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Fastest Growing Boudoir Photography Studio? Meet Liz Hansen

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Liz Hansen_1.mp3: this eJxVjsFOwzAQRH8F-cApxHVbGjVShcqFCoo4oIDEJTL2JljY3sjexKJV_x1HnDjuPM2bPTOFnsBTSz8DsJrtWcGMjyS9gtZoVovN7Wa7raqCqTESujFC-APVar1YiIJJpXDMhn9hZ8Dq1ks3SztjIXu_kwx9ZPWZjcHm-ItoiDXnKaWyR-wtyMHEUqHjOpgJ-LTkczVy0Tzs6enx_bT2jfh8vX8T07JLhM83R_FxkPByJy3tHGgjryOOQcFOY_IWpW7yVMHIkJ0_OZrT1UH6CL4VpRtWGXUYnKTM5vNy-QVKnVr3:1mf16x:YBbazJMZKsUGNYnksJpW8ZsVxAQ audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Speaker1:
Hey, guys, how's it going, Jen Bruno's meteor from the High Rollers club? I am here with Liz Hanson from Chicago Boudoir Photography. She has been one of our students since twenty nineteen spring of twenty nineteen, so really one of our originals. Which is so exciting, I'm so excited to have you here.

Speaker2:
Thanks for having me, Jen. So nice to be here.

Speaker1:
Of course, it's so good to see you and I know before we kind of dig in and you guys feel free to post questions in the Facebook group. And in case you have any friends that want to join there, the seats are quickly filling up. So and you can also post questions in the chat. If you're on Zoom, you can post questions in the chat. And if you are on Facebook, you can post questions right on Facebook as well. And as you're joining, if you don't mind just muting yourself, that would be great. All right. And I see there are some people also on Facebook joining as well. So Liz, how's it going?

Speaker2:
Hey, it's really good. And those of you, if you don't know Jen, you are lucky to be here. She's the boudoir queen, so I'm happy to be here with you guys and with Jen today. Thanks for having me, Jen.

Speaker1:
Of course, it's so good to see you and I just I last saw you at our conference and it was so nice. It's so funny because like, we started the course in twenty nineteen and twenty twenty COVID started. So a lot of our students, even the ones that we've been with for a really long time, I've never met. So I got to meet a lot of our of our students, which is super exciting. So tell me you have some really big news, which I'm really excited to do. We were just talking about it. What is your big news?

Speaker2:
We just were able to buy a house thanks to my boudoir studio. We've lived in a small town home for like seven years, and I actually thought we would live and die in this little town home, which is which would have been fine. But thanks to what I've learned, two high rollers, we were able to buy a beautiful house and we're very excited and we're moving in tomorrow.

Speaker1:
That is so amazing. It is so amazing, I'm so happy for you, that's such a big deal, and you just showed me the picture and it is the most beautiful house.

Speaker2:
I'm so glad you told me in the spring of 2019 that like if you take this course and you do the work that you're going to be able to buy a house in a couple of years, like your dream house, like all the upgrades that you want bedrooms for your kids so they don't have to share anymore, like I would not have believed. I don't know that I would have believed it, you know? But Jen made that helped to that dream come true. So thanks, Jen. Thanks, High Rollers Club.

Speaker1:
Oh gosh. We gave you the tools, but you use them. You implemented them. You put in the work like, so we gave you the tools, but you did the work.

Speaker2:
And that is really I think part of the key, though, is like when I first opened my boudoir business, I I felt like I was working hard and I felt like I was doing stuff. But I was kind of barking up some of the wrong trees and what high rollers did. For those of you who are in high rollers club, you know this. Those of you who have not joined yet, of course you totally should. But part of it is just is pointing you towards the right tools to use and the right things to spend your time and energy on so that you can be more successful. I mean, you can spin your wheels a lot and not get anywhere, and that's kind of what I was doing at first.

Speaker1:
Yeah, it's true. And I also I often will tell students that just knowing what you need to do is growth because sometimes they get so overwhelmed with all the things that they need to do that they just they don't know where to start. And I'm like, Listen, like when you joined, you didn't even know what you needed to do. So that is growth because you're right, a lot of photographers, like they just don't even know where to start. They're like, What do I even do with myself? So, but tell me where you started? Tell me where you began this journey before you joined us. How long have you been shooting? What did you do before?

Speaker2:
Yeah. Well, like in a nutshell, I was a stay at home mom for seven years after, so I have two little girls and my husband got laid off once and we burned through our savings and then he got laid off again and we were not going to. We weren't doing well financially, and so I decided to go back to work at that point, and I actually got a job just answering phones at a photo studio. I didn't have much of a photography background and they did some boudoir there and I didn't really know what it was. I never heard of boudoir that much, but I loved it, and I loved how women felt so confident at the studio and it was my favorite thing to do. I I did a lot of families and babies and stuff, but when we had boudoir clients, man, I just I just loved it. So that studio and that studio ended up relocating that I was working for and I was out of a job. All of a sudden I didn't know this was one day I went to work. The next day I didn't have a job, and I came home in tears to my husband. I said, What are we going to do? And he's like, Why don't you open your own boudoir studio? And I was like, I can't open my own boudoir studio. Like, I don't know what I'm doing. And he's like, We'll figure it out. So in sort of a moment of like, OK, we went and rented a commercial studio and I took out a little bit of a loan and I just decided to start my own studio and I did that. So before joining high rollers, I did. I started that September 1st twenty eighteen and then joined high rollers in the spring of twenty nineteen. So when I started that studio September 1st twenty nineteen twenty eighteen, sorry, I had no website. I had no clients, I had no email list. I just had a couple of years experience working for this other photographer. It was probably a crazy idea, but that's what I did.

Speaker1:
It's very brave. I mean, that takes a lot of courage to just be like, You know what? I'm just going to do it like. And you know what? I found, too, that when I speak with any business owner in any genre, any like that action is the difference. A lot of people will get stuck in that thinking and then they never take action because they're like, I have to plan everything out. I have to do this, I have to do this. But the people that are really successful, the ones that zoom ahead and have a faster trajectory are the ones that do. They don't just think. And so I think that's a great example of I mean, it was scary, but but you did it. And so what were you charging when you first opened and you didn't have any clients? Like what? How are you finding clients?

Speaker2:
Yeah. So I mean, when I first opened, I had no idea what I was doing. Like, I'll be really honest, like, I really had no idea. I rented. It's basically a room. And actually, I'm still in the same space. It's only 416 square feet. It's small. I'm also in Chicago, though, and real estate is very expensive, so it's hard to get a big studio here, but I'm still in that same little space. I had a friend help me paint and. Put up some things, we refinished the floors and I did, I think, 40 or 50 free sheets because you have to understand I have a portfolio I had. I had like I had nothing, nothing, nothing, right? So I literally called and emailed every person I could think of and just was like, Do you want to come in for a free shoot? Free shoot, appreciate. Free shoot. I wasn't offering hair and makeup right at first because I didn't have a hair makeup artist, and so I was just like, Come on your hair done. And I just was like, free shoot, free shoot. And literally, I just was like, every morning, free shoot. And I eventually got on to the idea to call hair and makeup artists and say, Hey, do you want a free shoot? And if you come with your hair and makeup done, I know it's going to look good because you're a hair and makeup artist.

Speaker2:
And that was how I met hair and makeup artists also to start hiring a hair and makeup artist at the studio. That's fine. I was charging nothing, and I eventually got kind of up to saying, I'll give you like five pictures from the shoot. And if you want to buy some more, they're like. I don't know, I think I was saying $40 or something, I can't even remember. Well, it's not fair. I mean, I knew I needed to charge something. Yeah, it was not very much. Maybe one hundred and fifty dollars, I'll give you the rest of them, something like that. And then I kind of got up to I eventually hired a hair and makeup artist, and when I had her, I said, OK, the session fees now are going to be like one hundred dollars and I was selling the pictures, I think for maybe five hundred dollars, something, you know, kind of like that I can't remember exactly, but wasn't very much.

