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Tots to Teens

Lesson 3 of 35

Marketing & Developing a Brand

Sandy Puc

Tots to Teens

Sandy Puc

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Lesson Info

3. Marketing & Developing a Brand

Lesson Info

Marketing & Developing a Brand

our goal today is to build a strong marketing structure because in order to get these babies in the door we definitely have to create a sort of a foundation of your business now marketing is everywhere I mean everything that I can teach you is available for free online in fact creative live is the best example in our industry of opportunity that even to this day I'm amazed that it's free the first time around because you know people talk about that ninety nine dollars I can't even tell you what an incredible value that is I teach ah for for two and a half to five hours show on tour and I'm cramming in what I can and four and a half hours getting three full days of everything I know it just expands so much more knowledge I sell my little four hour video for ninety nine dollars they're giving it to you here for like three days worth live shoots things that I could never do on the stage for ninety nine dollars so I just cannot say enough how important creative lives is and the fact that t...

he concept of people of of there are a lot of people out there that will buy this and understand when they buy this it is literally keeping it alive without those without those contributions without those purchases this won't even exist for any of us so if you're standing on the fence and you're thinking well I kind of want it but I'm not sure support it because it's an important thing but there are people out there who maybe can't afford to do this who are in that beginning stages and just don't have the money and the fact that it's free to them like a great education for nothing is really it's really and I kind of look at it as a pay it forward if they can't do it now maybe in two years they'll be buying those dvds because these types of things help them make that money so so not that I'm trying to put a huge plug out for creative lie but I am because I think it's so important to lose something like this would be just a tragedy so so please do support every week I've been watching throughout my travels I've been trying to throw it up as much as possible and I'm watching all of this and I sit there and think how how could this be available I thought creative live would eventually just on lee once they built their business they would just charge for everything and so their business model is absolute incredible incredible but not just hear you khun google any word marketing social media anything and just being slammed with information now people choose to goto live events like this or or even the tours and things like that because there still is something about personal connection about hearing it from somebody who has kind of streamlined it down the web is like a black hole you google the word social media and start reading pretty soon you'll lincoln a thousand other things that just then all the sudden you're time is all gone so it is you know it is nice to have people that are sort of creating the best formula for what it is we do but it's out there there's nothing you can't find that it's not available now marketing is the total activities involved in the transfer of goods it's not just a postcard it's so much more it's everything including the advertising the shipping the storing and selling the entire process is actually the marketing function with marketing our goal is to help you develop a brand and today we want to help you develop a working calendar now I talked about it a little bit about this last time so I really pared it down but knowing that there is an audience out there that has never seen it to me it is important because the marketing structure how you market your business is how how you will find your success the more streamlining the more organized you are the more success you will have you should make it simple make it memorable make it inviting to look at and make it fun to read marketing is about relationships it's not about paper and products and flashy signs and neon signs it's really about creating relationships when it comes to marketing there's always that competitors now I truly in one of the few people that can stand here and talk about the last twenty years history of photography when I started photography I was definitely anomaly it was a very male dominated industry working with children and especially babies was virtually not a non existent just didn't happen people had professional studios families came there you had your family portrait the specialization of children newborns really has evolved in the last ten years I was very early I was kind of on that original train of the faeries and the angels and all that that limited edition stuff eventually evolved into digital capture and of course that opened up plethora of concepts were very early evolve er's there too so we were out there with the coolest products early on before the people had it now you cycle to here they're more photographers than ever it's more female more female photographers more specialization with children's and baby everybody that picks up a camera is a photographer if you have a phone you're a professional photographer all the fixtures I post online on facebook they're all you know phone camera pictures I don't have time to work on my own files and actually you know do something pretty I just post my little you know go into a few actions and I'm good to go so so everybody is now your competitors and it can be very daunting I know that even for me when I look around my community and realize you know how many photographers are in my area it's always existed but now it's so in my face and you know half of the photographers of my community or members of sandy puts university so when I see my own marketing campaigns you know like uh you know I did it to myself but I actually don't mind I I think that there's plenty of room for everybody but what I want to remind you is I believe competition is important I believe you should know it exists I should I believe you should look at it and then turn your back on it because what happens is there's the kick in the butt which is what this quote basically tells you is you need competition because it spurs you to do better but what you don't need to do is worry about it um I have been the kind of person that my competitors local competitors will do something amazing and I will literally internalize it and make myself sick thinking oh my gosh they're doing this I should be doing this I should have caught that first I'm going to go out of business I mean I could get myself all the way to poor and destitute on the street no business because they're going to take over the world and there's a point where you have to cut that off yet you know what that's amazing and now how do I top it how do I do the next uh best thing so part of that is developing your brand and reinventing yourself and we have to do that all the time this industry does not allow you to sit on your laurels and just hope the people you know ring the phone rings you have to become an entity that is powerful and my evolution I was always ahead of the curve in my studio we were always doing things before everybody else it is impossible almost for me to do that now it is I mean you come up with one cool product and two minutes later every lab has that every photographer has it it is really hard to stay on the edge so to me it's not even about the product lines as much as it is it's about creating relationships the relationships we have are the success that we will have so we have to understand what our style is um you have to know yourself I know that I have a certain look a certain field I have always had that I will always have that I've tried to break the mold and you put me in a pink dress I feel like a clown you know it's never gonna happen and so no matter what you know I see all these these photographers out there doing all these awesome actions in the school stuff and and I've you know unfortunately when you speak of the level I do I take a lot of hits I hear the negatives too and people will say you know things about well I only do natural work I don't use studio strobes and I said there go um I'm not supposed to use studio strobes that bad you know and so I have to sometimes counter and think you know what it doesn't matter what other people are doing it doesn't pay your bills I mean if you're doing the right thing then you're doing the right thing for you and it could be something that the entire industry looks at and thinks it's ugly and cookie cutter but if it's paying your bills you might be surprised how many of those wonderful artists that are putting out all that awesome stuff don't even have businesses that they're you know per time people just doing it for fun it's a big difference there so I understand your style and stick stick to who you are whatever that is you need to stick very close to that because you emulate your brands photography is not about the business it's about the photographer that is something that I think is really important because we have to understand that it's we're building businesses um my business is not something I could sell I could not turn to somebody and have them make me an offer to buy my business when I came