Sarah Petty: Hi Maegan. Before we get into the really juicy stuff, tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, your family, all those kinds of things.
Maegan: My husband and I have been living in the Champaign, Illinois area for the past eight years. I started my photography business in October of 2018, so this is actually my five-year anniversary and I’ve been loving it. I have three young kids and my husband and I have been married for 12 years in January.
Sarah Petty: Love it. So what kind of photography have you done for those five years?
Maegan: I’m just trying to get better at photography. I heard somebody say that to be a master at anything, you have to spend 10,000 hours practicing it. So, really, I would just photograph anything. But I started to get more into weddings and engagements.
Sarah Petty: How did you know how to charge? What was your pricing structure over these last five years?
Maegan: When I first started, I just wanted to practice and I didn’t feel comfortable taking money. So I started off by offering four free sessions and those filled up right away. Then after those were done, I charged $40. I slowly went up over the years. I started charging $275 per hour for portrait sessions.
Sarah Petty: Were you realizing though that this was a lot of work or what was going through your mind because five years is a long time?
Maegan: Yes I constantly had pictures to edit. I felt like I was getting a reputation that it took forever for clients to get their images and I don’t like that. And I feel bad when my kids are constantly like, “Mom, do you always have to be working on pictures?” And it breaks my heart. Something had to change.
Sarah Petty: A couple times a year, I offer a program called Boutique Breakthrough, which is an intensive eight-week program where we hold our students’ hands to set up their business the right way from pricing, branding, marketing, selling, all of it. So Maegan, you were presented with the opportunity and invited to join this course. What went through your mind?
Maegan: It’s really a crazy story to be honest. I actually signed up for your five-day booking boost challenge in 2022. And I never opened an email or joined a call. I just didn’t have the time for it.
Then I saw your ads on Facebook again this year, and I decided to sign up again. I didn’t really open a whole lot of your emails leading up to the day of the challenge. And then finally the morning of the challenge, I opened your email and I saw, “Get it ready, get excited. It is the first day, jump on the live.” And it was perfect timing because my kids were at school so I jumped on the call.
And I was hooked from there. I actually joined VIP that first day. So all week long I spent 2 hours with you. So before you offered your program, I was already sold before you told the price. But when you told the price, I instantly went from excited to, my heart just sank because I knew I only had $400 in my bank account. In my mind there was no way I could afford that.
I contemplated not even getting back on the calls on Friday because I was just so heartbroken. I ended up hopping on and you were encouraging people to find a way to get in the course. I signed up for a meeting with one of your program experts and she gave me the 77 ways to create the cash. Basically, after that Friday, I kind of felt hope again, I felt re-encouraged to not just give up and be defeated right away.
I listed some of my camera gear that I only use for weddings and long story short, I made $2,100 from selling stuff I wasn’t going to use anymore. I could not believe the headway I was making. I was just feeling so empowered at that point and so incredibly determined.
Sarah Petty: That is so amazing. And where was your husband in all of this?
Maegan: My husband wanted me to pay off my Macbook Pro before investing in something else. So he did not want to give me that loan, so I had to figure out how to find that last bit of money. I worked so hard to find that money and it truly paid off.
I just really feel like it was God that I found your challenge and this Boutique Breakthrough course when I did, because we’re starting to go into the slow period so I can have the time to restructure my business and be ready for spring.
Sarah Petty: I love that because so many people would use that as an excuse. You’re in week two already of Boutique Breakthrough, how has the first two weeks been of the program?
Maegan: It’s been crazy. I’m pushing through and I’m not using excuses. I’m absolutely loving it and learning about becoming that different person and doing the reverse tools. I have a lot of money blocks so overcoming any sort of negativity is really big for me.
Sarah Petty: These first two weeks are the hardest. We get you in really fast because we don’t want you to lose momentum and the pricing is definitely the trickiest for people. But even from when you first learned the pricing to when you were ordering your price lists, didn’t you feel growth in yourself in just that short amount of time?
Maegan: Yeah. I just didn’t even feel like the same person looking at that price list. It’s insane. What do I have to lose? You know what I mean?
Sarah Petty: That’s why the goal of this eight-week program is that you get a client and you go through the process with one client, some people do multiple clients. But I know when you get that client, you go through this process, you’re going to come out on the other side not ever wanting to go back to digitals.
Maegan: When I get the doubts, I just kind of push them away and I reverse them. And I really believe that it’s going to work. I’m excited.
Sarah Petty: I have no doubt that you’re going to go through every step and you’re going to be thrilled to be on your wildest dreams, and we’ll be able to tell everyone, “Go back and listen to this podcast when Maegan was two weeks in, she didn’t have the money, and she found the money, she made it happen.”
Maegan: I actually have two phone calls I need to make to clients that have reached out to me. One of them is a past client and then one of them is someone new I’ve never photographed before. I am excited to practice the Seven Bs.
Sarah Petty: Maegan, I am cheering so hard for you. And I know you’ve inspired a lot of people by sharing your story here today and it’s going to be a great year for you