Profitable way the Lawnmower Man’s business THRIVES in the winter! [How YOU can too!]

If you were a lawn mowing company, what would you do to stay busy in the winter?

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You may or may not have guessed right…..


You start a shoveling business!

That’s right - you shovel snow.

Many seasonal business do this. When they have an “S” curve business where there’s a sharp spike UP in business and sharp spikes DOWN in business part(s) of the year, they need to “add another S curve” to even it out and earn great income all year long, instead of taking a loss parts of the year.

This is an excellent example of how photographers can act like the lawn guy and create their OWN income in the slow December through February.

So what can YOU do to create an opposite “S” curve in the winter months?

Well, you’ve got a few options.

You can take a seasonal job shoveling snow…just kidding, I’m here to help you grow your photo business not take on manual labor, am I right?

The other option is to create a new type of portrait session for those post-holiday months.

The key here is that people CAN’T book this session in your “busy season.”

So offering a family portrait special?

Not going to fly…because why would they book you in January when they can in August?

Here’s what I do personally, and what I’ve taught other photographers to do:

  1. I photograph tween portrait sessions, and it has a twist that gets moms super excited about it. This creates an “S” curve that packs my December-March, the time when I’m usually dead. This adds stability to my business, to get me out of “feast or famine” mode.

  2. I market them in a way that gets moms emotional about it.

  3. I share my WHY and moms love it. (Read below!) Here’s the thing - tween sessions aren’t just about my “bottom line” or “making money,” either.It’s also part of my mission……part of what I BELIEVE in…

  4. I execute my marketing and it takes very little time…

I won’t go too in depth here, because you can learn exactly how I market my session at this link, step by step, so you can create that “S” curve revenue.

Obviously there are other types of sessions you could take on.

So WHY do I choose tweens?

TWO reasons:


#1: Besides the amazing impact you can have on tweens, you ALSO have perhaps even a BIGGER impact on their MOMS…

Because let's face it, Moms want, more than ANYTHING, to do even something tiny to help their tween feel better about themselves.

But often? They feel shut out from their tweens. They don’t know if their tween is having trouble with the mean girls or not, because THIS is the time in the life of a tween where mom just isn’t “cool” anymore.

#2: You can have massive explosive impact on your own bank account and the way your business runs, when you do these right.

You see, there isn’t a preconceived “way” that tween sessions are done, unlike other markets, where a boucoir session is usually 2-3 changes, includes hair and makeup, and lasts 90 minutes - 3 hours…We have the chance to CHANGE things, streamline things, shorten things, make it much more efficient. Therefore, we make more per hour.

Real stats from my books:


  • I grew my income 2.5x for the first quarter I did tween sessions, and exceeded that every year since - ALL because of Tween Sessions

  • My average hourly income for tween sessions is $267  (including marketing, booking, shooting, prepping, editing, selling, reminders, and ALL things associated)

  • My average senior/family session hourly income is $134 (again, including all time associated)

  • My average wedding+ engagement hourly income is $113

  • I need to bring in $103/hour in my business just to break even and pay myself a modest salary…..so spending time on tween sessions is a NO BRAINER.

That makes my tween sessions INSANELY more profitable than anything else I do.

Are you starting to see just how profitable tween sessions can be?

You’re sitting here nodding your head. You’re wondering how exactly to implement tween sessions in the slow season even in your area that has a lot of competition. You love the mission behind tween sessions, and are seeing that it can help your bank account while ALSO helping others, adding value to their lives where they quite literally need it most.

I won’t leave you hanging - I have a free class that will show you the 5 steps to booking these sessions, and you can register here.


It’s called 5 Explosive Winter Booking Secrets to generate consistent cash from the untapped tween market, and get booked with 0 competition.


Are you in?

Before I sign off, I promised to tell you a bit about my mission not just as a photographer, not just as a parent, not just as an educator, but as a human.

It’s my mission to make sure the “starving photographer artist” becomes a thing of the past.

But my mission is ALSO to help tweens have an unshakeable belief in themselves before hitting high school.

It’s ALSO to help moms of tweens finally feel like there IS something they can do for their tween, instead of feeling COMPLETELY helpless! To help SHOW them they are amazing moms that can indeed make a positive impact on their tweens.

If your beliefs are similar to mine, then learning how to book tweens for impact on people and your own business could really be inline with YOU and YOUR mission, and I encourage you to take the next step forward...


Signup for 5 Explosive Winter Booking Secrets to generate consistent cash from the untapped tween market, and get booked with 0 competition.


What I Wish I Knew When Starting a Photography Business With No Experience

***The Perspective of 9 industry-wide experts

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I was 22 and fresh out of photography school.

The world of portrait and wedding photography was mine for they taking (as they say), and I envisioned rainbows, sprinkly-cupcakes and puppy dogs in my photography endeavor.

I had the technical skills (YEEHAW F-stops and Shutter Speeds).

I felt I was pretty creative (plenty of grass-stains on my britches from gettin-down low!)

I thought I could just start a photography business with no experience and succeed.

All I had to do was finish my website (again), and the clients would flock in, I’d have my dream career, and I’d live happily ever after (READ: move out of my parents house).

That was delusional Lisa.

The Lisa of today knows the “rest of the story.”

...Of floundering to get clients.

Of finally GETTING clients, but realizing I was losing money.

Of the fear of gossip and rejection when I finally raised my price the first time (and then the second...and then the 3rd).

The heartbreak and feeling of shame when leads would say to me “you’re too expensive.”

There are so many things I wish I would have known “back when,” and so many things I wish I could say to my 22-year-old self.

Mainly, the “2 M’s". Messaging & Mindset.

Messaging meaning how to actually COMMUNICATE how valuable your photography is to your clients, and why YOU are the only person can do what you do how you do it.

Mindset meaning without CONFIDENCE, you’ll never have the courage to get past fear and actually do what you need to do…CHANGE that pricing…SAY your pricing…

I go more in-depth on these topics in other blog posts (and this free master class), so I’ll let you scroll to past articles for that.

The thing is, I’m not alone in this. I talk to photographers every day who either have gone through these types of things, or ARE going through them now.

And so I’ve gathered insights and advice from 8 of the top photography & business leaders in portrait and wedding photography.

While I asked them a question about when they were starting out, this is truly advice you can take and run with no matter where you are in your business.



Question:

When you were first starting your photography business, what do you wish you would have known? Did anything surprise you about starting a photography business?


Jenika-McDavitt-Psychology-for-photographers

When I first started photographing people, it surprised me how infrequently my major concern of the moment intersected with theirs.  During the shoot I thought about light, location, and composition, along with keeping up happy conversation. They were concerned - almost solely - with how they looked.  (Early on, I lost count how many candid shots were lost because a client reached over to slick back their kid's hair as I opened my shutter.) Deciding what products to offer, I thought about paper and finishes.  But when they decided what products to buy, none of these things were their first or even fourth considerations.

Some of this is unavoidable - it's your job to think through certain things and create beautiful images and products.  But never forget that figuring out your client's first priorities (and making those things your priorities too) will always get you the farthest in business.

If you can build their confidence in the moment, and take their focus off their lip gloss and onto the people they're with, it changes their experience.  If you prioritize making sure the images are flattering to them, and show who they really are, it can change their self-esteem. (Reality check: People will put a bathroom selfie as their profile photo, toilet in the background and all, if they think their chin and arms look good.  You can have the greatest composition with golden light and leading lines, but if they are self-conscious about how you captured them, that photo will probably get buried.  Do beautiful work, but don't care so much about your own photo goals that you lose touch with theirs.)  When it comes time to sell the images you made, find out what they hope to experience, feel, and do - then focus on ways you can meet those needs.  Don't just introduce your whole entire line and say "so, what do you want?" Winnow down for them which products get them what they really want, and describe each in terms of how it achieves the goal they just told you about.

Explore their experience and have empathy for them, and you will always last longer in business (not to mention change more lives.)

Learn more about Jenika here.


Nigel Merrick - Prime Focus Lab

Although I'm originally from the UK, I started my portrait business in 2004 when I moved to Memphis TN after 4 years of running an underwater photo-video company where our clients were vacationing SCUBA divers in the Egyptian Red Sea or the Cayman Islands. Essentially, they were a captive audience because we spent an entire day with them on a boat.

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In Memphis, not only did I start a land-based photography venture from scratch, I had to do so in a new country. A quick reality check revealed that I no longer had a captive audience but needed to create actual marketing to attract and convert prospects into clients.

Like so many other new photographers, I didn't know much about business and marketing at the time, and I mistakenly assumed that building a website to showcase my photography would be enough to get bookings.

Looking back, I wish I'd understood more about the power of the emotional elements of photography in marketing. For example, telling the stories of the photos and my subjects, in words, would have allowed me to connect with more people in a deep meaningful way where they could more clearly see the intangible value of what I had to offer.

This would have dramatically shortened the time I spent struggling every day to get new bookings and is a key marketing principle that I teach photographers today as a marketing coach.

Find out more here.


Cole Joseph - Cole’s Classroom

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When I was first starting my photography business I wish I would have spent more time & money really spoiling my clients and giving them a client experience that made them TELL EVERYONE!  Don't get me wrong...we built a very successful business from just hard work and word of mouth, so it's not like our clients didn't have a great experience, but, I would have gone even MORE over the top to really WOW them and stand-out and not only rely on taking great photos and quick turn around times etc...  


That's what all the good photographers do, so it's more important than ever to really be different and stand out!

Find out more about Cole & Cole’s Classroom at this link.


Matt Hoaglin - Matthoaglin.com

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We started our business 11 years ago and didn’t know how to price our services or products. So we looked around at what the other photographers in town were doing and priced ourselves right in the middle. Looking back, that makes no sense, as their expenses were totally different than ours and we didn’t even know if they were profitable! We could have been basing our pricing off a failing model. And years later we found out they were failed models.  Most of those photographers are not around anymore.

Eventually we learned how to price for profit and for our expenses. Through our PPA membership, we attended studio management classes, with Successware (not sure if they are still offered) and that was a turning point for us. Not only are we priced where we should be, but we feel confident charging what we charge because we know why.

Equally important, is learning to put profit first. We learned this much later and wish we had known this from the very beginning. You should set up accounts to put things like profit away (start with 1% of gross sales, for example), a new equipment account, sales tax payable, etc - so when it’s time to spend that money, it’s already there. Really we are just hiding money from ourselves.  This gives you a financially healthy business and peace of mind. The best book on the market on this subject is Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. It is a must read.

Find our more about Matt and Matthoaglin.com at this link.