Speaker1:
Yeah. So at what point? Because you can't go on like that forever. But I do have to say that's a great way to get started because you were building your portfolio. You were making connections. You were networking. You were getting experience. So that is a great way to to really start. So at what point then did you switch from kind of doing like this modified model call to charging a little bit more? And then how much were you making at that point?

Speaker2:
So all of twenty eighteen I lost money like whatever I was doing, I was losing money. I was paying rent every month, but it was I was basically, you know, paying paying to do this. Does that make sense? Yeah. Like at the beginning of twenty nineteen, I started looking on the internet. I was like, somebody else had to do this better than me, but I don't know who, but I was like, I know I'm losing money, I'm getting some experience. I got the website up, so I started looking into courses. I was like, There's got to be somebody knows how to do this. I just have to find them. So I look to try to find all the boudoir courses I could find, and I got all the phone calls I could with people to find out about the courses. And I got on the phone with high rollers and high rollers as soon as I heard about what it was and I was like, This is what I need. And it's because high rollers talks about how to get clients, how to charge your worth and what. I knew that what I could tell from this phone call with high rollers was that I could kind of. Borrow some confidence from you again, like this is what I call it, like I I didn't have the confidence to charge, I didn't have the confidence to say what I needed to say on the phone.

Speaker2:
I didn't have the confidence to do some of the hard things I needed to do. But Jen, did you did. And what I did, what I could tell from the course was I could I could say to myself, I don't have the confidence to do this, but I'm going to borrow the confidence from Jen. And if I can hook into her confidence, I think I can do it too. And that's what sold me on the course. And I remember on the phone when I bought, we didn't have really enough money to buy the course. But I remember I said to my husband, Listen, I'm going to put this money on a credit card and I'm going to do this. Give me six months. And if I don't, if I can't pay off the course in six months, I will quit the studio and go get a job at Pottery Barn until I can pay it off. Just like, let me do this because I think if I can buy the course, I can make the studio work so I pull the trigger, and that's when I joined high rollers.

Speaker1:
That's amazing. So, so you were in the negative in twenty eighteen, you joined the course, put it on a credit card, took a leap of faith. And so that's amazing. Ok, so then how did it start to turn around for you? Because you are you are running like a legit studio making like Big Big Boss money over there. So tell me about how it started to change.

Speaker2:
You have Jen, call me a big boss. Really makes me excited. Thanks, Jen. You're the big boss. Now you are

Speaker1:
Killing it like you're killing it out there.

Speaker2:
So the first thing I did was I just in my brain. I didn't have the confidence to charge your prices. And in hindsight, I wish I had at least adopted the price list and said everything is 50 percent off or right. Here's the price list. But if you book by this date, you can have 80 percent off or like whatever, but at least use the price list. This is my big tip to you guys. Don't just waste a lot of time on low prices, because what I said to myself when I joined the course is I'm going to do everything except for use Jen's price list and then see how it goes. I don't know why I did. I decided that, but it was scary and I did implement a lot of stuff. But the big change came when I got on a zoom with you and I was like, Jen, I'm just not having results. I'm not sure where I'm doing this and this and this, and you're like, Well, what's your price list? And I pulled it up and you're like, Well, that's your problem. Your prices are too low. I was charging and I think $500 for all the digitals and then below that for albums and stuff. And for me, $1500 still felt. Like, scary for me as a business owner, I had to expand really my ability to take in money, and I know that sounds that might sound weird to some of you on the phone or on the Zoom, but like there is a mindset that you have to expand to allow money to come into your life and your business. It's true. I had to work on that for myself before I could even offer that a higher price list.

Speaker1:
I think we get stuck in the fact, like, we're like, OK, I would never buy something for eight thousand. I would not spend eight thousand dollars. So then we're like, no one else is going to spend eight thousand. But the thing is, that's not true because people have money for what they have money for. It's a mindset block that you have to get over because your clients are not. You like, you're not taking pictures, you're not your own client. So it is it is a mindset block that you kind of have to move past. And so then you change your investment menu.

Speaker2:
Yes. And I mean, overnight, that's when I changed. That's when the business actually started making money, right? So and I actually did it kind of. I did it slowly because I was scared. And if I could redo things, I would. But you know, so what I did was I took your price list and then I I said that that was the price. And then everyone who came in, I was like. And also, we have a July special, and I would like hand them this like special list that had specials that had some other things because I could. And finally, I just got rid of the specials and I was like, We're doing this, and that's when I really actually started making things happen. But if you need some baby steps, like take some baby steps, for me, there was a lot of imposter syndrome going on. Like, who am I? I'm just a stay at home mom that opened up this little studio. Like, Who am I to charge? Who am I to take money from people? And one thing that really helped me with that was honestly just saying having people emailing back clients could come in whatever they paid and asking if they'd make a video about their experience, either hold their album or just people I knew like to the experience. And of course, people are like, Oh, sure, I'd be happy to. And they recorded some videos on my phone saying, I loved having, you know, take my pictures and I look at them and I love them. And then, you know what I would do? I would watch those videos over and over to get my brain to believe what they were saying, and they would say things like it was worth every penny. I'm so glad I bought the bigger album. My husband loved it, and when I listened to those videos, I started to believe in myself more. And so I, I kind of outsourced some of that confidence to my clients and had them tell me why it was worth it.

Speaker1:
I love that idea. That's a great idea. And video testimonials are so powerful in marketing. So actually, that's a really great tip for everyone listening that when you get clients every single one, it's actually part of my email automation I send out, asking them for video testimonials and a five star review. That's also very important as well. So that's part of my email automation that I sent out, and I do like a a gift card giveaway once a month for all the new five star Google reviews, I just toss them and pull them out. And that's that's actually really powerful. I see there's some questions coming on the chat, so we'll get to those after we're done. I just don't want you to think that I'm ignoring them. So, OK, so Liz, so you started using the investment menu, you started booking out. What was your sales average? I guess when you started with high rollers and what were you? I guess your revenue was in the red.

Speaker2:
So yeah, so it's definitely losing money. When I started in twenty eighteen twenty nineteen when I joined high rollers that year actually hit six figures the year I joined high rollers. So, yeah, I mean, that was amazing for me. I was so taken out a loan to start the studio. You have to understand I didn't have cameras, I don't have lights, I didn't have beds. So we taken out a small loan to start the studio and I paid that back in twenty nineteen. One thing I do want to.

But I have

Speaker2:
Evidence of one dollar, and I worked full time for 18 months like every single day before I was able to pay back that loan turnaround. So it was not an overnight thing like to get up every day for 18 months and work full time and not get paid. One dollar was hard, like those first 18 months were really hard. But because I had a roadmap with high rollers, I kind of could see the light at the end of tunnel the whole time. I wasn't just like groping around for 18 months. I could see like, OK, the number of inquiries I'm getting is now here and I know I booked this percentage of them. So then I know this and then I know my average, and that's like I can see where I needed to go. But it did not happen overnight, so I don't want to give anyone the impression that this happened overnight. Like I did work full time for 18 months for no pay. Wow. Before it happened for me, but I started very ground zero. I worked for 18 months.

Speaker1:
Like, sorry. There's some feedback there.

Speaker2:
Yeah, a good deal.

Speaker1:
So my Facebook froze and then I was like, Oh, I need to make sure I'm still alive on Facebook, so I refreshed it. But then the mic didn't. It turned back on again. So. So you were. So you were in the red and then you hit six figures your first year, which is amazing. So, OK, so let's I guess, let's skip ahead now. What? What are you at year to date and what is your sales average? And this is keeping in mind. This is only like spring of twenty nineteen. Like what? Like a year and a half? No, wait. Twenty eighteen.

