Episode 180 – How a Small Town Couple with 5 Kids Stopped Selling Digital Files & Had $12,620 in Photography Orders 53 Days Later

How a Small Town Couple with 5 Kids Stopped Selling Digital Files


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Sarah Petty: Six years into being photographers, Andy and Danielle felt like their photography business had run its course.

The calls weren’t coming in like they used to, and they had to pick up odd jobs to make ends meet.

Then they made a big decision to go boutique, and 53 days later, they had a $12,620 photography order.

Check out their story of how they went from $450 sessions that included all the digital files to where they are today doing a minimum of $1,000 per client.

I am so excited that you guys are.

Share a little bit about your family and then we’ll get into what your business looked like.

Andy: We live in a tiny town in southwest Missouri.

We live in the middle of nowhere, we don’t even have 1,000 people in our town.

We have five kids and a crazy, hectic, busy life.

Sarah Petty: Tell us what your life was looking like.

You have five kids and how did photography fit into your world?

Andy: For the last three years, photography was all I was doing.

Our sole income was me doing photography.

I thought I was having success, but I was working all the time, editing all the time and going nonstop.

Sarah Petty: I love that you guys are such a team.

So Danielle, tell us what your role is in the business.

Danielle: Before this, I was at home taking care of everything and running all the kids to the sports so he could focus on the business.

I really didn’t have a role in photography at that point.

Sarah Petty: So Andy, you were doing digital files and how were you charging for your work?

Andy: I was charging but I wasn’t really business-minded.

My thought was I’ll charge more upfront because I don’t know how to sell prints.

But what was happening was I didn’t even know how to do that right.

Danielle: He was so busy and we raised his prices a little bit to try and make more.

But he was still working and editing all night.

It just felt like just pennies.

I just thought that there had to be a better way.

Sarah Petty: You were burned out and not seeing your kids.

The purpose of having your own business was to have that flexibility to see your kids.

Instead, you have the flexibility to work all the time.

Danielle: Customers started dwindling away because something was lacking.

It just felt like the business just ran its course after a while.

We were doing it for six years, but the last two we weren’t growing.

We couldn’t lower our prices because we’re already doing so much.

It felt like we weren’t getting paid anything.

Sarah Petty: So what happened, Danielle?

Danielle: I started digging around on the internet and I found you.

Everything that you were teaching made so much sense.

I told Andy that you had a free challenge coming up and we were doing it.

Andy: Which was hard for me because I had to let go of everything that I already knew and basically just surrender the process.

Danielle: But every little step that we took with you built confidence.

We had to take baby steps forward and trust the process.

Sarah Petty: At the end of the challenge, we had a class coming up called Boutique Breakthrough, and you guys jumped in. Was that a hard decision to make?

Danielle: We had nothing to lose so I knew we had to do it.

Something had to change.

Andy: I couldn’t afford not to do it.

Sarah Petty: So you get into Boutique Breakthrough and how are you guys going through everything?

Danielle: I was doing most of the training and then would give Andy the videos that he needed to watch so he knew what to say. 

We both said we had to make it work so that we had income.

Andy: We are a really good team, honestly.

While I was working, she was going through Boutique Breakthrough and she would tell me to listen to certain videos and do exercises to learn the things I needed on my end.

Sarah Petty: I love it.

We went through pricing.

How was that for you?

Danielle: It was scary.

But I loved how you laid it out.

My favorite part of the program is how you break it down so well with audio and PDFs.

You were very detailed.

And that helped me gain confidence going into the pricing.

When I started doing the pricing, I just trusted the process.

Sarah Petty: Then you went on and learned how to talk to a client.

You had to learn how to talk about price and create value and what makes you different.

Was that hard for you guys?

Andy: It was for me, because I’m an introvert.

I really had to step out of my comfort zone in order to get where I want to be.

Stepping in and doing that just takes practice and the more I would do it, the better I was.

I printed out the 7Bs and just had them right in front of me when talking to clients on the first phone call.

Danielle: I had a cheat sheet for everything with Boutique Breakthrough.

I had a clipboard for every step that we had to take with the client.

Sarah Petty: That’s amazing.

So then you went out and did marketing activities and you got a first client.

You had to do the session, plan the order, and then build the session.

Did you present this session together?

Andy: We did it together.

Sarah Petty: I have to hear about this presentation!

So you’re going through the 12Ps in the presentation and they’re ordering and they’re ordering, and in your mind, are you like, “Boy, this is going to be a big order.”

Danielle: Yes. I was thinking that.

I was like, okay, but I’m just going to stay calm and just keep writing it down.

Sarah Petty: Which is what the products are.

Did you have that moment of, “That’s why Sarah gave us the product layouts the way she did because we did that and then they wanted them.”

It’s sort of a magic combination of products that if you do it the right way, they can’t say no to it.

Danielle: Exactly. And then after she finished picking out everything she wanted to pay in full.

Sarah Petty: Tell everybody what the total amount was of the order.

Danielle: $12,620.

Sarah Petty: When you got that money and the client left what came over you guys at that moment?

Because that’s the moment.

Andy: For me, it was this giant light bulb of knowing what is possible now.

I don’t have imposter syndrome anymore.

Now I know we can be successful at this, and we’ve got the right tools that we’ve never had.

Sarah Petty: It’s so true.

You now have what you need to go out there and serve people and get that over-market value every time.

Andy: We know that this is possible and now we aren’t afraid to be at the front of the room.

Sarah Petty: Talk about the difference in giving digital files and then the boutique experience.

Some people think boutique is way harder.

Andy: It’s not easy, it’s simple.

It’s because you have the right tools with Boutique Breakthrough.

Danielle: I just love being around people and I love serving them.

And they’re so appreciative of everything that we do for them now.

This system really allows you to have an actual relationship with your clients.

Sarah Petty: I love it.

What has opened up for your family and your dream of working together and raising your kids and doing all the things?

Andy: That’s what I love about it.

We’re wanting to make this a family thing and eventually bring my son and his wife in it.

Danielle: We don’t have odd jobs now like we did at the beginning of this year.

Within a couple of months we are back to growing again as a business and it feels amazing.

Andy: And I don’t miss ball games anymore.

Sarah Petty: I love it.

I’m so proud of you guys, and I am cheering so hard for you.

Thank you for coming here to share your story.

Download the Episode Transcript Here

How a Small Town Couple with 5 Kids Stopped Selling Digital Files & Had $12,620 in Photography Orders 53 Days Later
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