Think Like a 10K Wedding Photographer

 

Think Like a 10K Wedding Photographer

 

Lesson Info

Marketing and Business Plan

Okay, so let's do a marketing and business plan. This is my down and dirty. I'm not just some even cps don't even know how to do this because a lot of them don't even deal with small businesses, but I've been doing this for twenty five years, so I'm going to give you like a four step method on howto plan your income for fossil. The first fact number one is we can determine our income, you know that we can determine it. We just need to figure out a plan by setting financial goals. First step set a financial goal, I mentor some people and I go before we meet next time I just want you to know like, tell me how much money you want to make next year? I don't hear from them. Why do you? Why do you think I don't hear from them setting goals is being accountable we don't want any accountability and run away from it you must be accountable to yourself, okay that's the number one thing so that's, what you do is you set a financial goal whether or not you achieve it, at least you're setting it an...

d you know how to correct yourself to get it determine how much money that you want to make fact number two lack of financial planning is the reason why most often entrepreneurs fail they don't plan it and so they go well, I'm just going to give this a shot if it happens to go that's fine if not oh well, right and they don't make any plans. I'll give you like, ninety nine at one hundred times you are going to fail it's really difficult you have to have a plan, okay? Don't fear it's not hard to do a financial plan because scott robert is here to tell you how to do it for stupid idiot people that's like myself, you know, I'm just I'm an artist, right? Okay, for not financial responsibility creates peace of mind. Okay, don't we hate a complete me? I've been there, I've been doing this for twenty five years. You're doing your business and you have no idea how much money you're losing or if you're making money. So every day you wake up with this sinking feeling in your heart and it's weighing on you and it's getting heavier and heavier because you have no idea how much money you're losing or making every single month I've been there, I know that pressure I would literally wake up in sweats, waking up and going, how am I gonna pay next month's bills, that's all I would just be in terror all the time uh and so if I at least have a financial plan I can have a peace of mind because I can look at my month in the statement I go I lost two thousand dollars that month go through oh shoot I barely made five hundred dollars a month next month oh, I lost three thousand dollars a month then and within three months you know, to start changing things you want to wait a whole entire year going like that you're going that's for sure you're going to fail with your business you just need to know you need accountability piece in line on a monthly basis one you need to know what you need to stop. Do you even know that? Do do you even know like how much money it takes for you to survive every month add it up counted up okay, no, your monthly revenue requirements how much money you need to bring in in order for you to survive, you need to know those simple facts monthly accountability that's huge every single month you need to know am I making it or not? Because it has to be a monthly basis because it's just going to slip away let's say you've got about fifty thousand dollars safe to do invest in this business or whatever it's gone in one year I guarantee you is completely gone without you even know it it's just stolen right out of you because that business is a african beast and it's going to require more money okay what this does it creates why spending choices because if you know you're losing you just lost three thousand dollars that's going to make you think about going to the movies that's goingto think make you think about going out for sushi tonight or whenever or well you know it's going to affect those things and so you're going tohave wise business choices you're going tohave spending choices you're going to make wise business choices also because you're going to know where you're at and you're going to make wise life choices so all this leads together so here's a quick and dirty financial planning way on how to do it I'm going to give you my five step plan okay first you need to determine your basic living costs was it take you for for you to survive and add that up set an income goal isis how much want money I want to make on top of my basic living costs all right I know his artists were just happy to live a month a month but guess what emergencies happen your dryer goes out your car goes out unexpected health thing happens you have to your wife loses his job or something like that you have to be prepared for it okay so you need to set an income gold on top of your basic living expenses determine what gross revenue that you need so okay, this is how much I need to live on this is how much extra that I wantto I didn't want to make what's my gross revenue the night every month what is that not? I need to know, okay, determined revenue streams so from that I say, oh, listen, I need to bring in at least two hundred thousand dollars a year now we need to allocate how am I going to make that two hundred thousand dollars create marketing plans for each revenue stream that you have? You do that you'll make us much money as you want, because why you're artists and you're creative and you're going to take your creativity and you put it into your business, you introduce amazing things with it, okay? So one determined your living costs and so there's a lot of things that this entails loan payments and all this kind of stuff and this is gonna be a little bit personal because I don't actually tell you what I might living costs and stuff like that, right? You need to create a budget, so you need to determine what your monthly