Speaker2:
So yeah, so just to like, complete this story. I joined twenty nineteen. But then that year I hit six figures. Then twenty twenty. I I'm like, I'm doing it January twenty twenty. I have a great month, February twenty twenty. I'm like, I'm set to hit maybe two fifty or three fifty for the year. And then the pandemic hits, right? So March what, March 14 of twenty twenty or something. I live in Illinois. We got shut down. It was illegal for me to operate, so I was closed. I remember coming home and just crying because like I had finally got, I mean, January and February, I had two months where I was like. Making real money, what I mean by that, I'm like making twenty K Plus in the month and then I get shut down the pandemic, right? Yeah. And you know, at the beginning of the pandemic, I had no idea if I was ever going to be able to open up again, you know, and so I and I still had to pay studio rent. And, you know, and that was really scary for us at that point. We didn't have a lot of cushion either because I was I was working and shooting to pay, you know, it was happening, but it was like I didn't have a lot of cushion. At that point, I was still pretty new. So I was shut down all of March, April and May, June 1st. I was able to open up again with masks and sort of a small place. And then since June 2020, it's just been off to the races. I ended up shooting two hundred clients in twenty twenty. That's yeah. So even with the shutdown, I shot and I grossed over five hundred k that year, even with the pandemic and then in twenty twenty one, it's just been even better. I think I've done two hundred and five clients this year so far.

Speaker1:
Oh, that's amazing. And so what are you at year to date?

Speaker2:
I mean, I'd have to refresh my thing, but you know, I'm at a four K average times two hundred and two clients.

Speaker1:
So that's amazing. That's terrible. So what do you feel like if you had to give it a piece of advice to New York? Because we actually there are some high rollers that are on here right now that are already in our mastermind course, but there's a lot of new faces, actually, that I don't know. So a lot of new people. So if you had to give them a piece of advice, one nugget, what is the biggest piece of advice you could give a new photographer?

Speaker2:
I would say, don't start your prices low and work them up incrementally. I would say. If you need some stepping stones to high profitable pricing, which I totally understand, I needed that to like kind of like emotionally I needed it, which I know sounds strange, but money is very emotional. You can't implement a high profit price list all at once. Don't start low and then ratcheted up slowly. Start with the high profitable prices and have that as your price list and then do things to modify it off that. Does that make sense? So like if you need to do like I do? Did that first time, which was like, here's the regular price, and here's our July special like, but at least you have that profitable price list as your anchor. Does that make sense? So like if you need to modify the price list, do it off of that price list. Don't modify a low price list first. Does that make sense? So like made you offer a special where you say, Hey, I'm offering 40 percent off my collections, or maybe you don't have the very top piece on their higher ones, but don't start with really low prices and try to slowly ratchet it up.

Speaker2:
I just feel like that is just a slog. Just rip off the Band-Aid, get some high profitable prices in there. As long as you aim for like B plus pictures like you don't have to be an ape. I am not the world's most technical, beautiful photographer around the world. I I'm proud of my images. My clients are happy, but there are a lot of photographers that can run circles around me. And I am not like shy to say that because you can still run a really great studio. Even if you're just like a B-plus photographer. I don't mean that you. You need to know your craft. Your pictures need to be good, you need to know what you're doing. But when if you look at Suber and think you're not as good as her, it's OK. I'm not either. Like, I don't know. That would be my biggest piece of advice. I guess I'm rambling now. I'm sorry.

Speaker1:
No, I think that's great advice, and I think too many of us compare ourselves to like soup, rice or, you know what I mean? Like, like, OK, my work does not look like soup, rice or some other incredibly creative talented shooters. But the thing is like people hire you because they know you, they like you and they trust you. And if you have developed a brand, if you've developed a community, if you are genuine in your interactions and a kind person, I feel like people relate to that and they see you and they hire you, not just because of your work. It has to be solid, but you shouldn't be delivering like subpar work, of course. But I do feel like people relate to that and they hire you. And so I think we're the ones that compare ourselves. But the clients, they don't know any different like they they Google, Chicago, good work. They'll see your work and they'll be like, Wow, that's gorgeous. You're not going to be like, Oh, that doesn't look like super nice, you know?

Speaker2:
Well, and so much of boudoir is the client experience like I. Your pictures do have to be good. You have to know what youre doing. But like, I feel like if a client is happy, they're happy because their pictures are good, but also because of how you make them feel and what the experience is like. And I feel like I provide a really stellar experience. And even if I guess you can like make up for technical shooting in like being a nice person and helping people feel good about themselves and being on time and turning around the pictures and the time you said you would. And having really good processes that help them feel comfortable and like it's not all about, I think I thought ninety nine percent of my success and in the photography business was hinging on how good my photos were. I now understand that that's like four percent of my success, and it's important and it needs to be there. But it is not like that's not the linchpin to your success in your photography business. As strange as that sounds.

Speaker1:
It's true. No, it's absolutely true. And when I talk to people, I'll be like, Listen, my business is, you know, I don't know, 10 percent pretty pictures and 90 percent how I run my business. And that is so true because I know people who, like you said, run circles around me shooting know so much more technically than I do, like a lot of our students in the course I could name them like could run circles around my technical knowledge. But I'm running my studio year to date is at five eighty, so I know that, you know, like, yeah, I'm not the best technical shooter, but I know how to do what I do really well and that's what people hire me for. So I think that that's what is the biggest. So you said your best piece of advice. Do you have another big mistake that you made in the beginning that? Maybe people could take a nugget of.

Speaker2:
Yeah. I mean, I made I've made a lot of mistakes and I think be all right. Yeah, I think one thing also is to realize, I guess. Ok, so one thing is that like, I didn't have a community, I didn't grow up in a family of entrepreneurs I didn't actually know before I started my business. I didn't really know any small business owners. I have tons of small business owner friends now, especially because I run my Facebook group and I really encourage female entrepreneurs and there and but I didn't have any role models, and it's really hard to be what you can't see. And I think part of what high rollers did for me, Jenn, is that I could look at you and be like, she is someone that is what I want. It gave me like a target to focus on because I didn't have any women in my life like you, Jen. I mean, now I do. But at the time, I didn't have any successful business owner women in my life. I didn't really have any driven women in lots of great women in my life, but none who were trying to achieve what I wanted to do in business. And so it's hard to if you don't have someone like that in your life, that I would say that's what you need to seek out. So if it's if it's Jen and high rollers and a lot of times you think, Oh, well, I should like seek out this mentor who's a photographer in my city or whatever. That might be hard, honestly, because they might do you as competition. So I mean, in and I don't compete.

Speaker2:
She's in Philly or Delaware and I'm in Chicago. It's totally fine and cheap. So I guess if you don't have a mentor or someone you can, and it doesn't have to be like, I didn't call Jen on the phone every day, but you know what I did all the time. Listen to Jen talking to me. I was telling Jen one time was like when I met her in person. I feel like I already knew because I had sat in there and listened to her voice over and over, saying, Charge your word. If you can do this, like, here are the steps and like that confidence. I was able to borrow that confidence and transfer into what I did, but I've made a million mistakes. I've I bought a whole line of albums from a company I don't use anymore, throw them in the trash after a while because it wasn't working out. You know, I've bought stuff that didn't work out. I had a client one time with like a little privacy issue where I. Revealed a slight amount about her on Instagram, which I never do anymore. And she got so mad and I had to refund her whole shoot and I mean, so much more careful about that kind of stuff now. I mean, I've made a lot of mistakes, but you know, mistakes are part of the process. Yeah, and give yourself some grace, you're going to make some mistakes along the way. This is not a straight line. This is this is a roller coaster on my business as a super roller coaster. Buckle up, get ready.

Speaker1:
You and I. I actually don't often refer to them as mistakes. I actually refer to them as learning experiences. And so I said mistakes. But it's probably not even with my children. I don't use the word mistakes because I don't think anything is ever a mistake. If you're able to learn from it, and I think that too often, especially new photographers are too scared of failing, and so they never take the risk and they just stop and they're stopped with inaction because of it. But the thing is, if you have the mindset where you're like, OK, I could fail. And if I do, I'm going to brush myself off, I'm going to get myself back up again. I'm going to see what I can do better and learn from it. And if you if you change your mindset to that, I think that it takes away some of the fear, you know?

Speaker2:
Yeah. And one of the things I learned from you, John, is like a lot of times you'd say like, well, try it and see what works like. People would throw something out in the group or on a zoom or whatever, and they'd be like, Have you done this? Have you ever tried this, Jen, or this or that? And I remember you saying a couple of times, Well, no, no. Try it a few times to see if it works, if you like it. And I have really adopted that attitude. Like sometimes I'll see something on the internet or an idea and I'll be like, Well, I'll try it, you know, try the price list with a couple of try a profitable price for a couple of clients. See what happens, you know, like you don't have as much to lose if you think you do. Yeah, I remember getting some, you know, some sample products and just me like, I'll just show them to people, see if they like them, see if they buy them, you know, you just have to really just try stuff. And it does take some gumption. You know, it does take some guts to try things. But again, one of the things Jen gave me was kind of the courage to be like, Well, I'll try it.

