105: Revolutionize Your Business! Lessons It’s Taken Me YEARS To Learn

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photographer-424620_1920Certain lessons have taken me YEARS to learn, but you don’t have to! In this solo episode, I discuss pricing your services and selling physical products to your clients. Also, learn about an amazing product Bruce and Josh Hudson are offering that will change your business!

Revolutionize Your Business with the Wall Décor Sales Kit

Photographers Bruce and Josh Hudson have been so kind as to offer us an amazing deal on their Wall Décor Sales Kit. Check it out at MyStudioMentor.com/saleskit

This kit encompasses what took me years to learn about pricing and selling physical products. This will help you earn more income and revolutionize your business into an entity that is sustainable. Check it out.

They also offered some sweet bonuses as well.

Bonus #1: For the Wall Décor Sales kit, they have already discounted the price down as low as it can go, which is $99, but anybody who buys it before Friday, November 4, 2016 will get a free 30 minute consulting call with them. That’s a $125 value, and will change your business in and of itself. You can talk prices, marketing, shooting, selling, whatever you want!

Bonus #2: Bruce and Josh also offer a blueprint that shows you how to make money off of offering Photography Workshops, which is an awesome way to bring in an additional stream of income for your business. For those who want the Photo Workshops Blueprint, they can get $500 off if they use the promo code: blueprint: at MyStudioMentor.com/photoworkshopsblueprint

Detailed Episode Manuscript:

“Today, I want to talk a bit about pricing. It’s a monster topic, especially when it comes to photography, and one that we talked about before on this podcast, and I believe it’s worth revisiting.

And here’s proof:

Recently, a listener wrote into me – I won’t say their name, out of respect of their privacy – and mentioned, “My biggest struggle right now is setting up my business and knowing what is the right next step to take. I feel like I’m just bumbling along in the dark.”

Ouch, right? And this is not the only email I’ve received about this.

I totally feel their pain, because that was me for years. It seems that’s how many of us start our businesses; we just kind of do what we see other photographers in our area do, and this usually involves pricing our services WAY too low. What we soon find is that we’re doing a million shoots and burning ourselves out, and we STILL can’t pay the bills. Then we get burned out and bitter.

As you may know, I recently had Bruce and Josh Hudson on the show in Episode 103 to talk about some of the finer points of defining yourself as a business, and assigning a value to yourself and your skillset. During the interview, Josh also mentioned that one of the biggest mistakes he sees budding photographers make it not charging for their work as they build their portfolio. If you build up a main base of clients that are used to getting freebie work from you, they will quite possibly leave when you begin charging. Instead, Josh advises us to charge from the very beginning. You can always charge more as you gain more experience and refine your product offering, but he recommends charging something from the very beginning.

Well after the show, they gave me access to their kit called “Get Paid Photography Pricing Materials” that helps you make larger sales and really takes the guess work out of what the heck you’re supposed to do when you are just getting started. After going through the product, it brought some important tips to mind that I just have to share with you, because I believe it’ll help you.

They’ve also made available an amazing offer to anyone who wants this kit AND some personal one-on-one time with them. We’ll get to that at the end of the episode.

Okay, let’s get into the good stuff. There are 3 points I want to cover.

1. Don’t Start Your Pricing At Rock Bottom

So, true story, once upon a time back in roughly 2012 I decided I want to run my own little photography business, and do portraits for people. I recall being hired to do some portraits for a family at the rate of – I kid you not — $25 an hour. And because my pricing was so cheap, they hired me for 4 grueling hours. Now don’t get me wrong, I had fun and make some great photos – but doggonit, $25/hour? Really? Looking back, I WAY undercharged just because, we’ll I was afraid to charge anything more, and had no idea what I was worth, or even what my business overhead was. It took all of about 6 short months to realize I wasn’t able to come close to paying my bills, and I got burned out. Kind of sick of photography, really. Then I got stressed, and then physically sick, because stress ravages your body, and then I was stressed about paying doctors bills. It’s a vicious cycle.

Too many of us make this mistake.

Looking back, if I would have taken some time to analyze my pricing and raise it to a level that I could live off of, live was have been so much better. That’s why I want to stress today that you should NOT start your pricing at rock bottom by default. Give it some thought at least.

In the kit, Bruce and Josh reveal ALL of their price lists for their different areas of photography, which is handy to have as a general point of reference. They break down their pricing into these categories: Commercial, family, Kindergarten-grad, high school seniors, weddings, pet portraiture, and even photo restoration .

Of course, I firmly believe you shouldn’t copy someone’s pricing just to copy it. You also have to know what your overhead and expenses are, and details like how many shoots you prefer to do in a month and how much money you want to save every month. Where you live can effect your pricing as well. Pricing here in Michigan is very different from the pricing in New York, for example.

But still, having access to a solid pricing list gives you a solid path to making sure you are charging an amount you can live on. For example, they show what they charge for a 20×30 large canvas. You can look at that price, compare it to what your own supplier charges, and then analyze how much Bruce and Josh marked it up, and how that would look for you. You will see that they’re not simply doubling what they paid for it and offering to their clients. No! It’s been my experience – even before I saw their pricing – that simply doubling what you paid for a large scale canvas print is NOT enough to run a sustainable business. I didn’t know this until I saw another successful photographer’s pricing and thought, holy cow, I’m not charging enough. Seeing someone else’s successful price list gives you an idea of how you can price yourself successfully.

