Episode 32

Published on:

13th May 2019

Molly Keyser – A Photographer Podcast Interview

Matt’s pumped to interview Molly of Boudie Shorts with Kia on this episode of, From Nothing to Profit. To make a long story short: Molly started with photographing weddings, had a client request a boudoir session, she fell in love and switched to boudoir photography full time, and now teaches boudoir; referring her client inquiries to her certified students.  Don’t miss how Molly uses Facebook Live! Molly is fired up about attitudes in the (boudoir) industry and practicing what you preach. It’s about empowering women. Listen in to hear how Molly would recommend you spend (or save) that $1k. Routine is something that really contributes to Molly’s success and she “plans tomorrow, today” – you want to hear how to do this! Don’t miss the important conversation about burnout and depression on this podcast episode. And as Molly says, if you want to become the best you can be, quickly, get a mentor to learn from someone who has already done it so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

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[00:01] Hey, this is Molly Kaiser and you’re listening to from nothing to profit.

[00:05] Welcome to from nothing to profit a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kaia 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.

[00:22] Hey everybody. So welcome to the podcast. I’m really excited today because we have my friend Molly Kaiser and you guys may know her from her Boudreaux work as well as booty shorts, but Molly and I have been friends for years and she’s been on some of my summer nights and I’ve done some work with her and stuff so it’s really excited to actually have this conversation with her. But if you guys don’t know Molly, so Molly, like I said, lives it and the Boudreaux hour, I can’t even say that word correctly. I’m going to fumble it all day long, but that’s okay. Through the associates does all that, you know, by using like appropriate marketing and sales and pricing. And she really focuses on customer experience where she took her business from 81 cents to six figures a year, which is, which is amazing, but like I said, now I know her really well through the fact that she helps other photographers build their business and years just like such an open book to our industry in terms of, you know, your business strategy is you’re shooting your lighting and your pose in your clients’ experience, all that stuff. So, um, thanks so much for being on this. And um, yeah, just tell our audience, you know, a little bit more whatever I missed and go from there.

[01:27] Thank you so much for having me on this is, it’s always a blast to talk with you. Uh, so yeah, basically I always loved photography. I’m sure a lot of you listening, you can totally relate to that. You know, the whole young with the camera story. Right. But I remember in high school I would always get like notes to get out of my boring classes. I would call them like science and math because I want it to go play in the dark room. And so I always kind of knew that I wanted to pursue photography full time. I just didn’t always maybe believe that I could make money with a career in photography. So I interned with some photographers. I ended up going to college to study art and photography. And what I’ve kind of learned in college was it was a lot more about, you know, showing an art galleries and things like that.

[02:15] There really wasn’t a structured, uh, major, if you will, in the UWU system, at least that, you know, taught me how to be a professional portrait photographer. So I actually told myself, I kind of gave myself an ultimatum, like, if you can book x amount of portraits and weddings, like you can drop out of college to pursue photography. Um, and that’s exactly what I did back in the day. Uh, Craig’s list worked pretty well for me, but not a super good strategy today, Fyi. So, um, yeah, basically I shot weddings and very low priced portraits for a really long time. And until I really came across this, I was doing this engagement session and she was a bride to be and we were doing her engagement photos and she took me aside and she was like, Molly, would you be willing to do duar photos of me to give as a gift to my room and I had no idea to be honest with you guys.

[03:10] Like what would work was I, it wasn’t even on my radar at all but I was just like, yeah, when you own a business I think it’s really important to say yes to a lot of things, especially in the beginning. And I’m really glad that I did because what I learned from that session was not only that I love doing good work photography, not only that it’s profitable, but that I can really truly make a really big impact on women’s lives. Like this client in particular, she, she thought she was ugly. She did not like, I didn’t know what she saw in the mirror. She had like no confidence and just from that one photo shoot, like it sounds crazy, but just from the one photo shoot before and after she was a completely different person. Like she was sort of skipping out of the hotel room with confidence and in that moment I was like, this is what I need to do. So over those next couple of years I transitioned out of weddings and interviewed war photography full time, which I did for many years and as of January of this year that are recording the podcast, my fulltime now is on helping my students and actually send any of my inquiries to Mike who are certified students. But um, yeah, I’ve been and I still do photo shoots, just not clients. So I’ve been a photographer for about 14 years now and that’s kind of where I’m at today.

[04:27] That’s really cool. I love hearing your story about the dark room in high school because I was very outgoing, so involved in lots of things. Yeah. And the dark room was my favorite place, just to be able to go there and be so quiet and away from everything and be creative with nobody around. So I definitely identify with that. That’s, that’s neat. So you’ve been doing it for 14 years, full time. And does that include your college years or when you built the business afterwards?

[04:55] I think that includes about one or two of my college years. Um, pretty much all the years that I was shooting professionally and getting paid.

[05:04] Okay.

