Episode 34

Published on:

27th May 2019

Chris Scott – A Photographer Podcast Interview

Matt & Kia interview Chris Scott in this episode. He is based in Colorado Springs and he and his wife specialize in helping shoot and burn photographers transition to in person sales and printing. Chris and his wife started out as shoot and burn photographers and switching to in person sales changed their life. Virtual/remote in person sales is a great solution to not having a sales space or working with out of town clients. We just need to educate our clients on what they can do with their pictures. The selling happens in the planning meeting. Don’t miss what Chris would and wouldn’t spend his $1k on – if you’re a consistent listener to this podcast, you’ll be surprised! You definitely want to listen to hear the best advice Chris every received and his mantra for daily life.

Chris’s Favorite Resources

Manychat – chatbot for FB messenger

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Read Full Transcript


[00:01] Hey, this is Chris Scott and you are listening to from nothing to profit.

[00:05] Welcome to from nothing to profit of photographers podcast with Matt and Kayak where each week they talk to photographers about what is working in their business now so you can swipe those ideas and grow your business faster.

[00:21] Hey everybody, so super excited about this episode. So my friend Chris Scott is on, it’s going to be a little bit different, um, than some of the other podcasts where, where you’ve interviewed photographers because Chris, uh, and his wife actually don’t live very far from me and Carl or Colorado Springs, but they own a swift galleries as well as um, in Chris. You can tell me more about this, but you also have this whole mission right now where you’re trying to move people from shooting burn to in person sales, right? Yup,

[00:50] Yup. Absolutely. So we, we run, um, it’s a, the printmaker system, which is kind of our education side of things and a swift galleries, which is the tool itself that helps people, uh, well people helps photographers show their clients with their photos, will look like on their walls at the right size and then walks them step by step through an entire in person sales meeting. And we really kind of specialize in helping those shoot and burn photographers make the switch from shooting burden over to in person sales. That’s awesome. Yeah. Yeah. And we do that through the podcast too, which is called the print maker podcast.

[01:23] Perfect. And Chi, you’ve never met Chris before, right?

[01:26] No, but I’m super excited when you told me what he was talking about. I just feel like that, um, Chris that, you know, I want to, what I, one of the things I want to learn is why you decided to make that, you know, one of your main things is teaching people how to do in person sales. But from my viewpoint, I just feel like that is a way to really change photographers lives and change it from something that they do on the side to something that they can do full time. So that’s what I’m guessing you’re gonna say, but I’m curious. So,

[01:55] Ooh, interesting. Cause I might come at it from a different, a slightly different angle. So the reason that this is so, uh, that we’re so passionate about this is because Adrian and I did run our own photography business for a number of years and we started out at a shoot and burn photographers. We made about $150 on average per session. And in our first year of switching to in person sales, we went from those hundred $50 average is $220,000 in that first year. And it was absolutely life changing for us. You know what I mean? It sounds overly dramatic. Like it changed her life. Snow. It did. There is, it’s a completely different life when, um, you know, when you’re kind of just scraping by to like, okay, we don’t really have to worry about money. And we can really choose who we want to work with at this point.

[02:45] So we just started teaching some of our friends, this is back when we lived in Nashville. We started teaching some of our friends who are also photographers about what it is that we were doing. And that evolved into starting an APP. It was preveal, uh, that was an iPad app that that was kind of the precursor to where we are now with swift galleries. So, yeah, and, and you know, my, my goal at this point is not necessarily to take people through the exact steps that we did were where it’s like, okay, now I’m going to show, I feel like there’s so much six-figure hype in the, in the industry right now, and there’s really, there are a lot of photographers who don’t necessarily want to go full time, but they want to make this worth their time. And that’s really where we’re focused is let’s take those, those moms, uh, you know, the stay at home moms or the weekend warriors or the, you know, these shooting burners and let’s figure out how we can help them make this worth their while they’re spending this time away from their families.

[03:44] They’re spending this time away from, you know, other commitments. How can we help them just make it worth their time and help them feel as fulfilled as we did? You know, I mean, there’s something, we talk about money a lot. We talk about, Oh yeah, we made you know, x number of dollars a year and all of that. But that doesn’t even touch that feeling that you get as an artist when a client hands you a check for $3,000 and then is like crying and hugging you and thanking you like that is the most surreal thing ever. And there’s something to that as an artist that’s like, wow, I made this money. I didn’t just clock in and clock out. This person thinks I’m worth this. So if we can bring all of those things to these people who are just kind of slogging away day in and day out, then then I think that we’ve done our job.

[04:33] Very cool. Okay. Math, what’s our first question here? I think the start with kind of won’t Chris, what you see that’s working, um, in the industry now. So you know, and you can talk more about how that relates to the printmaker thing or whatever, but in the year, what do you, what do you think’s working for photographers now that you would want our audience to pay attention to? Yeah, so virtual or remote in person sales right now I think is, is a, um, something that a lot of photographers are not really tapping into. So this really fits in line with what it is that we’re doing. You know, trying to take these people who, who don’t necessarily have a sales space or you know, all of this time to travel to and from their clients’ homes or you know, any of that stuff and saying, hey, you know what, you don’t need all of that to do in person sales.

