Episode 104: Christina Restarted Her Photography Business and Got 3 $1k+ Clients FAST. Here’s What She Did | Joy of Marketing

Episode 104: Christina Restarted Her Photography Business and Got 3 $1k+ Clients FAST. Here’s What She Did

Christina Baltazar:

Hi, I’m Christina Baltazar.

I’m from Central California and I have five kiddos from one year old to almost 13 years old.

I’ve been doing portrait photography since my 12-year-old was born.

I put a little bit of a pause on it for a couple of years after having number three, four, and then five.

I started out as a shoot and burn photographer way back when, and then I eventually was able to get into a very small studio.

I did that for a couple of years and then got pregnant with number four and things kind of changed.

I decided we should put a pause on that.

Photography had been taking over everything at that point, so I left the studio and just did things out of my home for a couple of years.

I was always on the computer editing and trying to get as many sessions as possible. 

Sarah Petty:

It’s hard because you want to have the business, but you want to have the family time, too.

So you decided, “I can’t have both.

My first important thing is my family.”

So you had the babies, the pandemic hit, and then what happened?

Christina Baltazar:

We didn’t know what was going to happen, so I really just paused everything.

I did three sessions the entire 2020, and then surprise pregnancy number five came along.

I ended up miserable because I didn’t have my creative outlet. 

Sarah Petty:

It’s hard because we do want to make the money, but when you are a full-time parent, you do lose a little bit of yourself. 

I think a lot of people can relate to that too. We’re driven by something more than money. 

Christina Baltazar:

In October last year, I decided, “Nope, got to do what I love,” and got back into it.

Found you, thankfully, and did the challenge and then signed up for Boutique Breakthrough.

Scrub Through Your Photography Branding And Style

Sarah Petty:

I want to teach everyone as we go through the steps that we do in Boutique Breakthrough.

I want you to share how each of the steps hit you.

So, the first thing we did was we scrubbed through your branding and style.

Looking for disconnects that make you seem like a shoot and burn photographer, and we got your prices off your website, all those types of things.

How did that system go for you?

Christina Baltazar:

So since I’ve been in this for a while, it was pretty easy for me at this point.

Really, it was just taking the pricing off my site, that was the biggest change.

Sarah Petty:

Okay, that’s day one quickly.

Then we dig into your “what” and “why”. 

If you don’t know what makes you different and why you’re in business then you’re just competing on price.

So how did this land for you?

Figuring Out Your “What” and “Why” As a Boutique Photographer

Christina Baltazar:

One of my biggest challenges was communicating that to clients.

Explaining why I no longer offer the digital images and why I want art on their wall, and why it’s important to me.

This took a lot of digging into, and I’m still working on that every day to communicate that to potential clients.

Sarah Petty:

Yeah, now you know how important that is, because if all you’re competing on is price, you’re a commodity.

Okay, on day three, we go through products and profitable prices.

We give you a template and you get it done.

Was that scary for you?

Because I’m sure our pricing was probably higher than what you had before.

Talk about that a little bit.

Choosing Photography Products And Simplifying Profitable Pricing

Christina Baltazar:

Simplifying it was amazing, because I used to have pages of products that they could order, and it was overwhelming.

And although it was much higher than what I had originally priced at, it made so much sense the way that you showed us how to do it.

Learning How To Talk To Photography Clients

Sarah Petty:

Okay, then I know everybody wants marketing, but I think one of the hardest things to learn is what to say to your clients.

Because marketing makes the phone ring, but what sells is talking to people.

We taught you the seven B’s.

I broke it down to seven things that have to happen on that phone conversation.

You have to know that before you’re marketing.

Was that hard to learn? 

Christina Baltazar:

It was great because you have a lot of people to work with in the community, so you could practice what to say.

That was the biggest thing of the community, I think, is practicing all these calls and stuff with other people.

You really hone in on what you should be saying and how to say it so that you’re building you for your clients.

I was missing explaining why I was different and why having artwork on your walls is super important and what that meant to me.