[05:04] And so you and you built this business in Wisconsin and then you just recently moved to Austin,

[05:10] correct? That is correct. Yep. I built it in a super small, actually you’d like several small towns in Wisconsin with, you know, people are like super conservative there, so people always thought and told me like who are, will never work full time. Um, but it did an adult. Yeah.

[05:26] Yeah. Which is awesome. And I love the watching your, you know, you and I are personal friends on Facebook and watching your journey of you transitioning to Texas. Like, I think you posted the other day, like you were so excited like that spring was already in like in Austin and where all your friends and in Wisconsin are still buried in snow. And like you’re like wandering around like blooming trees and stuff like that. I think it’s hilarious. Like how much you’ve embraced the warm climate of. Awesome.

[05:52] Yeah. So it’s just crazy how much my mood has changed. Moving somewhere with sunshine, like every day I look at my husband and I’m like, I just, I just love it here. So I don’t know, this is off topic, but if you’re ever thinking about moving somewhere, you should definitely do it.

[06:07] Yeah, Phoenix was amazing. I came back and I was like, we did so much every single day and it was cloudy and rainy when we got back to Kansas. So I definitely understand that. So the next question we have is what is working now? And it sounds like you have transitioned out of full time photography work into teaching, which I think makes you even better for our podcast because you kind of can see an overview of the business. Uh, but what would you say like, or what are you teaching your students is specifically working now? Because you said, you know, Craig’s list, obviously advertising on that isn’t something that works. So what would you, what, what, what do you suggest? Yeah, and

[06:47] really quickly too, just for those of you listening, if you’re thinking like, how would she know what works if she’s not taking clients? Which is a totally valid question. So I have several people on my team that are photographers and I test everything with their businesses. So it’s actually really cool. Instead of just testing with my business, I can actually test with several photographers, businesses that live all over the world. So it’s really cool that way. I’m only teaching strategies that are working everywhere. So what we’re seeing right now that works the best, and it’s going to sound really simple, so hopefully you guys liked that. Simple is awesome, right? Uh, building your know, like, and trust factor through Facebook lives. And I know people have been talking about Facebook lives for years, but they still work. And that’s a huge thing is, um, you know, and you don’t always have to be looking for like, what’s new, what’s new, what’s new, you know, you have to find something that works and then stick with that. And for us, that is consistently, so again, keyword consistently doing Facebook lives, uh, to build that know, like, and trust with your clients because especially with boudoir photography, they’re booking more for the trust with you and how comfortable they feel with you. Then your portfolio, which might sting a little bit, but it’s the honest truth.

[08:04] So dive a little bit deeper real quick. So kind of explain like what a Facebook live looks like, you know, for, for your students and stuff like that. You know, I mean obviously it makes sense that they’re, you know, you’re doing it so that you build, you know, that trust, but like kind of, you know, just give a little bit of a glimpse of like what it actually looks like.

[08:23] Yeah, sure. So first thing is you want to come up with a really eye catching title because people are just scrolling through Facebook. They’re just scrolling through social media and you have literally like less than a second to actually catch the retention, let along get them to push play and like watch that Facebook live. So one just one example of a title would be something that I think would really catch people’s attention would be, you know, uh, why do I photograph women in their underwear for a living? I’m pretty sure people would scroll through. And like, definitely you want to know why you do this for a living, right? And then what you would do in that live is you would simply share what you’re going to share, like a breakdown of the Facebook live. So you would say, okay guys, like today I’m going to tell my story about why I photograph women in their underwear.

[09:11] Oh, we’re going to get into the story. And then at the end, you know, if you, if you want to do some kind of fun call to action, you can say like, oh, I’ll be choosing a winner if you want to do a good way. But a basic Facebook live would just be, um, sharing with them. All right, I’m going to tell my story and then I’m going to give you guys a chance to comment below for something really fun. So in the Facebook live itself, you just start out with sharing, you know, this is where I was, this is where I am today. This is why I photograph women in their underwear. And you really want to address any of their concerns throughout the Facebook live. It doesn’t need to be like bullet points scripted. You can read it into your story. But for example, you know, women’s biggest fears with good voir are are they going to look like the people on your website?

[09:56] You know, are they gonna know what to wear? You know, are they going to be too nervous? Are they actually going to go through with it? And stuff like that. So you can kind of weave that into your Facebook live so that way you’re catching their interest, they’re getting to know you, you’re answering those false beliefs that they have. And then in the end you can invite them to do some kind of call to action, like common below to get more information. About a shoot or common below to be entered to win x, Y, Z or something like that. But you definitely want them to be commenting and liking you cause that will boost the post up and get more people to see your life.

[10:25] Okay. Awesome. That is awesome. So let me ask a couple questions. Is this on your personal profile or on your business? So you definitely want to do,

[10:33] do it on all the different avenues. So the, the two biggest ones would be your personal page and your private booed war. A Facebook group if you have one. That’s like a big proponent of our food, our certified program business pages. Okay. I really think this, this page is more for running Facebook ads, but um, you’re going to get seen more in the group and your personal page.

