Today we interview Scott Wyden Kivowitz. Learn about his story of working full time at Imagely, the wordpress photography people (https://www.imagely.com/) and part time as a photographer. It is important for Scott to continue to love photography, which is why he keeps it part-time.
Scott is starting to shift his business to personal brand photography, a fast growing genre. He says, “There’s the potential for a personal brand photographer to make the same, or more than, a wedding photographer. There’s actually a lot less time away from the family and you gain your weekends back.” The opportunities here are limitless.
Scott also uses lead generation to find the clients he wants to work with and refers the rest out. Some really great tips here.
Books that Scott Recommends:
All Gary Vaynerchuck Books, especially:
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (https://amzn.to/2D2LBiL)
Ask Gary Vee (https://amzn.to/2PQs1Zs)
Resources from the show:
Scott has podcast – wordpress photography podcast – about websites and using them for business. Check it out here: https://www.imagely.com/podcast
Scott’s Lead Generation class: https://scottwyden.com/lead-generation-course
Additional Free Resources at MattHoaglin.com
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.
Scott: [00:01] This is Scott Wyden Kivowitz and you are listening to from nothing to profit.
Speaker 2: [00:04] Welcome to from nothing to profit a photographers podcast with Matt and Kayak where each week they talk to photographers about what is working in their business now so you can swipe those ideas and grow your business faster. Welcome
Kia: [00:20] to go from nothing to profit hosted by Matt Hoagland and Kira bonderant. We are so excited to welcome Scott Wyden Kivowitz today, and here we go.
Scott: [00:32] Scott is a father, photographer, blogger, and educator from New Jersey. A storyteller. What? The camera growing up, he was always photographed by his parents and his grandparents while playing in bands. He started photographing bands that played at the same event he decided years ago to document the lives of others so that they can enjoy and be cherished forever. Scott offers family portraits, cakes, mass essence headshots and personal brand photography to his local clients. He’s also the chief community officer at imagely, the photo press photography people. He’s also the chief community officer at imagely, the wordpress photography people. So welcome Scott. Thanks for having me. So is there anything else after reading your bio that we kind of missed about you, that you wanted to include? I mean, do you want to say a little bit more about imagery or anything like that? Sure. Um, so, so I am a part time professional photographer.
Scott: [01:20] I decided years ago to, to not go full time with it, uh, for various reasons, which I’m sure we’ll get into. But I am working, I do work full time frame. Actually imagely makes plugins and themes for photographers, turnkey sites for photographers, things like that basically were just, uh, we call ourselves the wordpress photography people for a reason. We are just anything that our photographer needs and wordpress, that is what we are aimed to, uh, to deliver for them. So that’s pretty much everything in a nutshell I guess. Yeah. And that’s, that’s Kinda where I’m at you from is from some facebook groups that we’re in together and you’ve been such a valuable resource to all of us because I know you really have your pulse. You really have the pulse of the industry for sure. So thanks. Yeah,
Kia: [02:03] and I’m excited, Scott, because we’ve never met and uh, whenever I’ve looked through your website and looked at all your different interests and I think you have such a variety of knowledge that I think you’re going to have a lot to share with us. So, uh, my first question for you is share something we don’t know about your area of expertise that as a photographer we probably should.
Scott: [02:30] So I’m starting to shift a as kind of mentioned I’m, I’m starting to shift. So a lot of my business to personal brand photography. This is something that is definitely becoming more popular in the industry. It’s still not, it’s still probably one of the least popular genre of photography, but it’s definitely growing. And I think one thing that people need to realize that if they’re considering the switch or if they just are learning about personal brand photography, is that there’s actually the potential for a personal brand photographer to make the same salary or more than a wedding photographer. And there’s actually a lot less time away from the family and you gain your weekends back. You don’t have to do your sessions on weekends because a lot of the people that you’ll be photographing for personal brand photography are solo, preneurs entrepreneurs that can do it whenever they want, so
Kia: [03:25] probably better for them to do it during the weekday. It’s really.
Scott: [03:29] Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, depending on what they do, if they’re, obviously, if they’re like a, a personal chef who does a lot of corporate, you know, events where they’re doing lunches and stuff that obviously, you know, that time is not gonna work for them, but for the most part they have the flexibility to really do it when they want, which is, which is a beautiful thing. So you’re talking a lot of them. You can make a really good salary, a lot of money with all of your time back to see your family and your weekends back. That’s the three big wins that a lot of people don’t realize. So real quick kind of explain how. How do you see the difference between like personal brand photography and just like headshots? I mean, because I know they’re so there’s some overlap there, but do you see there’s a difference between the two?
