Archive of ‘photography marketing’ category
Is Your Life And Photography Business Like Tug-of-war?
I love this recent article from Dave Gillen.
“26 long days ago (who’s counting) my wife gave birth to two milk-swilling intruders twins and our lives changed.
Needless to say it’s been a challenging time for my business – I have less time, less sleep, and more to do.
So what do you do when life happens?
Do you downgrade your business goals?
Forget about them?
Well it might surprise you, but three weeks of sleep deprivation and unrelenting demands on my time are resulting in the biggest steps forward for my business in two years.
Here’s how I turned what seemed like obstacles into a breakthrough.
“Three weeks of sleep deprivation and unrelenting demands on my time are resulting in the biggest steps forward for my business in two years.”
I remembered what I was really chasing
When you’re chasing a goal of creating a photography business and something starts eating away your precious time it can be frustrating.
But sometimes we forget what we were chasing in the first place. I remembered that money and business success are just stepping stones to getting what I really want, and started seeing that many of the obstacles popping up were in fact the very things I want in life.
Life events (good and bad) are not just diversions and time outs, they’re often the most important things and need our full attention.
I’m instantly happier when I remember that my kids and the time I spend with them are not obstacles at all – they’re the nuggets of gold I’m seeking.
I realised that my life is the canvas for my business.
We tend to ask questions like “Which business model is the best?” and “Which niche is more profitable?” as if we’re designing the perfect business on a blank canvas.
But no business is ever built on a blank canvas.
Your life is the canvas and your business needs to fit its unique size and shape.
When life changed I caught a glimpse of the shape of my canvas changing. That was a breakthrough for me because for the first time I saw the type of business I needed to fit my life and goals.”
Do your life and photography business work together or is it more like tug-of-war?
Your Time To Shine
You have the tools for your photography, now you need the business tools to fill your business with customers.
Is it time for you to take the next step in your business?
Is It Your Time To Shine?
Welcome to my BRAND NEW “ONE ON ONE” Coaching Program called “GETTING STARTED” in your Photography Business.
It’s ok to make a little money from your photography passion, and live the lifestyle tyou want.
Like to know more?
http://p1.pagewiz.net/Getting Started Coaching Program
Email me on on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61418509228 for all the info
#worlds number one photography business coach
#photography business coach
Photography Business Coach Bernie Griffiths of berniegriffiths.com is responsible for the episode of PhotoBizX that has produced more leads, sales and discussion than any other – The Facebook Ad Challenge episode. I contacted Bernie for a follow up interview to ask him to share what listeners felt might have been the missing link when approaching the FB Ad challenge – how to sort the spenders from the non-spenders when offering free portrait sessions.
If you’re new here and want the full story of the Facebook Ad Challenge, how to structure your ad, what copy you’ll need to maximise results, which images to include and how to generate a lot of leads, shoots and sales. Go and trial the Photobizx Premium Membership for $1 and check out episodes 136 and 138 in the Premium Area. Then jump into the secret Facebook Group to see a lot of examples and discussion around these ads which have been used to book portraits, engaged couples and weddings for a lot of members.
Here’s some of what we cover in this interview with photography business coach Bernie Griffiths:
What to expect when working with Bernie to seek help to grow your photography business
Photographers should drop their wedding photography and concentrate on portraits instead
Wedding photography is overly competitive while portrait photography is wide open
How you learn more from you losses than you do from your wins
How to improve chances of sales from Facebook Ads and “free” shoots
The three possible outcomes you should be seeking from your Facebook Ads
3 strategies that you need to implement into your photography business
Why a 15% lead conversion is ideal from your Facebook Ads
Engaged couples sessions are a portrait sessions and why you should treat them as such
Stop aiming for wedding bookings and consider the portrait sessions as the win from your ads
How to filter the spenders from the non-spenders amongst your leads
What content needs to be in your Facebook ads
Email open rates – only 30% of people open their emails let alone read them
How to be successful with your client phone calls
The best rebuttal statement when clients decline to pay upfront during phone calls
The need to involve all involved parties when booking photo sessions
Grabbing people’s attention about your business is never a trick – it’s a marketing strategy
Why pre-consultations guarantee higher sales
How to work less yet earn more
The need to overcome every photographer’s mindset to book more sales
Planting the seed on how much clients are likely to spend after a photo session
Why it’s OK for clients to walk away after the mention “average spend” on free photo shoots
How to deal with objections from clients
Which is better: Adverts or Boosted Posts?
Replying to shares and comments on your FB Ads to keep the momentum and engagement going
Why you must include a call-to-action in your FB Ads
Changing photographer’s mentality to gain confidence in selling their images
Photographers deprive people of spending their money – how to stop doing that
Discounts are no longer motivators for client bookings
Marketing is all about doing multiple things at the same time
Chase your clients
How to increase your Facebook likes
How to target the right audience in your FB Ads
Photography Business Coach Bernie Griffiths Photography Podcast
Premium Photobizx Member Questions for Bernie
I found this letter posted on a photographers forum recently. As a photography business coach I find it sad in some ways yet very inspiring and motivational in other ways.