Lori Nordstrom - Simply Blessed

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I wish I knew these top 5 things NOT to do!

# 1.  FAIL TO PLAN

It's said that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail!  

Most of us start in this business the same way.  We're so excited about our hobby that has turned into something that our family and friends are praising us for!  We hear things like "you're so talented!", "I love your work" and we start photographing our friends and friends of friends and we're having a great time doing it!  Then one day we wake up and wonder where the heck the last year of our life went! Anyone feel that way? I know that I did!

A business plan is important, right from the beginning.


#2. BE TOO EAGER FOR A STUDIO SPACE

So many photographers go through this whole idea of "I'll finally be 'for real' when I get a retail location!" Instead, really look at the value of what you have to offer right now!  I promise you there is value in however you decide to do business. Look for that value and then learn to communicate it to your client!

#3. HIRE EMPLOYEES WITH NO JOB DESCRIPTIONS

This was a biggie for me.  When I opened up my first studio in 2000, I jumped in big.  I bought a large building and I also went digital that year!  It was a huge time of crash-and-burn for me. I was up all night working and was just dying for help!!  Soooo, I started hiring people, and basically the only thing that I said was "help!!". I've always heard "Hire the personality and train the task", and I totally believe in that! However, you have to KNOW what you NEED and have job descriptions put together before you can train that task!

#4. GIVE AWAY THE FARM

Yep, we've all been guilty of this! me too.  We get started in photography, and get into the "portfolio building" stage and we GIVE. STUFF. AWAY.  We all do it! We not only give away a free session, but we feel we aren't good enough to charge appropriately so either prices are way, way WAY too low OR we think we need to throw things in!  With this FREE session! Don't do that!! Your client "GETS" to be the model for your portfolio. Offer to show and sell her the images after the session.

#5. THINK LIKE AN ARTIST INSTEAD OF A BUSINESS PERSON

I think it's great to be an artist, and even for that to be your first love.  But when the time comes to run your business and run it profitably, you have to start thinking like a business person.  This is SO hard - for 99% of photographers! We love what we do so much that we just think it's all going to fall into place, but to make your business work for you, instead of the other way around, you've got to start thinking like a business owner.  Putting systems in place, planning, and knowing your numbers will change your business and your life dramatically.

Lori Nordstrom

www.simplyblessed.life


Jared Bauman - ShootDotEdit

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One of the things I wish I had known was how relational the photography business really is (for that matter, probably most personal service businesses!). I thought it was vital to spend lots of time on my branding, my website, my portfolio, etc. And while these things are important, the vast majority of your business will end up coming from the relationships you establish with your clients and fellow vendors, and the people they refer you. It took me years to truly lean into building relationship as a priority.

Another area I wish I had known more about is focusing on what is truly important in your business. Giving your clients what they want is most important, but I started by giving my clients what I wanted. Clients want a great experience on the day of their event. They want their images quickly so they can enjoy them and share with family and friends. Over the years, I learned I needed to set up great systems for all the rest, like editing, blogging, and marketing, so that I could spend the bulk of my time focusing on what my clients found most important.  

Learn more about Jared and ShootDotEdit at this link.


Paul & Melissa Pruitt - Photographer Entrepreneurs

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When you were first starting your photography business, what do you wish you would have known?

Show less work and only your best work. This is what you will be judged by. To be successful, it is 90% business, which includes marketing and sales and 10% of the photography itself. Not everyone is your client and be ok with that fact. You are worth being paid for your eye and expertise.

Did anything surprise you about starting a photography business?

How easy it was to separate myself from the competition, because the majority of the photographers in my marketplace don't focus on the marketing and business side of photography. Once you understand your business is like any other product or service in the marketplace and that you can control how you are positioned on that virtual store shelf, then you open up new possibilities to attracting the clients you really want.

Find our more about the Pruitt’s and Photographer Entrepreneurs at this link.


ben-hartley-six-figure-photography

Ben has a special recorded message answering these questions for you!

Don’t miss out…there’s a toy dinosaur involved!

Find out more here: sixfigurephotography.com


Want to learn MORE about how to grow your photography business and get more bookings?

How to get people to THANK you for your marketing...by actually communicating the value of your photography the RIGHT way

So yesterday we went over marketing horror stories, and a few things they had in common.

 

And it’s a BIG one if you recall - it’s that tactics alone like posting to Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Ads, Email lists, etc, alone?

 

Won’t get you very far, if you don’t have the RIGHT message…

 

That marketing is the communication of the value of your products and services. The things I listed above are the tactics, and really the CHANNELS of where you put that message.

 

And when you get that message right, and you can communicate that value to the right people, people won’t be annoyed by your marketing.

 

They’ll ENJOY it.

Look FORWARD to it.

It will brighten their day.

They’ll finally “get it.”

They’ll BOOK you.

And then they’ll actually THANK you.

 

A prime example is this email I got just 4 days ago from a Mom who booked a tween session in response to my marketing (she was not a past client):

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I don’t think any of us started as photographers for the money.

We had other reasons.

But ultimately, we all need to make a wage for our businesses.

And the more goodness you can bring into the world, the more value you can bring to others, the more your business will grow for the long haul.

 

So how do we actually DO that?

And not only DO that...but create marketing that actually COMMUNICATES that...

 

We sell the positive side-effect of our photography…

And once we figure out what that is, we not only emphasize that by showing instead of telling, but by baking it into our actual business, so our business and sessions themselves BECOME marketing on their own.

 

But let's get into the nitty gritty of that:

 

Step 1: Recognize the “side effects”

Step 2: What do people buy that gives the same side effect?

Step 3: Why should people care?

Step 4: What are the NEGATIVE side effects of your business/product/session?

Step 5: Tell the specific STORIES of the positive side effect(s), in detail (ex: looking at an album with your grandchildren and telling the story of how Katie used to do the floss like no other and laughing…..)

Step 6: Tell YOUR story on why that side-effect matters to YOU

Step 7: Bake MORE of the side effects into your business...Into your products, into your sessions, into your viewing, into your phone calls.

  • If your side effect is self-love for tweens...then how can you give them more of that? ANSWER: questionnaires from parents. Make them feel good how they are now, not with tons of makeup or clothes that “aren’t them.” Check out the video that explains it all here.

Step 8: Make it easy for people to share your story

Step 9: Bake it into your blog posts...your about page...your captions on social media posts.

 

So let's start with the FIRST step, which is recognizing the side effect.

 

What is the side effect that after somebody has a session with you and has those lovely photos in their hands?

What do they FEEL?

How do they REACT?

Do they feel closer to their family?

Feel beautiful i their own skin?

Do they open their album during every family occasion and laugh and reminisce for years?

Do they remember the things and memories they would have otherwise forgotten?

 

For me, a huge part of my business is playing toward the side effect of people feeling good about themselves.

 

One way I do this very successfully, is with my tween “Who I Am” sessions.

But I’ve used similar for quite a few other types of sessions...it really is baked into my business.

 

And so my messaging, no matter what social media channel it goes on, is based around tweens feeling good about themselves, and ultimately moms feeling like they’re being a good mom for helping their tween out.

 

Because while a mom may NOT be searching for a tween session (most aren’t), they probably ARE dealing with the challenge of their tween…

 

The heartbreak of the popular girls making fun of her.

The self-consciousness of wearing braces and glasses.

The horror of her daughter thinking she’s fat (when really she’s a twig)

 

But I don’t just TELL them a session would equal self esteem directly…

I SHOW them with words.

 

You can get my scripts with more details at this link.

 

Cheers!

Lisa Edwards

 

P.S. Obviously there is a lot that goes into this type of marketing...it’s not just figuring out the side-effect you sell, but communicating it, and honestly the MOST important part?

 

Is baking it INTO your business…

Because baking it into your business?

Makes your session and business the marketing, and the marketing your business…[total mind F righ?]

 

You can learn how I bake the side-effect into my business with tween sessions in this 60 minute video at this link.

Sometimes it just goes ALL wrong: top photography marketing horror stories from YOU

Last week I shared my marketing horror story from back in 2012, and asked YOU to share yours.

I got quite a few replies back.

I wanted to share a few of them with you.

Because we can all learn from what has happened with others, and take those experiences as lessons for the future.

The first two are very very similar:

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And...

  Man oh man, Jodi and “ready to learn.”. It totally sucks to not reap the benefit of your time and energy into marketing...but the fact that you were truly trying to support a good cause? Now THAT is heartbreaking.       I think there is a big push in the photo industry  to partner with charities, but the truth is we need to rely on ourselves, instead of hoping that they will successfully help us get the bookings we need…       ...The fact is, many charities don’t have an email list, big social following, or put the info into a “newsletter” with 10 other items (trust me, been there...got zero bookings even though the email went out to a big list).        Now that being said, it’s GREAT to help people out and partner with a charity, and I encourage it.        But I look at it a bit different…       I feel we need to rely on ourselves to get the photography bookings, not on a charity (or other business, or anyone else for that matter), and the donation is purely one out of the goodness of ourselves and our business.       On another note: even if we put our message out there on  facebook pages and groups, facebook ads, email marketing, etc, it doesn’t matter if the message doesn’t resonate.       The message needs to be compelling.    It needs to tell them why they should care.       Donating to a charity isn’t enough for people to be compelled to purchase a photography session or product.    They still need to want the session - they need to feel they need the session.       You MUST communicate why your photography and your session is so highly valuable.    And we all KNOW how valuable photography is.       It’s the thing people say that, if their home was on fire, after getting their family and pets out, they would next take their photos and albums out of the house with them.       If our photographs are so highly valuable that we would leave all of our other belongings - or $900 phone, our jewelry, our $500 Vitamix, our EVERYTHING…..       Then why is it so hard for us to COMMUNICATE that value?       Marketing is just that: communicating the value of our products and services.    On the other hand, posting to Facebook, Instagram, Emailing your list, those are TACTICS.        When you can’t communicate the value of your products and services, then it doesn’t matter how many times you post to social media and email your list.     People won’t get why they should go to you over the competition.    People won’t get why they should book a session now, instead of waiting until they lose the extra pounds (which may or may not ever happen).    People won’t get why they should book you instead of just having a friend photograph their senior pictures.       So I went on a bit longer then expected, so I’ll stop here for the day.    I’ll post a few other horror stories at the bottom of this article.       Tomorrow I’ll get into how I personally communicate my value, and the surprising reaction I get from people when I do it…       ...Lets just say I never thought people would think I’m a good person for the way I market, even though in this particular situation I’m not donating anything to charity.       Until tomorrow!       Cheers!    Lisa Edwards    

Man oh man, Jodi and “ready to learn.”. It totally sucks to not reap the benefit of your time and energy into marketing...but the fact that you were truly trying to support a good cause? Now THAT is heartbreaking.