[05:21] Really all you need is a laptop and an Internet connection. So being able to run a full in person sales meeting using something like zoom and obviously I’m going to say swift galleries and being able to get those benefits of in person sales without really all of the, the uh, the overhead commitment, the, you know, the space having to clean up after your kids before somebody comes over, you know, the travel time, all of that. Um, we’re seeing just a huge amount of success with our members doing remote in person sales. Basically just doing an in person sales meeting in realtime. Just doing it all online though. Yeah. And so the right and then in person

[05:58] sales is that you’re going to guide the customer through the purchasing process and not just put it on a website and let them just figure it out for themselves and justify everything up and down and you know, you’re actually there to help them. Exactly. What you’re saying is like you’re still doing that guide and you’re just doing it virtually because you’re on a zoom call where you know, Jeff, maybe chair sharing screens are looking at each other through webcams or whatever and you’re able to still guide them through that process.

[06:20] Yup. Exactly. So the reason, there are a handful of reasons that we believe in person sales work. So number one is you are there, you’re, you’re that guide, you know, and there’s, man, there’s so much to this, there’s a lot that really needs to happen before the sales meeting. But just with respect to the sales meeting itself, you’re there, you can guide them through it. Um, another really big aspect of it is that everyone is setting aside that time to do it. So that’s a real big problem that we see with online sales is, you know, you send over an email that says, hey, your galleries ready and your client’s going to sit there in their boxer shorts at, you know, 11 o’clock at night or, or worse at five in the afternoon. And then life just gets in the way the kids need to eat and it’s time for bed and you know, all of that stuff.

[07:02] And those images that they genuinely are excited about, they just don’t, they never set aside the time to do anything with them to do something about it. And then you layer on top of that, uh, what we were just talking about, this idea that the clients really don’t know what to do with stuff. You know, everybody talks about, oh my clients only want digital files. Well that’s really our fault. We as an industry have taught our clients that that’s all they need. So if you can step into that cap now and say, hey, you know what, there are other things that you can do with these. And, and if you truly believe, and this is what we believe, that my job is as a photographer isn’t done until I’ve helped you figure out what to do with these, you know, so that, so that I’m doing more than saying, Hey, here are your files. Good luck figuring out what to do with them, you know, something like that. So instead I’m saying, Hey, I can walk you through this. And you’re exactly right. I’m doing this all online so that they don’t have the time commitment and the space commitment. Basically. I just need a blank wall behind me and a laptop and an Internet connection. So

[08:05] that’s awesome. Well, and this is really, here’s a really cool example. Like I’ve always believed exactly what you said that like, we just need, you know, we’re, I mean an educate our clients that there what they can do with their portraits because most people never buy photography. It’s similar to like them buying a car, but the auto industry spends billions of dollars a year trying to educate them on how to buy a car. Yeah. But we, we have, we have an uphill challenge of having to do that without all the advertising dollars. But, um, it’s really interesting. So we just did a dance. We just photographed as dance studio and um, did a lot of tips that we learned from Rose Coleman, who we had on the podcast a months ago. And it was amazing. We actually did more print sales and digital sales. At this and that. And it wasn’t really an incentive to do prints over digital. We just use some of her systems to kind of educate them what, what was possible. And you know, it was definitely 70% sales and 30% digital. This was really cool. Yeah, that’s incredible.

[08:59] Well, I was just gonna say, I, you know, I’ve had, I’ve been doing this for 20 years and so I was totally print and then a partial digital. And then, uh, I started a new studio and I was just like, I don’t want to deal with this. And so I was mostly digital and now my clients are coming back and saying, we don’t want digital files because we’re not doing anything with them. And so I’m actually transitioning all my pricing to have prints go with everything. And I even, I don’t know, I have a sad story that goes along with us. I don’t know, you know, how, what all you guys do to tell to convince people to do it. But, um, I can’t get into my digital archives from 10 or 12, 15 years ago. Like my, those old hard drives, I can’t get to link to my new computers.

[09:49] And so I just had a friend pass away about six months ago and I had photographed her, but I could not get to those files. And so I ended up, we had printed albums of her and I photographed images from the album and use those. And so I’m just like so, so convinced. I’m like, you have to print these because there’s no guarantee that there’s, you know, I mean, apple changes, they’re a little dongle every time they make a new thing. Right. You know, there’s no guarantee I’m going to be able to get to these.

[10:16] Yeah. We, we, we jokingly refer to it as, it’s cool. I backed all my photos up on my space. Yeah. You know, it’s like, yeah, nobody’s ever saying that, but you know, at some point that’s what everybody was thinking and, and you know, this technology’s gonna Change.

