From Nothing to Profit

A Photographer's Podcast


Published on:

18th Feb 2019

Matt Hoaglin Social Media Q and A – Episode 020 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

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You don’t want to miss this podcast! Matt is teaching at PPA Idaho in Boise, so he bounces ideas off of and asks for Kia’s perspective on social media so get prepared for his program. They start with goals, like brand awareness and how you measure that. Matt runs Facebook and Instagram ads to current customers, in addition to new potential and repeat customers. Listen in to find out how and why. Matt suggests you audit the platforms you use to make sure the voice matches your brand. They also get into retargeting. If someone goes to Allison Ragsdale Photography, once they leave the website, Matt can set things up where they’ll see ads on Facebook and Instagram to download our free guides. Which leads them to discussing lead magnets. Kia brings up how actually creating the lead magnet or the content creation can be the stop so Matt suggests using templates and writing prompts. Then you have to make a plan and schedule your posts. Last, but before you start, figure out how you’re going to track your results.

Read Full Transcript

Transcription was done by 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.

Matt: [00:01] Everybody, this is Matt Hoagland and you’re listening to from nothing to profit.

Speaker 2: [00:05] Welcome to from nothing to profit, a photographer’s 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.

Matt: [00:21] All right guys, so here’s the deal. This is going to be a little bit of a different podcast and hopefully people give us feedback whether they like these kind of random conversations. You and I have an or if they definitely want us to do many, many more interviews with people, but I was putting together this outline because I’m speaking at pep a Idaho and they actually gave me a huge time slot to talk about social media. So I put together an outline and I kind of want to just some of your feedback to see how you think about some of these things as well. So yeah, if I can bounce ideas off of you, that would be awesome because I think people, people will definitely get a lot from this. Okay. So the first big idea that I wanted to talk about is like kind of goal setting for social media and here’s, here’s how I think about that.

Matt: [01:07] Your social media goals need to be aligned with your company goals. So there’s kind of three types of types of goals that I think about. Like one of them is just brand awareness goals, like you’re just trying to get seen. Then there’s the goal of getting new leads and customers are. Then there’s the goal of retaining existing customers. So there’s icing. I think there’s only three I can think of, but what I see a lot of people do with their goals around social media as they, their goals only live in social media. So like they’re like I want 10,000 likes, that’s a social social media goal and they don’t necessarily connect that to a business goal. Does that make sense?

Kia: [01:45] Yeah, I think that’s really good because like right now I’m working on putting together my goals for the year and I. and so we’ve been discussing the fact that most of our goals are like achievement goals. Like, you know, like you said, 10,000 followers or likes or you know, booking this many sessions and they’re all like achievement goals and we don’t get rewarded very quickly with that. And so I would definitely like to know, like how, what are other ways of like evaluating what you’re doing to see if it’s working for you or other ways of looking at it to see if it’s working for you. So yeah, that’s good. I like that.

Matt: [02:26] Yeah. And I mean because at the end of this program I was going to talk about like how we can like have key performance indicators to figure out if this stuff is working and stuff for sure. But you know, I just think social media goals, I think the first idea is social media goals have to be aligned with your business goals.

Kia: [02:42] Okay. So what’s an example like that? Like so of each of those.

Matt: [02:47] Okay. So like if you, if you’re just wanting to get seen, right? You just want your brand out there so people see it. Then what you do on social media may be different, may have different calls to actions or you may have been doing different things with your clients to get to get seen, right? If you’re just brand awareness, you may say, Hey, one of our goals is to get one of our seniors to post on our behalf every week or something like that. Oh, okay. I like that we’re getting new leads or customers that call to action may be, you know, book a free planning session, you know, pick up the phone and call the call to action I think is different. So if your business goal is to get more customers, you may have to do social media a little bit differently and then retaining existing customers is a completely different goal, right?

Matt: [03:30] You maybe you’re just posting pictures of people you’ve already taken and that makes them feel good. You know, there’s, we do and we do an ad campaign. We did this really crazy thing and social media. Let me go down this rabbit hole real quick. So as people, as people are going through our, whatever the word I’m looking for, going through our system right from, from the beginning consultation all the way through ordering and picking up their pictures. There are different steps, right? So like we, the first step is we have to get them ready for the consultation and then we have to get them ready for the session and then we have to get them ready for the order appointment and then we have to get them ready to pick up their stuff and leave us a review. So there’s different stages and we actually run campaigns on facebook that helped them see that.

Matt: [04:13] So and so we have ads that we run on facebook when they’re looking at when they’re getting ready for their consultation. We do a lot of inspirational slideshows or we’ll do like little videos of sessions so they just get excited about it. But when they go, when they get ready for their session, we’ll do a lot of ads that are around like our what to wear guide or you know, in our pictures that point out, you know, certain things are props and things as well. So like the message changes and then when they get ready to order what they see with our ad campaigns is they see like Walmart and things like that and we can actually running ads to the people who’ve already booked with you. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so the idea, it’s so, so interesting. So I did it as a task because I went to, I think I was at traffic and conversion summit in San Francisco a couple years ago and they were like, we should do this because you just use custom audiences on facebook and instagram and if people want to know more about it, they can reach out to me.

Matt: [05:12] But what they said, you know, we do this like subliminal marketing to these people. And so I tried it. I was like, just what the order, right. I was like, okay, I’m going to put together a short video, you know, not no words, just music and just show them a bunch of wall art in our studio and see what happens. And so I ran the ad and I just saw, you know, people were liking it and people were watching it and like, you know, just the normal phase facebook statistics and then people started coming in for their order and they’re like, you know, somewhere I saw, you know, a picture that looked like this and they, they didn’t realize that they even saw it on facebook because they’re just scrolling through it. Then I’m like, oh, like this? And they’re like, yeah, that’s the one I want, that’s what I want. And they like came more prepared for their order. And so now I’ve kind of done that for different stages. The order in one is by far the most effective, but we just tried to like hit them in as many places as possible. Right. We talk to them on the phone and we email them about this stuff. But now I’m also trying to do the same messaging on facebook and Instagram, so they see it there as well.

Kia: [06:11] Huh. That’s really interesting. So do you find that that like rather than just sending them an email with the information that them getting an ad is like making the order better?

Matt: [06:25] Well yeah, because you’re all, all we’re doing with those ads is just educating them that there’s possibilities because people don’t know how to. People don’t know how to shop photography. Right. So we’ll just get. We’re just giving them ads and I’m not going to run. I don’t want to spend a million dollars front end that facebook ad to a bunch of strangers that are interested in photography. But if I had a cat, if I have a captured audience and I can run wall our ads or album ads to those people and it increases my sales by a certain percentage. It’s worth it all day long. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, cool. Because most people know. Yeah, most people have never seen that. I don’t even know that they can do these amazing albums and you know, so if I can, if I can show them on facebook as well as showing them when I’m at our studio, it’s just a win win.

Matt: [07:05] Yeah. Okay. Cool. Okay. So I don’t know if we’re going to get through all of this, but it must be sorry. No, it’s good because I just really want your feedback and hopefully we have these nuggets that will help the audience as well. So the second part, as I said, like what’s, what is possible, so I was gonna have them audit their platform url on each platform, each social media platform, audit their followers out of their competition and their audit, their current strategy. So I think the main one doing all those platforms. Well I’m just saying because everybody’s business is different. Right? And so they usually

Kia: [07:41] and tell them to choose their top two platforms or something. Because to me I’d be like, I have to ask all these questions about all these platforms. And so, you know, if you take five times, one, two, three, four, five, six, you know, like your, your ended up with like 30 questions. Sure. So I think you should tell them, pick your top one or two platforms and audit those. Okay. And so here’s the idea. You should add pinterest.

Matt: [08:08] Okay, perfect. So here’s the idea behind behind the audit, the platform as I think. I think we just get, I don’t know if we get lazy or we just get confused or complacent or what the word is, but subconsciously we know that certain platforms are used for certain things. And we talked about this when we, you and I interviewed when I interviewed you about instagram and that there’s certain platforms for certain things. So like Linkedin is the obvious one, right? Like it’s very business centered. It’s used for that. But what happens I think sometimes is that we get lazy and we put instagram content like on facebook and it doesn’t mean so like I just want to. Yeah. So I just want to spend a few minutes and saying like what are, what is the purpose of these platforms? You know, what’s the purpose of facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin, snapchat, pinterest, whatever. They all are, I, what’s the purpose of it? Why are people there? And then what’s the voice of the platform? Because you and I have talked about this. I don’t know if we’ve actually pointed it out or not, but the voice on snapchat is like very catty and very funny and like there’s a lot of people that just don’t resonate with it. Like when it comes to brands like your brand, your brand may not fit their. Yeah.

