Marketing Mashup: Past Guests Share Their Best Advice on Marketing and Making an Unforgettable Experience for Your Clients

The way you market your photography business, from email and your website to the way you interact with your clients is crucial to growing a sustainable business. The client/photographer relationship starts long before you begin a session, and you can create an unforgettable experience through education, marketing, and nurturing your clients before and even after meeting face to face.

Today’s episode features advice on how to craft and approach your marketing with the client experience in mind with thoughts from Megan DiPiero, Julie Christie, Mark Rossetto, Maria Arellano, and Nate Grahek. 

They’re sharing why it’s so important to not just have a website, but one that works for your business and your clients, how education improves the client experience, and why nurturing your current clients creates repeat sessions to fuel sustainability in your business.

To hear more from these incredible teachers, join us for the virtual 2022 Online Business Retreat for portrait photographers! If you’re ready to elevate your business through marketing, sales, systems, pricing, and more,  you can register here!

What’s in this episode:

  • How focusing on sales and service creates sustainability and success in your photography business (Megan Di Piero) [00:00]
  • Why nurturing relationships with your current clients is one of the best marketing strategies (Julie Christie) [03:03]
  • Why an email list is crucial to growing your photography business (Julie Christie) [06:10]
  • Two stories of how marketing can completely transform your photography business, whether you’re just starting out or you’re ten years into your business (Mark Rossetto) [08:31]
  • The key to success in your business and how it’s related to your website (Mark Rossetto) [11:32]
  • How you can over-deliver on your client experience outside of your photos and sessions (Maria Arellano) [12:27]
  • Why your website is so important and how to tell if it’s working for your business (Nate Grahek) [15:01]
  • How a good email system can support your website marketing (Nate Grahek) [15:57]

If you want to hear thoughts on marketing and client experience from some incredible past guests, tune in to this episode.

SUBSCRIBE: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

Resources Mentioned

Megan Di Piero’s Episode

Julie Christie’s Episode

Mark Rossetto’s Episode

Maria Arellano’s Episode

Nate Grahek’s Episode


[00:00:00] Megan Di Piero Stop looking at your art and start looking at sales and service, because I think so many people spend so long comparing themselves, taking too many classes. Waiting until this magical day when they will be a master. And that day comes when you do your 10000 hours and when you stay in business long enough that you’ve had thousands of shoots. But so many people, they’ll cut off their success at the legs because they’re they’re like, I’m never going to get there. I’m never going to get there. You’re never going to get there. If you’re treating it like a starving artist, you’re going to get there when you’re in the game because you’re charging profitably and now you’re allowing your business to thrive. Now you can pay your bills, which means you can stay in business longer, which means your art will continue to grow. So I didn’t take my first lighting class until I was seven years in business. I started right away with business classes, marketing, sales, pricing. I’m really glad I did, and I think that that is the move that will work for so many people if they allow it to happen. You have to start with that business and your art will catch you up because I know everyone’s passionate about art and they are going to hold themselves to a high standard. That goodness is coming, but let yourself stay in business long enough to achieve it. 

[00:01:15] Lisa DiGeso Welcome to the Art and Soul Show, where we dove into heart opening chats on photography, business, life and that messy in-between. I’m your host, Lisa de Gesso, a mom, a photographer and entrepreneur. And I’ll be sharing honest conversations and advice for photographers with insight on mindset, entrepreneurship and creativity. The goal of this podcast is for you to be able to gain insights and strategies that will get you real results. Because, let’s face it, having a photography business can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the place you can go when you need a boost of encouragement, a kick in the pants and inspiration to pick up your camera. This is the Art and Soul Show. Hello, my beautiful friends. Welcome back to today’s show. Today, we are diving into a compilation of some of my incredible guests. Now, the topic that we’re really going to dove in today is really talking about marketing and client relationships, education, just tips for you to get more clients. So in today’s episode, we’ve pulled some of my favorite clips from some of our incredible guests. We’ve got Megan Di Piero, Julie Christie, Mark Rossetto, Maria Arellano and Nate Grahek. And I am so excited just to go over this information. You may want to grab a notebook. These are also going to be some of our instructors for the upcoming online business retreat that is happening in fall of 2022. So without further ado, let’s dove in. So I want to talk a little bit about marketing, because I know that can be sort of the we talked about in the beginning can build a bit of a block too. So do you have maybe any three maybe biggest marketing tips that photographers maybe can implement right away just to start seeing some results? 

