Source: Satsuki Shibuya
At some point in your photography journey, you realize that in order to actually enjoy, sustain, and profit from your passion, you have to learn how to run the business.
You can’t guess. You can’t hope. You can’t depend on friends and family to be your billboards. You must know how to organize and effectivly run your business.
If you want to do more than just talk about it, to actually achieve the life you’ve imagined, to reach the income goals you dream of, and to have the balance you crave, you have to go beyond freely available advice and get serious about building a great business you can be proud of.
The Thriving Photographer™ business training program has helped over one thousand photographers build successful photography businesses on their terms — And it will help you get there too.
October 1st is the last day for this enrollment period. Thrive will not be available again until 2016.
On Monday, we will start transforming a whole new group of photographers! Through the next 8 weeks, businesses are going to transform, and lives are going to change. Photographers are going to find out that success is possible for them. Are you going to be one of them?
If you’re feeling excited about The Thriving Photographer™ and what it could do for your business, I hope you’ll honor that and join us! You have nothing to lose (with our 30-day guarantee) and everything to gain!
There is a moment that every entrepreneurs reaches. It’s the moment when you realize you can either settle for mediocracy, or you can put meaning behind your words, be daring, and truly see what is possible.
When you sit down and close your eyes, what do you wish for yourself and your family? Maybe your list includes….
- Feeling content and happy.
- Getting a good night’s sleep (regularly).
- Having just the right amount of great clients.
- Getting to charge what you’re worth and not having to negotiate.
- Feeling confident in your pricing.
- Making monthly deposits to a college savings account for your kids from your profits.
- Having time to sleep, spend time with friends, or do something just for you.
- Having someone else come in and clean the toilets for you.
- Surprising your husband and taking him on great date that you pay for.
- Paying off a credit card or those student loans.
These are not unrealistic dreams. These are not wishes that should only be reserved for shooting stars. This is all possible. YOU ARE POSSIBLE!
What are you going to do today for your future?
Don’t just survive… Thrive.
I had just wanted an outlet. That seems so ironic now.
My outlet became a monster. It consumed me, and I’m ashamed to admit that my marriage, my health, and my children all suffered because of it.
I was so unorganized. I didn’t know how to price myself right. I had no workflow or systems in place, and I couldn’t figure out how to get clients. I tried whatever idea dropped onto my screen. I wasted so much money and time.
I cried a lot back then.
I was sure I was a failure. I was a failure as a mother, a wife, a business owner, and a homemaker.
And I was so, so, so tired.
It took an ambulance ride to get me to wake up. This was not sustainable. This could not continue. So I set to work!
Everything had to change. And it did.
Slivers of light began to break through the darkest of my clouds. Step by step, I studied, tested, adjusted, and proved what worked. If it didn’t save me time or make me more money, it was thrown to the wayside.
These are my stats from the darkness I felt in 2009 to 2011 when I realized I’d figured out something amazing and had to start sharing it with others.
I want to share what happened in the middle. I want to share what the pieces were that brought me from wishing and hoping to doing and living the life I’d imagined.
Most importantly, I want to share how I let go of guilt, found my way, and started feeling joy in motherhood again.
Today I feel whole. Definitely not perfect, but whole! The aching pain of guilt, failure, and exhaustion has left. I am more productive and more profitable then ever before and I’m working less then ever before!
I want you to know how I got here!
I’m offering a brand new live webinar just for moms with photography businesses. I can’t wait to openly share what I’ve done right, wrong, and in between, and how I’ve been able to find my happy place.
See you Tuesday!
The Thriving Photographer™ is back and open for Fall Enrollment! That’s right! Thrive (the absolute best photography business training program – hands down!) is available for a limited time.
You can get all the details HERE. But just know that Thrive will be open for this enrollment session until October 1st at midnight Pacific Time. If you don’t make it for this session, you’ll have to wait until 2016. So don’t delay… It’s time to build the business you’ve been dreaming of. It’s time to get organized. It’s time to use a tested and proven recipe for success.
