Finding clients, selling portraits, balancing #FamilyFirst…

And everything behind the scenes on how you can run a profitable photography business without selling digital files for cheap, living on social media, or working ALL THE TIME.

Episode 30: How to Grow Your Brain to Be A Better Marketer with Annie Grace

Meet Annie Grace Author, researcher, mom, wife, inventor, coach, CEO…these are just a few of the roles my friend, Annie Grace, plays each day. You may have seen Annie on Good Morning America or in People Magazine because what she does is really revolutionary. And that’s why I asked her to speak at my 2 day event for boutique photographers, Go Boutique Live, last February. I wasn’t surprised when her program was one of the highest-rated, so I asked Annie if I could share some of the highlights on the podcast today for those of you who weren’t there with us in Texas. Of course she said yes! Getting Rid of the Head Trash Annie’s best-known for teaching people how to have freedom in their relationship with alcohol. And her techniques will work to free yourself from ANY limiting belief and head trash you’ve built up. She actually learned to rewire her brain after she hit a serious bump in her otherwise fantastic life. She had a great career traveling first-class around the globe. A great marriage. Wonderful kids. She had IT ALL. But she had become a serious alcoholic. Like, a “screwdrivers at 6 a.m.” type of alcoholic. And she didn’t know WHY. So she spent a year diving into the SCIENCE behind WHY she was drinking and she uncovered a lot more along the way that can help YOU in your photography business. So press play if you want to learn how to grow your brain to be a better marketer using the same techniques she’s taught hundreds of thousands of people around the world. This stuff really works!

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Episode 29: The Value of Photography Business Events

As photographers, what we need now, more than anything, is connection. We need to be together and inspired to keep going. We need to heal and grow together. But how can we do that in the middle of a global pandemic? Eighteen months ago, we realized that there was something missing from the boutique photography industry. This missing piece was an event where boutique portrait photographers could come together and focus on their photography business. I wanted to create a place where you could sit next to another boutique photographer and help each other out. This past February, in 2020, we hosted our first ever conference for boutique portrait photographers who dream of something bigger. It was amazing. The energy was infectious. The community was full of camaraderie. Watching photographers come together, believe in themselves, set goals for their photography business, and leave with a plan was amazing.  COVID Changed Our Plans For The Better A month later, COVID hit. As we started planning for 2021, we looked at all of the options. We didn’t want to cancel the event because photographers need this now more than ever. We want to be that strong voice that you can listen to. The one helping you believe in yourself. The person providing new strategies to use during these uncertain times. The one who will be the bridge to a fabulous future.  What we refused to do for this year’s event, was a pre-recorded video where the speakers send in their videos ahead of time. We also didn’t want to do Zoom webinar. This needed to be bigger. To get ideas, we attended every live virtual event that we could. One event was like nothing we’d ever experienced. The host had huge screens around her, where she could see all of us. We…

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Episode 28: Should You Do a Black Friday Sale in Your Photography Business?

Black Friday is fun, but having a Black Friday sale in your photography business is a terrible idea if you’re boutique or have the desire to go boutique. Here’s what not to do on Black Friday and what to do instead of having a sale in your photography business. Some people are focused on getting the lowest price for everything. These people don’t seem to care that the cheap lawn care company may plow down a few of their plants or do a horribly sloppy job.  Some people don’t care about the quality, as long as it’s cheap. In the photography industry, there’s always someone willing to do it cheaper than you. Most of the time, there’s even someone with naturally good photography skills willing to do it for free. You need to get out of the price race to the bottom and charge what you’re worth. You Don’t Want the Price Sensitive Clients The consumers who make their decisions based on the lowest price are not the customers you want. They don’t care about the special treatment, relationship, customization, and time that you bring to the table as a boutique photographer.  When you advertise a discount on Black Friday, you attract those very same price sensitive buyers. These people are only coming to you because your price was low enough. They will drop you the second they find someone cheaper. Black Friday sales also teach your awesome clients that they should wait for a sale. This devalues your brand because you become worth your sale price. While sales may give you a short-term boost in cashflow, they are doing your photography business more harm than good.  I want you to work with the best clients. The ones who value your art and will give it to their children someday.…

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Episode 27: She Stopped Doing Mini-Sessions. Here’s What Happened.