Rebecca Tompkins 20 June at 08:23
” I sit here now still trying to wrap my mind around the decision. I closed my business today. After 2 years of trying, I just can’t do it right now. I am writing this post to acknowledge the many mistakes I made and to hope others will not make the same ones.
I closed my business for multiple reasons. One being no paying clients in over a year and the other being I just got diagnosed with a mess of issues with my back (degenerative disc disease, 2 herniated discs and spinal stenosis in 2 areas of my lumbar spine). It has been very rough lately. I am one of the lucky ones where I did not quit a full time job to start this venture, I was a stay at home mom with a partner who supports me in anything and everything I could ever dream of doing. My disappointment is due to my own personal guilt and feelings of failure.
The mistakes I made are common! Don’t get discouraged by my post but take into consideration as you amazing photographers out there start and continue on this journey!
- I started business too soon. I was one of those photographers you see everyone bash and hate on social media. I got a nice camera, took a few good shots and listened to everyone around me say “You should start charging for that. You are soo good!” I literally roll my eyes thinking about it now. I offered 25 and 50$ sessions with flash drives included. I just went out and thought I was a professional.
- I started my business to recoup the money spend on my hobby. I have troubles due to being a domestic violence survivor with guilt. I felt so guilty about how much everything cost that I wanted to make money to get back what was being spent. This is a horrible reason to go into business.
- I lacked confidence. I still to this day do not believe my images are as great as everyone else tries to tell me they are. I can find a flaw anywhere and after shooting consistently for 3 years, I have never, not even once been brave enough to ask for constructive criticism. If I get CC on social media without asking, I will usually delete the image and pretend it didn’t just destroy a small part of me in my head. You must believe in yourself!!! Believe in your work!!!
- I never found a niche! I certainly rebranded often enough to have tried them all. I did family, weddings, maternity, documentary, newborn etc. I just never found anything that quite lit my fire the way my own random shoots to bring forth a creative vision did. In a rural area (a town of less than 1,500 people, 10 photographers and no sense of community) a niche was needed. When I did market a niche, one of the more established photographers in my area would market the same thing I was marketing and well no clients came my way.
- I did not research enough. This goes back to number 1 and starting a business too soon. I never paid attention to who else was running a business around me, how they marketed, what kind of clients to market too etc. I just wanted to make money and that was it.
- I was no good at being a salesperson. How can you sell yourself, your talent and your product, if you don’t think it is any good??? If you cannot talk to someone and take the criticism or believe in your prices, you cannot profit off of your talent.
- I did not give myself fully to the business. Somewhere in the back of my head, I never thought it would be a success. So, I allowed myself to put less and less effort into it over time. Every disappointment was an affirmation that I was not good enough. The 5 times I advertised mini session and no one showed, the model calls no one followed up on, the lack of interest in anything other than standard posed images, well it all just added up.
I sit here and type this with tears rolling down my face, not knowing where else to lay it all out there, not having many who genuinely understand the frustration (my back) and sadness (giving up) I am feeling. I want any one of you who reads this to take to heart that running a business is not for the weak. You have to do so much to make it work, I have total confidence that you all will be a success and I wanted to share a few of the do not do’s to help you all along.
I am working through it all in my head and I may try this as a business venture again somewhere far in the distant future. For right now, I am just going to love taking pictures every chance I get and I am going to focus on my creativity and technical flow. The future holds a lot for me outside of a DBA and a tax number. I am and always will be an artist. My heart comes alive with the camera in my hand shooting the things I love. Thank you all for reading!!
Keep on trying everyone! Keep on striving and know that sometimes even if it doesn’t all work out, you are still a photographer and an artist when you go to bed!!!
photography business coach photography mentor photography coaching
After the fantastic success of the “A Day For Photographers” in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, we will be travelling to Cairns to help as many photographers as we can to help grow their photography business.Do you lie awake at night thinking how you can get more customers?
Wondering how to take better photographs?
How to build your photography business?
This 1 and 1/2 day event will focus on Photography – Marketing – Selling.
1. Developing Your Photography Into A Clear Brand.
2. Getting the Right Customers.
3. Developing A Conversion System To Convert Leads Into Customers.
4. Creating Your Price List To Maximise Sales.
5. Marketing for a Constant Flow of Customers.
6. Becoming a Master Photographer.
7. Facebook Marketing Strategies.
Monday 24 July 1pm – 4pm
Live demonstration with Murielle and Carol photographing families and children in their individual unique styles. Bring your cameras along and and learn some new techniqes.
Tuesday 25 July 9.30am – 4pm
A full day in learning all the business things that you need to know to create a successful photography business, from Facebook advertising to making big portrait sales….it will all be there!
5 Keys To Developing A Successful Photography Business
After having a successful wedding/portrait studio for over 40 years, Bernie transitioned into being a Photography Business Coach.
He is now the “go to” coach for those studios looking at taking their business to the next level.
His studio experience, expertise in Facebook Marketing, and down to earth approach to business, has enabled him to help and guide photographers in growing their business and generating more income.
