For today’s post, I wanted to say a few words about a local creative dynamo named Jules Holliday. I met Jules originally at a Christmas party for Nashville-area photographers, but at the time I didn’t realize quite how much we had in common. I found out through Facebook that Jules was going to be meeting up with a number of locals for a project she’s calling 20 Meetups and asked if I could be part of the project (which she wrote about here).
After spending one-on-one time with Jules, it was obvious that this girl is going places. She’s got that drive to meet, to create, and to make a difference. Like me, Jules is a photographer, a web designer, and a knitter (!), but beyond that, she’s a videographer and something of an entrepreneur.
One of her pet projects (ha!) is called The Monkey Project and provides fair trade wages for the artisans of Huancayo, Peru for hand-crafted sock monkeys. You can actually find these hand-made monkeys at different spots around the Nashville area (like Frothy Monkey Coffeehouse and Grimey’s) or online.
Back in her hometown of Columbus, OH, Jules was involved with a number of local bands, doing photography and promotion. So it made complete sense for her to bring her talents down here to us in Nashville, and since she’s moved here, she’s also become quite the band videographer, doing work for Noisetrade and Sirius XM radio.
Check out Jules’ site below to see her talent in action. And be sure to keep up with what she’s doing because I’m sure we’ll start seeing her name attached to many more projects in the coming years.
Does your business need a change?
I’ve heard a lot of photographers talk about their plans for their business in 2014, and many of them are making big changes to their business models. Are you one of the photographers this year who plan to make the switch from a “shoot & burn” model to selling products? Are you daunted by all the changes that go along with making the switch? Worried that you’ll lose your client base? Don’t know how to make the change?
If these are some of your concerns, you’ll find no shortage of advice online, and I want to help you sort through some of the noise, so today I’m reviewing a brand new educational tool called Shoot 2 Sale from wedding & portrait photographers Scarlett & Stephen.
Before they married, Scarlett & Stephen were each photographers using a shoot & burn business model, but knew they had to make a change to earn more money when they got married and merged their separate businesses into a single, 2-person business. They’ve taken their personal experiences (through education and trial-and-error) to create a 40-part lecture series designed for photographers who want to learn to do in-person sales.
Don’t be frightened by the idea of a 40-part lecture! The lectures are all very short (between about 40 seconds and 10-ish minutes), so it’s actually well-designed for people who want to go back and hear certain information again- you don’t have to scrub back and forth through a lecture to find what you wanted or sit and wait until they get to what you wanted to hear.
The lectures are interspersed with brief articles that underscore some of their main points, so it’s good for those types who like to switch things up. And, while some of the information in the lectures is visual, a lot of it you can listen to while doing other things (like editing!).
There were a few things I really liked about Scarlett & Stephen’s approach. I’ll give a rundown (including some of the things I mentioned above):
- Scarlett and Stephen are open and completely forthright about their previous sales numbers, and even show you comparisons from their invoices
- Brief lectures let you go at your own pace and let you easily find information that you want to hear again
- Useful business tools, including a sample order form spreadsheet (which is something I know I needed!)
- Links to pricing resources for those photogs who need pricing help
- One of the most affordable courses of its kind
- The tour of their in-home order appointment studio is fantastic, and will definitely make you want a similar space in your own home
- Scarlett and Stephen are personable, and the content is not too tightly-scripted, so it feels like a natural conversation and lets their personalities come through
- The information isn’t just for wedding photographers- it’s great for portrait, boudoir, or any photographic style where clients could potentially display products in their homes
Since I have already made the switch from shoot & burn to in-person sales, it was interesting to hear about the methods other photographers have for selling products to clients. I picked up quite a few pointers– there were some great ideas, plus it got me thinking of other small changes I could make to improve my client experience. Then, of course, there are some changes I won’t be making. For instance, though they mention using Preveal iPad app as a potential tool, they don’t use it. I’m a big supporter of Preveal, personally, and will certainly keep using it.
Some potential drawbacks:
- While their studio space is amazing, it’s out of reach for many (though they do discuss alternatives)
- A lot of the information is repeated, which could be great for those who are doing other things while listening, but could be annoying to others
If you’re a photographer who has thought about moving to in-person sales, this is a useful, affordable resource to educate yourself about making the change. It will get you excited about the possibilities (and the potential for a better income while shooting fewer sessions). Beyond the income, though, it really is about providing a service that our clients need (even if they don’t know yet that they need it). Prints on the wall, NOT discs in a drawer!
Have you tried this course or similar courses? What did you think? Are you considering switching your photography business model? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.
Disclaimer: I reviewed a full copy of the course, which I received for free. The opinions stated above are my own and I have not received any financial considerations from Scarlett & Stephen, Shoot2Sale or Preveal.
If you are reading this post, then I have something important to say to you:
Thank you all so much for helping make 2013 an incredible year of growth, personally and professionally. I have worked harder than I thought possible this year, but I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it if it weren’t for the support of my family, my church family, and my friends.
Thank you all for letting me come into your homes and move your furniture, meet your spouses and precious babies, and spend time getting to know you and your unique stories.
Thank you all, especially, for helping to rekindle my passion for photography. I am so excited for the adventures to come in 2014. I’m going to do a lot of learning in 2014 to expand my style and break down my limits with photography. As always, please contact me for any photography needs you have in the next few months!
I promise: the results are going to be phenomenal.