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The Big Picture

Lesson 2 from: Marketing Your Photography Business

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

2. The Big Picture

Lesson Info

The Big Picture

Diversity of tennessee study this is important because you have to understand history you cannot ignore history these air factual data points they did a study forty percent of all businesses fail in the first two years not just photography we're talking a real business that's why I told you any business you want to apply this to it does so whatever you do at home if you got somebody who's like I said running a cupcake business this is all applicable forty percent of all businesses fail in the first year first two years in fact is not some made up sound number fifty five percent of all businesses fail in the first five years think about how lucky you are how many years in business? Two zero, three three seven one year think the range we have seven years in business fifty five percent failed over the first five years you should be so happy about your business that you're still here you understand you're making it against the odds that's right? We don't want you survive rituals we want to...

make we want to make money lots of green um seventy one percent of all businesses fail in the first ten years how is that not scaring the crap out of you that is a scary stat toe look at when you start thinking about it these air riel data points that we have to be aware off this was what opened my eyes to everything forty six percent fail because of incompetence incompetence that means half of the businesses who are failing aren't failing because they don't have a good product or a good service because they don't know what the hell they're doing they don't know how to run their business artists are notorious for this not having that business acumen well, this is it this is the answer start focusing start paying attention okay? And when you dig into that incompetent specifically emotional pricing that that I read that I'm like dude are they talking about photographers? Because that's pretty funny photographers are notorious for being measured by the price of an eight by ten are we not right that's always the first question how much is an eight by ten? How much does he charge for his eight by tens you don't care about nothing else I'm doing you just care about how much south charges for an eight by ten how much I charge one eight by ten doesn't matter you cannot create emotional pricing and most of you do emotional pricing is how much should I charge for this eight by ten um I don't know suzy down the street charge is four dollars so I'm gonna charge three fifty nine right? That doesn't make any frigging sense we've got to focus on how much did it cost us to produce the eight by ten I don't care what susie's doing down the street how much would it cost us to produce that's not emotional pricing that's factual pricing that's using data as our friend and understanding well to produce this eight by ten it actually cost me twenty five dollars at the cost clearly we all understand is beyond the piece of paper that's there I had to drive to the photo shoot have to store the photo shoot have to back up the photo shoot I have to edit the photo shoot I have to show it to the client posted to a website deliver the final product wrapped that final product there's a lot of work that goes into it we have got to keep that in mind okay, now I would make the argument I don't want to down the path of what an eight by ten cost, but I would make the argument that if you're charging lesson about twenty five dollars ala carte for an eight by ten you're losing money it's that simple non payment of taxes that's never a good thing no knowledge of pricing more business related lack of planning more business related no knowledge of financing mohr business related no experience in record keeping so let me get this right forty six percent of all businesses that are failing our because of business related reasons notice he didn't say in there no technical acumen right? Meaning they didn't know how to make cupcakes they didn't know howto make a good image has nothing to do with it that's not why they're failing they're feeling cause they don't know how to run their business you guys with me questions about this from the internet that's far no questions have a quick question for you though that's ok as we get into this you making something earlier about being accountable to your business and you mentioned indifference is where you seeing people you meet at trade shows a conferences events really big indifference folks aren't accountable that they're not taking it's serious like I have a company kind of know what I meant by indifference was indifference from our customer base like so my brides my baby clients right? My baby clients are looking at they don't care a picture's a picture it's good enough they're looking at companies like the picture people or walmart studios right which failed right? So these companies are not successful because those business models don't work but clients were training clients to just not care that's the level of indifference now when I talk about being accountable what drives me bonkers is what I'm dealing with photographers and they're like they blame I'll ask a question why do you think your family why do you think sales are down? The answers you get are just incredible rarely is it their fault it's usually someone else's fault right it's the other shooters all my competitors charge, you know, sixty nine dollars and give away cd the shooting burners let's stop blaming everybody else and let's look inward and blame ourselves for where our businesses today or pat ourselves on the back there are a few questions coming in from the sea there's going to be random and all over the board if that's cool? Yeah, all right, first one up is from jordan thomas and this is something that I see all the time on facebook in my news feed in facebook groups on forums and everything, but the big topic is what do you think about trying to get gigs on craigslist? Yeah, so the old craig list gig so when I first started out, I can't lie back in oh seven my first two jobs were off craigslist, but that was one like it was actually okay to be on craigslist kind of like