[10:57] Okay. And then do you do like, this sounds to me like you’re sitting there talking in front of the, you know, the phone or whatever. Very like casual, like not a behind the scenes, not putting samples of your work in it, but it’s just like you and the, and the person you’re kind of view and the audience.

[11:17] Yeah, you can do either one. So for this title that I just named the yeah, no. Why do I photograph reference their underwear that I feel like could be really cool just like sitting in your studio or like on your couch. Just super casual. But you could also do one that’s like, you know what, what would you actually do with good work photos? Cause that’s a big one that people ask. Like what am I actually gonna do with these photos? And then in that you could do like a studio tour, you could show off your albums, you could show off the different products you have. Um, so I think a mix of both would be really good. Yeah.

[11:47] But not professional. Like, like live like interactive. Oh yeah, definitely. Like you need like a special camera. Yeah. Just your cell phone. Yeah. That’s so scary. This is like Kyle’s biggest fear. We’ve talked about this. I just cannot handle her face on a computer screen or a camera. Like she just hears it. Don’t get me wrong, I like my face, but I just get nervous. Like what am I going to, I mean, what will I say? Who knows what I would say on a Facebook live, you know, like I can edit things. I just loved the edit process of retouching and editing and finishing things off and so I’m like, oh my goodness.

[12:26] Hello is, I mean, think about it this way, like what’s your favorite social media platform? Consuming wise. Instagram. Okay. And like what do you love about Instagram? Like do you like the feed better or the insta stories better?

[12:39] I liked the feed and then I specifically choose who I look at on the insta stories. Like I don’t look at every single instance story. Like some people go through just everything. Wow. I haven’t met anyone with that answer, so you kind of threw me off there. That’s okay. Just go look at people who’ve junk. I’m like, I don’t want, this needs to be looked good to me.

[12:59] I feel like most people like the stories because they’re real. Yeah. And so like for example, if you’re on a Facebook live and you mess up or like supposedly first of all there’s no way

[13:08] I mess up, but let’s say you do something that you think would be a mess up. People love that.

[13:15] Like they want to feel like they’re actually in a room with your sitting at a table with you. But just to know like, just so you know, this is super normal. My students, they joined my program, we have them do a Facebook live right away and they all completely freak out. So, um, what I tell them to do this for their first Facebook live, simply just

[13:33] take your phone, go lie. And you know, I just have them share in the group like why they’re here. Something simple. So you could go live in a group too. So it doesn’t like not everyone sees it. That’s kind of Nice because it’s like these are the people that you can trust,

[13:49] right? Like I would recommend starting, they’re starting small, like a group of your close friends. But yeah, I do think it’s really important to get comfortable with going live because it’s only going to become more right.

[13:59] Popular. That’s really interesting. So you, so you do that with the people, like you’re going live, you’re creating people that want to know what you’re doing, essentially. You’re creating a following then.

[14:11] Yeah, because like I said, people, you know, they like following wives. But then the important thing is consistency. So even though we’re talking about Facebook live, we can use Instagram as an example. Yeah. If you’re following somebody and you’re watching their stories every single day, and then all of a sudden they just like,

[14:27] don’t make stories for a week. You literally like forget about that person. And it’s the same thing with Facebook class. Like I recommend going live every single day and people will start to really look for those lives and be excited for those lives and they really feel like you’re their close friend. Yeah, I believe it. That’s fun. Wow. What a discipline. So like, I’m assuming you do that yourself for your, like you’re selling to photographers business,

[14:58] Facebook lives. Yeah. I actually just did one right before we started recording.

[15:03] Yeah. And you do it daily?

[15:06] I would say maybe not every single day, but I recommend for my students every single day. Yeah.

[15:11] Okay. So how do you do it? Do you like, say I’m going to do it every day at 10 do you have a list of things you’re going to talk about? Do you put on makeup first?

[15:20] Yeah, so I, I, we actually have a list of different topics that we give to our students and we tell them to plan out their month. We planned it out monthly, so we have them come up with a topic for every single day. And then if they’re uncomfortable with going live, cause like until you’re really used to it, we say just come up with like five bullet points and have them in front of you. That way if you sort of forget what you’re talking about, you can reference that.

[15:43] Uh, what was your second question? Do you put on makeup? Oh

[15:47] yeah. So everyone, I feel like photographers specifically feel like they have to wear makeup to go live. Um, no, I, I don’t think it matters at all. I, I in fact never wear makeup, but, um, uh, for lives, I think people just want to see how you are on a normal basis. So don’t feel like you have to be like a Kardashians to go live.