Kia: [09:20] Yeah. It definitely doesn’t work with my brand because my brand is happy and cheerful and that kind of thing. Yeah. Yeah. I see that.

Matt: [09:27] And so you know, you’re not going to put dog ears on, you know, that doesn’t work with what, what you’re trying to do and necessarily so, so. So anyways, I want them to look at the platform. I also want them to look at their followers like who’s already there, who’s already resonating with what they’re doing. Like, you know, just getting some insights about who is actually following them. There’s some really cool tools like you can do like a 15 day trial of sprout social and it basically does like a whole audit on your, on your social media platforms and produces all kinds of really cool insights. If you don’t want to do the free trial, you don’t want to pay for it. You can also do, um, just the insights that are inside of instagram or facebook. It has lots of information for you and then they can look at their competition and that’s kind of a slippery slope. But then I also want them just to audit their current strategy. Now since they’ve thought about the platform and thought about who their followers, I want them to look at their social, their current strategy and say, is it working? Is it not? This is where you’ve enlightened me is they’re kind of like auditing their aesthetic on their platform and saying, am I actually doing what’s native to the platform and native to my brand, you know?

Kia: [10:33] Yes, absolutely. Yeah. And I think especially because photography is such a visual, it’s a visual product and so if you, if, if it doesn’t connect with the, the, with your brand and with the platform you’re putting it on, then people are not going to be drawn to it, they’re going to be confused and uncomfortable with it.

Matt: [10:54] Right. Okay. So then the next thing is like ideas of what they could do. And so we’re talking about like how know stories and just posting in general and this concept of retargeting which is super powerful. So let me explain the retargeting for audience real quick. Yeah, you got to do. That was going to be my question. Okay. So retargeting, it’s the idea of like some people call it cookies and all these other things on the internet, but like if somebody goes and you’ve seen this happen, you go to a website and then all of a sudden their ads follow you around on social media forever. Not Forever, but know

Kia: [11:27] for sure. If I look up a pair of snow boots, I’m fine. Snow boots everywhere I go.

Matt: [11:32] Yeah, exactly. So it’s very easy to set that up and so I just want to make, make people aware that that’s something you can do in your business and it’s something that we do in our business and we focused really heavily on that like a couple of years ago and that was one of our best years that we’ve ever had and I need to read and we’d really took a year off not doing it a well of a job on it, but I needed to do a better job of setting up retargeting ads. So if someone does go to my website then we chased them down trying to get them to download our like what to wear guide or something like that or our location guide so that we can actually do that through through

Kia: [12:06] Google or facebook or

Matt: [12:09] we do it through facebook and instagram are the easiest ones to set up. You can do it through Google as well, but we just do facebook and instagram because it’s really easy. And so we just make an ad that says an ad that’s like a what to wear guide ad com. Com download our guide and we just chase them down for like 10 days after they visit our site. So okay. So then that leads me into just talking to people about like this concept of lead magnets or what to wear guides and things that they can create that people can download and the whole purpose of that is to, in marketing is trying to get somebody to raise their hand to show you that they’re interested because.

Kia: [12:43] So let’s talk about and lead magnets a little bit. So what is a lead magnet?

Matt: [12:47] Yeah, so it’s like a, it’s a downloadable. It’s like one of those that’s like a, a pdf or a video somebody can watch. They can basically trade their information for free for some kind of resource that gives them value. So the two most, the two most common we use our which were guides and location guides.

Kia: [13:04] Okay. So let me ask you a question about this because like when I think about making one, I’m just like, Ugh, I wish I had a template of someone else’s that I could copy. When I’ve downloaded templates of other people’s. When I do it, it’s, I just, it’s just like, like what would you say is like the way to do it, like would you say open up a document in pages or photoshop or whatever and then just just start putting it together. Like how does that make sense? Like I feel like a lot of times for me it’s just the actual physical making, the, the what to wear guide or whatever it is that it just is my stop like keeps me from doing that repeatedly.

Matt: [13:47] Right. And so I have like people can purchase my templates and I’ll leave a link to that below as well if they want to a starting point. So to me it’s basically like what question is my, my audience asking and then what are the answers and I just put that on a page, you know. So it’s like what should I wear to senior pictures? Yeah. And then within there is like the do’s and the don’ts and then like what color should I wear, you know, like warm tones, cool tones and then give them some ideas of different looks that they can go with. You know, just kind of give them names so they’re like, oh, I, you know, I actually liked that look and now I know what it’s called and I can talk about it. Okay. So I just,

Kia: [14:27] when you do that, do you feel like it, like there’s a vow, like the single sheet versus a 10 or a 50 page pdf or video, what do you think the best size is?

Matt: [14:42] Yeah, so I think ours are like 14 to 16 pages, but half of them, half of them are just full size images, you know, because half of it’s our portfolio, half of it’s helping them answer questions. Okay. Yeah. So how often do you update those? I don’t know. Every couple of years when we get bored with the pictures, but it’s way more about us than, than them then their clients, their clients are going to be happy with it because it’s, it’s very general. Not necessarily super specific like what you should wear in 2019. Right, exactly. And so we have um, so we have one for high school seniors, girls, high school senior boys. We have one for families, one for headshots and one...


Published on:

11th Feb 2019

Grant Andrew – Episode 019 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

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Ready to shake things up? Today, Matt and Kia interview Grant Andrew, Matt’s friend and business coach. Listen in to hear them talk about how important the message is you’re putting out to your ideal client. The person running the business, is the message. Who are you, what do you have to offer, what do you love? Then, who does that work for? Who are you excited to work with and photograph? Grant suggests you try a lot of things, see what works, then do more of that. When you’re first starting out, it’s a discovery process. Recognize when something “sparks joy”. And it’s a living process as you grow and evolve. Be careful who you are accepting advice from to begin with. Seek out voices you resonate with on a bigger plane. “Detect your purpose” – Stephen Covey Ask your employees, family, friends – what do they see you enjoying and also avoiding? Embrace the great exchange.

Book Recommendation: 

The Greatest Salesman in the World (strange read, but 10 great nuggets in the middle):

Reach out to grant:

Read Full Transcript

Transcription was done by 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.

Grant: [00:01] Hey, this is grant Andrew and you’re listening to from nothing to profit.

Speaker 2: [00:05] Welcome to from nothing to profit, a photographer’s 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.

Matt: [00:20] Hey everybody. Welcome to from nothing to profit with Matt in Kenya. So this week we have a really amazing guests. He’s actually one of my friends and he also does some business coaching for me. His name is grant Andrew and the reason grant is on here as Kaiser actually never met him. Kyle just met him like 30 seconds ago when we jumped on this recording but I wanted to meet him because he helps me a ton but we had this really interesting conversation and grant I’ll try to just summarize it real quick and then kyle and I can kinda. You can Kinda, you can tell your version of the story and then Chi and I can kind of ask you additional questions. But grant and our grant, I were having this conversation where he we’re talking about, I’m speaking at a PPA, Boise, well I guess it’s Pdpa Ppa, I Idaho and a couple of weeks and he was asking, well what are you going to talk about?

Matt: [01:06] And I said, well, you know, talk about marketing and stuff like that. And then I was making this joke about how every time you go to a marketing seminar they spend like half of their talk talking about like avatars are, who your ideal client is and you know, I said, you know, I’m not going to spend all this time just spending the time making people who figure out who their ideal client is because I feel like, again, joking that everybody in the photography industry thinks their ideal client is people with millions of dollars. And that’s, you know, whenever like who, who’s your ideal client? I don’t know, somebody that’ll spend eight grand with me and you know, they have a billion dollars in grant money. This really interesting comment. And we had a very short conversation. But then I cut them off because I wanted to continue the conversation here at the podcast and he’s in cramped, correct me if I’m wrong, but you basically said that the message you put in front of somebody is more important than the actual avatar of the person because again, I want to see, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but you said something along the lines, like, your ideal client can be a millionaire that’s willing to spend $8,000 with you, but if you don’t know how to talk to that person, it’s kind of pointless.

Matt: [02:08] Right? Is that where you were kind of saying?

