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Paula Luu, a photographer, shares her journey of scaling her business and finding success. She started her photography career in 2006 in Waco, Texas, where her husband gave her a camera, and she began taking pictures of people for album covers and headshots. Eventually, she moved to Houston, Texas, to pursue photography full-time.
In October/November 2021, she joined Mastermind, a business coaching program, and by February 2022, she and her husband had sold out 40 sessions in less than 48 hours, earning $188,000 with an average session price of $3,000. They credit their success to networking, building relationships with clients, and implementing the information they learned in Mastermind.
The campaign that helped them achieve their success is the 40 Over 40 campaign. This campaign is aimed at empowering 40 women over 40 to embrace their beauty and have a positive body image. They structured the pricing to include hair and makeup artists, three looks, a meet and greet with Chloe, a guaranteed “it shot” for each participant, a magazine featuring their bio and testimonials, and a champagne party.
The magazine they produce for the campaign costs them a bit over a thousand dollars for the printout. However, they are planning an upsell for a bigger magazine or a framed photograph with the woman as the cover for an extra cost. They also found the venue for the champagne party through networking and are not selling tickets but instead inviting the forty women to bring a friend.
Paula has plans to hire two more full-time employees and currently has an in-house retoucher and social media manager who help her with her work. She also sent a referral to another photographer for a wedding event. Her advice for people looking to make major changes is to be patient and consistent, trust the system, and don’t be scared to jump.
In summary, Paula’s journey shows the importance of networking, building relationships with clients, and implementing the knowledge gained from The High Rollers Club Mastermind. Her 40 Over 40 campaign is a successful example of how empowering women and providing value can generate income for a photography business.
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About Jenn Bruno Smith:
After leaving a successful career as a speech pathologist and clinical liaison, Jenn moved into pursuing her business full time. She has been shooting boudoir exclusively for 4 years and teaching marketing and business to the photography industry for the last two.
You can catch up with Jenn in her group The High Rollers Club- IPS, Business and Marketing for Boudoir photographers.
Email questions, comments, and client horror stories to
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:00:00] Hey, Hey. High rollers, John Bruno Smith here. I have a super interesting podcast for you today. We are here with Paulette and Lou who is from Paulette and Lou com and we are going to really dig in today on how she booked out an entire year using the 40 over 40 campaign that we teach in mastermind. So I’m super excited to kind of talk to you about this. Paula, thank you so much for coming. How are you?
Paula Luu: [00:00:25] I’m good. Thank you, Jen, for inviting me.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:00:28] Yeah, It’s great to have you tell everyone where you’re located at.
Paula Luu: [00:00:33] I am located in city of Houston, Texas. Um, yes. Coming from a small town to Houston, Texas is kind of a big change, but. Yes. Awesome.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:00:43] So where were you at before? Houston.
Paula Luu: [00:00:47] I was from Waco, Texas. It’s about 3.5 hours from here, But it’s a very small town compared to.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:00:54] Everybody knows, Waco.
Paula Luu: [00:00:57] No, not in a good way.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:00:58] Other than photography, I think. When you said that, I was like, Oh, I know where that is. I know, like five towns in Texas, and that’s one of them. Um, so yeah, that was a good move for you then. From Waco to Houston. Much more. Many more people. More diversity, probably.
Paula Luu: [00:01:19] Right, Right. And actually, it’s my parents that actually I was finishing my college degree in Waco and I actually want to stay. And, you know, I like the small town, but they’re like, no, you’re like this big fish that I know you have so much potential and I just need you to, like, go out into the bigger lake or the bigger pond, you know, find your waterfall and just like, swim in it. And so, yeah, and that was actually part of in my bio that we’ll talk about in the 40 over 40 that we made a magazine that my mom was saying that.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:01:53] I love that. That’s such a beautiful quote. And it’s so true. You the only thing you want for your children is for them to be able to swim in a pond or lake and be able to thrive in that area. So I love that. Okay. So how long have you been shooting? Let’s kind of talk a little bit about where you started so we have a better appreciation for where you are now because it’s really impressive.
