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The Monthly Giveaway – September Ed.

Posted by on September 5, 2012 with 9 Comments
Are you happy or sad?  Summer is over, and I’m a mix of grateful and sad…  Grateful to get back to routine.  Sad that every last ‘summer to-do’ item didn’t get done.  But we did have an amazing summer, and I hope you did, as well.  We went on 6 mini trips, tried mutton-busting at the fair, re-decorated the living room and master bedroom, and had a lemonade stand!  It was a great summer.  I’ll admit that not nearly as much work as I had intended to accomplish was… actually, accomplished…  But it was so, so worth it!  Enjoying my family will always be worth more than booking another client.   That being said…. Now it’s time to get back to work and focus on making Fall a great season for my business and my family!  I’m going to start with setting out some chocolate chip cookies and some milk in cute jugs to celebrate the first day of school, and tomorrow I’ll get started on ordering post cards to announce my Christmas Mini Sessions.   1. (4) Plastic Milk Bottles &  Fall Variety Striped Paper Straws by Sweet Party Shop (Doesn’t every kid deserve milk and cookies as a prop in a photo shoot?) 2. Large Chalkboard Speech Bubble by Chalk Style (The perfect prop!!) 3. Oh Snap Print (11×14) by Project Type 4. Playdate Note Cards by Monkey Mind Design  5. Newsboy Newborn Beanie by Maddie Lou Beanies 6. 1 Dozen homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies by A Season to Celebrate 7. Camera Notebook by Little Alexander 8. The Roma by  ONA BAGS (This is the perfect insert to turn any bag into a camera bag!) 9. Family Bunting Banner by Butterfly Above 10 Carnival Prop Felt Sticks by Perfectionate  

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Filed Under: Giveaways
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

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Kari’s Story of Increasing Engagement & Wedding Sales