living expenses is. I I did that recently, I had no idea what that that situation, so I went to my wife like, how much money do we actually need? Everything a month, okay? And so here's your work seed, right this is what I call l living expenses on then for month and you multiply it times twelve and then that's what you get that's how much you need for that year I'm going to tell you what minus I told my wife it was actually a little bit shocked I need seven thousand dollars a month take home to live and I live in a not great place at all okay? But I have my kids in private school and everything so seven thousand dollars a month I have to bring home, bring home after taxes in order for me to survive that's adding up everything okay? So what is that that's eighty four thousand dollars a lear I have to bring in and that's if I'm breaking even just right there because I have my wife doesn't work so that's what I've got up you think about that and like that scares the heck out of you but you need to know that you need to see it and you need to have confronted and go this is what it's going to be, so I got to take home eighty four k to break even. So this is what I got to do is determine my income so I need eighty four k but how much money extra do I need to get you and this let's say, I'm being conservative, I don't even know I'm not saying that this is what I do, but I'm just saying that this is a conserve of thing, so you should. Every planner says that you should have of three months set aside just in case something happens that if you couldn't pay or do something, you have at least three months set aside. So if I have seven thousand dollars a month, I need to have at least twenty one thousand dollars in the bank somewhere just in case something happens it's different for me if you're by yourself it's different, but guess what? I have a wife and I have two children it's necessary for me to happen? I am the sole income breadwinner in my house so it's very important that I have some emergencies. So what I got to do is I go, you know what? If I save two thousand dollars a month, then I can put away twenty four thousand dollars a year. I could have a little bit of extra and they're you know, because that's not counting for college kids that's not telling me trying to get into a bigger house or anything like that that's not even counting retirement, okay, so if I got an extra couple of thousand dollars a muscle, this is what it is you take your cost of living, plus your savings then you take one hundred percent minus what your tax bracket is. You divide it and that's your income goal. So how this works is this? If I want eighty four thousand dollars is my break even point, and I want to save twenty four thousand dollars a year, and I won't need to bring that home. I have to account for taxes, and this is conservative. If my tax rate is thirty percent, that means I have to bring home my income has to be one hundred fifty four thousand dollars a year to get twenty four thousand dollars, scott, the folks in the chat room just wanna let you know our building a blanket fort, and they're climbing in with milk and cookies because it's pretty scary, it is scary, and I'm just this is my life right here. I'm telling you, this is what I have to deal with. Okay, so one hundred fifty four thousand dollars a year that's, my income. Guess what, that's that's, what a doctor makes on average, right? Eight years or whatever, but that's. Why? Most of time in california? Specially to it's, like both parents work because it's difficult, so if you're planning to do this and provide for your family, whatever that's not, that is not out if you want to have a plan for things that is not out of the ordinary right there I'm telling you that right now okay so there we go take home one hundred eight thousand accounting for taxes I need two gross income of one hundred and fifty four thousand dollars a year how am I going to make that money now okay I just determined that I need one hundred fifty four thousand dollars because of taxes how am I going to make that cash so what I do is this determined my revenue so I need to know in general how much per month that I need to bring home so what that is is you take your profit equals the sales minus the business expense right we talked about that we talked about most business is this expense is fifty percent of what you bring in now I know for a fact because I've been in business for a while my business expenses a little bit lower because I'm not paying as much for a equipment because people give me things and things like that right and so I know on average because I do my taxes every year I'm at about forty percent expenses so I know that whatever I raise so whatever I bring in my minus forty percent and that's what that's what I'm going to take home so how I do it is here's this formula I take my gross income which is one hundred fifty four thousand one hundred percent minus might expense percent which is forty and that's the total sales needed so if you were to work that out it's one hundred fifty four thousand divided by point six I need to raise two hundred and fifty seven thousand dollars a year I need to get that money so every this's what kind of puts pressure on myself when I think about the new year I go how am I going to make two hundred fifty seven thousand dollars okay so you and you start breaking it down you determine what makes you money and your revenue streams so I decide on my this is what how I am going to generate thesis ales how am I gonna come up with two hundred fifty seven thousand well how do I make my money right so I listed so if you're in your case right you could be weddings boudoir seniors you fail you but all the things you've listed every single thing that you're going to make money with ok this is how I make money doing this it could be rental income it could be whatever put it all on there and then on the side you project how much you need in that particular stream