He will help you build something that lasts, and guide you in growing your business and getting results.
You won’t hear the same old strategies you’ve heard a million times before!
Other photographers call him the world’s only 365 days, 24hours a day photography business coach, because coaching is his life.
Bernie is widely recognised as Australia’s Leading Photography Business Coach, and his presentation will be on the 5 most important things that a photographer should focus on to build a successful photography business.
Getting Work/Life Balance In A Busy Home Studio
Murielle Sassine, owner and operator of Vivid Imaging and Blackbox Portraits, developed a passion for photography at a young age.
She pursued her interests in photography and obtained a degree in Visual Communication, establishing herself as a photo media specialist.
Murielle has run a successful photography business from home for over 17 years, and has achieved great success with her sales in the areas of portrait and glamour photography.
Her portrait sales this year have been “mind blowing” and she had a record turnover for her business, over the past 12 months.
She will talk about some of the many challenges facing photographers who work from home and how you can get a good work/life balance.
How To Sustain A Profitable Photography Business
Sydney Master Photographer Carol Gibbons, has more than 25 years experience specialising in portrait photography of newborn babies, kids, pets and families of all ages.
Her shop front studio is based in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, and she is celebrating 18 years in that location this year.
While studying Fine Art, Carol found photography was her passion and pursued further study in Art Photography, after completing her diploma.
She started her business in the early 90’s photographing Weddings as well as Portraits, and has continued to update her skills as well as judging at the State and National Awards for the AIPP.
Carol Gibbons is an Accredited Member and Licentiate of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography and has qualified as a Master of Photography many years ago, as well as winning a Grand Award for Portraiture at WPPI.
She believes that to survive in the portrait photography business, you have to develop your own style in photography as well as marketing, look after your customers, and give people a reason to pay us to create their portraits.
When : Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 July
Where : Pullman Cairns International 17 Abbott Street Cairns
One of the keys to having a successful photography business is to have great products to sell, and to showcase your photography.
Many of the photographers that I coach are achieving some incredibly high numbers in their portrait sales, by selling prints not pixels.
In an era where we hear so much about photographers selling files at incredibly cheap prices, there are many portrait photographers who are regularly making portrait sales well over $2,000, by selling high quality photography product.
Whether it is babies, weddings, families, or even pets, there is a big market out there for people wanting to buy wall art, albums and other products that will become long term priceless memories of their family history.
Choosing the right photography products takes time, and you need to approach choosing the right products for your photography business in an unhurried, comprehensive, and professional manner.
Sales are the lifeblood of your photography business, and having the latest and purpose designed products, puts your images at the centre of attention, and gives an irresistible offering to your customer.
One of the biggest suppliers to the photographer is Seldex. They are a local company based in Melbourne and have been at the forefront of manufacturing high quality photography products for decades, and as a studio owner for over 40 years they were my major supplier.
Now as the world’s only, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, photography business coach, I recommend Seldex to my clients.
Here is a great opportunity for you to view their products and have all of your questions answered.
For more information http://www.seldex.com.au or email email@example.com.
Working From Home
More and more photographers are working from home, and this trend is set to continue into the future, as more and more photographers take their hobby into a new world of small business. Photographers are willing to juggle their business and family life for a more simplified lifestyle that can bring rich rewards if handled correctly.
However, a business at home does have many challenges. Small business owners, have been hit hard over the last few months as power bills, petrol prices, food prices, and just about everything else has reached record price highs.
The home-based photographer is rapidly becoming the boom industry of this new era. More and more people are opting to change their lifestyles, as more and more mothers become skilled in taking good photographs. Working from home has great benefits, but can also have its price.
Working from home, changes your entire life. Your castle, and your family’s once safe sanctuary, becomes a multi purpose abode, trying to be all things to all purposes, and can effect all of those around you.
Your work life can easily spill over to your personal life. Your home now becomes your place of business where receiving client visits, and telephone calls, becomes mixed with your family demanding attention.
In making your decision to work from home, you have to realise that your personal or home life could intrude on your work, and vice versa. Your child may grab the phone to answer a wedding enquiry, or your dog or cat may come to the door when a client comes to do business with you. Your husband may wonder why you are so tired every night, or why you sit in front of the computer for hours on end.
A major concern in working from home is the total loss of privacy.
Your privacy is compromised when you are bringing clients into your home on a daily basis. Complete but invited strangers will find out about your children and family, your pets, and your lifestyle.
The fact is that working from home is hard, and more than ever, discipline is needed to push you to focus on your work.
The Good News!
The good news is that working from home can provide you with a fulfilling career, while being constantly around the family. There are many other benefits of course, and the best one is that if carefully planned and executed, your business can give you a great income.
The Joys of having your Own Photography Business
Photography is your passion?
So why do you want to have your own photography business?
Do you like the thought of having more spare time?
How about just working the hours that you want?
Having a holiday whenever you feel like it?
Making a great income?
Working the hours that you want?
Earning lots of money?
Like owning your own business?
See more of the kids?
