Sam Stroud, although a fun guy and great to chat to is serious about his business.
With over a dozen photographers in his team and over 150 weddings planned for 2015, he needs to be. All this in just over 4 years of business. Learn how it all happened, what's working and what's not in his business right now.
Here’s some more of what we cover:
- How much Sam's average wedding client spends
- What Sam includes in his photography packages
- Who are the people involved in making Sam's business successful
- The importance of being process-oriented for your business
- What Sam does to keep focused on his list of tasks
- How Sam can edit a wedding in an hour
- Why it's important for second shooters to be capable of shooting a wedding solo
- Sam's workflow
- How Sam sends images to his clients to save time and money
- The importance of having a high level of trust with fellow photographers that represent the business' name
- Why Sam encourages his photographers to shoot in their own photography style
- Who owns the photos shot by Sam's photographers
- The importance of asking permission from the bride and groom to use their images
- Where and how Sam finds his photographers
- Why you need to find second shooters who are not only talented but also willing to serve the bride and groom
- Why humility is a trait that every photographer should have
- What it takes to become one of Sam's photographers
- How much is Sam paying his photographers
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 from where we dive deeper into some of the earlier topics plus some new ones that I pushed hard for that include:
- What Sam does to make sure his photographers never feel ripped off
- Why undercutting other photographers can work
- The need to create portfolios to get bookings
- What Sam did to advertise his business in the beginning
- What Sam did for reception venues to get on their preferred vendor lists
- The importance of taking care of people who bring you business
- Why Sam decided to stay with his business name as his business grew fast
- Whose photos get shared on the business's official Instagram account
- Why Sam only publishes single photos in his blog posts
- Thoughts on SEO for his business
- How clients are finding Sam's studio
- How Sam encourages his brides to spread the word about his business
- The best thing that Sam has ever done for his business
- Why Sam sells his Lightroom presets
What is your big takeaway?
Following this interview, I’d love to know what your biggest takeaway is – what is the one thing that you’d like to implement or learnt from what was shared? Let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below.
Do what you love but follow the money
If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Janneke or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them below.
If you’d like an easy way to show Sam and/or Peter your thanks, and support for the show at the same time, click the link to create a tweet and automatically show you’re listening: https://photobizx.com/tweet
Photography Business Plan and Books
For a business focussed podcast, there is more content devoted to the “fun stuff” like marketing, sales, advertising, clint relationships and conversions than accounting, planning and numbers.
I know I'm the guilty one for the focus and it's probably because of my lack of understanding of the real business side of things and the accounting terminology. I'm making an effort to fix that and am starting with the biggest piece of advice Peter shared in todays show… write it down.
I'm doing that by writing a business plan. My first in 15 years of business. Why now? I think it's more important than ever for me to have a focus on where I want to take my business in the next few years and I know that by having a clear and defined plan I can get there.
Since talking to Peter, I purchased, downloaded and have started to complete the business plan he designed. It's not finessed yet but it's been easier than I thought and thought provoking at the same time. Having the completed “dummy plan” that comes with the blank plan makes filling out the questions easier and I know I'm at least on the right track with my approach.
Peter doesn't discount his business plan because he feels if you pay for the plan, you might fill it out and are actually serious enough about your business to succeed. Because I feel this very topic is fundamental to the core of the show and something that has been lacking, I'm going to add a ‘sweetener' to the plan if you want to purchase it for yourself.
Buy the business plan and use the promo code PHOTOBIZX at the checkout and I'll include 2 months Premium Membership for you, totally FREE.
You can find the business plan on this page: http://www.betterphotography.com/index.php/bpshop-sp-18927/photo-business
Photo Business Handbooks
In addition to the photography business plan, I purchased the photo business handbooks to check their suitability for PhotoBizX listeners and if there was anything glaringly missing that I ought to know for my business.
I found the books to be more of a reinforcement for most of the things I know about running my business so if you have already been in business full time and things are working, I'd say these books may be a little too basic for you.
If however, you are looking to go full time or take on photography as a proper business, I can highly recommend these guides to not only get you on the right track, they will make you aware of a lot of things you won't have considered about being in business as a photographer.
There are guides for different genres of photography and if you are looking at adding a new genre or combining another, these books will again be invaluable in a time saving sense and get you off to a great start.
