March 29, 2021
Tavia: Hello, everybody. Welcome to How To Attract High End Clients With Your Branding. I am so excited because if you haven’t already listened to the podcast episode that we did with Lindsay and it’s called, I think it’s Episode 35, and it’s all about How To Book Clients Using Your Brand. That podcast episode was so good. So many of you DM-ed me saying how much you loved it. So if you haven’t listened to that, it’s almost kind of like a, not a pre-requisite, but it kind of sets you up for what we’re going to talk about here today. So go back and listen to that episode after we’re done, I am going to bring Lindsay on. Hi Lindsay!
Lindsay: Hey, how are you?
Tavia: Good. I’m so glad that I figured this out. I was a little bit nervous there for a second.
Lindsay: Thank you for having me on.
Tavia: Your podcast episode was so good. Everybody loved it so much, and we kind of ran out of time on that episode. So that’s why we’re doing this so that we can chat with everybody about how to attract high-end clients with your brand.
All right, Lindsay. I can’t believe there’s possibly any more awesomeness that you can share with us, but what can you share with us about how to attract high-end clients with your brand?
Lindsay: Oh gosh, there are so many different ways, but I’ve kind of distilled it down because I know that we didn’t get to finish all the goodness on the podcast. So this is why we’re doing it guys. There’s a lot of different steps that you can take to make your brand more magnetic, to make it more irresistible, and to create that signature brand that people really, really, really want to work with. And when you have people who want to work with you, that’s when it becomes almost like a no-brainer to pay the price that you want to charge. Right?
Know your Ideal Client
First and foremost, you really need to identify who you are speaking to. And I know that everybody’s probably heard this before, right? But this is a little bit different. So it’s not just who they are, like their age, and you know for your audience, if they’re pregnant and going to have babies, right? Those are givens. You know what their income is, where they live–yes, those are all really, really important.
But what is also really important is to understand what’s going on in people’s minds, how are they feeling? But also what are they doing day to day? So when you’re looking at your ideal client, it’s really important to look at what their day to day looks like. What are they doing? And so if you were to like follow around somebody for the day and see what they’re doing, know what those are, but it’s literally, how do they wake up? What did they eat for breakfast? What are the steps that they take day to day? And so this way you can start to understand, are they on social media and you can start to pinpoint where they’re living, right?
And then you start to look at how were they feeling during certain parts during the day. During the morning, they’re probably feeling either a little anxious because of work or whatever. So you can start to talk to people’s feelings and you can also start to talk to what they’re doing. So this is how you can really get to know them. But it’s also a great way for messaging too. So those are really great ways to understand who your clients are, right? Because we’re not just the money we make, the age that we are, the color of our hair, right? Or what we wear as clothes. That’s not who we are. Who we are is what we do day to day, what do our schedules look like, how are we being in that day, and how are we feeling. A lot of people, at least from your end, they’re probably feeling a little anxious, a little excited, all those feelings. So you can talk to those, but you also know exactly what they are, right?
What experience would your ideal client want?
Tavia: If somebody is listening to this and they’re like, “Okay. Yes, my ideal client is somebody who’s pregnant. How do I know the thoughts and feelings and activities of a high-end client who is going to have no trouble affording my services if I’ve never had that client/I’m not that client, like if I can’t afford myself?”
Lindsay: Right. So sometimes you can just imagine them, first and foremost, or you can see how they look with another luxury brand. It doesn’t have to be within your category. So for instance, if you kind of know the difference between somebody who buys like an economical car versus one that’s really expensive, you can kind of start to think about the different mindsets and things that they want. Yes, they want something that’s reliable and that will run, right? But if you’re looking at a Honda (and I have a Honda, guys), if you have a Honda or have you have a Mercedes, it’s one of those things where like, do you look for something that is like, both are well-running machines. They all do the same thing, right? They all do the same thing.
Everybody wakes up, everybody eats. And for your people who are pregnant, they probably eat more than normal. I’ve been there. I think both of us have. So, you know, it’s kind of looking at that, but then it’s looking at the qualities and things that they really like. And so if you were to look at somebody who just wants a Honda, they’re looking at it for money or for something that’s a little bit more affordable. But if you look at the people for Mercedes, sometimes money really isn’t the deal or the problem. It is actually what’s the experience that they’re having. And so what kind of an experience do people want?
And I kind of touch on this a bit later, but it’s about the experience and like the benefits that they provide. They probably have super cool electronics in the car, right? Or like it can drive it by, I don’t know if Mercedes can do this yet, but it can drive by itself. But these are all different things that’s what a Mercedes does, but that’s maybe not what a Honda does, right? So if you start to think about what different people want and what they’re starting to think about differently and how they think. For me, I wanted to have a good mom car. So I was thinking about Honda, but there are people who want mom cars that make them feel like a queen. And so they’ll do the Mercedes, right?
Tavia: Yeah, I love that. I love the idea of a car is a car, right? They need a car. Same with photography. People seeking out photography services, they want photos. So then it’s like, how can you look at your brand and be the Mercedes and look beyond what they need and what they’re looking for and really figure out how to have that Mercedes-level of service instead of like Honda or Ford. I love that analogy.
How do you want your ideal client to feel?