[10:31] Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. Okay. So real quick and kind of want to you to tell us a little bit more about your story in terms of like, just kind of quickly how you ended up into the, in the software space, um, and kind of that, and then right after that we’ll, we’ll take a break and then we’ll ask you some more questions about where you see the industry going and stuff. So, yeah. So how did, how’d you end up like, and like, I mean in software, I don’t know what you want to call it, but I mean maybe sales as a service, but our software is a service, but how’d you end up there?

[11:00] Yeah, it was, um, it was really just kind of dumb luck. We, uh, yes, we were shooting, uh, weddings and portraits full time, uh, for a number of years. And we were waiting for pro select to make a mobile version of pro select cause we were approached select users at the time and they didn’t do it. They didn’t do it. We literally waited a year and then we, um, we just said, screw it, let’s, let’s try this. Um, and it was one of these things where it was like a, the husband of a friend and I knew nothing about software development at the time. Like I was like, Hey, your husband writes code. Right? Like, and that was to me, that was like, oh, so clearly he can do this. And, um, and we just got really lucky and a, and he could do it and, and that’s, you know, preveal kind of took off.

[11:47] Right. I mean, just immediately took off. It was very surprising to us. Um, and, um, and yeah, that was right about the time that we, we had our, our first kid, we have a, now we have a, gosh, a six year old daughter and a four year old son. And, um, yeah, that was about the time that we had our first kid. We moved from, from Tennessee to Colorado, and it took over our lives, you know, as we jokingly or not, not even jokingly, we thought, you know, okay, we’re gonna, we’re gonna launch this thing and it’s gonna make us money while we sleep. And then like, now we just don’t sleep anymore. You know, it, it just took over. So it actually ended up being a really good transition for us. I, I was, um, recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was starting to, I’d now that I look back, uh, I was starting to really deal with a lot of those symptoms where I couldn’t, you know, we’d get to the end of a, of a doubleheader wedding weekend and I wouldn’t be able to pick things up for a few days or you know, worse.

[12:46] I wouldn’t be able to grab a glass of water in the mornings or something like that. And I thought, wow, I’m just really out of shape. Come to find out now. It was all of this stuff kind of coming up. So all of these kinds of culminated in us moving markets and all of that and saying, Hey, you know what? This is actually a fulltime job. Let’s treat it like one. So we bowed out of, of shooting full time and then just started running software. And from there we made our, our education a little bit more formal, a as opposed to like just sitting down and having milkshakes with friends and talking about what it is that we’re doing. We started, you know, putting together some courses and stuff and that’s kind of led to where we are now with the, with the printmaker system. So what we do now is, um, is a course called the path to a printmaker and it kind of walks people through how to attract the right clients to their business, how to excite them about products, how to, um, and then how to delight them with the sales process that feels nothing like sales. And then we pair that with, with the swift galleries tool, uh, and then a, a community that we call the per maker coalition online.

[13:49] Cool. Yeah, I think so. I think so cool about your platform is like, I think the power of your, of what you’re doing is in the education. Yes. And then it’s like, but you know how the education goes, you watched the new, you’re like, oh yeah, well this sounds all great. Like, okay, I get it. But you know, in the ideal world, of course I would do all this stuff, Chris. And then you’re able to say, well like here’s swift galleries. That’s kind of the shortcut. Yup. You know, to make this happen for you, you know, like where you don’t have to like wreck, wreck your brain around it. It just makes it simple for you. So that’s pretty cool that like, you know, they, they kind of go together.

[14:23] Thanks man. That’s, and that was really our goal was this idea that like, you know, education and tools, it’s all theirs. I mean, education at this point is a diamond dozen. You know, you can find this stuff online, but it becomes this, this kind of mass of like, so we refer to it or to me it’s sort of like I’m dumping like a dozen different puzzles into one pile and then trying to make sense of the mess because I have a ton of access to education, but I really don’t how this fits together. So you know, if you look at like the Facebook groups that are out there like yeah, they’re a wealth of free information, but it’s literally coming at you every few seconds in no discernible order. And you’re like, well how does this tip from this person fit with this thing from this person fits with this step from over here.

[15:11] So we wanted to look and say like, you know what? We’re really stinking good at this. So let’s just build out this full end to end thing that says like, look, we’re going to show you how to sell. Then we’re going to show you how to take that concept of sales and apply it to the tool that we’ve already built. It was literally built to support this sales process in the first place and then we’re going to show you how to launch that. So it really is this kind of end to end solution where you could come in the front end knowing nothing about in person sales and come out the back end, you know, 21 days later with an in person sales business launched and you have the tools, you have the education, you have everything in place. So that was kind of our goal is to take that person who knows nothing about this and say, hey, you know what, don’t worry about searching all over the Internet for it. Here’s everything you need and can you make it better from here? Absolutely. But here’s your baseline. Let’s get you launched. Yeah.