The first guide in the series is a detailed look at being a professional photographer and from tree, the guides are split onto three genres and focus individually on wedding, portrait and landscape photography as a business.
You can use the same promo code as above, PHOTOBIZX at the checkout and I'll include 2 months Premium Membership for you, totally FREE.
Or, you can purchase the guides and business plan as a package form Peter for $149 and use the promo code for the same 2 months membership free.
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 reasons. Firstly it's confirmation that I'm on the right track with the interviews and that they really are helping listeners to improve their 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 the PhotoBizX show. 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 site like I have with the listeners below.
Like getting a workshop every week! Invaluable content -> Subscribe or lose out!
By Tim Bishop from UK on March 6, 2015
It really is like getting a workshop every week on a different aspect of my photography business. I look forward to getting the email each week to find out what I’m going to learn about and improve on.
Such great tips on how to build a successful business and quite often how to achieve a work / life balance by saving time and effort.
Subscribe now and thank me later!
Fantastic Podcast for Portrait or Wedding Photographers
By Yukon Eskie from USA on March 5, 2015
I’m so glad I found this podcast!
It’s a must-listen for me each week, and the Premium membership is well worth the $20 per month. I listened to the free podcast for several months and then decided to “try” the premium membership for a month, “just to see.” Well now I can’t give it up!
I love all the great interviews and content. The interview with Kristen Kalp changed my business — I read and worked through her free pdf, signed up for one of her business classes and even had a one-on-one with her that was amazing and is bringing my brand into a whole new direction! I never would have found her if it weren’t for PhotoBizX.
I particularly appreciate that the interviews are down to earth and genuine, and you don’t feel like it’s just a commercial for some service the guest is promoting.
I’m a portrait photographer and often feel that the podcasts out there are heavily geared towards wedding businesses, but this one is very balanced in that respect — Andrew always asks questions that shed light on useful information for both portrait and wedding photographers.
The best part about the premium membership is that you’re not just signing up for a few extra minutes of podcast listening.
In addition to the Premium membership bonuses (like an AWESOME e-book from David DuChemin in December) Andrew is so generous with his time — he emails you each month to check in and see how you’re doing, and he’ll answer any business questions you have. He is genuinely interested in his listeners and seeing their businesses succeed!
Between the incredible content through the premium membership and the personal interaction with Andrew, I feel like I’ve signed up for a business mentorship with my podcast subscription.
Awesome job Andrew! Thanks for all the great work!
A Email from Premium Member Samantha Ohlsen
Late last week I received one of the most inspiring emails from premium member Sam Olsen
Subject: Great advice
Just wanted to thank you for the info that has transformed me from a photography business novice to firing on all four cylinders.
I used the advice about Two Bright Lights and have now have had my last two weddings accepted for publication in 12 bridal blogs and 2 magazines.
I have now shot a total of 3 weddings in my business and used all the business advice, particularly on the importance of album sales to achieve some pretty great results.
My first wedding totalled $6000, the second was a destination wedding to Lord Howe Island (of which Qantas has agreed to publish the story and images in their staff magazine) and the third wedding totalled $7490.
I have used the advice to hire Bernie Griffiths as a business coach (great move, saving me thousands in the long run), provide same day wedding albums for my clients, attend a Jerry Ghionis workshop, and have now booked into 2 day Scott Robert Lim workshops after hearing Zabrina Dang interviewed.
I have also decided to hone my craft with a two month artistic project in Europe during this July and August – A European Love Story
These are only a few of the strategies I have implemented and my dream of moving from my full time job in the military into a full time wedding photographer is now starting to become a reality.
Thank you so much for all your hard work in the podcasts and the quality of guests and the information they have imparted.
I remember a point you made in one particular podcast in your explanation for all these photographers giving all their trade secrets to your interviews. Somebody was questioning why they would give all this valuable information away?
Your answer was simple but also the key to my success – it has to be implemented!
Success comes from the doing, and therefore it is the reason why successful people know that they can share the secret to their success.
In the end, you still have to implement the ideas and do the work to get the results.
I will say that I find it crucial to have the premium membership so I get all the secrets to success.
Thanks again Andrew.
Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:
Thank you again for listening to the show and thanks Sam and Peter for being an awesome guests!
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