Paula Luu: [00:02:15] So I start photoshoot in 2006. That’s when and it’s all because of my husband. He I am a private piano and voice teacher at the time and, and he was like, Well, since you already made your hobby into your career, what if I like give you and you take great picture from your iPhone? So and he actually has a background in photography and arts and all that stuff. So he’s like, What if I give you like a real camera, like, you know, something that exchangeable lens and let you play with it? I want to see what you would do with it. And I actually fought and fought with him. Like, I don’t want to learn how. I don’t want to use a camera. I don’t want to learn how to, like, you know, have something to carry around besides my iPhone that’s like ready and have aperture and learning what all these numbers and stuff like that. But as soon as I got the first Panasonic camera, that was like a toy. I was like, This is a toy. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it. So I like exchanged that and went for a Sony Alpha right off the bat. And and then I got obsessed with photography and and I found and I just really enjoy taking pictures of portrait people and because a lot of my student were singer songwriter and they needed like album or cover or like headshots. And so it was like naturally I couldn’t find anybody that was taking the images that I was wanting to produce for them for their like first album cover that we were producing for them. So I was like, I’ll just do it. I’ll do it for you. And that’s how we that’s how I kind of started. And my husband said, I created a monster.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:04:00] A beautiful monster. It’s a beautiful monster. Yeah. So the business side of it. When did you join Mastermind? I can’t remember.
Paula Luu: [00:04:09] So I joined Mastermind in 2021. It was like around October or November 2021. I actually went to something else. Portrait Master and I met Astrid. And. And yeah, and Astrid was. And we became really good friends. Like, we hung out the whole time. Great. And she was telling me about Mastermind, and I was just talking to Barrow yesterday and our cohort actually brought it up. He’s like, Astrid was saying like, Yeah, first you were very hesitant. You didn’t know if this is legit. You didn’t know because you already because I was already part of different like workshop and courses. Like I was a part of surprise for a long time and I had like other mentor that. But it’s just like, no, everyone was able to train me to how to photograph and lighting and posing, but I couldn’t get the business side of it. And, and then as just like with everything you have, like your, your profile and your pictures are amazing. You have great styling, you have great. I think that if you join Mastermind within one session, you’ll make it back and you know and you’ll just grow and and I.
Paula Luu: [00:05:24] I think that you. Should do it. And, you know, and I was like really hesitant. And then I had another friend that I knew from the Suprises group that was also in Mastermind. So I met with her for, for like lunch sushi or something like that in Houston, and then she’s also in Houston. So and she was also telling me and echoing the same thing as Astrid did and so and so I was like, okay, it was a lot for me at the time to join. But I, I did what I had to do. You know, I pull out a card like a credit card, like apply for a credit card and just put it on there. And I was like, Well, Astrid said that I would just back by, you know, by my first sale. And I really did like, buy my first sale, just using your, your thing, even though it’s boudoir. But mine was portrait and I did for a family shoot and they brought my top package so in the six. Thousand and 6 to 2021. That was the second time somebody bought my highest package.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:06:28] Wow. That was great.
Paula Luu: [00:06:31] It’s always shifting my the way I was giving showing them how many pictures. Because before I was only showing them like my top 40 or something like that. But then. You know, then they’ll narrow it down a lot. But I was showing them like 100 or something like that and they can’t narrow it down any more than that. So they had to take my top package to get everything right.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:06:52] It makes sense. That is the psychology of sales that I talk about. So in depth in Mastermind. Um, so as far as like numbers, what was your average sale before you joined Mastermind? And I guess what’s your average sale now that you’re like really moving and grooving?
Paula Luu: [00:07:10] So in 2019 was probably like my highest year of in photography. Um, my average sell is usually around 2400 before, but I was only getting like 19. Session was like the highest I’ve ever got. So yeah, for a whole year. So I barely can get 2 or 3 per month and, and so, but after I joined Mastermind, um, like by February of so I joined probably in, I think October because I was trying to do the whole black label, I mean Black Friday sale and it was just like everybody was like, I don’t know if you’re going to have enough time, but you may just because you have all the content. So I kind of just wait for the Black Friday and just kind of get more stuff. Automation and email. Like I really hustle through that course because I was like, I’m going to do this. And and so by February is when we announce our first campaign that I’ve been wanting to do like since 2019, but just now having all the build up for it and the automation and how to do the social media and and all of that. So we hit we sold out in 4040 session with less than 48 hours. So yeah, so that kind of like booked me for the year and 22 in 2022. So and I ended 22 with 188 K So my average sale was about 3000.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:08:47] That’s amazing. But you got a ton more work. So what did you end 2021 at? So you ended 2022 at 180. What did you end 2021 at?