[00:03:03] Julie Christie Sure. So my biggest marketing tip and what I go on about a lot is actually easy for a nurturer like yourself and like so many photographers, it’s genuinely nurturing the relationships you already have. There’s nothing more powerful. And we all know that statistic. You know, it costs five times more to win a new photographer, to win a new client than it does to keep an existing one. And they’re now seeing that that’s like more like seven or eight times more. So the very first thing is the best marketing you can do for your business is to wow your clients with the most incredible customer experience that’s marketing in itself. Because when someone has an amazing customer experience with you, they really want to refer you and they really want to work with you again. And if your, you know, your audience are mainly portrait photographers, so that is very possible. You know, they can work with you again and again. It’s not wedding photography here. So they can come back again and again and they can refer all their friends. 

[00:04:06] Julie Christie So nurturing those relationships with your past clients, but also with fellow business owners with similar target markets to you and really putting actually quite a lot of effort into that. And I don’t mean in a fake way. I mean in a really genuine way. In your nurturing way. Look after them, make sure they’re okay, give to them, keep in touch with them and send them things. Treat them like the VIPs that they are. These are really important people to you. So, you know, make sure you send them Christmas cards or birthday cards or baby’s first birthday, all that sort of stuff, but also send them a voucher every now and again. Or maybe have past client only events where you invite your past clients, you maybe do some mini sessions just for them. Anything like that to make them feel as important as they genuinely are to you. Because if you do this, if you focus completely on that, I don’t mean completely. 

[00:05:04] Julie Christie Obviously we have to do other visibility stuff, but if you focus on that as a big priority. Very soon down the line, it won’t come back right away. This is the thing. It’s not this immediate reward. It’s like this long game thing, but not too far. In the future, you will probably find that your main source of leads are referrals and repeat customers. And what an amazing place to be in is. That’s just incredible because you can just keep that going. You can take your foot off the marketing gas in terms of visibility and things. You still want to maintain that, but you won’t be, you know, relentlessly chasing this next new client. And so that is my number one thing when it comes to marketing is customer experience and nurturing relationships. 

[00:05:54] Lisa DiGeso I love. 

[00:05:55] Julie Christie That. And that was only one I do have with my my other two would be the email list. You know, I know everything about the email list, but especially I mean, like what happened with on Monday. 

[00:06:07] Lisa DiGeso So the big Facebook Instagram day. 

[00:06:10] Julie Christie Was a big deal. That was a big deal. I mean, if you look. The photographers tell me that I don’t understand the whole thing about an email list. Not for a photographer. I don’t think it’s relevant for a photographer. I’m like, Well, this is insane to me because I mean, it must be 80% of my business photography and no membership comes from my email list comes from email, and that is the same across the board. When you look at all the statistics across all industries, email is where the money is. And that’s because that’s where relationships are built. It’s where people are seeing you more often than not. So building that email list and the third one would be, you know, using key content is you creating regular key content but not killing yourself with it. So that key content, I’m just talking about answering questions that people have, addressing concerns that they have. Connecting with them on other areas that they’re interested in producing. How to guides all of that stuff. 