More than anything… It’s your time!
The biggest question I hear is, ‘but is this possible for me??
You know success is possible. You’ve seen plenty of photographers who are killing it, but how are they doing it? Can it be duplicated and do you live in the right demographic, city or country to experience your own success?
And what about the rest of your life? If you’re making bank will it have to be at the cost of your spouse, your kids and your well-being?
I believe that you absolutely can build a profitable business around your terms, your goals and your lifestyle and it can happen much quicker than you might think! With the right tools and the right strategies in place, you can scale your business for your lifestyle and make sure that every session you book is highly profitable!
This is a topic I am hugely passionate about because I see too many amazing women who are burnt out, underpaid, overworked and beyond discouraged. Their relationships are suffering, their health is suffering, their confidence is suffering.
Between 2007 and 2009, I was blessed enough to figure out the secret to low hours, high sales and running an organized little photography business that started helping my family instead of hindering us. I didn’t always have it figured out. I made lots and lots of mistakes, but I was determined to get it right. I was determined to unlock the secrets to success. But I don’t want it to be a secret! I want you to know exactly how I did it!
That’s why I’m so excited to announce that our most popular FREE webinar is back! And this time we will be offering two different dates and times PLUS we have a brand-new free workbook to go with this live training and some awesome goodies I’ll be releasing during the webinar!
Join us as we uncover the 7 pillars for a 6-figure photography business!
We will be talking about:
– Leah’s Story – From Shoot & Burn to Thriving
– Brand Perception & Consistency
– Pricing & Collections
– Marketing to Reach Your Dream Clients
– Systems & Outsourcing
– Case Studies highlighting success in Rural and Over Saturated Markets
Make sure you join us live! You don’t want to miss this!
Have you ever wished you didn’t have to deal with the money side of your business? If you’re a creative, and you’re nodding your head yes… you are not alone. The money side scares a lot of people, and yet it’s those denaros that make your business…well…. a business. Without an exchange of funds, you’re just a really nice hobbiest.
So you set up some prices, and you charge (I hope). But are you charging the right amount? Are you profitable? Are you happy when you check your bank account balance? Are you confident in why you charge what you do?
If yes is a hard word to squeeze out right now, you’re also not alone. Feeling confident in your pricing is something that few small businesses get to claim, and yet it’s a critical indicator of long term success and growth.
Under charging leads to burnout, frustration, and eventually (if you don’t learn how to price yourself properly) failure.
I’m going to share the 3 most common mistakes I see as a success strategist, and what really works for increasing photography sales. Make sure you grab my freebie at the bottom of this post!
Mistake #1 – Pricing without a Goal in Mind
It can be unsettling to say the least. You knew you needed to be charging, but knowing how much is the right amount was daunting. So you did some “market research” and took the Goldilocks approach. You found some fellow local photographers, sized your work up to theirs, and decided somewhere in the middle seemed juuuust right. But you don’t know how they came up with their numbers. Are they profitable? Are they paying themselves adequately? Are they making more than minimum wage? The average photographer is only making about $15 per hour so chances are… they didn’t.
What to do about it…
There is a very simple formula that will help you determine exactly how much you should be profiting each time you book a session. *You can download our free ‘Pricing Tips & Tools’ Download (scroll to the bottom of this post) to use our worksheet to find your ideal profit number.
First, how many sessions can you take on each week and insure that you will not only provide the very best customer experience that you can possibly deliver, but you will also be the best ___________________ (insert: wife, mother, daughter, employee, student) that you are meant to be. Multiply that number by 4.
Next, determine how much money you would like to pay yourself each month. Now this doesn’t mean how much you Gross, because there are expenses that must be considered. Instead think of how much would you like to pay yourself each month. Sometimes this is easy to decide, because your goal is to replace your current salary. Other times it’s a little harder. Take the time to consider your long term goals, how you feel about different numbers, and what each salary option would allow for your lifestyle. Once you have defined your monthly salary, divide that by the number of sessions you came up with by multiplying your ideal weekly session count x 4.