[16:08] Yeah. Well some people I follow don’t wear makeup. Sometimes I click past him cause I’m like, ah, I don’t need makeup today. But, um, that’s just my personal opinion. But a lot of them don’t, you know, don’t look finished and don’t look perfect. But then it’s kind of interesting to see the difference between their Instagram feed and their Instagram stories. So, uh, so yeah, I, I’m just asking the questions that are coming in my head, but it sounds, I like the idea of having and doing it daily, having a plan, being disciplined because the idea of just picking up and going live, it makes me think I’m going to talk about, well, I’ve got laundry to do and you know, those kinds of things, which, and awesome.

[16:47] That’s okay. Every once in a while cause it’s super relatable. Um, I mean honestly with you saying that, I think it’d be kind of fun if you did a Facebook live where it starts out with you laying in a pile of laundry and just being like, is anyone else with me? Like, cause I know for me I literally have like a basket of laundry that I just never put away. Like I feel like I just live out of my basket of laundry. It’s like why put it away? It’s just going to get dirty. So like I’m already relating to you and being like, yeah. So I think that would actually be a good idea.

[17:18] That’s fun. Oh that’s awesome.

[17:19] All right guys. So let’s take a super quick break and then we’ll come back and we’ll talk about the industry and do some lightening round stuff.

[17:26] 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 scheduled 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. 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.

[18:21] 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 this system. If you like what you hear, podcasts are listeners, get an exclusive discount on the full class. So make sure you go to photo podcast.ceo forward slash simple and sign up for the free video. It will help you book more clients now and create the business you’ve always wanted.

[18:55] All right everybody, welcome back. We’re with Molly Kaiser. Um, if you didn’t listen to the first 20 minutes of this conversation, you definitely need to cause it was awesome. The whole concept of doing Facebook lives daily to build a trust with your audience I think is huge. And just, I don’t think a lot of photographers are doing it. Probably Molly, your group of photographers are probably one of the few doing it. Um, I see it done in other industries, but obviously taking that idea and moving into our industry, um, is really awesome. So that’s such a huge nugget of what’s working now. And it’s a fresh idea and probably most people haven’t put in place. So thanks for sharing that. Yeah, you’re welcome. Okay. So the next question that we always ask everybody is what’s like one thing that you’re fired up about in the industry? So it can be about where you think the industry is going or all those different things, but what’s the one thing that you hold true when you think about the industry?

[19:45] Yeah, so fired off I guess can mean a lot of different things. I’m going to take it this direction. You can let me know what you think. But one thing that I’m fired up about the photography industry, probably more so, but you are, but the industry in general is attitude. And I’m going to explain a go further into that. So lately I’ve been noticing, um, some people not practicing what they preach in terms of good work photography. So when you think of boudoir photography, what do you think of? You can think of, okay, I’m taking like soldiery sexy pictures to give to their significant other as a gift. Or You can think of, you know, I’m empowering them through good work photography. I’m showing them what everyone else sees and what they can finally believe is there. And that’s really the, the angle and the side that I’m on when it comes to being more photography for me, I’m not, I’m definitely not the photographer that’s like soft core porn. Like I’m definitely, the women’s empowerment would work so well in the restroom.

[20:44] And I’ve actually seen you call people out online about that. Like you’re not like, you’re like, this isn’t all about just like pictures of women and thongs, you know?

[20:52] Exactly. And, and yeah, it’s really not about that at all. So I yes, totally. And one thing I’ve noticed, you know, it’s been there forever, but I’ve noticed it more lately is boot who are photographers specifically making fun of people for like how they look or how they act or how they dress. And I just think it’s really just number one, it’s just really hypocritical. It doesn’t match what your mission is. I mean, if it does, then I’m sorry for you, but it should not match what your mission is. And also, um, I just feel like we really need to get back and remember like, what is the mission of the war? Because it’s not like, oh, we’re just putting on all this makeup to make these people look sexy and like better than everyone else. Like that is not at all what the Dwyer is about.

[21:32] And so I guess I’m just really fired up about getting the boot our industry specifically back to the freaking mission of helping empower women, show them how beautiful they are. Um, you know, and you can do good war without makeup. You can do good work with it. You can do blue are within dress, you can do good wire with laundry. It doesn’t matter. But, um, yeah, it really fires me up to just work even harder and get this message out to more people. When I see people belittling, like we weren’t congress belittling women online. Like, oh, this person didn’t like, can’t believe she’d wear that or I can’t believe she did this. Um, and so, yeah, I dunno if I answered fire it off in the road, but that’s how I feel.

[22:09] No. Yeah. And I want to, I want to take a tangent to, cause that strikes a chord with me and obviously I don’t do the same type of photography that you’re doing, but as a man in the industry right now, it drives me nuts because it’s become such a women focused industry. Not only, I feel like there’s a lot more women photographers, but obviously we’re marketing. Typically the one writing the check is the women. So you know, it’s like, and I just as a man in the industry, like it just drives me nuts when I am online and I just see like woman on woman crime, you know what I mean? Like it’s just like I don’t understand it because I don’t know like guys just do differently, you know? Like we like, like in high school and stuff, you know, we were immature a different way, you know, just like constantly pushing each other around and playing the game where you do the little circle with your hand, you know, and punching each other and stuff.