my space it's really weird now if you're either on myspace or craigslist so today I would not recommend going out on craigslist to get your first gig that's not what I would recommend doing, so the landscape has changed that's not where I would look you can look to facebook for that first gig, you know you've got connections, you've got ways of creating ads, facebook ads, I would think that's amore rep people way to find your first gig then we'll talk more about that tomorrow but uh stay away from craigslist great anymore. Questions coming more tv audience if you guys have something major and grab a microphone but I ask one right here and this is a question I think it kind of touches on what you mentioned earlier this is gay from arizona what's up game I seem to have a recurring issue moms and wives love my work, but dads and husbands cringe at my prices yeah how do I fix that? Yeah, welcome to the psychology of the sale, right? Women control the purse strings, man, anybody who says differently, any guy out there and once act like that's not true, you're just lying to yourself, man, my wife controls what we're doing where we're spending money on yes, I might like to think I'm the ultimate authority, but at the end of the day, if she puts enough pressure on me it's happening, so if you know moms and wives love your work but then the husbands and you know, dads or not, you've got to help them bridge that got you've gotto get into pricing and showing value, you've gotta add more value don't just say I'm two thousand dollars in one thousand dollars because you're happening is you're getting brides and moms who appreciate the value of maybe your artistry but then you're getting dad's and write the groomsman or groom who just don't care right? They're indifferent you've got to find a way to bridge that gap and hopefully after these three days I show you ways bridgette gap that's a really good question in terms of cells wife making decisions he arrived today wearing a powder blue tuxedo but she said he was not wearing that when he arrived we have a question from the studio audience right over here so speaking of you know all the facts about why businesses fail how long reum business until you realize that you're actually going to make it and not feel that is actually a great interesting question so two thousand seven we did right look, all transparency I was at microsoft was making very good six figures I stepped away, we went our first year we were doing fifty thousand dollars we almost lost our house, our cars, our lifestyle gange right? There was no way to continue to go from a lifestyle that a six figure income supplies to now ah household income of fifty grand so that first two years I didn't know if we were going to survive I thought we were going to be out of business and possibly bankrupt which a lot of you out there may feel from time to time like where when is this thing going click for me and it wasn't until let me tell you what I did and why I was failing the reason I was failing is I was looking to other photographers to show me how to run my business it's counterintuitive, isn't it? So I'm looking to my competition who doesn't know what the hell they're doing to begin with to show me how to run my business? I'm here I am a business school graduate, right? Fifteen plus years in corporate america and now I'm relying on you my competitors to show me how to run my business and it was after about a year year and a half of like just knowing we're about to go bankrupt that I said, you know what? I got to do what I think is gonna work, I got to use my business, education, my business acumen and start running this like an actual business and not like a hobby, and when I did that, everything changed. So was about a year and a half to two years before I realized now I'm heading in the right direction that makes sense. Good question, yeah read that mike, you may go over this in the next few days, but you talk about service and how bad services these days, how do you go about educating your clients about the service you provide without talking about yourself too much that's a great question you know so what you don't want to do is you want I I'm great I do this I do that you're lucky to have me we don't want that mentality right service is best shone best delivered not good to talk about and so I think there's certain key points and we will talk more about service but to answer your question I think there's certain key points that you can actually talk about right up front things like turnaround time writing those initial meetings I tell my clients right out of the gate because I know this is a competitive advantage hey in two weeks or last you'll see your images you make that statement that is powerful and so I'm doing it in a way where I'm not going hey how about more me I'm going home here's what to expect moving forward with us after your photo shoot you'll see your image is in two weeks or last see what I'm talking about myself but in a way that's not like patting myself on the back right I'm letting them know what to expect by working with me so in essence I'm dropping seeds off what services to expect now there's more services right so something will drill into is I consider this a little bit of a service related item the way I deliver my product of them write I don't just hand him a flimsy photo print in a you know paul your thing sleeve or something like that I'm handing them something of substance so you're spending money in my studio I want to hand this to you, okay? I wouldn't talk about this necessarily, right? Well, I'm gonna give you your pictures and they're in a cool bag, right? Nobody cares, but when you deliver this to them they're like, oh my gosh, I've never seen anything like that right? That's the motion I'm looking to get out of them because this is something they'll talk about they'll brag about this they'll take a picture of the bag and then posted to their facebook site like got my pictures today I want them to have that experience that's something that'll be dripped out so to speak that make sense and we'll look more at this stuff as we go good questions anybody else here? Good internet we could keep going we have enough questions teo, keep us busy for teo so more data points. This is from a company called the wedding report I use