Speaker1:
I love that, and I will often tell my students to because I come from a clinical background, I used to be a speech pathologist, and so the scientific method is still very fresh in my head. And when you're doing experiments or you're trying to see if something works, you change one variable. You don't change them all, you change one thing and you see what your results are. And if there's an improvement, then you know that that can be attributed to that one thing you've changed. So what I teach is if you're going to make improvements, try to change one thing at a time so you can see what the results are and know if it makes a difference. And if it doesn't make a difference or it gets worse, you know, to go back. But if you change everything all at once, you're not going to know what made the difference unless it's all like good stuff that we teach. You know what I mean, then?

Speaker2:
I mean, I. I guess when I started my business since it was at ground zero, I had nothing to lose by changing or trying things like, I guess that was one benefit. It was like, Well, I don't really have a business anyway. But I was willing to work. And I think some people, you know, like, for example, I did those like 40 free shoots, like 100 hundred percent willing to do that. I knew I needed to learn. I knew I needed a portfolio. And I've never been scared of hard work. I just what high rollers did for me was to direct that hard work into like kind of the right direction because you can really, really spin your wheels if you're not careful.

Speaker1:
That's true, and we see a lot of people who are going to take they'll take like one thing from one person, another thing from another educator, and they're like, Frankenstein it together and try to create this business model. And then they'll be like, This isn't working. And it's like, Well, you're taking five different puzzles and you're throwing all the pieces on the living room floor and you're trying to make a cohesive picture like it's not going to work. Those pieces are not meant to fit in the same puzzle. And so I think that just that is probably why so many of our students are so successful. It's because we give you it's all the pieces to the puzzle. It's it's the steps, it's what you have to do. So there's some, Oh, go ahead.

Speaker2:
Yeah, I would also say the community has been so valuable for me and getting to meet so many of them in person in Vegas in February, it was just like, I felt like these are my people. Like it was so great to meet because everyone in the group is is cheering everyone's success and also sort of on the same train, you know, so that that community is also really valuable.

Speaker1:
Yeah, no, I absolutely agree. And I think at this point, the exclusive group is probably worth just as much as the course itself because I forget who it was. Let's said this. Who was it? Oh, Jennifer James, her dad was an equestrian. I feel I think this was her that said this and her dad used to say, surround yourself with thoroughbreds. And I really feel like I feel like I think that was Jennifer James. I'm going to have to ask, but I really feel like that's what the exclusive group is like. It is a group of high performers, and this is the thing like, you go to all these other groups where people aren't successful and you ask a question and everyone is like, Oh, that happened to me, oh, I'm not looking either. Oh, I'm not making any money. And then what does it do? It brings you down, right? But if you surround yourself with people who are like, Listen, I had a I had a sixty thousand a month last month. It's a good reminder that like that is not like it is possible and who you surround yourself with. What is it? It's the five people you surround yourself with. The most is what makes up your personality or whatever. I forget that exact quote, but I think about that constantly that who you surround yourself with. It directly feeds into you and how you're doing, how your mental health is. So the exclusive is really amazing and it's very, very busy. And often the students, the people who the people in my role in the mastermind will answer questions well before I can even get to them. Because, like, it's a community of helping, it's very positive.

Speaker2:
And yeah, and I remember when I first joined and people would be like, Oh, I had a $3000 sale, I had a $5000 sale. And I remember just being like, How in the world is this possible? Like, I didn't live in a world in which I could believe that. But being in it and I remember sometimes just getting angry because I was at the studio getting like $400 sales, you know, and like at first, just like first, it made me angry, not like angry, but like, like, I want that so bad. It makes me like hurt. Do you know what I mean? Because I wanted the thing is part of the way. Part of the problem with how I set up my business is like I had to make money because I had to pay that studio rent. Like, I didn't go into this easy like shooting out of my basement like I can make money or not make money like this was like, do or die. At this point when I signed up the way I signed, I wouldn't recommend this for everyone, necessarily, but what I realized was like, that group helps fuel my fire because I was like, I have to make this money, right? If I don't, we won't be able to pay our mortgage like this is a big deal for us. So like, those posts at first made me angry and then got me excited, and then I started matching them and then they got me. Then I was like, OK, I've I felt like I could finally like, show my face in the group. Sometimes when I could like not show my face, but I was like, I'm finally part of a group. I'm actually like not just learning from everyone else here, but I'm like contributing to like. And that was a really great feeling to feel like I could actually, like, be a peer with some of these people too.

Speaker1:
So that's amazing. And we're so happy to have you as,

Speaker2:
Oh, you're so nice. Thanks for like everything seriously like I. Are you a lot?

Speaker1:
Oh, you're so sweet, I'm going to got a little teary earlier and trying to keep it together all these. All right. So let's go through some of these questions because there's a bunch of questions. So Veronica said, what is the average client investment on the high rollers program? So I think she means what on average do most of our clients spend? And I would say that that varies because there's so many variables with the photographers that are in the course. But I would say on average, three to four thousand, maybe. And then you have some really high performers who I saw Cindy's and in the Facebook Watch and Caitlyn Baum is watching. I mean, there are and Liz, there's high performers too. It's more like four to five thousand. So I think that definitely. Holly, yes, there's some really high performers who are much higher than that, too. There are some people that have eclipsed my sales average in, of course, and they've had higher sales than me and their studios are grossing more than mine. So there is definitely some high performers, I would say three to four. So Quinn said, are you worthy of the fifteen hundred dollars price for digital images? How would someone like me in a small town, northeast Indiana approach to set up weekends in cities using Airbnbs with more people that pay higher prices? What do you think, Liz? You can go first. Ok, so

Speaker2:
If you think like, Wow, I can never get anyone to pay over $500, you will never get anyone to pay over five hundred dollars. And I don't mean that to be bratty, but this is where I was to. I was in this mindset. Like, there's just there's just like a reasonable price around $1500 at which no one else should pay more than photography. And I had basically just made up that mantra in my mind that fifteen hundred dollars, it wasn't like five hundred dollars, but it was like a reasonable price. And you know what, when I thought that was a reasonable price, guess what my clients thought was a reasonable price? Fifteen hundred dollars for everything, all inclusive, right? But as soon as I started telling myself. No, actually at $500, I'm not going to be able to run a profitable studio, and there are people who are willing to pay a lot more than that, and actually, I really want to have like a three to four thousand dollars sales when I changed my mindset. That's when my clients mindset change, too. You don't find high paying clients, you create them. That's what Jen says. I stole that from her.

Speaker1:
It's true. It's true. So many people will be like, How do you find these clients that are paying five to eight thousand? Like, do like my clients are teachers. They're nurses, they are, you know, work at Bed Bath and Beyond. Like, I'm not even kidding you like people have money for what they have money, what they want to have money for and when they value you and you provide a good service and you're branding is consistent and your images are are. I'm not going to say it, not like super nice, but they have to be in focus. They have to be flattering, like you do have to provide a solid, consistent product. I like to say to like when you go to roast Kris, Ruth's Chris, I don't know if you guys have been there, but it's a steakhouse. I'm sure it's like everywhere, right? But like, you pay 80 dollars for a steak, but when you go there, you're like, My steak is going to be good. It's 80 dollars, it's going to be good. You don't expect a McDonald's burger patty, right? So if someone's paying you three to four thousand five thousand dollars like you do have to produce a product that is good. Does it have to be on par with like these huge names? No, but it has to be good fodder and you have to you have to do a good job for the client. So what?