Lindsay: And then, so if you were to take Mercedes for instance, like how do they make people feel? They make them feel like they are just really valued and the experience that goes along with it too. So if you were to look at how are you nurturing that experience? And I do touch upon experience because your brand is the experience. It’s the reputation, it’s everything, right? And so when you start to look at the experience that you create for people, that’s what the high-end luxury clients really want to have, because they are used to it. They shop at different places. You know, like it’s versus shopping at Gap or maybe shopping at Club Monaco or something like that. Or just like something a little bit more elevated. It doesn’t have to be like Gucci, Prada, whatever.
Tavia: Well, Lindsay, I feel like Gap is elevated for me. It’s like Old Navy, so…
Lindsay: Oh yeah, exactly. I think sometimes people make the mistake of jumping too far, too fast and that’s where they really don’t see the traction. And so if you are here, try taking that next step here, instead of going here, I’m going to make the leap where you can’t even see it off the screen here. It’s really about making that next step, making the next step, talking to somebody different. It makes it more manageable, but it also makes it one of those things where it makes you more comfortable with delivering that message to, and also more attainable knowing like, well, somebody is here shopping at old Navy, how do we talk to people who are shopping at the Gap? How do we get that person? So, I also like Old Navy too guys. I like all the Gap brands!
Tavia: Right! But it just goes back to point of you’re not always your ideal client. And so sometimes it’s hard for us to imagine, somebody spending $3,000 or $4,000 on her birth package or 5 or 10 pounds, it’s hard for us to wrap our head around, but when we can understand who that person is and what they’re after, why they’re seeking that and who is best to serve them, we can really start to understand how we can position ourselves. So like Lindsay said, starting with who you’re speaking to and understanding really, truly who they are. I’m sure by now almost all of us have heard this exercise of like, “Yeah, nail down your ideal client, ideal client, ideal client, ideal client.” But it’s taking it to the next level and really looking at details about who they are and revisiting that. This is not a one-time thing. And that’s what I tell my students, just because you’ve created an ideal profile one time doesn’t mean you’re done. You’re evolving. Your client is evolving. And it’s just a good reminder because it’s our natural instinct to slip back into what’s comfortable for us and what we’re used to and what we can afford. And so just constantly reminding ourselves of who are we serving? What are they looking for? How can I reflect that in what I’m doing? So I love that so much.
Put out what you want to attract
Lindsay: Yes. Hit the nail on the head. Yes. So I think the next thing that I’m sure everybody has heard this as well, put out what you want to attract. Yeah. It seems like a blanket statement, right? But it is so true. And I know that some people are always in the mindset of, “I should be charging for everything that I do. I need to make money,” right? I get it. But how are you going to show that you’re doing what you want to attract without actually having that in your portfolio? So I know that some people might come down in their price. With a luxury client, they don’t want to see somebody who’s cheaper than others, first and foremost. But if there’s a way that you could stage something or like do, I know with birth photography, it’s probably a little bit more difficult at this moment to get into a hospital, but what can you do for somebody that maybe you know?
But yes, you attract what you believe. Yes, that’s right. So, you just really have to put out what you want to attract. And it’s one of those things where you start opening yourself up to those new experiences. I also own a wedding planning and design business and the way that I kept on growing that part of my business was I kept on levelling up. And if I didn’t have them in my portfolio, I would do a style chew.
Put out the right energy
Linday: And so that’s when I started attracting in a lot of my ideal clients, but it’s also really about what energy are you putting out? If you’re saying that like, “I’m stressed,” or like, “I don’t believe in myself, blah, blah, blah,” do you think other people are going to believe in yourself too, because that affects your delivery when you’re speaking with them. That affects your tone on Instagram or wherever you’re marketing. That affects your tone on your e-mails and everything else. So really when you start to embody, “Yes, I’m really good at what I do. And this is the value that I provide,” and then you put that out there. Yes. It helps us so, so much.
Tavia: Yeah. I love that. And I hope that everyone pauses and really hears how important that is because yes, it’s important to show up consistently. But when you’re showing up in an energy of desperation, frustration, anger, and even if you’re saying the right things, people can feel how you’re coming across based on your energy. And so really think about, “Why am I posting on social media today,” and really getting in a place of understanding and believing that one, you are worth what you’re charging and birth photographers are worth way more than they’re charging because you guys are on call. Your life is on hold for these people. We should be charging $50,000 for work. I’m not even joking! Like wedding photographers, if they were told they didn’t know when the wedding was going to be. And they were told that they didn’t know how long the wedding was going to be. It could be 20 hours. It could be five hours. It could be Sunday. It could be Thursday. It could be two weeks from that.
Wedding photographers have charged $50,000. They quote something crazy for that. So birth photographers, no matter what level you’re at, you’re already not charging enough. I guarantee you. So just understand that even if your package is $3,000 and you feel like nobody’s booking you, your right person is out there. They are out there and you’re the right person for somebody. So when you fully understand and embody that and show up, the person who understands that, it makes such a difference in everything that you do. Everything Lindsay was just saying.
