Episode 203 – GBL Takeaways

Episode 203 - GBL Takeaways


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

You might be wondering what our annual event Go Boutique Live is about. Today, I want to share with you why I created this event and some of the really juicy highlights from our 2024 event. The first time photographers hear about Go Boutique Live they assume it’s like any other photography conference. I realized that because of my background and the kind of business I’ve created, I had a moral obligation to the students who were studying from me who I knew needed an event. I saw that they needed a place to come together and be supported. They needed more than a class or a program because this is really how we reset the nervous system. They get poured into for multiple days with the same positive messages of belief, possibility, and of proof along with the strategies and tactics. I know when you can be immersed, that’s when we have transformation.

This is why we bring speakers that you’ve never heard of and you’re not going to hear at other conferences. You see from other students who have followed this system and you can hear what’s working for them and you can implement those exact things. You can take these proven ideas and go use them to get clients and higher orders. This is our fifth year of this three-day event for boutique photographers and it just keeps getting better and better. Here are a few of my top takeaways from this year’s event.

  1. Action over distraction

This was the theme of the event. The theme is always so important to me because I know that no change can happen in your life without taking action. I really wanted to focus on actions and what actions can you take that can change your life. If you’re a regular here, you know that our mascot at the Photography Business Institute is the squirrel. They’re always taking action and thriving. Squirrels are tenacious, resilient, and they’re responsible for planting amazing seeds that build the community. And in business, you’re planting little relationships here and there that turn into a thriving business.

Are you finding yourself starting a bunch of things and not finishing, going out there and being distracted all the time and not seeing things through? If you do it correctly, all of those little acorns that you’ve been planting can actually turn into business for you. But you’ve got to stop procrastinating and having paralysis by analysis. It’s about finding a system that you can take action on. And I heard from so many people that they had so many pages of actionable notes, which is so important to me. I want everybody to leave the event knowing what actions they’re going to take next.

  1. You have so much hidden potential 

You have hidden potential in you and it’s so easy to judge yourself compared to where you are when you’re comparing yourself to others who maybe started way ahead of you. The comparison is the thief of all joy, a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, and it’s just something that I know in our industry is such an epidemic. Everybody is comparing themselves and putting themselves down.

  1. Increasing your client orders is easy

During the event, I taught eight things you can do to get clients to invest more in your photography than ever before. It was one of the most talked about segments. To increase your client orders, it isn’t a bunch of salesy tactics or pushy things. These are the things that you talk about that get clients excited to come to you and book with you. This was over a 45-minute segment where I went into detail on each of these eight things, but let me share a few highlights with you.

One was to go to the client’s home. Another fun tip I shared was how to start an addiction. With my kids, I bought sweaters from Lands and they were cream cable knit sweaters.Every year for 18 years, I created images of those kids in those sweaters. And so you do that with a client and they’re addicted to you. They’re coming back every single year. Next, look for landmark sessions. Landmark sessions are times over the life of these clients doing business with you where they’re going to invest more. Every session isn’t going to be the same. Some are smaller, some are bigger. But just like going to the dentist, you go get a checkup every year they clean your teeth, but every couple years they want to do X-rays and they want to do treatments to protect your teeth and things that are going to be a bigger investment better, but that are very important over the life of good dental care. As photographers, we owe it to our clients to educate them on when these landmark sessions should happen. One more idea is making an extremely memorable mess. We’ve done sessions where we’ve cut a feather pillow open and we’ve done feather craziness all over the yard where they’re blowing feather kisses and they’re doing feather snow angels from where I’m photographing them from above. It always is a big order because it’s so much fun.

  1. Scaffolding

If you want to build a bigger building, you’ve got to build scaffolding. When builders start to build that building, the first thing they do is they slow down and they build the scaffolding so they can make their building taller. The taller the building, the more scaffolding they have to build. And it seems like when people start a business, they just start doing it. They’re like, “I’m going to be a photographer. I’m going to go and promote myself doing cheap mini sessions” and they haven’t built any scaffolding.

And then we had a guest speaker, Steve Larson, and he talked about five types of scaffolding you need that are business systems. Your business systems are the scaffolding. So if you’re out there trying to build a business without systems, you’re not going to go very high. We gave five business systems that you need: leads, selling system, delivery, upsell and the support system that you’re building.

  1. Who are the right fit clients

You might be asking yourself, “Who are the right fit clients?” We did a lot of talking about our ideal clients at the event. One of our peak performer students, a member of our program, Ali Klein, shared a killer client income value scale. We went through it in detail together, and she broke down the clients who are low in value and low in income, they’re not the clients we want. Everybody isn’t going to be our client. Let’s stop trying to serve everyone. Then we talked about our ideal clients and how they value photography. It was a really fun segment brought out by one of our students who is just out there crushing it.

  1. How to find the right fit clients

After we went through Ali’s value scale and we realized there are these right-fit clients, but sometimes they’re not out there searching for a photographer. We talked about how people think photographers just deliver digital files, but we are creating wall portraits and beautiful artwork that they’re not even thinking about. They’re looking for how to decorate their home and they’re not considering us. We talked about the number one way to find people who don’t know we exist. You want to know what it is? It’s to get a partner. A partner is another business who shares your target audience. When you have a partner, they can do the heavy lifting for you and can bridge the gap. You are one partner away from a fully booked calendar.

  1. 5 steps to building that one perfect partnership

At the event, we went into detail about them, but let me give them to you so that you know what they are. Number one, identify them. So you have to identify who the right fit partners are. Number two, you’ve got to build relationships with them. You don’t just walk up to a person and say, “Hey, you want to marry me?” No, you’ve got to build a relationship first. Number three, get them to fall in love with you with what you do. You shouldn’t be pitching anything to anybody who doesn’t know, like, and trust you. Number four, create marketing opportunities that you can do together. And number five, they introduce you to their audience through that marketing opportunity.

  1. Overcoming the law of need

This is where most of you go wrong when you’re trying to create a partnership. You come from a place of needership instead of leadership. That’s the law of need, my friend. The law of need governs desperation. You’ve got to start nurturing these relationships. And once you do that, it’s amazing how fast that can change.

  1. The 30-day rule

This came from Chet Holmes’ book. The 30-day rule states that the prospecting you do in the next 30 days serves you for the next 90 days. So if you don’t have any clients and you’re in a slump, it’s because you’re not prospecting. Get out there shake trees, and plant acorns. The squirrel doesn’t look for a tree on an acorn that it didn’t plant months ago. Get out in the market. Proximity is power. Plant seeds, build partnerships, find right fit clients, and you can crush this.

I hope you liked that mini-version of our three-day intensive, immersive event.

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Episode 203 - GBL Takeaways


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