to cover that net and you add it all up okay? And this I'm just making up these numbers he's not really numbers but this is just and so what I like to do is like okay weddings you might say that you need this much money so you go ok let's put it in a yearly okay for sixty I like to see it in the year and I'd like to see it in a monthly too so I put it in okay I need to make sixty thousand for weddings boudoir need to make thirty six and then I also divided by month because sometimes that helps me determine how many jobs per month I need to do that okay? So let's see do my worksheet revenue streams now I'm not saying that this is what I actually is I just through some numbers out so this is this is not accurate to my real life but I don't know so I'm just going to give you an example so speaking it's sort of accurate though speaking fees right? Oh I get money speaking I get money doing sales I get money doing some weddings I get doing money soon workshops I've got to make two hundred sixty thousand dollars with all in that how am I going to do it so well speaking fees may I could get twenty thousand dollars proxy l two hundred thousand dollars weddings maybe my don't do a lot of weddings two hundred twenty thousand dollars and workshops and I don't do a lot worse off some twenty thousand dollars all that bring it in that adds up now I have a goal to build after, so I take every one of the okay, so how I'm going to make twenty thousand dollars speaking right? Speakers don't make a lot, so maybe you go speaking somewhere might make fifteen hundred bucks, right? So fifteen hundred bucks. Okay. And divide fifty hundred bucks by twenty thousand. Okay, I got to speak this many times somewhere sales, right? You do. Projection sales is like, okay, I do this online sales I do this and do that and you figure it out so you actually create a plan for each one of these revenue strains, but you have to have a plan at least start somewhere on how you're going to attack that. So and so create marketing plans for each revenue stream. So you've got something to go across so let's say you do this. This is yours. Weddings you say sixty thousand you do five a month and then you can break it down you go. Guess what? I do two weddings a month. I've got that covered or I need twenty four in a year. I do boudoir sessions let's say, you know, I do them, I need three thousand a month and my average is I get a thousand dollars per session, okay, I need to do three a month and then you break it down like this, and so you know exactly what you need for that month, you know, immediately, if you're failing or if you're succeeding and it gets to be a game, it gets to be pretty fun actually when you start achieving these goals, but you've got it on paper and you know where you're gonna go and you'll be creative about it that's really gonna put a fire in your butt and that's the I mean, I just been doing this, I don't necessarily have to do this anymore because I've been doing this for twenty five years. I just have a sixth sense when I'm no, I'm losing money this month, I just know I got to kick it up. I just have this sense of me because I've been doing this for so long, you know, how many years, twenty five years of waking up in pure sweats, not knowing how I'm going to make it next month, long time, years, a decade of that a decade and after a while you go, yes, what I made it last year, I did it, you start to worry less because you've been doing it every single year and going, you know what? I don't know exactly because the artist life is hard, it changes every two years or so, something changes and you go I don't know I've just been doing this so long it's gonna happen? I know it's gonna happen but I'm gonna have faith and go in this direction I'm going to make a plan, okay? So that's why you need to create monthly sales report and chart it and how you do that is you add up all your income receivables. So this is the reason why I told you to have separate accounts so you add up how much money that is going into your bank account and how much money is going into papal. So if you use if you receive money in those two ways, a lot of us don't add up the cash or whatever, but whatever okay has a different subject, but for me, I've got these either, too when I charge the credit card, it either goes into my credit card account or goes into my paypal and ice look at that and I add those up every single month and I get a good, um, situation where I know what's happening, I am accountable to my self that's all it is accountable. Okay, um, so you've got to monitor your progress. Um you've got to see you got to be accountable to it and do not wait a year if changes need to be made, you can't wait a year once you know you're dying, you got to change things and that's the beauty about being an entrepreneur let's say you're working for a three hundred million dollars company you want to make a change in that company? How long is it going to take it takes forever because it's got to go through this person and that person be approved here and this research done in that forever you're an entrepreneur you are flexible, you can change on a moments notice you khun goto bed one night you can have an idea and then the next morning you can completely change your business that's your advantage but you need to be accountable and that's how you're going to survive you're going to survive because you're going to see that results and you are creative you're going to figure out ways to get that money in and you're going to do it it's simply because you don't know and you've been afraid you have this fear that you you rather not know and face the music and think that it's magically gonna happen then actually know and work at it but you need to know so you can work at it and be confident in yourself marketing plans khun take six months or a year to kick in you got to remember that too so let's say um oh man ana generating income maybe I should advertise on the knot