Paula Luu: [00:08:59] Um, 2021 was even lower than I know. In 2019 it was 45 K and 2020 to 2021. Most of it was during COVID, so I didn’t really do a lot of it. So I mean the numbers are really low. Like I think it’s probably like 20 or 30. K Wow.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:09:21] So you basically built your whole business in a year with one with one marketing campaign?
Paula Luu: [00:09:27] Well, actually in six months.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:09:29] Which is amazing. That’s so. That’s so impressive. That’s impressive. I’m really excited to hear about your 40 to 4040 over 40 campaign because this is something we teach in Mastermind and you just took it and you ran with it and it’s so impressive what you did. So for people who are new to 40 over 40, they’ve never heard of it before. Could you kind of give like a brief overview of what it what it is? I guess so that people kind of have a foundation as we start to kind of dig into it a little bit more.
Paula Luu: [00:09:58] So the for the 40 over 40 campaign for me was just empowering 40 women over the age of 40 to embrace their beauty, who they are, are and and show up in camera and celebrate them and have a positive for their body image. Like I, I didn’t do. Like at first I didn’t I was hesitant to join because I was like, I’m not a boudoir photographer.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:10:28] And for people who are listening and might not know.
Paula Luu: [00:10:32] Oh, high roller, close.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:10:34] Oh.
Paula Luu: [00:10:36] Sorry. High roller clubs that you know. So I was going so I was like, I don’t know how this is going to work for me, but I just apply everything that was from the from the automation and the email template that we had for Mastermind. And I just changed the wording to make sense with my portrait glam stuff, then boudoir and, and just switched out images to my images instead of like anything boudoir and you know, and did all the automation, the having the workflow set in having my website like I had the tech team go through my website and like let me know does this look like something that is sellable, like, you know, marketable and, and then having the contact list going and generating and zapper and just like all these things that I try to soaked up in the length of three four months of trying to set everything up for my whole business.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:11:37] I’m sure if people are listening just with that paragraph, they’re probably completely overwhelmed because like, I was overwhelmed listening to you, but just to like, I guess kind of break it apart into pieces. All of this is taught like in steps and things like that. So it’s not like this whole, like overwhelming, like you have to do all these things, but you did a really good job implementing really quickly, which is one of the reasons why you were so successful so quickly is you took the information, you, you know, absorbed it, and then you just kind of ran with it, which is amazing. So the. 40 over 40 is basically a campaign where we are looking for 40 women over 40. But the coolest thing about this ad campaign is once you start it and you didn’t really do Facebook ads, right, you didn’t do ads, but you didn’t do ads at all. But you can do ads. And this is something that you can just keep on running. So it’s not something that is seasonal, like a new year, new you or like a Valentine’s Day or, I don’t know, Black Friday. That is seasonal and you have to turn off. This is something that can remain and continue to run. But basically you take those 40 women and then you shoot them and then you do like a magazine at the end or a launch party or something like that, and it can continuously go right.
Paula Luu: [00:12:49] So we have a champagne party coming up on February 25th, and we just finished the magazine for them. And I literally made it like it’s a motto for a day experience for them. So they had we had a fashion designer that I collaborate with.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:13:06] It’s so cool. How did you find this fashion designer?
Paula Luu: [00:13:08] Well, I actually had already built like a clientele with her. I shop at her store and I’ve like became friends with her. And so it was like I was waiting for this perfect moment to ask her, you know? And so after, after everything got the after the we were able to hang out and do stuff. So it was at a fashion gala event, charity thing that I was at. And I was telling her that I have this idea to photograph 40 women over 40 because I feel like and I want to have it diverse. I want to have different body type and different from 40, 50, 60, 70. And she was like all in it because that was what she was wanting to do and her fashion clothes as well, to celebrate women of all sizes and shape and color, you know, and styled them. So, so she wanted to participate. And, and I was like really thrilled because now I have dresses and it made the whole campaign another level up. And then then she introduced me to a luxury project manager like these, a luxury apartment high rises condo that that this project manager that she knows was working. And so so we were going to do like the photo shoot at their new building that they they were having but that didn’t plan out as well like that didn’t that didn’t turn out as well because another paper source city is like a magazine here in Houston kind of ruined it for us because they like trashed the place.
