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How We Charge More Than Our Images are Worth! – Katelyn James

How We Charge More Than Our Images are Worth! – Katelyn James

We have a treat for you guys today! The brilliant and talented Katelyn James is sharing how you can charge more than what you’re images are worth. Intrigued? Before we hand it over to Katelyn, for those of you who may not be familiar with her, let us brag on her...
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We have a treat for you guys today!

The brilliant and talented Katelyn James is sharing how you can charge more than what you’re images are worth. Intrigued?

Before we hand it over to Katelyn, for those of you who may not be familiar with her, let us brag on her for a second!  We could tell you how she brilliantly started her business out of her dorm room and is now charging a premium for her services, or we could share all the publications she’s been published in or how she’s the leader in building community with her brides, or we could share about her crazy talent for brand and design (don’t even get us started on her interior design!), but we won’t :)

Instead, let us brag on how she is truly such a genuine, caring person, with such a sweet spirit with a heart of gold :) We hope you get the chance to meet her and her husband Michael one day and you’ll see that we’re exactly right.

In the meantime, enjoy her post on how to charge more!


Hi Everyone! 

I’m Katelyn and it’s an honor to connect with all of you!  I’m excited to share some of the foundational steps that we have taken to catapult our wedding photography business!! We have brought in a 6 figure income for the past 4 years and that’s not easy to do when you’re in a heavily saturated and ever-growing industry!!  

Enjoy!

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I’ve said it before and I stand by this bold statement… I honestly think that my work is worth about $3200. Based on my image quality and my experience, I think $3200 would be a fair price. I’ve been in business going on eight years now and I’m amazed at the fact that almost all of the young, female photographers shoot with the exact same equipment! This means that our work looks very similar! So how in the world am I charging well over $7000 for my wedding photography services when my images quality is worth around $3200 and the industry is over saturated? Community & Value.  That’s the answer!

For years we have been studying our own business and what we have found that WORKS is a very simple concept. Serve people, build community, and VALUE will follow. I have created a marketing strategy around the fact that brides long to have community and they desire an EXPERIENCE… not just pretty wedding pictures. I have adopted Seth Godin’s “Tribes” approach to my business and I have united my “KJ Brides” to form a community that allows our value to sky rocket!!  The more that our community grows and strengthens, the more we are in demand. The more we are in demand, the more we raise our prices!

So how do you increase the value of your services? Think about it, if you only market with your images, you only have one area of your business that is defining your value. One dimensional value isn’t reliable or scalable.  If you begin leading and growing a community around your brand, you instantly have value in who you are personally and what your client’s experience offers to your community. Instead of just basing our value on our image quality, we have created value through our reputation, our personalities, our KJ community, and the scarcity of our services. If you want to be a KJ Bride, there are only 30 spots a year! We’ve realized that our value isn’t upheld simply by how beautiful our work is, it’s determined by the way we serve our couples. 

Ultimately, the mission of our business is to serve couples and enhance their marriages by being an example. Sure, we want to make a great profit, but we want our business to be “life-changing” and not just “money making” at the end of the day. The crazy thing is, the more we focus on service, the more valuable we become. It’s a wonderful cycle!

So what are some practical ways to start building your community and increasing your value? Here are five steps that you can begin implementing today!

1. Decide to prioritize forming community over just finding customers

It’s a mindset change. We’re not about the transaction, we’re about the relationship! 

2. Accept your leadership position in the community that you’re starting to form and SHOW UP!

Be consistent in how you connect to your community whether that’s through Instagram, Facebook, your blog, etc.

3. Analyze your online and social media presence

Are you just pushing your images out to potential clients or are you showing who you are and why your community loves and supports you and your business?

4. Exceed EVERY expectation

When you combine your relationship with your client with the power of exceeding expectations, that’s a recipe for the best reputation in town!

5. Educate your current and future community

Consistently show how you love and serve your clients so that future clients desire that before they even book with you.

Here’s to growing communities, building value and making a difference with our businesses!!! 

We hope you enjoyed this as much as we did!  No go ahead and start implementing the items Katelyn shared!


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PS. If you enjoyed this and you’d like to receive more educational resources, you can download Katelyn’s latest E-book (“Our Top 5 Most Profitable Business Decisions” for FREE by clicking HERE!

How Elmo can Change your Business

How Elmo can Change your Business

I didn’t care if my son ever knew who Elmo was… …until now. Let’s rewind… Many years ago when I (Jody) was young, I remember babysitting and being SO sick of watching Barney and Sesame Street over and over again, I knew I didn’t want that insanity going on in my own...
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I didn’t care if my son ever knew who Elmo was…

…until now.

