My bloated heart nearly shattered into a bazillion shards when one of you emailed me this recently, “I need to start making money with my business now, or else get a “real” job.
Not because I felt bad for you, but because I’ve been there.
Truth be told, we’ve all been there. And if a photographer tells you otherwise, they’re either lying or have a fatty trust fund they dip into every month.
FACT: over the next 4 days, I’ll be arming you with the strategies to get booked during the slow season.
So today, we’re going over:
Step 1: the Down & Dirty of why you REALLY need sessions (it’s not the money)
Let’s get down and dirty, and talk about what you really want out of your business.
It’s not to get butt-loads of clients during the slow season.
It’s not to buy the 85mm 1.4 lense and feel like you’re in the “cool kid” photographer club.
It’s not even the money.
No really, it’s not the damn MONEY!
I know what you’re thinking, “what the hell is she talking about – of-course I have to make money!”
Yep – you are correct!
But here’s the thing – money isn’t what you want.
Freedom is what you want.
No, it’s what you need.
For your own sanity and the well-being of your children (because let’s face it, a few years ago when I was broke? I was one angry momma that could explode at any moment).
The freedom to buy your morning half-caf latte at Starbucks without feeling guilty you’re overspending.
The freedom to take a trip to Yellowstone National Park for a winter photography excursion and photograph frosty bison (I don’t get you people, seriously…do you really want to freeze your butt off and get that close to a herd of beasts?)
The freedom to buy that 85mm 1.4 lens (and not the damn Sigma, the Nikon, BABY!) without guilt, so that yes, you can feel like one of the “cool photographers” that can afford it.
And freedom is really freakin’ hard to come by during the slow season – these winter, subarctic months where sometimes you submit test forms from your website just to make sure the form isn’t broken (you mean it isn’t broken? REALLY? You mean nobody is even TRYING to book sessions?)!
Straight-up fact: 80% of you that filled out my survey, listed your biggest business problem as getting sessions (or some form of that).
After looking at the stats, I had a “lightbulb” moment.
Photographers are freedom-deprived. The need for sessions = the need for cash = the need for the freedom that money brings you.
And if you aren’t making money in your photography business?
You have no freedom.
You would have more freedom if you flipped burgers at McDonald’s and had money to spend on fun things (and yes, a few years back I actually considered it).
So the theme of this next 4 days is this: Cash + Freedom
What’s the first step to get cash and freedom this Sprint & Winter?
Well, I’m glad you asked, my dear old friend [imagine me reaching through the screen and patting you on the shoulder…wait that sounds thriller-movie creepy, never mind, scratch that].
Cash + Freedom Step 1: Create an irresistible photo session that people can ONLY get during the late winter/spring, and can ONLY get from you.
That’s right – while all of the other photographers are sitting on their bum’s weeping when they log in to their Wells Fargo online banking – you’ll be checking your account and deciding what tropical vacation to plan for next (just please, don’t post a zillion photos of your feet in flip flops with the ocean in the background).
Hint: I’m not talking about baby chick and goat photos for Easter…that’s WAY to obvious, and everybody does them.
In the next email of the series, I’ll give you the framework for coming up with a session that fits your style, location, and something people will even yes, pay for.
A session they people just can’t resist.
Expect that email tomorrow.
Cheers to spending $5.55/day at Starbucks and feeling no guilt! (Except for the guilt of oh-crap, my pants don’t fit anymore, maybe I should stop drinking 450 extra calories a day from this venti, quad, iced-mocha with no whip)
Lisa “Quad Shot” Edwards
P.S. If I waved a magic wand and you had an extra 6K in your bank account right now with no explanation, what would you do with it? Reply in the comments – I read every answer.