Lindsay: Yeah. And it’s like, in normal times when we go to a party, are you attracted to speak to people that are sitting in a corner, maybe sipping their beer and doing one of these things? What kind of energy do you want to interact with? But if you’re showing up just in your power, cause we all have power inside of us, inside of our hearts. When you can show up in your power and if you just need to flip it on for that moment and then you can go back–I’m an introvert guys and I don’t think anybody would ever believe it. I’m an extroverted introvert. I mean I have problems showing up too, and it’s always all in my mind, but if you can just flip the switch for a quick second, know that you can turn it back off and you can go like, if you need to go hide under a blanket on your couch and just watch your best Netflix show afterwards, that’s great. But turn it on just for a second and get those people in and then you can turn it off because this stuff lives online for a little bit. And so it’s always working for you too. So just remember the energy that you show up in is the energy that other people will see for a while. And so if you’re just not feeling great one day, you don’t need to show up because the content still lives. And so that’s the power of this.
Tavia: Yeah, absolutely. Or if you’re feeling really good, schedule a bunch of stuff to go out. I’m big on scheduling stuff. And if you’re feeling it one day, schedule it out so that you don’t have to always be on. It’s like it’s already going out. I know I was in a good mental energy.
This might be veering off a little bit, but it’s just a question that pops into my head. So, if you, and you and I are the same Lindsay, introverted extrovert. I can turn it on, but after this, I’m gonna have to stare at a wall. That’s what I always do. Anytime I go live, I’m like, “Okay, I gotta go stare at a wall for 30 minutes,” because it takes it out of me. So, what are some ways that people can shift their energy? I know this is your sweet spot and you can talk about this for forever and ever. And maybe that’s another episode. But what are some things that people could do if they’re like, “Okay, but I haven’t posted on social media in a week or two weeks or three weeks. I need to show up.” How can I refocus on who I’m serving so that I can change my energy and show up in a good way?
How do I change my energy and show up online in a good way?
Lindsay: Yeah. You know, this is my biggest problem, and maybe it’s somebody else’s too, so I’m going to lead from here. So, you know, when you’re showing up online and I don’t have somebody to speak to, it’s really hard to feel like you’re connecting with somebody. So, I told one of my clients and I might do this too, I might just put a little picture up of somebody that I know up on my computer screen before I go live. Or, you know, it’s one of those things where I feel like I’m maybe speaking with somebody. Cause here it’s really easy, right? Cause this is a conversation. But when you’re speaking just to your computer or to Instagram or just to your phone and you see yourself, you can really get in your head because it feels like you’re speaking to yourself.
Tavia: So good. Thank you. Sorry for bringing us off-topic a little bit, but that just popped in my head as a question that people might have.
Lindsay: I also dance before I do anything. I may have danced to some really good music beforehand.
Tavia: I love it.
Lindsay: Yeah. Just saying. I get that and some people have a lot of extra energy too, and they don’t realize, and they think it’s anxiety. No, it could just be like, “Hey, I need to go like have a five minute dance party in my office or go for a walk down the block,” right? And then come right back and you feel better. So, there’s something called grounding too. And I’ll get into this. Literally, you can just go outside in nature and it helps return your energy to the earth. So we can talk about all this energy stuff later, but it does really help.
Tavia: Yes, I love that. So good. All right. What else? What other goodness do you have for us? Or is that everything that you had written down?
Lindsay: Oh no. We got more.
Tavia: You guys. I hope that you’re taking notes because you can sit and listen to something like this and be like, “Yeah, heart, heart, heart. Wooh.” But when you’re sitting down and able to actually write down some takeaways that you can implement, that’s when you’re going to start seeing changes. Listening to something like this is definitely a good first step, but you really have to figure out how you’re going to incorporate it into your life. So, okay. What you got for us girl?
Why am I not getting my ideal client?
Lindsay: Perfect. So let’s see here. So if you’re not attracting your ideal client and that can literally be the next step above and you’re getting really frustrated. If you aren’t attracting the people that you want, even if it’s that next step above, right? And you’re like, “Oh, why am I not getting these people?” Sorry, I get really animated and I talk with my hands, guys. It’s part Italian in me. Right? You really need to look at, this is not easy, but it is imperative. You need to take a step back and look at who you’re being in your business right now. What are you doing? Are you just sitting back hoping that social media works? You know, you have a website you’re up on maybe like a referral site, whatever. Are you being passive or are you being active? Are you reacting or are you responding?
So all of these things are really important, but you really need to know what you’re doing right now that’s not attracting the people that you want. And this is not an easy thing to do. It’s hard to look inside of ourselves. I think it’s the hardest thing to do is to look inside of ourselves, but it also reaps the biggest reward.
Who do I need to be in order to get my ideal client?
Lindsay: And so next, you also need to look at if I were to serve the people that I want to be serving, who do I need to be in order to be that in order to do that? What actions would future me, the one that’s attracting these clients, actually be doing? Would I be sitting back and hoping for the sale or would I be a little bit more active wherever you need to be?
I know that Tavia, you go through all the marketing stuff. So, you know, wherever you need to be and where your ideal clients are, are you showing up there? Are you speaking to them or are you speaking with them? Then I want you to hear this again. Are you speaking to them just like what you think they want to hear or are you having a dialogue? Are you having a conversation? And a lot of that does take some research. What do they need to hear versus what do they just want to hear? What they need to hear is what resonates and what’s helps you connect with your ideal clients better. And then they will start finding you. They will start finding you. Trust me. So I hope that helps a little bit.
