Episode 2

Published on:

21st Sep 2018

Matt Hoaglin – Episode 002 – A Photographer Podcast Interview





In this episode Matt Hoaglin talks about how running paid instagram, Facebook and Snapchat ads is making a huge difference in his business.  Tune in to learn how he is converting these ads into paying customers.

Here is a free video on what he is doing:  https://get.matthoaglin.com/get-clients-now-video/


Matt also talks about how he is seeing some photographers go back to a 9-5 job and why that is good and bad for you.



Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University (https://www.daveramsey.com/fpu)


Books to Read:

Profit First:  http://a.co/d/7sj5fEq

Book yourself Solid:  http://a.co/d/5ojewWv

Never eat alone:  http://a.co/d/1K3CUtH


Online Resources


Digit App:  http://a.co/d/1K3CUtH

Read Full Transcript


Transcription was done by Temi.com which means it’s an AI generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar and other errors, and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Intro: [00:00] Welcome to from nothing to profit, a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kia, 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. Okay. Welcome back everyone.

Kia: [00:17] Two from nothing to profit. This is Kia Bondurant and I’m going to be interviewing my cohost, Matt Hoaglin today. Hi Matt. How are you? Very good. So I, uh, we already recorded my interview and I didn’t know if I would like this as much, but I think I like being the boss better. I’m like, Ooh, now I’m in charge, so I get to talk about you.

Matt: [00:42] That’s, that’s perfect. You can be in charge of whatever you want, like we talked about in your interview. I can outsource everything to you.

Kia: [00:51] That’s funny. No. So I’m Matt, you and your wife Allison Ragsdale, photography and drink. Oh, Colorado. And that supports both of you and allison. Uh, even though she’s not on this, we’ll talk about her. She’s fantastic. She never wanted to do anything besides be a photographer. So she started out being a photographer from the very beginning. Is that right?

Matt: [01:13] Right from the very beginning she went to college and got her degree in photography and we started the business like the week she got out of college

Kia: [01:19] and so you’re more like me. You actually, we both have education degrees, although yours is a high school math and you managed a camera store and now you run the marketing and the operations of your photography studio.

Matt: [01:33] Yeah, exactly. So Alice and I actually met at that camera store, her part time job when she was so cool. Was that the camera store? So we met there and started dating and then eventually moved to Durango and got married and built. Built a business and stuff together. But yeah, so I taught high school math for awhile, which was really awesome. But I’m really glad I stopped doing that at the same time. Yeah. Now I just run like, like you said, operations and marketing for our business. So make sure that the phone rings in the calendar, gets booked so that she can go out and photograph.

Kia: [02:01] Yeah. And you’re able to build your life around what you love to do.

Matt: [02:05] So one of my passions, just total side note, one of my passions is fly fishing and so what I love about the business that we’ve built as I’m a I, I fly fish at least one day a week if not more. That’s awesome because I can do it on a random Wednesday when there’s nobody else on the river and I love the business that we built and the lifestyle that it’s given us for sure.

Kia: [02:24] Yeah. And I think that that’s really good to bring that up because as photographers and as small business owners and entrepreneurs with this podcast, our goal is to teach people to go from nothing to profit, but part of that is making a business that works around who you are and who you want to be.

Matt: [02:42] That’s definitely not good going from like entrepreneur to like business slave, you know, like that’s not the goal. It’s definitely, you know, to build a business that allow, that provides your lifestyle that you want, whatever that is. The lifestyle that and I wanted to build is we wanted to work together and be able to take vacations and stuff together. And if we’re working at two different, that would’ve never happened. And so it was really important for us to be on those exact same schedule. And that’s what we built.

Kia: [03:06] Yeah. And one that you can take off whenever it’s convenient for you and you don’t have to worry about spring breaks or summer vacations or things like that.

Matt: [03:14] Yeah. And we were just now after like 11 years of business trying to figure out how to like vacation and do things separately because we do so much stuff together. We traveled together a lot. Um, and this December I’m actually, uh, I have a week long fly fishing trip in Mexico for salt water fishing and she’s not going so it’ll be really interesting to see what it’s like to have a whole seven days with just my buddies and not have her there because like I said, the business and life we built was to spend a lot of time together. So it’s, it’s exciting to see what this, what this will bring.

