Sarah Petty: Shannon made $10,000 from one marketing activity. She and her husband own a photography and video company doing primarily weddings. She joined our program because she knew there had to be a better and more profitable way to sell photography.
Welcome, Shannon. Tell where you were before Boutique Breakthrough. What was your backstory?
Shannon Fosse: My husband and I did weddings mostly. We do 20 weddings a year, work all the time and miss our 2 kids all the time. It just got to the point where it wasn’t about the number of clients anymore. We were using the maximum amount of time that we had and we still weren’t making money, so we needed to change something. If you want a different solution, you have to take different actions. We needed something completely different.
Sarah Petty: Weddings can be great, and I always tell people, “Hey, if you want to get married Wednesday morning, I’m your gal. My family time is on the weekends.” And you have two little kids, which makes it a lot harder too. Were you doing any portrait work?
Shannon: We were doing portraits, video and anything people wanted done. So, giving off the vibe of unspecialized and all digital. I would edit all week and nobody would ever see it and understand the amount of work that was going into it
Sarah Petty: You were at a breaking point. Were you looking to do something different? What was your mindset?
Shannon: Every six months, one of us would snap and say that we can’t do this anymore because we’re losing our lives. Finally we agreed that something had to change.
I was getting Facebook ads and things about Sarah Petty. I had never thought to do photography a different way but I had reached a point where I was capping out.
Sarah Petty: That’s really powerful because we taught you that doing more of what you’re already doing doesn’t work, because you’ve done that. So when you were presented with the opportunity for Boutique Breakthrough, how did you go about making the decision to do it?
Shannon: My husband told me to go for it. I think that I just needed to try something else. I didn’t have anything to lose at that point.
Sarah Petty: So you jumped in and you learned this whole new way. How did that go for you?
Shannon: It was good. I had to learn how to undo my little mistakes of saying wrong things to clients. And face the fact that you have to make phone calls if you’re a professional, which isn’t my favorite thing. In person, I am great!
Sarah Petty: Especially that initial phone call where you’re persuading other people, right? That’s why I think a lot of photographers want to reply through email and Facebook Messenger. Did you realize why that was sabotaging and getting you the wrong clients?
Shannon: I did after I started doing it, because I realized that people were buying me. Once they talked with me for 20 minutes, they liked me and they trusted me, and then they were willing to invest in me. They would never would’ve gotten that from an email.
Sarah Petty: Talk to me about your first, Julie ($1k or more client order). You went through this system, what was hard? And then talk us through what it looked like when you got that order.
Shannon: One of the mistakes I had made was offering small prints to people, and also full-sized digital files. So I was fighting against myself.
My first Julie actually came when I was fixing my business. I bought a projector and went to someone’s house. I made their presentation big on the wall, and my client wanted exactly what I showed him. It was a 40 inch piece of artwork.
It was so obvious in that moment of why would you not do this?
Sarah Petty: Did you go home and tell your husband?
Shannon: I called him instantly. He was just so happy and proud of me because he saw how much time and money I was putting forth. I was glad that it was worth it.
Sarah Petty: I love that. So how long did it take you to make $10K?
Shannon: Not long, probably two months. Once you get those people who are willing to invest, it happens quickly!
Sarah Petty: These were all portraits, no weddings, right? Following the system.
Shannon: Yes. They were actually all studio pet sessions.
Sarah Petty: Whoa. So where’s your studio?
Shannon: It’s just a portable studio that I can drag around. A backdrop and two lights.
Sarah Petty: So you go on location, which anyone can do. And 10 grand with dogs! WOW!
Shannon: Another thing I loved about Boutique Breakthrough is you are encouraged to pick one niche for the program. And I picked dogs. Now, there’s no reason for me not to stay with dogs because I can find these people. It’s so much easier for me than babies and kids.
Sarah Petty: What does the future look like for you and your husband? What’s the dream?
Shannon: I’m going to make big wall art for people who want that. So many people haven’t been offered that and they’ve never considered it. It just takes time with them to show them all the possibilities and I love that.
I love spending time with people. So the more I get to do that, the better.
Now I can be at all of our kiddos activities and editing is done in half an hour while watching Gilmore Girls.
Sarah Petty: It just blows my mind that you have this beautiful future laying in front of you. And for your children to have a happy mom and dad doing what they love. You didn’t have to go get some corporate job that you are both gone 8 hours a day.
Shannon: I have learned so much along the way to become a better person overall. Your program changed our lives when it comes to our business but also our belief and mindset in ourselves.
Sarah Petty: And your kids are going to be impacted by that. Look at what’s possible for you guys right now. I’m so excited for you. Thank you for coming on and sharing your story because I think a lot of people are out there grinding, doing things the hard way. I’m so proud of you.