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Lesson 1 from: Marketing Your Photography Business

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

1. Introduction

Next Lesson: The Big Picture

Lesson Info


Thank you, thank you. Welcome, teo marketing your photography business here on creative live welcome to our classroom we would have a way to make sure we had a actual classroom so I love the set and actually we could cross out photography in the marketing your photography business so if you know anyone who has a business, everything we're going to talk about today is in fact part ofthe business period. So I'm a business school graduate and all the things we're going to talk about we could market ah, cupcake factory we could market ah, you know, a dog walking service I mean, whatever it is, if you've got somebody who needs help in their business, get them tuned in right? So hide your wife, hide your kids. Sorry, I was well inside jokes and let's have some fun today because that is what we're going to dio without further ado. Let's, get going here and talk about marketing for success. If you are out there and you are watching online, get your no pads out. Uh get online because we're goin...

g to do things with your facebook page. I'm going to do things with your website and I want you to have access to this for reference, but get ready to take lots of notes because over the course of three days we have a ton of information that we're going to be covering in fact I'm even worried that I won't get through all of today's data to day I have over one hundred slides dedicated to just today alone, so wow, so here's we're gonna cover over three days big picture marketing and branding understanding consumer behavior this is the number one area I see businesses struggle with everywhere it doesn't matter if you're a photographer not is just understanding the concept of building a brand as it pertains to consumer behavior, right? I guarantee you if you're out there, all of you are saying the same thing I can't raise my prices out because uh, photographers down the street are charging five hundred dollars for a wedding or they're charging seventy nine dollars in their own group on whatever the case may be. Guys, I'm here to tell you that's because you have a brand problem no one expects to come into our studio and spend seventy nine dollars on a photo session you would never go in to mercedes benz and think you're going to buy a brand new mercedes benz for nine thousand nine hundred dollars ninety nine dollars with least payments starting at one twenty nine month right that's not going to happen why because of their brand because of their image so we have to start thinking about your brand your image and understanding how it drives consumer behavior consumers there's all sorts of studies on how they behave according to pricing brand awareness brand image where does your brand sit in that big big scheme of things and we're gonna talk about that over the course of the next three days social media facebook blogging twitter where does it end? Right it's a never ending just medley of social media outlets that we're supposed to be pushing our stuff too but where do you begin? How do you make it all come together? What about all the features of facebook if you've got a personal page on facebook just two or three days ago they changed the way it looked anybody notice that right? They just changed it I woke up I hit refresh on my browser and like what has happened where'd everything go right facebook decided they're going to change things there constantly changing things and so we have to be able to adapt and what we're putting out there on our facebook sites and not I'm not talking about personal page I'm talking about your business page so we have to start thinking about that and we're going to go in detail on facebook specifically because that was with one area you guys all asked me for feet more information on was going a little deeper on the ins and outs of facebook promotions things like ej ranking how many of you guys you even know what I drank is nobody knows that's awesome, because that's, we're gonna talk about because that impacts your post. You ever wonder why your post or not showing up in news feeds or even aware that when you post something, that doesn't mean all your friends and fans are going to see it right? There's something called edge rank that determines if it's going to show up in their feed. So that's gonna tell you why you're not being successful? We're gonna talk about that and we're gonna talk about how to improve it. That's more important, the other thing we talked about was how south? How do I get that first shoot under my belt? So for those of you who are just beginning to get that first wedding, how do I get that for family? Shoot? Where do I begin? We're gonna talk about that. What about? If you're like a five ten year studio, right? We're we're six year studio. We're going into our sixth full year, a studio and that's the other miss no more out there, right? So let's, let's talk for a second. We are an actual studio and so when we're talking about everything, we're teaching you guys here it's, because we're actually doing it, we photograph fifty plus weddings a year. And we photographed seventy five to one hundred seniors a year. I would say we're inactive studio, not just professional teachers, and I think that's very important when you're hearing the message and understanding that this does in fact apply to your business. So we're gonna talk about for the advanced studio just recently, right? We're all fans, a soup rice and one former fashion I love too, and I love what she's doing in glamour. I was inspired by what she was doing. I've never really taken anything along the lines of glamour, a boudoir nothing was with it was in our repertoire, so from me, I was a newbie in that market, right? How do I get that first shoot? So I'm an established studio, but I want to switch, I want to go to a different line of business, a different niche, so we'll talk about that so that no matter where you are in your career in business, you can still be a newbie to a certain extent. How about marketing on a budget? If you're just starting out, you don't have a whole lot of marketing dollars, but we still need to grow our business, so we're going to talk about all the things we did, and we were starting out. That require time and energy but not a whole lot of dollars and that's good because that helps us get that grassroots approach get our name out there build our brand we're gonna talk about advanced marketing techniques so if my studio is three, four, five years old or older let's talk about some things we can do that maybe require a little bit more money or don't require money but are still uh a little bit more advanced in their nature ok, so we'll dig into that we're gonna talk about selling the experience okay how do you sell the experience? I don't sell pictures guys, I don't sell eight by tens if you sell eight by tens you're gonna lose you're gonna lose to the shooting burners I don't even sell dvds that's not what I sell I sell an experience, I sell artwork and I sell an experience you've got to understand how to sell that experience you've