Grant: [02:10] Yeah, I mean, I think, um, I’m just, um, I’ve done a lot of work in marketing and, and, and I hear this, you know, these terms come to light. And I, I guess it’s, um, it’s a little bit just like what’s oftentimes I feel like when we, when we start a task, right, we gravitate to like the, the easy part, you know? So it’s sort of our units. I always joke, it’s like the American thing, right? You’re like, I want to get into camping, so you go buy a tent because going to the store and buying something that’s obviously, you know, that’s the easy part of campaign, right? Whatever you’re into, you know, I mean, you know this with fishing, right? You see people all the time or like I want to get a deficient, go spend, you know, $2,000. And then you’re like, well, how’s the fishing? It’s all in the garage. So in some ways, like, you know, when I talked to, when I talked to marketing folks and we talk about personas, we talk about avatars and all that. It, it feels similar, especially we’re talking about small

Grant: [03:00] businesses that are run by one person or a couple of people and there’s really a, a personality in the business, right? I mean, when you’re talking about someone who is, um, you know, say a photographer who’s largely working solo, I think that the Avatar can easily become a distraction. And so, you know, in my mind, just a couple of places to go before that. I mean, right, is to actually kind of really understand who you are and what you’re, what you’re able to offer, what you’re, what you’re capable of offering. And one of the things I think gets lost in that avatar conversation is like, you know, like I could be anybody who has money, right? To your point who has $8,000 because whatever they need, that’s what I am and I’m sure we all have stories where that really doesn’t work that way. So I think it’s just important to kind of begin with the first things and not begin with sort of the easy things. And that was, that was kind of our conversation there and just the jumping off point for this larger conversation is, you know, wow, um, how do we, how do we actually do the hard work maybe as opposed to the easy work that gets us started and um, you know, with, with that slight introduction, I’d also like to say thanks for having me on because this is a lot of fun and I’m sure we’re going to push the boundaries of, of a thought process as we often do.

Matt: [04:20] Yeah. And in this car, as I was thinking about this conversation coming up to this point, it made me think about, I read a book and I want to, I think, I think it was a Dan Kennedy book, I’d have to, I’ll link it in the show notes, but it talked about how to market to affluence affluent people. And one of the main points I took from the book was like, the average person doesn’t know how to market to an affluent person because you don’t even understand what it’s like for them to spend $40,000 on a coffee table. Right? Like you’re like $40,000 may be all the money you make in a year, you know, and they’re, they’re willing to just go drop it on a coffee table, you know, like, it’s so, like it’s just different conversations. And so sometimes I think a lot of photographers fail because they’re marketing to somebody who they aren’t necessarily as well.

Grant: [05:06] Right. And I think ultimately, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re, as marketers, we’re trying to project or broadcast a message. And the question is what’s the message? And I think in the case of, um, you know, have a, have a business that’s run by someone, there are the message and so you know, you, you start with who are you and what are you good at and, and where are the places that you really add value and, and who you’re going to talk to and how you’re going to connect with them as all downstream from that.

Kia: [05:38] I feel like I’m standing in a club, you know, and like a room and I’m like, look, bouncing back and forth between you guys. And it’s funny because normally I’d be like, all right, I’m out. I’ll talk to you guys later. Find a conversation where I’m the center of the conversation. Just sorry. But so what you’re saying grant is essentially that figuring out your Avatar is easy in your viewpoint, but figuring out who you are is more difficult and something that we typically have

Grant: [06:07] void. Well, yeah. I think in a true sense figuring out your Avatar is very difficult. But I think that if you start on that process before you’ve done the internal work, then it’s like, then it’s like, well, who’s my avatar? If I want to sell $8,000 packages, people with $8,000, we’re done. This was easy. Well, it’s got to be something missing here, right? Yeah. Because the real question is,

Kia: [06:34] is what are you trying to sell and who are you going to attract? Because that’s a very different person than just the general person out there with a lot of money and the. And the other thing is, is maybe your client isn’t someone with a lot of money, but it’s someone who values what you do so much that they’re willing to change what they do to make it happen.

Grant: [06:56] Yeah, exactly. And once again, how would you know that or how would you find those people? You know? So I guess I guess if I, if I were to sort of lay this out a little bit, I’d say to me that sort of persona avatar idea. Yeah.

Grant: [07:08] It’s sorta like the third step, right? So the first thing is you have to know yourself, who are you, what do you have to offer, what do you love? You know, what, what is, uh, what, what, what’s working for you, right? I mean, because here’s the thing, if you’re marketing something or you’re selling something and you’ve chosen a market, uh, so you’ve chosen a really serious market, maybe you’re trying to appeal to business people, you’re trying to talk to, you know, corporate clients or whatever, right? And that’s not you, that’s going to be awful. It’s going to be hard, right? So right away, like people are going to get this sort of like, man, it looks like this guy is really working to do marketing that’s gonna, you know, you’re going to see smoke and you know, here’s your screeching and stuff. Um, so, so you have to know yourself and then you have to know who your approach works for in part of that is going out there and doing a bunch of work and then examining what’s resonating, what, which clients, what, what types of clients or what types of jobs are like easy for me, I just do this stuff.

Grant: [08:08] I show up, I do my magic. You do your magic. This works so good for both of us. This is amazing. Now we’re starting to see where this is, right? If we, if we haven’t gotten to that step and done enough work to, to uncover that a bit, then the persona or Avatar is like all aspirational, right? I’d like to sell to people who are 40 to 60 who have a lot of money.

Kia: [08:27] Yeah. You know, it’s a really interesting and the photography industry, you see this happen over and over where there’s a superstar who does one thing really well and then so many other photographers, you know, they buy their package or they hear them speak and then all of a sudden they’re using the same language, the same imagery, same type of imagery, the same business model. And like you said, it screeches, you know, it’s like there’s something off here. It’s not, this isn’t quite right because essentially what they’re doing is just trying to replicate what someone else has done instead of figuring out who they are.

Matt: [09:03] Mrs Smith’s inauthentic authenticity for sure.

Kia: [09:06] [inaudible]. Yeah. Yeah.

Matt: [09:08] Well, so here’s how I see the photography. Again, I’m stereotyping to prove a point, but what I see is that a lot of people start, they purchased a camera, they photograph, you know, all of their friends and then when they run out of their friends they go get educated and then the next thing they do is they did make the jump from all their friends who paid them, you know, nickels and pennies, which is, which is fine. And then they go, you know, I only want to sell $3,000 packages and I just think that’s where a lot of people fall down and like I don’t. Then they’re like, oh, well there’s not, there’s too many photographers, you know, trying to go after the exact same person versus like trying to find your own little niche and then just, you know, hustling inside that niche and just kicking butt.

Grant: [09:49] Yeah, I think, I think this idea that I love is that this type of this type of work, and this is one of the places I think people get get stuck, right? So, so matt, you know, you guys are, you guys are pretty mature in terms of business models and ways and so you’re at a point of trying to ask a question. Like when you go to build a process or you go to fix something or you go to enter a new market, you’re looking at, is this scalable? Right? Can we do this at size? Can we do this at speed? I think that people start to ask those questions too soon and that creates part of this problem because the work of figuring out who you are and who your thing works for doesn’t have to be scalable.

Grant: [10:34] So you say, well, you know, I just ran a general ad and, and you know, in a week I booked five different kinds of jobs and I shot a family and I shot a portrait. Then I and I and I went to a school and I did and there’s no way I could do that at scale. Well, if you’re new, there’s no need to do that at scale. What you’re doing there is actually getting data and the data gathering process is not, doesn’t have to be at scale because we’re not trying to figure out like we’re not trying to make a million dollars a year. We’re trying to figure out where’s the vein that I should go dig down on. And, and when you do that, you do all these little test holes, right? You just go out and you just like, you want to do a pattern that says, okay, last week I did 10 things, which of those 10 things kind of worked for me? And so, so once again, people hear someone like you talk about some of your challenges in business and they’re like, wow, I got to be careful. I don’t do something that doesn’t scale well at this point you just need to do anything. If you’re early in the process you need to do something and then once you start to see what works, finding something that scales is like a later more mature conversation.

Matt: [11:35] Right. And grant you and I spent a lot of time talking about like, you know, making sure we’re doing work that is filling our buckets, you know, because you could go and try to be somebody else or you could, you know, go into a niche that just isn’t natural to you and it’ll just wear you out, you know, and they’ll just wear you down. But if you’re working with people that fill your bucket, then it’s like a different process. It’s not like you don’t have to go to work everyday, you know, you just get up and do your job and it’s just fun.

Grant: [12:00] Absolutely. But, but to do that, you know, and I think desperation plays a role here as well, right? So, so if we’re underfunded, undercapitalized in business, we’re kind of ahead of the curve, you know, we can, you know, at some level it’s like, you know, you wind up doing anything you can for a dollar, right? Well, once again, people look badly at that, right? So, so even in that example, Matt, I would say, yeah, you want to be doing work that works for you, but give yourself some time to find that, you know, and recognize you’re gonna have to take your lumps on the way to it. Um, you know, and, and, and, and in that sense, when you do something and it doesn’t work, when you do something and it’s difficult when you do something and you say, wow, I can’t do that over and over again, that becomes a filter that helps you find your way. And when you start to find that way really clearly, then you start to look at the other end of the equation and say, okay great, who is this working for? And, and now what do I do?