Know and communicate the intrinsic value of what you do
And then again, sounds so simple, but it is so important: Know your value. And it’s not just being like, “I’m a great birth photographer. I’m a great at whatever I’m doing.” Yeah. That’s really great. And I want you to keep believing that. That’s really important to have that confidence. But if you’re just saying like, “And I provide you 350 photos,” I don’t know if that’s how many you get with the birth, a hundred photos, fifty photos of your most flattering angles. I don’t know. You don’t just say, “I’m going to provide you 50 photos and put it on a USB drive in blah, blah, blah.”
Anybody can say that. But you have to know the intrinsic value that you provide and it’s the benefits. It is what makes people sit and be like, “Oh, I need that. I need to make sure that I’m not worrying about like giving a picture like that perfect picture of my child as soon as they’re born or that first moment that I get to see my child.” I know that if my partner is in the room with me, they may not be capturing these things on their phones or their cameras themselves, or their support person or whatever cause you can only have so many people in a room right now. And it’s just one of those things where, you know, what other value do you provide? Like memories, literally you provide like a memory that is captured in time. One that people cannot get back. One that they won’t remember the same way every single time that they think about it. And so if you kind of go through it from that angle and like those values that you provide, doesn’t that sound a lot more enticing than saying, “This is how much I charge. And then you get all these blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” like bullets, right?
Tavia: Oh yeah. And so like, whenever you guys think about a photographer saying to you, “You get 50 images on a USB” versus “Never forget the moment you met your baby for the first time. Never forget how you looked,” which, P.S., you wouldn’t even see yourself without a photographer there. Right? And then when you focus on the feelings and the emotion of the day, and I love to paint a parallel with wedding photography, do that for your clients as well, versus “I’m on call 24/7 from 37 weeks until you deliver.” And then, “I think I’ll stay two hours after the baby’s born,” that’s what all of the birth photographers are saying. People are just getting what you get, you get the high-end Mercedes clients by focusing on what feelings do they want to remember? Like, what are the core emotions, feelings, benefits, not features that they’re getting.
Lindsay: Exactly. And it’s also all about, your value is also in the experience that you provide. Again, from that Mercedes versus economical car type of metaphor that I put out earlier. What is the experience that they need to hear? Do they want to know that they don’t have another thing to worry about or do they want to know that you’re on call 24/7? Maybe it’s just that switch and messaging, right? Like, “I’m always here for you. I’m here for you at 3 in the morning or 7 o’clock at night. Whenever you need me, I’m here for you.” I would rather hear “I’m here for you,” and I would pay top dollar being like, “Oh, I don’t have to worry,” versus being like, “Hmm I’ll get a USB drive.”
Tavia: Right. A hundred percent. So, so true. Do you want to go ahead and get into questions, Lindsay? Or do you have like key things that we haven’t touched on yet?
Lindsay: No, I think it’s, you know, like everybody also says, “Mindset, mindset, mindset.” What is mindset? And I think mindset and just the kind of like people aren’t going to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. And so if you don’t know your value and if you can’t feel it in your soul and if it doesn’t make you sway and make you be like, ‘Buy my services,’ then what makes you think that somebody who is at next level will, right? You need to know your value. So you can speak about it with conviction, that you can speak about it with your heart. And if somebody sees a passionate creative entrepreneur being like, “Yes, this is why you need this.” And again, it’s all values because you can’t speak passionately about, “I provide 500 pictures.” Who cares?
“I provide you that experience,” when you can go into it like that and dive into it, they may just say like, “Where do I sign? I don’t care how much it is.” Well, some might care, but you know it’s, “I’m willing to pay your top dollar, so I can have this experience,” but then you have to back up that experience. You can’t just say it without being it, right? And so making sure that you also have all that in there, I think is really important.
“You’re too expensive!”
Tavia: Okay. So, one of the things that I know comes up a lot for some of my students and my audience is they hear, they get an inquiry, they send their pricing and they hear, “You’re too expensive.” So if a photographer here is hearing “you’re too expensive,” what tweaks or things should they be looking at in their branding, like how they’re presenting themselves to maybe hear that less frequently. And guys, I will say, we do still hear this sometimes, but it is rare. And it’s definitely more rare than when we first started our business. So I just want to throw that out there that I don’t think it ever completely goes away. You’ll always get these like kind of random people. But it’s rare that we hear this anymore. So what are your thoughts on that, Lindsay?
Lindsay: One of my favorite topics, and I see it all the time and I tell anybody that I work with personally, at least on my planning side, that this is how we need to go about doing this to make sure that you give out. So there’s a lot of people who maybe have either an intake form or like just hop on a call, you really need to take it beyond just sending a proposal. If you’re going for a high-end client, do you think somebody just wants to have bullet points and being like, “this is what I’m getting,” there’s no way you can sell your value, your conviction, and your personality because your personality is part of your brand. You are not separate from your business. You are not. And so when you start looking at it this way, if you were them and you just got a proposal without having somebody step you through it and just seeing the pricing, it makes it very easy for people to reject you.