Speaker2:
I can't tell you how many times I have a client sit in my hair and makeup chair. I sent I sent pricing before they come in, so everyone's aware, but they and they sign off on it. Everything is good, but they sit in the chair and they say, I'm only going to spend six hundred and ninety nine today. Nancy. Okay, all right. I mean, this happens probably like once a week, guys. Ok? You know, I get that. Of course we offer that. And let me tell you what, but we'll take pictures. We'll talk about the investment after the shoot. Like, we don't need to figure that out right now. Right now, we're in hair and makeup, and let's talk about that. We do the shoot. I show the pictures, pull the pricing menu again and show them how many pictures they have up on the screen. They're like. I think I'm going to go with the $3000 package and get all those pictures on a screen. I mean, this happens. I mean, this is probably happened to me a hundred times that someone has said, come in saying, I have a budget of six hundred ninety nine, I'm going to get your lowest and my my entry price is still six hundred and ninety nine. I haven't ever raised that. Maybe I should. But anyway. And they still end up buying more because they love the pictures and the experience. So you have to realize that what they think in their head is not always what they're going to spend.

Speaker1:
It's true. Yeah, I mean, it's true. My my loss leader is still nine. Ninety nine. And here I am. You know, I started shooting boudoir in twenty sixteen, so I'm five six years in and running over half a million dollar studio already. So, yeah, absolutely. Like you, the having the loss leader is so important and I love that you brought that up because I think a lot of times people will think, OK, I need to have like my lowest price in eighteen ninety nine. So no matter what, I'm walking away with that. But all that does is prevent people from walking in your door. And for me, that comes from a mindset of scarcity because you're like, OK, I need this money. But the thing is, if you do what you need to do and you take the shots you need to take and you're shooting to sell and your investment menu make sense and your excess is locked down. It doesn't matter what your loss leader is, people are going to buy more than that. So for me, having a higher loss leader like eighteen and nineteen ninety nine, that comes from a place of fear. It doesn't necessarily come from strong, like a strong business sense because you have to think, like, what do the industry, what a huge luxury companies do. Tiffany's right. You think of Tiffany as you think of really expensive jewelry, but guess what? You can walk in activities and buy a hundred dollar necklace, right? So that doesn't stop them from having lost leaders Louis Vuitton. You know, you go in there, you can buy two or three thousand bags. You can also buy a wallet for two hundred dollars or whatever, like a keychain. They have lost leaders, too. So if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. And of course, it's a different business model like different products and everything, but it still makes sense.

Speaker2:
And I do have to say so. In 2019, my first year in high rollers, I was selling about 25 percent of my clients for buying that loss leader at first when I first got started. And then in 2020, I had I sold it about 15 times and then in twenty twenty one, I sold it zero times. So it's not. It does take some expertise and some time and some great products and some great pictures to kind of work yourself up to some of these better. Like, I was not a sales ninja. I'm still not the sales ninja that Jen is, but I got a lot. I've gotten a lot better. I mean, so when I would first start and people are like, I'm going to get the six ninety nine, I'd be like, OK, great. Here it is. Ok, thanks. Bye. You know, like I kind of I had there's a lot to learn besides just what your price was. The price list is important, but there's a lot more that goes into it as well. Like, I was selling that last year, day in and day out. At first when I pictures weren't as good, my variety wasn't as good.

Speaker2:
My sales technique wasn't as good, my samples weren't as good. Like, you know, I was, I was selling it all the time. And now if I sold it once or twice this year, fine. I don't care because I am in October and I haven't sold it yet. Do you know what I mean? Like? But it's still on my price menu still helps me get seats in the bums, in the seats. Whatever people like to say, and it's so it's not just like, OK, plug in this price list and suddenly you'll make half a million dollars. Like, there is a lot more that goes into this and a lot of hard work and a lot of learning. I've listened to a lot of sales podcasts I've listened to. I've I've videotaped myself doing my sales sessions one hundred times. I go back and watch them and try to retool to see what I can do better. So there's a lot that goes into it, but you've got to start with the basics. You've got to start with a great price list before you can get good at selling.

Speaker1:
Absolutely. And I think what you just said, I'm hearing you say over and over and over again how hard you've worked, how you've put the time in, and I think that is the biggest key. You know, like people, you people will want to get to that level, right? But they don't want to put in the time. And I think, you know, I don't it's not easy. I still work. I still work nights. You know, I still work 10 12 hour days. However, I have so much freedom like I can watch my kids get on the bus every day I can. I can get them off the bus every day. You know, if my child has an appointment, I can go like I might have to move a shoot, but I'll do it if it's important. And that type of freedom is a freedom that I would never have working a day job. Being a speech pathologist, working in a hospital, I just wouldn't. I don't answer to anyone else besides my husband.

Speaker2:
Yeah, I mean, I feel like what I love about what. Yes, I still work hard. I work a lot of hours, but I get to do the work I want to do now. So I actually have seven employees. And yeah, and what makes me really happy is that these are seven women that I am friends with and I love. And they all have freedom jobs too, because I employ them the way I would want to be employed. So I get to do what I want to do in the business, and I've outsourced so much else and I get to pay them really, really well because the business is doing well. And that makes me so happy that here are seven other women who also can have some freedom because of this. Does that make sense? So yes, I work really hard and I do work a lot of hours. But when I don't want to work, I don't work, and the work I am doing is the work I really want to be doing. Does that make sense? The things I didn't love doing, for example, I never photoshop or edit a single picture anymore. I actually don't mind editing and photoshopping, but it was taking up so much time away from my family. I outsourced everything, so I never photoshop anything now. It's totally outsourced, right? I and that the freedom from that I shoot, I know that I'm done. So it's more that I can choose the work I want to do. Not that I don't want to work because I actually love working and I love running my business, but I get to choose what I want to do now.

Speaker1:
Absolutely. And I think that that is so powerful whenever you can give that away. Like whenever you can move on to what you really want to do. And also, I mean, we don't make money sitting behind a computer screen editing images. We make money by talking to clients and shooting. And so I think that's really powerful. So someone, Veronica's with this program work for low volume studios. Yeah, of course. I mean, you only take the work you want to take, but you implement the workflows for everyone. You know what I mean? So like, if I only wanted to shoot three a month, yeah, I'd make fifteen thousand. Cool. But I want to make seventy thousand a month, so I shoot a lot more.

Speaker2:
But one, honestly, people need to realize $15000 a month might not be as profitable as you think. It's like, you know, like, I mean, I like when I first started, I'm like, Oh man, if I can make $6000 a month, then six times twelve, that's like almost like a six figure. And you're like, No, you got to remember how much it costs to run this business. I'm constantly surprised by how much it costs me to run my business. Even though I'm a fairly small operation. I have four hundred and sixteen square feet. You have to charge profitably. This business is going to cost you money to run. Every time I order something on the internet for the business, I'm like, you know, it's just there's a there's a lot of costs associated with it too. So I love how you, you know, I mean, seventy thousand K revenue, yes. But that's revenue. There's expenses. I just always feel like I have to put that out there because when I started, I was looking. I mean, I knew there was profit and revenue, all the stuff. But like you think about a paycheck, if you're used to paycheck numbers, that's post-tax. And that's like just straight money to you. When you run a business, you got to think about this really differently. You got to put that money away for taxes. You've got to put away that money for expenses. You've got to figure out how to do that and you've got to think about your numbers. Not like growth numbers.

Speaker1:
Very true. So year to date to give people an idea. So my studio year to date is at five hundred and eighty thousand in revenue. But I have paid so my two biggest expenses are probably my retoucher. And then, like my albums to floor color. So year to date, I've paid my retoucher almost thirty eight thousand and four color. I've ordered almost twenty nine thousand in albums, so that's year to date. Like what my those are my two biggest. There's, of course, like makeup artists and mortgage, and there's lots of other expenses, right? But those are my two big ones. So year to date, maybe like sixty five, seventy thousand, just those two things. So it is there are a lot of expenses and of course, I have employees to and stuff like that. Let's go on to the next one. My issue is not the mindset on price. It is literally finding clients. How do you find clients in a relatively small town? What do you think about finding how do you find your client OK?