Posted by on August 31, 2012 with 6 Comments
Hello! I’m Kari.  I have a blessed little business called Kari Rae Photography and I live in Portland, Oregon. It’s great here! I’m here to tell you a tale of how I began to THRIVE – and how this thriving thing is continuing to be a very real, continuous action in my business and in my life.  How, you might ask?  With much thanks to Leah (the fabulous creator of this very blog!)  Oh, and much thanks to Leah’s program The Thriving Photographer.  It’s been a great journey for me. And now I feel awkward.  Like you’re supposed to introduce yourself back to me…but you are stuck on the other side of the always-magical internet and you just can’t talk back!  It’s sad.  I hope we really do meet someday, you and I.  But right now, I just wish someone was here to ask me questions so I could tell you my story without feeling so one-sided. Or I guess I could pretend, and ask myself questions ;)  Sound good?  Yes!  (See, it’s already starting…) Tell us Kari, what has your business been like for the last couple years? It’s been a BLAST!  I love love looove working with people, especially lovebirds.  Being a photographer is quite the dream job for me…mostly.  I’m not naturally a businesswoman, so sales and marketing have always been a little tough.  Okay.  Really tough. I started taking clients 2 years ago.  After a session, I would e-mail them a gallery of edited images along with a list of available prints & prices.  Sometimes, they would order!  Sometimes, they wouldn’t.  But on average, on top of the session fee, I would make a sale that was between $50-$150.  $200 was pushing it.  And, well, as you might imagine…  I either had to shoot about 38 sessions per day, or I had to get my rear in gear! Sooo… did you hit the photographic gym? Why yes, yes I did!  I was already going to school to get myself a nice little degree in photography, so my photography skills were already lifting weights.  It’s the Suzy Salesman inside of me that needed a serious ab-workout (because sales are at the core of a successful photographer… ha!  Get it?). Following Go{4}Pro for a while now, I knew that Leah had yet to lead me astray in this business.  So, I trusted that The Thriving Photographer would be all she claimed it would be….and I dove in. What exactly does “diving in” entail?  I’m so glad you asked! I listened to the audio tracks and started learning.  Learning how to brand myself and have consistent, memorable branding, how to define and build my niche, restructure my pricing and create collections of prints and products that my clients will LOVE, and how to do in-person ordering appointments (aka Session Premieres) like a champ! There is SO MUCH more in the program (like marketing with other business, getting and growing referrals, rocking your workflow, and HAVING A GREAT LIFE), but I had just photographed an engagement session and I needed to implement this FAST!  I decided to do a Session Premiere with them…. my first ever attempt at in-person sales.  And to be completely honest with you, I was terrified…… …How did it go?? Well – here is the e-mail I sent Leah that night… I had my first ordering appointment after Thrive this weekend. It was for an engagement session and I didn’t even mention the premiere until their photos were ready. I set my expectations low, and it took a lot of pressure off. Then… I sold my middle collection!!!!!! PLUS a guest book! When I usually make an extra $50-200 (and $200 is pushing it) after the session, I got a check yesterday for $950! My husband could NOT believe it, and I only believed it because I trust you ;) but I’m still in awe!” Cool! Congratulations! But I’m curious… did the results last? Oh, girl, did they EVER!  As a “Thriving Photographer,” I am part of a secret Facebook group with all my thriving ladies (to be sung to the tune of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” of course).  It’s actually the best photography group I’ve ever been a part of, on or off of Facebook.  We support, encourage, and build each other up – they’re like my 100+ best friends!   Anyway, here is what I wrote to those friends just two sessions later… “Yahoo! My third Session Premiere and I finally felt semi-confident going into it! :) Not to mention, they ordered my highest collection. ($1,100!!!!!!!) And they talked about how much they value photography and don’t want to skimp on photos. This couple is getting married in 4 weeks and they still totally invested in their engagement photos! Needless to say, I love them. :)” Okay. Teach me your ways. Where do you find clients like that? These are what we call “Thrive Clients.” They are clients who understand the value of custom photography and know that it is WORTH it to invest in their images!  They are awesome!  And you know what is actually the best part?  Thrive Clients aren’t born that way, 99% of the time.  It’s actually The Thriving Photographer that taught me how to value myself, educate my clients, and provide an experience that leaves no question about the worth of their photography. AWESOME, right?   So what happens if your client just isn’t exactly a Thrive Client? Actually, I just had a Wedding Premiere. Going into it, I didn’t have very high expectations, and they didn’t seem to fit into being Thrive Clients much at all. But I decided to act like they were anyway ;) They LOVED the photos – the bride was in tears at the end of the slideshow.  She went on to explain why she wanted a big album with as many pages as possible to preserve her day and every memory involved.  By the sound of it, her experience with us and the quality of the images turned her into a Thrive Client!   Her husband was a bit hesitant at first, but told her that he knew this was important, and that it was up to HER to decide which collection she wanted!  Husbands, take note… ;) Anyway, they purchased my middle collection (Leah teaches us that the middle collection is our magic collection!) and even upgraded the album they had pre-ordered!  It was a $2,050 sale!  Mind you, this is on top of a pre-made wedding package they had bought.  Their wedding had just doubled in sales because I implemented Thrive.  This is real life, you guys. What makes you the most excited about your new thriving lifestyle?  I’ve had a lot of fun throughout my entire photography journey, but I’m having a lot MORE fun now!  I believe in myself and my gifts (yes, including business and marketing skills!), I am confident in the work I create, and most of all, I love offering my clients an amazing experience.  Investing in my clients is extremely rewarding… they deserve it! I believe that all of us want to feel deeply known and deeply loved; and one goal in my life and my business is to show people that they are both of these things. Thrive is opening up my calendar and my wallet for many opportunities to prove it, through fun adventures and the joy of giving.  THIS gets me excited!  THIS is what I was created for!  I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me :-D Have your relationships changed since you started Thriving? Making a lot of money is great, don’t get me wrong.  But to me, it’s great because time is money!  (Leah is always talking about creating time for life and I’m discovering that this is exactly what she means…) Because it takes far less time to bring in the same income – and more! – I can now spend amazing quality time with my husband, invest in the lives of my friends and family, and be actively involved in the church, helping to mentor high school students and being available whenever they need some extra lovin’ and encouragement.   These things make me tick – and until I got to Thriving, it was only a dream to be able to do it all!  But now?  YES, my relationships have changed!  It’s a process and I always need to remind myself that people are more important than business.  Overall though, it is Thrive that makes my do-it-all dream a beautiful, tangible reality. That’s great! I’m going to tell all of my photog friends about Thrive! Seriously, do it. I’m already telling all of mine! Thanks for chatting, Kari. It’s been real. Anytime, my friend..anytime. :)
Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