 

I think there is a big push in the photo industry  to partner with charities, but the truth is we need to rely on ourselves, instead of hoping that they will successfully help us get the bookings we need…

 

...The fact is, many charities don’t have an email list, big social following, or put the info into a “newsletter” with 10 other items (trust me, been there...got zero bookings even though the email went out to a big list).

 

Now that being said, it’s GREAT to help people out and partner with a charity, and I encourage it.

 

But I look at it a bit different…

 

I feel we need to rely on ourselves to get the photography bookings, not on a charity (or other business, or anyone else for that matter), and the donation is purely one out of the goodness of ourselves and our business.

 

On another note: even if we put our message out there on  facebook pages and groups, facebook ads, email marketing, etc, it doesn’t matter if the message doesn’t resonate.

 

The message needs to be compelling.

It needs to tell them why they should care.

 

Donating to a charity isn’t enough for people to be compelled to purchase a photography session or product.

They still need to want the session - they need to feel they need the session.

 

You MUST communicate why your photography and your session is so highly valuable.

And we all KNOW how valuable photography is.

 

It’s the thing people say that, if their home was on fire, after getting their family and pets out, they would next take their photos and albums out of the house with them.

 

If our photographs are so highly valuable that we would leave all of our other belongings - or $900 phone, our jewelry, our $500 Vitamix, our EVERYTHING…..

 

Then why is it so hard for us to COMMUNICATE that value?

 

Marketing is just that: communicating the value of our products and services.

On the other hand, posting to Facebook, Instagram, Emailing your list, those are TACTICS.

 

When you can’t communicate the value of your products and services, then it doesn’t matter how many times you post to social media and email your list.

People won’t get why they should go to you over the competition.

People won’t get why they should book a session now, instead of waiting until they lose the extra pounds (which may or may not ever happen).

People won’t get why they should book you instead of just having a friend photograph their senior pictures.

 

So I went on a bit longer then expected, so I’ll stop here for the day.

I’ll post a few other horror stories at the bottom of this article.

 

Tomorrow I’ll get into how I personally communicate my value, and the surprising reaction I get from people when I do it…

 

...Lets just say I never thought people would think I’m a good person for the way I market, even though in this particular situation I’m not donating anything to charity.

 

Until tomorrow!

 

Cheers!

Lisa Edwards

 

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Matt - how GREAT it is that you realized the lesson in that story - that "laying down and playing dead" is certainly not a good marketing strategy! A few others to go along with this are: trying something but not sticking with it and being consistent (you may be JUST around the corner from it working!) And failing at something and not learning, tweaking and trying again.

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Steve - this is a heart breaking story. There could be a few places to look at to start getting booked. Firstly - your message (as explained earlier in the email). It may be that people just aren't sure WHY they should book YOU, and why what you do isn't just different, but MATTERS to them. This can be a hard thing to look at and reflect on. If we realize (which I have in the past) that what we're doing is very similar to everybody else not in the work we do but in mattering to our clients, then we have to change.

 

 

My marketing horror story in my photography business

 

Only 5 people showed up.

That’s it.

The seemingly brilliant “free facebook photo day” took me days to plan and organize, $50 for the home-made background, and tons of Facebook Marketing.

Posting, creating an event, inviting people.

 

Seriously.

Only 5 people showed up.

The speaker I had listened to gave us, his small audience of around 15 photographers,  a different tale…

 

....A tale of viral word-of-mouth,

...A tale of excited adults, teenagers, and children pouring into the event and sharing their images with all.

...A tale of bringing in new business.

 

But that wasn’t the case for me, obviously.

I was ashamed.

Ashamed of how few people came.

Ashamed when people asked me, “oh how did your Facebook photo event thing go?”


 

Worse?

My biggest competition did the SAME EVENT the next week, with a better backdrop, no rain, and more people.

Did she copy me?

Nope.

We were at the same regional conference learning from the same guy.

But I doubt her event brought her in any new business either.

 

So why am I sharing this horror story with you?

This story of hard work, excitement and anticipation on my end, and then shame that “nobody showed up to my Facebook photo event?”

 

Because there’s a lesson here.

 

The “Free Facebook Photo” event thing was a random tactic with no real strategy for me or my business.

 

Unless you consider the terrible strategy of screaming “look at me, pay attention!” Without ever considering that maybe a free facebook photo just wasn’t ACTUALLY a compelling reason to come in to my studio.

 

“Screaming ‘look at me’ just doesn’t work...instead, you need to whisper, ‘I get you’” - Bernadette Jiwa from Marketing: A Love Story

 

Re-read that quote for a second, and let it sink in.

 

….

 

It’s a big-ass, high level concept, right?

 

One that makes a lot of sense…

 

Truly, it is in my opinion, the RIGHT way to market…

 

Marketing that will make you feel good, instead of feeling annoyed that for the 7th time this week you are getting yet ANOTHER friend request then personal message from somebody you haven’t talked to since high school (and you were only acquaintances any ways) asking you if you would like to try a loose weight with a shake challenge, try a teeth whitening toothpaste, or plump your lips with the latest lip gloss.

 

But this concept needs a bit of explaining, something to make it more concrete.

 

Once mastered, this concept will help you stand out WITHOUT screaming, without a million tactics, and without being copied.

 

That will be an email for next week ;)

 

Do me a favor - hit reply and tell me what your biggest marketing horror story is!

 

Cheers!

Lisa Edwards


 

P.S. I want to share the most interesting marketing horror stories in an email with my commentary! Please, hit reply and tell me YOUR marketing horror story...if you’d like it to stay anonymous, I can do that, just say the word ;)

 

I feel we can all learn from each other.

I was backed up editing 5 weddings, 3 portraits + Free Gift

I wanted to pull my hair out.

I was in the middle of wedding season about 6 years ago, and had 5 weddings and 3 portrait sessions I still needed to edit.

I had a wedding almost every weekend to come.

I was coming home for dinner, then would leave right after to go back to work, while my husband watched our one-year-old.

I wouldn’t get back until after my son Jackson was all tucked into bed and peacefully asleep. Which sounds really nice, until you realize you’re missing out on bedtime stories & hugs and kisses goodnight.

On top of that, I was waiting WAY too long to get back to potential new portrait clients and new wedding clients.

They were going with other photographers before I could even click reply.

I just didn’t have time…

It was a vicious cycle.

I remember thinking - “This isn’t how it’s supposed to be...this isn’t why I became a photographer.”

 

[I know I mentioned a gift in the subject line - it IS coming later in this email, promise :) ]

 

I was trying to figure out how I was going to do it...how it could be possible to solve one of my biggest challenges: editing.

 

I remembered that earlier that year I had gone to WPPI and watched a class on working less and making more.

 

The speaker’s name was Jared, and he talked about outsourcing your editing.

I’ll be honest, it had freaked me out.

How would I even do that?

I get so far behind, what if I don’t have time to send them out and get them back in time?

I was picky...What if the images weren’t up to my standard?

 

But I knew that I couldn’t live the way I was living any more...the time away from my baby boy, the 70-hour-work-weeks... I needed to try SOMETHING.

 

It was then that I tried my first job with Jared Bauman’s company, ShootDotEdit.

I sent 700 wedding images in (they do portraits as well), and a few days later I got my images back and opened them up in Lightroom.

 

How did I feel?

FREEDOM! (Like Mel Gibson yelling it in Braveheart)

 

Those 5 hours I normally spent on a wedding just getting the exposure, color balance and skin tone right?

GONE.

Like literally - gone.

I popped on my favorite “overall” preset, creatively edited my favorite handful for a slideshow, clicked export in Lightroom, and DONE!

 

That was the beginning of having ALL of my wedding and portrait jobs edited with ShootDotEdit.

 

But really, the BEST part was I could finally feel like a normal human and work semi-normal hours, read bedtime stories to my one-year-old, and work on actually growing my business…

 

Because let’s face it - me not getting back to people for days (or gulp...a week or more), and not getting brides their images on time?

 

BAD for business (me scolding myself back then).

 

And as promised, here’s a special gift for you, from my friend Jared and his team at ShootDotEdit:

 

Free 30 Day Trial: http://bit.ly/2Eu3Fyw

Use promo code: go6figure


 

Happy Brides Refer MORE weddings, more often… Don’t make them wait!

 

Get Caught Up.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! With our new Style Match service, we can quickly learn your personal style, and start delivering images beautifully corrected to your style as fast as 48 hours, guaranteed less than 5 business days.

 

Work with Real and Caring Humans.

We know it sounds silly, but it’s a big deal! Talk with caring, real people in our office in (sunny) San Diego. Chat 1-on-1 with your editor. Phone, Online Chat, email, whatever is best for you. We’ll meet you where you are at!

 

Make Everything Extraordinary.

Whether you define your success as a wedding photographer as more bookings, happier customers, or being able to spend more time with your family, we’re here to help power that success!

Free 30 Day Trial: http://bit.ly/2Eu3Fyw

Use promo code: go6figure

 

My wish to you is more time with your family, and more time to spend working on your business.

Cheers!

Lisa Edwards

P.S. For a while, I didn’t want my competition to know about ShootDotEdit…

I feel pretty guilty saying that…

But back then, I was pretty insecure about my business.

I could see that I was caught up and able to work on my business, and they weren’t.

It felt to me like a competitive advantage.

And it was…

But as I got to be pretty good friends with another photographer in my small town, I “spilled the beans” as you would say.

It just felt wrong not telling her - it felt like I was in some way lying to her, even though “technically” I wasn’t.

She was the same as me - hesitant, a perfectionist, and unsure about handing things off.

But she finally did - and let me tell you, there’s nothing better than to see a friend thriving instead of struggling.

 

So I guess the point of this story is that if you’re still unsure, that’s pretty normal.

Which is why this 30-day-trial is so awesome, so you can try without risk.

 

Free 30 Day Trial: http://bit.ly/2Eu3Fyw

Use promo code: go6figure

Baked into a Babies Brain - why we’re all wired for THIS kind of marketing

After culling through 3,659 mini session images, I realized my cheeks were sore.

That’s strange, I thought.

 

It took me all of 2 seconds to realize what was happening.

Ever time saw a photo of a kid smiling, I would smile too!

 

And I aint no special gosh darn snowflake...chances are you’re the same.

 

You see a smile, you smile back.

Simple as that.

 

There's actual science behind this as well -

 

Here it is BRIEFLY...