Speaker2:
Well, I use the high rollers program to. So here's my biggest piece of advice Oh, sorry on finding clients. You cannot rely on one thing and say, Oh, I'm going to get all my clients from a Facebook group. I'm going to get all my clients from Google ads for. I'm going to get all my clients from this. This is a tree with many branches that will bear fruit. Ok? And you have to put some effort into all of it. And I know it sounds overwhelming, but you can't just be like, Oh, I don't do SEO or, you know, I just gave up on Facebook or I just I decided not to do Google ads. I mean, here's the thing. Any piece of advice that you find on the internet, you will find a business who doesn't do it. So you will find a successful business who's like, Oh, I never run Google ads. You will find a successful business who's like, Oh, I don't sell albums or whatever. But that might mean that's the one thing they're not doing and they're doing everything else. Ok, so don't say like, in my opinion, it's not helpful to say like, Well, I know such and such studio is successful and they don't do Google ads, so I'm not going to do it. Does that make sense? What you need to do, in my opinion, is put out as much of the branches of the tree as you can to get those clients to come in. You can't just be like one of the branches. Ok, so this is like blogging SEO, Google ads, Facebook ads, Facebook Group, networking in person. All the things to make a big marketing plan so that you bring in people. So I get about 30 percent of my clients come from Facebook, about 30 percent from Google, about 10 to 15 percent from previous client referrals. And the arrest make is other. So Yelp wedding wire random, walked by the studio, met me at a networking event, that kind of thing. Ok, so the big piece is for me 30 percent Facebook 30 percent Google 10. 10 to 15 percent friend referral and the rest other.

Speaker1:
Yeah, I think that's a really good point, and I think that too often people will just get stuck on Facebook ads. They'll be like, I just have to figure out this Facebook ad and then my studio is going to blow up and it's like, No, no, that's not the way it works. It's not the way it works at all. And and I teach multi-tiered marketing, which basically is exactly what Liz just described that you have to have your hands in lots of different pots, and that can be very overwhelming to people who are just starting out. So what you do is you start with one and you get kind of good at it or you get proficient, right and then you move on to another. So like you start the ball rolling down the hill with one and then you start the next ball and then you start the next fall and the next. And so like now, like my VIP group runs itself, my Instagram kind of runs itself. I used to be like, really big on TikTok. And now TikTok is not good for photographers. So I got while the getting was good and now I'm moving on to something else and actually circling back around to starting to do some bridal shows again, which is where I originally started. It's important to just keep all the balls in the air or as many balls as you can handle. But the key is automation like you need to automate these things. You can't just expect yourself to keep all these balls in the air. You have to like, get a ball machine. Does it turn on them for you? You know, that's the key. So Chyna asked how many collections you recommend having, and I actually saw my investment you for seven dollars and I don't have the link handy right now, but I'll post it in on Facebook. This is streaming live to Facebook, so I'll answer that. I'll post the link to that investment menu on there. Liz, what is your Instagram?

Speaker2:
Oh, it's Chicago Boudoir Chicago Dot Boudoir Blue Doir. I love to see you over there.

Speaker1:
Please go and follow. Is everyone else's audio completely horrible? I can't barely understand anything this whole time. Oh no. Hopefully people are understanding us. Oh, and Caitlin said. Sixty thousand dollars per month club. It looks like most people are understanding, so that's good. I'm looking to see if there are any questions. How do you manage a full time job and start your business when you have to keep your day job, when building your portfolio, how long do you have enough? Ok, so let's start with the first question. How do you manage a full time job and start your business when you have to keep your day job?

Speaker2:
So I mean, I never did that, so I don't know. I mean, I consider myself very fortunate in that my husband has a day job where if boudoir had failed, we would not have gone hungry or homeless. I would have had to pay back the loan that we took out, no matter what. And that's when I was saying I would go to Pottery Barn and get a retail job to pay. I mean that once I signed up for that loan, I was going to have to pay that back no matter what. I mean, I've heard of a lot of people who work, you know, they shoot Friday afternoon, do two shows on the Saturday, do two shoots on a Sunday and then wake up and go to work on the next Monday and figure it out.

Speaker1:
And that's what I did. Yeah, that's what I did. I was a weekend warrior. I was shooting Saturdays and Sundays. And luckily, my children were very, very young. At that point twenty sixteen, Scarlett was just born. Jackson was like three. So I was very young. But I remember, like, you know, I was shooting families and especially when I started boudoir. And I was doing my ordering appointments at seven forty five at night because my kids went to bed at like six at that point because they were all babies. So I would do my day job. I would do ordering appointments at like 7:45 and at night after they were in bed. And then as my job transition, because I went from a treating therapist in a hospital to a marketer, and I don't recommend this. This was not ethical to me to do at all. But I developed my my my referral streams for this marketing job I had, and then they just came to me. I was always a pretty good marketer, so then they just came. So then I started scheduling shoots during the workday when I should have been doing the day job and I quickly realized by 20 the beginning of twenty eighteen, I was almost booked out for like six to eight months. And I looked at Randi and I was like, What am I doing? Like, why am I doing this? Like, I have job security for at least eight months here. I'm making like at that point I was making like three thousand to three thousand five hundred dollars a shoot. I was far eclipsing my day job salary and far eclipsing my husband's salary as well. And so then we quit in January of twenty eighteen. So I definitely think that kind of working up to it being a weekend warrior booking out is really important like you should be booked out. And usually it's not a huge deal to change if you're booking really far out, like if you need to change a date or something. Typically, it's not the biggest deal when building your portfolio. How long before you have enough to be creditable? What would you think?

Speaker2:
I mean, it depends. You know, I have seen some photographers who pick up a camera and like a few weeks later, I'm like, You're as good as me. And then some people say, you know, there are literally people who I feel like are artistically gifted who can do this quickly. Here's what I would say if you feel confident when a woman walks in the studio that you can create images that look like the images on your website, you're good to go. What is key is that consistency, right? Like whoever walks in the door. I know. I mean, I've shot almost a thousand boudoir sessions now. I know if someone walks in the door, I can take their picture and it will look enough like the website that if you saw the two, you would be like, This is the same photographer. Then I think you're good to go.

Speaker1:
Yeah, I love that advice. I think that's so good. There were some remarks on here about like natural light and shooting natural light or using strobe. And I have to say that I shoot natural light. I do have a speed light that I use for just fill light. But if I don't need to use it, I won't use it. So I think you can be a very successful natural light photographer. You don't have to use strobes to be to be successful. You just I mean, what is the biggest light source there? Is The Sun, right? If you can use the Sun, then you're good to go. Like you, if you use it appropriately, even people who shoot dark and moody, it's not about underexposed. It's about using the light that you have, you know. So I think that you don't need to use a strobe and that has to do also with the style of photography that you're producing, like the style of photography that I produce. Like, I mean, I could use a strobe if I wanted to, but honestly, I don't really know much about that. So I'm not and I don't really want to learn.

Speaker2:
So I would also tell people to not be scared of strobes. So many people, so I rented a studio, doesn't have great natural light, and I had to learn how to use strobes if I wanted to shoot in there. And like, I had a really hard time with the little canon speed lights and the triggers because there's so much like radio going on there. But as soon as I got an alien be where you can like plug in and I didn't have to worry about like kind of like the wireless and you can wire it like, I was like, Oh, this is not that hard. So don't be scared of it. If you are in a place where you want to shoot, where there's not natural light, it's it's not that hard. And the great thing about it is like every time I turn on my lights, they look exactly the same now. So an alien be cost two hundred bucks. The trigger cost fifty bucks. I think you can plug it in so you can see what's happening. And it's not even digital. It's literally like an analog thing that's like, it's like you can turn up the sun or turn down the sun if you need to. So don't be scared of it and you can keep your shutter and your aperture your eyes. No, the same for the whole shoot, because it just just goes so naturally. It's great. A lot of people do great. If you're in a situation where you need strobes, don't be scared. You can do this. It's not that hard. I was scared of strobes. I thought everything would look like red eye flash and everything. You can do this just bounce it off the white ceiling. You can do this.

Speaker1:
I love that. That's really good advice. And it's so true because I do have to tinker with my settings well while I'm shooting.

Speaker2:
And I do too for various things. But you don't have to. You could do a whole shoot, you know what I'm saying? Like, I just feel like strobes were so like, like this world that I couldn't like use because they were so hard and so tricky, and I could never figure out cause I'm a woman and I don't use technology and don't go there, just figure it out. It's not that hard. Send me an email. I'll help you.