[16:07] Wait, don’t, don’t move on. It’ll get, well, I mean that, it’s so funny because I think Matt and I, the problem is when we bring educators on where like, okay, I’m going to buy that next. I’m going to bet you’ve told us, but I’ve been doing in person sales for like 15 years, but I’m still sold on the wording that you just used. And so back up and say that like phrase that you like, you were like delight them with a process. What, what was that phrase it yet?

[16:39] Yeah, so we, we break our, our process, um, the sales process itself, we call it now you’re putting me on the spot. Uh, well, uh, no, we call it um, attract, excite and delight. We’re going to attract the right people to our business by setting expectations right up front. All were everywhere. Someone sees your work, you want them to see what products you offer, the price that you sell those products at and the processes are going to go through to get that. So that’s what we call the attract step. So you’re going to attract the right people to your business. From there, we’re going to excite them about those products that we’ve set expectations for. So that’s going to be through through their communication with you through the planning meeting, which I really love. The way that we teach that we do that our people do planning meetings.

[17:23] It really sets the stage for a ferry, a very low key sales meeting. Basically all the selling happens up front. If you get to the sales meeting and you feel like you’re selling somebody on it, then something has gone wrong earlier in the process. So we have the attract step excite is going to be through your communication, through the planning meeting and then through the session itself. We’re using the session itself to continue to build excitement for the that we’ve discussed throughout the process so far. And then the last piece is delight, where we’re going to delight them with, with a sales experience that feels nothing like sales and it’s because we’ve done all of that stuff up front and it never looked like sales always looks like service. It’s really us truly customizing a process for each or or like a sales experience for each and every client all the way down to tell me about your space.

[18:14] What color are the walls, what does your artwork look like? You know? And now based on all of these things I know about you, here’s what I think we should do. You know, so like we go into a sale, into a session knowing exactly where we’re going to shoot, what time we need to shoot, what they’re going to wear. Um, you know, all of these things. But like these are things that sometimes we just, as photographers, we just do arbitrarily like, yeah, just wear Khakis and white shirts. It’s cool guys, you know, like, but our photographers now get to go into a session with reasons for all of these suggestions. Okay. Based on the colors in your room, the artwork that you already have in there, the mood, the style, you know, like this is not the hub of activity. Maybe for your house. This is maybe where you go to relax at the end of the day.

[18:59] Cool. We’re going to take all of these things into consideration and say, all right, we need to do your session here. It needed to be at this time. You need to wear these clothes so that it goes with the colors in the artwork, in your room. You know, all of these things, we have context for it. I think that’s really, to me, that’s really the point of this process is it’s an intentional process. We’re not just throwing things out there just because every single piece is exactly where it should be to lead a client step by step from being interested in art work, to actually having artwork on the wall all the way to our clients are our clients, our members. We’ll install that artwork for their clients and all of that so that the client doesn’t have to do anything. So anyway, I get really excited about this. I’m sorry. I know that I’m going way off of what you asked, but, uh,

[19:47] you answered the question. Uh, you know what, you know, what was the, the phrase delight your client. Yep. And um, I think the fun part about it, um, you know, and the reason that we do this podcast is because we want people to go from nothing to profit, right? And so essentially what you’ve done is you’ve taken people from nothing, you know, really making very little per hour as a photographer to profiting, but you’re also delighting the, and the client too. You’re not, it’s not something where you’re taking advantage of them. Are there any yup. Yeah. Yeah.

[20:20] And what we’ve found is, you know, we saw this in our own business and then we were able to kind of replicate it in our members’ businesses is this idea that, you know, these are clients were raving about this process because we were finally giving them something to rave about. You know, this idea that like, oh, how do I get referrals? Do I need to build a referral program? I’m like, no, do something worth referring, you know, and, and we would get people all the time. I was over at so and so’s house and I saw there, this to me is the best example. We would get this all the time. I was over at Janie’s house. This is a client who we can, we can point to like $80,000 in revenue from this one client. I was over at Janie’s house and I saw her artwork on the wall and I asked her, you know, who did it? And she said, oh, it’s Chris and Adrian. And then she ended up talking to us for a half an hour about all the stuff that you did. So it was like this idea that like yeah, the images were good enough, they were excited about the images, but the thing that she talked to her friends about, what’s the service that we provided. Um, and that to me felt like, okay, we’re on the right track here. We’re doing something right.

[21:27] That’s awesome. Okay, well guys, let’s take a quick break. Um, and then when we come back we’ll talk a little bit more about the industry and then we have some lightning round questions for you as well. Do it. Hey everyone, tell me if this sounds familiar. You look at your calendar and notice you need clients now. So you do a little marketing and get some phone calls. You get busy helping those new clients. They schedule sessions, they place orders and life is good, but once they’re done, your calendar is empty again. The reason is you didn’t have time to market while you were busy. Sometimes your business feels like a rollercoaster. And let me tell you something. It is, and believe me, you’re not alone. Photographers everywhere have the same problem, but I have some great news. Matt’s business, Allison Ragsdale, photography after years of trial and error has cracked the code.