My what and why was definitely the most important aspect that I was missing in that first phone call.

Sarah Petty:

Got it.

Then we taught four different ways to find Julie ($1k or more client).

Were those activities scary for you?

You got two clients pretty quickly. 

Christina Baltazar:

No, they weren’t scary at all for me because I’ve been doing some of these activities before.

I’ve gotten four Julies since Boutique Breakthrough started, with my largest being a $3,200 sale, which is amazing.

So it’s been fantastic.

Sarah Petty:

That is awesome.

So you met with them to plan their session.

How did that go?

Because I teach seven things that need to happen in there so that it makes the rest of the process super easy.

How did that feel for you?

Christina Baltazar:

It’s always exciting and a little nerve-wracking at the same time because you haven’t completely booked the session when you come in for the in-person consultation.

But they get to touch and feel your products and see how gorgeous a 20X30 canvas is on the wall and that sort of thing.

It was a lot of fun.

My favorite one was definitely the newborn Julie that I had, the $2,000 sale where we went over everything that she wanted to do during her session.

They bought my large album.

Sarah Petty:

Love that.

Were you spending less time with your clients that you had before you had this new model?

Talk about the difference in the amount of time.

Were you meeting with them ahead of time?

Christina Baltazar:

In the past it was just the phone call that would be the planning session for their session.

And then I would still do the ordering appointment after, but it was different in how I did it.

Now, I’m investing a little bit more time, but it’s turning into bigger results in the end.

Sarah Petty:

And you’re building trust with your audience and so much less time editing.

Christina Baltazar:

Yes, absolutely.

That’s where I’m spending the least amount of time.

Now I’m only editing what they are actually physically ordering, whereas, before I would be editing all of the images because they would always get all the digital files included.

Shoot To Sell: How You Cut Down On the Time You Spend During the Session

Sarah Petty:

That brings us to the next step, shoot to sell.

You’re only photographing what you know they’re going to buy because you’ve had the planning meeting with the client.

That’s where everything happens.

How does shooting to sell feel?

Christina Baltazar:

I’m still getting used to it because I get inspired and want to shoot all these other things, but I know I need to focus on the goal.  

The Portrait Photography Ordering Appointment

Sarah Petty:

Talk about what you learned in the photography ordering appointment versus what you used to do and how you’re serving differently.

Christina Baltazar:

The photography ordering appointment is probably one of my favorite parts, because you get to see their reaction face to face on what they love.

I can show them exactly what it looks like on their specific wall now too. 

Sarah Petty:

You’ve made $8,000 just because you are serving people.

I hear photographers being nervous about how to present the images but that’s my favorite part.

Don’t you find by then they shouldn’t be freaking out over prices or anything? 

Christina Baltazar:

No, nobody’s freaking out about anything.

They understand the value before I get there.

And then they were just so excited.

I dropped off my newborn album today and they were like, “Oh, I love it. It turned out even more beautiful than we thought it would.”

And so, it’s just fantastic.

Sarah Petty:

And it’s not high-pressure.

And they’re happy.

Talk about your husband and your family and how your business fits in now.

Christina Baltazar:

Before we got started, I sat everybody down and we had a conversation about how mommy was going to work on her dreams and start back into her business.

The biggest thing is now I am fitting my business around my family instead of the other way around.

My husband’s super proud of me because I come home with these orders, and he’s just like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so proud of you.” 

Now I take advantage of every moment that I have to work on my business.

When the baby’s sleeping, I’ll sit down and do something that I can in those 45 minutes to an hour.

It’s having the purpose and the schedule that works for you that’s been super important.

Sarah Petty:

Oh, that is amazing.

I love that you’re teaching your kids that they are worth investing in.

I’m so glad you came here to share with everybody. 

follow boutique photographer sarah petty on instagram to learn more about the boutique photography timeline

Working photographer, coach, mama, and wife. Whether you’re looking to take your photography business full-time or simply make good money on a very part-time basis so you can contribute to your family financially and be your best self, we’ve got something for you.

I’m Sarah Petty

Hey, there!