Featured on the Sue Bryce Education Podcast Again!
So thrilled to be back on the SBE podcast. This time chatting on the clubhouse podcast about all things online marketing and branding. Becoming a high end brand has been an intentional process over the last decade of being a professional photographer and I share what I've learned and experienced over the years.
OMG - Guess who's on the Sue Bryce Education Podcast!!!
Aahhhhh, excuse me while I freak out a little!!!!
Imposter syndrome is something I struggle with all the time so when Nikki Closser popped into my DM and asked me to be on the Sue Bryce Education / Portrait System podcast, I was half tempted to ask her if she had the right person!
But my motto is to say yes afraid and so I said “Yes Please” instead!
Super excited to be chatting to the fabulous Julie of Togs in Business (a photography education membership group) about limiting beliefs and the importance of self value & mindset in running your photography business.
I’ve been a professional photographer for almost a decade now. And I made the decision early on that I was going to go the boutique route with my photography business.
I wanted a high touch business where my clients felt well looked after, listened to and cared for throughout the process. I also wanted to be able to provide my clients with top of the line handcrafted premium products.
This all comes at a price and I knew I wouldn’t be for everyone. But this left room for me to work with clients I truly adore and who value what I have to offer.
When I relocated to the UK in 2019, I was temporarily destabilised and for a moment there, I forgot who I was & what I stood for.
Thankfully I quickly realised that I was off track and was able to do the value & mindset work to get my business back to WOP standards. In the 5 months I’ve been open since then #Covidlife, I’ve been fortunate to work with some truly wonderful clients who have re-affirmed my decision to be a boutique business.
The benefit of running your own business is that you get to create exactly what you want. But sometimes the biggest obstacle to our success is our mindset!
Finding your photography voice is so important! It helps tell clients what makes you unique and helps you stand out from a sea of photographers. I lost my voice for a little while a few years back. And I wanted to share my story in case it helps anyone currently struggling to stand out from the crowd.
I started off photographing weddings 10 years ago and it was all going pretty well with my business growing year on year.
Then about 7 years into my business, I started to suffer a crisis of confidence, which was mostly thanks to #Instagramenvy! I wasn't booking as many clients as I wanted to. And I was convinced it was because my work wasn't "trendy" enough.
At first, I tried to shoot in the way I thought people wanted so I could attract more clients but trying to be something I wasn't didn't work very well for me. In my post processing, I would always return to my light and airy aesthetic.
Unable to book the clients I wanted at the price I wanted, I feared that no one was interested in my hearing my photography voice anymore and actually considered stopping with weddings altogether!
But that idea was giving up wedding photography was heartbreaking!!! I'm a hopeless romantic who loves LOVE!!! I love documenting love stories, the new beginnings and the whole family coming together to celebrate! I love that I can gift my couple the joy of reliving this one amazing day over and over again!
So finally, I decided that I would stick with my weddings but photograph them unapologetically my way! I decided having 2 or 3 ideal WOP clients was infinitely better than faking it with 10 indifferent clients who only cared about price.
And you know what, it worked! 12 months later, I was celebrating my best year to date! I was fully booked, had hit both my financial and booking goals and worked with INCREDIBLE clients who were raving fans! I couldn't have been happier or more grateful!
So. I'm sharing this message for anyone who is struggling to find their photographic voice, style or ideal client. Commit to doing what you love consistently! Do it with all your heart and soul and might and you WILL get the results you want!
If you need help figuring it all out, then be sure to reach out to me and I'll see how I can help you move your business forward.
Why Your Pricing Isn't As Important As You Think
These memes always crack me up! But pricing your photography can be tough to figure out! As small business owners - we can totally relate right to the pain of cheap clients who are constantly asking for discounts!!! But this meme about pricing did get me thinking and I thought I would share 2 quick lessons I've learned over the last 10 years of building my photography business:
1. YOUR PRICING DOESN'T MATTER!!!
Yup - I said it! As I've built my business, I've been every price point from cheap to "expensive". I have lost clients to both cheaper and more expensive photographers; and I have also WON clients even when I was the more expensive photographer.