Running A Photography Business Is Not Easy.
This is what a lot of photographers have told me. Especially when you are isolated in a country area, or run the business on your own. It can be lonely. It is not easy. Running a business from home can also be stressful, with the added pressures of balancing family life.
The market place is also very competitive, with photographers opening up on seemingly every street corner.
Starting a photography business without any training, and very little capital, can also be daunting. I have seen over my forty years of owning a studio, some photographers become millionaires, while others have failed.
What is the secret of success? I believe that everyone has the secret hidden inside of them, but sometimes they just need that spark or inspiration to start the “ fire of success.”
The one key ingredient for success is passion. Not being able to see failure. Your passion will drive you. This book is the road for your passion to drive along.
One of the weaknesses I often see in home studios is that they believe in the old saying ”build it and they will come.” This is no longer applicable in today’s highly competitive market place. Especially in the wedding and portrait market areas, where there are literally hundreds of small photography home studios, in large and small towns all over Australia.
The photographers that succeed in this industry are masters of marketing and promotion, and not necessarily masters of photography. They have also made the effort to seek the help and advice from an experienced and qualified photography business coach or consultant.
Here are the top 8 challenges that you may experience if you chose to work out of home.
- Not being taken seriously.
A common concern of most home-based photographers is whether their customers will consider their business a real one, rather than just a hobby that they are making a bit of money from. They think that their customers may feel that the business is not legitimate.
Home businesses are generally seen as part time concerns, and therefore their professional image and credibility suffers. They are not taken seriously! Although this perception exists, the business owner should do everything that they can to change this. This can be done by presenting a strong professional business image, not only in the physical appearance of the home, but more importantly in the way that the business is conducted. The way that you treat the customer, together with strong branding, advertising, and business practices, will go a long way to justifying working from home. Your own mindset is also paramount in having a strong profitable photography business
Separating work and family life.
When a photographer makes a decision to work from home they feel that one of the advantages is that they can be there for the kids, but this can be an enormous disadvantage as well. The daily household chores, picking up and dropping off kids, and working around sleep times of smaller children, can be a great source of distraction in running your business.
As everyone knows, there is always something to do around the home, especially when you have kids. It is very hard to talk professionally to a customer over the phone, with a two year old screaming in the background, or trying to photograph someone else’s children, while yours are fighting in the other room. Handling two or more different roles under the one roof, can create challenges and difficulties, as you juggle the demands of both your home and your business.
Lack of space.
The setting-up of a home business is made easier if you have a large house, and you can separate spaces for the business. Lack of space can be a concern if you are living in a small house or an apartment.
Compromising some of your family space can be quite confronting, but this is a trade off that you sometimes may have to accept. A separate entrance for the business would be ideal, and just thinking through the problem and discussing it with someone outside of th immediate business can often bring a solution.
Working too much or procrastinating.
When working from home, there is always the constant temptation to work long hours. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you check and answer emails in the evening when the kids are in bed. If you are passionate about your photography and are constantly working on growing your business, you should work hard. Only if working too much intrudes on and effects your family life negatively, should you re-evaluate your work ethic.
The opposite of working too much, is procrastinating on work related tasks.
There is an unlimited amount of things that you could do around the home instead of doing work related things. Failure to keep up with your work-load could amplify and create a massive problem in a very short space of time.
Another potential problem is spending too much time on tasks which you enjoy and may not be generating income and neglecting the tasks you don’t.
Lack of privacy.
Even if you have your own private business space in your home, privacy and security is always a concern. You also need to keep the whole house tidy, just in case the customer has to walk through your house to go to the toilet.
Some customers can be annoying if they knock on your door at all hours of the day and night. You must make it clear to your customers that you work strictly by appointment, and are not available at other times. Your customers will appreciate your professionalism in this regard.
Strain on family relationships.
Be sure that your family understands what it takes to operate a home business. Talk to your husband or wife and ask for their support, and explain to the children your need to be given time to work for the business.
Some members of your family may resent the fact that while you stay in the house for most of the day, your attention is not focused on them. However, be sure also to know when to stop working for your business and start living as part of the family. Your family and kids need your attention, and of course housework, friends, and even pets, can demand your attention at different times. Working at home can be very hard if you have a newborn baby or three or four small children who always demand your full and complete attention.
You can feel isolated.
If you are the sole worker in your home business, you may feel isolated and often lonely. It can be a confronting and solitary existence, when you are dealing with customers, phone calls, emails, and the photography, without having someone to share your experiences, or ask advice. The isolation can become quite intense, especially if you have a naturally outgoing personality.
Self discipline can become hard with no one looking over your shoulder. Failing to maintain a tight time management regime, and not being able to control and handle your feeling of isolation, will make it very hard to achieve success in your business.
Lack of experience
When a photographer commits to working from home in the hope of making some money from their passion, the one thing they lack is the knowledge and experience of how to control and maximize the way in which they conduct their business. Many of these photographers may be like yourself, a mother/father and wife/husband first, and a business person second. Taking that transition in becoming a business person may be difficult to handle, if you have not had any training in setting up and running a business.