And they’re like, “Oh no,” this is when people start price comparing, right? But if you say this is, and this is what I do. And all of my clients know that I’ve done it this way. And if you are another planner or anybody else, now you know. I never ever just send a proposal. I will never send it before a call. I present my proposals and I have a conversation. And then at the end I present my price because there is no way that if you were trying to sell a higher package, especially if it’s something that you don’t believe in, if it’s like the first time that you’re increasing your prices, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I hope that somebody buys,” you’ll be able to read what may be their responses are. It’s very important to understand. Even if they say no, there’s a lot of learning in that conversation too.
So don’t consider a rejection a loss. Consider it a learning.
Tavia: Oh, can you say that again?
Learn from rejections
Lindsay: Don’t ever consider a no a loss because it is a learning. And then you can ask them after if they don’t book you, “May I ask, just so I know for the future, is there anything that I should have said or could have said that has made you consider me differently or considered me to be your photographer?” And yes, it takes your ego aside, but you can never work from ego. You have to work with them in mind. And if you don’t know what they want, if you don’t know what they want, there’s no way that you can deliver it to somebody else who’s also in that same mindset. So it’s never a loss. Consider it market research.
Tavia: SO GOOD! I hope you guys heard that. So good. And I talked to my students so much about tracking and tweaking and seeing what people respond to and making it better and all of that, and that’s exactly what this is. And like Lindsay said, putting your ego aside, putting your hurt feelings aside and going back to them and saying, “Hey, I loved our conversation. I know you said XYZ about not booking with me. You know, I’m a business owner for market research. Can you help me understand what made you go a different direction?” Give them a quick form to fill out where they can put it in there, like something super simple. Hit reply to this e-mail, let me know.
If you guys are a part of our launch for Marketing School For Birth Photographers, you got an e-mail with a question like that. If you didn’t join, you got an e-mail where I said, “Hey, what kept you from joining?” That’s this exact same thing in action. Because instead of going, “Oh, this many people didn’t join,” I’m going, “Okay. What was keeping them from joining?” Same thing with people who don’t hire us, we go back and say, “Hey, what was it about this experience?” And if they say money, maybe push them a little bit further. Lindsay, I don’t know what you think about this, but if they say money, chances are they just didn’t see the value because we have people with very entry-level jobs pay thousands, like literally $5,000 to work with us.
Lindsay: Yeah, if you don’t believe in yourself, you’re not sharing your value. And it’s really, sometimes you might just get that ‘no’ the first time that you did it, but at least you said it and at least you’re presented a higher price. Then you can feel more comfortable presenting it again and again, and people will start buying and buying and then you’ll start to feel more comfortable to make that next leap. I consider them like little leads. Don’t make the big leap because a big leap is scary, but little leaps aren’t. Little leaps are not scary. Little leaps are just like taking a little risk on yourself or, you know, it’s like trying a new food. It’s not that big of a risk. If you don’t like it, then you can spit it back out. If it just doesn’t feel right, I think you need to ask yourself why it doesn’t feel right for that price. And maybe it’s because you don’t believe in yourself, you don’t believe in your own value, or maybe you need to create a different experience.
Tavia: So good. I love, love, love that.
Nurture the experience before the sale
Lindsay: The sale is in the follow-up. And so if people are like, “Oh,” like you present your pricing you get crickets going in the background, right? They’re like, “Oh…” Like, “What do I say next?” You can lead them. You can say something like, “Well, why don’t you guys discuss it amongst yourselves? And I will reach back out to you in three days. If you have any questions I am here, you can just give me a call, shoot me an e-mail, and I’ll be sure to answer it within a timeframe and honor that timeframe. Right? I’ll get back to you within the day or as soon as I can, you know? Anything like that provides that support, but also shows them again it’s the experience. How do you nurture them? Or if they even say something in your meeting that like maybe they had like thoughts on or you could tell that they were really enjoying, you could send them an e-mail, like kind of sneak into their e-mails or sneak into their DMS or whatever, wherever you work. I don’t normally function on DMs, but I know some people do. You can say like, “Oh, I saw this. And I thought of you.” So that’s my answer for that.
Should I put my pricing in my website?
Tavia: I love that! So that kind of answers my next question, which is when it comes to attracting high-end clients, what are your thoughts, this is something photographers ask me all the time, about putting your pricing on your website?
Lindsay: No, never. Sorry. If you put your price on your website, you give somebody the option to say no to you without them speaking with you. And if you haven’t delivered your value correctly or maybe it’s in the way that you deliver your value and how you speak about yourself and how you speak about your business and how you can serve them better, it’s going me a quick no. They’ll be like, Nope, Nope, Nope. I don’t think I know any high-end business that’s like, “Oh and here is exactly where it is.” I don’t even put a ‘starting at.’ I know some people are like, “Put ‘Starting At’ so they know what it could be. I don’t. And it served me well. And I know others that it has served them well too. When I launched my course, for instance, yes, I have to, because people are buying on the spot. That’s considered a product. When you’re doing a service, it’s very different. Very different.
Q&A: Is it possible to have two niches if you keep them separate (birth and lifestyle photography)?