got to make the turn and get away from selling pictures and start selling an experience plan of attack. I do not want any of you, not you six no one out there leaving this three day course scratching your head wondering what's next you can't wonder what's next you got to go do it we got to stop talking about doing things and start doing things you control your own destiny all of you so we're gonna put a plan of attack together for you. We're gonna talk about attacking your niche what do you want to go after? So we're going to drill into five marketing techniques for going after weddings, right? We're going to take all this stuff we're talking about for two and a half days and they're going to be okay. Let's make it applicability to seniors, weddings, babies, families, glamour. So we're going to a very specific in those areas and try and give you five tips and each one of those niches. Then we're gonna talk about how to stand out from the crowd. What is your thirty, sixty, ninety one year plan? Okay, you have got to have a plan. We have a plan that salvador, some kind of a tire fee. We don't wake up wondering what should I do today, right? What is it? How do we make money today? That's not what we're wondering. I know I know what I'm doing a year from now, okay least I think I know what I'm doing a year from now, it'll change, right? But we're still writing this stuff down and putting that plan of attack together. Would you agree? Most of you that's where you fumble is putting that plan together and executing on it. That's where we need to help you, right? You've got all the best intentions we all do. We all want to be successful when he gets to the point where we've gotto robbers got to meet the road that's probably where your stumbling and I've got to get you pass I've got to get you over that hump. And then, of course, how do we measure results? We've got to be able to measure the results of all the effort we're putting into this so that we can take corrective action. That's why I say, I know what I'm doing a year from now or at least I think I do because it's, based on where we are today but now, thirty days from now, we may be someplace different and have to pivot. Okay, so it's not a hard, fast rule for twelve months, but I'm still thinking twelve months out thirty days. I've got to stop, okay, where we at? Are we still heading the right direction? Yes. No. Maybe so. If not, we've got to redirect, right? So not only do I redirect, my whole team has to redirect and pivot with me. The most successful companies are the ones who are nimble, you know, you guys know my background, microsoft. Microsoft was a giant ok it's still a big company but it's not nimble anymore it is anything but nimble has become this company filled with red tape and you know analysis paralysis and they don't make decisions quickly they've slowed down compared to their youth that can't be our business who those nimble businesses today apple google those are the companies that are extremely nimble and pivot quickly when they see opportunity we've got to keep you guys being nimble so that you can make those decisions and attack opportunity as it presents itself so wow, we have got a full I'm out of breath just talking about what we're doing for the next three days let alone actually getting into it so we were ready to start drilling into day one some marketing and social media so here is what we are covering today lots of small taxed ah high level real world marketing scenario consumer behavior we're gonna look at history and corporate america because we cannot ignore history we're going to get pricing and consumer behavior brand awareness, building your brand social media, the role of twitter, the role of your blogged and the role of facebook and we're going to very detailed on that so I'm not going to cover this I just want everybody out there to understand get ready, get your coffee figure out what you're doing because we're going we're going to start drilling into this before we get going, stop making excuses I'm talking to you six sitting right in front of me as much as I am talking to everybody out there stop making excuses for why you're struggling for why you're failing there is no excuse people have money stop saying people don't have money, we grow our business in the middle of a recession everybody has money for what they want to have money for so we've got to stop saying people don't have money we've got to stop blaming the shooting burners we've got to stop going on facebook and user groups is bitching like little kids man grow up get a life that is not gonna help your business going out on a facebook or user group complaining about shooting burners and all this other stuff is not gonna help your business it's not it's counterproductive take that same energy and invested in your business you know I used to get sucked into all that just looking at what people are saying saying about me saying about my competitors saying about it's just like, oh my god, it's draining do you guys think it's draining and your local markets right it's exhausting in st louis there's like a handful of photographers that I can actually talk to and have a conversation right? They they hate us why? Because we're successful well then screw them right I want you to be successful. I want you to make money. I don't hate anybody who's successful runs a successful business that just doesn't even make sense so catty and our industries and the only one that suffers from that lots of industries do I'm saying, don't engage in it, stay away from it, ignore it, move on, focus on your business, focus on your family, okay, be accountable for your business. You own your business, good batter and different there's nobody else who owns it. Nobody else is laying in bed late at night wondering if you're going to pay the bills. Nobody's nobody else's there. How are you going to get this new equipment nobody's there on a friday night before our wedding? Right? Getting anxiety? Because did I talk to my batteries, right? Nobody else is there, but you you have to be accountable for every aspect of your business, and if you're not, you're just throwing your hands in the air going I give up and I don't want you to give up. I want you to find success and again, the only way to do that is to say I own this and when you fail on your failures, are we all guilty that a lot of artists are guilty of that that when they fail, they cannot accept failure it's somebody somebody else's fault! Oh, my bride! She was just so uncooperative. Oh, the kids, they just they suck, they suck it life, right? It's the kid's fault now, right, it's not their fault. It's our fault we own our business that's the one thing I think I'm really good at is that when we screw up because we're not perfect, by the way, I don't want anybody out there thinking we're perfect and we run this perfect business we don't we hate the same hiccups that you hit in your business. We make the same mistakes we miss deliver bols for our clients, right? I'm dealing with a client issue right now. Her album was due on april first in april fourteenth. She's light me up telling me about how bad we are customer service. I get the same e mails you get right, so we make mistakes as