Speaker1:
That's such good advice. Ok, what other roles do you have on your team list?

Speaker2:
Ok, so I have I have three hair and makeup artists that I use depending on the day of the week. And then I have a gal who does all my photoshopping. I have a studio assistant who answers the phone, does all my inquiry calls booking, scheduling, rescheduling, taking phone, phone calls, cards over the phone. I have a designer who does all my album design. I want to preface this by saying I know how to. I started out doing everything by myself except for hair and makeup. I'm not a hair and makeup artist, and I never intended to do that. And then I slowly outsource things. So when I first started, I was doing all the phone calls, all the Photoshopping, all the albums on all the album morning, and then I slowly started out sourcing things as it got more and more profitable. So I have a gal who does all my album design and ordering, and then I have a girl who runs my Facebook and Google ads.

Speaker1:
Yeah. Do you do same day sales or do you separate purchasing session?

Speaker2:
So I actually do same day. I've tried shoot burn. I've tried ordering sessions after and I've tried same day again. It's like, Jen says, you know, try it. See what works, see what you think. I tried some day. I liked it. It works well for my schedule and that's what I still do. So the client comes in 60 to 90 minutes hair makeup. Then I do a 60 to 90 minute photo shoot. I actually do a ten minute call and edit. I've got this amazing sound. And then I say to them, go get dressed in the back and there's granola bars. I'll be there in 10 to 15 minutes. And I timed myself today. My cole was nine minutes, 20 seconds. So anyway, so I've been doing this. I have kind of a system. I've got it down anyway. And then I plug into a computer in the back and I do an IPS, an in-person sales and usually my. I've been timing my in-person sales and they're usually thirty five to forty five. So it's like they're in and out. Yeah, I know. What do you think I've got? Yeah, I really like the the to be quick and I I've kind of I bill it to my clients like you'll be at the studio for three, three to four hours for the full experience. Then I send the stuff to the retention timer. I'm done. So that's so I'm able to do, yeah, two shoots and two ordering. So I'm able to do two a day and be done right. So I shoot from 10 to noon and then again from three to six can be done.

Speaker1:
Yeah, that's amazing. Yeah, that's incredible.

Speaker2:
Well, you don't have to do it that way. By the way, some people I talked to like, Oh, that would be awful. You have to like, keep it up your energy. I'm like, That's fine. You can do it. Lots of people do things. Lots of different ways.

Speaker1:
Yeah, so I do my clients. I actually do all my ordering appointments over Zoom, and they are two weeks after because I show finished images. So it's a lot more expense up front. But also, I don't have to pay people for as long because when I'm done shooting, I'm like, nice meeting. You see later see on Zoom and it's done. And yes, I like it, but it's also the way I've always done it. So I think that, you know, I wish. I mean, that's awesome, though, that's amazing.

Speaker2:
A couple of people are asking some questions. Ok, so I shoot three hundred pictures for almost everybody. So I I do. So I do three outfits, not agendas. Five, I do three. If they want to do more than three outfits, I charge them extra. So I do two sets on each of three. So I do six sets one light, one dark on each of three outfits. So I shoot 300 pictures, six sets by three hundred or shoot twenty on each and then I call down to 120. I show the 120. I do the first call to 60, which is my highest package. So even after the first call, everyone is in my highest package. So then that allows me to do the first. So I do that. I don't use photo mechanics so much that I have done time test between Lightroom and photo mechanic and photo mechanic does not save me any time because you have to load and photo mechanic anyway, so I might as well just flowed into Lightroom. So do the smart previews in Lightroom. It's not. I mean, fight me on this, but I have done like two laptops side by side and photo mechanic and Lightroom, and it's not slower on Lightroom. So I just go straight to Lightroom because I use Lightroom for the IPS too, and then I'll switch from photo mechanic to Lightroom.

Speaker2:
So I don't I don't do a full edit in that 10 to 15 minutes I go through and narrow the three hundred to one 20. I do a little, you know, a batch photo correction here, there. And then I run through a light portraiture and then I show and I and I have this whole thing in the prep guide and everything about the pictures you see will not be fully edited. Here are the before and after. Like, I have a way of prepping clients to let them know. Like there's retouching available. But here's the awesome thing I say to the clients after they see the pictures. Some of my clients want retouching and some love them just as they are, and they just don't want me to even touch them. And I have about 15 to 20 percent of people who don't. They're like, That's right, I like them just as they are, and then I don't have to retouch them that thing. So anyway, they could use some retouch. Some people just say, like, Hey, I'll take, I like them. You don't, you don't need to touch them. And so then I don't do any further retouching on those. So then they're just out the door.

Speaker1:
Yeah, that's amazing. That's amazing. Any experience with traveling and booking clients on nomadic and working on making this business grow on the road?

Speaker2:
I've never done any travel boudoir, I've never shot a boudoir shoot, not in my studio, I've never done a hotel, an Airbnb or a basement.

Speaker1:
Yeah, so I travel a lot. I do. Whenever I go to conferences, I always book and I shoot. I think the I think the reason I'm able to book so easily is because I have a very solid social media presence. So I have so many people that follow me from so many different places, like even in my VIP group, like like I spoke with someone today who lives in North Carolina or in Charleston, South Carolina. So the following is pretty much everywhere, like I'm already booked for Vegas in Miami next year. So I think that and the other piece of that is it's good to be nomadic, but also like like I shoot in Vegas every year. So I've developed a following there because shooting begets more shooting. So the person you shoot is going to tell our friends and then her friends are going to want to book. So and also like when I'm there, I'm doing a lot of social media stuff. I'm doing stories, I'm posting, I'm tagging, I'm hashtagging, right? So shooting begets shooting. So if you pick a place like like, I could go to central because that's where I grew up and I could book out. But do I want to go to central PA like, sorry if anyone's from central PA? I don't really want to go to central PA, so I don't go there and shoot because I don't want to keep getting higher there. I just I don't want I don't like it there. I don't want to go back. So, but Vegas, Miami, like Scottsdale, I will go to those places and I'll have a really good time. So I will really focus on that sort of stuff like if I'm going to go. Ok, so a lot of people are saying it's a quick

Speaker2:
Auto mechanic question you don't have to import. You can import straight from the car to Lightroom also. So that's that's where you lose the time, in my opinion, because I do the IPS in Lightroom. You import straight from the car to Lightroom, Cole and Lightroom export through portraiture and then go straight into the IPS, so I never have to switch programs is where I save the time, I think.

Speaker1:
And Nikki, so my associate photographers are shooting now and I'm still calling for them because I still am giving them feedback and direction on their shooting. But Nikki ends up exporting them because it could be like they might give me five hundred frames and I might give them like I might send out ninety nine for retouching, right? So it might be like image one Image like thirty five. Image one thirty five, right? So she Nikki then uses photo mechanic to like, reorganize all those images and like, name them and stuff. But I use Lightroom, OK, so I'm going to go to Facebook and look at those questions. Amanda Lee Amanda was like, I'm from Central Asia,

Speaker2:
So it is a

Speaker1:
Beautiful place. It is beautiful. There are mountains. The air is clean. It's just not a place that I would like to if I could choose anywhere. That's not a place where I would choose, I guess, is what I'm saying. But OK, let me scroll up really quickly and see if there's any questions amber set and what format do you get their video review? I do it on my cell phone. They probably do it on their cell phones, too.

Speaker2:
Yeah, just had them recorded on their phone. Mm hmm.