Tavia: Yeah, okay. So good. All right. I have two pre-submitted questions and then we’re going to go into the questions that are here live. Sarah wanted to know, so basically she’s got a birth photography brand. She wants to start doing lifestyle photography as well. She said, “I’m posting on both pages daily and doing a giveaway to build my following. Is this a smart move? Is it possible to have two niches if you keep them separate? I’m the only dedicated birth photographer in my area, but I also love in-home sessions that I want to post those images too just not on the same page. So my question is, is it possible to have two niches if you keep them separate?”
Lindsay: I think you can have two niches and keep it on the same page. I mean, lifestyle photography, I don’t know the nuances of, I’m not a photographer. I understand a little about a lot. So lifestyle photography and please correct me if I’m wrong, this is more like in-home sessions, family sessions, that kind of stuff, right? I don’t see why you wouldn’t put that all on the same page. If you’re a birth photographer and a lifestyle photographer, you should put that on the same page. It’s easier to follow one person than it is for two. What happens if they unfollow you? Do you get the birth and they don’t know necessarily about your lifestyle one. Why don’t you just keep it all in one and say like, “I do this,” and that you can speak to two people. You’re still talking to families. You’re still talking to people who have kids. You’re still talking to parents, right? I feel like you cast a little bit of a wider net and I know that people say like the riches are in the niches, right? And yes, that’s true. But sometimes you can niche yourself down too much that it actually pigeonholes you into a corner. You got to pull back just a little bit to see, if you look at people’s life cycles and where they are on the spectrum, if it’s anywhere close within there depending upon years or whatever, I would pull it back a little bit and say I do lifestyle and birth photography.
Tavia: Yeah. And Sarah, I think that those two genres are so similar that you could definitely have like a landing page as your homescreen and take them to two separate places, because I do like you talking to your birth clients specifically, like having that as your home page and you’re speaking directly to a pregnant person, but what I don’t like seeing is wedding photography and birth photography on the same website. Those are two totally different people. You’re talking to a bride and you’re talking to a pregnant mom. Lifestyle photography is so similar that I think you could intertwine those brands. What I don’t want you to do is get stuck where people don’t know you do birth photography. So if you’re going to post both on like Instagram or other social media platforms, I would still like to see birth be like 50% of that. Because I do want you known for something significant, like a significant event in their life and that’s birth photography. But I don’t think it’s a bad idea to mix in 20 or 30% of lifestyle photography on the same accounts on the same website, because you offer both. So hopefully that offers something, Sarah.
Q&A: Would you mix boudoir photography with birth photography?
Lindsay: Yeah. And Sylvanna, I think is just piggybacking off of this question, so it’s, “Would you mix boudoir photography with birth photography?” I think if it’s one of those, like with a pregnant woman in, like I know that some people are dressing a little sexier these days now, like they’re brought on something really beautiful. I think that that is a natural progression, like celebrating baby seeing baby, right? And please correct me if I’m wrong.
Tavia: No. You can think whatever you think. I always tell them who is your ideal client? Is it the same for both? It could be. But boudoir to me is more of a wedding umbrella. It kind of goes with weddings. You’ll see wedding photographers offer boudoir photography in their packages. So for me personally, it would not be something I would do. But if those are two things that you’re really passionate about, Silvana, you could do like what I was just suggesting to Sarah, which is split on your homepage. It’s like Silvana Photography: Boudoir, Birth. Separate pages. That way you can speak to them differently because the boudoir photographer has different problem or excuse me, the boudoir client has different problems than the birth client.
Lindsay: Yeah. And I’ve seen other boudoir. I’ve seen like niche town boudoir sessions where people be in these almost kind of translucent, flowy outfits. You know, for me, I think maybe it depends. So again, who our ideal client is, if they appreciate that. You really have to know your clients to be able to do this. But if you tend to be like, I think Silvana said something about boudoir and wedding photography, I think you really also need to know your client. If you tend to be on the edgier side, maybe that makes sense. But if you have clients who tend to be a little bit more private, they may not want their pictures up with their wedding photos, because other people might see them. Or if they’re featured in tags, they may not want those pictures up there. And just for other people’s eyes only. But when it comes to birth photography, I think it also like Tavia said, it really depends who your ideal client is and that they want to see that number one. And you can ask them, that’s the beauty of this platform and be like, “Hey guys, would you want to see this on here? Because I offer it.” And if people say yes, put it there. And if people say no, then you know that maybe it’s better for a separate account. I hope that’s true. I hope that helps.
Tavia: Yeah, that’s great. And she said she had a separate page for weddings. I had boudoir on there and thinking she should separate them. Really quick, Silvana, I think that boudoir is something with your wedding packages that you could have later as an upsell. if you wanted to. If you wanted to focus on weddings and then create a package that includes boudoir, engagement session, bridal, like all those kinds of things, that makes sense in the same way a birth photographer would have a birth photography package and then later add on maternity, newborn, blah, blah, blah, like they’re hiring you for that big event. And I do think boudoir in and of itself is its own specialty, but for me personally, it makes more sense to go with wedding, cause that is when, generally speaking, that’s when people want to do boudoir photography.
Q&A: I’m not particularly clever or flamboyant for social media posting. How do I show up?