[00:07:21] Julie Christie Because that’s going to then populate your emails so you’ll never have to think about what to email to your list. And you can also break it down into micro content for your social media. You can put it on your website and build your SEO. So one piece of key content, maybe you’re a weekly person, you can do weekly. That’s great. But even if it’s just once every two weeks or once a month, if you can create regular key content that is going to filter through to all of your platforms, you can use the same content across all of your platforms. It’s building your visibility. It’s helping you reach new clients, it’s nurturing your existing audience also. And it’s building your search engine optimization so that in the future you can be found more easily on Google. And it’s that just getting into the mindset of realizing it’s just one piece of key content regularly that can do all of that for you. 

[00:08:20] Lisa DiGeso Now you are an incredible business coach as well. Can you share a story about the success of one of your students and your coaching and how it has transformed their business? 

[00:08:31] Mark Rossetto Yeah, I’ve actually got actually prepared this a little bit. I wrote to use I got two stories because it hits two completely different people, but I’ll keep it short. One’s name’s Sarah, who came to me three years ago, and with the very simple request of I want to be a photographer, and I was like, Great. How long you been a photographer? For three months. And I’m like, Oh, shit. Like, I make a dime on this is someone who just knew what they wanted. She’s a huge introvert and mother of a two year old lives in country Victoria. She did the master marketing course, which is my flagship number one course. 

[00:09:12] Mark Rossetto So she’s like, What comes first? The chicken or the egg? She sees like, I want to learn marketing first because I want to build a business that’s going to work for me and my family. But she was an easy cup to fill, too. She was empty. She was like she was easy to mold. So what we did is the marketing. She understood the marketing then went backwards and did the business models, the products, the processes, the website, the systems, the workflow, the booking letters, the faxes, shooting to sell with the end product in mind. Then the price to the fund, the, you know, from top to bottom. And she pulled in $125,000 in our first 12 months of business purely to she’s like, I don’t want to stuff around. I’d rather pay the money to get this done right the first time. So she did and she smashed it. Absolutely smashed it go that and she photographs families and also equine as well. Yeah, she did extremely well. And then there was another person tight, now tight, the complete opposite. She’s an award winning photographer, very established for ten, 15 years, huge extrovert, has teenage kids, has a studio. Currently, she was tanking around 125000 to 150000 a year. And she’s doing in anyone’s eyes, that’s pretty damn good when you’re working pretty much by yourself. And she’s like,. 

[00:10:39] Mark Rossetto But I want to make more as we I want to do more it because she’s like, you know, I’ve got teenage kids. I’ve only only want to do this for another ten years and I’m out, I’m retiring. So over four months with the endurance coaching, we streamlined her business, made her workflow. And streamline is so slick because she already knew the system. We just needed to not invent the wheel. We just need to polish it up a bit. That gave it 2 to 5 sheets of weight extra, which got her an employee which would which is working 30 hours a week, which is then. Free up time to spend time with her family. And now she’s earning over 250 to $350000 a year, working the least amount of hours with an easier, streamlined process with more money in her pocket than she did earlier. 

[00:11:30] Lisa DiGeso That’s pretty amazing. I loved it. 

[00:11:32] Mark Rossetto It’s so super cool. And to be honest with both of the stories and everything that we spoke about so far. Again, the key to success and client education is key to success. It’s very simple. Be open. Be honest. Be transparent, being nice person and deliver what you promised. It’s really not that hard. And it all starts with the website thing. The website is your shopfront, and I won’t say that a zillion times over and over. This isn’t my speech impediment. This is what I’m saying. The website and love it is your key. The more education you have on the front end, the easier the sale is on the back end. But it doesn’t mean you have to barrel. I’m not saying you put everything because no one’s going to rate everything, but you put enough content to make an informed decision that you’re the right photographer for them. 

[00:12:27] Maria Arellano But when you’re talking about over delivering, you can do that in other ways outside of just photos, you know. You can do that in being able to set up your systems so that you’re perfectly preparing them for every session. One thing that I did this is the whole system thing. It’s just all about opening up that times that you can deliver the best of you so that when you go to meet them at their shoot, you can give them 100%. Because guess what? You’re not tired from editing or not. You’re not tired from responding to emails because all of that has already been set up. You’ve invested maybe two days out of the week to work on specific systems like your email automations. So now you’re saving yourself an entire year. I love video. I love being able to talk. That’s a lot easier for me than writing things out. I’m not great at spelling, you know, English is my second language, so that’s what I fall back on. 

