Do you believe in serendipity? {part 2 of 2}

{if you missed part 1, go read that now…then come back here!}

So, now you know our little tale of how we got started.

And I hope you had a chance to watch the free training videos (because I believe they are taken down after Bschool starts!)

Below, I want to share the key points I took away – my coles notes version, if you will
(and points I hope you’ll spend a moment or two digesting to see if they could be useful for your business too!)

In video one, it’s all about the 6 pillars of business (success)

I’m not going to be covering them all – but here were the main things that struck a chord with me!

Get Profit Clarity + REALLY (really) know your customer
As photography business owners, we really need to know our numbers. And I get that a large majority of us are drawn into it for the art (not the numbers!) But, You need to know what types of sessions are the most profitable – AND – what collections, products, prints are the most profitable (and no, it doesn’t mean the most expensive item is the most profitable – especially if you haven’t accurately accounted for your TIME to create things such as albums, wall galleries, etc)

It also stresses the importance of knowing EXACTLY who your target market is.  Do you know? (because you are NOT the photographer for everyone…nor should you want to be)  Do family sessions drain you? Well…then stop showing them on your website and show the sessions you want to shoot!

For example, here at The Milky Way, our beginner-friendly classes are set up to provide the best experience for photographers who are self-taught and tired of ‘going it alone’ when trying to figure things out related to lighting, posing, outdoor light and editing.  Those who have a great deal of experience or education in those areas will NOT find our classes good bang for their buck! (so we try to make it clear they would be best served by other classes!)

If YOUR business offers a full-service experience committed to ensuring your clients walk away with tangible products to enjoy for years to come, you want to ensure that it’s clear those looking for “a few digital files” would be better served by another photographer!

Make Sure Your Website Helps Sell

I still have have work to do in this area! Here’s the thing…you have about 3 seconds to wow your prospective client…and by wow, I mean, they need to immediately be able to say, “ah yes..they have what I am looking for.”

Head on over to your home page right now.  Do you immediately explain how you can help your client and fulfill their needs?

You want to ensure:

a) you connect with your target audience
b) you can capture their name + email (encourage them to sign up for you portrait guide, tips for a smooth sessions, questions to consider before booking, etc)  A large portion of your audience will arrive on your site before they are ready to book!  You want to ensure you can stay connected (vs hoping they find you again!)

Get a (consistent) communications plan

For my photography business, I send out a monthly enews (err…confession…I always intend to, I miss doing it some months though…working to fix that!)  I also fell completely off the blog band-wagon.  (if you happen to be in the same boat, we’re putting together a free challenge to help! We’ll send more info on that in our weekly lovenotes!)

But, you need to consider, HOW can I stay in front of my potential and past clients? Not only for when THEY need photography services, but when their FRIENDS need it, you really want to be top of mind!

For the Milky Way – we send out weekly lovenotes.  We also post images, student transformations and links to things we think you would enjoy over on Facebook and we’re just getting more into Pinterest and Instagram

Marketing is NOT ‘sleazy’

If you happen to get a bit uncomfortable whenever someone talks about marketing, it’s possible you need to reframe.  The #1 job of “marketing” is simply to ensure the people who need and would benefit from your services know that you exist.

That’s it.


It’s not slimy, pushy, or something to be avoided.

You offer an experience your target audience loves.  They value it.  You have a responsibility to ensure they know where to find you.
(it’s not THEIR job to find you)

In video two…she goes into a bit more about keys to success.

The big ones for me…

As a one-woman show at Milk & Honey Photography, it can be scary when deciding on what to offer clients, setting prices, studio policies, etc.  Perhaps you can relate.  Well, here’s the thing – you gotta be confident in your services + pricing (because your clients will feel it!)

Here at the Milky Way, we’re confident that our students will get results – and so we have a money-back guarantee ( you don’t love it, you don’t pay…of course, we rely heavily on buyer’s integrity…and our students doing the work…because hey, classes only work if you do, right!)

But, with my photography business, I need to believe that my clients are getting tremendous value (and they are!)
How confident are YOU feeling right now? Do you need to do a little work ensuring you are?

Uh…see point #1. It’s SCARY running your own business.  But, it’s a choice I’ve made.  It’s a choice you’ve made.
And we’ve made this choice knowing there is going to be fear.  Feel the fear.  Accept that yes, you will feel fear when trying new things.
Then go ahead and try them anyway.

You build confidence by taking consistent action.

Being consistent in everything – especially when it comes down to client experience.  Nail down your process so that each and every client is going to have a consistent experience with your studio.  Be consistent with the number of images you deliver (note: there is a tendency to want to “over-deliver” – I do it too – but you actually can be doing a disservice to your clients by overwhelming them with choices)

Continuing Education

I am SUCH a big believer in being a “forever student.”  I love, love, love learning new things.  And I love being able to ‘skip the sorting’ and get the heart of a subject with someone who has “been there, done that” before.  Yes…there is a ton of free stuff online.  Free GOOD stuff too!  But, one of my most precious resources is time.  So, if there is a skill set I need and there’s an option to pay someone to basically do the research for me and just get to the point, I’m all over it.

However…there is a pitfall to being a “forever student.”

Not taking action.

Whether that be putting the strategies into place that you have learned (ahem…updating website + portfolio, writing consistent newsletters, blogging) or practicing new lighting, posing or shooting techniques.

You MUST set aside time to implement.

Because if you don’t,  it doesn’t matter how great the course is…it is a waste of your money if you don’t DO something with it! :

Phew…that was a long one! Thanks for sticking with me!



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