Paula Luu: [00:14:42] And then then it was like putting a bad taste for photographer to come in. So but one of my one of the lady that was the first person we photographed for the campaign heard about it. And and she was also a good client of mine from teaching her piano for like seven years or so. So she offered me her whole clam house for the whole shoot. So the whole the whole 40 over 40 majority of it was at her house. And she has literally a staircase with chandelier and black and white checkerboard. And she has like this yellow velvet lounge that’s like ten foot long. Wow. And and like marble. Like black marble with gold texture, like it was detailed to the dream location. But it was like it was perfect. It was like every single house room in her house. It has a theme. So there’s a theater room. So we had like cinema at one point, and then there was like a pool table. So you can have like the biker look out another point. And then we had even the bathroom we photographed, even in the bathroom, because it was all black with marble and gold. And and so it was kind of cool for us to be in there. But I’m now lost my question.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:16:00] So so I love that you kind of walked through that. And what I heard you say is that there’s a lot of networking brilliance that went into the formation of executing this campaign. And I talk a lot about like the lost art of networking, because now that we’re all in like this social media age, everybody is so like less inclined to talk to people in person. And what I heard you say, that is so brilliant and I don’t want people to miss it who are listening or watching this is that you relationship formed with people who could strategically help you with this campaign, make it be a success. And that’s a piece that sometimes people lose or don’t think about because they’re so focused on like the digital marketing that like that in-person networking is so important. And what did you do? Forming a relationship with this dress person? You went to her shop a lot and you relationship built with her and then you were at places where she was like that gala and your relationship built more and then you offered her a project that she could benefit from, right? So that’s the beauty of networking and prospecting when you’re doing. It really well, especially with people that you want to form relationships with business relationships. So I don’t want that to be lost on anyone listening because that’s a really important nugget of information that that we teach and also that, you know, in general, you just have to keep remembering that if you’re trying to relationship build with someone, it has to be a benefit to them too, which it sounds like it was because she was able to sell her dresses, right? Yeah.
Paula Luu: [00:17:38] So there was like, I love that because usually there’s a lot of like, I didn’t enjoy doing bridal show. I’ve done it a couple of times and that was just, to me wasn’t my thing. And especially since I don’t do like boudoir or wedding. So, so I didn’t think that was like my niche. But I work better with like building relationships with people. And so it like I became her customer. I went and buy her dresses and I like her dresses. So it was easy for me to like, Yeah, like you should wear one of her dress. And then I have a client tell already that are like matched with her, basically her client. So it was like an even exchange. So she’s getting for me to use her her dresses. They are now a lot of them didn’t even know that she exists. So now I’m bringing more clients to her and, you know, and buying stuff for her. And a lot of my clients are moms that have seniors and, you know, and they’re about to go formals and stuff like that. So she’s all about the glam dresses. So, so, you know, there was like this even exchange, I’m exchanging your time and you getting like photo shoot, like you’re getting professional magazine quality photo for your design, you know, and high quality images and with like diversity of all the Houston we had Indian we had we had, you know, all ethnicity, all color and all sizes. So zero to like three XL. So like it was a good range for her. Yeah.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:19:14] That’s amazing. So did they get anything when they how did you structure the pricing for 40 over 40?
Paula Luu: [00:19:22] So I did the structure was they they get a hair and makeup artist for the day and we they get three looks and they get to meet and greet with Chloe because Chloe is actually a she won the Project Runway season, which is so cool. So, you know, it was like meeting a celebrity for them and and then they get one, they get one it shot that I guarantee And then.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:19:49] Did you say it Shot.
Paula Luu: [00:19:51] It shot like because like in the magazine. You know, because I want to keep it kind of the same. Like if it was the it shot for the cover, then, you know, like they I guarantee that they will get that one spectacular shot. Of course there’s more than one. But but there’s like I guarantee that I can at least produce one that they cannot refuse that that is like the best picture of them.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:20:18] You call it the IT shot. Yeah.