Kia: [03:46] It’d be fun to see what she does in her seven days without you too.

Matt: [03:49] I know and she’s such a, she’s such a foodie person that I’m a, I think that she’s going to end up going somewhere where there’s like crazy good food for a week with her friends and you know, she’ll probably in the wine bill will probably be huge, but that’s okay. Don’t show love every minute of it.

Kia: [04:05] That’s funny. You know, in my interview we didn’t really talk about this, but you know, my studio is built so that I go to work three days a week and then I can leave whenever I need to and I have four kids and that’s kind of how my life has been built around making it work for them. So I started out as a photographer just right out of college and then had kids and I was a full time photographer all the way through, but I’ve always worked my business around my family and what I wanted to do with them and so that I can be at everything that they do. So that’s awesome. Well that’s fun. So it’s kind of fun with these interviews to see where things go. That was a bit of a rabbit trail, but I think it’s really valuable to know how we structure our lives to make it so that works for us. Okay. So, uh, Matt, here’s my next question for you and I’d love for you to share some of your expertise. What is the area of expertise that you are known for both maybe Allison Ragsdale and just Hugh Hoaglin as well?

Matt: [05:06] Yes, I’ll start with the studio. So we’re mostly a senior portrait studio. We’ve, we do a lot of family pictures and headshots now, but that grew out of our senior business where, you know, where you were like, Oh, here we have 100 seniors this year, we’re photographing, how can we get them back so we don’t have to market to them again because they’re already clients. And so we’re like, well, we’re going to photograph their family pictures and so that Kinda grew into this big family business. And then of course that has its own referrals. And then we did, uh, we, we kind of fell into headshots, professional headshots a lot because a lot of our parents of our kids were business owners or you know, doing the weather. They had a side hustle or they own their own business. We said, hey, can you do some head shots for me?

Matt: [05:48] And were like, course we, that kind of grew as well. And then we do a few weddings a year and most of that’s our high school seniors eventually grow up, go to college, get. And so they have us photograph their weddings as well. So we don’t do a lot of weddings. I mean like a busy year of weddings is 10, but we do a few and so we kind of have, we kind of have a business that does a little bit of everything, but it all stems from our senior portrait business where that’s most of our energy and our focus and our marketing all goes into that. Yeah. Separate than that, I’m, I’m kind of known. I’m in the speaking world for marketing. I have spoken a number of conferences. That’s where you and I first met and I spent a lot of my day here at Allison ragsdale photography, like trying to figure out how to make the phone ring and how to book up the calendar so that we can have the lifestyle we want and everybody stays busy and the bills get paid and through that I’ve come up with some really cool marketing ideas that I’ve been able to share with the photography community and I think that’s what people know me most for some people do know me for like business operations as well because I have some advice there, but I would definitely say my passion is teaching photographers how to market so that they can make

Kia: [06:55] more money. Well, and when I think of how you’ve helped me in my business, just from when we first met, sat down and talked and I feel like it’s the marketing side, but from a, like a systematic approach. So it’s kind of business operations and marketing put together so that it all works, you know, in a, in a system and it’s, it’s easily duplicatable.

Matt: [07:20] Yeah. And so the way I. There’s two things that are really important to me and marketing of which tie right into that. One of them is consistency. I want systems in place so that marketing consistently happens, so it doesn’t just. It’s not like a rollercoaster where you know your market and you get some clients and then you work with all those clients and then when they’re all done and they’ve ordered, you have no clients again because you didn’t have any time to market. So I want consistency in marketing so that it just flows. People keep falling in no matter how busy we are. And then the other thing is I view marketing as a really simple idea. It’s basically moving one person from one conversation to the next conversation, so maybe they just have some general questions and then I want to answer those questions and move them onto the next question or the next conversation. That’s important. And so, you know, they may show up in their conversation, they’re ready to have is, you know, where are we going to go take pictures. But by the time they come to order, I want them to be thinking about what they want to order as well. So you know, there’s definitely, there’s systems there as well to move people along so that they’re always knowing what’s going on and they’re always educated and we’re always, you know, always on the same page. So it does feel very systematic because I view marketing as very systematic.