Let’s rewind…

Many years ago when I (Jody) was young, I remember babysitting and being SO sick of watching Barney and Sesame Street over and over again, I knew I didn’t want that insanity going on in my own home (ha ha) and now we have an 18 month old son and I am proud to say he has no idea who Barney, Big Bird, Mickey Mouse, Dora and all the other characters are.

HOWEVER, as we were walking through the store the other day, we decided to walk through the kids department (bad idea if you aren’t looking to spend money : ) and I saw this box:

elmo

All of a sudden I had this overwhelming desire to buy this Elmo doll for our son.

What changed in me?

Did the box demonstrate how soft Elmo was or how he has this amazing (or annoying, depending on how you look at it ;) laugh? Or was it even the price point that caught my attention?

Nope!

What got me was the shot of this young boy with such joy as Elmo was hugging him and I wanted Jaxon to experience that joy.

Your potential clients feel the same way.

Jack Trout in, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing says,

“People make purchasing decisions based on their emotional connection to a product.”

Ask yourself these questions…

What images are you showing on your site that connects to your client’s emotionally?

Are you showing only cool, images like this?

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Or are you also including image that are deep, and heartfelt, and that your client can connect to emotionally?

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What bio image are you showing of yourself? Are you showing a rockin’ photo where you love how cool you look, or ones that show your personality where a client can actually CONNECT with?

Here’s a great example of a photography duo based out of Louisiana who have updated the home page of their site with a super approachable and emotional grabbing image of themselves.

brocato

Homework assignment

Strategically think about the images you’re posting and how you can tweak them to connect emotionally to your potential client!

I never thought I would want anything to do with Elmo, but who knew that he would actually help make all of our businesses better.

Thanks Elmo :)


 

PS. We are announcing something really exciting next week with Shootflow and we just wanted to check in and make sure that you are on the Shootflow list so you don’t miss out!

This software is sooooooo close to launch and a select few of you will get to be a part of something really cool with it!  Enter your name and email HERE so you don’ t miss out on the announcement!

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We just lost an entire wedding’s images!

We just lost an entire wedding’s images!

…I am sooo glad that we have never had to say this! :) Now that we have your attention though, read on so that YOU never say this to a client.     “I treat my back-up process like a new baby. Never drop it just because I’m tired!“ -...
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…I am sooo glad that we have never had to say this! :)

Now that we have your attention though, read on so that YOU never say this to a client.

 

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I treat my back-up process like a new baby. Never drop it just because I’m tired!
- Zach Gray
Let’s talk back-up systems and why the system you choose to use will either make you and your clients happy while keeping your precious images safe, or why it will potentially cause a MASSIVE problem in your business that you might not recover from.
Even if you don’t shoot weddings, it does not mean that you can re-shoot something if you lose images. We had a friend who shot a senior session, and 2 weeks later the senior passed away.
That may not ever happen to you, but it is just good practice to do everything within our power as a photographer to protect and back up images each and every time we shoot.
Here is our system: 

Step #1 – Download the Safest Way Possible

 

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I first download all the images using the SD cards ONLY from my Canon 5d3. I use the SD cards because they only have a contact plate instead of 16 pins (like in your CF card) and there is less chance of breaking something when it is removed from the camera.

I only download them in the office on a quality, Lexar USB 3 card reader that never leaves my office. It never leaves the office because the reader or the cables it uses can be damaged during travel, which gives you a higher chance of card failure. Most failures happen not from your cards, but from something your card interacts with (camera, bad card reader, the environment, water, heat or impact).

If you download more than 2 cards per-shoot, then you can check out the Lexar Hub that allows you to add any type of reader to that hub (up to 4). You can add anSD reader, or a CF card reader. You will need 1 of these for each card (and type) you download and this allows you to download them all at once instead of one at a time (which wastes time).

(Side note: I shoot all images on Sandisk 64 gig Extreme Pro SD and CF cards MIRRORED on the 5d3. Every time I shoot an image it’s recorded to BOTH cards at the same time. I NEVER open the CF card door during a shoot since that gives the highest potential for an error. I only open the CF card door once I am home, in my office in a safe environment. If I have any camera issues during the shoot, which has happened once before, I grab my back-up camera and leave the main camera alone until I can look at it in a safe place).

 


 

Step #2 – Back-Up 1

backup2

I first copy my images directly to my main editing drive (and not to my computer) as I don’t want thousands of photos bogging down my laptop. I do NOT use any other program (like Lightroom) to move my photos for me as that just adds one more point in the system which could cause an error. I simply copy the images directly from the SD card, and paste them into my main editing drive.

My main editing drive ($349) is the G-Tech 4TB zero raid USB 3 drive. This drive writes all data to two hard drives that spin simultaneously in order to deliver data to your computer (using USB 3 connections) at around 250 Mbps. This is fast enough that you don’t notice any slow down versus having the data directly on your computer.

(It is NOT a mirror style back up even though it has two drives, so if you lose data on this, it is gone).