something like that right or whatever market most of those things take like six months before you're ever going to see any money from it so don't just think that you wake up in night okay and you've got this new idea and I'm going to do these mailers out or whatever and I'm going to advertise at the mall and whatever for really almost marketing plans it takes about a half a year of doing that before actually it kicks in you just don't do some marketing plan and all of a sudden you make money right overnight it takes a while to do that so you have to prepare for that get help if you need it listen if you're already lost three to fifty thousand what's another two to four thousand to get some professional help right could literally save your life you've got all this money invested anyway seriously what's another you're already down it you've already fed the beast it's already killed you what's a few more dollars it may just be able to save your life and you got to get professional help it's it's hard to do ok expect to invest one hundred thousand pleiss in tear dream if you're gonna go full time expected because if it takes you about three years to get at world class level then even at that three years and you just need thirty thousand dollars a year just to survive or whatever then on and pleasure bringing some income on that that made one hundred thousand maybe only give you three years to do it not unless you live at home or something like that. That's the reality that's why ninety nine out of one hundred businesses fail but I don't want you to fail that's why I'm telling you this right now? Okay, so, uh, that's just the plain reality about him if I count up for me to get to where I am and all that kind of stuff, like told you before, I estimated I probably invested about a half a million dollars into myself to get right here, okay? But that's what did I say becoming a dentist? Wass half a million dollars to make one hundred fifty thousand dollars it's the same thing, man it's the same thing you've gotta have the you got to go big. You're going to go home, okay? Gotta go big or you gotta go home. I need you, please, will you? Well, you you listen to me and here that I see so many photographers just I'm going to do this and just lollygag around you will fail, you will fail, I have to be serious about it, okay, creating sales is the hardest part of any business and this is what I find happening with creatives we start getting involved with creating the product and doing this and the albums in the little business cars that look nice in the little bags that we hand to our client. We love doing that. Oh, boy, we can spend all day making those little bags and take two hours to figure out the right ribbon that we're going to tire crossed that bag to give to somebody, okay, but we're really comes is man, you need sales, there are no little bags with ribbons if you don't get the sales that is the hardest part of any business is sales sale, sale, sales that's the reason why my website don't look as professional as it is? Yeah, I can't you can't do everything you can not make your business be perfect, so you gotta pick and choose, but I got a family that depends on me. I got two girls and I've got a wife and I got seven k a month I've got to come up with so I need sales, sales, sales, sales, sales and that's the important thing, okay, I'm a firm believer. This is why my firm believer in the shooting deliver starting out ofthe okay, so I told you this in the beginning. But now you're going to understand it like hey this saying that bad when you think about it because it's a great part time job it's a great way to get involved with this business without sinking one hundred thousand dollars in it and to keep financially positive to get going right seven hundred fifty dollars per wedding it's eight hours a week twelve weddings a year nine thousand dollars okay twenty four weddings or making eighteen thousand dollars thirty six weddings you're making twenty seven thousand dollars but you are on the black you're in the black because you don't have toe learn how to do editing you don't know I have to do album design or anything like that you can grow into that, but it lead getting in black it helps you buy your equipment helps you give a nice vacation to your family it's low time, right? So once you provide editing services, e sessions albums, the workload and learning curve become increasingly bird and some so you want to go down that route and be a full service photographer you're gonna have to learn all this stuff okay? Because now you're going to have to do engagement sessions and now you're gonna have to do weddings too you're going tohave to go full time because now when are you going to do those engagement sessions, you're going to do it on the weekends when you have weddings no, and so it becomes very difficult and burdensome them or that you tackle. I remember coming into this industry like when I first started in the hall. Yeah, I'm going to do this. I could do albums and do that all the sudden it's like I kind of figure out how which album company to use? I gotta figure out like what's the best way to design this thing. Holy crap. I'm gonna learn about editing. I gotta learn about post problem. Oh my gosh, that's a lot of time, a lot of time going into it. Okay, so this is the vanishing metal it's better to keep your full time job and services and service shooting, deliver weddings or job out services than to try to establish a four time business with little experience and that's what we're trying to do. Um so let's list this year they're going to charge make thousand dollars that's all the people who charged a thousand dollars who brides who are doing thousand dollars renderings that's are usually done by allport timers this middle part. If you're charging twenty five to thirty five, you've got some part timers and you've got some full timers there, okay, if you're a full timer in this position here, I'll tell you