Episode 43: The Top Secrets to Reaching $100K From My Yay Award Winners (Part 1)

Episode 43: The Top Secrets to Reaching $100K From My Yay Award Winners (Part 1)


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

At my annual event, Go Boutique Live, we honor boutique photographers with what are called YAY Awards.

Photographers can win awards for getting their first $1,000 client, raising $1,000 for charity, and for reaching $10,000 and $50,000 in annual sales.

The highest honor a photographer can earn from us is the award for $100,000 in portrait sales from January through December.

This year we have a record number of $100K YAY Award winners, despite 2020 being the year of a pandemic.

I’ve asked these incredible photographers to share their best advice on reaching $100,000 in your portrait photography business. 

Jenn Kerfeld of Meyer’s Photography Studio 

My advice for getting to 100K in your photography business is to simply never give up.

When I opened my studio, I was 25 years old, had nothing to my name, and was just four years out of college.

I poured everything I had into my business and worked extremely hard.

I wrote my goals and got to work because failure wasn’t an option.

My first goal was to earn $3,000 in the month of February.

Each month I would set my goal a little higher and slowly increase my sales.

I dug deep and kept finding ways to make more money.

Eventually, my monthly sales added up to over $100,000.

Creating a six-figure photography business is within your reach too, you just have to believe it to achieve it.

Jill and Tim Gray of Higher Focus Photography.

Something else that is essential to our success is to make a plan and stick to it.

We put deadlines on the calendar for everything.

If we don’t write something on the calendar, it doesn’t happen.

Having a plan keeps us on track and productive.

If you want to reach $100K in your photography business, you have to have patience and tenacity.

None of our success happened overnight.

It took us a while to implement Sarah’s teachings.

Just remember: done is better than perfect. 

Sarah Rostotski of Rostotski Studio Limited

To reach $100k in sales, you need to do an In-person sales projection meeting.

This has been essential for my business since the beginning.  

You also need to have examples of what you want to sell.

Decorate your studio and home with beautiful canvas prints that will show your clients what you offer.

Clients will invest more money when they have a clear picture of what they are ordering.

You also have to get clear about why you are a boutique photographer.

As I grew up, I realized how important wall portraits are to a family.

They can add self-esteem to a child and bring families together.

That is my why. 

To have a six-figure boutique photography business, you need to do in-person projection sales, show what you want to sell, and be clear about why you do what you do.

You can do it. 

Tania Gaylor of Tania Gaylor Photography

My biggest advice for earning $100K annually in your photography business is to get involved in the community.

As soon as I stopped hiding behind my computer and connected with my local community, I noticed HUGE changes within my business.

The best way to do this is through charity events.

Silent auctions bring me great clients every year.

One event brought me $26,000 in sales from just three clients over three years. 

You could also run smaller charity events within your community.

For example, my local Food Bank was struggling during the pandemic, so we partnered together for a fundraiser photoshoot.

We raised over $5000 for them by doing The Front Steps Project.

This fundraiser brought me an amazing client who has bought over $16,000 in artwork. 

Donating and volunteering is an amazing way to improve your community and business at the same time.

Connect with your community and stop hiding behind your computer.

It will make a huge difference in your boutique photography business.

Jill Liebhaber of Jookie, a Portrait Boutique 

My advice is to love what you do.

Believe that photography is the perfect career and that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.

From that mindset, it’s easy to make your business a priority.

You make a decision to succeed, then you make a plan of how to get there.

Then, you have to keep learning how to improve.

Be willing to be uncomfortable.

Growth is hard, but it’s worth it.

Owning your own business is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.

If you love what you do, you can reach $100K and beyond in your photography business. 

Sarah Petty

I am so proud of these photographers for achieving the 100K YAY award.

With their advice, I know you can reach 100K too.

You got this.

Next week I’ll be back with part two of advice from my 100K Yay award winners.

follow boutique photographer sarah petty on instagram to learn more about the boutique photography timeline


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