them just to kind of get a sense of what's going on in the industry. This was an interesting data point albeit it's tied two weddings I would make the argument is probably tied to all photography in general. What you can see is from two thousand six to two thousand twelve nearly eighty percent of all clients are using the internet to do they're planning select their photographer eighty percent eight out of ten clients now I wouldn't I'm going to make the argument okay and I'm gonna go out on a crazy limb here and say over the next five years we're going we're going to start approaching one hundred percent ninety percent so if we agree not because sound made up a crazy stat this is this is factual data that eight out of ten clients are using the internet to select their photographer why is your website not just nails like just perfect there's no reason for it this is where you have to invest your time because not because I said so your clients were there this is your storefront this is how they're selecting you write unless you want to tell me no sal you got it all wrong most of my clients find me by walking by my storefront opening the door coming in and buying some pictures that's not how they do it they find you online that is your storefront this is an actual data point this one I thought was extremely interesting again it's just tide towards weddings but I would make the argument there's data points we can extrapolate here and apply to any business seventy eight percent as you can see are using google search for their, uh photographer seventy eight percent in two thousand twelve up from sixty four twenty ten seventy two percent, right? These aren't gonna add to one hundred because they could look at google than they can look at bridal search sites, right? They're not gonna just look att one, seventy two percent are using bridal sites like the not wedding wire. Ah, host of other sites thirty percent of using facebook that was staggering to me. I did not see that one coming and not number. I believe he's going to grow facebook is where everybody is meaning if I post wedding pictures, baby pictures, senior pictures and my clients are tagging themselves in it and then their friends or seeing it, and then they're friends of friends or seeing it, do you understand the extrapolation of that number and how big it starts getting? More and more people are going to start looking to facebook and other social media to make photography selections again, begging the question, why isn't our internet presence stronger for our businesses? It has to be strong and you have to be committed to it here the top sides for weddings, the not sixty eight percent of brides are using the knot that is a staggering number love or hate than not seventy, seventy seven out of ten brides are going there david's bridal was the biggest one at number two. Forty three percent. I've never been to their website in my life. I didn't even know they had a wedding website, so that was amazing to me to see that four out of ten brides are going there and then after that wedding wire all the other side's martha stewart all drop below fifteen ten percent of market share, right? These air, you're too big site if we're talking weddings aa, where clients are going to look at, uh, look for photographers it's incredible here's what it was a very interesting stat online bookings off photographers, meaning they book you just over the internet. They don't come in for that meeting down by almost forty five percent from last year. Staggering yet not surprising how many harsh stories have you heard from people who had a bad experience on their wedding day? Right? They booked a photographer, the doctor wasn't what they expected didn't deliver what they promise they never met with. Um, you go back two years ago, three years ago, we were booking online weddings never met with us calls on the phone look at our website are you open on the state? Maybe they fill out an online forum contract online book you last year zero this year zero nobody's booking us that way, they're coming in for either a meeting or skype call and I guarantee you it's because now brides are becoming smarter they've heard so many horror stories about their friends who booked a photographer and it's soft and now they get it now they get and understand that you get what you pay for and they want to meet their photographer face to face even more of a reason we have to understand our brand and our person as it relates to the actual brand sammy consent alright so let's talk about I want to pause there because I'm gonna start going into the psychology of sale questions from you we good questions from the internet we have couple question from internet there a little bit everywhere you cool take some take somewhere ready man it's game time they gotta give you questions yeah now this is different this is a unique question but I think I know your transfer is going to be south and these same principles be applied to video production at the beginning of this course you said doesn't matter you can remove photography from this course name this could be applied all businesses now absolutely one hundred percent we own salvador sing cotter films we knew full video production same business principles that we apply to our photography we apply to the film's division of what we're doing so absolutely it will apply practice all this stuff and you will see changes in your business for the positive yes great that questions from jordan thomas and just real quick I mean, you brought out the nice bagri, but you provide your your customers with tell me a little bit how far is that go? So they're expecting just awesome photos or whatnot, but thinking that nice bag beautifully presented what's the difference maker what's intangible about that it's the thing is, people, if you want people to spend more money with you, right and you want them to invest in you with their dollars, they have to feel like they're getting something in return more than just a photo paper write again let's rewind I said the biggest challenge force today is indifference from our clients, but when you talk about indifference, let's say all things are equal and we'll talk more about this stuff in a little bit. But let's say all things are equal, meaning picture wise at it wise, we're exact we ordered