Paula Luu: [00:20:21] Because I wanted to keep it in, you know, in the same branding that we’re doing. So they get one shot and and then they get the magazine that will feature them and their bio and their testimonial of like how the whole experience and who they are and how was this transformation for them. Um, yeah. And then we have a champagne party so they get a ticket to the champagne party.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:20:44] Do you print out the magazine?
Paula Luu: [00:20:46] Yes.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:20:47] And how much who, who are you printing through? And then how much does that cost? Like, what is the cost, I guess, to print that?
Paula Luu: [00:20:55] So it’s actually it’s higher than I was estimating last year. Um, going through graffiti we haven’t printed yet. Like my husband still had to proofread it one more time for me because we have 100 pages on this magazine.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:21:10] Whoa, that’s a lot.
Paula Luu: [00:21:12] It’s a lot. And they have. So it’s with the when you have more volume because we’re printing about 55 that I’m planning to print for. So it’s 40 for 40 of the women. And then the extra for us and like Chloe and stuff like that. So I’m debating between 55 or there are about $19 a pop with shipping and, and print.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:21:36] And then each person will get one and then have the option to buy more.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:21:41] Yes.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:21:42] And how much are you going to price them at if they want to buy more?
Paula Luu: [00:21:45] Um, we thought it would be like just to make it break even because like most people won’t necessarily like buy too many of its just for themselves. So, you know, so I was thinking about 30 to $40 just so that we can break even with some of that cost.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:22:04] And what about Chloe? Is she going to buy a bunch of them? Because it’s basically like an album of her work that she could just keep in her store.
Paula Luu: [00:22:12] Well, I need to I need to see with her how many she was wanting, because I am I’m giving her three for for her because she her mom also did the campaign. So her mom already going to get one. And she was getting two more from us for you know for her time of styling the women and letting us borrow. So but I’m sure if she wanted to buy more, you know, we can. Yeah. Yeah. So, um.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:22:41] Go ahead. It sounds like an amazing campaign, like it was done flawlessly. It sounds amazing.
Paula Luu: [00:22:48] We didn’t have to do any. I was very surprised because I literally was just putting it on the. I told my I had a social media manager at the time and I just told her that this is what I want to do. And she just pushed it for like two weeks and on my social media through Instagram and, and then like through Facebook, I would just sometimes take some of the posts from the Instagram and put it on my on my regular page on Facebook because I have more followers like there. So then I just had like one one of my clients who was like, you know, she told ten of her friend and then that was it. And then her friend told five more friends. And, you know, so like by the by less than 24 hours and I was giving them a if they were to book in the in the 48 hours they will get it for 295 versus 495 because my specialty is usually 495. So they can get all of this for 295. So most of the women are like, Oh yes, it’s like a winner, you know, So so they that’s what they were booking it. And they had friends that they called their friend and say, I don’t know what this is, but Paula is doing it and I know her. It’s going to be amazing. So you need to get your ass on it. So and had people were calling me and said that or my long time client, that’s like, hey, my daughter told me I need to sign up for this because she follow you on Instagram. And she said, Mom, you need to sign up. I’m about to go in a meeting. Can I just, like, give you my credit card number and you do whatever you need to do to get me on the list?
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:24:29] That’s amazing. That’s amazing. So you basically booked it out and then so you then you did it following. Do you do it two weeks later or do you do do you do same day sales or did you do same day sales with them?
Paula Luu: [00:24:44] No, we didn’t do same day sales because sometime I was photographing 3 or 4 a day. Oh, wow. Oh, it’s a long day. Like afterward we are kind of done. So we were trying to help save because we had to move all my gear every time to my client’s house. So we were trying to save time and the makeup artist being there. And so, so we had them kind of stagger coming in time wise, which we finally figured out like the perfect timing on there so that they don’t feel like there’s a lot of waiting time and that having other women there was actually, for some of them felt really good. But I also learned that if I make a if I only have two women on like on one day, then if I can get them into 4 or 5 outfits, then my sale would be like above 3000. If I have too many women, if I only have if I have 4 or 5 women, then it’s going to be like it’s going to be a lower sale. But but if you are multiplying it and on one day, like how much I made for one day, then it’s kind of average out, but the good pretty good amount for that. Um, so.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:25:59] All the more diversity you show, the more images, the more sellable images you’re able to show to clients, the higher your sale will be in general. So I think that that is a good note to kind of take away too. And I think you kind of found that in practice.