right now, you got two or three years before you're going to burn out and you're either gonna have to go back down there or you could take a regular job you're gonna have to move up to the five k this is the danger zone you cannot stay in this area for very long or else you're going to either burn out or you're not going or we're going so go down so you have to transition through that area to get to this level here that's why I'm pushing your butt to be world class you have to be world class so you can move up into this position because I'm going to explain to you why you're going to burn out okay it's this transition zone the vanishing middle let's say you do thirty thirty weddings a year at three thousand dollars you're grossing ninety thousand dollars and so to do thirty weddings it has to be a full time job. There's no if ands about there's no thirty wedding photographer doing engaging sessions on top of that and being part time maybe if they have no kids possibly no family, no whatever possibly but you can't do it for very long so that has to be full time it's full time but you're on ly grossing ninety thousand dollars okay? So with expenses that we're talking about that megan see you making forty five thousand dollars a year at that tops tops in that mill area working twelve hours a day because that's what it takes to do this stuff twelve I work twelve hours a day every single day I've been working twelve hours a day for for twenty years I work a lot the reason why I'm successful is because I know I'll outwork you there's nobody that works harder than me I feel that's the one thing that I feel yeah you can shoot better than me oh yeah you got better images I'll give you that but most likely you're not gonna outwork me because I'm going to keep at it I've been an entrepreneur for twenty five years I know how much hard work it takes right? So you're working twelve it if a photographer has a spouse and her family it will suffer you can't keep it up it's going to suffer so you're going to be investing all this time for forty five thousand dollars a year and then your family life is gonna fall apart on you it's kind of it's crashing now it's not going to make it okay so there's a lot of inorganic to discover this there is a lot easier ways to make a living they're going to go back to your full time job I know it's true I see it all the time nine out of ten people I see it even nine out of ten people I mentor that happens so I can count on this happening to you, but I don't want it to and I'm just laying it out there how's it is ok the best wedding photographers usually have no kids think about it think about it think about all the top wedding photographers in the world do they have kids? No so but I do and I happened to do it and that's why I'm goingto have tauron woo come on, he's done it. He has kids and he's going to tell his story so I think it's important for people to see how to do it so it's possible there is a silver lining to the vanishing middle before you go to the mining scott robert lamm? Yes, I just want to share with you the conversations that are going on in the chat room. Okay? Sure, just because they're so much and I know I won't be able to get to it later, but people are really, really connecting with what you're seeing right now and they are feeling the pain and they just wanted to ignore I don't know about you guys here in the studio audience raise your hands. Yes, but it's just, um you know, mrs a photo is like history part time I had no idea what I was getting into when I quit my job to do this that's the first two years now and I'm still doing okay but after this I'll be fine um with people saying you know yes the sales is hard you got jenna skiing says I have four kids, so I'm trying to get to the point that I can start that I can start helping with the bills for now its funding itself so that's not terrible and you know, these guys were just saying, um he spot on uh me too it's been I've been full time for a year a few years now, but I'm still spinning my wheels a lot of people talking about mirabella photo says row a ten years and I'm still in the middle zone I think we rock but I am so scared so you're really really touching everybody's vulnerability right now on the people that are out there that are charging seven hundred fifty are feeling guilty about it like they they're ready they're you know they're ready to kind of move past that especially lowballing the industry and start, you know, helping bringing it up for everybody it's like that cheap house on the on the street yeah, you know I have nothing against that quite honestly I don't and if that that's a very easy way to make money and it's there for you do it, who wouldn't want that's the best job in the world seven hundred fifty bucks for a wedding. You do it every single week, you making thirty six thousand dollars a year, working eight hours a day, a week as a phenomenal job. Phenomenal that's, what our industry affords us to do so they shouldn't feel guilty about that, either because of its there for them. That's, think that's good one more, one more from dean one, two, three. I'm grateful for scott for being so open about his business, not sugar, coating it and scaring the hell out people already. Now I'm tearing you down, and I'm gonna bring you back up, okay? That's, what I'm doing.

Class Description

Ready to break into the business of high end wedding photography, but don't know how to begin establishing yourself as a luxury brand? Acclaimed photographer Scott Robert Lim will teach you the ins and outs of upscale photography, from marketing yourself to affluent clients to managing your business.

Scott will reveal his 25 "money shots," handing you his tried-and-true playbook for delighting every bride and groom. Not only will this workshop arm you with the mindset and skills you need to boost your prices (and your wallet), you'll also gain greater understanding of your distinct style and place on the luxury market.