Kia: [08:31] Yeah. It’s kind of like the order of operations. There’s some song or what’s, what’s the order of operations? So

Matt: [08:39] yeah. Well we just, when I taught at, we just called it Pem dos.

Kia: [08:42] Nice. Yeah. Yeah. I have a great video to send you a one of the kids I know who did a. made up a song to Das. Yes. Fantastic.

Matt: [08:54] Yeah, exactly. I never did songs

Kia: [08:56] in my classroom because I never went there, but we could do a order, a order of marketing operations song.

Matt: [09:04] Yeah. Well if we, if we find a really good one, maybe we’ll link it in the show notes, but we’ll spare all these photographers, although

Kia: [09:13] that would be fantastic.

Matt: [09:16] Yeah. Maybe next time, next time we speak together, maybe we can do that

Kia: [09:19] song and dance. All right matt. So my next question for you is tell us a story of what is working now in your business.

Matt: [09:27] So what’s working right now is that we spent a lot of time, a little over the last couple of years building lead generation tools and our business and that and I just talked about that a little bit about how we want a system where we’re leads and people are coming into our business even when we’re busy and we don’t have time to market, you know, for say market. We’ve built a lot of lead generation tools like what to wear guides and location guides that people can download and basically they just, they trade their information with us to be able to download that information to answer they’re pressing questions and that’s been working really well because then then our customer service can just kick in and we can just call them and just say, Hey, saw you downloaded our guide. You know, how can we help? And then get them in for a consultation and the whole thing happens.

Matt: [10:09] So that’s one part of it is that we have these tools that help customers raise their hand and let us let us know that they’re interested in photography, which makes our marketing a lot easier. And then the other part then the other part that’s working really well is that we’re running facebook and instagram ads to that and recently snapchat ads as well to those downloads and tools. That’s been super powerful because the amount of people you can reach with with a facebook or instagram ad and the power of targeting is really, really awesome. So those two things are really working really great in our business right now and I probably wouldn’t trade them for anything

Kia: [10:45] for sure. Yeah. I’m actually truly jealous of your lead generation process and I know you’ve told me how to do it and I’ve sat down and worked on it, but it’s something that, uh, is, takes time to put together and put in place. But I know that it’s working well for you and it will work well for anyone in the photography industry. And I’ll, and I’ll share it

Matt: [11:05] lincoln, the show notes where people can go watch a free video, you know, and kind of see what we’re doing and then I have a full class on it, but they’re all linked, allegra free video in the show notes so that people, if they’re interested in and building lead generation tools and how we do it, they can, they can see exactly.

Kia: [11:20] That would be great because I think that a lot of people, once they hear what it is and understand what it is, they can see how it’s worked on them and then they can see how that can work for their, um, to bring clients into their business. So here’s my next question for you then. What is the one thing that you are most fired up about in our industry today? Like what gets you excited when it comes to our industry?

Matt: [11:42] So right now I think there’s two things that are happening that are, I’m really excited about and I think a lot of photographers are actually really struggling with it. But one of the things that’s happening in our businesses consolidation, and since you and I have been in the industry for so long, we saw the 2000, eight, nine, 10 bubble of photographers. That was like, it was amazing. I mean so many people lost their jobs and had to go get side hustles or they decided they didn’t want to work in corporate America anymore. And so they became photographers and we just saw how many people flooded the industry. Well, I think that’s starting to change. I think Alicia, with unemployment being so low, there’s a lot of people going back to work and some of the people that just haven’t been making great money doing photography, look at it and say, well, you know, I’m staying up till midnight editing, you know, I might as well just go get a job where I can just come home at five and hang out with my family.

Matt: [12:28] And they’re just choosing that lifestyle. So I think that I’m really excited about the hard part. I think a lot of photographers are struggling with this. That means there’s a lot of photographers in your market that are actually the marketing dollars or actually leaving your market and I think that when there’s, when there’s competition in your market, we all benefit from that because somebody may be running facebook ads and they think, oh, I need to do photography, but then they know you better. They have a relationship better. So then they call you and you don’t necessarily know why they call you because.