Matt: [12:56] That’s okay, here’s, here’s our proposal I have in a sense, and tell me what you think about this. Because as an industry person, it’ll be interesting to see your point of view. Like with what grant just said, I think. I think there’s an opportunity for photographers out there to say the work that I enjoy and the work that was easy for me and the work that felt good at the end of the day was an $800 sale or a $500 sale and they can scale that versus the versus the industry is trying to convince them they have to have a $3,500 sale every time they turn around.

Kia: [13:29] Yeah. You know, this is actually pretty interesting. I just talked to a photographer friend the other day and we were talking about like, you know, I was just asking about his business, how many sessions you did, what was the average was and he said, I think that people killed their businesses, literally killed their businesses by having too high of an expectation for their average sale and then they build their business around it and they just lose clients as they go. And I really, I do think there’s a tolerance in certain, you know, just depends on where you are in that country and where you are in the genre of what you’re photographing. That there’s a certain tolerance that people are like, yes, I’ll be spending a thousand dollars, or yes, I’ll be spending 800 or whatever the number is. That’s just, that is an easy sell and then you, then you go over on the other side of it and it’s a hard sell. And I actually. It’s kind of a funny conversation, but like we are. That’s what I’m literally doing in my business right now is trying to find that sweet spot that’s right below. It becomes a hard sell

Matt: [14:35] exactly because it’s just so much more work and I totally agree with the conversation that you had where I see photographers just killing their business and they’re going from photographing families and making nickles to, you know, not trying to find that sweet spot and going straight so well everybody tells if I’m going to be a successful photographer, I have


Published on:

4th Feb 2019

Kia Bondurant Instagram Q and A – Episode 018 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

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On this episode, Kia and Matt talk about social media strategies, specifically Instagram. Businesses are more accepted on Instagram than on other platforms. They talk about finding the best platform to connect with your clients. Kia did an experiment comparing results from a print catalog versus an Instagram ad. 59% of internet users use Instagram and 80% of those follow businesses.

The aesthetic of your profile is important, making sure your pictures are cohesive. Consistent editing style can give you cohesiveness. Kia’s aesthetic is bright, colorful, fun and playful. Kia suggests if you want to add something new into your aesthetic, make it a part of every shoot so you have a bunch of new, different images to sprinkle into your social media.

Kia explains top 9, you’ll want to listen to this! Kia doesn’t think IGTV is going to catch on. While snapchat isn’t a natural fit for Kia’s business, Matt is interested in the ad side of snapchat. Kia’s images do the advertising for her. The fun you see is authentic and something you want to be a part of.

Downloads – download for top 5 things to know about instagram

Read Full Transcript

Transcription was done by 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.

Kia: [00:01] Hi there, this is Kiah bonderant and you are listening to from nothing to profit with Matt and Kaya,

Speaker 2: [00:08] welcome to from nothing to profit, a photographer’s 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. Hey guys,

Kia: [00:24] excited today. Matt asked me to talk about some social media and instagram strategies and we were having a side conversation and we wanted to bring it to you guys to share it with you. So Matt, tell everyone what you were thinking.

Matt: [00:40] Yeah. So where were you? Just where the conversation we’re just having that was so interesting is you were talking about how like businesses are accepted on, on instagram and people follow businesses naturally on instagram versus like you don’t follow a lot of businesses on facebook and stuff like that. Well people in general don’t. And then you were showing me some stats where it was like the amount of likes that a business. If a business posts on instagram, the amount of likes they get versus if they were to post that on, on, on facebook. So I don’t remember the stats. Like I remember one of them being like Victoria secrets or something like that that you’re showing me. And it was like, you know, they post something on facebook and they get like 2000 likes, but then they post them on instagram and they’ve got like 200,000 likes. Yeah,

Kia: [01:25] you’re a, you’re a math person, Matt. That’s exactly right. It’s from a, I found on the Internet it was a news whip is the name of it. And uh, yeah. So I think the thing is when you think about social media, and I kind of put all of this together when I was speaking to a group of photographers and I wanted it to be really start really simple because I think when photographers are looking at what they do for social media, they just get confused. Like, where do I go? What do I do? Am I on Pinterest? Am I on facebook? Am I on Linkedin? Google plus? Like, where do I spend my time, what do I grow? And so I was just looking at what works for me and also, you know, doing some research online and the biggest thing I found was that instagram is a place where businesses are more accepted than anywhere else where people follow businesses, they want to see what businesses say and they reward businesses with likes. And so like, just like you were saying, that stat is you’re going to get, I don’t know what’s that as a thousand times the number of likes on and on. Yeah, yeah. On instagram versus facebook for a post.

Matt: [02:39] Yeah. Think about it. And you’re totally right. Like when I think about like, oh, businesses, businesses marketed to me on facebook. I’m like, Ugh, it just feels like cookie. But then, but then when I’m like Instagram, I’m like man, I follow 50 percent people and 50 percent businesses and I love seeing what businesses are posting on instagram.

Kia: [02:57] Yeah, that’s the, that is, is because facebook is more of like a relational. You want to catch up with people, you want to know what’s going on with them. But then instagram is all aspirational and so if you’re looking at a business and they post a really great picture of a fishing rod and uh, and uh, the, you know, someone fishing in a way that you’re like, oh my gosh, I want to be there. That’s what you’re on instagram for, is to see aspirational things and get, you know, be excited about new things.

Matt: [03:28] That’s true because of the fly fishing industry will speak up on this. Like I follow these brands on instagram and I liked seeing all their pictures and the fish that they catch and the locations that they go. And I’m like, man, I just picture myself like I want to go to the Seychelles and I want to catch giant fish and it’s awesome. And then when I go to facebook I don’t want to see that. But I do. There is a couple fly fishing groups that I want to, I want to jump into and talk and build relationships with people in. Yeah. So it’s totally different. Yeah.

Kia: [03:54] Yeah, yeah. And I feel like when I post something on facebook, even if it’s business related, I’m not promoting on facebook, but you know, just posting about what I do in business, the people that respond are all people who care about me personally. They know me personally. Whereas if I post something on Instagram, I may get a response from someone I’ve never met before who’s a photographer or you know, someone who’s a potential, you know, portrait client. And there’s just a big difference who even as caring and looking at the images and responding to them.

Matt: [04:27] Right. Okay. So this goes back to a conversation you and I had a long time ago, not a long time ago, but we’re actually one of the, this was like the conversation we had right after. We’re like, we’re going to do a podcast together and you’re like, you’re like, we don’t even spend a lot of time on snapchat. And I was like, that’s really interesting. And I didn’t quite understand why because I knew all of our high school kids were there. But as I

Kia: [04:48] were saying, I don’t spend time promoting or using snapchat as a business.

Matt: [04:54] Yeah, that’s what you were saying and I was kind of blown away because I was like really getting into it, but as time has gone on and I’ve understood how you view social media, it makes sense because like snapchat is not that inspirational place, you know, like the audiences there. So there’s an opportunity there but it’s not the necessarily the, the native platform for us to put out our work and inspire people to book with us.

Kia: [05:19] Yeah. And I think we only have a certain amount of time as photographers and so where are we going to spend that time? I can’t do all the potential and social media platforms. I can’t do all of them at all, but I can and I can’t do very many of them well and so I do have to choose, you know, where are people going to be and so it really depends on what clients I have and who I want to connect with because if I’m trying to do portraits a families, babies, a grandma’s, then facebook may be a great place and I know a lot of people who have a lot of. With facebook and I know you do, don’t you?

Matt: [06:00] Yeah, but not as much as. Not as much as we used to. Like when I did it, I did an audit just recently of all of our stuff and I mean instagram is by far the most, the most, the most traction for sure. Like, like no matter how I measure it, right? Like the amount of DMS that we get that book people, the amount of likes we get, the amount of shares and all that, like all that information. When you look at all those metrics, like no matter how you want to break them down and just instagram like bubbles to the top on all of them now.

Kia: [06:26] Yeah, your social engagement just really makes a big difference. Yeah, and even if you compare it, you know, if you’re talking facebook versus Instagram, which I think both of those are valid and you should have a plan for both, but I do put the lion share of my work into instagram at this point. I know that pinterest can really work for people, but that is way down. You know, it’s, it’s the lion shares instagram then a little bit facebook and then a tiny bit pinterest and then I really don’t spend any time with twitter or snapchat or linkedin or Google plus any of those type of things because I don’t feel like they’re the best way for me to connect my clients.