[22:58] You know, where girls have a different experience in middle school and high school. But yeah, I mean really, like there’s just groups I can’t even go into anymore because there’s just like, it’s just feels like there’s a group of women hating on another group of women, whether they’re other photographers or their clients or they’re just online celebrities or whatever it is. And it just, I’m with you. Like, it’s just not healthy. And it’s definitely not the mission of why I think a lot of people got into photography because you got to photography to make families and women and seniors feel beautiful, um, and empower them. And I just feel like, yeah, I mean, it just doesn’t feel the same right now.

[23:35] Yeah. You’re spot on. We’re saying it’s not just the food wiring the street. I 100% agree and yeah, I mean, it’s really sad. A lot of the Facebook groups, it’s, you mean we really try, we have a lot of rules in our Facebook group, which kind of annoys some people, but it’s there for a reason. Like, um, the second anything gets gossipy or pointing fingers or bullying, we completely just block and you don’t delete and block those people. Um, so what I’m getting at is like, I just really am trying to bring more light to that part of the industry and trying to get more photographers onto this movement of like, we don’t have to be jealous and mean to each other. Like we can all be friends and we can help each other and we can change our attitudes, um, and just be really a lot more positive of that

[24:26] industry, you know? And I just, I hope just as a country we do that, you know, that would be nice too. That would be just awesome. But like let’s take on our industry because that’s where we live. But like what if actually like our country got back to that, that would be amazing. That would be crazy. Cool. I’m kind of, look, let’s, let’s do lightening round you. You start with the first one.

[24:45] Okay. Uh, so, uh, Molly, when you were kind of telling your story, you started out wanting, knowing you wanted to be a photographer from the get go. And so the, the question is what was holding you back from being a full time photographer? But my question to go along with that is how did you know that you want it to be a portrait photographer? And you know, cause you kind of had a little bit of a different journey getting into it. Yeah.

[25:11] I’m glad you switched the question cause I was thinking to myself, nothing was holding you back. So yeah. So basically just, I think even just growing up as a little kid, my parents had me try all different things. Like they had me try gymnastics, taekwondo, yoga, like all this different stuff. And so I think it was really clear to me once I tried to photography, just like as a hobby, how much I loved it. And then once I interned with other photographers, seeing you can make money with it. Like immediately I was like, this is what I’m doing. I never have folded or looked at anything else. So I think, um, some people really struggle with like, oh, I like, I multi-passionate I like all these different things. And I think if you just allow yourself to try anything and everything, it will become really clear what you want your focus to be.

[25:56] Yeah, that’s great.

[25:58] I’m going to do the next two because these are actually one of my favorite questions. And Molly, I’m going to spend this, you saw the questions before the show, but I’m still excited. Yeah. So Molly, if you could give each one of your students $1,000 to buy something in the photo industry, what would you encourage them to buy? But that that was goodness you changed it. I know.

[26:18] Sorry. Okay. So if I could give one of my students $1,000, what would I encourage them to spend it on?

[26:26] Yeah. And then the second question is what not to spend it on, but go ahead.

[26:29] I would encourage them to, I’ll give two answers. Um, I would encourage them to first of all, save it, but if that’s not an answer right, I would also encourage them to use it on Facebook ads.

[26:42] Okay. So let me tell you, let me go down this tangent real quick about saving it. So kind of read this book and it gets brought up in our podcast a lot about profit. First, I don’t know if you’ve read it or not Molly, but it’s really a great book. But I went back and reread it because I like feel like I’m a year and announced on transitioning. And there was this quote in it that was so interesting that so many of us haven’t truly built a business. All we built was a cash eating machine and it’s still true, you know? And so, um, the fact that you would save it totally resonates where I am right now in my journey of trying to like build margin into my business to save money and stuff like that. Okay. So all right. So do you have that same thousand dollars you give it to a different one of your students? What would you tell them they should not spend it on

[27:31] granted that I know the majority of my students, like they comment into my program already having gear. Okay. Like a lot of them come from the wedding industry and they switch to going full time. Good wire. So knowing that, I would tell them to stop buying freaking camera here. Like, stop, I’m lens and stop. I’m camera’s like, all you need is one camera and a 50 millimeter lens and you’re good to go.

[27:54] Yeah, I, that’s my, I think that’s my, my, my answer too. I just think our industry just spend so much money on gear and it’s just like,

[28:03] stop my backdrop. Stop buying camera bags.