The Most Creative Child Photography – Ever! (17 photos)

Posted by on August 29, 2012 with 11 Comments
Jason Lee is an incredibly talented portrait and wedding photographer out of California… But today I have to share with you what really makes you fall in love with him and that is the incredible imagery that he creates as a daddy for his two girls Kristin and Kayla. What makes Jason’s work so interesting for me (and makes me love taking it in), is his natural gift of capturing the world with all the creativity of the most imaginative child. You can’t help but feel happy enjoying Jason’s creativity.  So… Here’s to a happy day! last day of school

01 copy

smart cookie feeling the pinch

119

goooooaaal

001

Thanks. when push comes to shove_smhoppy fathers day

In one ear, out the other.

just add water

bieber fever

Angry Birds

He's gonna find out who's been naughty or nice......

it's like pulling teeth

you light up my life

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS FOR JASON… POST THEM IN THE COMMENTS AND WE WILL SEE IF WE CAN GET YOU SOME ANSWERS! 

Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Business Cards They Won’t Forget

Posted by on August 24, 2012 with 0 Comments

It’s the moment you’ve waited for… {drum roll, please}  They ask for your business card! 

Now what are you going to hand over?  Will it accurately portray your talent and the quality and experience that you provide? 

Here are some very creative and inspiring business card ideas that ensure that these businesses won’t be forgotten!  Pay attention to how they make you feel.  How curious you are to know more…

Does your business card do that? 

die cut business card in sleeve from shop around

 

MindWarp Business Cardsdie cut, foil stamped business card for MindWarp

 

transparent business cardstransparent business card from Creattica

 

Mary Oh Identity 05die cut card by branding identity design

letterpress business card with printed edge by Elegante Press

 Business Cards of WoodWood die cut business card. Seen on Elitesidesign

Letterpress Business Cards of Jason McGrew

2 color letterpress round coaster business card w/ red edge printcreated by Print&Grainround letter press card by print and grain

 .

Acrylic black business cardsacrylic black business card from Creattica

Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

When the other products don’t live up to their hype…

Posted by on August 22, 2012 with 0 Comments
  The Thriving Photographer is continuing to change not only businesses, but also lives…  And it’s happening all over the world!  Read this awesome email I received this weekend from Nicky Martin of Melbourne, Australia! After trying everything else out there, Nicky decided to bite the bullet and follow the recommendation from a friend on another site…    I have been struggling with two key aspects of my business since I started:  pricing and marketing.  I have trawled the net for at least 3 years looking for the answers.    I bought Easy as Pie and Lux Undercover and another pricing formula after rave reviews from other photographers on the net, but it still didn’t feel quite right.  I was getting enquiries but I wasn’t getting many bookings.  I doubted my talent, I doubted my prices, I doubted the whole idea of quitting my mundane office job to follow my dream.  I was losing my confidence fast. That changed when I introduced myself on Chic Critique and mentioned my struggles.  Another forum member said she understood where I was coming from and was singing the praises of The Thriving Photographer.  I bit the bullet and bought the program that day.  And WOW!!  It is honest and informative and takes you through everything from pricing, planning, branding, marketing and so much more.  It is inspirational and it makes so much sense.  I can’t believe I didn’t know about these concepts before.  It takes time to work through the program and I am still working on it, but I have set my prices and for the first time I feel confident they are right for me. At first I was disappointed that it was an audio program.  I am a visual person and love watching teachers.  But this is so cool.  I have downloaded the audio files onto my android phone, I pop in some headphones and I can listen to Leah’s words right before sleep, while I’m walking the dog or as I’m working.  It is so practical. Thank you Leah for sharing your business brain!  For changing my mindset, rebuilding my confidence and giving me workable strategies that fit with my values and beliefs.  Priceless. Nicky Martin (Melbourne, Australia) 
Filed Under: Business, Profits & Sales
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Those that suck the life from you