Matt: [07:04] Well. Yeah, because every platform has a purpose and like a white way to exist on that platform. And if they were all the same they wouldn’t all exist. Right. So when you think about photography business, I think instagram is the most natural fit for what they’re trying to accomplish at instagram and what we’re trying to accomplish as a business. Like those are the most compatible.

Kia: [07:25] Yeah. And they’re going to be the most supportive of what we do. So this is kind of interesting too. I actually did a, we’ll call it an experiment this year where I put out a print catalog and uh, I’ve, when I was putting together this program and talking about social media and instagram specifically, I compared the time I spent versus the reach versus the return on my investment for print catalog versus an instagram ad. And you’ll, this is kind of amazing. Uh, I spent 60 hours on my print catalog putting it together. Uh, I spent 30 minutes on my instagram ad. I spent $2,000 mailing and printing the catalog and I spent $30 on the instagram ad and I had less than 1500 viewers. I know for sure because of how many. I mailed the catalog too, and I had over 9,000 viewers on my instagram ad. Isn’t that amazing?

Matt: [08:21] No, it’s crazy like the amount of reach that social platforms give you now is just uncomparable to what we used to do 10 years ago for marketing. You know, it’s different because it was noisier. Okay. It’s maybe it’s not even noisier because. Because direct mail used to be super noisy but it’s noisy or so you have to work a little bit harder. But like the amount of engage, reach engagement you get for like little time and little money is, is amazing.

Kia: [08:48] Yeah. Yeah. And these, here’s some interesting stats. It says 59 percent of Internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use instagram and that, you know, for high school seniors, which is what I was gearing this, uh, you know, research toward that is exactly our target market. So 60 percent really have overall internet users are on instagram and then 80 percent of those users follow a business on instagram. So like we said, business is, is something that has really valued and follow it on instagram.

Matt: [09:22] That’s like acceptable. There was another conversation along the same lines of that. So I don’t know if I want to stay on, on the ad thing because I, I, to me, it just makes so much sense, you know, like it’s just like, it’s so much cheaper, so much better to run instagram ads and I mean even if you were paying like an ad agency to run you a set of ads for 500 bucks, it’s still a fraction of the cost of that print is a, the outreach and stuff you get as is amazing. But one of the things that you were also have talked to me about in the past in how in terms of getting followers and getting engagement is the, you’re the aesthetic of your, of your, uh, I guess profile, right? Yeah, for sure. And so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking around that and I think allison and the rest of our staff does a pretty good job, but I think we have to get it even more dialed in. Um, so explain to everybody what you mean when you say how important is aesthetics of your profile is on instagram?

Kia: [10:21] Yeah. Well, I, so I’ve put together, we’re pulling all of this from that. My top nine things you need to know about instagram and social media and so aesthetic is one of those top nine and I think it goes back, it starts out with who are you trying to reach and then putting your aesthetic together. And so when I first heard the word aesthetic, actually it was my daughter and she was referring to tumbler and that was a couple of years ago and she kept saying, oh, they have this really greatest static or I love their aesthetic and the way that she was using that word. It’s a e, s, t e h e t I c. I was like, it was a new kind of way of using the word aesthetic. And uh, essentially what she meant was putting a collection of images together in a way that makes them cohesive. And so on Tumbler, there would be a picture of pink smoke, a picture of let, you know, like just the legs and high heels with like pink to hose on the legs and then, you know, white high heels and then a pink painted gun like pepto Bismol pink. And that was like an aesthetic essentially saying danger and softness and mystery all in a really girly color Palette. And so that was,

Matt: [11:40] was it specific because when you think of guns you don’t think of like girly colors at all?

Kia: [11:44] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So there was this aesthetic and I was really kind of fascinated by it. And then when you look through instagram, especially in, you know, the larger accounts, there’s often a very specific aesthetic where the images all are cohesive, they all go together. And so, uh, if you know your brand, which is one of the first things that you have to do is figure out your brand, figure out who you’re targeting with that brand. Then you put together an aesthetic where you’re, where, what you post all looks good together. And so it doesn’t necessarily have to be super dramatic. So like, if, as long as you’re, uh, as long as you’re editing of your images is really is a consistent. Like I feel like with Allison’s instagram there is a consistent aesthetic with hers because you’re editing is all really consistent, you know, where it’s not, it’s not super bright, it’s not super crazy colors, it’s all fairly natural. And I, I dunno, you know, natural simple.

Matt: [12:49] Yeah. And Joe Jefferson, um, I don’t remember if we actually said on the podcast or we had a side conversation after the podcast, but he called it earthy and I thought that was perfect. Like Allison’s aesthetic is earthy know there tends to be in nature and the pictures, it tends to be earthy tones if she’s going to lean one way versus the other, she’s going to lean to like, you know, like browns and things like that. Versus like, I mean in a sense where the polar opposite of what your aesthetic is because you’re so bright and playful and ours is just more, more earthy.

Kia: [13:19] Yeah. Yeah. So my three words that would describe my business are vibrant, authentic, and inspirational. And so when I think of inspirational to me, a lot of times that’s happy, you know, inspiring people to be happy. And so my aesthetic is definitely bright, playful, you know, fun colors, fun expressions. And uh, so I tried to put that right.

Matt: [13:43] Like I said, some of your pictures where you’ve done like ice cream cones as a prop, you know, like that just says fun.

Kia: [13:51] Yeah, for sure. And I actually did that this year with my, with my high school senior sessions. I brought that in where I used a bright background and some sort of playful food prep and created a whole whole set of images, a whole series that I could use a sprinkling them in an, in my social media and that is something that you can actually do, you know, his plan, what you’re going to be shooting. So, so maybe let’s say allison wanted to put something new into her aesthetic and so rather than, you know, going and doing one single shoot, she could just add that into her sessions throughout the year. Like maybe smoke bombs, you know, or something like that where she does that every couple sessions and has that as something that she can put into her aesthetic, you know, so yeah. Yeah. So, and in a way to figure out your aesthetic is to look at other inspirational accounts because uh, you know, some people will use like a specific preset on so that they have an orange cast to their images. Uh, and so when you can look at that and then also look at who your target clients are and what they’re doing for their aesthetic. Because our high school seniors, I have a big range of what they’re posting on their social media. Some of them have a very specific look of what they’re trying to accomplish.

Matt: [15:13] Then you go to somebody who’s account and you realize that they only have like 15 pictures or something on it too because I’ve deleted everything else that doesn’t match their, their aesthetic or their brand, you know, it seems, you know, it seems crazy for us to talk about how a high school senior has their own brand. But absolutely they definitely do. They definitely do. And if you work with high school seniors, you know that. And also if you think back when you were a high school senior, you had, you had an image or a brand you were trying to put forward all the time, you know, that’s just the, that’s just part of being that age. Yeah.

Kia: [15:44] But I don’t think it’s going to specifically just be with high school seniors I think that they adopt or you know, high schoolers adopt early what, uh, what everyone’s going to do. And I just saw one of my, like family clients on their social media. I can see that they are now starting to put the same filter on all of their, all of their family snapshots on their instagram. And so I think it’s going to filter down to everyone. And I think that’s kind of fun because for me, I look at that as an opportunity to connect with them and go, okay, what are you doing on your social media? How can I create images that will go with that? Or how can, how can you buy into what I’m doing and put what I’m doing on your social media. And so that leads right into, you were


Published on:

28th Jan 2019

Teri Fode – Episode 017 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

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You don’t want to miss this podcast when Kia and Matt interview Teri Fode (@terifode)! Teri has been a professional photographer for 15 years. She also owns and operates Voice Your Brand. Teri specializes in photographing seniors and their families. What’s working great for Teri now is telling the story of her brand on her Instagram stories and going deeper than just sharing behind the scenes. Teri believes our industry is missing the fact we need to market like influencers. We are the face of our brand. But be intentional about it. What is it in your life that people can connect with? Listen in to see what Teri recommends you purchase to help move your business forward. You also don’t want to miss the best advice Teri ever received and uses to this day. Learn about Teri’s personal habits of focusing on the top 3 things she wants to get done and spending 60 minutes a day moving the needle forward/working “ON” her business.

Teri’s Online Recommendations:

Book Recommendations:

Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller (

Why Simple Wins – Lisa Bodell (

Teri’s Free Branding Resource:


Read Full Transcript

Transcription was done by 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.