[22:10] It works so well. He’s created a new class all about it. It’s called get clients. Now a dead simple approach to getting photography clients. Everyone at from nothing to profit is excited to share this info with you because this system helped Matt and Allison book hundreds of clients this year at their studio and the best part about this system is that it’s simple to set up and it works while you’re sleeping. No hard selling or creepy marketing. All you have to do is help your clients answer their most pressing questions. Clients love the system and say it is the number one reason they book with Matt and Allison. If you’re interested in learning more about this system, go to photo podcast.com forward slash simple Matt has created a short free video that introduces the system. If you like what you hear, podcasts or listeners get an exclusive discount on the full class.

[22:55] So make sure you go to photo podcast.ceo forward slash symbol and sign up for the free video. It will help you book more clients now and create the business you’ve always wanted. All right, welcome back everyone. We are having a fantastic interview with Chris Scott and he is teaching us a lot about in person sales and how that can take you from nothing to profit. And so, uh, Chris, we talked a little bit earlier, a you’re not a full time photographer right now, is that correct? Yep. Okay. So our, one of our questions that we always ask is what was holding you back from becoming a full time photographer? But um, I do feel like there are a lot of people that transitioned through being a photographer to other things. And so maybe you can shed a little bit of light on that.

[23:37] Yeah. On what? On at that time in my life, what kept me from, well actually

[23:43] what I would like to know is how

[23:46] you’ve felt about the transition from not being a full time photographer, but even at transitioning from that to your next step in life. Yeah. Yeah. Um, for us it was kind of, um, it just kind of needed to happen. Our, our side project, uh, took off. Um, and then like I was talking about earlier, uh, the rheumatoid arthritis started to set in. So whether I knew it or not, I was going to have to be out. We just got really, really lucky that we had a, we had a, a, a fallback in place. Cause I think I only, I probably only had about eight months left, uh, as a photographer. Now, looking back in hindsight, I probably only had about eight months left of being able to, to shoot fulltime before the rheumatoid arthritis really would have taken. How did you feel about that? You know, as, as far as not being a photographer?

[24:33] Because I feel like still bittersweet because yeah, is really sexy. And when you say you’re not, it’s like, oh no, it’s really, it’s really hard because I still, I still really kind of identify, uh, as a photographer. I still, I think that I still think like a photographer. I, I, I, you know, I hang out with my photographers and I mean this, it really is, it’s such a huge part of who I am, that it’s, it is, it’s hard to say that I’m not. Um, and uh, and I, I do, I wish I still wish I could shoot every day. Now it’s just a matter of, of, um, health and time. I just don’t have the time for it anymore. But thankfully we’ve been able to stay involved in the, uh, in the industry, just kind of in a different aspect as teachers and as software developers now. So, yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Okay. Matt, do you want to ask about the thousand dollars?

[25:25] Yeah, these are my favorite questions. Chris, you ready? All right, let’s do it. So, hypothetically speaking, if you had a thought, if I gave you $1,000 right now, like what would you buy that’s like photo industry related or what would you tell our audience? They should spend that thousand dollars on 1000 bucks? See, uh, let’s see. I would probably get a mirrorless camera. Okay. Yep. Just because, uh, I remember the days of hauling around a five d mark two with a battery grip on it and a 70 to 200 and a five, eight x two on top. Um, no wonder my hands hurt. Uh, you know, by the end of a, of a doubleheader wedding weekend and the idea of, of mirrorless. Now I’m just like, Gosh, it makes me feel like an old man. Cause I’m like, well, back and mud. We had mirrors, Mark Cameron, we had mirrors in our cameras and I carried a 25 pound rig all day, you know, so I think that’s where I would go with today. And I’m definitely in the market for that. Um, it sounds like everyone’s really pleased. We’re Nikon shooters and like everyone’s really pleased with the Nikon mirrorless stuff. And they’re supposedly going to be an update coming where like the eye eye, auto focus out of focus is on an I like Sony’s had for awhile now. Yup. As soon as they come out with that update, I think I’m ready to make the switch to cause it just seems so much, so much better

[26:44] now than you know, than the mirror versions for sure. Yup. Okay. Here’s the second question. Or the mirror lists. Literally lighter. Yeah. Oh, they’re a lot smaller. Yeah.

[26:56] And the lenses tend to be about half the size too because it’s just less class.