Scott: [04:14] Oh yeah, so head shots here. You’re basically literally just doing head shots, whether it’s all location or in studio. Personal brand photography is you’re spending an entire day or two or whatever you. Your contract is with your client and you’re doing full body shots. You’re doing headshots, you’re doing lifestyle shots, you’re doing potentially studio shots. If you have a studio, you know you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re doing it more than just, you know, shoulder up, your typical headshot, your, you’re also delivering more. You’re giving them, you’re giving them like depending, again, depending on whatever the contract is that you do your. You could be doing a month worth of photos for this person. You could be doing quarters worth of photos for this person instead of a headshot where you’re delivering one or two head shots to the person and you’re also delivering the photos for every social media channel that they utilize. You’re basically delivering them a product that is going to be easy for them to use across every channel that they need with a license that covers that aspect so you know, they don’t have to worry about any legality issues and you don’t have to worry about suing them for any reason. Everything’s like, you know, in a laid out, there’s no real gray areas.
Kia: [05:29] It’s always good to figure out ways to not sue your clients for sure. So Scott, when I was looking at it through your website to get to know you better, that really intrigued me. Your personal branding, like what you talked about. And so it looks to me because when I think about personal branding, I think, oh bloggers who want you to do it for free and they’ll put your name on their site. But I noticed that you did a lot of really good education on that. And so where did that come from? Like, you know, because I haven’t really seen that much. Like you said, it’s something that people don’t really know. So where did all that? That whole concept start?
Scott: [06:08] So I first, I first thought I’ve, I’ve, I’ve known about this for a long time, but I didn’t think it was gonna be a genre in photography until, until Jamie Swanson really start teaching. I started teaching about it and I had a lot of great conversations with Jamie and I learned a lot from her just in that little bit of time of talking with her different conversations and you know, she’s got a whole video series on it and she’s got a course on it. She has a facebook group all about it, but there’s also people who have been doing it for a long time. So I just did a lot of research. I just googled the heck out of it and came up with some content that I think would connect with the potential clients. And um, yes, I mean, so far so good. You know, I, you know, it’s, it’s, when you think about it, if you’re someone who’s been doing family portraits and you’ve been doing head shots and you have been doing things like that, you’ve already been doing personal brand photography.
Scott: [07:06] I’ve already been doing it for years with specific clients. I tell them we’re going to do this for your business and we’re going to do this and yeah. Yeah, so it’s. It’s a the mindset. I mean the, the, the artistic side of it is the same. It’s the business side. It’s the business mindset part that’s a little bit different when you say, okay, this is a personal brand photography, so the contracts are completely different than every other type of contract. I don’t have to worry about a person’s sales. I don’t have to worry about selling prints. It’s not really shoot and burn. It’s shouldn’t post it. It’s, it’s strategic for the business person, which is kind of funny because you’re, you’re being strategic to a person who is also being strategic in their own business, so it’s just a good match. If you find some, find people who get the value of personal prayer photography to somebody who understand a photographer who understands the value of it and how to deliver it. It’s just a perfect, perfect
Matt: [08:06] a situation. Perfect match so well and I think in the industry we’ve known this is coming for awhile, you know, because one of our industry is one of the cutting, cutting edge industries in terms of like using social media and branding ourselves that way. And so I think we knew it was coming, it was just like in some aspects we had to wrap our head around how to do this and then we also had to wait for the rest of the world to realize how big brandon on the Internet was going to be. So now they realize that they need the branding type sessions to support what they’re trying to do. So it’s really cool. I really think it’s starting to finally come together on all avenues and it’s an awesome thing that somebody could add to their business and just run with it.
Scott: [08:44] Sure. I think, you know, and I have to give a lot of credit to Jamie Swanson because she kinda, she, she sort of kicked my butt into the, into that direction. Um, so that, that transition is still happening. It’s not like I’m finalized. And now on a personal brand photographer, the transition’s underway. I’m building that side of my business now and hopefully eventually I can get rid of the other stuff. Yeah, that’d be awesome. Okay.