Kia: [13:00] Oh yeah, that makes sense. So when, if when your competition markets you get, you get business from it?

Matt: [13:07] Yeah, because everybody’s thinking about photography because we’re not competing really against each other. We’re more competing against, you know, like do they come do photography with us or do they take a trip to Disney or do they buy a new boat, you know, what are, what are they going to do with their extra money and we’re one of those options. And so when everybody’s marketing, our industry is top of mind, but when, when people are, when the industry is consolidated and people are going back to work and leaving the industry, I think there’s just less ad dollars out there right now kind of keeping us top of mind. So I think there’s photographer struggling, they can’t quite figure out why they’re down and it may be they may be down 10 percent because they lost three of their competitors that we’re advertising heavily. And so some of those add some of those dollars that consumers are spending aren’t necessarily come into our industry.

Kia: [13:48] Wait, wait, wait. But why are you excited about that? You’re saying that that’s something that you’re excited about, but that sounds like a negative to me.

Matt: [13:56] So I’m excited about the consolidation because I think there’s just in general less competition. The solution to it is just to increase your ad dollars or just make sure your, your advertising as much as possible because there’s more people to go around. It just may feel like a little bit harder to get them right now. But I think it’s overall less competition is, is a good thing as long as you realize what less competition means and that means less ad dollars. So that leads into the next part that I’m, I’m excited about just as equally as, I just think the economy is really strong right now and things, there’s a lot of people with a lot of extra money and wages are going up and people are going back to work and it’s really pretty cool stuff and I just think that’s a huge opportunities for us to raise our averages, to definitely get people to buy a few more things, a few more extra clients that maybe five years ago may not have had the extra money to do portraits, now they do. Um, so I think that’s really awesome. So not only the smaller competition, but then also just I think more money flowing around I think is really awesome for our industry over the next, let’s call it three, four years. I see it being a really huge positive for us.

Kia: [15:02] So, uh, I think that’s really exciting. Definitely. And I’ve, I’ve seen it and I didn’t really understand it completely, but it makes sense because our senior season typically drops completely off in August, but it is continued to go and we are continuing to get people contacting us and I think it’s because we have kept ourselves top of mind with our social media and we’re not, we are doing some instagram advertising but we’re definitely keeping ourselves top of mind with just our interactions and our high school seniors posting our images. So that makes complete sense. So just because when you’re saying that like I, oh, I often have like, okay, what are the action items from this? And so my two action items that I hear from this would be one, advertise and keep yourself top of mind. And number two would be planned to sell plan to reach out to old clients to sell portrait sessions and plan to try to sell more like wall portraits and things for the home. Because so many people are spending money on their home now that they weren’t before. Would you agree with that? Or would you ask him

Matt: [16:09] what do you. I totally agree. Yeah, no, people are not only by a new homes are relocating and that’s a huge opportunity for our industry, but also, yeah, I mean there’s a lot of people that, you know, people in the house was only working part time and they both really wanted to work full time. No, they may not have pulled the trigger on decorating their walls, you know, it was, there was a time when they are just focused on the necessities. Well, I just think there’s extra cash right now, so huge opportunity for us to really capitalize on some of those dollars that are flowing around right now.

Kia: [16:36] I wonder if even going back and saying, hey, you know, now we have a wall portrait sale for anything that we’ve shot in the last five years or something. I mean I could see that being something usable for people.

Matt: [16:49] Yeah, definitely. Well, yeah, because then maybe they pass on it and they were like, man, I really wish I would have, you know, done that wall portrait and there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, it’s either still available or we can photograph a new set of pictures for you. And they might take you up on that for sure because a few extra bucks. I mean, it’s like they’ll either spend it with you or they’re gonna go down to Home Depot and buy lawn furniture or something like that. So they might as well spend it with you, you know, it’s all the same. It’s all home improvement type stuff. So

Kia: [17:16] yeah, yeah, absolutely. Okay, well let’s move on to the lightning round. So this is an opportunity for, um, we’ll ask questions quickly and just give a lot of like, actionable items for our listeners. So, um, okay. So first question on the lightning round is what was holding you back from joining the photography industry?