into this industry businesses were sold all the time you could go to a studio for a few hundred thousand dollars buy a building a client list and some equipment today somebody could walk in a camera store and for less than five thousand dollars get a camera reflector and a couple lenses and they'd have a business and they could be in business in a minute so so it's not about knowing that knowing that I'm not building a brand that I'm going to sell I have to be true to my brand which is true to myself I have to really emulate myself because the only way people are going to come to me is if they like me and I don't mean that on a personal level I mean they have to look at it go that's really cool I like that and if they like that they're going to get to know me and if they say oh she's really cool I like her and then they go in a little deeper oh she really likes my children I really like her and that's kind of what I'm going for is building that that brandon relationships all of your marketing literature has to be professional it has to be professionally written that's why it's so important to you we hire professional writers to write our our literature because hundreds and thousands of students use our literature I have horrible grammar you could imagine with my education I can't spell to save my I'm left handed too so I write like a doctor and I can't spell and you wouldn't die if you saw something that was hand written by me it will never happen I will never right in front of you because I'm terrified to do that but I know what my weaknesses are and even people who are educated and talented you'd be surprised little grammatical errors tiny things periods in the wrong place the consumers that see that they check market office oh that's not good oh that's not good so really getting that extra help if you don't you know if you don't know a writer you could go on craigslist you confined people that can write for you that can really you know somebody that's you know an english teacher or something that will just go through and check what youre doing you'd be surprised how many mistakes that catch you have to look professional everything you do should be very clean and simple it should have a very consistent look and I always recommend that you showcase your best work you know I always say showcase your best work and less is always more I think the mohr images you throw up the less connections you have with people I'd rather see on a gallery I'd rather see four to six amazing showstopping images than fifty six of two sessions because what that tells a consumer is oh they photographed their own kids a lot or her because we all sneak are kids in there when we can but you know when you see it thirty two pictures of your own child and then three of another client it sends a message to that to that consumers so we want to make sure that we have high impact images I really say no more than one of each subject you don't look the same so I didn't listen to a wedding obviously that's a little bit different and I shouldn't know right now a ce faras weddings go because a lot of things I teach never applied a wedding so if you wanted to talk to me about weddings I do we do shoot weddings very very rarely we put the price point so high that we don't have to do them however two weeks I'm flying to new york and I will be shooting a wedding and I'm so excited because I love weddings I'm very passionate about them but it's something that's very time consuming and it's something that honestly it has to be a value to me in order to do that so I will hopefully throw some of that on facebook if you're following but everything today when I talk about online and everything I'm talking about it does not apply to weddings because that's a totally different theory there branding is creating a comprehensive look and style so we have you know we create a branding look we try to do all encompassing it means that your postcards in your brochures and your literature in your letterhead has the same look and feel to it and that's important because in this industry now that imagery is not where we separate ourselves are consistent brand is really where people are going to start to see us now this is kind of my local evolution this is actually the original logo the expressions photography with a little heart in the square around it was the original logo the first logo that I actually professionally had made previous to that I was a master of clip art and I had these stupid you know the lady with the bustle and the big camera with a thing overhead that that is so not me and yet that was my logo because it was available in clip art so I uh I threw it up there but this is the first time I paid for somebody to actually design it and I remember when I saw this he did like fifty different drawings totally unique and different and this is the one the heart is what caught me and really drew me to it and at that time I was in my middle twenties mid twenties that's who I wass at that time I was the only photographer so it was expressions photography I didn't really have to build off of my name then I started to realize that my name especially my last name was kind of unique and so I thought well I better put my name on things because I started to see other expressions in my community there was expressions by cindy and expressions of whatever so I thought well I gotta get my name on this so I added my name and then of course um I started hiring photographers and I thought well I can't have my name on it now that's not fair to them because it it's all of us it's not me and so I took my name off of it but pretty quickly we realized that we had lost something in our brand that really my namesake was the brand people were searching for us more by sandy putsch then expressions and there were a lot of expressions they were becoming more and more prevalent so eventually we added the name back in and you could see we kind of went through the evolutions of how to place it for a while there I was concerned about what my photographers would think originally by the way on this will kind of come up later but I signed all of my work I hand sign and we're gonna talk about that sandy putsch eventually when I hired photographers I thought why can't sign it sandy pushed so I started signing it expressions it was a really bad thing to do because what I did is virtually created two brands there was people would have images hanging in their home half of which that sandy put half of which said expression so it looked like two different companies eventually over time I realized that my name is my brand and I needed to stick with my name and so I started originally I would separate by my work was signed my name photographer's work was signed expressions and eventually with my photographers in agreement we decided to just sign everything sandy pushed the idea behind it was I have taught those photographers you know they're doing their work is my style so to speak it's under the umbrella of sandy putsch and I became very comfortable with that so at this point it doesn't bother me at all because I understand brand recognition name recognition is so so in important so our current logo is just sandy pushed photography super simple I need people to know my name and I need them to know that I'm a photographer so it took I mean this is twenty years of evolution um but it's kind of funny that I landed in such simplicity and I just you know there's no way to go back and fix it obviously I can't change it but really start considering your namesake I've had people call me and say my name is susan smith and they're fifteen other photographers with that name that's something you have to consider but truly your name is your brand and your clients will start to recognize your name more than your company name in most cases assed faras our literature and our marketing and our products and packaging we've gone through a huge evolution there I mean my original packaging when I worked out of my home I had this awesome milk box on my front porch and the lab you know the lab send stuff in little cardboard with plastic bags my original packaging was just re tape up the bag and stick it in the milk box and people would run up to my porch in car I didn't flip through everybody's orders and grab their order I mean it's it's pretty tacky but at that time that's all I knew that was a cz good is it got and then I started to realize that at that time I was charging ten bucks and a vice head you know and over time we started charging maurin charging maurren and with those those price increase came the need to create a defined look when somebody currently are eight by tens or hundreds fifty dollars that's the least expensive eight by ten that we have so when somebody's paying one hundred fifty dollars from eight by ten a milk box in a piece of cardboard is just not gonna cut it and so we have evolved now recently we're actually going through an entire rebranding I would say restyling of our look and actually ironically I love I picked this color because we're actually going much lighter and brighter which is not normal for me so even though I said stay true to your brand I feel like there's an evolution in my company and I feel like I kind of want to keep up with the times too and and so I struggle with this and it'll be interesting to see where we go just keep keep an eye out because you're going to start to see if you changes on our sites