It really doesn’t matter what your price is as long as your client feels they are getting more VALUE than they are paying for!!!
Pro Tip: Now this is a whole topic on its own so here are a couple of things to think about...Do your photography clients feel good about spending money with you? Or do they feel like the overpaid you? Are you offering great value to your clients? What else do you offer your clients other than just beautiful pictures? I found it helpful to do a marketing course to help me figure out my unique selling proposition. This helped me show clients that I was more than a button pusher.
2. ARE YOU MARKETING TO THE RIGHT CLIENT?
It doesn’t matter how “cheap” or “affordable” you are, a client isn’t going to hire you if they DO NOT VALUE what you do!!!! Read that again!!!
I learnt this particular lesson the hard way! In the early days, I would give friends & family large discounts of over 50% and they would still say I was too expensive!
This was rather heartbreaking as I thought that if the people closest to me didn't believe my work was worth it - then who was I to dare to ask for more?!?
But then I began to realise that not everyone valued photography like I do! It was such a relief to finally understand that it had less to do with me and more to do with my associates not being my clients! We are all different and that’s ok! #findyourtribe #attractyourtribe
Realising this gave me the freedom to focus on pleasing clients who truly VALUE what I do and politely redirect people who don’t. This has been one of the most liberating experiences of my career.
I now work with clients who value what I do, are willing to pay my prices and incredibly appreciative of what I create for them! #blessed #grateful #winning #livingthedream
Pro Tip: Are you attracting a lot of clients who keep telling you - you are too expensive? Then take a look at WHAT message you are sending with your work / brand / client experience and also take a look at WHERE you are putting out this message. This will make a huge difference in terms of who you attract to our business.
If you struggle with your pricing your photography, valuing your products and services, talking to clients etc. and would like some personalised coaching to help you work through your blocks, then I would love to help. Click on this link right here so we can chat about how I can help you transform your business.
You see as a child, I quickly realised I had no artistic talent whatsoever. In fact, my art teacher literally laughed in my face when I told him I was considering Art for GCSE. He made it very clear that doing so would be a waste of both our time. So I had resigned myself to the fact that I got the science genes while my siblings (both talented artists in their own rights) got the artsy end of the gene pool. #boo #theystolemytalent
So when I discovered in December 2009 that I could be create through photography and people actually responded positively to my work - it was quite a revelation!
However discovering photography was just the beginning. From 2009 to 2012, it was more of a side hustle as I worked full time as an investment banker. I went full-time in 2012 after I had my first son and I quickly realised that there was a big difference between being a part time photographer earning some money on the side and a full time photographer trying to build a business.
It wasn't an easy journey but I invested a lot in education and I was able to build a successful business and brand that doubled in size every year. Now I want to share all I have learned to help up and coming wedding and portrait photographers like you build profitable businesses.
Dane Sanders, author of Fast Track Photographer, discovered during a 3 year study that 60% of photographers give up in their first year, 25% of the remaining will quit in their second and only 15% of the remaning photographers make it through their 3rd year of business. So in simple English, if 100 photographers started their business today, only 5 photographers would still have thriving businesses in 3 years time! How crazy is that?!?!
But then again I'm really not surprised! Building a photography business is hard! However with the right guidance and education, it is very possible to build a thriving and passionated photography business you love!
Does this sound like you?
You love photography
People have said you are good
They pay you to photograph them and their loved ones
You are doing hundreds of shoots a year
But wait, where's all the money you're supposed to be making?
You start to feel burnt out and resentful about your cheap clients
You don't quite love photography like you used to
You are thinking of quitting and getting a 9 to 5 so you can pay your bills
Passion is great but it just isn't enough to build a sustainable business. I want you to know it is more than possible to build a successful business as a photographer. But you can't just love photography, you've got to learn to love business too.
If you are a photographer in your first 5 years of business and all of this sounds all too familiar, then I'd love to chat about how I can help you set up tools and systems to build a thriving and profitable business you love.
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