Experience of course can only come with time. Time will allow you to learn. The question of course, is whether the things that you learn are the most effective and profitable way, of going about it.
Attending seminars and workshops held by other photographers may motivate you and help you take better photographs, but may not give you the individual and specific answers to your particular circumstances. I’ve attended heaps of seminars and workshops, and what I found was that they gave me short-term inspiration, but did not put any money into the bank. Only practical advice from and experienced and readily available mentor or consultant can achieve this.
Every photographer working from home, has their own individual and personal challenges. These challenges need to be addressed individually with their own unique circumstances taken into consideration.
Solving the problems.
So what’s the secret to growing your photography business despite the tough economy, and the challenges of working from home?
Any business whether large or small is mainly about solving day to day problems. Getting more customers, increasing sales, lowering overheads, staff relationships, and maximizing the efficiency of work spaces, are all focused on to improve profitability. A micro business that is operated from home by a single person, has the same issues to resolve. What you may need is a viable and long term business model.
You need to develop business systems which cost very little time, money and energy, together with sourcing help and guidance in integrating them into your business. In other words, a business model that puts money into your account regularly, year after year.
I have consulted with many photography businesses over many, many years, and have seen the effects of the pressure that it can have. I have seen marriages break down, uncontrolled debt, and legal proceedings, all happen with bad business practices.
Identifying and resolving problems
Swiftly identifying and resolving any problems within the business, whether they be customer complaints or financial issues, is hugely important. A photographers dream can quickly become a nightmare, if the problem is not identified and immediate action taken to diffuse it. Alternately ask for help from a business coach or consultant. You can get my free report on working from home, which gives more in depth answers to the questions above. firstname.lastname@example.org
The rewards of good business management are well worth the effort. Those who succeed enjoy freedom, lots of quality family time, and have great holidays. Photography Business Case Case Studies
Working from Home and Life Balance.
Sally is married with two gorgeous four and six year old daughters. She was a school teacher for thirteen years, but always had a love of photography. She and her family live in an outer suburban town in Victoria with a population of around 300,000.
When her husband was made redundant, they decided, after many lengthy discussions, that Sally would start a photography business. Their plan was to run the business from home, and then maybe later move to a shopfront. Sally was to operate all aspects of the business, while her husband was to look after the children. They had a small amount of savings that would sustain them for a while, and if things didn’t work out as planned, Sally could go back to teaching. Their plan went well, and after two years they were making enough money to support the family.
Then they had a problem. Although business was fairly good, they became increasingly nervous about the future. Although Sally was working from home she was spending less time with her children, and her relationship with her stay at home husband was becoming increasingly strained. Her youngest child also began to have behavioural issues, due to Sally not spending enough time with her.
It was at this point that Sally called me asking for my help. I have consulted with many photographers who have encountered similar problems. Sally’s intense focus on the business, meant that she was placing her family secondary in her priorities. This of course, was in turn, putting pressure on her husband, as he had to spend more and more time with the children.
The first thing that I did was to ask Sally and her husband to sit down with a twelve month planner. I then asked them to select dates for family holidays, and other events that would be dedicated family time. This could be as simple as a walk in the park or a family barbecue or picnic in a park. I encouraged them to let their children participate in this family time exercise, so that they could make some suggestions of what they would like to do.
Now that they had set the family time, any business time would have to be planned around this. So now family time had priority.
Solving Business Issues
My next step was to go through all of the business elements that Sally had put into place with her business model. She had done quite a good job of this, but did not know how to lift the business to the next level. Together we looked at the types of products that she was offering to her customers, the pricing, the way that she did her selling, and the way that she photographed. We then reviewed her advertising and promotion strategies.
I then implemented changes in all of these areas. I introduced a new product which unique to her photography business and separated her from others. I raised the prices of the rest of her products, and trained her in my unique photography selling system.
I gave her new ways of attracting customers, with different types of promotions and together we set some realistic financial and family goals. I also helped Sally to re-brand the business, so that it would attract a better type of clientele.
The introduction of my Pop Up Studio http://www.popupstudio.com.au solved the problem of not having enough room in the house to set up a studio.
We communicated weekly by Skype and in a very short time Sally and her family were “back on track.”
One year later the business continues to grow and Sally now employs three part time employees to help with the workload. Her portrait sittings are consistent each week, and her weddings have increased by thirty percent.
The family has had a long holiday in Fiji, and their new work and life balance plan is working well. They are financially strong and managing to save money each week, and I am continuing to help and guide them.
Photography Business Coach Case Study 2
A Single Mom
Jane is a single mom with a fourteen year old daughter. She lives in a rented house in a small regional city in Victoria with a population of 29,000. The main industry in the area is farming.
Jane was a photographer, working for a studio, when her partner of three years decided to end the relationship. The only skill that she knew was photography, and so she decided to try and support herself and her daughter by taking photographs. She began photographing kindergartens and child care centres, as well a few portraits and a few weddings. She ran the business from her home.