What would happen if you said no to photography mini-sessions during the holiday season, and instead spent your weekends making memories with your family? Jen Pisani is one of my students who did just that. This is how she created more time for her family, without sacrificing her income.  A year and a half ago, Jen Pisani did 65 photography mini-sessions in one holiday season. She blocked off entire weekends, shooting a new family every 15 minutes. Jen shot so many images over the weekend that during the week, she hid in her office editing as quickly as she could.  Your Kids See You Overwork Yourself With Photography Mini-Sessions One thing Jen’s daughter said changed everything for Jen. While Jen was editing in her office, her oldest daughter walked in. Jen shooed her away saying “I’ve got a lot of editing to do.” Her daughter replied, “I know, mom. This time of year we never see you, from the fall until Christmas, you’re never around.” And then she walked away.  “To hear that come out of her mouth, was the most heartbreaking thing. I sat there for the longest time going, ‘Oh my gosh, things are happening and I’m missing them’  I’m not doing my family any good. And I’m not serving the families that I’m shooting because I’m rushing through their images. I said to myself, ‘Things have to change.’” The Wrong Way To Run Your Photography Business At this point, Jen was charging $125 for 10 images on a jump drive, and working her weekends away. After spending $10 for a drive and putting it into a nice package, there was hardly any profit and she had no time with her family.  “I have two younger daughters who were in middle school and two sons in their twenties.…

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Episode 26: How to Avoid Feeling Guilty about Money

Does talking about money make you feel icky, greedy, shameful, and materialistic? As a society, there’s a belief that rich people are bad. As boutique photography business owners how do we avoid feeling guilty about making, spending, saving and giving our money? I sat down and asked myself, “How did I become okay with making and talking about money?” I found seven reasons why it’s a good thing to make money in your photography business and I want to share them with you. #1 Protecting My Marriage When I first got married, I wanted to protect my marriage. Money is one of the top things that couples fight about, so I decided to try to take the financial strain off our marriage. We started by making good financial decisions. We didn’t buy things that we couldn’t afford, or go into unnecessary debt. Making smart financial decisions in our marriage has helped us thrive and grow.  #2 Having an Insurance Policy No one knows when tragedy is going to hit. I want to make sure that if something happens to my family, we don’t fall into a scary place. Some of you are there, but it’s not too late to pull yourself out. If you make more money than you spend, you’re going to have a little cushion for unsure times. That’s why it’s important to have your own insurance policy. #3 Not Relying On The Government For Retirement While I hope social security will be there, who knows if it will. I want to take care of myself instead of relying on someone else. Saving for retirement through the 401k was something I was taught to do in my very first job. The more money you make, the more security you can have. A lot of people only think about…

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lessons for photographers

Episode 25: 25 Unexpected Lessons for Photographers Who Want More

For today’s podcast, I’ve got a little twist for you. Ten years ago, I applied for the trademark of the word Joycast after doing a few random episodes without purpose. It took me 10 years to finally figure out the purpose of this podcast and get this show out into the world. Needless to say, my team and I are pretty stoked to have made it 25 episodes, considering how long it took us to get this launched. I’ve heard that the average podcast doesn’t make it to 15 episodes. So to celebrate this milestone of 25, I’m sharing 25 unexpected lessons for photographers that helped me grow my photography business into more than I ever dreamed. I hope you write down your favorites and implement them into your life so that you can increase the speed at which you succeed.  When I started my photography business I was scared to death, but I felt ready. I’d watched my dad build his business from fixing cars in a one-bay gas station to building his dream 17-bay, state-of-the-art, auto facility. While I learned a ton of lessons for photographers and entrepreneurs from my dad, when you’re running your own business, there are many more lessons for photographers to be learned. I’m hoping that some of these tactics will help you achieve your goals faster.  #1 Keep an Idea Notebook and Write in it Daily. If I have an idea, I write it down. I put projections, dreams, goals and my to-do list in my notebook. I keep my notebook with me at all times. All of the things I want to stay in my long term memory go there. When I’m sitting with a new photography business project and can’t think of ideas, I pull out my old notebooks and my…

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Episode 24: This is Why Your Photography Business Card Doesn’t Work

I see you over there, blowing up Google with questions about your photography business card. What should my business card say? Should it have one photo or many? Maybe I’ll just have my phone number and email on a thick piece of paper or wood. There’s a reason your photography business card hasn’t magically sprinkled sessions all over your calendar. Here’s why. Having a cool business card used to be a badge of honor. Then the world changed. Cell phones, texting, email, DM’s, and Google became more common. Now you can find anyone’s contact information with the click of a button. You don’t need to look it up on a business card.  Your Photography Clients Don’t Want Business Cards We are portrait photographers. Our clients are moms and dads that have babies at home. They are also high school seniors. What are high school seniors going to do with a two by three piece of paper that I give them? Nothing. They will throw it away without a second glance. I get it. Business cards make us feel like an official business. And handing out your photography business cards feels like you’re marketing. But just stop. In reality, that business card will be cleaned out of the bottom of a purse in six months if it even lives 5 minutes before landing in the trash. That photography client is not going to book you from your business card. If they’re interested, the worst thing you can do is give them a business card.  What to Do Instead of a Photography Business Card #1  Serve them.  If you’re having a conversation with someone and they mention that they’re interested in photography, you say “Give me the best way to reach you and when would you like me to connect.” Find out…