Class Description

Sandy Puc' returns to creativeLIVE for her Tots to Teens workshop! Sandy covers all aspects of creating a successful photography plan that spans from the young toddler years to the early teens. She shares her creative marketing ideas and practical business sense to attract and keep happy clients, and you'll learn how to create repeat customers—and stable income—by continually bringing clients back to update their child's portraits as they grow.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Tots to Teens - Day 1 Keynote Slides.pdf

Tots to Teens - Day 2 Keynote Slides.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Sandy Puc, I have attended a few of your events, in person and now on Creative Live. You never fail to deliver the gift of sharing your expertise and more. I am always amazed at how you have juggled a large family, your photography business with the university added, the teaching events that you do & the genuine donation of your love and time that you give with your foundation, NILMDTS among other things. You're an impressive & inspirational lady. Each time I see you, you refuel me, as this economy has been trying. Thank you. I bought the 3 day workshop, because it is a little hard to sit for 3 days straight without life and business distractions. I will watch again, and reference back as needed. I also bought your display kit for doctor offices/hospitals & malls. Thank you again for your amazing workshop and all that you so unselfishly give of yourself. Diana Brown Photography


This is by far the best photography class I have ever taken! Sandy does an amazing job at what she does!

Christine David

This is an absolute must have course for anyone who works with children. Watching Sandy work her magic is worth the cost alone. Fabulous workshop Sandy! Christine David Photography