Lack of Money
Jane was able to sustain an income for a number of years, but not enough to create any savings. She lived a financially controlled lifestyle, and never went on any holidays. Things changed dramatically for Jane when digital cameras came onto the market. Now almost anyone could produce quality images and get them printed at ridiculously cheap prices. Jane’s income declined dramatically. She had no idea how to advertise or promote her photography, to lift herself out of her financial burden.
The Photography Business Coaching Consultation
Jane called me and told me of her desperate plight. I drove the three hours to her home and started the process of finding a solution to help Jane to get more customers and create better sales. I looked at her photography, and saw that this could be improved. She was photographing all of her customers at outside locations.
The digital world had caught up to her, as moms and dads were taking perfectly acceptable photographs in an outdoor environment with their digital cameras. Jane’s problem was that there was not enough difference between how she was photographing, and how they were photographing. I suggested firstly that she change her photography style and create a defined brand. I set up some simple studio lighting in a spare bedroom, and complimented that with a couple of modern backgrounds. After I had given her instruction on how to get the best from the studio set up, we sat down and looked at the other areas of her business.
I am so excited! I love photography and two years ago I started a business from home. I just did portraits of children and did a “shoot and burn“, offering a CD of images for $175. After a little mindset change and going through a lot of learning curves, and after making some hard decisions, I am now charging closer to my real worth, and I am regularly selling nearly $1000 per sale. I have also had quite a few sales even higher than that.
What it took me so long to learn, was that people will pay a lot more, than what you think you are worth.
I used to photograph a lot of sessions a week, and I thought that I was making good money. But the time and effort involved was just not worth it.
I was just about to give my photography passion away, and go back to my previous job as an administration officer for the local council, when a close friend who was also a photographer, suggested I contact Bernie at The Australian School of Wedding Photography and see if he could help me.
I didn’t have much hope that anyone could help me, as I am no good at selling, so I could not see any way out of my situation as I only knew Shoot and Burn. I would show my customers their images on my computer and then give them the CD, and they would leave.
I organized to have a free Sype session with Bernie. He asked me lots of questions, and then suggested that he could help me in the key areas that I was lacking.
One was that I needed to stop Shoot and Burn, and start selling wall portraits. Then to design a structured price list, and then to adopt a simple selling system.
The structured price list was the most important thing. Once I had that, all I would have to do, was to adopt Bernie’s unique, and easy selling system. I would show the customer the products that I have for sale, go through all of the prices, and sit back to let them make their own decisions. Simple really. But it worked!
Having an effective photography pricing strategy, combined with a simple selection of products to sell, resulted in less work and a lot more money.
By the way, I understand if you’re charging less than $35 each for your Gift Prints (8×10 and smaller). Those were the prices that I had been charging. All I can say is that you are probably cheating yourself, because I know from my own experience that the customer is willing to pay heaps more than you think.
If you love what you do, and are passionate about your photography, sometimes you forget about the money. You take photographs because you love it. It could be the only thing that you have found that you are really good at. I just got so tired of working so hard and having no money in the bank.
I have spent the time, money, energy, and then even more of my time to take better photographs, so why was I giving it away?
Yes it was scary at first trying to lift my self worth and lift those prices up. But when I did, my customers respected me more, and raved about their photographs.
My advice would be to get rid of that nervous and devalued mentality, if you have it, and get help to develop a photography pricing plan and selling structure that will take you to developing a strong home business.
Be strong – do it for you and your family!
Call Photography Business Coach Bernie for a free consultation like I did. Better now than never.
Photography business coach
Sara Taylor Photography http://www.sarataylorphotography.com.au
Working through consulting programs with Bernie has taken my business far and beyond what I thought ever possible!
Not only has he world of experience in the actual craft of photographs but his focus on the business of photography and getting the fundamental of business practice spot on is exceptional and totally inspiring.
When I contact Bernie he swiftly took a snapshot of my business as it was operating, suggesting some quick fixes that could be implemented straight away to assist with efficiency of running the business on a day to day basis.
Over the next 3 months we worked together on implementing a number of marketing programs, restructuring my products and prices, implementing a sales system along with growing the business with additional part time employees. The result was an array of structured business systems which could be employed across a variety of clients and situations, along with a more than a 75% increase in my average portrait sale. The business structures allowed me to spend less time working in the business and more time working on the business, and having more time with my family.
One of the best things about working with Bernie is that he is a straight shooter – no nonsense, just effective ways to improve and enhance your business of photography and your photography itself. As he has been running his own successful business from the time I was born (!) he has experienced all there is to experience and is willing to share his knowledge to assist others to take their businesses above and beyond. He is always easy to contact and reliable which when working business to business is essential.
Consulting with Bernie has changed not only my business life, but my family life. I am now making really good money in my business, and am looking forward to the two week, five star family holiday coming up soon.
I could not have achieved such freedom, or such financial reward without Bernie’s guidance.
I have been awarded 2 silver and a Gold Award in the Australian Professional Photography Awards. At my first attempt at entering photography competitions. Under Bernie’s direction, I also won the Micro Business of the Year Award in my local community- testament to the fact that Bernie really knows his stuff, from the photography side to the business side.