You also do NOT need the Thunderbolt version of this which costs an extra $150. The reason is that USB 3 can move data at 600 mbps and this drive can only spit out data from the spinning hard drives (that work in unison) at 250 mbps. You can only move data as fast as the slowest part of your system, and Thunderbolt only makes sense when sending multiple signals through one line.


Step #3 – Back-Up 2 & 3

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Next I make two more copies (directly copied from my SD cards and NOT from the main editing drive copy) to my Black-X system.

This is essentially a port that accepts internal hard drives that you can buy for a reasonable price since they do not have cases, fans, and all the other stuff that external hard drives use. The Black-X is cheap and works really well for making extra back-ups without breaking the bank.

I use two 3TB Western Digital drives that then plug into the black-X and make my 2nd and 3rd back up copies on these.

Once the back-ups are complete, I take one of these Western Digital drives out of the Black-X, pack it up in the case it came in, and send it to a friends house for safe keeping (just in case the house burns down, gets broken into, or has something like water damage from a leak).

All of these back-ups happen simultaneously and it takes just a few minutes to copy my RAW files from the SD cards and start backing up to all 3 drives that I use.

(You will notice at the end of this post that I have TWO Black-X Drives. I bought mine before they had one Black-X drive that accepted TWO hard drives. You only need the one drive linked above and two internal drives to go into it).


Step #4 – Online Back-Up

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Once I have all 3 back-ups complete, I edit the entire shoot (when we shot weddings, I did this the Tuesday after the wedding which was our first day back in the office), and then export the high-res JPG files to PASS.

PASS backs up the images on Amazon S3 servers for 10 years.

I now have 6 total back-ups of the images.

  • 1 copy on my CF card/s (I never delete cards until JPG files are on PASS),
  • 1 copy on my SD card/s
  • 1 copy on my editing drive
  • 1 copy on my Black-X drive 1
  • 1 copy on my Black-X drive 2
  • 1 copy of the JPG files on PASS

6 Total Copies

At this point (once all the files are edited and on PASS), I am free to move my Lightroom catalog off of my main editing drive and place it on my Black-X drive 1, and then delete the images from my main editing drive and from my CF and SD cards.

When all the dust settles, I will still have 2 copies in my office of the RAW files on my Black-X drives and 1 copy on PASS of the JPG files.


Connections

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All of my drives (as well as my printer, Shuttle Controller, internet hard-line and editing screen) are all connected to my laptop with just one cable using the amazing Elgato Thunderbolt Dock.

What I LOVE about this dock is that I can use my laptop (my only computer these days since it is so fast and powerful it is insane) and only have one cable connecting all my editing tools, then unplug that one cable, and go mobile easy and fast.

All my other devices like my external keyboard, mouse and Apple TrackPad are all connected with bluetooth.


My Desk

desk

As you can see, there are almost no cables plugged into my computer and everything is neat and tidy. I keep all my SD and CF cards in a card case to keep them organized and if a card is facing out (where you can see the red color from Sandisk) that means do NOT use it. Red=Dead.

You may also notice my Veri-Desk that holds my computer and my monitors. I will do a post on this coming soon, but this addition to my desk allows me to go from sitting to standing in seconds so that I don’t die early from sitting all day working. :)


Homework – Create YOUR System

The most important thing you can do after reading this post is create a system. A system means it is written down somewhere (either on paper or digitally) and each and every step of how you download and back up your files is checked off for each client as you go.

Having a system written down somewhere will help you to not make a mistake and get out on a shoot and wonder if you backed up your files you are about to shoot over. The last thing you want is to lose files due to a simple lack of a good system.

Happy back-up-ing!

CONNECT 2016 Dates Announced!

CONNECT 2016 Dates Announced!

It is hard to believe that CONNECT 2015 has come and gone, and what an amazing week it was! We booked out at 45 couples and it was such a great time of fellowship, learning, and RELAXING! For those of you already asking, the next year’s dates have officially...
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It is hard to believe that CONNECT 2015 has come and gone, and what an amazing week it was!

We booked out at 45 couples and it was such a great time of fellowship, learning, and RELAXING!

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/connect2015

For those of you already asking, the next year’s dates have officially been set!

Mark your calendars:

May 2nd-May 5th, 2016!!

We will be launching CONNECT 2016 in a couple weeks so start setting aside the down payment ($249) to reserve your spot!

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PS. CLICK here to share the CONNECT 2016 Dates!

 

PPS. Some attendees have already blogged on their experience! Feel free to check out their posts!

Drew & Veronica | We Thought We Were Going Just for Fun

Ryan & Alyssa | Where We  Belong | CONNECT Retreat 2015

Trevor & Kari | CONNECT a Marriage Retreat

Chad & Amber | Freedom in Love

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