Paula Luu: [00:26:17] Right from that because and then we did the in-person sale to some and we did some over Zoom because it was still in the midst of COVID for us. So, so some of them we were on Zoom and some were not. And some of the difficulty for us was the scheduling, because these are more like working moms or like moms. And so but they can only do weekends and and then but that kind of works for me because I teach normally on Monday to Thursday. So but it was just scheduling people, you know, 40 women with 49 schedule pretty much, you know.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:26:57] It’s a lot. So the champagne party that you’re doing, how did you find the venue? What are your costs like? How did you get around serving alcohol? Because I, I was going to have a Valentine’s Day party like a strawberries and champagne. And then I realized that the venue would not allow that. So what are your thoughts on all of those things?
Paula Luu: [00:27:17] So again, it was the networking. So one of the clients from the 40 over 40, her close friend, she’s also part of the campaign, but her her good friend who got her into the campaign. Their daughters are my piano students. And and so she’s like, why don’t you like I was over her house shooting her picture and. And I was telling her like, Oh yeah, I’m trying to find a venue for the Champagne party because originally we had like, you know, this place for the high rise that they were giving us a presidential suite. But now that’s not going through. So I’m just kind of she’s like, Why don’t you have it here? And she has like this amazing modern, like party house basically is very open space and it has a pond. It has a fish pond, Japanese fish pond, as you’re coming in. And it’s quite a party house. And she’s like, I love party. I love champagne. Just have it just like, come here, Just come and have it here. You don’t need to spend on venue and stuff like that. So that’s how I’m getting away with having.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:28:24] That’s amazing. So how much are you selling tickets to it? Or like, how are you going to cover your costs for the party?
Paula Luu: [00:28:34] Um, so we’re not actually selling. At first I was wanting to sell tickets for it, but I think we were making it so that we can book out again for the second round. So what we’re trying to do is invite those 40 women and telling them it’s ladies night and it’s a glam glam ladies night. So bring a bestie that you think would enjoy something like this because we have a surprise for them and for you. So, so, so, so we’re trying to get them to just bring their friend so that it’s like because usually if you have when you see your friend, like we’ll have a video, we have the magazine, like when you’re in that environment, you know, it’s easy to book them because and we’ll we already set up for like a QR code so they can just scan and go on my link and, and I’ll have it set up so they can just like register on their phone and just purchase their ticket then, and then, you know, if they don’t purchase it because they get the first DIB and then we have people already on the waiting list from the last round because we capped it at 40 and we’re trying to make it more like this is only once a year thing. So and so for those who want it to be on it, you know, we already have a waiting list, so we’re like, We’re going to release to the waiting list if you guys don’t book it and the at the Champagne party. So, so I mean, that’s sort of what we’re playing with that the magazine is probably going to cost me about a grand a little bit over a grand for, for the print out. But that’s going to be like super marketable thing for me. Having 41 women holding. We actually have 41 because I miscalculate. But but we didn’t label them. So, you know, it’ll be fine. Right? Right.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:30:18] Or you can have one person on the cover. Like it could be like the cover girl, you know what I mean?
Paula Luu: [00:30:23] Well, we actually have a really cool picture of Chloe fixing her mom on a dress with the hair and makeup artist on both of her side. So. So we’re going to put that as a cover, because originally I was going to have 40 different cover, um, to make it special for them that they can have a cover of their magazine. But it turns out to be way too expensive like that because we couldn’t get the discount rate for it because it would be one. So then it’s like $30 and then like, yeah, no.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:30:56] That’s way too much. That’s way too.
Paula Luu: [00:30:58] Much for it. And yeah, and we were actually meeting with the lady of the house on Friday and to plan it out and, and because she’s like, she was like, do you need me buy a bigger TV? I’m like, Well, or do you want to contribute to the Champagne party? And we’re going to discuss that on Friday. So I’ll see what what she wants to contribute if she wanted.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:31:21] What if you upsell them like like a $400 upsell? If they want a magazine where they’re the cover girl. Oh, like a symbol of sell and be like, hey, like, you know, we have already our cover picked. It’s going to include the makeup artist and the stylist and and her mom. But if you want a magazine where you’re the cover, I can reprint just that magazine for you. And it would just be like a $400 because they have to like re whatever the magazine I don’t know come up with something. But that would be like a pretty simple upsell and some people might bite on it. I don’t know.