[28:05] Well, and they’re like, I don’t make any freaking money. And it’s like, well you spent another $10,000 a year on year. Like, you know, not including the last four years you did the same thing. You know,

[28:15] I still have the d 700 the d 800, you know, I’m good. Yeah. Well and you don’t need that great of a file, you know, I mean they’re going to be printing and small things typically are putting it on social media. So you don’t need a 50 meg file. We’re not making bouquard billboards here. No. And if we were, we would be, it would, it would take us a lot of work to retouch those. Oh. Um, okay. So then what’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received is to make sure that your business is all systems and processes. So what that means is the number one thing I see with photographers is they go around to do all these different, um, like courses. They try to find all these different new things and what’s wrong with that? Like obviously higher education is fantastic and you should definitely do that.

[29:09] We should definitely get a mentor, that kind of stuff. But when you learn something and you do it and it works, don’t move onto the next thing. Like take that thing and build a standard operating procedure, which is basically a bullet point checklist of how that thing gets done. Right? And then repeat that thing over and over and over and over. So a popular marketing strategy that I’ve taught over the years is my model call. And what people do is they’ll learn it and they’ll do it and you’ll get awesome results of that. And then like next month they’ll be like, I don’t have any bookings. And I’m like, well, did you do model Collagen? And they’re like, well no. Like it works. Like do it again and again and again and again. So processes, systems, consistency is key.

[29:51] Yeah. When I, when I teach people on marketing about marketing, the slogan I say it’s like, okay, if you press the button and it worked, just keep pressing that fricking button until that part is broken. You know what I mean? Like you don’t need a different button. Just keep pressing that button. Yes. What’s one personal habit you have that you think contributes to your success?

[30:10] Uh, definitely a routine. So I have a set work schedule. I have a set routine, you know, pretty much every day it’s like a wake up. I work out to do my RDO, listen to audio books. I go to work. I plan tomorrow today. Actually. I’ll expand on that if that’s okay. Yup. Plan tomorrow. Today basically is you can use any plan or any sheet of paper and before you end your work day, you want to plan for the next day. So what you do is you actually break it down into every single hour for the next day. So let’s say you’re doing this on Monday night for Tuesday, you would break down what am I going to work on every single hour during my a lot of work time. So for me that’s typically [8:00] AM to [4:00] PM and I’ll break down exactly what I’m doing actually every 30 minutes and then I stick to that and I get so much work done.

[30:58] Well that makes sense because you’re only doing it the day before. Like I’ve always tried to plan ahead and then you were like, well I don’t want to fill up all this white space in my calendar because what if somebody calls? But if you’re just doing it the day before, the chances of somebody actually calling and having to like change it is maybe once a year. That’ll happen. So you, I mean 364 days you could actually plan your next day pretty pretty well.

[31:19] Yeah. And then also having sort of like set days. So for example, like Tuesdays are her shoot day, like Wednesdays our office work or you know, like broad strokes and then go every 30 minutes.

[31:31] That’s awesome. Do you ever find that you don’t listen to yourself? Like I don’t really like being told what to do and so sometimes I don’t want to myself to tell him myself what to do and I’ll be like, oh, I’m not doing that now. I’ve changed my mind like, or are you, do you pretty much honor what you want to?

[31:49] I do. I think it really comes down to discipline and like, you know how badly, like would you, I don’t know if I ever get in a mindset like that where I’m like, oh, I just don’t want to like do this or whatever. I just think about my end goal. Like I think as long as you have like a really good end goal, a really good mission that’s going to always Trump your natural mindset to want to go and do other things that are not work. So I just really think it comes down to discipline and like the more that you do the plan tomorrow, today, it just becomes a habit and you don’t really think about, you know, not doing it, if that makes sense.

[32:22] Yeah. Yeah, that does. Okay. Um, so then the next thing is you may have multiples because I know you, um, uh, teach too. And so I’m assuming that it might be an internet resource, but what would you suggest to our listeners would be a good internet resources?

[32:40] Yeah, so I do have a blog. It’s a booty shorts.com/blog and booty is B, O, u, d, I. E. And it’s a really good resource. Not only just because you know, it’s my blogs. Obviously I’m biased, but I’ve been keeping that blog since 2012 I believe. Like, honestly, I just wish everyone had actually go and read it because I would say 99.9 if not 100% of the questions I could ask on a daily basis are answered in that blog. People just don’t take the time to read it. So I would really recommend that you do that. And then also I write emails every single week, almost every day. I don’t really plan them super far in advance. So they’re all really in real time, like helpful tips. So when you’re on the blog, if you can subscribe to the email list, that would be really helpful.

[33:31] Awesome. Recommend books. You said that you, you listen to audio books while you’re doing your cardio, stuff like books that you’d want to share with our audience and kind of the impact they had on your business. Or

[33:40] like the audio most I’m listening to lately are all about operations for like big teams. So I wouldn’t recommend that for photographers right now, but what I would recommend is go to Amazon and get an affirmation book. Um, so basically it’s just a book that has one affirmation per page and I really think waking up and making sure that your mind is saying and repeating and believing positive things right away in the morning, it’s gonna make a huge impact on, um, your mind, uh, your workday, how you’re helping your clients and all of that. So it’s not really like a difficult book, but just rewiring your mindset to think positively.