A BRAND NEW SOLUTION
Through the magic of SKYPE, I am talking “face to face” with photographers around Australia, and helping them with all of their business needs. We talk on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Using Skype means that I can show photographers solution to problems, as well as talk to them about their creation of more business, pricing, customer problems etc.
There is also the commitment of meeting on a regular basis, giving inspiration and motivation.
Bernie has had over 40 years experience owning a successful wedding, portrait studio, still operating in Malvern, Victoria. He is a “down to earth“ person who can relate to all areas of your wedding /portrait business. He has walked the path as a wedding/portrait photographer, and knows the frustrations and day to day challenges.
Skype Consulting includes “one on one” consultation by Skype, which is a “face to face” with Bernie, over a period of time. FREE Memberships PLUS an added BONUS of Complimentary seminars and events.
CALL Bernie on 0418509228 or email email@example.com or Skype bernie.griffiths
In my experience in talking to, and consulting with hundreds of portrait photographers, the area of pricing their photographs, is the most difficult part of their business, that they have to contend with. If your prices are too low, you not only attract the wrong type of clientele, but you also may not make any money.
You can in fact lose money. If the prices are too high, you may not get any customers at all. Both of these scenarios are of course not acceptable.
So how do you determine your prices? To help us get to this, you should first ask yourself this simple question. How must should I charge? I will answer this for you. As much as possible!
One of the most important things that you have to do in your business is to set your prices. Most photographers totally get their prices wrong, and have price lists that are too confusing, and far too detailed.
Getting your pricing right will be crucial to your business success. Your prices for your imagery will determine what market you will attract, your brand, your competition, and the amount of money that you will earn.
Because this such a crucial part of your planning, make sure that you follow carefully the steps in this book.
Photography Business Coach
Being a photography business coach I have learnt that to develop your price list, the first thing that you need to do, is start to think differently. You probably set up your price list by guessing at numbers, or worse than that , you may have obtained a copy of a competitors price list and then made your prices cheaper! This is the exact opposite of what you should be doing.
A badly thought out price list will cost you money, and may even bring your business into debt. It will force you to work many hours without pay, and may even destroy your love of photography. Compiling a well thought out, and realistic price structure, will help to drive your passion, attract good customers, and help you achieve the financial success that you deserve.
Over the many years that I have worked on my business, getting the price list right, was always high on my list of things to do.
I have built a guide to building a solid portrait price list that you will constantly revisit over the years. But the price list that you are about to structure, will be your default. It will be the foundation of your business.
It has worked for many photographers from a variety of backgrounds and in many different locations.
Everyone’s pricing is different and it is up to you to determine what is right for your business.
#photography business coach
Finding Your Photography Path
It doesn’t matter whether you have a shop front photography or a studio on a main road, or you work out of your home, being a photography business coach I have discovered that there are 3 key points to making good money with your photography business.
Make Your Wall Art Shine
Selling only digital files will restrict your ability to maximise your sales and you will be unable to grow your business.
Understand that you will only sell what you show.
Having defined products also makes it easier for your customer to make their buying decisions.
When your client or potential client first walks into your studio their eyes should be drawn to beautiful large portraits on the walls.
This may seem obvious, but sometimes you may need to be reminded of this. You should regularly update your displays.
It’s important that you have on show larger wall décor in 24×30 size or above, rather than lots of smaller prints.
Don’t forget that your Wall Portraits should also have appropriate lighting on them to show off the quality, colour and textures, making them “jump off the walls.”
Track lighting in the ceiling, with the daylight balanced lights aimed at the wall portraits is a must have to achieve this. You want your portraits to be the brightest items in your studio.
Never have fluorescent lights around any area that you display your wall portraiture!
Avoid having 8×10’s or 5×7’s in frames sitting around, or even on your walls.
Smaller prints can be shown as Box Sets or Memory Boxes, with 10 or 20 matted images on archival art paper.
First Impressions Do Matter
Your potential client’s first impression is the lasting one, whether it is when they go to your website, speak to you on the phone, or go to your studio.
They are assessing whether they will spend any money with you and how much.
Creating a good first impression can sometimes take time, but always strive to be the best that you can be with your presentation and your knowledge of your products.
You could start by de-cluttering your studio. Is it messy? Framed prints sitting on the floor? Does the air smell a bit stale? Does the floor need a vacuuming? Are the windows clean? Do you dress appropriately? Do you have a deep knowledge of your products you can talk to your potential clients about?
Make Your Business Real
I have visited so many home businesses as my role as a photography business coach, and very few of them have had a sign outside their home to reassure me that I was at the right house.
Imagine your client arriving and wondering whether or not they are at the right house?
Their first impression isn’t one of trust, and certainty.
To make your business real, you must have signage. Can you imagine a book without a front cover? Well that’s your business if you do not have a sign with your logo on it, outside and inside your place of work.
How Much Should You Pay For A Photography Business Coach?