Posted by on August 20, 2012 with 0 Comments
Surround yourself with the people who you want to be your very-best-you around!  It’s not about being surrounded by perfect people, but rather… perfect people for you Sometimes we have to let go of some people in order to make room for the very best version of ourselves. 

*so sorry but we couldn’t find a source

Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

How to Stop Clients from Last-Minute Cancellations

Posted by on August 17, 2012 with 2 Comments
This is such a great question!  I’m really glad you asked it, because I have no doubts that there are lots of people who have felt exactly like you do, Pamela!!

First, let’s just be super clear about why cancellations are such a big problem.  Each session scheduled is an opportunity for revenue.  Based on how much you charge and how many sessions you choose to schedule a week – you have your projected monthly income.  For example, if I plan for 4 sessions a month and I know that my average sale is $2,000, I have a projected income of $8,000 per month.  If one of of my clients cancels, and I can’t fill that week’s spot, I’ve lost 25% of my revenue.  And that, of course, is no good!

When I was first starting, I remember having a lot of reschedules and cancellations; it was really hard to plan my life when my work schedule could never be trusted!  So how do we make sure this doesn’t happen?

The great news is that once you’ve put a few simple measures in place, cancellations will become a thing of the past.

STEP 1: IT’S IN WRITING.  The most important thing we can do is to simply educate our clients.  Often they just don’t realize how much canceling on short notice effects you.  Make sure your policies are clearly outlined in your contract as well as on your website.

STEP 2: NON-REFUNDABLE SESSION FEE.  Their money is often far more respected than your time.  When clients have invested a chuck of change on the session fee, and know that if they don’t give you at least 48 to 72 hrs notice that they’ve forfeited that retainer…  That seems to take care of the problem in one fell swoop!

STEP 3: BE UNDERSTANDING.  I really hate being taken advantage of, and sometimes (unfortunately) that is what happens to all of us.  But most of the time, I have found that a little bit of compassion and understanding will go much farther than hostility and pettiness.  Kids get sick, and black eyes right before family pictures?  Well, they happen.  (It’s part of Murphy’s Law, I think.)  Rescheduling and then capturing amazing, portfolio-worthy images?  Every happy moment I get with the child once he is feeling tip-top again?  All of that is absolutely worth the extra effort it might take to accommodate their last-minute hiccup. Remember, if you’ve collected the session fee and you’re prices are properly established, then you’re planning to make the bulk of your income from the sale.  Being willing to wait a little longer, especially when the session fee has already been collected, isn’t that big of a deal.  At least not to you.

STEP 4: WEDDING RETAINER.  I want to touch base on the idea of a wedding cancellation. You should always collect a retainer.  (50% of the total coverage is the standard.)  You can choose to request the full 50% upon booking, or 25% at time of booking with the remainder due 10 days before the actual wedding day.  It’s really important to make them write you a check.  This will solidify in the bride’s mind that “Wedding Photographer” may now be checked off her list.


By educating clients and collecting the session fee upfront (i.e., at time of booking) – you will be able to bring your cancellations from ‘frequent’ to almost ‘non-existent!’

And the fine print can be as simple as this:

Session Fee Collected.  Non-refundable if cancellation does not occur within 48 hours.
Filed Under: Profits & Sales
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).