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 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…

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…


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…


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…


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 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…


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…


Episode 20: The Myth of Thinking “I Already Know That”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard me say something and thought, “Sarah, I already know that.” No hard feelings. I know you aren’t a “know it all,”  but be honest. You’ve probably thought that before.  Here’s the truth. There’s a pretty big difference between knowing something in your brain and actually living it out. You have to live out what you know to grow your photography business. If your photography business isn’t where you want it to be, there’s a chance you’ve let yourself think “I already know that”.  I ran across a past student the other day, who has been a part of the online photography business classes I’ve taught over the years. She knows my systems. She can recite the seven Bs of the first phone call or the 12 Ps of the IPS. But her averages aren’t what they could be.  She isn’t breezing through her photography business the way she wants. When I gave her advice she told me, “But Sarah, I already know that.” My question to her, and you, is  “Are you living out what you know?” If you’ve been a student of mine over the years and you think, I learned this from Sarah, but I’m still not great at it, I’m not going to yell at you. I know you know it, but just aren’t doing it. I learned this over many years as a business coach helping people grow their photography business.  Knowing and doing are two different things when trying to grow your photography business. After seeing this happen with several students I sat down and studied it. I tried to figure out where they are now from where they started. Mastery lives on a spectrum. You aren’t terrible at something and then become awesome at it in a…


Episode 19: Comparing Yourself to Other Photographers? Do This Today.

Your stomach drops. The lump in your throat appears out of nowhere along with the tears. Another photographer in your space just got a $5,000 order. As much as you want to celebrate with them, the volume of your headtrash is up to level 10. You think, “How come I’m not getting orders like that yet? Is it my prices? My marketing? My photography? “Maybe I should throw in the towel and go sell essential oils.”   Comparing yourself to other photographers is easy. We’ve all gone down the spiral of comparison before. I’m going to show you how to use comparison to lift yourself up instead of pulling you down.  I’ve spoken to several photographers lately who have told me they’re feeling super discouraged. They see so many photographers getting results and giant orders on our Instagram, in our coaching programs, and they hear me talking about success story after success story when I do web trainings. The success stories in our community are spreading faster than termites in a wood-house.  I know exactly how you feel. When I joined the mastermind group with my mentor, there were some mega-entrepreneurs sitting elbow to elbow with me.  When you sit in a room and hear how others are growing by millions and hitting the goals that have been yours for years, it’s only human to walk out feeling defeated and insecure. In these situations where you are comparing yourself to other photographers, you have to tell yourself, “They’re doing it. If they’re doing it, I can figure it out and do it myself.”  Comparing Yourself To Other Photographers is the Thief of Joy You might be thinking, “Why is everyone else succeeding and I’m not?” One of our past presidents, Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s…


Episode 18: I Double my Photography Income September – December. Here’s How.

I Tripled My Photography Income September – December. Here’s How.
This may sound a little bit savage, but hear me out because the coach in me can’t help but get a *little* fired up when I see you out there dabbling with your photography business.
Now before you say, “Who me?!” and snuggle back into being content to make whatever money falls in your lap from your photography this year, listen up.
If you’re thinking about throwing in the towel for the year because your photography business hasn’t looked like you thought it would back in January. Pu-lease.
No one’s photography business looks like we thought it would back in January, mine included.
But here’s a little secret it took me a few years to learn.
A portrait photographer makes ALL their profit from September – December.
And in this episode, I’m going to show you HOW so that the last 4 months of the year completely turn your 2020 around. It’s SUPER juicy so grab your notebook and press play now.


Episode 17: The 1 Change You Can Make to Grow Your Photography Business Now

We all look for proof of our false beliefs. We want to be right so darn bad that we’ll SELF-SABOTAGE our dreams. It’s a real phenomenon called confirmation bias. And it’s standing in the way of you and that photography business that you want. The business that can solve your money problems. The business that can even solve your relationship problems.