December 26, 2022
I can hardly believe we are through almost year 3 of the podcast, and so I wanted to just take a look back at some of the most popular episodes and highlight some things in one episode for you guys. And you know what’s crazy is this year is the first year since we started the show that we released an episode every single week, sometimes more than one episode a week!
So if you’re loving the show, it would mean so much to me, if you haven’t had the chance to leave a review, head over to thebeautyinbirth.com/podcast and I will walk you through how to leave a review, and I’d love to hear what your favorite episode was from 2020.
In this article, you will learn:
Here’s the solution to targeting your ideal client on social media. And it’s not the way to get 10,000 followers or 100,000 followers. It’s how to target your ideal client on social so that you’re actually making money from the time you’re spending on making posts.
And I get a lot of groans or excuses when I say this.
But what does it mean to niche down? When I say niching down, I mean you are known for that thing. People in your community know you as THAT type of photographer.
Can you be known as a baby photographer? Sure.
Is that specific enough to really stand out in your market? I’m going to argue, no.
Being a baby photographer could mean so many things. It could mean newborn or 6 month olds or 1 year cake smash sessions or birth or fresh 48… those are all baby sessions and they’re all very very different.
When you’re known for something it’s easier to stand out on social and once you’re known for that thing – THEN you can start to expand a bit. It wasn’t until I was known for birth photography that I started to share more images and information PUBLICLY about my other sessions.
When you’re super niched down on social media – you know what to post about, you know what to share, you know who you’re speaking to!
Imagine you’re trying to speak to someone who wants to have an unmedicated birth… but then you think about your c-section clients and you don’t want to offend them. Or you have newborn clients who really don’t like birth photography and think it’s gross… So you end up posting something generic, so no one engages with it and around and around you go.
When you don’t speak to your ideal client you’re speaking to no one. Someone might get offended and it won’t be for everyone, but it WILL be for YOUR right clients who LOVE you and want to hire YOU!
If you don’t know what a model call is, it is actually my specific launch process for photographers who don’t want to shoot for free but aren’t quite ready to charge full price. And we have a process for this in our shop called The Model Call Process.
After working with hundreds of photographers through the model call process, I learned some things that work when it comes to your model call and some things that don’t work when it comes to your model call. So I created this episode to sort of address the common issues that come up when it comes to filling your model call and getting paid to book up to five birth photography clients with one simple process.
The next common mistake is calling it a model call to your clients
This is a new recommendation because I’ve always called it a model call. But, more and more photographers are posting in our student groups saying that their clients are getting confused or think it’s free because the photographer is externally calling it a model Call which means “free” to a lot of people.
Instead try “portfolio building discount” or if you choose to call it a model call it’s important to make it VERY clear that this is a PAID experience but you are offering it at a significant discount.
Not enough traffic
Sometimes we assume because 10 people saw our application or sales page or offer that we can get 4-5 of them to apply. But the truth is, the average conversion rate (meaning they took the action on the page you wanted them to take) is around 20-30%.
So if your goal is to book 5 births, and you can get 50% of your consults to book you, you need 10 consults.
Okay cool, so then you need 10 applications right? In order to get 10 applications with the 20-30% conversion rate you need at least 50 qualified people (not lookie loos) to see that page.
When a student tells me they didn’t get as many applications as they hoped, my first question is always “how many people saw the sales page or the application page?”
Inside the model call challenge course, I share our process for launching anything and how to apply it to the model call. There is a pre-launch process where I share specific things to share on social media to build excitement.
If you notice those posts (that aren’t selling anything just starting to talk about it) aren’t getting engagement, aren’t getting comments and aren’t getting shared – that’s a good sign you’re not reaching the right people and to start to work on getting in front of the right people before you announce your model call.
I hope that this has been helpful to you to start to see why you should run a model call and what things that you should consider and why not to run a model call and kind of the things to avoid. The truth is you can’t do it alone. It’s going to be a lot more challenging to do it alone.
And that’s why I created the Model Call Challenge, as well as the entire Certification for Birth Photographers to help photographers through this process, from start to finish, ensuring they have a successful model call that yields them more clients and more revenue. This is designed with you in mind because my goal is not just to help you fill your model call, it’s eventually to become a long-term successful birth photographer.