Matt: [17:36] So I think for us, what’s holding me back is it was just putting both, like all of our eggs in one basket and anytime you start a business you’re like, can this really support more than one person or can it support both of us? And sometimes our business can be, can be seasonal, so it has the CZ seasonality to it. And that can be scary because then you’re like, okay, am I going to make enough money in the fall to support me through the winter? And so that just held me back because I was like, I just don’t want to run out of money, you know, because then what do we do? We can’t pay our bills and stuff. The truth is that never ever happened. I mean there was, there was times when we had to, you know, go without a few things, but it was really like luxury items.

Matt: [18:18] What was like one less vacation or one less conference we went to or you know, we just, instead of pulling the trigger, buying like packaging for our business, we just shopped around a little bit to see if we could find a cheaper packaging option for the next year or whatever. And it just made us good business people. And so I was just, I was just worried about that, like running out of money. But to be honest with you, we’ve been doing it for 11 years and we never, we’ve never run out of money. So that fear, I don’t feel like it was based in reality.

Kia: [18:47] Well I think it’s a smart fear to have because that can happen, but yes, I think that’s good. Well, and my advice to people in that situation is save it up. If you have a year’s salary for the person you’re concerned about, you know, then have that in savings before you jump off the ledge so that you know, you’ve got that cushion. And I think with a photography business that’s perfectly, that’s something you can do. You can put money aside to prepare for whatever the next big step you want to take us. So what is the best advice you’ve ever received, Matt?

Matt: [19:22] So this actually happened like super, like I wouldn’t say recently, but later in our career and two things happened at once and one was one was that somebody who was like, you need to do Dave Ramsey’s financial peace university, which people make fun of all time. It’s like the whole envelope thing where you budget everything and he’s got a great podcast and a youtube channel, stuff like that. Yeah, books. But we actually paid the $100 and had him, he emailed us like all the books and I think we watched it on DVD or something like that. It’s what I think they have it on online as well now. But it was like, you know, six or seven nights worth of financial peace university. And it was awesome. I know they also do a lot of cities. They do. You can go and meet with a group of people and do it.

Kia: [20:07] Yes. Yeah, we’ve done. We’ve done that class and actually taught that class. That’s so funny. We’ve never talked about this before.

Matt: [20:14] Right. Okay. Go ahead. And so we, so we did that, like I bet we did it four years ago and for four straight years every month, allison, I’ve made a personal budget and it’s been amazing like what it did to our finances. I brought so much debt to our relationship, like credit card debt, car debt, student loan debt. Allison wasn’t a different situation. Um, her parents basically supported all the way through college and stuff. And so she brought no debt. But I mean I brought enough for the both of us and so we had to walk quite a coach so, but we worked through it and so, you know, like I think it’s been like three and a half years because I bought, we did it like in January, so it’s coming up on four years and we’re completely debt free now, which is awesome.

Matt: [20:58] And our, our business isn’t really much bigger than it was then, but it just so much more efficient. So we went through financial peace university, changed our lives. It wasn’t always easy, but it really is, it’s amazing and it’s so crazy. I can, I spend more, like I buy more stuff now than I did when I was in debt and, but I can afford it all. It’s, it’s amazing like fly fishing stuff. I just go purchase it now because I know exactly how much I can afford and it’s, it’s really cool. Anyways, so that was the first thing I got is like do financial peace university. But that led into me trying to figure out what that meant for my business. So I looked all over Dave Ramsey to see what like how budgeting and financial peace and stuff would work in our business and I couldn’t really find what I liked.

Matt: [21:42] And then maybe a year and a half ago we found a book called profit first and I’ll link it in the show notes and it’s, it’s a very similar idea. You don’t have envelopes, but the idea is that this, all the money comes into like an income account and then you divide that up into different accounts. And so you have an operating expense account. You have a payroll account, you have a profit account, you have A. I’m trying to remember what the other ones are now, but we have like five accounts and we just added a new one where it’s, we’re one of my goals always is to put more money in our investments. And so now we’re just allocating money every, every two weeks to that. So on the 10th and the 25th, you take whatever’s in your income account and you just divided them into your other accounts. And so then when payroll comes, you just take the payroll out of the payroll account if you, and then if you have something that you want to spend for your business, you look and see if there’s money in your operating expense.