 

Psychoanalyst Donal Winnicott was the guy that figured out the “social smile” of a baby.

 

That our FIRST emotional action as a baby, is to smile back at our mother.

 

It teaches us that our OWN joy and happiness INCREASE when we make Joy and HAPPINESS in the others!

 

And, there’s evidence showing that the mother-baby bond absolutely SKYROCKETS when this “smile exchange” thing starts happening.

 

And what marketers have realized, is it’s in our brain to “GIFT HAPPINESS”

 

(I call this “The Smiling Baby Trigger,” by the way)

 

“Gift Happiness…Ditch the pitch. Instead, start an energy exchange. Create content that reminds us of our own capacity for excitement, happiness and vivacity so we want to share in it with others.”

– Google Think Insights, google.com/think


 

Now, the thing is, big-name companies and marketers know how to actually use this as part of their marketing plan.

 

Sans the babies of course.

 

But they know HOW to “gift happiness” in their marketing.

 

It’s why some things get shared and go viral, and others don’t.

 

It’s how to get seen WITHOUT the click bait, without a negative message.

 

And in fact, this is one of the 3 Psychological Pillars of marketing to moms.

 

Because moms are who BUY from you…

 

I’ll be diving deeper into this pillar of marketing

 

during this free masterclass.

 

I’ll give you concrete examples (including my exact wording) on how I use this powerful concept.

 

It’s free, and called: 5 Steps to a 6K Weekend using the Flop-Proof Mini Session Formula

 

You’ll not ONLY discover The 3 psychological strategies behind what makes moms buy, and more importantly, how you can create a mini-session to give them exactly what they want.

 

But also:

  • How to create a truly compelling reason for people to book by creating something irresistible using the Concept Kicker Method.

  • Why most mini sessions fail to book enough clients and make enough money and why my Flop-Proof Formula won't "give away the farm," but instead leave mom saying "that was incredible" and investing in a great sale.

 

  • Why Moms are THE most lucrative target for your marketing, and how to quickly and effectively book any mini session a mom would purchase - family, children, mom & me, and more. This does NOT work for a mini session a mom would NOT purchase

  • Get your mini session marketing to go viral with the Smiling Baby Trigger Hint: this is baked into our brains when we are born! No need to be a newborn photographer.

  • How to pull in 6k over a single weekend any time of year, WITHOUT in-person sales, and without selling your soul screaming "50% off canvases!"

  • "How to skin a cat 4 different ways" The exact numbers and strategies behind easily pulling in $6,000 in one weekend from mini sessions.

Click here to signup.



Cheers!

Lisa “lets make positive marketing the NORM!” Edwards

 

P.S. Want CONCRETE examples of The Smiling Baby Trigger in action? I’ll give my specific verbage (plus what NOT to do) during this free master class.

[What Mermaids, a Mediocre Motor Lodge and Piano Pat taught me about getting booked instead of overlooked]

 My husband and I a few years ago at our FAVORITE destination...it's a motor lodge, and here's WHY...

My husband and I a few years ago at our FAVORITE destination...it's a motor lodge, and here's WHY...

***This is the written version of the Facebook Live you can watch here.


No bedbugs.

But not extraordinary.

They don’t call us by name

We don’t get champagne for our anniversary…

And it’s more expensive than a nicer hotel with the hotwire hot deal.

 

AND there’s dated wallpaper...but oh, how I LOVE the dated wallpaper :)

 

So why are my husband and I planning our third trip to stay at this motor lodge / bar / casino for our 8th anniversary?

 

What I’ll share with you can make a BIG impact in your photo business….

 

It is….

Mermaids and Piano Pat :)

 

The tiki lounge attached to the motor lodge has a window to the swimming pool, and every evening their are human mermaids swimming.

 

AND “Piano Pat,” a 71-year-old women who sings Black-Hole-Sun and Sweet Caroline to her electric organ.

 

It’s a hoot...a blast...Me and my husband love it :)

 

FYI this isn’t just about “creating something unique” and grabbing quick attention for the win...not at all.

 

This is a big concept.

Not the mermaids or Piano Pat.

But the concept BEHIND it.

 

And it’s not just about finding a “Schtick” or “something crazy.”

Which is where most not just photographers and business owners go WRONG.

 

A one-off publicity stunt will grab attention for 3 seconds and then people will think “haha! That’s cheesy...let's keep-on drivin!”

 

This is something BIGGER.

 

And there’s much more nuance to it all.

 

Most people (myself about a year ago) would say -

 

OK - so the point is to find a schick...get those weird arm-bobble men that the car-lots use….

...or get a kid to dress up in a camera costume and spin a sign…

 

“Kid.”

I must be getting old if a college-human is now a “kid.”

 

Anywho-

 

You can see me imitate the bobble-arm-things at about the 5 min mark here

 

Bobble-arm and sign-spinners are so very “used-car-salesman.”

And I don’t want you to be like a used car salesman (or women too).

 

I want you to be like the Mermaids and Piano Pat :)

 

You see - they are NOT a schtick.

They’re entertainment.


 

And you can’t just pay to see them -

You see them as part of being a patron of the hotel and/or bar.

 

And that’s where people get it WRONG.

So very, very wrong.

 

It would be a terrible business model to have people pay to see a stand-alone tank with mermaids and Piano Pat Playing.

 

Not very profitable.

That would be like trying to create a new circus with one act, and expect people to pay.

 

The REAL money is made on the back-end.

The drinks sold.

The rooms occupied.

 

Nobody pays the mermaids or piano pat (except for tips of course).

But the bar and hotel pay them.

And the bar and hotel are very much rewarded…

 

Have you ever heard the saying “People come in for the sports car and leave with the station wagon?”

 

Same thing here.

 

People come in for Piano Pat and the Mermaids, and leave with a big bar tab and rooms rented.

MUCH more than they would make off two circus tickets :)

 

So how can YOU become the Piano Pat & Mermaids - without becoming like a used car salesman and still keeping your dignity?

 

Everyone’s telling you “BE UNIQUE” and “BE DIFFERENT” but how do you do that without hiring the 3-armed man and bearded lady for a quick and unprofitable win?

 

I cover this strategy, “The Concept Kicker” BIG TIME in my free master class:

5 Steps to a 6K Weekend using the Flop-Proof Mini Session Formula

 

You’ll discover:

  • How to create a truly compelling reason for people to book by creating something irresistible using the Concept Kicker Method.

  • Why most mini sessions fail to book enough clients and make enough money and why my Flop-Proof Formula won't "give away the farm," but instead leave mom saying "that was incredible" and investing in a great sale.

  • The 3 psychological strategies behind what makes moms buy, and more importantly, how you can create a mini-session to give them exactly what they want.

  • Why Moms are THE most lucrative target for your marketing, and how to quickly and effectively book any mini session a mom would purchase - family, children, mom & me, and more. This does NOT work for a mini session a mom would NOT purchase

  • Get your mini session marketing to go viral with the Smiling Baby Trigger Hint: this is baked into our brains when we are born! No need to be a newborn photographer.

  • How to pull in 6k over a single weekend any time of year, WITHOUT in-person sales, and without selling your soul screaming "50% off canvases!"

  • "How to skin a cat 4 different ways" The exact numbers and strategies behind easily pulling in $6,000 in one weekend from mini sessions.

 

>>Signup HERE<<

A Baby Seller, an Overlooked Photographer, and an Invisible City

get more bookings photography

This is the true story of a Baby Seller, an Overlooked Photographer, and an Invisible City…

These are their stories…

 

“DUN DUN”

……………………………………………………………………………………

 

“If this was the US border, your numbers would be considered a success in keeping people OUT” - a hired tourism expert about my hometown of Butte, Montana.

 

But just 55 miles down mostly one-lane highways,

A town population more-horses-than-people thrives in tourism.

 

“Why are we invisible?

We are at the intersection of two major highways…

Why aren’t our billboards working?

They just drive right by and bring their tourism elsewhere…

What do they have we don’t?”

 

…………………………………………………………………………………….

 

The claw-foot tub Gerty The Baby Seller once likely bathed in is shoved in a corner in my studio’s storage room, next to the bin marked boys 2-3T winter clothes.

 

The alley I walk through to take the trash out was where she would pass newborn babies still wet from birth through the window of a car to the “new parents” arms.

 

The birth certificates were forged.

This was selling babies on the black market.

Many people believe they were illegitimate children of politicians and prostitutes.

Some have found half siblings via DNA blood tests.

 

This is my town.

 

My hometown of Butte, Montana is in my (very biased) opinion one of the most interesting places in the US.

 

Maybe it’s because I’m in love with layers of history, and past lives…

Walking the streets and imagining what it was like in the 1890’s.

Feeling the intricate details on an original door - and thinking about the mothers, brothers, children, from a century ago, seeing and feeling the exact same door.

Breathing in the haunting and moist always-50-degree-air deep in the belly of the underground mine tour.

 

Butte has all of these mind-tingling experiences.

But then why are we overlooked?

 

No Wait.

Being overlooked is an understatement…



 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………...

 

10 years ago as a budding photographer just one or so years into it, I remember thinking...

 

“Why are they just passing me by and booking everyone else?

What does my competition have that I don’t have?

Can’t they see I have so many cool things to offer if they’d just give me the chance?”

 

Eventually I would get more bookings…

...but once I raised my prices a handful of years ago, I would once again be left feeling like I was fighting a never-ending battle.

 

“Why are they just passing me by and booking everyone else?

What does my competition have that I don’t have?

Can’t they see I have so many cool things to offer if they’d just give me the chance?”

 

As you can see, being overlooked isn’t reserved for photographers.

Cities like mine are overlooked and passed right over.

The small hidden Chinese restaurant.

A child with 2 siblings.

The soft spoken girl in class.

 

Being overlooked isn’t reserved for any person, profession or place.

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

So what does the competition have that we don’t?

 

Most likely, nothing.

As photographers, you and your competitors both likely have solid work...work that most people won’t know the difference between solid, good and great (but photographers will notice).

 

For my hometown, the simple answer is neither city really has anything the other doesn’t have.

That of course could be argued, as both cities have different assets.

 

But in general both cities are very historical and have many stories like the”Gertie” story.

Many similar experiences.

 

So than what gives?

 

I think this next chunk will explain a lot.

 

………………………………………………………

 

Why does nobody stop in Good-Ol-Butte?

 

You take a stab at it.

Here are the billboards you’d see if traveling by our town.

***(Of course there are other tourism activities going on in other media, but this will give you an idea)

 

Billboard #1: “Stop in Butte and stay with us, we have free hot breakfast!”