This is Teri Fode

and you are listening to from nothing to profit.

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. Hi everyone.

We are so excited to have terry on the podcast today. Terry, he is someone that I really look up to. She is like one step ahead of me in life and so I’m always watching what she’s doing next. She just had a kid get married and how she approaches everything with wisdom and grace. I love seeing what she does in her personal life, but we have her on here today to also talk about a not she can talk about her personal life if she wants to, but also to talk about photography and the business of photography and Terry has been a professional photographer for 15 years with a really strong consistent marketing strategy and authentic storytelling and she photographs stylized seniors families and personal branding. She’s also the creative, the creator of voice, your brand, which is a brand that teaches photographers how to engage authentically, connect consistently and voice their brand message to the world with style, typically black and white and gold style, I think. Right Terry?

Well that’s my style, but that may not be yours to all about color, which I love.

That’s fun. So Terry, we’re really excited to have you on here and we’re excited to hear about the different things that you’re doing. And uh, Matt, did you have a one to start off and asked Terry a little bit about herself or do we want her to just do it an intro of what she’s, what she’s about.

Terry, just kind of share with us whatever else you know you’re up to or anything else you want to add above what [inaudible] just said about you?

Well, uh, I, like she said, I’m, I’m known for photographing seniors and their families, uh, and I’ve been in business for 15 years. I started a, seems like a coon’s age. Now I’m dating myself, but back then we didn’t even have facebook. So that’s been, you know, for those of us who’ve been around a while, we’ve had to learn how to navigate our businesses and grow our businesses on a whole new platform, which personally I can tell you I have loved, although I have had to really roll my sleeves up and learn it. So, um, I, I loved that part of it. I left Corporate America. I love sharing that story with photographers because they know there are so many of them out there that have the dream of being full time in. They’re currently part time. And I’m here to tell you it is possible because I literally, nobody knew this at the time because I was so embarrassed of it.

I was so ashamed. I thought this is not a legit photographer, but I was selling out of the trunk of my car. Whatever I can fit my car is what I was selling. And I would go to people’s homes for the initial console, for the presentation, for the sale. I’ve always done in person sales from day one that way. And then all of my sessions were either in their homes, in their backyards. We have a lot of clients that have beautiful homes or on location, so that really has been the story of my business and from there we, we grew it into a beautiful boutique studio and uh, I really had to build that business, what I would say very quickly because I had to replace that income. I was the only income earner and I had to know how to make money with my camera. So in a nutshell, that’s, that’s my story. And from there I’ve just really learned how to grow it in the ever changing world of both photography and marketing.

Yeah, that’s really awesome. I think what always drew me to you, Terry, besides, after I got to know you and how amazing of a mom you are and how amazing of a person you are, but that you had, that you did come from corporate America and so like you always kind of had a different spin on stuff. You know, when I was in conversations with you, you would, you would say like, oh, well what about this? Or have you thought about this? And it was like, yeah, that’s really smart. So I always really appreciated that about you. For sure.

Yeah, that is I, I will say, um, I, I love the marketing, the business side of photography. I’m one of those photographers that I will tell you I even love that sometimes more than picking up my camera and everyone out there is going. Why? Because we have this vision of, you know, we would do this no matter what. I, I can tell you I am not the photographer that says I would do this even if I wasn’t paid for it because as much as I love creating a beautiful image, if I couldn’t make money doing it, I wouldn’t be doing this. I have to make money doing it. So I am just blessed and I’m fortunate that I found something that I love that I can also make money, but that, that’s been very important. So that really does flow from that business background and marketing background.

That’s awesome. All right, well let’s jump right in. So the first question we always ask everybody is like, what’s working now? So if you could tell us a story about what’s working in your business or what you think is working in the industry right now, just to kind of give us a perspective of what is current for you.

Absolutely. Well, I will tell you the number one thing for me that is working is, is telling the story of my brands now. I know that that’s kind of a buzzing that’s going on out there, but one of the things that I did kind of you mentioned that you saw my daughter knew that she got married and one of the reasons that you that people know that is because I was literally crafting that message as part of my brand and putting it out there on I believe is the number one platform for photographers or anyone in business. It has an online business to grow their business and that is instagram stories. And I connected with my audience by sharing that story of my daughter’s wedding. And I noticed something really, really intriguing to me and that is that my viewers, when I would share anything about my wedding, the wedding that was happening for my 24 year old daughter, the views out of, I mean they were just, they were out of this world.

They were consistent. You can always tell him what you are sharing on instagram stories is engaging with your audience because they’re not falling off. They’re not watching the first story, meaning the first little clip at the end. They are staying engaged through the entire story. And what I noticed with that is everyone was watching the and it was likely couldn’t get enough. And I am. I researched, I was looking at my analytics. It was not just my high school seniors and it was graduated seniors. It was girls. And this is really weird. Guys that had graduated and were following me from three, four, five years ago. Now these are people in their twenties in addition to the moms and many other people that follow me. We’re watching, we’re engaged in a story from beginning to end. And I started testing my thought, you know, why I just started with a little bit and you know, we, I, I think one of the number one things that photographers have I’m wrong right now is that they think that all we need to share the behind the scenes and what our businesses and we don’t. We’re really sharing the story by saying, okay, well let me show you on my computer and Oh, let me show you I’m a packaging this product and we think that we’re sharing what people want to know. But what I have learned in the past year is that we aren’t going deep enough and we can go deeper and that’s what I’ve been doing. That is what’s working for me right now.

Yeah. So this is really interesting. I’m trying, I’m scrambling to pull up this article that I downloaded the other day about social media engagement and of course I’m not gonna be able to find it fast enough. But hang on, Matt, you can just say that in just a second. I think what’s interesting when you were saying that, Terry, first of all I did, I watched it all and I’m your friend, but I still was like, I just wanted to know what you were doing and there was a sweetness about it that I think was very engaging to people. Um, you know, just the story itself. But, you know about boys. My daughters are, like I said, they’re a little bit behind your kids and so my daughters are in college and upper high school and the boys that are in their lives are very, like, they’re sweet.

They want, they, they want to have that, um, that sweet life, you know, they’re, they’re thinking picket fence and happiness and I feel like this, uh, these young people, right? Really just want to create a, um, memories. It’s really important to them. I, my daughter’s friends and college freshmen in college, they all, boys and girls all gave each other Christmas gifts and I never received Christmas gifts from any of my guy friends in college unless they were dating me. And so, um, I think they’re, they do want to just, you know, see that sweet life experiences and share those with you.

He hears something, I think that is more something that we can really say, Oh wow, that’s it. I think it even goes one step deeper and it’s the fact where are these people? My audience are high school seniors and, and I’ve always said we, we market to one person that turns into a family and then professional brand makeover, what I call head shots, what I call professional brand make-over shot. So I market to one person which is the senior, I don’t want to get too far off a tangent here, but to support this story. So her family, so the senior, her family, her siblings and then mom and dad, one of them or both of them have a business and, and more likely than not, they’re also are online. So every scene that walks through my doors with 10 k to me, because we know this, we have, we know that if I market and get one girl in the door or one guy in the door, that’s $10,000.

If we treat our clients and what I call create a client for life, so now I have this audience in front of me and that story resonates that this sharing my life and my, my daughter getting married and on my son’s engaged because the girl I have always said my ideal client is girl who has been, you know, imagining and dreaming of her senior portraits, you know, since she was 14, but since she was nine, she’s been dreaming of her wedding and she probably has a secret pinterest board where she’s spending all of her wedding ideas and I know this

secret. My 16 year old was like, mom, I’m planning my wedding. And so I was like, okay, I’ll send you instagram post. Yeah, we’re, we’re planning it.

No, you know, I speak directly to the moms who were, where I am now at this. Also interest younger moms who have younger kids, but she knows that she is. She is on the cusp of empty nesting and she’s on the cusp of planning this wedding. Now, here’s something that this evolved into is when I realized that my audience was eating this up, I stepped back and said, this is blowing my mind. I will tell you guys, and I mean I get so bored watching my own behind the scenes, it’s like, okay, we’re going through makeup. Okay, we’re going to do the outfits. Okay, we’re going to do this. Now. I am not saying that that is not something that we asked for target for. She continued to show, but what I am saying is that we are dealing with an audience who is being heavily influenced by multibillion dollar industry with a new term and that is called influencer marketing.