well. But it's, how you deal with those mistakes that will define your businesses that makes sense don't be afraid to make those mistakes, but if you don't acknowledge it my first e mail back to her you know what I said to her, you are absolutely right. This is our mistake we dropped the ball. Now I gotta be honest with you missing an album deadline by a week or two not really a big deal in my world, right? We all know what happens with fulfillment from album companies and things go wrong and things get in the ship crap happens but she has one here about that so I didn't make a whole bunch of excuses I said to her point blank you are absolutely right this mistake is on us I sincerely apologize I don't want you to have a bad taste in your mouth about working with us how can I make this right? You don't she actually wrote back to me she said wow thank you so much for being humble in your response to me it's not what she expected I think she expected me to start making all sorts of excuses and blaming her for her album being late right what's your fault it's like I don't know how but we could sure I'm sure we can come up with something that's good service that's being accountable for your business so we've got to start we've got to go there if you if I can't get you to agree to these kind of four tenants, how do we move forward? We can't because there's a block there you won't accept that you are failing, you are making mistakes and if you don't accept that you can't take steps forward all of you out there we have to do that alright so today's landscape first and foremost we all know it's a cliche statement everyone he's a photographer that is the truth it's never going to change it's never going to go away no matter how much you bitch about it online everyone will continue to be a photographer. So now what are you just gonna keep complaining about it? Are you gonna actually do something about it? Service is at an all time low I don't know about you guys bad service makes me crazy just absolutely crazy whether it's me to my clients or people into me right? Does anybody enjoy bad service? You go to that restaurant we went to a restaurant on a way out here, okay? And we sit down there are there's no one in the restaurant there's eight service workers it took me twenty minutes to get water and a diet coke why what's going on coke machine down somebody clue me in that's bad service people are willing to pay more money for good service me included. So if that's the case there's an opportunity good service the economy is recovering people have money stop telling yourself people don't have money I live in st louis missouri blue collar america okay, not a whole lot of money we're not in a new york chicago, seattle we've got all these millionaires running around yet people are spending money in our studio why because everyone has money for what they want to have money for, and we have to we have to capitalize on that. We have to find those clients who have money for what we're offering. Those are my clients. Your internet presence is key. I'm gonna drive this point home later because that's where our clients are, they're not your clients. I'm assuming are not the clients who were just walking by. So we should get a picture today. I don't have those clients if you do. You have those clients? No, they're going on the internet there. Look there making decisions based on your website. So how bad is your web site? That is the key. That is the question then is like really bad. It really sucks. Alright, so that but that if we understand that if we accept that it's part of today's landscape, why does your website suck? Right, there's? No reason for it's something you can actually control. And I understand what the answer's gonna be. Time money, right? A host of options. But we know this is a problem. We have to do something about it. Here along will no longer distinguish you. That's it those days are over the day of having to be like a wizard at mathematical formulas is gone in photography don't be pissed that other photographers don't be pissed that your competitors don't be space that the moms with cameras like dude move on you wanna be pissed that somebody be pissed the canon nikon because they're the ones making the camera's easier and easier to use so it's not it's not susie who grabbed a camera it's not her fault that cannon and I kind of made it easier and easier for her to take a picture okay it is what it is this is the landscape we livin in fact most of you have probably been introduced to photography because of how easy it was to get involved in it right? You picked up a camera maybe you had a kid you started taking some pictures somebody told you you're pretty good at it. Next thing you know boom you're a photographer that's how a lot of people get started I'm not gonna hate on you for that. I just want to make sure you want a solid business now I talked a little bit about this at w p p ay the big disruptor every industry, everything going on in the world has a disruption face to it think about what itunes did to the record store you guys have record stores anymore I'm not talking about like the vintage vinyl uh kind of record stores but I'm talking about when you want a cd of new music are you heading down the virgin records now those things are gone itunes destroyed it right itunes was a disrupter to the record industry the cd was a disrupter to the cassette tape dvds a disrupter to the cd innovate or die that's it that has to become your mantra innovate or die there is no other option what is today's disruptor if you saw me at w p p you know the answer to this my opinion today's disruptor is indifference okay everybody saying oh no no it's it's all the shooting burners no those are a result of indifference clients just don't care they don't care stopped convincing yourself they do most clients don't care because it's good enough right pick out your iphone these kids today who are going to be your future brides who are going to be your future families and baby clients dude they're on instagram taking pictures editing them putting on textures and now what you're gonna wow them with some single click black and white at it good luck it's not gonna happen so they're they're becoming indifferent now that's not to say we can't come up with a solution to that indifference right and get them to care I'm merely pointing out if you're showing up with a camera and handing them a cd you have just lumped yourself in to ninety percent of the photographers in the world. You just want yourself in there, you will never differentiate yourself. It will be near impossible because your client base it's, his vicious circle, your client base is the same client base that goes, I don't really care. I just need a photographer. How much? Two hundred dollars. How much? Ninety nine dollars. They're making price decisions. I don't want that client that clients, not my client. I need the client who does care. I need the client who wants something more than a guy with a camera, a mom with a camera. I need the prick line. Who wants an artist that's, who we have to be looking for. Stop convincing yourself. That person doesn't exist. They do. We grow our business on that in the middle of a recession.