By the way, small rant here, but I hear of far too many photographers basing their pricing on other local photographers without even knowing if the other photographers are profitable or not. That’s dangerous. Wouldn’t you rather analyze the pricing of a super successful photography studio, and then not copy it exactly, but learns lessons from it that you can apply to your own business?

2. At initial consultations, you have to set the tone and take control.

One thing I’ve really learned this year especially is that the initial Consultation can make or break the success of the relationship you have with a client. Specifically, it effects how excited the client is going into the shoot, how satisfied they are after the shoot, and how much money ends up in your pocket as a result of the shoot.

Above all, you have to be prepared when going into an initial consultation. By the way, if you’re not doing them, I personally think you should, and especially in person if you can. You should go in prepared to set the tone –which is that they will have a magical, awesome experience with you – and you should take control by guiding them through information like what to expect, how to be prepared from the shoot, and helping them explore what they want from the shoot. It’s also a great way to get them pumped and excited and working with you.

Do not fly by the seat of your pants and try to re-invent the wheel every time you meet with a new client. So how do you make sure you’re prepared?

I recommend having a presentation prepared beforehand. Like, literally a worksheet, or a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation. For me when I’m doing a portrait consultation, it’s a Keynote presentation I made for myself, covering everything I need to talk about. It helps you be consistent with the material that you prepare, and it forces you to go over super important details, like your pricing and policies.

When I saw Bruce and Josh’s toolkit, I admit I kind of kicked myself and wished I’d had it years ago, because it would have saved me years of figuring this stuff out the hard way. The material in the kit covering the Consultation and Sales process breaks it down into logical steps that gets the client excited. Imagine not having to guess at what you’re going to say to a client.

3. Focus on selling physical, big stuff.

This realization changed my portrait business and made it actually sustainable. There’s a debate going on out there on whether you should do a shoot and just hand over the digital files to your client, or whether you should focus on selling them prints and wall art, etc. For me, selling big physical stuff in my non-business shoots has been a game changer, and I’ve noticed this for other family and portrait photographers as well. In my initial consultations I started to get them excited about the prospect of hanging stuff on their walls, to the point where I will bring a tape measure and be like, “Let’s measure how big your ideal print would be for your wall space.” Seriously. They then have that frame of reference in their minds. After the shoot, I guide them through the sales process. And when they end up with awesome portraits on their walls, they are SO much happier than if you had handed them a CD with digital files on it.

In Conclusion

So those are the main points I wanted to cover. They were big points that, for me, revolutionized my business over the years.

Just a recap:

  1. Don’t Start Your Pricing At Rock Bottom
  2. At initial consultations, you have to set the tone and take control.
  3. Focus on selling physical, big stuff.

 

For those of you who don’t want to spend years figuring this stuff out the hard way, or even for those who want to spruce things up with their existing business, Bruce and Josh were so kind as to offer a pretty awesome deal for their Wall Décor Sales kit, which includes 4 webinars, 3 guides and resources, and all of their price lists for just $99. This is actually a way better value than the product they sent me, and it covers everything you need to know from start to finish to have larger sales!

Learn more about their awesome kit at MyStudioMentor.com/saleskit

This sales kit is 4 of their most popular webinar recordings about marketing to the perfect client, creating images that work for wall portraiture, pricing your photography correctly, and selling LARGE wall décor to your clients via the in person sales process! It’s both an art and a science when it comes to attracting the RIGHT kind of clients who respect what you do and will gladly invest top dollar in portrait art!

For me, I know that now that I’m earning more money per shoot, I don’t have to do as many shoots to pay the bills. I actually have some time to enjoy my business, and also getting away from the business and enjoying family and friends.

Bruce and Josh also offered some bonuses as well.

Bonus #1: For the Wall Décor Sales kit, they have already discounted the price down as low as it can go, which is $99, but anybody who buys it before Friday, November 4, 2016 will get a free 30 minute consulting call with them. That’s a $125 value, and will change your business in and of itself. You can talk prices, marketing, shooting, selling, whatever you want!

Like I mentioned, it doesn’t just cover pricing, but also how to have that consultation with your clients that makes them excited to purchase from you.

Bonus #2: Bruce and Josh also offer a blueprint that shows you how to make money off of offering Photography Workshops, which is an awesome way to bring in an additional stream of income for your business. For those who want the Photo Workshops Blueprint, they can get $500 off if they use the promo code: blueprint: at MyStudioMentor.com/photoworkshopsblueprint

If you’ve been treading water in your business for a while, then this stuff might really help you.

Alright everyone, that’s all I have for you today. Let’s go out and build the photography business of your dreams!”

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Chamira_Headshot_1500x1500I'm Chamira Young. I admit it. I'm an art nerd, Photoshop geek, and photographer with an obsession for productivity and creativity. Through online teaching and podcasting...Read More

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