Tavia: Okay, awesome. Perfect. Okay. Deanna said, “When I started, I thought branding was your logo and your colors. Then they learn branding is who you are, what you represent, so to speak. So my problem is how do I show up? Doing lives give me anxiety. I don’t do my hair and makeup every day.” Deanna, every time I see you, you look beautiful. “I feel like I haven’t put myself together. How can I show up on social media? I’m not particularly clever or flamboyant for social media posting. I don’t want to show up and be boring. So what do I do?”
Lindsay: Oh, there’s a lot of questions in there. Okay. So I’m going to go with first and foremost, your brand. So there are different things. Your brand is your reputation. That’s your experience, right? That’s everything that you do. Your branding strategy is your content and how you show up. And then there is the visual identity, which is your logo, your fonts, your colors, all that stuff. So there’s a lot of different facets to a solid brand strategy. But when you bring it home to your brand, it’s the reputation, it’s the experience, it’s the business. It’s actually what elevates your business, right? It contains everything. It is your home. It’s your hub. You can’t market yourself or talk about yourself if you don’t know who your brand is. And I think that this is actually, I’ve been told and I also believe this, I come from advertising and branding. So I fully am like in the world. But if you don’t have a solid brand, it is the key to making everything else run. It is using a lot of car now today. It is literally the key that turns your car on. If you don’t have it, then you can jumpstart your car. Maybe have somebody who knows how to steal a car, get your car started, right? But it’s not the key that turns it on. It’s not the key that turns it on. Your brand is. Your brand is what makes everything work. So if you have a really strong, if you know who you are, and there’s a lot of ways to dig deep and that’s probably too much for this right now, a lot of what I teach. So, you know, it’s one of those things where you really have to know who you are, how you speak. And I have to say that your brand isn’t any different than you. And so if you feel like you need to pretend to be somebody different for your brand, then you really need to look at why that is.
And I think that that’s like the best way. I like to show up confidently, like I did my hair today cause it made me feel good, but that doesn’t stop me from showing up. I’ll show up without makeup on. I’ll show up and speak. And it’s about really understanding that by not sharing what you have, and I should really take my own advice too. So don’t think that I don’t feel these things as well. By not sharing what you have, keeps it from the people who need to hear it. And it also keeps people from buying, you know, or from like reaching out to you. And so, yeah, I just really want you to know that if you’re not resonating with your business, there’s a disconnect and you need to find that disconnect, so you know how to say what you want to say in the way that you want to say it. And so that it lands with the people that you are speaking with. So it does go a little bit deeper, but if you have any questions and if you’re here, feel free to send me a DM and maybe I can help direct you.
Tavia: Thank you for that offer, Lindsay. That’s really generous. And I just totally agree, Deanna. I think that, I know Deanna she’s on both of my courses. I see her frequently. I think that you have so much to offer. You have such a unique, awesome perspective. And I think that maybe what you’re doing is comparing yourself to what you see other people doing. Because your question said, “I’m not put together enough. I’m not clever or flamboyant for social media posting,” but you don’t have to be those things. P.S. It’s not to say you’re not those things cause you very well could be in that could just totally be a limiting belief in there. But even if that’s just not who you are, that’s not your brand, you don’t have to be those things. Like you don’t have to be like somebody else to show up because then it will make it so much easier to show up. If you’re not trying to be someone else, if you’re just being you and showing up as you, however, whatever that looks like, how you can serve your ideal client and being that I know you have so much that you can give. I see what you’re doing on social media. It’s amazing. You’re giving so much. So when it comes to showing up, think about again, like we talked about in the beginning, your ideal client. What is your ideal client need from you? What would serve them well? Here comes the mailman and my dog’s going to bark. That turned into a run on sentence. So anyway, I hope that that offers something, Deanna. You’re welcome, Stacy. Told ya. I don’t know if you can hear him. I’m loving this. I’m loving this conversation.
Q&A: How do you manage booking births and weddings at the same time and what would you prioritize?
Tavia: So let’s look at some questions that were submitted earlier. Sylvanna said, how do you manage booking births and weddings at the same time? And which would you prioritize if they fell on the same day or do you only book births?
Okay. So I think she’s asking like timing questions on booking weddings and births at the same time. And that is tough because those are two big events that neither can be rescheduled like a portrait session. You could reschedule a portrait session for a birth or for a wedding or whatever. You can do both. There are photographers that do both. I think it’s all about communication. Communication with your brides and communication with your moms and just saying like, Hey, I have a wedding around your due date. If you happen to go into labor on this time, you’re either going to have to send a back up to the wedding. You’re going to send a back up to the birth. So first you have to decide that. And then just over communicating that with whomever’s booking second, and just saying like, “Hey, you know, I might not be available for your birth. I might not be available for your wedding. Here’s who I have for you. Here’s how awesome they are.” And they need to know that before they book. So whomever is the second one to book needs to have that conversation. So they understand before they book, there’s a chance you could not be there. So I hope that helps. If they don’t want to jump on a call, then they’re more likely just price shopping, right? Would you like to speak to that?