The next clip is from Episode 83, a conversation I had with one of my students inside MSFP talking about how to stop procrastinating and how to start taking action.
I know we talked about this before, how to stay consistent, but it can’t seem to stay consistent with anything. Posting, networking, studying, what the heck is wrong with me? Nothing. It’s totally normal.
I go through phases where I am all in, and then phases where I just stall out, what should I do? How can I be better? I should go watch a video about this. I should go learn a little bit more. I should go look in Dropbox and see what resources I’ve saved for myself to do. And then I spent about 15 minutes doing that and then I had to write down what I had been doing. And I was like, “TAVIA…you have been learning stop that!” I don’t need to learn. I know what to do.
It’s procrastinating. It’s me getting to a point where it kind of feels difficult and I’m bumping up against something different or new or challenging, or my mind is not doing what I want it to do. And my mind goes straight back into, I need to learn.
So I’m telling you all of this to tell you, as you’re writing your content, do not log into the course. Don’t do it. You know how to write content. Think about everything we talked about today. It does not have to be perfect. Don’t log into the course. Don’t ask in the Facebook group. Block out some time, sit down, and write your post. And if you want feedback on it, that’s fine. But don’t slip back into learning mode.
What did I call it? Edutainment – education entertainment or procrastilearning. Where you’re like, I am going to learn something because I need to, I don’t know instantly how to do this.
So, even if it’s not perfect block out like an hour on a topic that when you read through the list, you’re like, I could talk about that with no research. I could talk about that right now on Facebook live for 15 minutes. No problem. Pick that topic and then just start brain dumping, everything you can think about it and then go back and start organizing it into steps or whatever you want to do. Because that’s how you get to be good at something.
So I said content because I like the idea of you taking that content and repurposing it for emails and social. So if you have this content, it makes everything else that much easier.
But I will say something that is of equal value in my mind as content is vendor connection. So if there’s a second thing that you’re going to do, it’s going to be, what we were talking about with Kylie was connecting with those vendors. Because SEO and vendor networking were the two things that got me the most clients, the fastest when I was, you know, had photographed under 10 births.
I realized as I was saying that that edutainment and procrastilearning are kind of different, but they’re also kind of the same, but what I’ll notice myself doing sometimes it’s like in the evening, instead of just like chilling, I will turn on a course or I’ll turn on a podcast or I’ll turn on something.
And it’s like, but I’m not actually doing anything with it. Like I’m not learning from it. I just had it on. And that to me is edutainment. I’m not actually educating myself, I’m using this as entertainment. So it’s not really entertainment. Cause it’s gotten me thinking about work, but it’s not really education because I’m not actually doing anything with it.
Then also it’s procrastilearning where it’s like, “Oh, well maybe I should figure out the best way to do this. I’m going to go learn.” And it’s like, you do not need to learn, you know what to do stop procrastinating. So yes, totally guilty of it too.
But there, there comes a point where it’s like, you know what? You need to know. Like there’s definitely a time for learning, but I think that when we’re first starting out, we get so engrossed in like learning all the time. It’s just becomes like what we do. It’s like, oh, now I’m going to learn some more.
After working with hundreds of photographers on their pricing, and making a lot pricing mistakes myself, the next clip comes from episode 82 where I shared 7 pricing mistakes to avoid in your photography business…
Pricing Mistake Number 6: Discounting frequently to book clients
Generally what happens is when you’re starting out in photography you’re offering discounts to build your portfolio right? And then you can find yourself kinda stuck offering discounts in order to get clients… and then… honestly… you’re not sure how else to even get clients.
So, you run a sale and boom, you get some bookings. And it’s a cycle that keeps going and going and going.
When you’re only looking a week or two or even a month ahead, AND you have an audience of deal seekers, it’s easy to fall into this trap of “oh I need clients, so I’ll run a sale” cycle. And don’t feel bad if this one is for you, this is super common!