Billboard #2: “Montana’s Premier Convenience Store!”

Billboard #3: “Visit Butte! Recreation! Berkeley Pit! Living History! Historic Homes and Buildings! Museums and Tours!”

 

Would you stop on your way through?

 

Would you make it your destination based off that?

 

Didn’t think so….

 

Why not?

 

Well, very simply put, there is no compelling reason to stop.

 

While the billboards...or “marketing” are true…

 

It’s that the “compelling” part is missing.

 

It isn’t communicated at ALL.

 

Everything communicated is something you can get

Every.

Single.

Place.

On.

Earth.

 

But it’s not my towns fault - it’s not for lack of trying.

 

We’re a small town without a big tourism marketing budget, and those hired likely aren’t marketing experts..

 

...Just like little old me those past years - in a small town with a small marketing budget, doing what I can.

 

I mean, how would they (and I) ever know how to market like the big-wig companies?

 

Are you seeing how this relates to your photo business?

 

Before I sign off -

 

I want to let you know that tomorrow I’m going to take this a step further on Facebook Live and share why a mediocre (but clean) motor lodge has become a destination for my husband and I…

 

I’ll share the high-level concept of making your photo business a “destination” instead of a “pass-through” starting tomorrow and throughout the next week.

 

Including marketing strategies the big-wigs use but are pretty much invisible to the rest of us.

 

But first - will you do me a favor?

Will you comment below, “when you’re driving on the highway, what makes YOU stop at an unplanned location (town, rest stop, little historical sign, whatever) and WHY?”

 

Cheers!

Lisa Edwards

 

P.S. Go ahead and click “like” on the fan page so you don’t miss the Facebook Live tomorrow (Wednesday) at 3 pm Mountain time (5 pm Eastern)

I made 24 bucks my 1st year. How “pickle farming” grew me to 6 figures. Without vinegar.

_DSC6895-P.jpg

Let me tell you a quick story before I deep dive into my miserable first year of business.

 

Then I’ll share the strategies I used to grow to 24k, then 50k, then $99,978 (I’m calling it 6 figures!) 3 years later.

 

I heard a version of this story recently from a class by Andre Chaperon (not an affiliate link...just giving credit where credit is due!)

 

It goes something like this:

 

There are two farmers.

They decide to go in together and buy and sell pickles at the farmer’s market.

They load up a truck with pickles they buy at $2/jar.

They spend all of Saturday at the market, selling pickles at $2/jar.

At the end of the day, they do the math and realize they just broke even.

Farmer 1 says to Farmer 2:

“Next time I guess we need to load up a bigger truck.”

 

I’m sure you can see what’s wrong with that comment at the end.

 

A bigger truck just equals more work, and will still be break even on the pickles!

 

The moral of the story, is that if it’s not profitable now, scaling up will only make things worse.


 

So what’s this got to do with my photography business?

And how can you scale to 6 figures, is it impossible?

(the short answer is NO - I’ll share the simple math equation below, and you can get more free resources here).

 

So the first year I was in business, I was also working full-time as a secretary at a copier and toner refill company.

 

Like many of you, I was working my tail off to hopefully in the end make it a full-time and profitable gig.

 

After all was said and done, I profited a whopping $24, without paying myself a dime!

Now obviously it isn’t as cut and dry as the picle truck example, nothing is.

I had to buy gear, prints, website hosting, the list goes on. You get it.

 

But at that point I realized things weren’t working…


 

If I doubled my clients from 18 that year to 36 clients the next year, I would STILL only make $48!

 

Ofcourse that’s given the same average sale, same price list, same expenses, etc.

 

It wasn’t the number of clients I was getting, it was the equation I was working with.

 

2-2=0

It will ALWAYS = 0.

 

Any ways - I knew I needed to gain some knowledge on how to make my business work.

 

I became addicted to conferences, blog posts, online learning, you named it.

 

And one thing I came to realize, was that it was all great information.

 

However, there was a very specific ORDER in which things needed to be done.

And nobody was really talking about that.

 

If you just started getting more clients but you weren’t even making a profit, just like in the above example, you would just work more and still not make a dime!

 

The same is true for time, by the way.

Even if you’re making say 50k/year, and you’re working 50 hours a week.

And say you want to earn 100k next year….so you want to double your clients.

Now using simple math, you’ll be working 100 hrs a week!

That just doesn’t work. At least not if you want to have a family, a life, or get any sleep.

Again, their are obviously variables, but we’re going to keep it simple.

 

So the question becomes -

 

How do we change 2-2=0,

 

To 3-2=1? (Earning more per client)

Or even 2-1=1? (Cutting expenses)

Or how about 3-1=2? (BOTH earning more per client AND cutting expenses)

 

At that point we can scale. We can absolutely scale!

 

A truck starting at 3-1=2

Then doubling its volume

Will now be 6-2=4.

 

Thus also doubling it’s profit.

And of course there are a lot more complex things going on...like when you scale up some of your expenses will stay the same, so you’ll make a higher profit. But also you may start needing to hire on help, so you profit less there.

We aren’t going to go into those complex issues today.


 

So let me ask you a question -

At the current state of your business, whether you’re breaking even, losing, or highly profitable, how can you change the equation?

 

Let me give you some ideas and a resource (it’s free) that will help you start putting these things into place.

 

Making more per client:

    • Start either doing in-person-sales (Christine Yodsukar NAILS IT and takes you step by step through the process)

    • Tweaking your marketing to attract people who want to purchase products (Chris Scott talks about how to set your website apart, and literally come to YOU over others, because of your specialized gallery that’s different from the norm)

    • Modify how you sell online (Vicki Taufer teaches how she uses a simple email to get clients ready to purchase more, which works even for online gallery selling)

 

Cutting out the waste:

  • Do you REALLY need all of that extra stuff? (Melissa Reynolds talks about how she scaled down and moved her studio, so she could work less and make more)

  • Stop over spending by knowing what your bills coming up are (Megan Lane talks about a simple system that requires NO accounting knowledge that will let you quickly peak at your bank account and know what you get to spend, what to pay yourself, and what needs to stay in the bank!)

 

Now it’s time to scale!

First, start saving time so that you can use that extra time to market!

  • Save time by using technology in a smart way (Cole teaches how to use a free technology to make thinks run smooth, show you as more professional, and give your clients a better experience)

  • Offload the tasks you don’t need to be doing (Garrett and Jared show you how to look at all of your tasks, and see what you should NOT be doing. They’ll show you how to save time by outsourcing editing, blog posts, and more)

 

Now let's get more clients!

  • Get FOUND and SEEN with simple SEO tweaks (Joy and Time Vertz share very easy tasks that won’t take you much time, to get you to the top of Google)

  • Make your website a client generating machine (Nate Grahek shows you the 5 website mistakes that are very common, and how to tweak your website so you get actual paying clients)

  • Use Facebook ads the RIGHT way (Easton Reynolds will arm you with strategies to write mouth-watering ad copy, and how to grab attention)


 

This is just a SMALL list of the 39 classes at the free 6 Figure Year Online Event that’s about to start!

 

You can signup right here at this link.


 

Cheers!

 

Lisa Edwards

 

P.S. I never really did explain how I scaled up, did I! Just gave you the strategies and the link to the 6 Figure Year Event.

 

I don’t want to leave you hanging - so here’s the simple answer:

 

Step 1: I changed my pricing. From a $199 and $299 package (the only options I had) to $249-$1250. My average changed almost immediately from $250 to $749.

 

Step 2: I was FREAKING AFRAID. To change my pricing. Of what people would think. Of not getting booked. But I knew my numbers, and knew this was a MUST. It was all about knowing my numbers while also figuring out mindset (also a BIG topic of the summit)

 

Step 3: I switched to IPS and projection. In 2009 I quit my day job. And Within 3 years (so in 2011) of that crappy $24 year, I was able to bump my average portrait sale to $1,050 and my average wedding to $2,700. Soon after I started doing engagement sessions with IPS, and that added an extra $600 to each wedding.

 

I started basically taking on less clients, but overall making more per client, and profiting more.

 

Obviously the above is a simple explanation - the classes in the 6FY will give you a lot more how-to, from super smart people on those topics.


 

P.P.S. On Sunday during the live kickoff of the 6FY, you’ll get to learn some of my strategies and also ask me any question...so signup here.

Fly paper and dog vommit - REAL life...i'm kinda embarassed ;)

Try not to judge the toys strewn about my house...(it's actually often way worse!)

...or the fly tape still hanging from last July...

...or the mess of papers in piles on the dining room table that we bought 18 months ago and finally felt like we are "adults" because we got rid of the small square 50's blue table we found in a basement...

This is real life!

  Above: What you'll see during the free      6 Figure Year Online Event

Above: What you'll see during the free 6 Figure Year Online Event

  Above: "Real Life." Fly tape,      dog vomit    and all :)

Above: "Real Life." Fly tape, dog vomit and all :)

But, it's "behind-the-scenes."

You see, today I couldn't record one of the final 6 Figure Year Online [free] event classes in my studio with my guest (Andrew Funderburg...you know, the one and only "Fundy!").

I moved my studio, and the internet hasn't been hooked up yet.

So I had to improvise and figure out a place at home...near a window, without street noise, simple backdrop without clutter/piles of Lego (fun fact, multiple pieces of Lego are still Lego - no "s" added...though here's a fun argument about it).

Anywhoo-

The REAL point here is that appearances are just that: appearances.

Shoot - normally I'm in a hoodie without makeup on with my glasses (that's how I am right now actually while I write this).

And behind every seemingly polished person, business, household, EVERYthing, is "the fly tape."

The not-so-glamorous.

The REAL LIFE.

And the problem is this:

When you're on the internet...browsing Facebook, Instagram, etc, what you're seeing is a highly curated collection of what people WANT you to think they are.

Polished.

Happy.

Well-off.

Messy hair don't care (hm...maybe they do care).

And that?

Is a recipe for feeling like dog vomit (there was literally dog vomit on my staircase because I was in too much of a rush to clean it up this morning...so there's that...it's cleaned up now :)

One of the most important things I've learned over the past few months, especially from the 6 Figure Year Speakers, is to stop looking at people's top .05%.

The .05% "everything is perfect."

The .05% highlight reel of their lives.

Because honestly?

Your .05% highlight reel is JUST as good.

One of the first classes on Day 1 of the 6 Figure Year is Ben Hartley - and he's talking ALL about getting past that type of thing, PLUS other things like fear...of pricing, of standing out, of doing the thing(s) you know you SHOULD be doing to get further in your business (but aren't).

