Melissa Jill of melissajill.com is based in Arizona USA, has been shooting weddings for over thirteen years and has built an incredibly successful business with multiple income streams, associate photographers a tiered pricing structure and an entrepreneurial spirit to rival Elon Musk.
In more detail, Melissa has six associate photographers… all women! She owns and runs an album design company, a photo booth company and has photographers from all over the world following and learning from her.
In addition, she maintains a beautiful website and blog, her photography is first class, her clients love her, she's gorgeous… and single… I don't know how!
Here’s some of what we cover in this interview:
- How it is to work with an all female crew in a photography business?
- Melissa’s pricing structure between her and associate shooters
- Where is the largest portion of Melissa’s business income coming from?
- The combined number of weddings Melissa and her associates book each year
- When is the right time to hire an associate photographer into your business?
- Utilising the power of branding to attract the kind of clients you want for your business
- Melissa’s reasons for using associate photographers
- Pricing structure for associate photographers with different abilities
- Where does Melissa get the majority of her inquiries?
- How much do associate photographers earn per wedding and what's expected from them?
- Paying more than what the market offers to retain the great photographers to help your business
- What happens during a phone call when an inquiry comes through
- How are associate photographers assigned their clients?
- Why Melissa shoots in film and medium format cameras
- Does Melissa ask her associates to shoot and produce images that look closer to her style?
- How Align Album Design works
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 lots more content and we dive deeper into some of the earlier topics plus some new ones that I pushed for and include:
- Where Melissa’s web traffic comes from and how you can generate more
- How to network with your suppliers for more bookings
- Utilising blog posts to build client trust
- How Melissa divides her time between blogging, networking and social media
- How Melissa manages to blog 2-3 times a week and on what topics
- Why you should be using bit.ly to link blogposts in Instagram
- How to make sure people will visit your blog link in Instagram
- Why Melissa thinks Pinterest is an under utilised channel for photographers
- Customised lead magnets and pin point marketing
- Why you shouldn’t be afraid of automation in your photography business
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 Melissa, get access to an amazing back catalogue of interviews and ALL future interviews delivered automatically to your phone or tablet.
We have to decide which client we’re going to market to. We can’t be all things to all people – Melissa Jill
Plus, access to a members only Secret Facebook group where you'll 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.
Here's what Texas wedding photographer, Anthony Gauna had to say about the members Facebook Group, “Randomly just want to say to everyone that this is by far my favourite Facebook group that I'm a part of. It's so supportive and there isn't any shit talking or time wasting posts that go on in here.
That's hella awesome. I hope everyone has an incredible upcoming week!”
What is your big takeaway?
Following this interview, I’d love to know if you're taking anything away from what Melissa 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 result of what you heard in todays episode.
If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Melissa or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them 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.
PLUS: if you let me know the key word or keyword phrase you'd like me to use to link to your page, post or site, let me know via email after leaving a review and I'll do what I can to make that work.
For example, If I were linking to my wedding photography page on my photography website ” Impact Images” and want to target the keyword phrase “Central Coast documentary wedding photographer” and left an iTunes review, I'd add something like this:
Thanks for the iTunes review by Andrew Hellmich who specialises in Central Coast wedding photography on September 2, 2016
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.
Here is the most recent reviews for the PhotoBizX Podcast:
The best Photography Podcast there is, no question!
I have been listening to this podcast since Andrew interviewed Jonas Peterson in August 2013, and I have to say I have yet to miss one since.
Andrew is a great interviewer who is not afraid to ask the uncomfortable questions really drilling down into how the guests run their business. His friendly manner and relaxed interviewing style allows him to get the best out his guests who all seem happy to open up and share their photography business secrets.
Every episode is like a mini workshop and the amount of education of all these episodes combined is the A-Z of starting and running a successful photography business from some of the best photographers and entrepreneurs out there. Whether you shoot wedding, families, babies, pets or corporate head shots there is something for everyone.
I subscribed and became a premium member some time ago and it's worth every penny/cent especially when you account for the Facebook group which provides stacks of support and knowledge from a large international pool of photography business owners.
Entertaining, educational and not to be missed if you are or want to make a living from your photography…. Warren Burke
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, email@example.com.
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 Parker J Pfister who has the kind of portfolio and reputation to impress any photographer. I find I’m in awe of what he’s produced… his creativity and skill.
Listen to the interview to hear more about this talented photographer and his views on photography, the wedding photography business and why shooting for yourself is one of the best business decisions you'll make as a photographer – Parker J Pfister Interview on The Photography Xperiment Podcast.
Zach Prez is releasing a new book… Perfect Facebook Ads
I received an email from Zach Prez (the SEO Cookbook guy) and he says…
Hey Andrew, I hope you are doing awesome.
I'm launching a new ebook on Monday September 19 – 30 called Perfect Facebook Ads. It will have a launch price of $79 ($99 after launch).
The book material was written in partnership with an agency that runs ads for medium-sized businesses so the info in this guide is current, comprehensive, and will save readers thousands of dollars.
Your listeners can get a free 10 Page Sampler from the guide here: https://photobizx.com/zach
NOTE: I'm going to try for something special for Premium Members when the ebook is launched so hold off purchasing (if you plan to) till I can get something sorted for you.
The Dare Workshop by Marshal Gray is coming to Australia
I interviewed Gary Lashmar, aka Marshal Gray in episode 70 of the podcast and it was an absolute blast. It was one of those interviews where I had no idea where he or it was going! His work is different to most, his personality is FULL ON and I'm sure his workshop will be packed with goodness.
Have a listen, check out Gary's works and you'll have a good idea off this workshop is for you. All the details are here: http://www.thedarephotoexperience.com/dare-in-australia-2017/
Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:
Associate Photographer Program Coaching Package (for those who are interested in starting or optimising their associate program)
Thanks again for listening to the show and thanks to Melissa for coming on and sharing her thoughts, views and ideas for running a fantastic (and successful) wedding photography business.
I wanted to offer a solution for those more budget-conscious brides who really still value photography – Melissa Jill
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