[27:01] Okay. That’s really interesting because I mean I started out shooting hostable ads. Like I literally can not hold it right. You know, and so, so when we went to a 20 or 35 millimeter, I was like, this thing is like a feather. But now it’s not. And, and one of the reasons I asked you that question before, it transitioned out of being a photographer. I know a lot of people that physically can’t be photographers anymore. I mean, it’s a very physical job and you know, I’m 45 and I’m like, okay, do I have 20 years left of this? I don’t know if I physically do. I mean I want to, but do I physically have 2020 years left? So, you know, making a plan of what you’re going to do next or how you’re going to do it or buying this camera that’s way lighter. I mean, that really makes a lot of sense. Yeah,

[27:45] yeah, absolutely. Like that. Here’s the second question then. Okay, so if you, I give you $1,000 again, but what would you not encourage people to spend that on? All right, so this is going to fly right in the face of the last answer, but I felt like I had to have an answer for that. So my answer would be I would not encourage someone to buy more gear. Yeah. I would encourage them instead to go buy a copywriting course or an advertising course or a marketing course. Like I wouldn’t, I would encourage them to invest that money into the business side of things. I think as photographers we, we really love the bells and whistles and we liked the stuff that makes our photos prettier. But at the end of the day, if you can’t sell the thing that you create to, then you do not have a business.

[28:29] Yeah. One, I just know, I know so many photographers that are, you know, shooting a Nikon d 90 and making tons of money and then other people that have, you know, three backup cameras of the highest end and they’re not making money. You know what I mean? Yeah. I mean Gary is one of the things like, I mean the, the, the gear companies convince you that’s the solution to making more money. But I don’t, I like Chris that I don’t think it is. I mean really if you, if you sit back and honestly ask yourself will buying the mark, whatever the next one is version of, of what I have actually contribute directly to my bottom line, then I think most of the time you’re going to be able to say the end. But in all fairness, there are times when you’re like, she didn’t know why didn’t it? And you’re like, okay, this gear is actually holding me back from doing a couple of these shots. So then in that case, you may want actually, you know, it is getting in your way. Yes, absolutely. It must know upgrading of camera body’s not gonna drive it magically improve your life. But I’ll tell you what, mirrorless does seem like it’s quite a leap forward for sure. Yeah, definitely. I’m Kyle.

[29:31] Okay. Um, so Chris, what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

[29:35] Right. So this one was in a hot tub in orange beach. Uh, is that

[29:42] owl, is that Alabama? I think it’s Alabama. It’s, you know, down by retailers or the hot tub. Exactly. Um, I was sitting with a good friend of mine, a guy named Sean Mcclellan and uh, and I was, gosh, I was brand new and it was one of these, like, we just happened to be friends with this guy who, who they ran a phenomenal, a photography business. And the best advice I got was from him. And he said, you know, I was saying, how can I justify charging the prices that you guys are, are charging in? His advice to me was you are not your client. You know, and, and I’ve, I’ve thought about that day in and day out since that day. This was 10 years ago, 12 years ago probably. And uh, it’s this idea that like, it’s okay if I can’t afford me, I am not my client and, uh, and I need to get out of my own way.

[30:31] Yeah. I know. It is something you just, it’s when I’ve, you know, cause I’ve had a lot of people that work for me and it’s really hard to instill that into people, you know, like it’s okay, you know, like I have to go, you make this much. And they make 10 times as much, like when they’re spending this amount, it’s like buying Starbucks, you know, compared to what they bring in, you know, that kind of thing. So you’re not taking, you know, money away from their children to go into college or, you know, whatever. Yep.

[31:02] So Chris, what is one personal habit do you think contributes to your success? All right, so this one is kind of like my personal mantra and we’ve, we’ve, we teach it to all of our members and, and uh, I hear probably every week from somebody like, Hey, I took this and applied it to something completely different outside of my business and it’s life changing. So I’ll share it with you guys. Uh, my personal mantra is, is make it work then make it better. And it’s this idea that like, we, we wait until everything is perfect to do something. I am guilty of this, I am a recovering perfectionist. This idea that like, I can’t push this out there yet because I don’t have, you know, the landing page, just write or I can’t, you know, launch by in person sales process yet because I don’t know every nook and cranny of the sales meeting.

[31:48] And so we really encourage all of our members and basically anybody that who will listen to me, uh, to make it work, to make it better, put something out there today than circle back tomorrow to make it better. And it is so much easier to iterate your way to success than it is to just wait and wait and wait and launch something that’s perfect, uh, on day one. Yeah, I totally agree with that. And I have to practice that and consciously think about that. I’m not a perfectionist and the fact that I get paralyzed by it, but I definitely maybe take it like a day or two or a conversation or two too long, you know, that just put out there. So, and I always feel better when it’s, something’s just launched and out there, whether it’s perfect or not, you know? Yeah. Yeah. That’s been, that’s been a huge thing for me, being able to just say, hey, you know what? Now this works. Put it out there. I’ll circle back tomorrow. I’ll make it.