Kia: [09:06] Are you done with the. What was it? I was like, Oh, you are trading in the personal branding for the cake smashes. I was just teasing. So before we finish from that, because I feel like the name of this is from nothing to profit and Scott, what you’re doing is taking nothing because that’s not something that you’ve been specifically doing and turning that into profit. So I just have a question on it. I saw that your pricing structure is like a package. Correct? And so, or well I assumed it was a package because you asked a question like are you willing to spend, you know, this certain amount of money. And so I assume it was a package. Is your ideal client someone who would become, you would set up a subscription or something where they come, you know, every three months or something like that?
Scott: [09:55] Correct? Well, uh, yeah, so, so I have three different packages. One is an Allah cart, but it’s still started, $2,000 and 1000 or 2000 to 2000. It’s a one off personal brand photography session, a one day session. And basically I have quarterly packages that save your money and give you more. And so, so that’s just, that’s just the way that I decided to structure it off the bat. What I did though, because I am starting that side of my business from nothing, uh, I did offer for a, for a couple people promo pricing for a month’s worth of images for $500 and I’ve got those books and I’m just waiting for them to fill out the questionnaire and you know, do this,
Kia: [10:43] follow that. Will you put that on your blog or. Oh, of
Scott: [10:46] course. Yeah, that’ll be, that’ll be the um, and I’m hoping to do. I do a lot of youtube education as well, like for photographers. So I do a lot of youtube videos and I’m hoping to document, uh, that whole behind the scenes of it and everything for, for you to use as well. So. Very cool. Very cool. Okay, so let me move on to the next question and we may not be moving on very far, but the next question we always ask is kind of what’s working now and we’ve kind of talked about it. I don’t know if there’s anything else in particular you wanted to talk about what’s working now in our industry or if that’s kind of what you were thinking? Yeah, so, um, I was working for me, at least for, you know, for my business in general, is that I rely heavily on lead generation through my website and from word of mouth from existing clients.
Scott: [11:33] So I built a system on my site which I now teach to photographers as well. And the system that I built generates about 10 leads a week on average between cake smashes families, headshots. That’s everything. And I take those, I take, I take the clients that I can, that one that I feel that are a good fit. Again, I’m a part time professional. I only have so much time because they do have a full time job. So I take what, what’s a good fit and I’ll take those on. And then I’ll actually refer the other leads to other photographers in the area, which means a lot of photographers in the area are getting people that I’ve been putting the effort in to get. Um, but that’s fine. And your friends. I bet it’s really interesting as I here, let me do a bunch of work to get somebody to raise their hand and be interested in photography and then I’ll hand them to you.
Scott: [12:18] You know, you should never have to buy a drink in your town ever again. That’s for sure. That’s for sure. So now that I’m actually shifting my business to personal prep talk, we’re trying to. I’m rebuilding my lead generation system for the new genre and I’m building up a new client base of course. So that’s all you know from nothing to profit. So. But yeah. So, so lead generation is being struck again, being strategic about it. Not just, you know, hey, you know, let’s have a conversation that’s not going to do it. You have to. You have to really be strategic from, from top to bottom about the entire process. Using a well thought out lead magnet. Tying that into the rest of your site, promoting the heck out of it and in various ways there’s a whole lot you can do. That’s awesome. So do you want to give one specific example?
Scott: [13:07] I mean, I don’t want you to give away everything because I know you have a lot of information on your site and stuff, but one specific example that you think is working really well, whether it’s a lead magnet that’s working well or one part of the process that’s working. So what I can tell you is for families, um, what I’ve done is I’ve created a lead magnet that is offering preparation advice for families. And sometimes I’ve done this where it’s a download, but what I’ve done more recently is I’ve converted it to an actual page that’s hidden from search engines and whatnot. So people can’t just find it. They’d have to know exactly where to look and find it. So yeah, they have to opt in. They gave me their email address and once they give me their email address, they are then sent to this new page where they can see all this information about preparing for the session and then they’re also sent into a whole automation campaign working now, nurture that lead further with more education. So I’m now emailing them on a regular basis for about two weeks about various things. And then at the end of that they get a very light pitch to a, have a conversation about, about the family session. So it’s um, that’s a, a very summed up version of, of the system, but there’s definitely a lot more that goes into it than just that though, because that’s really awesome.
Kia: [14:25] Well, what I was going to say is I think that’s good because not everyone understands what that is. Even though they probably opted into how many lead generation systems themselves. Not everyone really knows what it is or that people can use