[34:21] Yeah. And let me, I’m going to go on a tangent on this because I’m going to give you a huge shout out because, uh, last week that you, you posted about entrepreneurial depression online and it’s a real thing and you were like the first photographer that I ever saw steak that flag and say like, working by yourself and working alone and the the hate that’s inside your own head is a real thing and you should go get help about it. And I think that is so powerful. So, you know, feel free to talk about it if you want, if not, but I mean, I just think the fact that you did that, like Molly, you were always like a nine in my mind, but now like, you know what I mean? Like I think I was like, Molly really gets it and like she may be one of the best in the industry, you know,

[35:08] I think that’s a really good example actually of what we talked about earlier. Like building the know, like, and trust and just being yourself. Even if it’s not a Facebook live like a post, because you know, all I was doing there, I was thinking, you know, hey, I’ve been having, you know, I’m a business owner who struggles with ups and downs and so does every other percents owner, not person on the planet. And so I just wanted to share something that really helped me, um, which if you don’t mind me sharing it, it’s just an APP. It’s an APP called Talkspace and basically you can have like a therapist on your phone. And you know, even just with entrepreneurs that I meet on a day to day basis students that I how, um, even people that are not business owners, you know, we all, I feel like everyone, I almost wish it was mandatory to go to therapy once a week, um, because we can get caught in that headspace, you know, we can get caught with those negative thoughts and we can spiral very easily, um, sometimes into depression or away from what we’re trying to accomplish.

[36:09] And I just think it’s really helpful to not only talk about it and know that like you’re not alone, but to also seek that help and just know that there’s no finish line. Like it’s just always trying to improve your head space and get closer to those goals.

[36:26] Yeah, that’s awesome. I found that, you know, cause I, I worked with in a family business and then I started my own business and I had considered it, you know, just doing it all myself because I could, and I, uh, I just choose to have people have employees, but they’re, you know, they always end up being good friends working with me and I choose to go to work because that keeps me not feeling sad. It’s just having people I know that I’m going to be able to talk to and ask about their weekend and they’re going to ask about mine. And you know, that’s, that’s the way that I handled that. But, um, I definitely have seen a lot of people spiral into a, you know, just not being able to function creatively because of being lonely and sad and not having people to talk to.

[37:11] Yeah. And I also think too with photographers especially, I think burnout is just sort of almost like a word for depression. Yeah. And what happens is like we push ourselves too far and too hard and you know, with, I know with me, when I used to shoot weddings, it was like I literally never had a day off for four or five months out of the year. And then I would quote unquote burn out and I wouldn’t want to work. I didn’t have a creative thought, you know, for like probably a month or two. And so it’s just really important, just like you said, Oh, if you surround yourself with people that you can talk to you like that helps even out your, your mood and you don’t find yourself getting depressed or burnt out. And yeah, that’s exactly what we need to be talking about more and doing is putting those things in place. So like really actually making, let’s, let’s like, let’s say you’re a wedding photographer, really making rules and saying like, I’m not going to work Monday and Tuesday if I’m shooting the weekend or whatever. And then actually sticking to that, because even if you feel like, oh, I could work, I can push through it. I love my work, you know, I feel like we tell ourselves these lies, like I love working every single day. And it’s like, well, you know, you have to go give yourself that break or you will reach that burnout period.

[38:21] Yeah, that makes sense. So let me, I’ll just quickly tell you kind of where I am with my journey because I think it’ll, it’ll help our audience to, um, like I had identified a couple of months ago that, I don’t know, I don’t know what it was like within the last year, but I was called a couple of ago that I had created a business that was no longer making me happy. And I mean, I would say we have a super successful business. You know, we make a lot of money and we, you know, have employees and you know, we don’t do our own retouching. You know, we have somebody on staff who does, so I’m not up in the middle of night. And so like in some aspects it was like, yeah, we had lots of success, but at the same time I didn’t, I hadn’t built this business that was making me happy anymore. It made me happy for 11 years, but now it, it didn’t.

[39:02] And I had to like actually like stop and like start making very conscious decisions that like I need to take my business in a different direction. And it’s hard because like it’s scary because it’s like, oh well we’ll have this business now that’s dialed and making money. But you know, like if it’s not making me happy, then why are we doing it? And I think, I think it’s okay for photographers or any business owners to stop and say, yeah, what I built and what the journey, where the journey has taken me is not necessarily, you know, where I want to be. And I’ll just give you the example of what I’m working on right now is I built this business and it became like I purchased so many tools and things like an enterprise level that it became like this crazy enterprise for like 300 clients a year, you know?