[32:35] That’s great. So Chris, we definitely want to hear about personal

[32:39] internet resources and things that you provide that before that would you recommend to our listeners and internet resource? Yeah. Um, so I gotta be honest, I was prepared to just pitch my own thing and I’m just joking. No, no, no, it’s fine. I was a really just kidding. Um, yeah, something that we, that we use, um, a ton in our own business. And this is, I don’t know if this can be helpful, but, um, is a mini chat. We’ve been using mint each other’s man. Why not? M I n I a m a in why it is a chat bot software for Facebook Messenger and um, and we’ve been seeing some really, really good results and I would love to see photographers start embracing things like Facebook messenger and especially the bots and being able to use some of those automated processes on their own businesses. We talked to so many of our members, and this is another thing that’s changed since we were, you know, since we were shooting is um, a ton of our members say that they get the vast majority of their inquiries now through Facebook messenger. So you already know that your people are there and they’re using it. So why not use something like mini chat to, uh, to be able to, to be able to interact with them in real time, uh, on your behalf. So that’s something that I think people should be looking into.

[33:57] So I have a really great story about mini chat. So I went to traffic and conversion conference. Oh like three or four years ago. And the mini chat guys were there and they didn’t even have a table cause they were just a small company had had figured out how to use the API with Facebook messenger and stuff like that. Well anyways, long story short, they got the ear of the people, you know that we’re on stage and stuff like that and we’re kind of pitching it and at the very end of the conference, you know, they gave him an opportunity to come up there and just like show their product and kind of pitch it as like the next marketing idea, you know like, like email marketing version two or whatever it was, the idea. And so this guy gets up there, you know, and like no offense to the guys that do it cause they’re probably amazing.

[34:36] But you know, it just felt super nerdy. You know they are obviously coding guys. Yup. And they get up there and they show this product and every, you know, traffic and conversion is like, you know, 5,000 people and marched with 5,000 marketers and they did a really good job of pitching it and everybody likes signed up for it. Cause at that point it was so dirt cheap. Right. They was just like I do proof of concept at that point and still dirt cheap. So yeah. So you know, we all signed up for it and then like within two days of getting back from the conference and people were having problems linking it to Facebook cause it was still just like, not quite down, not their software, but even on the Facebook side it wasn’t quite dire. And literally they had to put up an auto responder like hey just a heads up, you know, we may may be a while to get back to you. We had like, you know, 3000 people sign up for our product. And so like two guys in an office that went from like 50 customers to like 3000 overnight and they literally were like off the grid and trying to scale their business like for almost a year. And then they came back onto the grid and we’re advertising and how to team and the support team and all stuff. And yeah, it’s a great product, but it was so interesting to see someone have that much that literally broke

[35:38] their systems of their business. Yeah. So that’s, uh, that’s on a larger scale. What we saw when, when Privia launched, when I say it kind of took over our lives, it was kind of like that we put it out there and it was just like, cool, here it is. And then suddenly we had thousands of users and we’re like, oh, this is not what we thought was about to happen. Like, yeah, exactly. This, uh, this is a full time gig now. So yeah. Yeah. That they’ve, I think they’ve built an amazing tool over there. You know, there’s obviously still stuff that needs to be, that needs to happen. But Facebook messenger right now is, it’s so hot right now. That’s a zoo lender reference, but it’s, it really is. You know, when you look at the, um, the open and click through rates, uh, I’m about to get really geeky, but with email, you know, you’re lucky if you get like a 20% open rate and a 2% click through rate. And with, with messenger, we’re seeing, you know, 90 plus percent open rates and 50 or 60% click through rates. It’s absolutely absurd. So jump on it now before it gets saturated. And can I ask a question about it? So you’re saying that with many chat, what it does is it sends an unsolicited message to people or is it them contacting you and then it automatically responds back? Yes. Do you want to take that one, Matt?

[36:50] You want me to do it? I mean basically like they’re subscribing to your messenger thing. So they’re opting into it. It’s more like opting into an email list, but the, instead of delivering emails that delivers it through Facebook messenger, so it’s not like cold stranger stuff. It’s more like you opt in and then you can push notifications out to our messages out to them and in Messenger after they’ve subscribed. So it’s like an an alternative to an email list. It would just be a messenger list.

[37:16] Oh, okay. I have no idea about this. Come on Facebook

[37:21] and, and, and you and you. Oh yeah. And that’s fair. You may have used it, but you are not that much of a Facebook user. Like anytime you’re in messenger and it says like, you know, start, start now and then it starts, sends you, occasionally you’ll get a notification that there’s a sale going on or something like that. It’s probably random by one of those companies.

[37:37] Yeah. Huh. Okay, cool. That’s interesting. Okay. Sorry, I just wanted to clarify because I thought if I have the question, other people might,

[37:45] it’s pretty select. Definitely. I mean it’s, it’s like email version 2.0 cause you know, it’s like they’re already on Facebook, so yes. Okay. So one last question and then we’ll do some parting guidance and how people can connect with you and stuff like that. But if you, do you have any books that you would recommend to our audience?

