Worth Every Penny…with Photography Marketing Queen Sarah Petty

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photography marketing with Sarah Petty

Today we speak with photography marketing guru Sarah Petty about her goal of providing photographers with the toolkits, mindsets, and skillsets to take their photography business to the next level.

Introduction (2:21)

Sarah’s journey from corporate America to her own photography studio to the world of photography marketing is an inspirational one.

How to get over feeling that you’re “not good enough” (4:05)

You need to reframe these feelings (nicknamed “head trash”). In stead of focusing on how your photos aren’t technically as good as others, realize that what you are giving a client in the form of photos of their children is something precious. Knowing what it is you do will make you want to be better at it.

How to get over the fear of switching from digital to product sales (7:07)

Realize that product sales is not about selling, but about serving. It’s not that families don’t want products – our systems are just not set up to provide that service for them. Once you serve your clients more, it becomes easier and easier to sell.

Advice for photographers who are burnt out and want to give up (10:25)

Give the boutique model a try. If you are considering throwing in towel, what do you have to lose by saying I’m just going to find one client that would love beautiful artwork in their home. See where it lands.

You can make unlimited amounts of money from just one session if you take really good care of people.

What if you don’t get any enquiries? (14:22)

If you’re unclear on your model, even the right marketing activities will not bring the right leads. A digital file business is different from a boutique business.

Realize that clients are not problem-aware.  Educate those people who have never thought of putting big pieces of art on their walls, and you will get enquiries.

How to deal with people wanting to negotiate pricing (19:11)

In the absence of value, price is an issue.

Get on the phone, and let people know what makes you different. If they ask for discounts, indicate that you are actually raising prices. Ultimately, when you start saying no to people, you start opening yourself up to the right clients. That is what photography marketing is all about.

Thoughts on mini-sessions (21:43)

Ask people what their reason for wanting a mini-session is. If it’s only price, it’s not a good fit for you. The emphasis should not be on price.

Overcoming the “my family is not complete yet” objection to artwork (24:48)

Use the “Feel, Felt, Found” method:

I understand how you feel.

Other customers have felt the same.

What we have found, is that most people don’t swap out images, they simply add more.

If you wait until the family is complete, you will miss out on so much.

Where is the breakdown when you are getting enquiries, but not booking them?  (26:10)

It could be that it’s simply the wrong client – that is an easy no.

If it’s the right client, you may just be missing the selling skillset. Photography marketing is to make the phone ring, selling is the skill to book them.

Follow the 7 B’s of Booking:

1. Be optimistic – this could be someone who wants to give you money, so answer the phone!

2. Build rapport – people do business with people they like

3. Be inquisitive and find affinity – people like to do business with others who are like them

4. Bring up what makes you different

5. Believe in your prices – ask questions before giving prices

6. Break down objections – use the “Feel, Felt, Found” method

7. Book consultation

How to price boutique photography and make profit without comparing to other photographers (31:52)

Everyone makes assumptions that competitors know what they are doing AND that they are making money. It shouldn’t bother you what other photographers are doing.

Budgeting advice to not overspend on props (35:06)

Ask yourself whether it is going to make you money. Once you have certain props or lenses, will having another one make you more money?

How to balance a business brain and a creative artist brain (38:20)

Don’t go back and forth between different types of tasks. Work smart so you have time to focus on one thing at a time – when you’re trying to be creative, you can’t be in the grind.

All about the Go Boutique event, including a sneak peek into the activities and swag box, and news about 5 scholarships available to listeners. (41:16)


Discover more about  Sarah Petty

Joy Of Marketing
Go Boutique Live
Joy Of Marketing
Joy Of Marketing

Sarah is a highly-acclaimed marketing speaker, best- selling marketing author of ‘‘Worth Every Penny: Build a Business that Thrills Your Customers and Still Charge What You’re Worth,’ MBA and photography marketing teacher who has inspired thousands of boutique photography business owners to use beautiful marketing to take their business to the next level.

Her expertise is based on over 20 years of helping build the Coca-Cola brand, meeting the marketing goals of a top regional advertising agency’s clients, and building her own successful Springfield, Illinois boutique photography studio. This studio, Sarah Petty Photography, was named one of the most profitable in the country within just five years in business.

Sarah has mastered the science of marketing and the art of making it simple, actionable, and, yes, fun!

Resources shared in this episode:

Sandy Puc


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  1. Rebecca on September 28, 2022 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for sharing the blog with the 7 B’s – this was so helpful!

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