[Monthly Salary Goal / Monthly Session Potential = Profitability Goal]
Now that you know how much you think you want to profit from each session, take it one step further by dividing that number by the number of hours you invest total in each session (feel free to guesstimate here. A good average is about 15 hours per session, but make sure you factor in your editing time!). Now you have a very general idea for your hourly rate. Are you happy with it, or is it less than if you started handing out paper sacks through a drive through window?
Mistake #2 – Pricing from a Scarcity Mindset
I hear it all the time… “People in my area just won’t pay that!”‘ This viewpoint is coming from a scarcity mindset, and it’s one way of thinking you want to ditch! The truth is, there are incredibly profitable photographers everywhere from corn fields in Illinois to a stay at home mom in Israel!
Success is possible anywhere.
The truth is… it’s not where you live that’s stopping you from being successful. It’s what you believe. So you have to take a deep look at how you view money, business, success, wealth and all that other money stuff, and determine if you’re what’s actually getting in your way. Here’s the thing… there is a high, middle, and low end of every market. We can look at chocolate, handbags, makeup, produce, automobiles, literature (hard bound, used or your public library and the content doesn’t even change), and even water! Yes, there is a luxury, middle and budget friendly version of water. Don’t believe me? Check out Voss Water in it’s beautiful glass bottle, your average Dasani water you grab on your way out of the super market, and of course the tumbler you grab from your cabinet and fill yourself at the kitchen sink. We are talking about water! Water is water is water! The creative space is no different with varied price points and levels of photography. There will always be the luxurious & exclusive, the middle man, and the budgeteer (everyone’s photographer who no one stays loyal to). So where do you want to be?
What to do about it…
Decide now who you want to be. Where you want to be. Why you want to be. Do you want me to know you for your art or your great prices? Do you want to live month to month or with savings to secure the experiences you’d only dreamed of previously? Do you want to use your income to give more and be more for others, or is your only goal to keep the electric on? Take a good look at where your pricing habits are coming from. It may be time to dispel feelings of scarcity so that you can embrace a mind shift toward abundance.
Mistake #3 – No Sales Plan
Pricing goes hand in hand with sales. In order for great pricing to be effective, it must be coupled with an even better sales process. Photographers are often mislead into thinking that all they have to do is come up with some pricing, slap them on their website, and then wait for the contact form to be completed. But clients rarely come that easily, especially if you’re priced appropriately and profitably.
What’s more likely to happen is that you will get an email, and more than likely it was to ask you about pricing (and it doesn’t seem to matter if your pricing is clearly laid out or completely illusive). They almost always ask about pricing. Have you ever wondered why? I believe that if you could read between the lines of their email it would say something like this,
I’m really interested in working with you, but I’m not quite convinced. To tell you the truth, I’m nervous. Will you help me hide the parts of me that never found their way back after the last baby? My husband is already complaining, and I haven’t even booked it. Can you help me there? Or how about my son? Can you capture the real smile that’s been hiding lately?
I’m too embarrassed to ask you all of these things, because as of right now, you’re just a website. So I’ll stick with asking you about pricing, but if you could put me at ease and hide my double chin, I will forever be loyal.
Digging a little deeper into what your client is really wanting, saying, and needing from you helps you see where you need to do more. For example, pick up the telephone instead of just emailing back. Offer in-person sales session (see below, ‘Free Pricing: Tools & Tips’ Download for more about this) instead of lonely and confusing online galleries. Show them what’s possible with beautiful samples instead of just hoping they understand what an ‘image box’ is.
Have a plan and work to cultivate the absolute best client experience every-single-time. Sales doesn’t have to be sleezy. In fact, when it’s customer centered, clients are not only willing to pay more, but they will thank you for your attention, service and guidance.
We have way more tips and some great templates and worksheets for you inside our Free Pricing Quick Guide Download! I hope you enjoy it! Happy Thriving!
When our realtor brought us into this home, it was the backyard that got my attention! I feel like you have to be able to envision yourself in a home to really believe it could be yours and when we walked out to the backyard, I could instantly see the potential memories to be made.