[39:53] And it was just like sometimes just maintaining all the tools and you know, doing all these things. It was just like so much work where those tools are typically maintained by a team. And I was like doing it myself and I was like, you know, like we don’t need all these tools and all this automation and all this craziness. Like it’s just not making the business any better and it’s not making us any happier. And so we’re starting to dial back a lot of those things that I felt like were necessary and we’re just getting back to like, okay, if we actually just sat down with our clients and had a conversation and that’s what makes us happy, you know?

[40:26] I love that. And I think what, like one thing that I teach in one of my courses is, I call it like the six core functions, but basically each business is broken down into like different sections. And I think it’s important just every month to look at those sections, but like on a consistent basis. So like for you, you know, you would find, and like you already did this where you were looking at your business and asking yourself, you know, does this still make me happy? Is this still something that we need to do? And I think that’s really smart to do, like on a consistent monthly basis. Um, because I think sometimes, yeah, we, we build them, we’re like, oh, I want to get to, you know, six figures. I want to get to multiple six figures, I want to get $2 million, whatever it is. And then you might wake up one day and realize like, maybe you don’t actually want that. So, um,

[41:14] yeah. Well, yeah. So what, here’s what’s so interesting too and like, you know, how your perspective always changes and why had built this business and you know, like it was never an option not to be six figures. You know what I mean? Like that. Like, why, you know, like in my head and the like, and I’ve now to a different realization. I’m like, you know, like, well, why wouldn’t you do? Why wouldn’t you be pushing towards millions of dollars and stuff like that. But then like, you know, fast forward years later and I’m like, okay, well maybe a million dollar business is not going to make me happy. You know? And just to clarify, we have not hit the million dollar mark, but, um, you know, I’m like, if we keep pushing towards this, I’m not going to be any happier. When I, those numbers that, that next comma rolls over, it’s not going to make me any happier. So like, you know, how do you find a business? How do you build a business that’s truly compatible, compatible to you, that’s not focused on revenue and average sales that’s truly focused on giving you the lifestyle you want. Totally agree. Cool. Cars. You want to wrap it up real quick?

[42:13] Yeah. So Molly, this has been fantastic. It’s really neat to talk to you and to kind of, uh, here how thoughtfully you’ve approached of photography and what you do. And I’m, I’m really glad to meet you and get to know you and I’m going to subscribe and read your blog. Uh, so, uh, but before we get to that, I get to that, um, we’d love to hear a ending, a parting piece of guidance and the best way to connect to you.

[42:41] Sure. And thank you so much and I really enjoyed chatting with you guys. Yeah, so my parting piece of guidance is a little story. Basically just a comparison. If you want it to be the best at something, let’s say, you know, horseback riding or soccer or poker or whatever it is, and you’re like, okay, I want to become an Olympian. Uh, what is it that you’re going to do? You are going to seek a coach, right? To become the best at that thing. And so as photographers, I want you to think in that exact same way. You know, if you want to become the best at something fast, okay, then why try to figure it out on your own? Why try to reinvent the wheel? Why not hire a mentor, a coach to help you get there? Someone who has done it before. So you know, whether that’s me, whether that’s Matt, you know, whether that’s whoever. I just want you to really start thinking in that. Uh, I just want you to start thinking in that way of thinking of, you know, if I want to get somewhere, if I want to achieve something, it’s not, how do I start from square one and do this all over again because people have already done it, right? So why start all over again when you can find someone who’s already done it and start there and then you can even grow past that. So just really starting to think in that mindset.

[44:00] Yeah, that’s awesome. And so what’s the best way for people to connect with you?

[44:04] Yeah, so we have a free Facebook group. You can find it by going to booty shorts.com so I should group and I also have my blog, a booty shorts.com/blog I’m on Instagram, Facebook, you know, whatever, however you like to better interact.

[44:21] Awesome. Cool. Yeah, so we’ll definitely share all those links in the show notes for sure because people should definitely connect with you and, and thanks so much for everything you do for the industry. You know, like, I think a of people do a really good job of like, you know, carrying the light and moving the industry forward every day. And there’s another people, you know, just don’t, and I just think that you’re one of those people that really adds to the industry every day and everyday that you’re, you know, fighting the good fight for photographers. It’s making it better. So thank you.

[44:48] Thank you. I feel the exact same way about you.

[44:51] Thanks. Awesome. Well, everybody that was Molly Kaiser and um, you know, newly moved to Austin, Molly Kaiser and uh, yeah, thanks so much for being on the show, Molly. We really appreciate it. You know, would definitely want to have you back so you know, when you get to go to the launch, a new program or whatever, maybe we’ll have you back and you can tell us about what you’re up to next. So

[45:12] I would be happy to be at anytime. Thank you, Molly. It was so nice to meet you. Nice to meet you too. All right guys, we’ll see you guys next week. Thank you for listening to from nothing to profit a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kaia. Be sure to subscribe for more business strategy and ideas to help you create the 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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