Paula Luu: [00:31:54] Yeah, I mean, that’s a good idea because I could have one.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:31:58] And then I come up with something that makes because.
Paula Luu: [00:32:00] I wanted like a bigger one too, but I would have to resize it to do like a bigger one so I could I can see that some of my clients would go for it if I’m like, Hey, what if I get you a bigger one with you as a cover on it?
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:32:14] Or what if that’s like, special, um, like a special wall art. Like a few years ago, they had, like, movie posters where, like, a big deal. Like, what if you just printed, like, you had, like, a special, um, I don’t know, a special where it’s just like, basically, like a mounted photograph, like a 16 by 24 or even framed or something. And you upsold that too, you know, just thinking through. But I mean, yeah.
Paula Luu: [00:32:40] That that’s a good idea because I was going to do a print, but then we didn’t know where we would be able to place it in her house and I didn’t want to get like 41 easel, you know, to show everybody and sell it like that. But I could do like a couple of sample one, you know, of like because my mom was part of the campaign so I could do like one of my mom’s and one of close mom and like one of the IT shot to say if they wanted like something like this where we can look like the cover of their magazine and they can display it instead of getting a whole magazine or or that could come with a magazine. So but that’s a great idea. Now now you got my brain thinking.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:33:22] I love this idea. I’m actually thinking about running a 40 over 40 this year for my studio. We’re going to launch something else first, but this would probably be like a middle of the year thing because I need to launch the new sets first. But yeah, I love this idea. I think it’s great. So you’re going to run it again next year? Run it again, I guess for 2023.
Paula Luu: [00:33:41] Um, we’re going to run it again so that we can start booking for the 2022. Yes. 2023. I’m sorry. I’m still thinking 20. 22. I know. Yes. For 2023. And because I’m also wanting because my part time person. I told her that if we can sell out again for this, then I can make her full time. So I’m now having like momentum and she’s now having momentum that, you know, because at first she was only wanting to be like only there assisting me for photo shoot wise. But now, like with the promo stuff that she was working, she’s like, I don’t think I’m getting that much. So I kind of need to look for a full time job. And I remember you said that you would offer me a full time job if like, if I was really into it. So now I can see her hustling and trying to make this work because it benefit her if I’m successful. And and I also have a retoucher that works for me part time, but she’s consistent on Monday and Wednesday that she comes in and doing it and she does some of them. So I have it in house retoucher that helps me with the all the retouching and the design of the album and because she’s also a photographer herself.
Paula Luu: [00:34:56] And so actually today I sent her one of my clients referral for like a wedding shoot, two events. So I was like, Well, you want to be my associate and you can do all the photo shoot that I don’t want to do, like newborn and, and weddings and, you know, and I can just do the portrait stuff. So yeah, so I have that’s my next goal is to double our income for next year. So I could like have both of them as my full time worker, like my left and my right hand person, um, along with my social media gal. So like that would be three people working for me. And then, then probably like, you know, saying bye to my students too. Towards the end because I was hesitant to cancel it last year because I ran the 40 over 40 and I booked it out. But I didn’t I wasn’t booking anything else until like towards the end of the year when people start seeing the picture. And then I had like so I had 57 sessions by the end of last year. So from 19 to.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:36:04] Oh.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:36:06] Oh. Oh, there you are.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:36:07] Sorry, I thought I’d lost you. I love your plans to scale like I love how you’re already thinking about growth and you’re planning to scale. I think that that is such a good plan, because sometimes people just get stuck in the moment where they’re focused on what they’re doing right now, and they don’t think about like the future scaling. So the fact that you’re already planning that is so good. So I love that you’re going to do it again. I love you’re already planning on scaling. What piece of advice do you have for people who are thinking about making these major changes? But they’re scared because that’s a big obstacle for a lot of people who are ready to like jump into something new. They’re like, I’m ready to go, but they’re just scared to do it. So what is what is your advice for those people?
