DON'T JUST FOLLOW THE CROWD. LEAD IT.
Today will go down in history for me as the hardest day I have had to deliver good news. (Biggest news for you all the way at the end!)
Tuesday, May 31st I will be closing Profit First Photography for good.
I still can't believe that I have been doing this business for 9 years (almost 10) years. It has been such a wild ride.
In 2007 I was just a mom of 4 with a big dream to support my family with a camera. That dream came true my first year in business where I was able to financially support our family of (then) 6 fully with my camera. I think at the time my immaturity in business did not fully value what an extraordinary achievement that was now that I have been doing this for 9 years and I don't know many photographers who can fully can support their own family solely with a photography business.
I truly believed back than that what I accomplished then was possible for anyone- I wasn't anyone special, anyone could have done what I did....or at least, that was what I thought.
In hindsight now, I realize that it was somewhat of a reckless worldview to promote as today I don't believe that at all. I believe that the only people who can produce a solid livelihood from a photography business are those who are truly committed to it as a business, and not a experimental money-maker.
I unfortunately feel that too many educators in the industry capitalize on selling business products and tools to people who aren't committed to the hustle by selling them false promises that "anyone can do this!"
Having a true income producing business that is serving the lives of the clients on a deep level reminds me the theme of Pixar's movie Ratatouille, "The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations......Not everyone can be a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.......Anyone can cook (or have a photography business) ....But only the fearless can be great."
After working with over 2K photographers in coaching & mentoring and selling to over 11K more in ebooks and courses I truly believe in my heart that anyone can have a photography business.....but only a small percentage have the desire or courage to be truly great at it.
I have been honored to work with so many truly great and fearless photographers through Profit First Photography. I wish I could list them each here and acknowledge them so you could look to them as inspiration...
I never could have dreamed that my little photography studio in Bozeman, Montana would go on to touch the lives of thousands of photographers and support them in pursuing their art so that it could provide for their families and serve a greater purpose in the world.
This last decade has truly been life changing for me and I am so grateful that I was allowed the opportunity to enter your life.
Now, I close one chapter to move into another.
As I made the hard decision to close my photography studio in 2010 to be able to focus my attention on nurturing a bigger dream with Easy as Pie Pricing and grow it into what Profit First Photography is today- I am now making the hard decision to close Profit First Photography to be able to nurture an even bigger dream.
Each time I have been in a place in my personal life or business to pursue something bigger, I have been asked "What are you willing to give up to pursue something bigger?" It never gets easier making those decisions and closing this chapter of my life is not an easy one because so much of my heart is wrapped up in the people that I serve.
So what's next for me you might be wondering?
I will continue to be the sole-income provider for our family of 9- that isn't changing! I have joined into a business partnership with the amazing Heidi Hope and her husband Shaun Guerard who have a studio in Cranston, RIand are the founders of Photographer Rising. We will be launching a brand new hand-painted backdrop company next month! Heidi & Shaun share my heart for the photography industry and our life experience with sole income producing photography businesses is nearly identical. It's a perfect match for both of us and we're giddy at what the future holds!
Our customer service and online systems will be closing completely June 1st so that you MUST make sure your products are downloaded and backed up by May 31st!!!
THANK YOU for your amazing support of Profit First Photography for these past 9 years. It has been such an honor and privilege to serve you and I'm grateful for the opportunity that you have entrusted me with all these years. I am humbled and so incredibly blessed.
With so much love,
MY NEW BOOK IS NOW
Available on Amazon!
Most photographers are creative and intuitive by nature, but most business books for photographers speak analytically and logically, causing readers to feel overwhelmed or bored because they don’t get to employ their creativity through the process. By contrast, this book incorporates a lot of lightness, fun, and compassion to help readers through more left-brained topics so they can channel their creativity and address challenging and mundane topics more easily. Also, pricing books rarely speak to the emotional side of pricing. What are the emotional struggles with value, confidence, fear of rejection, implementation? Alicia Caine understands that helping people goes beyond just delivering the facts–so she also speaks to the heart, as determining one’s worth is a huge struggle for most people.
With her signature friendly, accessible voice, Alicia starts by breaking down such daunting topics as managing your budget and expenses and determining how much work you can take on, and then explains the importance of understanding what your client wants and researching the marketplace. She shows how to reverse-engineer your pricing and create a pricing sheet and how to present your pricing to your clients. Finally, she explores how to achieve consistent pricing across your wedding and portrait services, and how to price mini sessions as representative of your signature experience.
Along the way, you’ll encounter lots of practical worksheets and templates (also available via download) designed to help you move from learning the necessary steps and tasks to actual implementation, a key obstacle for many photographers. Specifically, the worksheets will help you unlock such mysteries as how to determine your hourly value, how to think about and set up collections and specialty products, how to figure out your costs of goods sold, and much more.
Plus, as an added bonus, Alicia provides an Expert’s Guide on how to get paid what you’re worth based on your expertise in a particular niche, which can potentially increase your value in the marketplace. In this special section, you’ll learn how positioning yourself as an authority on a particular topic can help you bring in more potential clients.
Thinking—and charging—like an entrepreneur
If you have business growth that needs to take place, the money for that growth has to come from somewhere. So where is it going to come from? Your clients! They are the ones who are going to pay for your marketing, for your education, and for your computer and camera. Your clients don’t just pay you for your time and cost of goods. They pay for every aspect of your business. And when you build a price list that is focused on covering just taxes, your time, and cost of goods, you will be forever reliant on your second income—or main family income—to keep your photography business alive.
When it requires a second income to keep a business alive, it is delusional to think that the business is going to be a healthy, sustainable one. If your business is in the red and it takes a second income to keep it running, then you are wasting your time. And not only are you hurting yourself, but you are also hurting the person who is working their butt off so that you can throw money into a black hole.
I want you to be completely honest with yourself while you go through this book. One moment of truth is this: If you have been in the place where your business is not profiting, you must be willing to shift your mindset from business-delusional to business-professional. You aren’t just a creative photographer anymore—you are a professional entrepreneur.
Embracing being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you are going to have it all together. You will have to learn everything, just like all other entrepreneurs do. While business may come naturally to some, it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Now that I have been going at it for a while, it’s become more natural to me, but it doesn’t mean that every area of my business just clicks. I still have areas that I’m trying to wrap my head around, like Pinterest and Google ads.
I know, as a budding entrepreneur, there is a lot to learn, and a lot to do. My advice: Don’t be intimidated by what is ahead of you—it’s not going to come rushing at you all at once. You can’t do everything, and it’s okay! Just focus on doing one thing at a time, implement it, and then move on to something else. You should always, always, always be in a place where you are learning something new, implementing, learn something new, implementing. Launching a successful business and becoming a savvy entrepreneur is a journey, a step-by-step process; it’s not a single experience that’s going to just happen and then poof! You just get it. Give yourself time and patience to learn as you go—and grow.
(Taken from The Photographer's Pricing System: Get paid what you're worth for portraits and weddings. Buy your copy here)