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Episode 23: What to Do When You Believe You Can’t

We need to talk about a certain someone in your life. The one who puts you down and tells you that you aren’t a good enough photographer. The voice who knows all your greatest fears, doubts, and insecurities and throws them in your face. The thing that constantly reminds you of all the reasons that you can’t succeed in your photography business. This bully is your subconscious. Call them out and gain control over your life and watch your business take off. Your bully lives in your subconscious.  Your subconscious is a tape recorder, recording everything that happens in your life. It lets you live on autopilot like a self-driving Tesla. When an opportunity comes up, your subconscious takes the wheel and takes you down a dirt road instead of going on a speedway to good things that can happen for your business. This voice doesn’t have to be our bully. It can solve problems if we let it. It can keep you company, help you work out problems, think of potential outcomes and weigh pros and cons.  Your Subconscious Can Help You Succeed In Your Photography Business The key is stopping your bully from beating you up. Don’t let it say that your photography career is over or that you’re a failure because that client didn’t order wall portraits of your photos. You have to use your bully voice to solve problems. It can be your ally, but when it starts bullying, it’s time to give it a punch.  Stop letting the bully go on and on. You don’t hang out with those people in your life, so stop hanging out with them in your head. Love Your Subconscious Treat yourself like you would treat someone you love. You need to be your biggest fan in order to control…

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Episode 22: Why You Aren’t Attracting Better Clients

When you book sessions with photography clients who aren’t exactly your ideal client, you start to panic. Here are seven things that you can start doing every day, without advertising, to help attract better photography clients. #1:  Don’t Shop On Price First, do not be cheap. Quit shopping at cheapeverything.com. You have to start valuing the businesses that you use. Get to know the business owner. Talk positively about them on social media. If you want better photography clients who value you, be that buyer for someone else. You don’t have to have a ton of money, just choose where you spend your money and consider you might want to do fewer, better things with the money you do have.  #2: Tip Well If you were raised with freeple-cheaple parents, you probably weren’t taught to tip. You probably don’t know what’s appropriate. The top sales and service people are rewarded for taking great care of you and providing great service. They’re not paid a normal fee or wage. They’re paid a very small guaranteed wage, with the assumption that they will generate tips. I believe that tipping well is required. If you say you can’t afford a tip, don’t go to a restaurant. I feel strongly about this because that’s how people in the service industry are paid. Have gratitude and tip well. #3:  Pay Quickly When I was at the advertising agency, the owners had a policy to pay all bills within seven days. I bet a lot of people were raised by parents who thought if a bill was due in 30 days, they could go 60 or 90 days before the fees start. The advertising agency owners wanted to be the best clients of their vendors because they knew their vendors would take good care of them…

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Episode 21: Why Learning More Won’t Fix Your Photography Business

Remember when you learned to swap a head in Photoshop? That was the best feeling. What about learning how to run a profitable photography business? That takes so much longer. Decades, even. At least that’s what you’re telling yourself. You’re saying that you can’t grow or start your photography business because you don’t know enough yet. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to stop learning. That’s right! As an entrepreneur, we have to solve problems. There is no memorization and regurgitation because we are living it. I invest so much in learning to grow my photography business, but for the learning to work, you can’t stop there. Fail, Then Fix It I know that for me to understand what I am learning in my photography business, I have to focus on implementing it. And when I implement, I’ll probably fail at some point. When that happens, I have to fix it. I have to figure it out and get it right. And that’s when the real learning and growth for my photography business begins. NOT when I invest in a course (that I may or may not ever consume). Not when I sit back and watch a course online, watch videos, listen to podcasts, or read books.  Here’s what I mean by that. When I started the Joy of Marketing, I created course after course for people to go and learn. There’s courses on  Pricing Marketing Framing Auctions Branding And lots of photographers would hop into those courses. They were ready to solve their problem. Then, they get stuck when it gets hard. They freeze up, get head trash and quit. That’s what’s wrong with the courses out there today. There are so many things out there that we can find information on, but information is not…

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