Richie Schwartz of petsphotography.com is America's most experienced pet photographer. He founded and owns Pets Photography Studio, one of the largest pet photography companies in the U.S and things took off after partnering with other pet related businesses. His work is studio-based but mobile so he can be where the pets are.
I contacted Richie immediately after receiving two separate messages from a premium listener:
I'm a member of a Pet Photography Group on Facebook run by the incomparable Richie Schwartz. He has an amazing grasp on the business side of photography.
His photography is not to every photographer's taste. He published a book of cats in sweaters! But he knows what his customers want and how to make the money!
Whether or not you're a pet photographer or have any ambition to photograph pets, this episode is jam packed with tactics you can implement into any photography business.
Here’s some of what we cover in this interview:
- Where is Richie’s income coming from – which aspect of his business?
- Who are Richie’s ideal clients and where he goes to find them?
- Richie’s business model and why it works so well
- Why you should be targeting parents to market pet photography
- How Richie started his career as a Pet Photographer
- How Richie inherited a huge number of clients after his competition folded its business
- How to “spread your eggs” into different baskets as a pet photographer
- The number of photographers working with/for Richie
- How to build and run a million dollar photography business
- Following a ‘high volume, low price’ business model to attain business success
- Average number of bookings in a day and the hours spent on each appointment
- What should you use as your selling proposition when partnering with pet local stores?
- Pointers on how to partner with other businesses
- The importance of knowing how other businesses operate before partnering with them
- How to sell your photography business to store owners
- What could be a turn-off to potential local store owners partnering with you
- The challenge in making store owners see the benefits of partnering with you
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 episode where you can hear more of the interview where we dive deeper into some of the earlier topics plus some new ones that I pushed for and include:
- Why you need to double your marketing efforts when partnering with local businesses
- How to get started with your pet photography business
- How do you pose a pet and what sells?
- How to do themed pet portraits the right way
- How Richie worked out what his clients want and what he should be selling
- How to encourage clients to buy more than one photo
- The need to identify untapped markets and start catering to their needs
- The best selling proposition for your Facebook ads to encourage people to book a shoot
- Why Richie’s landing page converts so well
- What kind of packages Richie sells to his pet photography clients
- Richie’s Shoot-Show-Sell system to generate income fast
- Richie’s secret to making the sale
- Why variety is key to a successful sale
- The right way to make a sale with your photography
- Reminding clients why they need to buy more photos
- Planting the seeds to encourage clients to buy more photos
- How to offer rebuttal statements when clients decline to buying more photos
- Why Richie doesn’t offer or sell digital files
- How Richie handles customers who asks for digital copies of their photos
- Client no-shows shouldn’t affect your high-volume business
- Richie's deep understanding of customer service and how it attributes to his success
If you’re on the fence about becoming a premium member, join with the $1 trial today and get access to the FULL interview with Richie, get access to an amazing back catalogue of interviews and ALL future interviews delivered automatically to your phone or tablet.
I know that what you need to succeed is not so much the stuff you have but your ability to move forward, to get up when things look bad, to bounce back, to not take no for an answer, to look for the way through the challenge not to see it as an obstacle, just not something you have to go around, you just climb over it. – Richie Schwartz
Plus, access to a members only Secret Facebook Group where you can connect with other members and interview guests to help, support and motivate you to take what you hear in each episode and put it into action. You will not find more friendly, more motivated and caring photographers online.
What is your big takeaway?
Following this interview, I’d love to know if you're taking anything away from what Richie 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 todays episode.
They want the variety. The variety sells. – Richie Schwartz
If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Richie 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 means 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 key words or keyword phrase and where you'd like me to link to.
Behind the scenes video:
The NEW Photography Xperiment Podcast is live and available
Following the success and support shown by listeners after the experimental format of the recent interviews, the new Photo Xperiment Podcast has been launched and is available on this site and in iTunes now.
Interviews are underway and I'll be looking for new guests, not restricted to wedding and portrait photographers. If you have someone you think would be a good fit, let me know in the comment area below or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The idea behind these interviews is to get into the headspace of the photographer and find what makes them tick, what drives them, their thought process, philosophy on shooting and how they achieve what they do with their photography. So yeah, a little technique type content too.
These interviews will not focus on the business of photography – that'll be preserved solely for the weekly and unchanging format of the PhotoBizX podcast.
To hear these interviews in your podcast app, you will need to subscribe to the podcast – these interviews will not be delivered automatically if you're subscribed to PhotoBizX. Open your favourite podcast app and search “Photography Xperiment Podcast” or enter the feed URL, https://photobizx.com/feed/xperiment/ into the search field of your podcast app.
The last episode featured Neale James who is a former BBC Radio 1 broadcaster and his background in sound alongside his documentary photographic style has seen him become the pioneer of wedding photo films. If you’re unfamiliar with the term Photofilm – it’s a combination of stills and sound, recorded on the wedding day at an event or on a shoot.
Think, cinematography meets stills photography where you see the images captured by Neale with the voices and sounds of the real wedding day, portrait session or event interspersed with Neale’s narration as he ties the story together.
One day somebody believed in me. It took that one person to say “I have that”. And that’s the same with everybody who succeeds in life, isn’t it? One day if somebody says “That’s crackin’, we’ll have a bit of that.” And then before you know it, you’re a filmmaker. – Neale James
Check out the interview and learn more about a photographer who is working towards a legacy any photographer would be proud to leave behind.
The interview is available here: Neale James Interview
In the end, I have the market that nobody else wants to take. You know, there’s a little bit of wisdom in that. – Richie Schwartz
If you want to sell more than one picture, you have to take more than one that looks different. – Richie Schwartz
Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:
Zoom H1 digital audio recorder – as mentioned in the interview with Neale James
SmartSlides – the new slideshow software from Pixel, the people behind SmartAlbums
Thanks again for listening and thanks to Richie for coming on and sharing his thoughts and ideas and views on what is an exciting and growing genre in the world of professional photography.
To be successful in a photography business, you have to know how to run a business. You can’t just do it on nice pictures. – Richie Schwartz
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