Because it's REALLY hard to do anything.

Especially anything "new," if you think you'll never be able to get anywhere close to the success of people you're seeing online.

Seriously.

Next time you start to think that way, just imagine my fly tape, dog vomit household (that once the kids get home from daycare/school is much, much worse).

Cheers!

Lisa Edwards.

 

P.S. Why haven't we taken the fly tape down?!? It's much like "ad fatigue." Basically, once you're seen something for a long time, you don't even notice it even more. So for us, the fly tape was up last summer, and by the time late September hit, we forgot it even existed.

P.P.S. Do me a favor. If you haven't already, go on and signup for the free 6 Figure Year Online Event (we just announced 5 brand new classes on top of the other 14) at this link. There is SO MUCH value.

I may be biased - as I am the creator. But I gotta say. The information I've learned from these speakers includes a LOT of things I haven't heard before, or are a completely fresh look on a topic I HAVE heard. I've had many "aha" moments...and I'm like an online course/blog post/audioble book nerd.

The 3 Tweaks That Completely Flipped Everything I THOUGHT I Knew About My Photography Business

Some of these may sound so simple.

So obvious.

Because, well, they are.

Chances are at least one (if not ALL) of them will be things that have been right in front of you for years.

But you just haven’t noticed.

Sort of like how it is being a photographer vs. a customer -

WE see the things...the long eyelashes, the way a husband smiles at his wife, the way the peeling paint on the 100-year-old-building shows texture in the golden hour.

And our customers applaud us for seeing the things that have been in front of them all along.

 

These are the best things.

Because they’re simple, not complicated.

They just make sense.

They are beautiful in their simplicity.

They are timeless.

 

I’ll warn you - this blog post is about very  “high-level” strategies and ways of looking at things. Not specific tactics like post 3x/day on facebook.

 

That being said, I won’t leave you hanging on how to implement - I’ll be pointing you in the right direction to free resources, to the speakers, educators, industry leaders who have the specific steps and how-to’s you’ll want to follow-up on.


 

Thing #1: Resentment of clients and even yourself is often due to lack of boundaries and systems.

A simple way to put that into place.

References:

 

Thing #2: Marketing isn’t one big lump “thing” or “activity.” It’s broken down into 4 specific stages with defined lines. If you do them out of order, or skip one, results will be disappointing.

The 4 stages in order, and how to “do it right.”


 

Thing #3: When we can’t get past fear of doing “the thing” we know we need to do, we will not take action. Without action, knowledge is useless.

How to get past our fears of what others will think of our pricing, of reaching out to that vendor or clothing boutique, of getting past “I’m not good enough.”

 

To sum it all up - how you think about your business can drastically change a LOT of things.

  • How much action you take
  • How happy you are in your business
  • How many clients you get
  • And much, much more.

We'd LOVE to have you signup to watch the free classes mentioned during the 6 Figure Year Online Event for portrait and wedding photographers.

You can do so at this link.

Hope to "see" you there!

 

Cheers,

Lisa Edwards

Where the frosting meets the cupcake [Cash + Freedom FINALE!]

The Fourth part of this hugely useful series (yes modesty isn’t a strong suit for me) covers one of THE most important keys to putting your incredible ideas (or stealing one of mine) into action and making a profit from it.

Now to be fair, I could have shared this at the beginning but you know what they say...save the best for last...also they say patience is a virtue...so wait “just” a little longer so I can recap the first three days:

On day one we talked about the need for sessions this time of year (quit your burger-flipin thoughts!

On day two I showed you the crazy idea generator for unique (and profitable) sessions.

On day three I gave you a technique for deciding if your idea was right - if it was for the right people who could (and would be willing to) pay for your idea.

Day four is all about how to move your idea into action.

It’s about creating an offer with a plentiful target market, talking to them in the RIGHT way, and crafting the perfect ratio of creative + traditional. Of wacky + normal. Of insanely brilliant + just plain beautiful.

 

Introducing the Mouthwatering Mini Session + Creative Kicker

You’re going to get my framework for how and why I do this in the next few paragraphs.

But honestly? I have SO MUCH MORE to share with you - my exact strategy for putting a 6k Mini Session in action this diabolically slooooooow late Winter/Spring.

So for those of you who want advanced information, sign up for my Free Master Class event happening next week here. You’ll get to steal my “Celebrate Mother's” session + kicker idea if you’d like, or just use your own idea around the same framework. More on this at the end of the email.

 

What on planet earth is Mouthwatering Mini Session + Creative Kicker?

Well, my friend, I’m so glad you asked.

It’s a creative idea, a wacky idea, an idea SO FUN and/or SO UNIQUE that people want to do it.

However, it’s just a small, tiny little portion of the session. The last 3-5 minutes of a 15 minute mini-session.

Wait a minute...stop the train LISA! Why wouldn’t I create something crazy/creative/wacky out of the whole session?

 

Why in the yellow-snow are you trying to stifle my creativity!

So here’s the thing.

People WANT creative.

People come to YOU because you ARE creative.

But when it comes to opening their pocketbooks and parting with their cash?

More times than not, they’ll spend much, much more on the simply beautiful portraits.

I know this from experience.

In my past years' senior model programs some seniors get a “themed” session that happens during my slow season.

Moms LOVE these! The seniors LOVE these! But they only ever buy a few.

Sure, you could argue that that might be because they just had a senior session 6 months prior.

But it isn’t just with my senior models - it’s with my family sessions, it’s with my tween sessions. The pattern is all the same.

Moms want to buy gifts -> Higher-ticket gifts go to grandparents -> Grandparents like smiles and prettiness and “traditional”

So here it is, and what would one of MY emails be without another math equation?!?

10 Minutes of “pretty,” + “5 minutes of crazy wackiness” = Your Mouth Watering Session + Creative Kicker

You want examples now, don’t you?

You want to know how you can put your Crazy Wacky Mini Session idea into a bonafide marketing-mayhem and make boats of money in weekend, don’t you?

Well I ALSO want to share this with you!

I have seen far, far, FAR too many of my colleagues and even past classmates either quit photography or run themselves ragged with a “$150 Here’s EVERYTHING and the kitchen sink” mini session.

And I hate it - I hate seeing them struggle.

I hate it because they are amazing photographers. I hate it because I know the hours and hours they are spending, and that they deserve to have the money to pay off their credit card, they deserve to make a real living doing something that they love.

I hate it because (deep gulp because this is a scary thing to say) some of them are better photographers than me particularly at kids and newborns, and I feel a tinge of guilt, because they should be making as much if not more than I am.

OK - back to the sarcastic, a bit egotistical photobacon-a-licous (not to be confused with “Fer-ga-licous”) Lisa you’ve all grown to love despite the somewhat annoying tone she uses.

To make things even more fantastic and to continue this winning streak that we have unleashed over the past three weeks, I am teaching you some of my best methods to kick serious money-making photographer ASS in a 60-minute time-frame.

Sign Up for the Master Class “5 Steps to a 6K Winter Weekend - The Exact Path to Book Celebrate Mother's Mini Sessions.”

  • You'll learn to how to create an irresistible offer to pull in 6K this winter, an offer that will make even the most self-conscious mom look past those “extra 20 pounds of baby weight” and feel she needs to book this mini session NOW (not for her, for her kids)!
  • You will understand why most mini sessions fail to pull in more than $150 a pop each (and why yours should be more like $450, even up to $900). And no, I’m absolutely NOT suggesting in-person sales for mini sessions.
  • You'll discover the 3 Psychological Triggers that Make Moms Buy (and how to use this to create both good-will AND sales)

Sign up for this absolutely fantastic, life-changing and business transforming series at this link.

>>> Sign Up For the Free Master Class Here <<<

Cheers to a 6K Winter Weekend!

Lisa Edwards

P.S. “Master Class” is my fancy way of trying to make “webinar” sound less boring and snore-worthy...what do you think, maybe I should change it to “Ass-Kicking Class?” Your comments and thoughts greatly appreciated.

P.P.S. When you click this link about the Master Class - what do you think about my head shot? I was debating use this “nice” one or one of me holding a Photoshopped platter of bacon in my hand with a “surprised” look...too much? Yes, no?

My stinky idea flop that left my studio smelling like animal poop + my bank account empty [Cash + Freedom Step 3]

My studio smelled like dirty animal.

You know, the smell of wood chips + animal poop, kind of like how your 3rd grade classroom smelled when you had Gerry the pet gerbil.

The reason for this?

Baby chicks.

8 cute, soft, utterly adorable -- baby chicks.

But worse than the stench of my studio?

Was that my seemingly AMAZING and CREATIVE idea that I thought nobody else in my town was doing? Cost more than the money I brought in - WOOPS.

 

It flopped.

 

My bank account was empty, and my ego was ashamed. I had people asking me, “how are your baby chick sessions going?”

And the only thing I could say was, “they’re going really good, I’m having a ton of fun!”

Never-mind I only had 3 sessions after spending at least 10 hours doing a test shoot and promoting it on Facebook.

Never-mind I freaking despised the sessions - I couldn’t get the damn baby chicks to do what I wanted while also chasing around crying 3-year-olds.

Never-mind that I was slightly frightened of the baby chicks because they pecked at my hands when I took them out of their cage (really just a WHCC cardboard box with newspaper).

So why did my idea flop?

Welp, I’m going to teach you why it flopped, and show you how to evaluate the ideas you came up from the last email to decide if it’s a Profit Puller, or a Profit Flop-er-oo. this is the process I go through, and I haven’t had something so shameful happen to me since.

...[ Teaser alert ] In tomorrow's email I’m going to share with you the 3-step blueprint I use, that you can too, to transform you irresistible idea into a 6k cash injection ANY time of year (in fact, I do it 3-4 times per year).

Why my idea flopped - aka “Two Ways YOU can have an idea that belly-flops like mine!”

1. The delusional thoughts that lead to my self-destruction.

AKA - “my idea is so unique” syndrome.

While I THOUGHT I was the only one doing a “baby animal” session around Easter, the truth was? I just didn’t know about them yet. There were at least 3 other photographers offering a myriad of baby animal sessions. To put it bluntly, my idea was NOT unique. Why should someone come to my studio when the next studio was doing it for cheaper?

And, I know what you’re thinking, maybe everyone else just copied you. OK, so maybe you’re NOT thinking that, but I was thinking that 4 years ago when I did this session. The truth? They probably weren’t copying me.

LESSON: your “unique” idea might not be unique.