After a couple of years as a birth photographer, I had moms start telling me they were saving up to hire me before they even got pregnant. They were saving up because they already knew they wanted to hire me. You want to build an audience of people like THAT because then you have a consistent stream of inquiries and leads of families willing to pay luxury prices for YOU.
And hey, if you want to continue to run the discounts and book the clients, that is totally fine. It’s a legit business model that a lot of photographers use. However, my warning with that model is to be super aware of burnout because generally you’re running a high volume and low-priced business model that needs the volume (aka sessions aka WORK from you) to stay profitable.
Pricing Mistake Number 7: Assuming people can’t afford you
No matter what your price is, there will be someone who can’t afford to hire you. If your price is $100, there will be someone whose budget is $50. And if your price is $50, there will be someone whose budget is $20.
You have no idea what someone’s budget or finances are. And y’all I’ve fallen into this trap too of assuming one way or another about people and it’s not something I’m proud of! I’ve had the teen mom pay me $5k for birth and newborn photography and I’ve had the doctor or executive in their Lexus tell me $500 is too much for photos.
What if instead you assumed everyone COULD afford you?
What if with every new IG follower, or every new email subscriber or new inquiry you assumed they just inherited $50 million and they’re ready to finally splurge on the photo session or photographer they always wanted. How would that change how you show up in your business and for your audience and potential clients?
The next clip is from episode 85 and it’s a snippet from a training I did for my students inside MSFP called 4 ways to think to hit $10k months with photography.
The 6-figure studio owner looks at failure as an opportunity to learn
And this has been so huge for me, you guys, because I am somebody who previously did not like to fail because I made failure in my business or whatever it was that I was doing mean that I was a failure.
What am I even doing if I can’t do this right the first time? Who has ever done something perfectly right the first time? Literally, very few people do things right the first time.
It’s just a way to go. Well that didn’t work. What about that that didn’t work? How can I improve next time?
I’ve shared this story with you guys: the first time that I ran mini sessions, this was like in 2012, I saw everybody else doing mini sessions, and so I was like, “I’m going to do mini sessions. They’re going to sell out. They’re going to be so cheap. People can’t resist them. This is going to be amazing.” I put this whole thing together on Photoshop because there was no Canva or anything like that, and it took forever. I used my brand colors, all this stuff. I posted a blog post and I was like, “Boom, this thing’s going to blow up,” posted it on my blog and then posted it on Facebook…
and a big fat nothing happened, not even an inquiry. Not only did nobody book, nobody even inquired about it.
And so in my head, I made that mean I can’t do mini sessions. I tried it and it didn’t work. And man, I wish that I had just looked back at that and thought, “Okay, so this didn’t work. What about this didn’t work? How can I make it better for next time?”
And looking back, I’m like, “Tavia, you posted on Facebook one time. Probably like 12 people even saw it.” So of course I know that now, but looking back, I thought I did everything right and I failed. And because I didn’t have a growth mindset of “how can I make this better,” I’m just like, “Well, I failed. So I have to quit doing this.”
What are the benefits of having a personal brand? People like to buy from people
I’m sure there have been times you could have bought a shirt on Etsy but you bought one from someone in your community because you wanted to support them.
For example, I wanted matching shirts for my daughter and I to go to Disney world last year. And yes I’m totally THAT person. There is a local mom who makes t-shirts and I ordered from her. I could have bought it on Etsy, but I follow this mom on IG and I know her kids and I wanted to support her. That’s a difference between a personal and non-personal brand right?
I’m sure this has happened to you too, but I also buy from personal brands I don’t know personally but I just straight up like them even though I don’t personally know them. But I *feel* like I know them because of their personal brand.
If you missed any of these episodes, or just want to hear them again, we’ve got you covered. You can find all of the links in the show notes below this post. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoyed making them.
And don’t forget, if you have questions or suggestions for future topics, let us know by DM-ing me on IG – I love hearing from you!
Thank you for an incredible 2022 and I can’t wait to continue on this marketing and photography journey together in 2023.
Remember if you have a passion, it’s not an accident. Not everyone loves the thing you love. Whatever your passion is, it’s there for a reason. So I hope that you will get out there and make it happen. Have a great week!
Check out the full episodes mentioned in this blog!