Matt: [22:37] Expensive count. And I heard some of this stuff really early, like we went to sms through PPA and worked with Julia Woods Management Services. Yeah. And we worked with Julia Woods and she talked about how you have to have like a account for equipment anyway, so you just divided up all based by percentages. And so the book is totally worth buying and it’s awesome. So we put that in place and it’s been amazing for our business. Like we just, we always were like profitable, but you know, it was like, I always felt like okay, like we worked really hard, there should be more money and now it’s like, it just feels like everything’s getting paid and there’s always money leftover and it’s, it’s really awesome. So that changed our business. What’s really interesting about it is how I was looking for it. You know, when you start looking for something just pops up.

Matt: [23:21] I was actually, uh, looking for this idea and I was exploring and then all of a sudden one of a photographer and a that I had met through a conference. She had posted this thing like I’m reading this book and you guys, everybody should read it. And she was talking to her friends, but I’m facebook friends with her and I clicked on it just out of just having to see it when I had time to click on it. And I was like, this might be exactly what I’m looking for. And I went down to the local bookstore and sure enough they had it because that guy, uh, I think his name’s like Michael or something like that. Again, I’ll link it below. He had just spoke at our college and so like the, the bookstore had like a pile of his books and um, I walked in and got it and I read it and told allison like three days later I’m like, we’re putting this in place. And she’s like, okay, I trust you. You know, like, I’m not gonna argue with you if you want to save money and not have not spend money, like this is a whole new map, but I’m going to go with it and it’s been awesome. So anyways,

Kia: [24:10] that’s really exciting. So we did Dave Ramsey and we, we were debt free really quickly because we did not come into the relationship with debt but I was at that point already doing all of the books for our large photography studio and I kept trying to figure out how can I apply these concepts to the photography business and I, because in financial piece the concept is to have three to six months of savings, but when you talk about three to six months of operating expenses for your business, that is a huge chunk of money and really hard to actually save up. And so I kept trying to figure out ways to apply it and even his book entree leadership, I didn’t feel like it laid it out perfectly. So I’m super excited to check out this book that you talked about profit first because I feel like when, uh, when you have that money just set aside and you know what it’s going for and you don’t touch it for anything else, it just, it, it takes away all the mystery of wondering where did the money go, what do I need for it? So I’ve, I’ve kind of created my own systems, but I think it’s going to be exciting to see that. That’ll be fun to see.

Matt: [25:21] Yeah. And so I remembered a couple of the other council we put in, we have a sales tax account, so every time sales taxes do every quarter, it just gets paid. It’s amazing. That was awesome. Yeah. And then we also have a tax one, which is like our end of year taxes because what always happened or as businesses we always had this money sit in after the fall was sitting there and then we do our taxes and like a huge chunk of it always went to the government. So now we have an account that has thousands of dollars in it waiting for the end of the year.

Kia: [25:47] And you don’t feel like it’s yours?

Matt: [25:49] No, because it’s, yeah, it’s like in a separate camp and we and we don’t have like we don’t, yeah, we don’t have a ATM cards or checkbooks attached to him because um, we just transfer some of the money online and then it’s really hard that basically he closes. You close yourself out from certain accounts. Like the operating expense one. Yeah, you better believe there’s like an ATM card attached to it and all that stuff and you can use the card you to spend. But the other ones like you have to actually like go in and transfer and just that mental game of having to do that. You’re like, okay, this is not working.

Kia: [26:20] This is not, this is not easy money to get to.

Matt: [26:23] Yeah. And one of the other things that he makes you do is every quarter you take half of your profit money out and you have to spend it on something that you really want to do. Like you have to reward yourself. And your business because your business needs to supply for you what is the lifestyle you want. And so like, it’s just so fun. Like we’re coming up the end of a quarter here pretty soon. And then like the last time the last court, the first time we bought Allison, a really nice fly rod that she never would have spent money on herself, but I was like, you have to spend to do something you want. And our hobbies fly fishing. So she bought a thousand dollar rod that she would have thought it was crazy. But she loves it and it’s awesome. And she enjoys it.

