Karina Velez of www.chicagopinupphotography.com is the amazing woman behind not one but two PinUp and Boudoir Studios in Chicago and Florida.
In this interview, Karina shares how she's built and runs a successful boudoir and pinup photography studio today. Her strategies include not discounting, identifying her perfect target client, knowing and understanding their fears and reaching them with tactical marketing and advertising – including the utilisation of a private Facebook Group for her past, current and future clients.
Karina says I’m not ashamed to say I grew up in the ghetto, with extremely limited resources, yet managed to build a profitable photography business.
On her website, it states that Chicago Pinup Photography was founded as a safe place for women to see how beautiful they are and since starting, they have worked with close to 2,000 women from around the world.
They must be doing something right with reviews like:
“I can't wait to see the pictures! I completely recommend this experience to everyone!!”
“WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY – Best fun I have ever had in my life!”
And I love this one…
“Making someone LOOK beautiful can be done at just about any salon, but making someone FEEL beautiful is a whole different ball-game.”
Karina says when I’m not photographing beautiful women I can be found singing, recording radio commercials for companies like McDonald's or hanging out with my husband and two dogs.
I think you'll love what she shares in this interview – no matter if you shoot in a studio or on location.
Here’s some more of what we cover in the interview:
- How Karina is able to manage and run two pinup studios at the same time
- How Karina did her market research before opening her photography studio
- Why Pinup photography is attracting more clients than boudoir photography for Karina
- What clients have included a regular pinup styled shoot
- Why women are hooked on this kind of shoot from Karina
- Karina's suggestions on reviews and testimonials and why they are crucial for your business
- How to give the best experience to your clients and treating them like royalty
- Karina's team and their individual roles in the growth of her business
- Do Karina's clients have a say when it comes to production planning or their looks prior to the shoot?
- The advantage of providing a full-service photography experience and gaining your client's confidence
- Do women worry about wearing pre-worn lingerie?
- How Karina gets her testimonials and why you need to be committed to getting them for your business too
- The advantage of shooting raw video for your testimonials
- Selling the value of what you do, what it means and why it matters
- How Karina does her targeting to attract her ideal clients through advertising and marketing
- How an effective Facebook Ads should look and work to attract photography clients
- How to drive traffic to your blog posts and why you should be doing it for your business
- Karina's chat sequence and how it works
- Why Karina does not have any incentives and special offers to book clients
- Showing too much skin in your ads and Karina's views on the restrictions imposed by Facebook Instagram
- The importance of having your own Facebook Group and why it works
- Learn more about Karina's mentoring and Marketing course
What’s on Offer for Premium Members
If you’re a premium member, you should have received an email with links to your version of this interview – the full length and more revealing version where you hear the absolute best tips and advice from every guest.
If you’re on the fence about becoming a premium member, join with the $1 trial today and get access to the FULL interviews each week, get access to an amazing back catalogue of interviews and ALL future interviews delivered automatically to your phone or tablet.
It is talking to their pain point. What is it you're dealing with and at which stage of life. So you know, how to speak to them and you sell the value of – stop feeling that way and let us show how beautiful you are. – Karina Velez
Plus special member-only interviews.
You'll also receive access to the members-only Secret Facebook Group where you can connect with other Premium Members and interview guests to help, support and motivate you to take ideas you hear in each episode and put them into action. There are also FB live video tutorials, role-play interviews and special live interviews happening in the group.
You will not find more friendly, more motivated, caring and sharing photographers online.
Joining a Mastermind Group (encouraged by Andrew) has been incredibly valuable and fun, I look forward to connecting with my group members every week. Jina Zheng, Premium Member and Melbourne Children photographer.
And that's not all… you get a set of steak knives… I'm kidding!
Seriously though, that's not all. In addition to everything above, you'll get access to and instructions on forming or joining a MasterMind Group with other premium members. These groups are super motivating, make you accountable and build friendships with other pro photographers with similar motives to you – to build a more successful photography business.
What is your big takeaway?
Following this interview, I’d love to know if you're taking anything away from what Karina shared. Is there something you heard that excited or motivated you to the point where you thought, yeah, I'm going to do that! If so, let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below, let me know what your takeaways were, what you plan to implement in your business as a result of what you heard in today's episode.
Our experience has taught us to navigate through our client's experience on the phone, before coming into the studio – Karina Velez
If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Karina or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them in the comments area below.
iTunes Reviews and Shout-outs
Each week I check for any new iTunes reviews and it's always a buzz to receive these… for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it's confirmation that I'm on the right track with the interviews and that they really are helping you improve your photography business. That's awesome!
Secondly, iTunes is the biggest search engine when it comes to podcasts and it's your reviews and ratings that help other photographers find PhotoBizX. More listeners mean more interviews and ultimately a better show.
If you have left a review in the past, thank you!
If you haven't and you'd like to, head to https://photobizx.com/itunes and you can leave some honest feedback and a rating which will help both me and the show and I'll be sure to thank you on the show and add a link to your website or blog if you let me know the URL of your website and your name.
Alternatively, if you've left a review for PhotoBizX and are looking for more backlinks to help your SEO, leave a review for the new Photography Xperiment Podcast and email me your keywords or keyword phrase and where you'd like me to link to.
Another great way to get a backlink to your site is to send a video testimonial. It doesn't need to be fancy and your phone will be perfect. Click record and tell me how PhotoBizX has made a difference to you and your photography business.
Episode #300 is Coming Up! And the focus is YOU!
With episode 300 fast approaching, the plan is to do something different and make the episode about you.
I'd love for you to record one thing you've implemented, taken away, used or shaped to suit you in your business as a result of what you've heard on the podcast. It can be anything!
Record yourself on any app – your phone in a quiet room is perfect.
Email your audio file (.mp3 is easiest) to email@example.com and in the email, let me know your URL and the anchor text you'd like me to use to link to you from that episodes show notes.
With your anchor text, to keep this simple, let's go with your location and the genre of photography you specialise in.
Attach .mp3 file
Anchor Text: Central Coast wedding photographer
Which will become: Central Coast wedding photographer
Any questions, post in the comments below, in the members FB Group or email me directly.
Let's make episode 300 one to remember and all about you and what you've learnt and used from the interviews you've heard.
Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:
Thanks again for listening and big thanks to Karina for sharing her thoughts on building a successful pinup photography business with killer customer service and a strategic, targeted approach to branding, advertising and marketing – not to mention a fantastic website filled with beautiful examples and quality, helpful information for prospective pinup photography clients.
The experience has to be top notch. We are not going to charge somebody and not give them a premium service. – Karina Velez
If you have any suggestions, comments or questions about this episode, please be sure to leave them below in the comment section of this post, and if you liked the episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post!
That’s it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business!
Thanks and speak soon