Lindsay: They could just be busy? So, you know, if they don’t want to jump on a call, I think you need to understand why they don’t want to jump on a call. And if it’s one of those things where they feel like it could be a time commitment or they feel like they’re going to be sold to. If the types of people you want to work with are the ones that don’t want to jump on a call, then work with them. I will not send a proposal to somebody who does not want to hop on or have a meeting with me to review it because I know that there’s a lot of discovery and the things that they like actually talk about their wedding about, right? Or anything else, they’ll talk a lot on those calls. And so if maybe you can just say like the value of hopping on a call with you and if they still don’t bite, then they’re probably not your people. Then they could just be price shopping.
Tavia: I agree. And on the birth photography side, I think that there’s a lot of value in explaining to them like, “Hey, I don’t want you to book me if we’re not going to mesh well together. I’m going to be at a very intimate day for you. And it’s just important to me that we meet ahead of time to make sure that we’re a good fit.” And if they say no to that that’s totally reasonable to me. If they still don’t want to get on a call or a consultation is more like what we call it, then I would just let them go, honestly.
Q&A: If you live in a smaller city, how do you know there are high-end clients there that are also having babies?
Tavia: Okay. We got Deanna’s question. Okay. Olivia is our last question. If you live in a smaller city, how do you know there are high-end clients there that are also having babies?
Lindsay: Your clients are everywhere. It might be, I don’t know if you need, I don’t know where you live, but you might just need to maybe open up your parameters a little bit. And if it’s something where like you can’t physically get to a hospital on time for a birth, then maybe you also have associates within your company that could hop in if they need to. Right. Or if somebody is just like, I’m just having contractions, I just started, at least you have that warning and you could go. But if you maybe have people in different areas, maybe that could help. But also I think you also need to get the temperature of where you live too. Like people who live in the New York City area, they typically have a higher spend for at least with weddings. I know that New York is one of the highest. Then there’s LA, there’s Chicago, the major metropolitan areas. Yes. People tend to make more because the cost of living is more.
I think also like judge your pricing also by your cost of living. What do you need to be bringing into or versus what do you want to be bringing in? And those are all things that, you know, I also go over in my course too, but it’s like one of those things where it is so up to you with what you want to charge. But the high-end clients, you actually have to like understand and where they live is really important too. So, you know, if you’re in an area where jobs might be harder to find, then they probably won’t have as many high-end clients. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not willing to pay high-end prices.
Tavia: That’s key. That’s huge. Just because they’re not high-end clients doesn’t mean they’re not willing to pay high-end prices. I hope that that is a big takeaway for you, Olivia, because like I said, we’ve had families, young families, like very young families with very entry level jobs, hire us and spend thousands of dollars. We live in Oklahoma City. Yes. But that’s a very low cost of living area. It’s not in New York City and they still find us. So I think it’s really all about positioning the value, like what we were talking about earlier and showing your value so that they make you a priority.
Identify your secondary clients
Lindsay: I don’t know if anyone has ever thought about doing this, but it might be worth it. And I don’t know if this is something that you teach too, but um, sometimes it’s looking beat, so you can have your ideal clients, but then you can have like sub-clients. This is your ideal client let’s say, and then you have like the secondary ideal clients would be. So you don’t have to have just one person, because I think when you’re speaking to one person, it’s easier, but you also have to think that there’s grandparents involved sometimes. Maybe they want the photos. Maybe it’s also about like marketing to them or like considering them in your message being like, wouldn’t this be a wonderful gift, a push gift, or a push present or something like that. Yes. Or registry item, right? So I think that’s great. So there are other ways that you can talk about how birth photography can start to, like if they personally can’t afford it, maybe it’s something that you ask for as a gift. Or maybe you put it for like your baby registry, like how Tavia had just said or maybe you could say that this is how people have invested. We have grandparents, we have family members, and all that other kind of stuff. So it’s a different type of person that you’d be speaking to. So it might be something worth exploring.
Tavia: Yeah. And you know, it’s so funny because we offer a baby registry and we tell our clients that and people will go through the trouble of setting up and then they ended up just paying for it. They just need to know that this is like an option. And then half the time they don’t even use it. So that’s a really good strategy and a really good thing to make sure that your communities are aware of that you can set up a registry. If you are a student in either of my courses and you need help figuring out how to do that, post in our Facebook group or ask on our coaching call. It’s really easy. I can show you how to do it. It’s just a matter of setting up a form on your website, but that just gives them peace of mind like, “Okay, well, if I get to a point where I can’t pay for it.” I love that you suggested that Lindsay. That’s a great idea.
Tavia: Okay, Lindsay, thank you so much. If you’re here live and make sure you’re going to follow Lindsay. She has Lindsay, can you drop the URL of the brand audit resource that you have for them?
Lindsay: Oh my gosh. It’s so long. If you just go to my page, you can click to it so you can click it through my LinkedIn bio. So it’s lindsayjanney.com. It’s Lindsay with an ‘AY’ and not ‘EY’.
Tavia: Yeah. Make sure to go download that. If you haven’t listened to the episode that we did with Lindsay on From Better Half to Boss, I think it’s like two or three episodes ago. Go listen to that as well because she drops some awesome, awesome knowledge. All right guys. Thank you, Lindsay. Thank you. Talk soon guys.
Lindsay: Thank you.
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