Paula Luu: [00:36:51] Um, for me is to the consistency of it. I mean, it’s like when you first start something, you have like this full energy and you’re very excited, but like when you’re starting to be kind of put your feet in the water, that’s when you kind of need to, you know, like, let yourself submerge and then let yourself, like, feel the water, how cold it is. It may be cold, but it is going to get warmer as you like, you know, dive into it. So I think it’s also being patient with it that trust the system and, you know, just consistently work at it and and then it’s then when it’s the timing is right, you know, then it’s just going to explode if you say everything there I had like when I was doing prospecting just from the start, from the first thing that I learned from Mastermind, you know, And then by the time that we launched the campaign, I was getting people that are like, Yeah, I’ve been following you on Instagram and and you know, and I don’t even know who they are. You know, they’re like, I’ve been following on Instagram and one of the lady, one of the lady dropped and then I open up one slot and this other person that was following me on Instagram happened to just jump on it on the same day that I released it and grabbed the next spot. So I kept like anytime anyone dropped, we had like next person already jumped on it. So, um.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:38:21] And don’t be scared to jump is what you’re saying.
Paula Luu: [00:38:23] Just don’t scare to jump. Just jump in and and dive and then, you know, it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s the other problem. Like people trying to make things perfect before they launch any project or before they do anything because they’re like, Oh, but you know, like, I just I just did it. And then I was like, I will figure it out as I go. Whatever the problem is, I’ll just troubleshoot it when it happens. And I may regret it later, but, you know, I just got to do it.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:38:51] Yeah. I mean, perfection is the enemy of completion, so, um. Okay. I love that. If people want to follow you, is this magazine going to be digital also in case people want to check it out?
Paula Luu: [00:39:02] Um, maybe.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:39:05] I mean, a lot of work on it.
Paula Luu: [00:39:07] So we’re hoping to that some magazine actually will pick it up.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:39:13] Yeah, that’d be amazing for them.
Paula Luu: [00:39:16] Um, I don’t. I’m on my other computer and not on my InDesign, or else I would like show you a little bit of it, but because and the cohort already seen the magazine, he’s.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:39:28] Like, uh.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:39:29] It’s probably. I’m sure it’s. So if people want to follow you on social media, if they want to check out your work, could you say again where? What? Are you sure your handle, How can they find you?
Paula Luu: [00:39:41] So my Instagram is Paula n Lou and it’s a Nancy so p a u l a n as in Nancy l as in love you as an umbrella. You as an umbrella. And that is basically my website as well, Paula and.com perfect.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:39:58] So make sure you go check out Paula’s work. You can follow her on Instagram. Um, hopefully we’ll be seeing some of these gorgeous 40 over 40, um, 40 over 40 images. Thank you so much for your time today. Paula. This was really great and so inspiring that you were able to just like really just pick up and just start like think that this is it’s great to hear people who are just hustling and that’s exactly what you did. So thank you so much.
Paula Luu: [00:40:25] Thank you so much, Jen, for having me. And I just want to thank you to keep everybody positive, like the last podcast I was listening to. It’s so true. A lot of people surrounding us, it’s like the recession or like all these negativity. And I think that if we focus on the positive, like people are still spending money, people still need their pictures done. Um, you know, there’s still life going. And I think that there’s, you know, you just have to work a little bit harder, but you just have to provide your client with whatever they need and meet them there, like figure out what’s their problem and solve it for sure.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:41:03] I love that. And I do. I think it’s so important and I know I keep I’m using the ADD everyone tag, but I’m doing it very judiciously. So I just want to try and lift the industry, right? Because we hear so often about like you go into any Facebook group besides ours, any Facebook group, and it’s just all about problems and everybody just complaining. And there isn’t a lot of like the inspiration where like the people who are in those groups, the people who are succeeding are fearful to. Right. Because they you know, the culture of the group is, you know, problems, not solutions. So really, the whole goal of high rollers and it always has been, is to show the solutions to the problems. So hopefully that’s what this podcast series does as well. And, you know, we really appreciate our students and our members that, you know, put themselves out there and just really like share the solutions, too. And if you guys have any questions, if you’re listening, if you’re in the Facebook group, you can reach us directly by going joining the Facebook group, the High Rollers Club on Facebook, or you can email us at podcast at gmail.com and we will get that. And I promise that I will respond as quickly as I can. So thank you so much, Paula, for joining. This has been great having you.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:42:22] Thank you, Jen.
Jenn Bruno Smith: [00:42:23] Awesome. Well, until next time, high rollers dream big and hustle harder. And I’ll see you the next time around.