It is important that the coach that you select has been the owner of a successful photography business, and has “walked the walk.” This will give you the confidence to know that they know what it takes to be successful, and what it takes to create and grow your business.
Fees of a photography business coach will usually relate to the amount of experience that the coach has, not only in running a business, but how many years they have been coaching.
Like any form of expertise prices vary, and photography business coaching can cost from $250 for a single one hour consultation to the more intense twelve month photography business coaching priced up to over $12,000.
Some coaches charge a monthly fee, while others will come to your studio for a couple of days to provide you with the solutions to your problems.
Many photographers are part time coaches, and are offering coaching services on a more casual and unstructured basis.
A part time coach may charge for a short time program and you can expect fees of around $1,500-$3,000 for this type of short term guidance.
When selecting a coach, know what expectations and outcomes you are looking for.
Is your main problem Marketing, Workflow, Pricing, or do you simply need someone to motivate and drive you? Or a combination of all?
Remember that you don’t know what you don’t know, and a photography business coach should give you the knowledge that you lack to implement your business growth.
It is also important to find a photography business coach who you trust, who you can work with, and who is a good fit for you and your business.
Whatever coach you decide on, what you definitely should be looking for is a return on your investment.
The bottom line is that a good photography business coach will help, drive, and guide you to increase your turnover, maximise your profit, and give you the work/life balance that you are looking for.
And of course, don’t forget to get heaps of testimonials and referrals if possible.
I regularly read that our chances of success in the photography industry are very slim, and as a photography business coach I have seen many people begin a business and after a couple of years they have found it all too hard and found a “real job.”
The photography businesses failure rate is very high according to some statistics and Jodie Otte of Black Horse Studio in a recent article said that 95% will fail.
The stats of course don’t reveal the truth and the reality about what is really going on for photographers who want to have a successful photography business.
There is a lot more involved in the “behind the scenes” truth about the lonely, emotional rollercoaster ride of creating and building a successful photography business that most business owners go through.
Success is an exciting unpredictable journey, and part of the journey (including my own) can be filled with bad decisions and mistakes, lost money and often days of feeling worthless, and unloved.
As a photography business coach I believe that the decision to build a photography businesses, is a tough and courageous one. It can also be one of the few decisions in a photographer’s life that can fundamentally grow you as a person.
A photographer’s journey is generally filled with a mixture of positive and negative emotions, and here are a few of them that a photographer may encounter in their business life.
Excitement. The time you have been dreaming and working towards has finally arrived. The doors of your photography business are opening, the website for your new business is live and you launch into the unknown world of business.
You love taking photographs and starting your own photography business is your dream. You’re excited, as you visualise the floods of Newborns, Families, etc coming through the door. You are nervous, but you feel that your business will be a sure fire hit.
You have confidence and you just know that you have made the right decision.
When you start to get the first customers in front of your camera you experience a great overwhelming feeling of satisfaction.
You just know that you have made the right decision to “go it alone” even though a lot of family and friends thought you were crazy to do so!
Happiness. You are doing well, so you pay off your credit card, your business is finally in the black, and you are happy. You have achieved your goal of creating a profitable business and who you have become is a different person from who you were just three short years earlier.
Disappointment. After a while busyness becomes a trickle of low paying customers and reality hits you. Your excitement has been replaced by disappointment and a lot of questions. Why did they not book? Did I get this wrong? Have I set my prices too high? Was I too optimistic in my expectations? How am I going to get more sales? Is this really for me?
Fear. You can reach a point where you think that business is not as black and white as you thought it was. You have one or two bad customer experiences and doubt fills you mind. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but because your photography was good, you felt that people would happily pay for it.
You begin to doubt that you are not “good enough” to have a business.
Some poor sales weeks may drag into months and when the sales stay flat, and your initial disappointment begins to turn into fear. Fear that you’re not covering your costs, fear that you’re going backwards not forwards, and fear that this photography business that you have created, is looking more like a death sentence rather than a ticket to wealth, happiness and freedom. You don’t realise it at first but this fear can be helpful, as this fear is important, and it may be a galvanising force to find an inner strength and belief. Many photographers give up right here, when success could be just around the corner.
Inner Strength. Suddenly something changes, in your mindset and you decide to face the facts. You decide to stop avoiding the truth of your bad situation and you decide to confront the mess you’re in. Instead of repeating the same marketing strategies you used previously, that are now not working you start to implement new strategies. You start putting yourself on the front line and you even start asking for help. You make a decision to learn everything that you can about strategic marketing and selling.
You may even hire a photography business coach to accelerate your growth.
I am sure many of you reading this will be shaking your heads up and down and agreeing that you have been through some, if not all of the emotions above and more.
Understand that Success is not an event, it is a journey.
Sometimes we need failures at some part of the journey to drive us forward.
Here are some of Donald Trumps massive failures. http://time.com/4343030/donald-trump-failures/
I hope your passion and drive will create the photography business that you had hoped for.
Be your own person, believe in yourself, get help, stay positive and walk proudly to achieving your goals.
This life is not a dress rehearsal.
Go for it.
You were born to succeed !
photography business coach
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