Speaker1:
Let's see here. Lindsay, Oh, there's just a lot of testimonials from our students on here. Thank you, guys. Do you jump right into full pricing or did you start lower and worked up? What's the going markup for that? What we pay versus what the customer? You know what people get very hung up on like it has to be like a 20 percent markup or it has to be like a 15 percent markup. Like like what is it? Ppa recommends what like 30. I don't know what they recommend. I don't follow it. It doesn't make any sense for me, but I don't want to just be able to feed my family. I want to be able to take three months off of work and go on vacation to Hawaii if I want, you know what I mean, like, so I don't really pay attention to all of that. I the investment menu I use now I've been using for years and it has provided our family with a life that we could have only ever jumped about. And I have a master's of science and speech pathology. My husband has a doctor, a physical therapy. He was a senior regional director for the largest physical therapy company in the United States, and he was making one hundred and ten when he quit his job. I was making 80, which are good salaries, right? But I mean, we have a life now that we could have only ever dreamt about, and I don't want to just be able to buy dinner for my family. I went to be able to do whatever the fuck I want, and that's why I charge what I do. So I think my, my, my, my recommendation is not to get hung up on those percentages. Thank you, Chelsea. Yeah, my my recommendation is not to get hung up on those percentages because what everyone else does does not just because everybody else is doing it or the industry is doing it or people say the industry is doing it like PPA says is a PPA photographers. You know what I'm talking about the photographer PPA

Speaker2:
Just it's meaningless to think, what if they buy a digital collection? So then your cost is zero. No, your cost is not zero. You have your hair and makeup, you have the retouching, you have the studio. So like, the cost of the album is just a piece of your I mean, basing pricing off cost of goods is essentially meaningless in an artistic industry, which we are because they're paying for art. It's not the paper, it's not the album. And of course, you want to have beautiful products. But basing pricing off cost of goods is essentially meaningless.

Speaker1:
It's so true, and I will tell my clients, You aren't buying the medium, it's coming on, you're buying my work. And when I say that it makes sense for a lot of people because too many people will focus on, like they'll be like, Wow, it's it's nine ninety nine for 16 by twenty four canvas will. You're not you're you're not buying the canvas, you're buying my work and my time in my experience and my years of practicing and my craft and being a master at what I do. Someone said, Have you ever done in nature shoot for boudoir? I have shot outside. I will not shoot a client outside unless it's part of like a larger unless it's in a house that has a nice outdoor area. Like, I'll use that as a set, but I wouldn't ever go out to the woods and shoot a client in the woods as their shoot, because for several reasons, the first is like privacy concerns, like Am I going to be shooting? And then, like a family of four with two kids, is going to be walking by and see, like some ladies, naked ass like that is not good for business, and it's actually probably illegal. And number two, I'm not going to be able to get enough variety to sell them when I need to sell to them, because part of getting these high sales is getting producing one hundred or 60 or 70 or 80 or 90 solid sellable images that are different enough that they can't say no. So I think that you know that. So the short answer is no.

Speaker2:
I also am just really focused on an efficient business process. And if I have to walk out to the woods, I'm losing money basically. So I have no interest in shooting in the woods. I mean, if one day I wake up and I want to do something or creative and artistically, but like, I mean, I live right by Lake Michigan and people are always like, Do you do beach shots? I'm like, No, hey, it's like only warm there two months out of the year. This is Chicago, people. Do you want like an iceberg shot by the lake? No. But anyway, it's just like it cuts into my profit. I don't mean to sound like so cold and calculating, but like I've got my set up at the studio, I got my lights, I got my apps, I got on my screen there. If I have to truck out to the lake and take a shoot there and come back, it's just cutting into my profits for no reason.

Speaker1:
It's absolutely true. And I will tell people, if you want to go shoot in the woods and it inspires you creatively, it inspires you. It feeds your soul. Go do it on your day off. But you know you have to have something like if you want to make a living out of this, if you want to do it and you can make a good living off of it, it's like I make more than some of my friends that are physicians like. You can make a really good living doing this. So again, like even like a cemetery, like I wouldn't I wouldn't do it unless it's a creative thing. I actually wouldn't shoot at a cemetery no matter what, because I just think it's a little like to have people in like undies on gravestones. But if you wanted to, like, create your own cemetery like in your yard and do like fake grass, and there's cool, but I wouldn't ever like just take a client there, no matter how much they paid. If they pay me like eight thousand, I might. But like, it's probably not.

Speaker2:
Hey, Quinn, by the way, the cemetery by Evanston is walking distance from my home and I have been kicked out of there. They do not allow photo shoots. Just don't try it. Good to know. It's good stuff. Yeah, I

Speaker1:
My rule of thumb is basically like, is it so when I'm in Vegas every this year, when we do our conference, we're going to do another shootout at the Jean Roach dry lakebed, which was absolutely stunning. Loved it. There was like so much creative stuff happening. It was really, really cool. A place like that. I would go and do a shootout and have a great time, but I wouldn't take a client there. So can I hear your sales pitch? Chelsea said, I'm not sure which sales pitch. You mean I have many like, you know, there's lots of different things.

Speaker2:
They want to know how to join high rollers.

Speaker1:
Oh, for high rollers, join high rollers. I mean, do you want to make a lot of money and be chill and like, like, own your own business and stop fucking around like I I when we first started high rollers, like the first group of people, the beta, I was like, Oh, I don't know about this. Like, I know I can do it and I know that it works for me, but I don't know if other people are going to be able to follow. And but then like one after another, like, I don't even know how many people have left their day jobs so far, but like it's been at least one hundred and fifty people have left their day jobs. We have over eight hundred students and at least one hundred and fifty maybe two hundred left their day jobs like which is pretty good. I would venture to say it's probably one of the only. Courses in the industry that produces results like that, and it's because it is reproducible and honestly also, I would for a minute, I'm probably one of the only educators in the industry that has actually been taught how to teach. So I have I had a teaching license, I have a master's. What speech pathology is is teaching people how to do stuff. So that really helped create the course because it's very systematic, it's very methodical and it teaches that system and it's a different way of thinking. And I hear Liz saying over and over again, like the systems that I have a way of doing things like if you lean into that, it works. It's very successful.

Speaker2:
So yes, yes. And I just want to in case you are on this and you're thinking about joining high rollers, I guess I just want to like, tell you one more time what what this will teach you is the systems that you need to implement. Now you need to do the work you need and. I don't know, but it will teach you the systems for a profitable 2021, we on the boudoir salary that Jen taught me how to make. We bought a brand new SUV and our dream home that is paid for with just boudoir dollars. I get like Jen, we are living a life I could not have imagined. I make four times what my husband makes. He has a great university job, he has an MBA and I just couldn't have imagined. I still sometimes am in shock that this is my I was a stay at home mom started from zero. I just followed what Jen said to do in the course. And it works. It's replicable. You don't have to be a genius. I'm not a genius. You don't have to be the best for. Photographer in the industry, I am not the best photographer in the industry. You don't have to be a creative genius. You just have to be willing to do the work, put in the time and you will get the results. Now there's going to be bumps. It's a roller coaster of business. It's hard, it is a ride. You've got to be willing to do it. But if you are, this is the roadmap that you need.

Speaker1:
Thank you. Thank you so much for your time tonight. You are so sweet and such a hard worker and so hungry, and I'm always impressed with just what you're doing. I'm so proud of you and just so impressed. And I'm so happy for you. So happy.

Speaker2:
Well, thanks, John. Thanks for leading the way. If you guys honestly, if you have questions for me, I'd be more than happy to chat. My email is live at Chicago Hyphen Boudoir Adcom Shuman email. I mean, I'd love to hear from you what you're doing. If you're in the Chicago area, I'd love to meet you. Network with you. Yeah, I'll just leave my email address, whatever you can. Find me, of course, on the internet pretty easily. But I'll just say this if you want to shoot me a line, I'd be more than happy to chat.

Speaker1:
Tell everyone your Instagram again so that your social media stuff so that they can follow you.

Speaker2:
Sure. And I think I just send that just to one person. Ok, here I'll just type in here in Chicago boudoir and there are a lot of Chicago boudoir photographers, so you can find me, but there is a lot of people who use that same hashtag and stuff. But there are, I mean, talk about competition. I've got a boudoir photographer less than half a mile from me, and there's, I don't know, hundreds of boudoir photographers in Chicago, but you can do it. If I can do it, you can do it.

Speaker1:
It's true, and I also have people very close to me that are very, very talented and even in high rollers that in the mastermind that are very close an hour away and all of us are running half a million dollar studios. You do not that whole idea of the scarcity mindset. It's not true like there is enough for everyone. So thank you so much, Liz. Thank you everyone for joining. If you are interested in finding out more about the mastermind course, just drop me a DM on Facebook and I will get back to you. Thank you so much, guys. It was so good to see everyone's faces.

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