[38:02] Yeah, uh, I’ve really been into a book called 10 x marketing formula. It’s by my grandmother, by Garrett Moon over a course. Uh, CoSchedule. Okay. Yeah, he’s the founder or maybe one of the cofounders, I think he’s the founder over at CoSchedule. Um, and it’s just a really, really solid book on basically on content marketing and on the 80 20 principle, basically this idea that like we’re focusing on way too many things as business owners, we try to tackle a bunch of stuff when really this only this small subset of things is actually going to push your business forward. So it really has helped me focus in on that. Like what’s the stuff that’s actually gonna matter and let’s forget about everything else and just focus on those things. So

[38:45] it’s been what it’s called again. Yeah, it’s called 10 x marketing formula. Okay, cool. You definitely have to look up that one. Cause I’m definitely trying to like simplify my life and downsize some stuff that you cut loose of some stuff that I don’t know. They like you, like you said, that is the 20% that’s not, doesn’t really move the needle. Yeah. Or that’s actually the 80% that doesn’t move the needle. So you’re focusing on the 20. Yeah. See I’ll get it figured out guys. Yeah, yeah, no, no, that’s even better news for you. You can, you can forget an 80% of it. So yeah, it’s a great book. I don’t know if I’m ready for that. So if you listen to our podcast, we’re going to gamble. Like I had a little therapy session, um, more to do with like she’s really good at starting things and then they’re like, if it doesn’t work, just letting it go. Yeah. We had a great whole therapy session for Matt where it was like, well Matt, here’s your problem. This is actually why you’re stressed out. Awesome. Awesome stuff. Yeah. Okay. So I’ll just wrap up real quick. So just any parting guidance for our audience, but also you know, where to connect with you, how you know, how best to, um, see the content that you and your wife were putting out and stuff like that. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that the biggest piece of guidance I would have

[39:51] is that if you are wearing yourself down with shooting and burning or selling online, but you’ve been hesitant to switch to in person sales because it just seems like this big scary beast of a thing. It does not have to be that hard. Just ignore all of the people who were saying, you have to go out and you have to buy this and you have to do that. Like, just start serving your clients better. Help them figure out what to do with the images that you create for them and you’re doing in person sales. I mean, this is, it really is nothing more than helping your clients figure out what to do with the stuff that you’re creating for them and being that guy to being that expert, that professional, you know, who can say, yeah, you know what, I think you should do this. We’d like to overcomplicate things. It’s really nothing more than that. So make it work then make it better. Right?

[40:43] Yeah, I hear Ya. Okay. So how can people connect with you? What’s the best way to, um, for them to kind of see what you guys are doing?

[40:49] Yeah. Uh, just give us a listen over on the print maker Podcast, uh, and you can go over to the print maker, podcast.com, uh, and listen over there or obviously you can get us on, on all the places, iTunes and Spotify and all of that.

[41:03] Awesome. Cool. Well, thanks Chris. So much for being on. I’m glad we finally got to connect more. You know, like we live in the Facebook world together for years. Um, and to make it out to Durango because how many times we’ve got more snow this year than we can handle. So this’ll be a good year to come down. And your last year we had that big fire, a forest fire. But this year would be an awesome year for you to come down and see what tango is all about. So we got to get back out there. We took our kids a couple of years ago. Well,

[41:29] Gosh, my son wasn’t even born yet, so we took our daughter on the um,

[41:34] on the polar express trains around Christmas time. So it’s time to make it back out there. Yeah, you got to come in the summer and see every, you know, everything that we have to offer because it’s a really amazing place. So, and you’re only a couple of fine if I have to, I’ll even tell you how you just, you just take us 24 to 85. You’re here before, you know, it’s a really easy drive. It’s a beautiful drive to, especially over Wolf, a Wolf Creek pass and all of that. It’s a stunning drive. So I’m sold you gotta. You know what, I’ll put you on the phone with my wife. Perfect. And she can just, she’ll just book it. So yeah. Awesome. Well thanks. Thanks so much for being on. I really appreciate it and I know our listeners got a lot of value from, from you you had to say, and we’ll definitely be listening to your podcast as always, so thanks so much. Perfect. Thanks man. Thank you. Thanks guys. We’ll talk to you guys next week.

[42:25] Thank you for listening to from nothing to profit a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kaya. Be sure to subscribe for more business strategy and ideas to help you create that profitable and successful business you’ve always wanted. See you on the next episode of from nothing to profit.



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About the Podcast

From Nothing to Profit
From Nothing to Profit join Matt and Kia as they interview professional photographers and found out what is working now for their photography business
Welcome to “From nothing to Profit, a photographers podcast”. Every week Matt Hoaglin and Kia Bondurant interview successful photographers that own profitable portrait studios. The goal is to find out what is working in their business now and see what is making them so profitable. From marketing tips to business secrets, Matt and Kia will ask all the difficult questions so you can take your business from nothing to profit. If you listen to this every week, not only will you have an action plan to grow your business but you will know what the best photographers in the world are thinking about right now. Your competition will have no idea what hit them. You will steal market share and have a list of amazing marketing ideas to use all year long. If you want your portrait studio to supply for your family this is the podcast for you. Stay tuned as we interview the very best photographers in the industry so you can swipe their marketing ideas and business practices.
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