This last summer it has been a labor of love (and some frustration – aren’t all home projects that way!) as we’ve worked to make our backyard our own. We started with this vision board and then got to work. I feel like we’ve completed phase one (we only anticipated one phase but again, isn’t that the way of home projects?). There is still more we want to do (gas fire-table inside the sectional, cement planters, gazebo paint job) but we are definitely entertaining and enjoying the yard! So in the spirit of Labor Day and Back to School BBQ’s I thought today was the perfect day to share what we’ve done so far.
My vision was all about entertaining! I was dreaming up outdoor movie nights, plenty of opportunities to sit and get cozy and lot’s of seating area for big summer dinner parties. But I also needed low maintenance plants. I don’t have a green thumb so flowers and complicated gardening is not an option. And to think, we owned a Christmas tree farm before this!
We kept everything simple and green (perfect for the great northwest). I love those European gardens so it was a perfect to go along with nature’s color palette with lots of greens, browns and tans. To keep things inviting, I added just a nod to mod with some black and white accents and little pops of color and glam. And who wouldn’t feel welcome with one of my fave finds, my ‘WELCOME TO MY HOOD’ door mat?!
I’m a sucker for detail. So it was in the little things that I really wanted to bring our backyard together! My aunts are all amazing gardeners and one of my favorite things about their yards is that there are these secret little discoveries to be made as you walk and explore. I wanted to create that, so I used whimsical touches like the glass sun catcher flower and the ceramic wood chime to offer opportunities for discovery. And of course there were existing elements that helped like the fountain and gazebo.
My absolute favorite elements of our backyard are the two things that my amazing husband built for us! Our sectional was inspired by this one from Restoration Hardware and our beautiful 10-person Farm Table was inspired by Pottery Barn. Can you go wrong when your inspiration comes from RH and PB? I think not!
Our farm-table has allowed us to now have two eating areas (think grownup and kids) because there is also a round table in the gazebo. The table and benches took about 6 hours to build and then we gave it a nice dark stain. To break up the area of the deck and make it feel a little more purposeful, I got an 8×10 Natural Fiber Rug from Overstock (see it here).
The Gazebo has completed Phase 1 but I definitely want to continue to freshen it up. I’m thinking a fresh coat of pain but can’t decide on a color (any ideas?). The two things I knew I wanted instantly were light and ambiance. To bring light back into the gazebo we found this amazing Mason Jar chandelier. It’s a plug-in fixture so we were able to just route an outlet under the dirt and back to the gazebo!! For ambiance we added two wine bottle tiki torches (one for each side of the entrance of the Gazebo). Now we can continue to stay out late into the summer and early fall with plenty of light, ambiance and bonus: bug repellant!
I hope you’ve enjoyed our little backyard tour! Thanks for being here!!
– – – S O U R C E L I S T – – –
Built in Sectional
- ‘S’ Monogram Pillow by Kess
- Tommy Bahama Green Palm Pillow by Mica Blue
- Black & White Wavy Check & Plus Pillows by Fresh Workshop
- Black & White Stripe Pillow – Ikea
- Tan Sectional Cushions – Allen & Roth at Lowes
- Big Roller Lawn Dice by RH2 Creations – This brings family Yahtzee to whole new level!
- Juggling Bags from Once I was – Our juggling skills are still in question but for those from the 90’s, we did get to show the kids hacky sack.
- Garden Stool – Home Goods
- Welcome to My Hood Mat by Eryn Makes *these are such a great price with so many funny options!
- Sun Catcher Glass Flower by Statements By Design
Glass Geometric Terrarium by Sandhill Shores
- Air Plants by Sea & Asters *these things are so cool, you can put them in anything because they are completely dry.
- Ceramic Wind Chime by Earth Wind Stoneware
- Mini Air Plant Cube by Sea & Asters
- Mason Jar Chandelier by Boots N Gus
- Green Wine Bottle Tiki Torch by Great Bottles of Fire