. Set Goals & Make an Action Plan

Next Lesson: Marketing Plan

Lesson Info

Set Goals & Make an Action Plan

So you've got to set goals, as we've been talking about, and you've got to make an action plan, so that we can further drill down on how we're gonna reach what these things are that we wanna do. What is it that you want to accomplish this year? What is is that you wanna accomplish long-term. Does anyone feel like sharing something that you've thought about that you wanna try to accomplish this year or lets say in five years. Yeah. Fine art print sales. Fine art print sales. Awesome. Anyone else. Yeah. I'd like to get paid to shoot a baseball game. Major league baseball. Cool, major league baseball game. To shoot, not pitch. (laughter) My mind is going pitch 'cause I wanna still pitch. (laughter) You can just shout it out too. You don't have to grab the mike I think. [Woman With Curly Hair] My goal this year is to produce like building sets and stuff, at least 12, if I could. And I will say that we are three months into the year and I've only been able to produce one, so I fee...

l like I was a little ambitious-- with that (laughs). Yeah. [Woman With Curly Hair] Maybe ten (laughs). Cool, so you wanna build sets. I just wanna have my whole vision come to life and me be responsible. Like kind of your previous class I took it with you and that inspired me like, oh I need to be putting my vision out there like that. So thanks. That's awesome. Anybody else. I wanna pivot more into more commercial work. More commercial work. Cool. This is actually more on the noncommercial side. Actually I shoot high school seniors, but I'd like to have forty seniors by the end of this year, with a $1,500 average per senior account. Is that based on something that you've done in the past or do you feel like-- Yes, I have done senior photography. I have been doing senior photography for a little while now, but I think that's an attainable goal to get about 40 for this year. So what's the difference between that goal and what you've been doing? The difference is didn't have a set number, a set price or set price point or a set average, and a set number of clients. Cool. Can I ask what are you doing to kind of measure and insure that you get there, what kind of steps are you taking? What I do, I actually participate and I shoot a number of different sports throughout the county, and I have a couple of t-shirts with my name, and email address or website, pass out cards, just meetin' people left and right, and just out talkin' it up. Cool, have you seen a change since you started-- doing that? Yes. I have seen a change. Not as big of a change as I wanna see, but it is moving in the right direction. That's awesome. And so how many have you done, let's say, last year? Last year, I've done 12. 12. Yep. 'Cause that's a big jump goin' to you said, 40, 45-- was it? Yep. With a baseball analogy, you can't steal second with your foot on first, so (laughs). I love it, I love it That's good. I like the ambition. That's awesome. So, with some of these, whether it's fine art prints sales or maybe, you know, moving into bigger jobs, or more clients, it's really, really important, I think, to set specific goals as Lorenzo have, and some of you else have, and I think it's important to say, oh okay, I wanna do more of this, but let's like put a number to it, 'cause that's something that we can begin to track, something that we can measure, and we can gauge our success. So, what we wanna do is make sure that you have those measurable goals. So, for example, if you have like Lorenzo, for example, he's done 12, and maybe I'm not sure what the price point is, but you wanna make sure that you say, oh okay, I have 40 at 1500, make sure that you're tracking all of that data, and give yourself an opportunity where you can go back and reassess, and it's possible that you'll blow past it. It's possible that you'll hit it right on. It's possible that you will maybe come under, but make sure that you're always looking at that data, and kind of reassessing, maybe some adjustments you need to make or maybe you're overly ambitious and that sort of thing. But make sure that you do commit to numbers so that you can kind of stay on path, and not make excuses like, well I said more, and it was more kind of, but maybe not as much as I had hoped. You wanna be working in like realistic numbers. And as we mentioned earlier, you wanna be able to write this down also, because you wanna be able to celebrate success. What we started off this course talking about, how it's very difficult and it can be a very, it can be hard, you can face rejection, but again, there are a lot of successes. We just tend to focus on that the things that didn't go our way. It's kind of again, like baseball, where if you strike, if you get out, seven out of 10 times, you're actually really, really good, but if a baseball player only focused on the times they got out, it's gonna feel kind of depressing, and you're gonna forget about those three times that you actually did do what you wanted to do. So you have to make sure that you're focusing on those successes that you experience. And again, make sure that as you're goals change, make sure that you're changing your plan too. 'Cause there are many, many times where I set these extensive plans, and have everything in place and then my goal kind of slowly starts to shift or change and maybe I identify more clearly, oh yeah, I wanna do this and I just keep doing what I'm doing though and I expect these very specific targeted things, which used to take me here and now I want 'em to take me here or here, they're gonna still go here. Like in the same path that I set 'em out in the first place. You have to constantly be able to assess and adapt and pivot.

Class Materials

Free Bonus Material

Keatley Reference Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Bonnie Aunchman

John & Creative Live - Thank you - Best. Class. Ever.! This is a GREAT class! If you are a photographer, this is definitely a MUST GET class, but even if you work with photographers as part of a creative team - you have to take this class. (I'm a Photo Stylist) John covers it ALL in this class - it really, truly is a Survival (Success) Guide. John is so detailed, honest, and generous in his knowledge/experience/wisdom in the commercial photography industry in helping you understand the business and really succeed (& stand out). When I see that John is teaching a class on Creative Live - I'm in! (I have his other valuable courses as well)

a Creativelive Student

I was lucky to be part of the studio audience for this course. John is an awesome teacher and did an outstanding job of making sense of a very difficult side of photography for a creative to understand. He shared his 18+ years of experience, including the good and bad he has gone through. The "special guests" alone are worth the cost of this class. John has an amazing team working beside him behind the scenes. Their perspective on his business was priceless!

Joseph Brewster

John gave an enormous amount of insight and practical advice in this comprehensive course. I really enjoyed a course focused more on commercial and editorial rather than wedding and family, which is more common. Great info and great work all around!

Student Work