Class Materials

bonus material

Top 10 Objections for Sales
Bride Groom Blog Questions
Setting Client Expectations
SWOT Analysis
Facebook Template Instructions
Sal Presentation
Facebook Template Fonts
5 Facebook Templates

Ratings and Reviews


I'm currently a business owner in another industry. The business is financally successful, highly respected and the envy of our competitors. In order to market the business how I visualised our brand/customer, I learned how to take a photograph! I then feel in love with photography... I can completely relate to the concepts Sal is offering. This is fantastic advise many of which I have implemented in my own business. It's amazing how this advise can easily transfer to marketing any business or product. Unless like I had done you want to find the time to read countless books on the subject of business marketing, learn from trial and error, then simply fast-track years ahead and buy this course. It's a no-brainer! If only CL had been around when I had literally fought my way through setting up my business I would have found success a lot earlier. Sal's passion, drive, creativity and determination is what he can't teach you however. You are gonna have to do it your own way! Good luck to you all and Happy New Year.

a Creativelive Student

I have been taking Workshops all over the world these past two years. Once CreativeLive was introduced to me I began trying to absorb all the free information and taking notes. You do not always review your pages of notes so it is wonderful to have a video library. Within one hour with Sal I realized he was providing so much information that I just went ahead and bought the course. Happy to have it to refer to and feel that I have a mentor who I will be checking in with. Great teacher, funny and entertaining.. Well worth $99..thank you Sal.

a Creativelive Student

All I have to say is WOW!!!!!!! Well actually there's more. My husband is USC Ulumni, business major and sat in for 45 minutes of day 2 while I was watching and couldn't get away. He was so impressed he told me to buy the course now and listen to it 3 times. He said this guy knows what he's talking about. Says a lot coming from him. Sal, you are amazing and I am so excited to learn everything from this course and I'm already sold on getting your other course as well. Thanks Sal and Creative Live!!!

Student Work