So we are trying to appeal is already been conditioned. They have been set up for this influencer marketing. So I believe what we’re missing in our industry right now, there’s so many people, a lot of you know, many people are getting this, but most of our industry is missing it and that is we need to act like we are influencers by marketing like influence. Does that mean you have to have 50,000 followers? No, because I made $5,000 in December just with an instagram story desk with an srm straight. Let me repeat that again. I made $5,000 just with an instagram story overnight, but revenue. So is this working? Yes. Are we missing it as an industry? Yes, but I am finding that it’s because we are afraid. We’re gonna lose people by saying, Hey, guess what? My daughter’s getting married. He gets what I just decorated modern living room for Christmas and guess what?

My, my living room or it’s going to blow your mind, but I have black and white in my living room just like I do in my brand. So I must have an authentic brand. And then I invite these people into my living room. I decorated my living room. I’m not losing them. What’s happening is they are becoming deeper and deeper connected to me. And you know, most of us can say that we are the face of our brand, right? I mean photographers are, we are the face of our brand in this day and age. And so it’s just blowing my mind that it has to be. You don’t get me wrong, I believe it has to be intentional. You can’t just. Nobody wants to see me making scrambled eggs. We’re going to say, you know, I’m not going to show you. Everything I put out there is just as intentional and just a strategic as when I was just doing my photography business in sharing that with the world. So there is some.

Oh, you’re so lucky. So I’ve found what I was looking for. Oh wait, wait, wait. Let’s respond to what Terry to said. I don’t know. I feel like raising my hands and swinging them around or something. Terry, it’s so fun. What I really enjoy about it is I was like, okay, Terry is putting a lot of time and effort into this. Like she must be really excited about her daughter’s wedding. It never crossed my mind and certainly should have never crossed my mind that, uh, that you were doing that as a business reason.

I was really new in and you didn’t even know.

I know. I’m so. I’m so impressed with a little embarrassed. I’m like, well of course the but

magic. The magic is that it can’t be something this robotic, like I believe if you look in your life and you find because every part of our lives influence our, our brand, whether we want to admit that or not, and that is what really the brands out there that really are working right now or the ones that are multifaceted and that’s what people want to see and that’s what you’re choosing. Brands like I am not just picking up a camera, taking a picture and selling you an image. You know, we’ve all said for years that we’re selling an experience, but what this influential, this influencer marketing has done to everyone out there that is, you know, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through instagram feed and watching. Now I believe more stories and the stats are proving it is. They are wanting, they’re getting hooked. It’s why reality TV works so well and now it’s transferred over to social media.

I want to know really what you’re all about, Kaya. I want to know if you’re into cooking, like why I recently lost weight, gave for me a goal that I had for a long time and I really didn’t share too much about the journey until after I got to a certain point and I put it out there once and my dsms blew up, blew up. Now these were moms, a lot of, you know, I have a lot of and we all have photographers that follow us and other people and we always want to connect with everyone. And so I was painting these dmzs direct messages that were directly like having to do it, what are you doing? And now I’ve got like this little culture of people that are drinking cutter now these are future clients, past clients. And because you know, those of us who are educators, every photographer is a very, very valued client as well. I mean, you know, we’re peers and, and so I’m connecting deeper with people because I’m drinking water because I’m telling him how I drink a gallon a day. I mean, it’s just my mind, you know. So I asked people, my question is what is it in your life that people really can connect with that you can systematically be putting out there in the format of storytelling on line?

And that’s what’s working for me right now. Really. It’s just kind of incredible that you have to save. Got Me totally curious what you found there.

There was some data that came out, there was some data that came out that I saw it through some marketing stuff and it was talking about the what marketers post and what consumers actually want to consume on social media, you know, and so it’s a breakdown and it was like this huge report and if I can find the link to it, I’ll link to it in the show notes but I only screen captured like one part of it just to kind of prove my point to my staff. And so it’s interesting that about, and I’m just going to say they do have like 10...


Published on:

21st Jan 2019

Money Talk – Episode 016 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

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On today’s episode of From Nothing to Profit, Kia and Matt talk about money. Listeners wanted to know how to choose what to sell and how to price those things, what to spend money on and what not too, and more, so Matt and Kia answer those questions in this podcast. Kia is always looking for new ways to hang client’s images on their walls, like super ornate frames or acrylics. Matt is always testing different versions of products to see which sells best. Make sure to take notes about how Matt and Kia markup their products to make sure their costs are covered and make a profit. Matt and Kia both keep a list of things they want to be able to purchase and things they wants to invest in, with that profit. Education is always high on that list, as well as large wall displays for their studios. You’ll also want to listen in to what Kia and Matt buy that they shouldn’t. Kia uses StudioCloud and Quickbooks, doing her own books and payroll. Matt used to use Successware, then switched to a bookkeeper with Quickbooks. Matt cautions losing visibility into your numbers when you start outsourcing your books. Know your numbers.


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Read Full Transcript

Transcription was done by 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.


Speaker 1: [00:01] Welcome to from nothing to profit, a photographer’s 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.

Matt: [00:16] Hey everybody, welcome back to from nothing to profit. So today’s gonna be a little bit different because Kira and I have gotten some feedback and some of you listeners wanted to hear a little bit more from us. So Kira and I came up with a theme today, what we’re calling the money talk because there’s been a lot of questions sent to us about this. So we’ll kind of go back and forth on these questions. But real quick, let me tell you guys the questions that people have asking so I’ll just run through them real quick. So what do you guys decide to sell or how do you guys decide to sell certain things? Um, how do you price items and how do you deal with markup now that you’ve made money, how do you know what to spend it on? What’s lead into questions like what are some really smart things to buy or use your money on and then what are some dumb or irresponsible things to buy? What do you buy a lot of and shouldn’t and should not buy. So that’s like what our, what our guilty pleasures that were like really bad about buying. And then how do you do your bookkeeping because in some previous episodes we talked about bookkeeping. Um, so how do you do bookkeeping it? And then there was a lot of questions around some more questions around profit first and what that’s done for our business. And then also some Dave Ramsey questions. So Kaya, I’m excited for this one. This should be definitely a good one.

Kia: [01:34] Yes. Yes. I’m so excited to be here and I think this is a, a, you know, a question that works in great with the, you know, the whole point of a from nothing to profit is, you know, what do you do with that profit and how do you create it? So I’m excited to be answering these questions today. I think it’s going to be great.

Matt: [01:52] Yeah. And I think it’s interesting that people wanted to hear a little bit more from us because, you know, we kind of designed it as this interview thing, but as we’ve been doing it for awhile now we realize like, well yeah, I guess we do have a lot to offer as well and people want to hear from us, so we’ll spring will sprinkle these types of episodes in here, especially around the new year here. Um, we’ll definitely get some in to talk about what we do around the new year and stuff as well. All right, so let me start with the first question. Kind of, so how do you go about deciding what to sell in terms of products and your business? Like, you know, when you, when you go to a trade show, how do you decide what to add? Not to add to what you’ve said, you know, all those different questions.

Kia: [02:25] This is a great question because I think, uh, you know, some of the things are obvious, you know, we sell, we sell portraits. And so the first thing that people used to ask about is how much are your eight by tens and now the next, the question that they ask are, how do I get the digital files or do you include them in your session? And so I think, uh, every year I want to do a couple of things. One, I want to create actual session experiences that are new and different and so sometimes that may include like go in some place specific or you know, making a really elaborate set for children’s session or you know, doing something like, you know, adding hair and makeup for families or for seniors. So I think it all for me starts with the experience and then I’m on the product side of it.

Kia: [03:16] Then there are so many different options that I like to be, you know, experiment with it. But I also like to do things, especially for my business that give my clients different things to put on their walls. And so, you know, obviously with digital’s you can offer like different, um, different treatments to the images. You know, you can do like a vintage look or hand color or that type of thing, which we have done in the past, uh, although I don’t think that’s really in vogue right now, but then for me, I’m always thinking like how can we create, you know, new and creative ways to present the images on the, on my client’s walls as art. And so that’s one of the main things that I look for, you know, is um, like frames that no one else has or you know, ways to frame the images that’s new and different from what I’m doing for my clients. And so one of the things that people are really liking is I’m like acrylic wall portraits, so not necessarily the metals but like, um, images with acrylic on them. And so they are more like clear glass and a little bit more contemporary. So that’s the direction we’re going as a lot of contemporary or super ordinate.

Matt: [04:29] That’s really good. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen a lot of those acrylics and we haven’t added them yet. Um, we saw them. One of the big trade shows maybe like two or three years ago and they were just coming in and I was like, well that’s something to keep an eye on, but I haven’t circled back to it so maybe that’s something that we’ll try this year as well. So.