[00:13:23] Maria Arellano So communicating through video. Yeah, love. That was a game changer for me because not only did it make them feel safer with me because they’re getting a face to face, people feel like they’re closer to you and like they know you because I’m goofy, like how you see me right now. That’s how I am. You know, I have a YouTube channel. You can go see exactly how I am super goofy and people see that. And I have all these private YouTube videos that I specifically send out to my clients and individual emails, and it’s things like, Hey, Mom, time to get ready for your photo shoot. Don’t worry about your kid. Here’s a little note. Let’s make sure they have fun. So no feedback unless it’s positive, you know, that kind of stuff and just like light. And then the other thing with that is having my voice go up and down to keep it entertaining. So it’s like, Hello, right? Yeah, this is what you got to do. That is a game changer. But the feedback I have gotten is that people will be getting ready for their sessions or thinking about it, and it keeps the excitement going for them because they get a new video from me every week up until their session and they get to hear about it and we focus on different things. So it’s amazing when a client walks in and they’re so perfectly prepared and they have all these options for you, and they went and did all the shopping that you asked them to do. They feel so prepared and excited and it just goes by. It’s exciting for you because now you can play and have fun because they fully understand what you’re about and they’re fully immersed in this experience and they get to enjoy it. 

[00:14:51] Lisa DiGeso So I know the power personally of having email marketing systems, but many photographers do not. What are four ways having an email marketing system can benefit a photographer? 

[00:15:01] Nate Grahek Okay, the first part of that answer, in short, is it can help potential customers learn more about you and learn more about what it is you’re your specialty is without having to book and the huge aha I had about a year ago is this happened to me when I started my photography business to where I think it happens to everybody, whether you’re like six months or six years in, you go to your website, you got something broken like you reminded me. Yeah, right. Like it reminds me of like when I was a kid and like, you call you call your friend up like, hey, did you call me? Because I just want to see my phone was broke. Like what used to work? I used to get a bunch of leads. I used to get a bunch of clients, and now all of a sudden, nothing. And what this is the hard truth, and I want to explain myself, but I believe that a lot of photographers websites have never worked. It’s not that they all of a sudden break, it’s they haven’t ever worked. It’s been it’s how I define working. 

[00:15:57] Nate Grahek When I first started, I got like a lot of people. I got all my clients from people who guess what I already knew like and trusted me. And so they were booking me for those first six months or a year despite my terrible website. I would give her pearls and be like, Oh, God, maybe, maybe I’ll just give him the phone number. I’m not going to give them a website because that’s terrible. That’s not what Nate is really like. That’s just an ugly website. Trust me, he’s really fun to work with. They’ll take great pictures. So back to email. I think the real job of your website is actually goes back up. The real job of marketing, the way we should evaluate the value of your business, the value of your marketing is how well it can turn a stranger into a booked client. Imagine you’re pitching your business in front of the Shark Tank. I love that show. That’s how other business owners that they value other businesses is how well they have systems in place that consistently, predictably turn a stranger into a client. And that is really hard to do. And that’s what your website can’t do all by itself. It needs more. And so that’s where a web or email comes into play, where it allows you to give your visitors a gift in exchange for a lead. So that gives them a chance at time to to know, like and trust you and then eventually turn them into a client. 

[00:17:20] Lisa DiGeso Well, my beautiful friend, I hope you got so much from those little snippets of juicy information to help you with your business. Thank you so much for joining me today and tuning in each and every week. I love that we wrote this time to spend together. Whether you’re driving in your car, editing a session, doing the dishes, or just chillin at home. I just love that we get to spend this time together. I am sending you so much of my light and love today and every single day. We’ll see you next time. 

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