2. The wimpy idea vs. idea’s on steroids.

The other photographers did the idea better. It was like they had my idea but on steroids. One photographer didn’t just have baby chicks, she had goats and bunnies! Another photographer had baby chicks and lambs! The point was, they had at least two types of animals. I only had one (and thank god for that)!

LESSON: your idea needs to be ON STEROIDS if other photographers are doing something similar.

Take 10 seconds, and go ahead and laugh at my expense.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of our system, let's take a looksey at the ideas you came up with from the previous email, and go through the “steroids” process. That is, the process of making your idea unique and not something every other photographer down the street is doing. All the benefits of steroids without the acne or roid-rage outbursts.

The Steroid Infused Twist Process

Step 1: Mix-and-match two categories from the idea generator worksheet (you can find it here).

Create at least 20 mix-and-match combinations.

Now, before you start shunning your ideas thinking things like, “sure it’s creative, but nobody would hang a wall portrait of that idea...nobody would buy an entire ALBUM of that idea…” I want you to look PAST that.

Because, 1) you’re right, most people won’t by a wall portrait of an album of these crazy ideas (like white-washing each other with snow, for example...ok, maybe I PERSONALLY would).

BUT, 2) your session won’t necessarily BE only the “steroid-infused twist.” The twist is what gets them to notice you and gets them in the door, the rest of the session is where the money is being made (more on the steps to do this in next week’s lesson)

Target Market + Twist = Irresistible Idea

Target market examples from your worksheet would be things like hockey team, tweens, people who sled, and snowmobilers.

Twist ideas are your wacky, sometimes incredibly insane ideas from your worksheet from categories such as“things to throw” or “things people eat this time of year.”

Example: Ice skaters throwing buckets of water (a la “flour” photos, or do an indoor spin on it and actually DO flour photos of ice skaters), snowmobilers and their families drinking cocoa and roasting marshmallows at their day-camp, tween sledding party.

Step 2: Evaluate if this idea can be profitable, by using the Pay Certainty Test.

You need a market both WILLING and ABLE to pay - the “pay certainty factor”

Let me share a little story of a past client with you.

She walked in with Steve Madden heels, a Loui Vuitton purse dangling from her elbow, walking arm-in-arm with her husband, the son of one of the largest construction company’s in town.

She walked out?

With nothing.

Let's be frank: The photos were legitimately good. And I RARELY get a “no purchase.” It happens maybe once every two years - and this time? It was a complete shock to me. So this is a case where they had the means to pay for the photos, but they didn’t put much value on the photographs themselves.

However, one could argue that it is a possibility that they actually didn’t have money in the bank - that all of their money was tied up in mortgages and the designer purses.

Unfortunately - you can never totally avoid these types of situations. BUT, you can minimize your chances of these things happening.

The Pay-Certainty Test

Step 1: Ask yourself, does this target market have the MEANS to pay for your work?

In other words, can they afford me?

I know what you’re thinking. How can I really know if someone has the money to afford me?

There are certain professions and even sports that have a higher household income.

But before I share some of these with you, I want to let you know that there are always exceptions. Not all people with certain professions or in certain sports have disposable income. And at the same time, some people with minimum wage jobs can live frugally and have other sources of income that allow them a disposable income.

A word of caution: the suggestions below are based around what I have found in my community of 33,000 people in Montana. Just because people who work for the city/county usually have disposable income, doesn’t mean they will for you (the cost of living here may be much lower).

Professions: Engineers, Doctors, Lawyers, Dentists, Orthodontists, people with a 4-year degree in general, Miners/anyone that works in a working mine, people who work for the city/county, people who work at the hospital, owners of construction company’s (although you know how that one panned out for me one time), business owners who have been around for 10+ years (if they’ve made it this far - chances are they have a profitable business. This is not always the case, however).

Sports / Interests / Schools - these ideas come from the fact that to be in most of these sports, it generally costs a lot of money.

Hockey, traveling sports teams, traveling dance teams, equestrian sports (horses), skiing/snowboarding, (minus the college ski bum), snowmobiling, private school sports teams / groups.

In other words, while you can target families who like to go sledding, any family can afford to go sledding. You are targeting everyone from people below the poverty line to those well above it.

On the other hand, if you target people on the hockey team, let me be clear - the gear is not cheap. There is a lot of travel costs associated with it. And, it isn’t a “school” sport in my town, meaning everything expense related comes out-of-pocket from the parents - there’s no “school money” or “tax money” brought in to it at all.

Step 2: Ask yourself, do they WANT to pay for your work?

Just because they pass question #1, doesn’t mean they will actually put a high value on photography and pay you what you deserve to make.

This step is much harder to figure out. And the only real way to understand if they are willing to pay, is to offer something to sell and see what happens.

And your “offer” is something we’ll talk about next week.

Until then, here are your next action steps.

  • Cross off any session ideas above from the Steroid Infused Twist that don’t pass the “pay-certainty” test.

  • Mix-and-match at least 20 session ideas to create a Client + Twist (find worksheet instructions and the worksheet from last week here)

  • Commit to ONE client target idea, and come up with 10-20 variations of a “twist.” Then, circle your top 2-3 twist ideas.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's lesson - where I’ll share with you exactly HOW to go about generating cash from these ideas, and my most lucrative Client + Twist idea that brought me in 9k last year (this framework brings me in at least 6k each time I implement).


Cheers to 6k!

Lisa Edwards

P.S. In you case you missed them, you can read Cash + Freedom Week 1 here, and Week 2 here. Tomorrow will be the finale - you won’t want to miss it!

P.P.S. Don’t forget to like us on facebook - where we share MORE delicious, bacon-infused strategies for photography!

[Step 2 to Freedom + Cash] Booku Bucks with Profitable Ideas

Yesterday we talked about why we feel like the freedom has been sucked out of us this time of year - because the phone doesn’t ring when it’s the subarctic, post-holiday time of year.

Today we’re coming up with irresistible ideas for slow-season sessions, and in the next lesson we’ll evaluate what ideas will help you make cash because people will WANT to pay for those sessions.

Today I’m gettin’ all tactical up in here. Less theory, more doing. And, if you’ve got a spare 5 minutes on your hands, be sure to do my idea generating exercise in this email.

So today = creativity. The next email = technical and evaluative.

But today, today, my dear photographer, you’re going to let your ideas flow.

But before we get started, it’s important I give you a few rules.


Rule #1: no idea is a dumb idea. Scribble down even the most insane, crazy-person ideas in your head that will “never work because…”


Rule #2: NO IDEA IS A DUMB IDEA. The more crazy it sounds? The more you need to write it down.

Today is about generating as many ideas as you can, without holding back. In the next lesson we’ll start axing things off the list. But today? Let’s go crazy.

The session-generating machine

Download the worksheet with the form below:

 

Write down 5-10 answers to the following:

  • What are things you ONLY do outdoors this time of year? (ex: sledding)

  • What are things you ONLY do indoors this time of year? (ex: sip hot cocoa)

  • What sports happen this time of year? (ex: hockey)

  • What can you throw? (ex: snow)

  • What can you punch? (ex: Lisa’s face...er...just kidding...scratch this from the list)

  • What do you eat/drink this time of year? (ex: tea)

  • What do you hate about this time of year? (ex: slipping on ice and falling on my face)

  • Where do parents have kids birthday parties this time of year? (ex: the pizza place with the carousel)

  • What do people wear this time of year that they don’t other months? (ex: Ughs)

  • What has a cult following that you just don’t (or do) get? (ex: American Idol)

  • What age groups / demographics do people leave out? (ex: tweens, retired couples)

Ok, I told you to NOT judge your ideas. But you did, right? You were judgy mcjudgerson, like Judge Judy yelling at the lady who didn’t pay the $500 back to her baby daddy that she borrowed to bail out her other baby daddy…

So go back and put those crazy ideas in there, alright? And as the weekend goes by, jot down more ideas. You know, those amazing ideas you have in the shower or while driving or while binging on Ghirardelli sea-salt, caramel, dark chocolate’s (the square ones in the blue wrapper).

Alright then, I’m glad we got that out of the way.

So here’s the thing - you’ve got some good, some bad, some darn UGLY ideas written down. 

Tomorrow we’re going step-by-step through the process of how to evaluate which ideas will actually make you money (and how to turn seemingly crazy ideas into something people will pay for.)

And some of the craziest, wildest ideas may or may not make the cut - but even if they don’t make the cut? I’m going to show you how you can use them in your marketing copy, mad-lib style.

Plus?

I’m going to share an epic idea flop...an idea I was SO SURE would be a hit and make me tons of money, but just left my studio with a stench (literally) and less cash in my pocket than when I started.

Cheers to the crazy ones with crazy ideas!

 

Lisa Edwards

I need to start making money with my business now, or else get a “real” job + [Cash + Freedom] Step One

My bloated heart nearly shattered into a bazillion shards when one of you emailed me this recently, “I need to start making money with my business now, or else get a “real” job.

Not because I felt bad for you, but because I’ve been there.

Truth be told, we’ve all been there. And if a photographer tells you otherwise, they’re either lying or have a fatty trust fund they dip into every month.

FACT: over the next 4 days, I’ll be arming you with the strategies to get booked during the slow season.

So today, we’re going over:

Step 1: the Down & Dirty of why you REALLY need sessions (it’s not the money)

Let’s get down and dirty, and talk about what you really want out of your business.

It’s not to get butt-loads of clients during the slow season.

It’s not to buy the 85mm 1.4 lense and feel like you’re in the “cool kid” photographer club.

It’s not even the money.

No really, it’s not the damn MONEY!

I know what you’re thinking, “what the hell is she talking about - of-course I have to make money!”

Yep - you are correct!

But here’s the thing - money isn’t what you want.

Freedom is what you want.

No, it’s what you need.

For your own sanity and the well-being of your children (because let’s face it, a few years ago when I was broke? I was one angry momma that could explode at any moment).

The freedom to buy your morning half-caf latte at Starbucks without feeling guilty you’re overspending.

The freedom to take a trip to Yellowstone National Park for a winter photography excursion and photograph frosty bison (I don’t get you people, seriously...do you really want to freeze your butt off and get that close to a herd of beasts?)

The freedom to buy that 85mm 1.4 lens (and not the damn Sigma, the Nikon, BABY!) without guilt, so that yes, you can feel like one of the “cool photographers” that can afford it.

 

And freedom is really freakin' hard to come by during the slow season - these winter, subarctic months where sometimes you submit test forms from your website just to make sure the form isn’t broken (you mean it isn’t broken? REALLY? You mean nobody is even TRYING to book sessions?)!

Straight-up fact: 80% of you that filled out my survey, listed your biggest business problem as getting sessions (or some form of that).