from the same lab we went to the same spots at the same picture the same client okay what's the difference between me and you I want to charge more than you how am I going to be able to do that? Well, now I'm delivering my clients this packaging you're delivering it to them in a black or brown paper bag or a poly right envelope when you put that in your client's hands all the work that went into creating that image is now been lost it's the huge deflator where's when I'm giving this to them they're like oh my god, this is like this's christmas let's just listen sounds amazing, right? I don't even know what's in there there's stuff in there but it sounds amazing, right? How about this? What do you delivering to your clients for there there there's images are delivering a cd with like their name written in sharpie right like jones w for wedding right? You got crazy with your your writing I'm cd how'bout this look at this custom box that we had created for our clients our name is it laser etched in the top of the box okay and inside we're not giving them a cd we're giving them a crystal thumb drive that's engraved I don't know if you can see in and zoom in on that that's engraved with our logo on that this is what we're delivering instead of that cd taking it to that next level this now it looks like a watch box it feels like a watch box right? It's lined it's beautifully lined with suede liner what's going to make an impact I'm going to hand this to my client for their digital images and you're going to hand them a cd where's the where's, the impact this is what they're getting okay, this is how you start taking that up your business up another not I'm gonna drill into all this stuff to our suppliers are and why we use it when we use it I just want to showcase that because it made sense with the question and also just briefly on that we have a question coming from online as well something like that I mean a lot of people may think wow, I can't afford to to purchase that but of course your businessman now that's built into your pricing even though the consumer may not no it that's right you can't charge this goes back to what is it costing producing eight by ten and eight by ten doesn't cost two dollars which is what you're buying it for fromthe lab costs a lot more to produce that eight by ten you have to factor in all these other cost and it's this constant chicken and egg thing right you're going well I can't buy that stock because I don't charge enough I don't charge enough and therefore I can't buy that stuff and you just you're making excuses right raise your prices start looking at where you want your business to be your three six, nine twelve month plan sure I accept it maybe you can't walk out of here and do this tomorrow I accept that answer give me a damn good reason why you can't do it in the next ninety days that I don't accept make the change you know this is the direction you want to go then start heading in that direction I'm accepting any excuses this no creators and official all right london girl says if sally is going to start his business over what would be his number one thing that he learned when looking back at the struggle that is an amazing question I've never been asked that what is the number one thing I would do if I started all over again from scratch to avoid the struggle it would be to get my pricing right right out of the gate that was the number one area I made mistakes in day one I charged in the beginning you could buy an eight by ten for us from us for fifteen dollars you could buy a five by seven I want to say for about seven dollars uh what was I thinking I don't even know what I was thinking I was not making money that that I can tell you right now s o I wish when I started out I had my pricing and packaging right that's where I see most of us flounder that's a good question anyone one more great wife a question you keep saying no excuses and at some point of course there's air courses out there there are books out there their trade shows the conventions it sounds like it's some point you put your head down and got to work and build the plans out of the three one planned six months playing the nine with playing right? Yes, you've got to do it. You just got to sit down and do it, you know, when part of the five day boot camp, we put a little bit of that together. What I'm gonna do now, uh, and I think that's gonna be on day three. I'm going to try and show you how to put that three, six, nine, twelve month plan together, and I wanna work with all of you is kind of like here's payers, how we're gonna do this together. So I fully expected to be kind of a class exercise in putting that down. That's why won't anybody have their no pads out and following along and doing this step by step? Because when it's all said and done, there truly will be no excuses, right? This course is giving you a reason not to have an excuse anymore won't quick. One more question from online this is a practical question, I think, an important one from as who felt they want to know what programmed, as sal used to keep his records and client inform, assuming you're you're not using a scratch pad in a pencil? No, no, we gave that up a couple of months ago way use studio cloud to keep track of all our appointment studio cloud is actually a great application. I think it's one of the best on the market we've been using them. I want to say about three and a half, four years now, we looked really hard at finding something that was just easy to use on allowed us to engage with our clients. And so what I really love about studio cloud is the fact that it will send reminders to my client's reminders about their photo shoot with scripted emails. Okay, so you might have systems that send reminders out, but can you send a different reminder, depending on what kind of shooting his meaning if I've got a senior chute? It's one one reminder, if it's a wedding it's a different reminder, and so the system's intelligent enough to look at what category is and send out that reminder that's, one of my favorite features off their system. So, you know, investigated. Go look up studio cloud and see if it'll work for your business. I'm sure they have a trial.

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!!!

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