Matt: [27:02] Yeah. Yeah. And then the last quarter we had just moved into a new house and so we had this extra profit money and I was like, what want to do with it? And she was like, you know, I’d really want new new patio furniture and I’d really like some art on our walls. And it was so nice to be able to say like, let’s just go do it. And it feels so good when your business supplies back to you, you’re like, oh, this is why I’m in business. It’s so cool. It’s totally worth the read. It’s amazing.

Kia: [27:28] I also use a, an APP called digit that pulls out a small amount every day and we use that to build up money to travel or things like that with that. It doesn’t feel like it’s part of it. So it’s kind of that concept. But I’m definitely going to read that book

Matt: [27:45] so I would love to. I’d love to add digital on top of what I’m already doing in that way. Like it almost looked like snakes a little bit of money out for my investments out of my operating expense. That would be really cool because then.

Kia: [27:56] Well I’ll send you a link. You don’t have digital already so that I can get the kickback for it. Perfect. It won’t. You can dollars for me.

Matt: [28:04] Perfect. Well we can put. We put the link in the show notes too.

Kia: [28:08] I’m just kidding. Okay. That was a longer lightening round answer, but I think it’s so helpful to actually have plans for what you’re going to do with your money and how it’s going to benefit your business and your family, so that’s really exciting to hear. Matt,

Matt: [28:22] I’m like a book or so like I’m sure I’ll mention a couple more bucks before we get done because I just.

Kia: [28:27] We’ll have a max maths reading list from every interview. Okay, so next to the lightening round is share one of your personal habits that contributes to our success.

Matt: [28:39] Oh, well that’s funny because that came from a book as well. One of my personal habits that I do, it came from a book and the book is self explanatory. The book never eat lunch alone and so the concept of the book is that you never eat lunch alone and the idea is to, whether you’re calling somebody to talk to like a friend at launch or you do some kind of business networking meeting or something like that, that lunch is a really good opportunity for you to network and to grow your relationships around you. So sometimes you have to allocate that lunchtime to your husband or wife. Sometimes it’s, you know, like I said, it can be business, sometimes it can be just calling an old friend that you need to catch up with. But I think it really moves your life forward. And so I try really hard not to eat lunch alone and to use that time to grow.

Kia: [29:26] Well that’s really fun. So, uh, yesterday who did you eat lunch with?

Matt: [29:30] So yesterday was a Sunday because we’re recording this on a Monday and I actually ate lunch alone. Oh wait, I didn’t eat lunch alone. That’s really funny. Okay. I was going to eat lunch alone because I was going to watch the broncos play football. Then I got blocked so I couldn’t watch it on my local channel. So I actually had to go down to a hotel to watch the game because they had, they had the Sunday ticket and what’s so interesting as I showed up and then like there was like 50 other people there that had the same problem I had. And like three or four of them were people in town that I network with all the time. One of the guys owns a local coffee chain and another guy actually owns a giant, like international business that they, they make beer and sell it worldwide. So I sat with them and we watched the Broncos game together. So I actually network.

Kia: [30:13] But, you know, sometimes I think when you have something like that in your head, even if you don’t make it for, you know, if you don’t plan it exactly when the opportunity comes up you’re like, oh, okay, this is the opportunity to do what I thought I was thinking I wanted to do.

Matt: [30:28] Yeah. It just becomes a totally a habit of just reaching out to people around that time.

Kia: [30:33] Yeah. Okay. So recommend an internet resource.

Matt: [30:37] Yeah. So if I was recommending an internet resource, um, what I would do, and just in general, I wouldn’t probably give you an exact resource, but in general as I would look outside of our industry for marketing ideas and stuff. So there’s a number of places I follow like digital marketer.com and stuff like that. They always have really good information about how to run facebook ads or how to set up different marketing systems because what I’ve realized over the years as I’ve been to more and more like marketing masterminds and things is that all businesses are the same. They just look different. Like the service you supply is different, but a lot of the marketing techniques that we do in the photography industry, it could be done in the chiropractic industry or the hair salon industry and stuff like that. So sometimes going outside of your industry and looking at some of these marketing sites, you’re like, oh, I can apply that to photography. And it’s really helpful.