After looking at the stats, I had a “lightbulb” moment.

Photographers are freedom-deprived. The need for sessions = the need for cash = the need for the freedom that money brings you.

And if you aren’t making money in your photography business?

You have no freedom.

You would have more freedom if you flipped burgers at McDonald’s and had money to spend on fun things (and yes, a few years back I actually considered it).

So the theme of this next 4 days is this: Cash + Freedom

What’s the first step to get cash and freedom this Sprint & Winter?

Well, I’m glad you asked, my dear old friend [imagine me reaching through the screen and patting you on the shoulder...wait that sounds thriller-movie creepy, never mind, scratch that].

Cash + Freedom Step 1: Create an irresistible photo session that people can ONLY get during the late winter/spring, and can ONLY get from you.

That’s right - while all of the other photographers are sitting on their bum’s weeping when they log in to their Wells Fargo online banking - you’ll be checking your account and deciding what tropical vacation to plan for next (just please, don’t post a zillion photos of your feet in flip flops with the ocean in the background).

Hint: I’m not talking about baby chick and goat photos for Easter...that’s WAY to obvious, and everybody does them.

In the next email of the series, I’ll give you the framework for coming up with a session that fits your style, location, and something people will even yes, pay for.

A session they people just can't resist.

Expect that email tomorrow.

Cheers to spending $5.55/day at Starbucks and feeling no guilt! (Except for the guilt of oh-crap, my pants don’t fit anymore, maybe I should stop drinking 450 extra calories a day from this venti, quad, iced-mocha with no whip)

Lisa “Quad Shot” Edwards

P.S. If I waved a magic wand and you had an extra 6K in your bank account right now with no explanation, what would you do with it? Reply in the comments - I read every answer.

Want to Earn 6 Figures and Beyond? FREE Live online event coming up!

Can an online event change your life?

Well, one of our readers watched just ONE of our upcoming LIVE event keynotes, and here's what she said...

 

If ALL you do for yourself even this year is watch Ben Hartley's class...

...if that's ALL you do...

I think it has the power to make a shift in your life, your business.

That's a big freaking promise.

Sign up here to watch. After you signup, you'll get an email with the schedule and how to / when to watch.

Go ahead and signup now for free!

[3 of 3] Introducing My Pink Pickle, TWEENS

We’ve been talking for the past few weeks about The Pink Pickle Strategy, what it is, why “The Big W” came out with it so they could stop competing on price with the “Amazing A.”

They aren’t even COMPETING at all with Amazing A, because Amazing A doesn’t even offer it..

And how it’s not JUST about competing on price, but on creating new business and income that isn’t competing with their own REGULAR pickles.

Because shoot.

You still want a good-old-fashioned green pickle spear next to your grilled cheese!

So you’ll get people buying BOTH pickles.

The same is true with photography. When you create a new type of session that isn’t going to compete with your OTHER sessions.

A new type of session that isn’t even going to compete with any OTHER photographers!

 

Tween Sessions (ages 9-12) is WHERE.ITS.AT.

People come in January, February and March (sometimes even April) for a tween session, which isn’t competing with my busy season in the summer.

Some will come in during the summer or fall AGAIN for a family session. In a year or two one of their older children is a senior and I get that business as well.

It has a domino effect.

But getting that income in January and February, March and April? For ME that is a HUGE weight off my shoulder.

OK. You’re probably thinking, “I have no idea even where to START with tweens!”

And WHY would a mom even DECIDE to book a tween session?

It’s all about the emotion.

It’s what you say and how you say it.

Instead of saying, “Now offering tween sessions,” talking about WHY they should want it.

WHY if they can only do a single thing for their tween daughter, making them feel less pain. Making them feel even a tiny bit better about themselves and how they look?

Now THAT is something a mom would pay ANYTHING for.

If you have children you know what I’m talking about.

If you’ve had a child who didn’t get invited to a birthday party or didn’t get included in something, you know that you would do anything to make that pain and feeling of hurt go away.

But it’s not JUST the photos, either...it’s about creating this experience where moms, parents, teachers, siblings and friends are in on a HUGE surprise…

...quotes and stories mixed with the images when the images are revealed!

So today I’m introducing you to My Free Master Class - How to Book Your Slow Season Solid with Tweens! (SPECIFICALLY this February!)

You can get more of the low-down at this link to signup for this free training all about breaking into the Tween Market.

 

 

[2 of 3] The Pink Pickle Saga Continues & Why You Should Care

This is a pretty smart group of photographers, I must admit.

 

When I asked you what you thought the business strategy behind The Big W’s pink “Tropickle” pickle, the answers floored me.

 

Really, really good stuff here. (If you missed it the last email, check it out here.)

 

And, honestly, it’s fun to read “pink pickle” in my email inbox :)

 

Maybe we should change the rhyme to “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pink Pickles.”

 

NAW.

 

That would be ludicrous…

 

Speaking of ludicrous...remember that guy and his music from back in The Day?

 

OK, let's get back on track.

 

Many of you got one of the BIG Pink Pickle Strategy’s correct.

 

Well, honestly, there really weren’t any WRONG answers.

 

But it goes much, much deeper than you think...the “Strategy BEHIND the Strategy” is where the real golden nugget lies.

 

Have you heard of the 5 Why’s of Toyota?

 

When you get the first reason “why,” ask why again, and again, and again, until you hit “5 Why’s.”

 

BEWARE the example below - I know NOTHING about cars, so car buff’s or anybody who knows anything about cars, don’t correct me please :) :

 

  1. This car’s leaking oil. WHY?

  2. The oil pan is cracked. WHY?

  3. It overheated. WHY?

  4. There’s no coolant. WHY?

  5. The coolant cap is missing and spills out while driving.

 

If you didn’t figure out the problem BEHIND the problem, the new oil pan would just keep cracking again and you’d be replacing it every 6 months...instead, you replace the oil pan AND coolant cap and you have now SOLVED the problem.


 

So you all had great, pretty creative answers, and they are ALL one reason “why.”

(Starbucks card winners you will get an email from me this afternoon, after my oldest son’s Christmas play!)

 

Candy says:

PinkPickleEmailEdited-v2.jpg

YES!

 

Not only are you creating something new and creating a buzz, but you “offer something unusual that people didn’t even know they needed.”

 

Even better? You aren’t competing with yourself.

 

You aren’t just coming out with a pickle that will compete with your Great Value brand...people aren’t choosing one over the other.

 

They are choosing BOTH.

 

They want to try the new pickle, give their kids some entertainment during mealtime,

 

AND they are going to buy another jar of pickles for Saturday sandwich days.

 

You aren’t competing with yourself, or with ANY of the other 13 supermarkets in town. It’s all new money being earned.

 

This is called making the competition irrelevant, and I’m a HUGE fan of this concept.

 

So what’s the DEEPER why?

 

So why does Wal-Mart want to BE the “Purple Cow?”

 

Besides just being innovative and making the competition irrelevant, they want to solve their problem.

 

What’s the “Big W’s” big problem?

 

The “Amazing A.” You know, that store that started by only selling books.

 

And this isn’t just my guess.

 

This background info is my summary of Planet Money’s episode on the Pink Pickle.

 

So, why is The Amazing A a problem?

 

Because since they purchased Whole Foods and dropped the pricing substantially, Big W customers are switching over to The Amazing A.

 

Why is this a problem?

 

Because, Wal-Mart can’t compete on pricing any longer and doesn’t want to be in the race to the ALREADY low “bottom.”

 

***INSERT GASPS***

 

You know it’s truly a remarkable time in our lives when even the big box stores who have the production volume to drop prices and succeed, don’t want to compete on price any longer.

 

Is it just me, or is this stuff fascinating?

 

And in fact, the pink Tropickle isn’t the ONLY new innovation they’ve come up with. Can’t have all your pickles in one jar, right ;)

 

They have a lab called the Culinary and Innovation Center dedicated to this stuff.

 

When you think about it, the battle between The W & The A isn’t so different than what we’re facing, is it.

 

Cutting prices to try and “steal” customers away isn’t anything new, and crosses pretty much every industry.

 

And so we must create our own Pink Pickle.

 

And...I’ll share how to do that coming up in the next email :)

 

Cheers!

Lisa Edwards

 

P.S. I’m opening up Tween Booking Blueprint for a limited amount of time, which is the exact steps of how I created my own Pink Pickle (and you can too) that gets me on average 12-15 bookings in the slow season of Jan-March.  Heck I’d be happy with just 5 :)

 

So if you’re REALLY intrigued by all of this, you can signup to watch the upcoming webinar here (3 times over 3 days).

[1 of 3] How a Pink Pickle is Changing the Photography Industry

Just when you think you’ve seen it all…

A jar of pink pickles stops you in your tracks.

A pickle jar so bright, it’s practically glowing in the the entire aisle of 179 jars of all shapes, sizes, and “cuts” of pickles.

It’s like it was meant to be.

Jar meets hand, meets shopping cart meets checkout, meets bag meets minivan, meets kitchen cabinets meets mouth.

tropickle pink pickle

To be fair…

This pickle isn’t quite on shelves yet.

That visual was just the sensationalist movie reel in my mind when I heard the product announcement.

The photo is my concoction of pickle meets Kool Aid.

 

THE TRUTH:

The Big Chain Store (we’ll just call them The “W”) has invented this product and coined its name.

The pink “Tro-Pickle” is a tropical, fruit punch flavored pickle.

I get it.

I know what you’re thinking.

What’s a pink pickle got do with ME?

A lot, actually. Particularly when it comes to your photography business.

Big W’s invention of the Tropickle is actually, in my opinion, genius.

At least the strategy.

I haven’t been able to get my hands on a jar of these just yet..

...seems kinda disgusting really.

But hey, I’ll try anything once (well MOST things).

I want to give you the answer to the Pink Pickle Strategy.

But first I think we should play a game.

It’s fun, and it’s simple, and you can win 1 of 5 Starbucks Gift Cards.

Just answer me this:

Why do you think the Big W is coming out with this Tropickle, aka “pink pickle?”

BONUS points if you go more in-depth (what business strategies are going on here...it might not be your first gut reaction...)


Hit reply and pop me back your best guess. The best 5 answers win a Starbucks Gift Card.

 

CHEERS!

 

Lisa Edwards


P.S. The Pink Pickle Saga will continue in a few days.

I’m not sure what day I’ll announce the winners yet.

Depends on my mood. My weekend.

So hit reply SOON!

 

P.P.S. I’ll reveal how to use the Pink Pickle Strategy in you business, so be sure to keep opening your email.