Kia: [04:44] Well let me so well, so a couple more things. One of the things I like to do is like with specific sessions, if I do like a themed portrait session for children, a lot of times I try to create a product that goes along with it. So you know, I’ve done like a mud pies session and then Donna frame with it that had like hand prints in mud on the frame that then we lacquered yeah. So creating products that actually go with themes or you know, get people excited. So what, how, let me ask you matt, what do you decide to sell? Like how do you determine what products do you guys do?

Matt: [05:20] Yeah, so I mean we just don’t them very similar and I, I kind of think about it this way, like we kind of pick a focus for for a year maybe and we really dive into something and really test a bunch of things out. So I think we’re constantly testing and I don’t just test it for, you know, like a quarter, like we’re testing for a year. So two things that we’re testing right now that I kind of had two different outcomes. One of them is a standouts, which is basically just a wall art style where it’s printed on foam core and it’s like maybe an inch or two inches thick and then they finished the edge either in black or black and white or steel. Um, I think some of the companies have like a light wood and the dark web that they finished them but it’s just, you know, so like the picture sticks out from the wall, but the edges I’m finished and something that’s not a picture.

Matt: [06:09] And so we tested those and those really didn’t sell on our studio. We, we moved them around our studies, a couple of different places, but they just didn’t sell as well as like canvases and metals and image blocks and stuff like that. So that’s something that we’ve tested and they’re probably on the way out. This year they’ll probably would be taken off our walls because they just didn’t sell. I’m actually glad they didn’t sell because they’re one of the more expensive products to buy. And so the Qa, because we saw all of our walls are kind of at the same price. It doesn’t matter what finish you pick. There are all of our 60, my twenties are all the same price so that one had the least amount of margin in it so I’m kind of glad that one away is really way up on that one, so I’m kind of glad that one didn’t work out as well.

Matt: [06:52] But I’m the. One of the things that we tested that worked really well is image boxes and so we did a lot in the last year around that basically some kind of box that holds like 20 Matt matted prints and those sold really well. We brought in a ton of versions of them to see what sells and we’ve already removed a couple that, you know, just not to overwhelm our clients because they didn’t sell from the very beginning. Um, and then what we’ll do here around the new year is actually go in and look and see which ones actually sell, what samples we need to keep out because we want to keep it as simple as possible for our customers and also give them a variety at the same time. So we’ll clean that up and then that feels pretty good about that. That’s kind of wrapped up and then we can sell it for a couple of years until it kind of loses the energy and we have to revisit it.

Matt: [07:38] But we’ll pick focuses. Like we’ll pick it, we’ll, we’ll say, okay, this year let’s focus on Walmart and we’ll really dive into all the different options are we’ll say let’s dive into a gift ideas or gift prints or one thing we’ve done before. It’s like, what? What can we do for table tops? And so we’ll just dive into those. And really, I mean, once you get kind of get focused and clear about it, you can find a lot, a lot of options and then start pricing them out and figure out what’s going to be profitable, what’s not going to be profitable because there’s some stuff in the industry that if you mark up a certain way, they just become so expensive that the, that’s just their sticker shock on them. They don’t, they don’t have the value in the customer’s eyes that require, that is required to charge that much. And so some.

Kia: [08:22] Yeah. And that, that is one of the things that also helps me decide whether I’m going to do something or not, you know, is whether I can mark it up and make it worth the time to do it because there are some things that are on the next question. The next question, if you want to dive right into it. So like how do you price and how do you mark up your stuff? So typically what I do is, uh, I, I’m mark up things. So with photography it’s different. You know, my dad had a furniture store and so everything was marked up like double essentially and then if you you did a sale on it or that type of thing, then you made less than double. And so that was a typical markup. Whereas photography, it’s like 10 to 20 percent is what your costs should be because photography is not just a product, it’s a service and so a lot of the cost of the product is actually the time in creating it, you know, physically sitting are you sitting at the computer creating it the time you work with them. And so I look for things that I can do 10 to 20 percent markup, but then I also have my digital products which don’t have any cost of goods and so they will a lot of times offset things. So a lot of times I’ll package digital and physical products together where the physical product might have a higher cost of goods. But my digital does, you know, has very little cost of goods. It’s just more time. And then that gets me to my ideal, my ideal markup.

Matt: [09:50] How about so and so just to clarify, so when you say in like 10 or 20 percent, you’re saying like if you pay $10 for something, you want to charge $100 for it?

Kia: [09:58] Yes. Yeah. Because, and that’s just it. It sounds like an amazing markup and a lot of people when they start out don’t do that. And that’s why photographers I think have such a hard time staying in business when they first start out because they don’t realize that you have to charge so much for your time.

Matt: [10:16] Yeah. And so we do something similar like, so we just, this is kind of my baseline where to start and then we adjust it. I’ll explain that a second. But basically yeah, we, we take the cost of the product that it costs to actually order it from the lab and then like our time. Um, so we’ll budget like, okay this product is going to take, you know, x amount of time because it has five images in it. So it’s going to take that much time in editing and then you know, all the different time costs. And then we put a little bit of shipping in there just to save our, but if we have to ever ship it and then what we do is once all that’s bundled up, we kind of multiply it by four, which is like kind of a 25 percent markup or four times markup and that’s kind of my starting point and sometimes we don’t even stick with that number.

Matt: [10:56] But like when I’m shopping, I’m at a trade show or whatever. I’ll look, I’ll flip it over, look at the price and add some, you know, retouching time and stuff into it and say, okay, this is gonna. I could sell this for $200, I can sell this for a thousand dollars. And then it kind of says like, you know, and then I’ll take Alex and I both did that kind of separately and then we’ll take each other back to bruce and I. and I’ll pick up something and I’ll say, hey, can we sell this for a thousand dollars in her gut responsible? But yeah or no. And that kind of helps us narrow it down as well.

Kia: [11:25] Good way to do it because I think sometimes I’ll be like, there’s no way anyone’s ever going to buy this for this much, you know, just like you were talking about the standouts. We call them bamboos because we just put them only on bamboo and um, I, you know, when I first looked at them I was like, people are not going to spend that money on it and uh, but we have had a few people that did love them and did do it, but they were something that, that I would probably be like, you know, just, just looking at there, just don’t look as expensive as they need to be.

Matt: [11:58] Yeah. Because I remember one bamboos first came out to looking at him and thinking man, like, you know, this was me making up numbers, but like, you know, this canvas costs a dollar and those bamboo thing cost $7. Like it’s just like, that was just crazy that the market wasn’t going to work, you know. Um, but then, then one of the things that we do is we adjust it. Right? If something selling really well, we know we can raise the price a little bit and we don’t do that a lot, but like sometimes we under priced stuff often so like we’ll priceline at like at $400 and then we realize everybody’s buying it. It’s like well okay, that’s probably too cheap or we’ll play something at like $1,200 and we realized Oh, you know, it’s not selling so maybe it’s the price. And so if we still believe in the product, well we’ll drop it down to a thousand dollars and see if it sells and sometimes there’s just a little price thresholds that you can hit where things do sell, you know?

Kia: [12:45] Yeah. We also adjust ours based on how much time something takes. So for instance, an album a may not cost as much, but the time to create and put together the album is definitely cost prohibitive. So. So that’s something that I would charge more for just because it takes so much more time involved in it too.

Matt: [13:07] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Okay. So let’s move on to the next question because I think we’ve covered that pretty good. So now that we’ve made the money or the is made the money, like how do you know what to spend it on? Like how do you think about that?

Kia: [13:19] Well, I, it’s so funny because we doing that profit first book definitely makes a big difference, but I actually have a list that I keep and so for specific equipment for big events, things like that. And so I, once I know that I have a surplus, then I will, uh, spend it on those specific items and I definitely, you know, for me I like to, to invest in new computers, new cameras, uh, things that are going to make things go more smoothly and then definitely you know, samples that I can show in the studio. So those are the areas that I really like to invest in. And then education, I like to invest in that as well.

Matt: [14:03] Yeah. And I definitely think education is one of the top of our list. So we do the same thing. We make a list and then people are here. Here was the nuance I figured out a couple of years ago that I thought was really good for our business. So we say this thing around our studio and we say a broke list as a better list and when we mean broke, we don’t mean like broken lists. We mean like the list we made when we were broke, when we have no money is like the best list because when you have money and you start making a list, when you have extra cash on hand, like it’s amazing what gets thrown on there. It’s just I just like stuff we will never use, you know, we, we own the Lens Baby, a little lens and it’s one of those things that we bought that was not on the list that we bought when we had extra money and we’ve used it like three times, you know, so it, that would have never made the list if we would have made the list when, when we are in our slow season and had no money.


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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
A Photographers Podcast with Matt Hoaglin and Kia Bondurant