Kia: [31:25] Yeah, and I think that what you’ve done in your photography business to market is different than what a lot of other photographers are doing because that you’ve adjusted to what is working and the way you’ve done that is by looking outside the industry

Matt: [31:41] well on every couple of years. Like this year it’s gonna be really tough. We have to figure out what we’re gonna do, but most years I do some photography. I go to a PPA or image, sorry, imaging. I speak at a couple of state conventions. So I listened to everybody there and I go to Wppi, but then there’s years where I’m like, okay, I’m not going to any of the big conferences that are in our industry. I’m just going to marketing. So I’ve been to some really cool ones like I, a couple of times I’ve been to traffic and conversion, which is this huge marketing conference in San Diego and it’s just done so well and just so many smart people. Um, and it’s just sometimes so refreshing to go to something like that. So then the other thing I do, I sign up for a lot of like marketing masterminds where I go to Phoenix a couple times a year and sit with like 10 other marketers and we just like talked about our industries and our issues and I’ve brought ideas from our industry to other people. And I’ll give you an example. One of the last ones I went to, there was a guy that works in insurance, he works for farmers and he shared all of farmer’s insurance marketing ideas like what they do with the birthday club and all this other stuff. And it was amazing. I was like, yeah, so I have a list from just from him that of things that farmers does that we could implement in our business over the next couple of years. So definitely get out of, out of the industry if you can for awhile.

Kia: [32:53] Well, and that just adds so much to your enjoyment of the, of your work because you have a list of new things so you’re not doing the same thing over and over and you know, having to just do it, it doesn’t become boring to you. It’s exciting because you’re trying new things and seeing what works. So that’s great.

Matt: [33:11] That’s exciting to me. And Allison I think wants to kill me sometimes because she’s like another new idea. I’m like, but this one’s going to be amazing and she’s like, you need to settle down.

Kia: [33:21] Um, and then, uh, is there any other book that’s top of mind? I know you’ve shared a, the financial piece, which is a book, but it’s also a class and the profit first, but does anything else jump out to you that you would say read this book today, you really need to, to learn from this?

Matt: [33:37] Yeah. The very first book that we read that really moved the needle or kind of steered the ship was book yourself solid by Michael Port and we were that early, like maybe like the second year of our business and it put us on a trajectory that we would never be where we are today without it. So it was a really good book. It’s general business, like kind of how to set up business and she just does a really good job of wording it. So a book yourself solid by Michael Port. It’s been around for a long time now, but by far the, the API had more impact on our business than anything else. And then because we were so successful then we, we really needed profit first just to keep us in line

Kia: [34:15] for sure. Yeah. That’s awesome. Well Matt, thank you so much for sharing. I’m super excited about our upcoming interviews with other photographers where we get to learn about them, but I think it’s so important that we know who you are and kind of where you’re coming from a in the industry. So can you share with us the best ways that we can connect with you and any parting guidance?

Matt: [34:38] Sure. So if you want to see our photography and our work, you know, for inspiration, you can just follow us on almost all the social media platforms, uh, add allison ragsdale. You’ll see that we don’t have business accounts separate then, then our personal accounts. But that’s the best way to see our photography. If you want to know more about some of the marketing techniques that I use and things like that, you could just go to Matt Hoaglin Dot Com. It’s m, a t, t h o a g L I a n.com and I’ll link all that below in the show notes, show notes as well because I have a ton of free videos on there that you can watch. And then classes you can purchase and you can set up time to talk to me and stuff like that as well. So, um, my website, it probably is the best if you follow me at [inaudible] dot com. Alright. Matt Hogan on a new social media. All you’re gonna see is fly fishing pictures. So if you’re in a fly fishing you can follow me.

Kia: [35:26] Alright. Well thank you.

Speaker 1: [35:28] Thank you for listening to from nothing to profit a photographer’s podcast with Matt and be sure to subscribe for more business strategy and ideas to help you create a 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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